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Places to visit in Indonesia

Indonesia is a land of immense beauty, awe-inspiring wonders and a fascinating culture. If you’re thinking of a getaway after months of being stuck indoors, this archipelago of 17,000 islands at the confluence of the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea should be high on your bucket list of places to visit. Whether it’s natural beauty that you seek, manmade structures, water bodies, or a chance to meet the local wildlife, Indonesia has something for everyone. And each of these places is an Instagram post in itself. Keep your camera ready and gear up for a vacation of a lifetime.

20 Instagrammable places in Indonesia

20 Instagrammable places that make Indonesia a must-visit destination

Indonesia is a land of immense beauty, awe-inspiring wonders and a fascinating culture. If you’re thinking of a getaway after months of being stuck indoors, this archipelago of 17,000 islands at the confluence of the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea should be high on your bucket list of places to visit. Whether it’s natural beauty that you seek, manmade structures, water bodies, or a chance to meet the local wildlife, Indonesia has something for everyone. And each of these places is an Instagram post in itself. Keep your camera ready and gear up for a vacation of a lifetime.

1. Karang Beach, Sanur

Karang Beach is a smaller part of Sanur Beach along the south-eastern coast of Bali. The waters here are shallow and you can spend hours splashing around and taking fabulous sunset pictures. Enjoy an exceptionally relaxed stay in the seaside town of Sanur, away from the typical bustle of vibrant tourist places. No wonder this town is slowly becoming a favourite for tourists looking for a serene stay.

2. Kanto Lampo Waterfalls

Ever climbed a waterfall? At Indonesia you can. Head to Kanto Lampo and get this wonderful experience. The waterfall’s gentle cascade and gradually sloping step formation makes for the perfect backdrop to take stunning pictures. Get ready for hundreds of likes on your Instagram post.

3. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

A visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must when in Indonesia. The never-ending green spread, juxtaposed against the blue sky, makes it a breath-taking sight that you will wish to never leave. Whatever your photography skills, you could never go wrong with the lifetime photographic memories that you will create here.

4. Beratan Lake and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple

Use this beautiful Balinese water temple as the perfect backdrop for an iconic Indonesian photograph. This temple, one of the over 20,000 in Bali, sits quietly on its spot on small islands and is surrounded by a placid lake. For those interested in history, this is one of Bali’s nine directional temples built to protect the island.

5. Sekumpul Waterfalls

A lush-green forest is the perfect setting for this 80-meter tall Sekumpul Waterfall. It’s not one stream, but a cluster of 6 or 7 waterfalls that gush down from the rocks to offer a mesmerising view. It is a bit of a hike from the village of Sekumpul to get there, but believe us it is completely worth the effort.

6. Unda River Dam (Tukad Unda Dam)

Barely 25 kilometres from Ubud in Klungkung is this photographer’s dream destination. This manmade dam on the Tukad Unda River in Bali is a popular destination for locals, and you are likely to find numerous opportunities to get the perfect Instagrammable shot at the artificial waterfall here.

7. Kelingking Beach T-Rex

Yes, it resembles a dinosaur and thus it is fondly called so. Officially named Kelingking Beach, this beach will stop you in your tracks with its gentle waves, white sands and spectacular views. Do add this to your itinerary and give your Instagram followers something to get excited about.

8. Broken Beach (Pasih Uug)

Broken beach

As the name suggests, the coastline is a bit different from what you’d have come to expect of a beach. An eroded arch in the cliff side is what gives this place its name, and makes it a photographer’s delight. Capture the ocean as it swims inland through the arch, making it one of the most gorgeous places in Indonesia.

9. Angel’s Billabong

Angels Billabong

Shhh, let’s not talk much about this hidden beauty that quietly transforms into your private little pool at low tide. Angel’s Billabong is just a short walk from Broken Beach and once there, you can lose yourself in the clear calm waters, just allowing all your stress to swim away from you. And yes, you can capture the most stunning photographs while lazing here.

10. Taman Sari Yogyakarta Water Castle

Indonesian folklore tells us that princesses once bathed in these beautiful waters while their future husbands, the sultans, hid in the towers and chose their bride from among the most beautiful woman. The former royal palace, garden, and home of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta, this is an 18th-century complex that will bowl you over with its simple beauty. Catch the reflection of the castle in the calm waters and share it with your followers.

11. Jomblang Cave (Goa Jomblang) in Yogyakarta

Jombland Cave

Imagine a cave that supports an ancient forest within its hidden depths. But more than being famous for that, Jomblang Cave is better known for its ‘Heaven Light’ that bathes the cave’s entrance with beautiful sunbeams. The swirling dust dancing in the sunbeam simply begs to be captured.

12. Madakaripura Waterfall

Madakaripura waterfall

Yes, it takes some effort to get there, but once you cross though a mossy canyon, you will be spellbound by the turquoise waters of the Madakaripura Waterfall. At 200 metres it is the tallest waterfall in Java and the second tallest in Indonesia. Dive into the plunge pool at its base and come up thoroughly invigorated.

13. Borobudur Temple

Borobudur temple

Take a trip back in time, right up to the 8th and 9th centuries, at Borobudur Temple. One of Indonesia’s most visited tourist attraction, this site also holds the distinction of being the largest Buddhist monument in the world. You cannot imagine its beauty until you see it in real life. Capture some amazing photographs to take home the memory with you.

14. The Blue Fire Flames of Kawah Ijen Volcano

Head to the volcano at night to see electric blue fire flowing down the mountain slopes. Unlike what many believe, it’s not blue lava but escaping sulphuric gases that gives birth to this amazing phenomenon. Keep your camera ready and get fantastic shots of glowing blue flames that shoot up to 5 metres into the sky.

15. Mount Bromo

Nothing beats the view of a floating island rising out of clouds. Not a mythical land, but this is Mount Bromo, one of the top attractions in Indonesia. The land surrounding the mountain is often covered in soft clouds, and the entire landscape is incredibly picturesque. Keep your camera ready and snap amazing photographs at every turn as you walk towards the main viewpoint.

16. Kawah Putih White Crater Lake

Would you like to head inside a volcano to view a lake? That’s what you will do when you set out to see the Kawah Putih White Crater Lake. The milky, electric blue waters and white sandy shore are inviting and make for gorgeous pictures but as the water is acidic, you can’t swim in it.

17. Wayag Island

The most popular island of this beautiful archipelago is Wayag Island, just 10 kilometres north of the equator. Take an exhilarating 30 minute hike to the top of the island’s highest viewing point and treat yourself to the most iconic views of the surrounding bays. You can get incredible sunset views from this point, making the trip so worth it.

18. Padar Island Indonesia

A thrilling confluence of blue waters and the sky is separated by stunning green island hills, at Padar Island. If you’re looking for the best of Indonesia, it is on the top of the iconic viewpoint sitting right at the end of the Padar Island Hike. Book yourself a seat in a liveaboard or take a boat tour from Labuan Bajo to reach this point in your Indonesian journey. The pictures that you will take back from here will last you a lifetime, as will the memories.

19. Pink Beach on Komodo Island

Yes, this is actually a pink beach and it is just one of a handful scattered across the world. Pink Beach, or Pantai Merah, on Komodo Island has to be on the list of a serious traveller and travel photographer. The island gets its pretty pink hues from the red shells of small marine organisms called Foraminifera. The shells wash ashore and mix with the lighter coloured typical sand to give the beach this gorgeous uniform pink appearance.

20. Bukit Lawang

Imagine visiting Indonesia and not stopping by to say hello to the orang-utan. If you are willing to rough it out a bit, then do add Bukit Lawang to your Indonesian itinerary. Head deep into the jungles of northern Sumatra on safari walks to catch a glimpse of the orang-utan as well as its closer relatives, the baboons and Thomas leaf monkeys. Mind you, the place as rustic as it can get; a few bamboo-built longhouses and riverside teahouses is what actually adds to the charm of the place. You will find a photo opportunity waiting for you at every corner. And of course, getting a chance for a shot of the wildlife within will be insanely incredible, won’t it? A picture of the Sumatran tiger, anyone?

Which of these places will you visit on your vacation to Indonesia? How about all? Take your time and come back with a bag full of memories.

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10 best Islands of Indonesia

Located off the coast of mainland South East Asia, Indonesia is recognized as the world’s largest archipelago, consisting of at least 17,000 islands!

What is an ‘archipelago’? An ‘archipelago’ is a group or cluster of islands, in a body of water, typically a sea or an ocean. These islands are volcanic in origin, from the volcanoes erupting from the sea/ocean floor.

So if you are looking for an island or beach vacation, Indonesia could be your preferred destination. Indonesia has something to offer for everyone – depending on your choice of budget and island preferences.

The main provinces of Indonesia are islands such as - Sumatra, Java, Lombok, and Bali. Jakarta – the capital of Indonesia - is based in the province of Java. Besides these large islands, there are many smaller islands, which are uninhabited. Indonesia also has many islands which are not too densely populated, and make perfect destinations for a relaxed beach and island holiday experience.

Many islands offer underwater diving and snorkeling, to allow you to enjoy some of Indonesia’s underwater beauty, while others offer exciting ocean surfing options. For those who enjoy the sights of nature and natural beauty – there are beautiful ocean views, with a backdrop of lush verdant green hills and bountiful wildlife.

Some of the islands we recommend are:

1. Bali

Located west of Java, Bali is well-known globally as, 'The Island of the Gods'!

For the international tourist, Bali needs no introduction. It is on the go-to bucket list of most international vacation/holiday travellers. Tourists in Bali get the opportunity to explore – the scenic rice terraces, fragrant cuisine, stunning beaches, and an abundance of rich culture and tradition. You have a variety of choices: ancient and ornate temples; serene yoga retreats; awesome beaches across its endless coastline, like Seminyak and Kuta; some of the world’s best coral reefs, like Tulamben; nature’s bounty of waterfalls; or the mountain peaks of Kintamani. Bali has, over the years, excelled in providing something for every taste, be it natural features, food, cultural workshops, art, shopping, and more.

2. Gili Islands

Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are a set of three small islands. Gili Trawangan is the largest and most modern of the three. It is known for its pulsating and active nightlife, and its loungey seaside cafes. Gili Meno is preferred by honeymooners for its serene and quiet setting. Gili Meno attracts those with a penchant for some risk and adventure, where some of the world’s rarest and most dangerous underwater species lay in hiding. Most famous diving spots are Shark point, Manta point, and Simon's reef. One can visit all three islands in one visit, since they are located very close to each other.

3. Wakatobi Islands

Wakatobi Islands

Wakatobi islands are a mini-archipelago of four islands, south of Sulawesi. These islands are Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. The Wakatobi islands are world renowned for decades, for their diving spots. Each diving spot is assured to offer you a pleasurable and exciting journey into the underwater world, which is abundant with marine beauty such as colourful sets of corals, exotic fish and other marine forms of life. The islands are home to the Wakatobi National Park, which was formed to protect and preserve marine life. Jacques Cousteau, the famous marine explorer and researcher, labelled Wakatobi Islands as an ‘Underwater Nirvana’. The remoteness of these islands has ensured that they are relatively quiet, pristine and unspoiled by excessive commercialism.

4. The Mentawai Islands

You will find Mentawai’s seventy islands off the west coast of Sumatra island. Across the globe, Mentawai islands are known as the ‘Surfers’ Paradise’. The waves at Mentawai islands range from two feet to 15 feet tall. Like most other islands of Indonesia, Mentawai islands boasts of a rich marine biodiversity, which includes dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles. You could also choose to either chill out on secluded and quiet beaches, trek through thick tropical rainforests, check out the villages or get to know more about the charming Mentawai tribe. Alternatively, you can tour the islands on a boat, exploring the enticing coves and inlets.

5. Nusa Islands

Nusa Islands

Situated off the coast of Bali, Nusa Islands are a string of three islands – Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. Water sports such as diving and snorkelling offer some wonderful underwater sightings of sharks, stingrays and turtles. Other go-to activities are cliff jumping at Nusa Ceningan, the yellow bridge crossing between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, and soaking in the iconic beauty of the Kelingking Beach, at Nusa Penida.

6. Wai/Weh Island

Amongst the Raja Ampat islands, you will find the Wai/Weh island. If you are looking for seclusion and privacy, Wai/Weh island is perfect for you, since it is one of the most remote islands in Indonesia. Considered as one of the most exquisite islands in Indonesia, it rests on a coral atoll, and is covered with sparkling white sandy beaches, which contrast beautifully with the azure seas, the blossoming coral reefs that abound with colourful fish and other exciting marine life. A visit to the island is incomplete without witnessing and experiencing the magnificent and breath-taking sunsets.

7. Flores Island

Pocketed in East Nusa Tenggara, is the gorgeous Flores island, with attractions such as mountains, beaches, and the famous tri-coloured Kelimutu lake. Many people visit Flores to soak in and absorb its unique cultures and customs of the local ethnic groups. Staying with the locals and living their lifestyles has been challenging and life-changing for many visitors to the Flores island. Villages like Wae Rebo are renowned for its scenic mountain views and quirky traditional houses.

8. Komodo Island

Komodo Island

The Komodo island is named after the famous giant lizards – the Komodo Dragons, who are the primary inhabitants of this island. Close to Flores island, it is one of the most famous islands in Indonesia. Lavish accommodations are available if you want to spend some nights on the island. The Komodo dragons carry toxic saliva. It is therefore advisable to keep one’s distance from them, so that you are not bitten by the dragon.

9. Bintan Island

Bintan Island

A one-hour ferry ride from Singapore makes Bintan island a holiday destination for many Singaporeans. It is part of Indonesia's Riau archipelago and an integral and beloved part of the Riau Province. It boasts of lavish and fun modern attractions such as South East Asia’s first seawater lagoon, a flying club that lets you ride an open-cockpit seaplane, and more. Some of its other attractions include, championship golf courses, secluded beaches, and diverse water sports.

10. The Bangka – Belitung Islands

East of Sumatra is a group of seven islands called the Bangka – Belitung Islands. Indonesians consider these islands to be the most beautiful islands in the Indonesian archipelago. These islands are frequented by Indonesians and foreign visitors. The Bangka – Belitung islands are scenic islands, with azure waters and clean sparkling sands, interspersed with picturesque rock formations. Boat tours allow you to hop across islands at your convenience and leisure, and experience the visual beauty of the tropical flora and fauna of the underwater world of these islands.

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Awesome Pristine Beaches Of Indonesia

Remember the last time you hit the beach and savoured the bliss of the warm sand slipping through your toes; or the waves rushing against your legs, as you paddled into the sea. Or maybe you dream about the cold beer, or cocktail in your hand; or watching the sunrise or sunset – depending on your location?

Well, reminisce no more, because if you were in Indonesia, a beach would never be too far from wherever you are. The Indonesian archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands, and miles and miles of extraordinary and pristine beaches, will leave you spoiled for choice. The beaches in Indonesia are guaranteed to redefine your benchmarks, of an idyllic beach paradise.

While it is true that Bali is considered as one of the most popular choices by tourists, who crave for a beach ‘vacay’, there are many beaches in remote and far flung islands, which are less frequented byglobal tourists. For those, who want to travel the less beaten path, these remote and far-flung pristine beaches offer vast open oceans, uninhabited islands and the clearest waters you will ever find.

So let’s explore some of the top beaches in Indonesia.

The Beaches of Nusa Penida, Bali

South of Bali is a cluster of three islands called the Nusa Islands, Nusa Penida is one of the three islands. Nusa Penida is a collection of epic beaches, each of which appeals uniquely, to different travellers. Some of the beaches are so secluded that you will get the feeling of being stranded on a deserted island.

  1. Crystal Bay Beach: Watch breath-taking sunsets from this west-facing beach. The calm waters beckon you, for some great swimming and snorkelling.
  2. Tembeling Beach: If trekking and exploring nature is your thing, then wander off the stretch of soft sand and turquoise water, into the surrounding lush forest, and explore the hidden swimming holes, cliff jumping spots and traditional statues in ceremonial grounds.
  3. Atuh Beach: If you enjoy coconut water, then the coconut vendors on this beach won’t disappoint you. Considered one of Indonesia’s most beautiful beaches, its pure white sand beach, lined with rugged cliffs, is a beautiful sight to behold.
  4. Kelingking Beach: People flock to this secluded white sandy beach, to click pictures of a famous and unique cliff, which looks like an open-mouthed Tyrannosaurus Rex, extending out to the sea. Being a shore break beach, it is ideal for surfing. However, swimming is not recommended.

Nusa Dua Beach, Bali

Nusa Islands

Widely known as the upscale locale of Bali, Nusa Dua is 22 kilometres from Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali. Some of the best beaches in Nusa Dua are – Nusa Dua Beach, Samuh Beach, Geger Beach, Pandawa Beach and Sawangan Beach.

Of these five beaches, the Nusa Dua Beach showcases the typical Balinese beach, with sparkling powdery white sand and sapphire waters. The water closer to the beach is calm and peaceful, allowing for safe swimming and snorkelling. Further out, the waves are stronger, making them ideal for surfing.

You can also engage glass-bottom boat trips that allow you to explore the colourful and vibrant marine life. Alternatively, you can go for the self-drive jet skis, underwater sea-walker experiences and parasailing.The TripAdvisor community has rewarded/ranked Nusa Dua beach, as one of the best beaches in the world.

The Beaches of Gili Islands, Lombok

Gili Islands

A ferry off the north-west shore of Lombok, takes you to a cluster of three islands called the Gili islands. While each island has something unique and different to offer, the beaches in all the islands are breathtakingly mesmerising. Of the three islands, the two islands below, are the most frequented by visitors.

  1. GiliTrawangan Island: GiliTrawangan is frequented by backpackers, who want a taste of the whole ‘island life’ concept! During the day, you can soak in the warm sun, white sand and sea; or you can swim and snorkel, to experience the marine life and some amazing underwater statues. In the evening, the local reggae bar and other nightspots, are well stocked with ‘Bintangs’ (the most popular beer in Indonesia), and some lip smacking seafood.
  2. GiliMeno Island: Boasting of some of the best beaches in Indonesia, GiliMeno is the go-to place for honeymooners, for its chilled out, peaceful and serene vibe. GiliMeno does not allow any automobiles on the island. If you get bored of soaking in the warm sun, while lounging on its glorious and secluded beaches, its crystal clear waters are an open invitation, for snorkelling and scuba diving. The island has a choice of many seafood restaurants and hotels, to fit your budget and taste.

Trikora Beach, Bintan

Just a ferry crossing away, for all the city dwellers of Singapore, is the Trikora Beach, on the north-east side of Bintan, a resort island with luxurious accommodations and marvellous beaches.

Soft white sand, interspersed with picturesque boulders and a clear blue sea, is what you can expect at the Trikora beach. People gather every morning, for spectacular and colourful sunrises. Across the sea, one can see other islands in the distance.Kite surfing is one of the unique attractions at Trikora. One can learn kite surfing, at the local schools and resorts.

Pink Beach, Komodo Island

Komodo islands are home to the largest lizards in the world – the Komodo dragons, who are protected since 1980, at the islands Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.On these Komodo islands, is the Pink beach, which is listed as one of the seven natural wonders, in the world.

Red shells of tiny coral insects, called foraminifera, mix with the white sand, giving it the glowing eye-catching flamingo coloured pink tint.Its teal blue, serene and shallow waters make it a diver’s delight. Snorkelers and scuba divers revel in its bountiful marine life and bright colourful coral reefs.For those who enjoy the natural beauty, there are several scenic views, from the beach or from the nearby hills on the island.

TanjungGelam, Karimunjawa

Tanjung Ringgit

About 100 kilometres north of Java, is the TanjungGelam beach, on the largest island of the Karimunjawa archipelago.Secluded & peaceful getaway and fantastic natural sights, are the hallmarks of this beach, with its sparkling white sands and crystal clear waters.

The colourful coral reefs, packed with shoals of fish and other marine life, make scuba diving and snorkelling an amazing memory to take back home.TanjungGelam is also called the ‘Sunset Beach’, because of its gorgeous sunsets.

Senggigi Beach, Lombok

Situated on the west coast of the Lombok island, Senggigi beach is a charming site, with its palm trees and colourful fishing boats lining the beach.

A towering coral reef in the middle of the ocean, breaks the waves before reaching the white sandy shore. This calms the clear blue waters, and allows scuba divers and snorkelers, to explore the teeming underwater marine life, in the nearby reefs.It is the norm, to gather on the beach every evening, and enjoy a lovely sunset.

The numerous restaurants, bars and hotels, allow you to take your pick, as per your liking and budget.

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Gili Islands in Indonesia

Few places on earth let you experience the blue marble, at its breath-taking best. One of those sits just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia — the Gili Islands. The stunning Gili Islands archipelago is rightly one of the country’s treasured tourism hotspots. Where crystal blue waters break over white sand beaches. Where colourful coral reefs invite you under and lush tropical vistas keep you entranced above. Where slow living is the natural pace of life. Yet, the thrill of adventure is found at every corner. All the makings of a spectacular getaway, a rejuvenating island-hopping experience to check off your travel bucket-list.

Gili Islands At A Glance
Country Indonesia
Language Sasak
Population 4,439
Dial Code + 62 - 370
Currency Rupiah (Rp)
Time Zone GMT+8
Area 15 Sq. Km.



Furthest away from the mainland lies the biggest of the islands, GiliTrawangan. Known for its vibrant party scene, the island also has a relaxed side, offering visitors the best of both worlds. Here, you can choose how you stay — walking-distance from the waves kind of beach huts to in the lap of luxury exclusive resorts. And how you play — shack and bar hopping, peaceful sunbathing, sublime scuba diving or under-the-moonlight dancing. GiliTrawangan is just the place for families, couples or travellers that love a good thrill.


This is the smallest and least developed of the islands, located in the middle of the archipelago. The serene spot is the ultimate destination to experience nature’s bliss and the wonders of solitude. Perfect for honeymooners or nature-inspired travellers who enjoy experiences out in the wild, encircled the whole while, by hypnotically beautiful white sand beaches and cobalt sea.

Gili Air

The island closest to the mainland is called Gili Air, where you can find the largest living local population and a wonderful blend of activity and relaxation. It isn’t as peaceful as Meno, but still offers plenty of secluded and private spots for you to enjoy. While the happening side of the island ensures you are fully engaged, be it water sports or bars, authentic villages and lively craft markets.

Top things to do in the Gili Islands

  • Diving at some of the best coral reefs in the world, with professional dive schools and instructors.
  • The View Point on Gili T for enchanting views, magnificent sunsets and countless selfie moments.
  • The Sea Swing at Gili T, where you can swing, surrounded by beautiful azure waters.
  • Turtle Sanctuary on Meno to see the extraordinary creatures, thriving in their natural habitat.
  • The Bird Park on Meno to spot over 300 exotic avian species, living free and wild, as they should.
  • Soak in scenic moments at the natural marvel on Meno — the Salt Lake.

Interesting Facts About Gili Islands

  • GiliTrawangan is the largest of the three islands, with a population of around 1500.
  • GiliMeno is the island in the middle, with a permanent population of just 500.
  • Gili Air is the smallest and closest to the mainland, with a population of 1800.
  • There are no motorised vehicles on any of the three islands. To move around, one can use a bicycle or the local horse-drawn carriages known as Cidomo. The name ‘Gili’ actually means ‘island’ in the local Sasak language.

Location if Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are three islands that lie in the Lombok Strait, extending beyond the Sire peninsula, off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia.

Best Time To Visit Gili Islands

For optimal weather conditions that let you experience the Gili Islands at their best, visit between the months of July to September and February to April. Avoid the monsoon months of November to January, as they tend to dampen diving or outdoor plans.

How To Reach Gili Islands

There are two ways to reach the Gili Islands once you arrive into Indonesia — from Bali or Lombok. Take one of the boat services from Amed or Padang Bai in Bali. Or you can hop onto the public boats at Bangsal Harbour in Lombok. Chartering your own private boat is an available option from both routes.

History of Gili Islands

The Gili Islands were once untouched and pristine. This first changed during World War II, when the Japanese used the islands as a strategic army base and prisoners of war camp. But it was only in the 1970s that permanent settlers arrived. Over the next decade, contentious land issues arose between the early settlers and the government, signs of which remain even today. Nevertheless, by the 1980s, backpackers discovered the islands and tourism began to flourish. Till the late 1990s, Gili Islands became a party destination, but also one for diving. In modern times, the islands have gone the eco-tourism way, to maintain the natural habitats and protect the industry too.

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Yogyakarta Travel Guide

To say Yogyakarta is brimming with culture and art would be accurate, but not a fair enough description for a place that has so much more to offer! The Javanese city was known as “Jogja The Never Ending Asia”, solely for how vast its offerings are.Let’s delve deeper into one of Indonesia’s most culturally rich centres, shall we?

The Kraton is the palace centre of Yogyakarta. It contains a walled market and is home to over 25,000 residents. It also houses a museum that is definitely a major attraction. However, the silver workshops and batik sellers are equally, if not more, appealing!

While the Kraton is where all the hustle and bustle of Yogyakarta predominantly lies, there’s so much more this culture-rich city has to offer.

Why You’ll Enjoy Visiting Yogyakarta

Whether you’re a lover of art, music, and culture, or are an adventure buff, or simply on vacation to take in the sights and sounds of a foreign land, Yogyakarta is going to give you more than you can possibly imagine! Chances are, no matter what you’re looking for, Yogyakarta has something you’ll love!

Breath-taking Historical Sights

Because the city dates back centuries, its historical attractions are beyond impressive. In fact, it was once the royal capital. Take a walk back in time at Taman Sari, a water palace full of bathing pools, well-preserved from the 18th century. Word is that the bathing pools were for princesses, conveniently positioned so that the sultan would be able to pick out a wife or a concubine!

Most travellers say that when strolling through the palace, they were nearly transported to another time! This palace is still the residence of the sultan of Yogyakarta.

Photo-op Locations

What’s a trip without pictures of memories to look back on? If you’re a trigger-happy Instagrammer, you wouldn’t want to miss a visit to PinusPengger. It has recently become more popular for its quirky sculptures that double up as great backgrounds for the ‘Gram’! Just an hour’s drive away from Yogyakarta city centre, this forest-themed park is a must-visit. Do note that Uber does not operate in this area, so a hired car or bike is your best bet. If a wow-worthy picture is on your mind, then PinusPennger’s ‘Hand’ Sculpture at sunset is what you’re after!

Temple Runs

An Indonesian visit without a few temple sightings, is not really an Indonesian visit, is it?In fact, the 9th Century Sambisari Temple is literally a hop, skip and jump from the airport, in case you want to get right to the sight-seeing!

For a real visual treat, a trip to the Borobudur temple-site is undoubtedly one of the most recommended. Located 30 miles from the city centre, this temple site will fill your senses with its bell-shaped towers, intricate detailing and scatter of buddhas!

Treat Them Tastebuds

No travel is complete without indulging in some local delicacies. Feast on the flavours of the Bakpia, a traditional sweet moon-shaped pastry filled with a mung bean paste, much like Chinese moon cakes.

Yogyakarta is famous for Gudeg, young unripe jackfruit that is stewed for hours with palm sugar and coconut milk. To wash down all the sweet treats that the city has to offer, try the Jamu, a beverage with a mix of natural herbs.

Take a Batik Course

Why not really soak in Yogyakarta’s culture with a workshop in Batik Painting? With some of the world’s most authentic Batik masters nonetheless! Some workshops let you take your art home with you as well!

Experience Traditional Javanese Culture

While short trips in and around Yogyakarta will fill your soul with experiences, don’t miss out on some good ole gamelan music, the traditional dances and puppet shows, when you visit. Shoppers, you’ll want to hit Malioboro road for some splurging!

And if all of the culture-chasing wasn’t enough, seek some siesta time at some of the gorgeous beaches like Parangtris, Pok Tunggal, Krakal, Siung and Indrayanti. There are some cute cafes to grab a quick bite as you unwind with the sound of the waves crashing.

Getting around Yogyakarta

  • Moving around the city is fairly simple and cost-effective for the average traveller.
  • Trans Jogja buses are available all around Yogyakarta. They are affordable and also have air conditioning.
  • Taxis are a slightly more expensive option of course, but you could also hail a trishaw (becak) for a much lesser cost.
  • Car rentals are also a popular option amongst travellers.
  • To get a wholesome experience of this Javanese treasure, a minimum of 4 days is recommended to really take in the sights, sounds, aromas and tastes that Yogyakarta has to offer.

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Picturesque Locations in Nusa Lembongan

South-east of Bali, Indonesia – approximately 12 kilometres, is the Nusa Lembongan island, with an area of approximately 8 square kilometres. The Nusa Lembongan island is part of the group of three islands, which make up the Nusa Penida district.

Nusa Lembongan island is your ideal escape from the hustle-bustle of South Bali. Look out for gorgeous scenery, amazing sunsets, secluded and serene ambience, and pristine white sand beaches. Feel the breeze in your hair when you gaze at the crystal clear aqua blue ocean waters, and explore impressive coastal cliffs sides. There are many activities you can try out like swimming, scuba diving and snorkelling.

While you could charter a helicopter, for Nusa Lembongan, a 30-minute boat ride from Sanur or Padang Bai, is the most preferred way to reach the island.

You could enjoy leisurely walks at Nusa Lembongan, with its coastal paths that link guest houses, hotels and restaurants. These coastal paths offer great scenic views along the island’s coastline, including spectacular sunsets and views across the ocean to Bali. Should you want a change of scene, you could cross over to the neighbouring island, Nusa Ceningan, via the quaint yellow suspension bridge, which carries only two-wheelers and pedestrians.

Nusa Lembongan is truly blessed with some lovely spots to visit-

1. JungutBatu Beach

There two main beaches in Nusa Lembongan most frequented by visitors. JungutBatu Beach, on the northern coast is one of them; the other is Mushroom Bay. JungutBatu is the bigger of the two beaches.

Calendar book your evenings on the JungutBatu beachfront, to witness ‘once in a lifetime’ breathtaking sunsets!While the water is relatively calm, there are surf breaks swells, further out at sea, for surfers.The beach is replete with guest houses, hotels and restaurants & bar, to suit your tastes and pocket.

2. Mushroom Bay

South-west of JungutBatu is the sheltered, quaint and picturesque Mushroom Bay. With its clear waters, it is a serene, clean white beach made for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving; or just lounging around, soaking in the sun; or enjoying a relaxing massage.When you are done with the beach and the waters, check out the cosy relaxing eateries and resting places, close to the beach.

3. Paradise Beach

Paradise beach borders the mangrove forests on Nusa Lembongan’s northern coastline. Its white powdery sandy beach invites one, for pleasurable walks. Evenings offer beautiful sunsets, and a lovely view of Mount Agung* and the mainland Bali, across the horizon.

4. Dream Beach

A delightfully secluded white sand beach, Dream Beach is on the south-west coast of Nusa Lembongan. This is an idyllic beach to laze around, or hit the café, attached to the sole resort on the beach. Trek up to the low-lying limestone cliff edges, and enjoy the magnificent bird’s-eye views of the scenic vistas. Swimming is recommended only during low tide. Even so, beware of the rip currents. As the sun dips south in the winter season, one can expect some awesome sunsets.

5. The Devil’s Tear

Devil’s Tear is a perilous blowhole, on the south-west of the Nusa Lembongan island. You could get drenched, if you stand too close to the edge. Just around the corner, you will find a natural infinity pool, which is ideal for a cooling dip. Carry your camera, for some dazzling sunsets in the evening.

6. Sandy Bay (Sunset Beach)

Adjacent to Devil’s Tear is the Sandy Bay, also known as the Sunset Beach. It is a small beach, with marvellous white sand. It houses one of the many beach clubs, encouraging visitors to spend a totally laid-back day.

During the low tide, look out for the extraordinary cave in the limestone cliff, at the eastern side of the bay

7. Tamarind Beach

Tamarind Beach is a 300 metres coastline, between the Playground’s surf break and Mushroom Bay. It offers great views of Mount Agung* and the Bali mainland. An assortment of bungalows and restaurants, gives you a wide choice of boarding and lodging. Proximity to the Playground’s surf break, allow many novice surfers to paddle out to the surf break.

8. Coconut Bay

Looking out to the Playground’s surf break, is a tiny sliver of sand, in a deep curvy bay called Coconut Bay, also known as Song Lambung Beach. This is the closest spot for surfers, to paddle out to Playground’s surf break.

9. Mangrove Point (Sakenan)

Off the mangrove forests, north of Nusa Lembongan, this dive site boasts of stunningly coloured corals. Some of the regular inhabitants are clown triggerfish, blue lined triggerfish, Napoleon wrasse, bump-head parrotfish, jack fish, diverse species of nudi branches, moray eels, shrimps, octopus, and occasionally a bamboo shark.

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Nusa Penida Island

There’s so much to experience in Indonesia ranging from cultural escapades to shopping hotspots, from gastronomical hubs to basking in nature’s lap! And speaking of nature, if you’re planning a trip to Indonesia, then Nusa Penida is a must-visit! We’ll tell you why.

Once a hidden treasure, now gaining steady popularity, Nusa Penida is just the right mix of deserted and safe! You may not find the bustling city life, the happening nightlife or the fancy beach clubs here, but the beauty of the island is unparalleled!

Breathtaking cliff views, refreshing waterfalls, pristine beaches…Nusa Penida will have you wishing you had more days on the island! And if you’re short on days, a day trip to the island is very doable and equally pleasurable.

Nusa Penida – An Overview
Global location South East Asia
Country Indonesia
Province Bali
Official Language Balinese
Dial Code 361
Population 45,500
Currency IDR
Time Zone WITA - GMT+8
Area 202.8 sq. km

Getting to Nusa Penida

From Sanur (East Bali) there’s a ferry that runs multiple times a day to Nusa Penida. If you’ve booked in advance, you can arrange to be picked up by hotel staff as well.

What to do at Nusa Penida

Snorkel in the Clear Waters of Crystal Bay

One of the most photographable places in Nusa Penida, you won’t want to miss a visit to Crystal Bay.The beautiful palm-lined island with a thriving coral reef offers a visual treat to divers, and those who wish to snorkel during their visit. Put on the snorkel gear and be prepared to catch a glimpse of some exotic marine life. 

If you want to just laze on the beach, go for a dip or walk around, Crystal Bay is the place for you!

Hike Up to Get the Best View at Kelingking Beach

While Nusa Penida has so many great views, it may be challenging to pick one as the best. However, a Tyrannosaurus Rex shaped formation on a sweet hidden beach has got to be the winner! Kelingking beach is definitely, an Instagram favourite. You can take guided tours to the place or choose to do it, without a guide. Do ensure you wear proper footwear, as bamboo rails are the only support you’ll have on your hike up and down the grass and sand!

Catch a Romantic Moment at Broken Beach

Broken beach is a gorgeous little cove on Nusa Penida Island. It is called so because of a natural archway that wraps around the bay. Unfortunately, there is no way down to swim here, but it is not too far from Angel’s Billabong. Here, there is a pathway, which leads to a naturally formed lagoon, that offers a great place to swim and breathtaking views too!

There’s also a secret Manta-Ray viewing spot here as well. This was discovered by accident by a few travellers. If you’re lucky, you might find it, after a bit of exploration, or easier still, finding a local guide to direct you towards it!

Take the Adventurous Route to Seganing Waterfall

Signing waterfall in Penida is a hidden gem on the island. Getting to the waterfall will require some efforts, but it’s worth the walk! There’s nothing like listening to water gush out of the rocks as you catch your breath, amidst the most gorgeous setting! Do skip this, if you’re afraid of heights though!

Crawl Through a Cave to Witness a Religious Ceremony

The Pura Goa GiriPutri Cave is midway up a mountain. It is accessible only via a steep winding staircase. Being a religious site, you will have to rent a sarong to don before you start your walk up the staircase. A crawl through a tiny crack will lead you to a 300-metre-long cave where prayers are conducted.

Be Blown Away at Atuh Beach

This is the kind of beach that will leave you speechless from the first glance. The view from the top of the stairs will prepare you for the sheer beauty of what you’ll get after the ten-minute steep trek down to the beach. You will find a few vendors selling coconuts (refreshing after your hike!), nasigoreng, beer and other snacks and refreshments for a small price.

Best Time to Visit Penida

The island is open through the year, but the best time to visit is May to September. From November to January, the island receives heavy rainfall, and encounters extreme humidity, deterring visitors who want to explore the island.

Getting Around Nusa Penida

Most travellers choose to rent a scooter or a car to get around the island. A scooter is way more economical than the former. However, the roads on the island are known to be notoriously bad and thus, rent a scooter with caution!

With a little bit of adventure and a whole lot of absolutely soul-stirring views and experiences, Nusa Penida is an island you’re likely never to forget once you visit it. It’s a great place to leave behind your worries and truly experience unadulterated island life!

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10 Best Indonesian Temples to Visit

Visiting Indonesia and not doing a temple run is highly unlikely, for the average traveller. The country has more than  its fair share of temples sprinkled across different landscapes and if nothing else, admiring the architecture of the temples is one reason to visit a few!

Hidden deep between lush greenery lie some of the most picturesque and awe-inspiring ancient structures the world has ever witnessed. The Buddhist and Hindu temples of the island are intricately carved in stone so that they would stand the test of time. Now, all you need to do is to go find them!

Let’s get those special ceremonial sarongs, and walk through some of the most amazing Indonesian temples!!

Sewu Temple

Located in Java, the Sewu temple is the second largest Buddhist temple on the island. The central temple of Mahadeva at Sewu is a sight to behold!  For out of the central temple lie four rings, containing 250 smaller temples, each dedicated to different Gods! Sewu Temple was undoubtedly one of Java’s thriving temples back in the 8th Century. There are also inscriptions dating way back to 792 AD.

Candi Plaosan

Another Javanese wonder to behold is the Candi Plaosan temple. To enter the massive temple grounds, you will have to pass the temple guardians, also known as dwarpalas, each carrying a club, sword or a snake to fend off evil. Amongst the 248 pewara temples, lie the twin viharas or the main shrine buildings, that stand out for their unique detailing.

Ratu Boko Temple

Sitting pretty high on a plateau in Central Java, the Ratu Boko Temple is a must-visit on your trip to Indonesia. A word of advice - you should carry water and a sunhat because you’ll be walking up stairs, most likely on a hot Javanese day! The remains of this structure indicate that this was once a castle or a mansion of the royals of either the Mataram Kingdom or the Sailendra one. The dry moat, the outer wall, the lookout point are all the makings of an old-school castle, aren’t they? If you’re enthusiastic enough to climb out to the lookout pavilion, you’ll enjoy a view to remember!

Prambanan Temple

This Hindu Masterpiece of a temple is located in Java. Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple in all of Indonesia! Housing the ruins of 224 temples, the first thing you’ll notice is the  magnanimity and wonder of the ruins. As you reach the centre of the temple grounds, there are eight major and eight smaller temples. These temples are dedicated towards Trimurti, the three forms of divinity – the creator, the destroyer and the preserver.

Borobudur Temple

The largest Buddhist temple in the word, Borobudur temple, is located in Central Java. This temple has seen a lot in its lifetime and from the looks of it, is here to stay! It had survived not only the volcanic eruptions of GunungMerapi, but also a huge earthquake and a terrorist attack! 

This temple single-handedly makes all other Indonesian temples appear “normal”. With its intricate carvings, it’s five stories of statues and it’s impressive 72 Buddha statues, it’s hard not to have your jaw drop! Despite being built by hand in the 9th century, the structure looks like nothing will ever take it down, so far, nothing has!


Bali is the most frequented island of the 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia.  The PuraBesakih temple is one of Bali’s most important temples for it’s sheer expanse and the fact that it is considered to be one of the holiest Hindu temples in the land. It is situated 3300 feet up on the slope of Mount Agung in the east of Bali. PuraBesakih is made up of 23 temples! Visit it, if only  for the lush countryside; it’s worth the visual treat!

Goa Gajah

Head to Ubud in Bali to visit the Goa Gajah temple! The temple boasts of ornate carvings in a cave. These carvings range from the risque phallic and yoni symbols of Lord Shiva to some menacing characters carved into the stone. You’ll have to walk through throngs of vendors selling the special ceremonial sarong. However, you can also pick up a free sarong, once you pay the entry fee to the temple. The temple features beautiful female fountain sculptures in the bathing pools  built in front of the cave. All in all, you wouldn’t want to miss the ancient beauty of the Goa Gajah temple.

PuraUlun Danu Beratan Temple

Up in the central Balinese mountains, offering respite to tired and hot travellers, is the foggy and cool Lake Bratan. At the shore, also nestled among the mountains is the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. The temple is dedicated to the goddess of lakes, rivers, and water, Dewi Danu. On the way down from the mountain, you’ll also find a few smaller temples, also dedicated to the water that gives life to all the thirsty crops, via a series of irrigation canals.

Tanah Lot Temple

This Balinese temple is housed on its own island and can only be accessed by foot, and only during low tide! But with its beautiful architecture, waiting for that low tide is worth it. The Tanah Lot temple is carved of a rock that juts out of the sea. While the original rock formation here eroded over the years, the island was reconstructed to keep the temples popularity intact. If you’re one to chase beautiful sunsets, this is one place to do it for sure!


Uluwatu is one of Bali’s most popular hotspots for younger travellers, and also the young at heart! With it’s thriving nightlife and gorgeous beaches, we can see why!  However, not all of Uluwatu is bustling and noisy.

For the ones who are seeking peace, the PuraLuhurUluwatu is high up on a cliffside! The temple is dedicated to Sang HyandWidhiWasa in Rudra form. This temple is meant to protect the land from evil. Comparatively smaller than some of the more iconic temples in Indonesia, this one still manages to catch one’s eye with its impressive build at 70 metres high! There are two specific points wherein you can get a great shot of the silhouette of the temple at sunset, so don’t forget to get here towards evening!

Got the bucket list revised? We thought so! Indonesia is brimming with lush landscapes, gorgeous beaches, mouth-watering food, unique culture and rich history! A trip across Indonesia will leave you wishing you could spend more time there. Whatever kind of traveller you are, do not miss out on a few of the temples mentioned above; they have a vibe that is so out of the world! And of course, they make for the most interesting backdrops to your pictures! So, get those cute travel outfits on, tie up your laces and ready, set, temple run!

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A Girls Trip Guide to Indonesian Getaways

Come on ladies, it’s time to jet-set-going once again. Transport your bubble of best friends to a spectacular part of the world, with a picture-perfect girl’s trip to Indonesia where over 17,000 islands lay strewn across the sea. Indonesia is home to wondrous beaches, wild and beautiful jungles, an extraordinary abundance of wildlife and marine life, majestic natural wonders like volcanoes, happening cities and party destinations and an ancient and ethnically diverse culture: literally everything you’d want to experience together. Now, of course you’re probably already thinking Bali, but before you make your final decision, how about exploring other amazing possibilities that Indonesia has to offer. With this guide to Indonesian getaways for a girl’s trip, you can whet your wanderlust with the many exquisite tour destinations around the archipelago. So that you can plan the perfect itinerary to enjoy with your besties!


There couldn’t be a better place to start your adventure than Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta. Jakarta lies in the northwest coast of the island of Java.The sprawling district is where the entire archipelago’s natural and cultural diversity can be found in a condensed and colourful state of co-existence. Here you can enjoy some of your favourite group activities, such as sightseeing, shopping, new culinary experiences and a fabulous nightlife. As you explore all that the city has to offer, you’ll start to realise Jakarta’s personality isn’t that of a typical metropolis. It’s simply has too much character. Almost like having an extra person join your group for a few days, who fits right in.


Once you’ve had your fair share of fun in Jakarta, make the most of your location and explore the other amazing parts of Java. Cities like Yogyakarta and Solo are centres of culture that will show you the island’s centuries old heritage, a fascinating blend of Hindu, Buddhist and European influences who have left their imprint on the region. Looming over Java is a strong and distinctive volcanic presence that can’t be found anywhere else. So whether you are hiking the Krakatau volcano, visiting the Borobudur Temple and Prambanan temple complex or strolling with awe around the royal courts, Java promises to give your girl gang, some unforgettable memories.


To the left of Java lies the island of Sumatra, a magical place that is sure to bring out your wild side. That’s because here, the earth is sparkling, steaming, shaking and smouldering with life. Yet funnily, most places on Sumatra will make you feel as though you’re visiting another planet altogether. One where volcanoes like Berastagi still bubble and rumble, breathtaking crater lakes brim, paradisiacal beaches like GuaSarang or LlongAngen wear their tropical best, and the jungles of Bukit Lawang are rife with orang-utans, tigers, rhinos and more. Where better to treat your squad to a bit of raw natural goodness, from wildlife excursions to dips in the sea?

Gili Islands

At long last, lest we forget, the Indonesian experience you’ve probably heard all about, will enthrall you. The Gili Islands are a trio of magnificent islands just off the coast of Lombok (equally worthy of a spot on your itinerary), that are home to some of the world’s best and safest dive spots, beautiful sandy stretches to sunbathe or sunset gaze, as well as a host of cultural activities and some of the best parties in these parts of the world. For groups, GiliTrawangan is an ideal 2-3 day stay where you can let your hair down and soak in the island life for all that its worth.


Finally, make your way to Bali, the Land of the Gods. Where towering volcanoes give way to lush paddy fields, descending further onto lively sun, sand and surf filled beaches. As you explore, luxury and leisure are with you every step of the way. Ubud with its serene green vistas, healing spas and ancient temples; Kuta, Sanur and Seminyak with their plush resorts and pristine beaches; Denpasar with its strong cultural pulse; Nusa Dua with its spectacular underwater diving and jungle trekking spots. Everywhere you see and do in Bali will stay with you all forever, as magical memories filled with adventure, laughter and plenty of sandy-toed, glass-in-hand moments.

Planning Tips To Have A Smooth Journey

There are countless Indonesian tour packages that are tailor-made for group holidays, that you can rely on to have a great girl’s trip without investing too much time in deciding on an itinerary. Yet, it is best to book early, as this is one of the most popular destinations in the world.

There are frequent flights to Jakarta from most major cities. Once you have arrived, local transport is the best way to get around — and that includes air, road and sea travel based on where you are going. For health and safety reasons, carry a travel water bottle as well as hand sanitiser.

For accommodation, Indonesia offers a wide variety of options, from hill-hugging villas to sea front shacks and everything in between. Do yourselves a favour and mix it up, opting for luxury and rustic charm in equal measure, to get the authentic Indonesian experience. The best time to plan your girl’s getaway is surely the dry season, between May and September, the optimal climate for the outdoors and the waters.

Remember to carry cash when visiting less urban destinations, as ATMs aren’t always available or working. Most importantly, have fun! You and your friends have waited months for this, and Indonesia will always oblige with an unforgettable holiday.

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Raja Ampat Islands

The Indonesian archipelago has many locations where land meets water in breathtaking fashion. The Raja Ampat Islands is arguably the best of all. Its white sand beaches sparkle under the glistening sun, alongside ocean vistas featuring every shade of blue. Underwa-ter is its own paradise, the pristine and crystal clear waters blessed with stunning marine life in abundance. Here, in the West Papua Province on the east of Indonesia, just off So-rong, is a spectacular traveller’s gem that’s fast becoming a traveller’s trend. For adven-ture seekers, tropical escape artists, newlywed love birds or families big and small, this is the perfect destination. The four main islands of Raja Sampat called Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo, and Misool, as well as the countless other smaller islets around, welcome one and all to its shores. To visit some of the world’s best dive sites, to explore the lush and marvellous coastal lands, and to experience one-of-a-kind native Papuan culture, you need to visit Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat Islands At A Glance
Country Indonesia
Language Indonesian Bahasa / Various Tribal Dialects
Population 50,000
Dial Code + 62 (956)
Currency Rupiah (Rp)
Time Zone GMT+9
Area 7,559.6 Sq. Km.



Every travel guide to Raja Ampat mentions Piaynemo Island, and rightly so, simply be-cause it is emotionally beautiful. The bluest of blue waters and the greenest of green islets and rock formations, draw you in with their postcard perfect looks. And it is a gaze that holds. Take your next wallpaper photo yourself, soak in every inch of the view (if you’re in luck, some dolphins too), and don’t miss out on trekking up to the viewpoint on the main island, for a truly elevated experience.


In proximity to Piaynemo is another marvellous natural wonder called TelagaBintang, a star-shaped lagoon surrounded by rocky ancient cliffs. The best part is going to the top and looking down at the azure waters, a picture that promises to stay in your memory for a lifetime.


The Arborek Tourism Village is full of charming, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Like in-teracting with the local inhabitants, around 40 families, who still live by native traditions. They welcome you with song, dance and merriment. They share their wealth of knowledge with you, through stories, crafts and foods. The crystal blue coastline is just a short walk away; so clear that you can see the waters teeming with life by simply looking down. Don’t worry, there are plenty of beaches to swim and snorkel at.

Mansuar Island

Come to Mansuar Island for its soft sandy shores, its bustling marine life and enchanting sunsets. Mansuar Island is a paradise for divers or holidaymakers looking for a luxurious, exclusive stay. Both beginners and experienced divers can sign up for excursions here, with expert instructors to ensure you get the best underwater views.

Hornbill Island

You don’t have to be an avid birder or wildlife enthusiast to enjoy the rare sight of the na-tive Hornbills that live within a stretch of mangroves of Raja Ampat, on a small island close to Batanta Island. Every evening, you can watch these majestic birds fly in against a wonderful sunset sky, as they arrive to roost overnight. There are specialised tours you can sign up for, just for this activity.

Interesting Facts About Raja Ampat Islands

  • There are 1500 islands in Raja Ampat.
  • These waters fall in the Coral Triangle, which has the richest marine biodiversity in the world.
  • Many endangered and native aquatic and avian species can be found here.
  • The name Raja Ampat means “The Four Kings”, derived from an old legend about a woman who found seven eggs, four of which hatched and became the kings of the ma-jor islands. The other three however, became a woman, a ghost and a stone.
  • Over 10 languages are spoken across the Raja Ampat Islands.


Raja Ampat is part of the West Papua Province of Indonesia, on the country’s most eastern island called Papua. It lies just beyond the Bird’s Head Peninsula on Papua.

Best Time To Visit Raja Ampat Islands

The climate in Raja Ampat is pretty standard all year round, thanks to its equatorial posi-tion. That means you can expect warm, breezy and humid weather during any given month. Even the water temperature remains pleasantly warm through the year. However, the best time to visit Raja Ampat is generally considered to be between October and April, when the waters are most tranquil and conducive to diving, aquatic sports and general frolicking. If anything, you should avoid visiting the islands between June and September, during the monsoons, as it is the least outdoor-friendly time.

How To Reach Raja Ampat Islands

When travelling to Raja Ampat, you must remember that you are visiting a remote desti-nation, so the journey isn’t straightforward. But it is very doable, and totally worth it, as you’ll discover to your absolute delight. The best way to reach is to take a flight from the cities of Jakarta or Makassar to Sorong. From there, smaller daily flights ply to Marinda Airport in Waisai, the capital of the region. If air travel isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps the sea will be. Then, you should simply hop on to the ferry services from Sorong to Waisai, a two-three hour journey of sensational oceanic beauty.

History of Raja Ampat Islands

Looking back in time, this marvellous stretch of islands in the sea was once under the rule of the Sultanate of Tidore, later to be claimed by Dutch colonisers. During the 15th to 18th Century, many European explorers passed through these shores. In modern times, the is-lands became classified as the Raja Ampat Regency within the West Papua Province of Indonesia. The native inhabitants of the islands have always been fisherfolk, living in tribes and communities. Even today, their unique heritage and customs prevail, adding some much needed cultural charm to an already spectacular natural destination.

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10 breathtaking water activities to experience in Indonesia

One of the highlights of visiting Indonesia is the huge expanse of endless blues. And if you love water sports, then you can plan your entire visit around the numerous beaches that are not just beautiful to laze in, but also offer excellent opportunities for water sports. Your island adventure cannot be complete unless you participate in some thrilling water sports, and take home memories that will continue to excite you even when you’re back.

Our list here tries to capture the most fantastic spots for water sports. Combine your love for the sea, the beaches, and endless waves for a holiday of a lifetime, and experience wanderlust with these magnificent water bodies.

Canoeing, at Pandawa Beach

Pandawa Beach is known far and wide for its beauty alone, with its smooth white sand and waters in brilliant shades of blue. But there is so much more that the beach has to offer. Is anyone up for canoeing? You can spend hours riding the waves and getting dunked in the water as the sea plays along with you. An exhilarating time awaits you in this buzzing beach most popular with local and international tourists. Once you are done canoeing, you can chill under the massive umbrellas until you’re ready for your next adventure.

Extreme water sports, at TanjungBenoa

TanjungBenoa is quite up in the popularity ranking among locals as well as international tourists. With a five kilometres long coastline, it is an excellent spot for a bit of water sports. Since it’s quite the mainstream destination, you will find quality vendors here, each vying you with various sporting activities. What’s your adventure quotient? Do you like the typical water sports like the banana boat or flying fish? Or are you adventurous enough to try your hand with extreme and innovative sports, such as flyboarding and scuba diving?

Combine luxury and adventure, at Nusa Dua

Then, there are some travellers who like to pamper themselves, and look for the most comfortable and luxurious hotels and resorts to stay in. Luckily, you can enjoy both, luxury as well as adventure sports, since most hotels and resorts in Nusa Dua provide guests with the option to enjoy various water sport activities. And the best part is that a few of these beach facilities welcome everyone. Thus, you can enjoy them even if you’re staying elsewhere. There are a lot of options for you to choose from. You can start slow on the deceptively-easy banana boat and donut boat, and gradually move up the danger ride to go water-skiing, jet skiing, flying fish or even try parasailing.

Sea Walking, at Nusa Dua

Ever wanted to walk on the ocean floor and get really close to marine life? Head over to Nusa Dua and ask for the sea walking tour and prepare to get blown away. Get into your swimsuit and allow your sea walk guide to explain to everyone, how the exciting adventure is carried out. Everyone gets a special helmet that lets you breathe as normally as possible, without having a pipe in your mouth. The helmet has a wide glass front, giving you a wide-angle view of the amazing underwater life, which you can see even with your glasses or your contacts on.

Snorkelling, at Padang Bay

Another exciting underwater activity you can try your hands at is snorkelling. Book your tour a day in advance and head out for hours of fun and adventure. Most snorkelling tours will arrange to pick you up from your hotel and take you to the snorkelling site. Stop a moment to admire the mesmerising beach with its white sands and clear water, as you get ready to enjoy life underwater. You will be provided with all snorkelling equipment and, after a few basic instructions, you can head out into the water to begin your snorkelling experience. The underwater life in Indonesia is beautiful, and it is filled with colourful coral, and a wide range of fish, squid, sea turtles, and reef sharks.

USS Liberty Shipwreck, at Tulamben

Ever tried scuba diving? At Tulamben you can, near the site of the USS Liberty shipwreck. There are certified experts waiting to help you get a truly unique underwater experience here. Simply book yourself on the USS Liberty Shipwreck scuba diving tour, and let the water do the rest. Don’t worry if you’ve never gone scuba diving before; this dive is easy enough for beginners and at the same time, it is challenging for advanced divers. You choose the excitement level that you are most comfortable with. Spend 35 minutes under water and explore the shipwreck and the marine life that now inhabits its quarters.

Kitesurfing, at Sanur

Everyone is familiar with the term surfing but what exactly is kite surfing and are you sure that it’s a beach activity? Head to Sanur, in southeast Bali, to find out more! The beach is a hotspot for tourists and you will find a host of exciting activities there, one of which is kite surfing. Here you ride (or should we say, attempt to ride!) the waves not just with a regular surfboard, but also with a kite attached to you. Despite what it looks like, this sport is rather popular, even among beginners because the weather is relatively calm at Sanur and the winds smooth.

Rafting, at Ubud

Let’s move away from beaches for a bit and head inwards, towards the middle of the island, to Ubud. The region boasts of many excellent rivers that are just perfect for adventurous rafting experiences. Ayung River is possibly the most popular spot for rafting in Ubud. On your rafting trip, you can feast your eyes on spectacular views of jungles, waterfalls, and even wildlife. Monkeys are accustomed to tourists and if you’re lucky, they’ll make an appearance, hopping among the branches. What’s your adventure quotient? Do you prefer a gentle rafting experience or a more adventurous one? Let the organisers know and they’ll plan it just right for you.

White water rafting, at TelagaWaja River

Another white water rafting destination is the TelagaWaja River. The rapids on this course are moderate and thus, you can enjoy a thrilling rafting experience. And it’s perfectly fine if you’ve never gone rafting before. The 14-kilometre stretch will take you three hours to cross and along the way you will be treated to amazing vistas of exotic locales. Villages, lush green rice fields, and mountains will give you company as you wind your way along the river’s bends and turns.

So much to do at Nusa Lembongan

This small island is relatively less popular and is a great alternative to busy beaches if you wish to avoid the crowds. You can plan an intimate day out with the family here and also enjoy a host of water sports like swimming, snorkelling, diving, and stand-up paddling, among others. If you wish, you can also head inland and explore the island’s mangrove forest and cliffside jungles.

Thinking of a trip to Indonesia? Put time aside and make sure you get your adrenaline pumping with these thrilling water sports. So, which ones of these ten are you thinking of visiting first?

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7 exotic islands of Nusa Tenggara

As you head east from Bali, you enter a region of hundreds of exotic islands, each unique in its offerings. The Nusa Tenggara archipelago has slowly been making its presence known on the tourists’ radar and is today, a very popular travel destination, this side of the globe.

Here, you can enjoy the same splendid beauty that you have come to expect of the islands of Indonesia. The picture-perfect beaches, the magnificent landscapes, exotic tribal traditions and a host of cultural attractions put these islands high on the serious traveller’s itinerary. The uniqueness of the islands is also the sheer diversity of experiences that you can get here. Multi-coloured crater lakes and simmering volcanic peaks compete with Komodo dragons, all vying for your attention.


Sumba Island sits closer to the south of the sweeping Nusa Tenggara archipelago. When you visit, you will be transported back into time, as you set your eyes on the myriad ancient traditions and historical landmarks that dot the place. The Bronze Age megalithic burial sites are fascinating and you can get a crash course in how people lived back then. The sometimes-dangerous spear-throwing war game of Pasola is fascinating to watch. And yes, don’t forget to pick up a fabric made in the famous, highly detailed ikat textiles. Sumba is like an island lost in time. But there are modern pleasures to enjoy as well. Book yourself in a bungalow resort and spend your day sunbathing on the white sandy beaches or participate in some exciting water sports.


Head west on the Nusa Tenggara archipelago and you will come to Lombok, often compared to its immediate neighbour, Bali. This island offers you the same gorgeous beaches, gushing waterfalls and volcanic scenery as Bali does. The only difference is that Lombok is less commercial and has fewer crowds. It is what many years ago Bali used to be, before it was taken over by tourists and commercialisation. The biggest natural attraction of the island lies in its northern area and it is the enormous volcano of GunungRinjani. For many tourists, trekking part of the way up is one of the most compelling reasons to visit. If you are looking for a relaxed beach holiday, head to the three Gili Islands, where you can laze by the pristine beach. For a more luxurious stay, book yourself at Senggigi resort and Kuta, where along with great beaches, you can also try your hand at surfing. Do visit Narmada Taman Temple that has beautiful architecture that combines Hindu, Islamic and native Sasak styles.


To the east of Lombok lies Sumbawa, with some excellent surfing opportunities. Be warned though, getting to the actual surfing spot can be a bit of a challenge as this island is raw in its beauty as well as tourist conveniences. If you are willing to rough it out a bit, you can enjoy the untouched mountainous beauty of this largely undeveloped island. If you’re interested in surfing, you can get a bus or hire a car at the main town of Sumbawa Besar and ask to be driven to the surfing spots at Maluk or Lakey beach. Moyo Island is a nature preserve that’s also quite a popular snorkelling destination.

Alor Island

If you wish to get away from the crowds, you must put Alor on your Nusa Tenggara itinerary. Sitting far-east on the archipelago, this is one of the least visited isles, giving you a chance to explore unspoiled and untouched island life. Inland travel is blocked by soaring volcanoes smack in the centre of Alor and the residents use wooden ferries to travel by sea when they wish to visit different parts of the island. You can spend your time diving and snorkelling at the beaches, while those of you looking to just relax, can head to Mali, Maimol and BatuPutih for sunbathing and swimming.

Flores Island

The long island of Flores offers you a wide variety of experiences, both natural and archaeological. You could enjoy its natural wonders that include the Kelimutu volcano caldera, with three large lakes making up its craters. The waters are fed by volcanic gas and they change colour depending on the amount of oxidation in the water. If archaeology is your thing, you will not be disappointed here. You can view the prehistoric bronze boat near the village of Maumere. Additionally, the villages of Bena and Luba have numerous Stone Age megaliths. Don’t miss a chance to go to the Liang Bua Cave in western Flores, where skeletons of a previously unknown human species were discovered in 2004.

West Timor

West Timor is the Indonesian half of the island of Timor, while East Timor is an independent country. On this island, you can indulge in all the typical Indonesian activities, like lazing on the beach, participating in exciting water sports like snorkelling and diving, or going swimming. There is also an underground natural swimming pool at Crystal Cave that you can explore if you’re feeling more adventurous. Head over to the shopping district of Kupang and pick up a great bargain in authentic ikat textiles and hand-carved wood souvenirs.

Komodo National Park

The island needs no introduction. Komodo National Park is part of Flores and is well known across the world as the habitat of the Komodo Dragons, giant monitor lizards that can grow up to 10 feet in length. The reptiles roam around freely all over the islands, and you will need to rely on experienced tour guides to stay safe. The waters of the island are world-famous scuba diving destination. However, the waters are also inhabited by sharks, sea snakes and sea-wasp jellyfish, so it’s better suited for expert divers. You can head over to PantaiMerah for easier snorkelling explorations.

A trip to Indonesia cannot be complete without visiting the exotic islands of Nusa Tenggara. Pack your bags and get ready for an incredible adventure.

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Family Friendly Destinations of Indonesia

The Indonesian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands has something, for visitors of every hue, taste, culture, gender, age, and more. Indonesia is unique, in that it has much to offer, to family vacationers, adventure seekers, honeymooners, or backpackers.

Indonesia offers scenic vistas, for those who want to capture each and every beautiful moment, for posterity in their cameras. You have choices that range from snow-capped mountains; active volcanoes; lush green tropical forests and mangroves inhabited with hundreds of species of flora and fauna/wildlife (much of which is endemic to Indonesia); resorts and staying accommodation catering to every budget; choice of vibrant or laid-back cafés and restaurants; white powdery sand beaches; and crystal clear azure waters for swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving. 

Let’s check out a few of the favourite family destinations in Indonesia.


To the global visitor, Bali is synonymous with Indonesia. Over the years, Bali has evolved into a place that has a deeply rich culture. Areas in and around Bali offer much to visiting families and their children. Let’s shortlist just a few of these places.

Elephant Park:
Two dozen elephants reside here. Your kids can feed them, ride them, and even take selfies with them.

Listed as one of the ten friendliest cities in the world, it’s even friendlier for kids. Ubud offers ample choices, depending on their age and their preferences, ranging from white-water rafting, quad-biking, and rice paddy treks.

  • Sacred Monkey Forest (Close to Ubud): Most kids would jump at the chance to get close to and even sit next to monkeys. Over 1,000 Balinese Long-Tailed Monkeys occupy the 12.5ha of lush forest, known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal.

Ayung River Rafting, Ubud:
If your family is looking for some adventure, then rowing your way on the Ayung river, is a fun adventure, and a great way to see Ubud, along its river banks.

Jimbaran: This fishing village is an ideal family vacation getaway. It is kid-friendly, with its long white sandy beaches, calm waters, and seafood restaurants. If you are a surfing family, you can navigate south-west, to the Dreamland and Balangan beaches, for the surf breaks. If you aren’t a surfing family, you can always try your hand at it.

Sanur: If you are looking to chill out on the beach, paddle, or swim, then south-east of Bali, is the beach town of Sanur, with clean white sand and gentle water,. It also offers a good mix of affordable stays and luxury resorts.

Bali Safari and Marine Park: Your children have always seen wildlife in books and movies. Now give them the real thing; show them how animals live in their native surroundings. The park is the perfect and safe place as it offers day and night safaris, where you can spot more than 100 species, which include lions, hippopotamus, elephants, and Komodo dragons.

Bali Bird Park: An aesthetically beautiful and well-managed park, the Bali Bird Park is populated with over 1,000 birds, from 250 species. Imagine how exciting it will be for your kids to experience the highlight of the park – the ‘Walk-in’ aviaries – and have a close encounter, with some colourful and unique bird species. It also houses a top-notch conservation and education centre for children.

TanjungPuting National Park

Orangutans are the main draw in this park!Want to take the excitement a notch up? Book a river cruise with your kids, on a traditional ‘klotok’ houseboat, and spend a few days and nights wandering through the park’s waterways, catching the orangutans in their absolute natural habitat, as well as crocodiles and probosci’s monkeys.

Komodo National Park

Home to the biggest lizards in the world, the Komodo Dragons, the Komodo National Park constitutes Komodo, Rinca, and Padar islands, as well as several smaller ones. A boat trip from Labuan Bajo, in nearby Flores islands, will get you to the park. Imagine the excitement and awe on your kids' faces, when they see the amazing dinosaurs-like Komodo dragons.

Since there are no overnight accommodation facilities, you can book one of the slower sailboats, and spend some nights in the park, watching the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat, and leisurely soaking in the pristine and stunning natural scenic beauty of the park.

The park is one of the few places in the world that boasts of the unique and famous Pink Beach, guaranteed to make you and your kid’s jaws drop with sheer wonderment, at the beauty and colour of this beach. The clear waters are safe for swimming, diving, and snorkelling. Now that’s the best of both worlds for you!

Yogyakarta, Central Java

Yogyakarta is the perfect destination, if your family loves exploring historical monuments and sites, such as the Palace of Yogyakarta, Taman Sari, Prambanan Temple, and the Temple of Borobudur Temple (mentioned above).Especially catering for your kids, are Taman Pintar, UllenSentalu Museum, and skating in GumukPasir.

Temple of Borobudur

Located close to Yogyakarta city is a UNESCO ‘World Heritage Site’, the ancient ‘Temple of Borobudur’, built in 825 AD. For you and your kids, this is a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity, to check out one of the largest Buddhist monuments in the world, and Indonesia’s most visited tourist spot. This is also a great way to sneak in some history lessons. The hotels nearby are family-friendly and reasonably priced.

You could also visit some of the other popular tourist spots – the PujonKidul Village tour, the Parangtritis beach and village, the Nglambor Beach, The World Landmarks Merapi Park, and the Mangunan Pine Forest.

Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat

Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It has some of the best beaches and waterfalls in Indonesia that makes it a family vacation magnet, for you and your kids.

And YES! In the south-east corner of Lombok, is one more jaw-dropping ‘Pink Beach’, also called the ‘Tangsi Beach’, where you can lounge or take a dip in its clear safe azure waters.Pink sand beaches are an extreme rarity across the globe, and Indonesia is fortunate to have a few of these.

Belitung, Bangka Belitung

Your kids will not want to leave the pristine secluded and serene beaches of Belitung island, situated off the south-eastern coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Belitung island is a must-visit for the family, the hallmark of which is the soft and white as palm sugar sand, interspersed with granite rock formations. Its crystal clear azure waters is an open invitation for those who enjoy swimming and snorkelling.

There is some history for you in the nearby Lengkuas island, which hosts a 19th century antique lighthouse, built by the Dutch in 1882. race your kids to the top to catch a breath-taking view of the surrounding area.

KepulauanSeribu, DKI Jakarta

If you and your children enjoy underwater diving and snorkelling, you will be delighted to experience the beautiful coral reef ecosystems, of KepulauanSeribu, a collection of 110 islands, dispersed across the Bay of Jakarta.The ecosystem consists of 193 coral species, 174 fish species, two giant clam species, six seagrass species, multi-coloured sea worms, and 17 coastal bird species. The green sea turtle and the endangered hawksbill sea turtle nest in these areas.

The clear water is an open and safe invitation for your family to indulge in water activities like swimming, diving and snorkelling, while the white sand beach beckons you to soak in some sun.

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Belitung Island

One of the most beautiful parts of the exotic far east, Indonesia, is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty that’s elegantly highlighted by its cultural spirit. From splendid temples to magnificent mountains, it is a veritable feast for passionate travellers. It is a land of pristine beaches, offbeat wonders, thrilling adventures and verdant islands, lots of islands. In fact, Indonesia has 17,000 of them! Belitung is just one of them.

Comparable in size to Bali, it is not as popular. But that is a blessing in disguise as it doesn’t get as crowded as some of the other well-known holiday destinations. Belitung is just realising its potential as a world-class holiday destination and is quickly becoming a favourite with holiday goers. But before now, it was known for its tin industry, rather than its beaches. Now, Belitung has earned its bona fide credentials as a holiday destination that gives offers you some of the best beaches in Indonesia.

Does Belitung Island have anything more to offer than its beaches or is it just restricted to spectacular views of the ocean? Let’s find out.

The New Bali?

Belitung is being touted as the new Bali sans its crazy pace, glamour and glitz. Located at one hour’s flying time from Jakarta, you can get a direct flight to TanjungPandan, the main town of Belitung. Live the quintessential island life as it moves to the beat of its own drummer. Nobody’s in a hurry and a comforting calm reigns supreme. The roads are largely empty, and a large part of the island wears a green cloak. A bicycle is the best way to get around and take in all the sights Belitung has to offer.

Did we mention its pristine beaches? They are beautifully complemented by the inviting blue waters and natural granite structures that dot the landscape. And with a bewildering array of local flora and fauna, Belitung is an aspiring Geopark too! When you visit here, look forward to stunning golden sunsets, peaceful explorations and scrumptious island cuisine that will leave your tastebuds asking for more. Here are a few more places of interest and things to do for a complete island holiday.

The Belitung Experience

Though the Belitung experience revolves around beaches, there’s more to the island. But let’s start with its beaches.


The white sandy beach at TanjungKelayang is decorated with carelessly strewn boulders like some giant’s playground. This is the flagship beach of the island and one of its top holiday destinations. The calm waters around the beach are perfect for leisurely swimming. Test your kayaking skills or indulge in a bout of exciting water sports.

Bukit Berahu

This secluded beach has a soothing ambience that lets you relax and just soak in the island experience. The calm waters make it an ideal picnic spot for families looking to spend a quiet day at the beach. The treeline along the beach provides adequate shelter from the sun and lets you enjoy your outing in relative cool.

Bukit Permanun

This Geopark is full of life and wears a perpetual green cover. The different species of birds and monkeys will astound you with their variety. The park is crisscrossed by trekking trails that let you discover its hidden secrets. Don’t miss the lookout points atop giant granite boulders that give you an aerial view of the surrounding multi-hued forests.

Museum Kata

This rather unique museum is dedicated to the memorabilia LaskarPelangi, a successful novel and silver screen adaptation. Kata means ‘Word” in the local language. The museum is meant to inspire the younger generations to achieve their dreams. You can spend hours browsing the literary collection housed in this vividly coloured building.

Danau Kaolin

The Danau Kaolin is a man-made lake that hides an abandoned kaolin, or white clay, mine underneath. While the lake itself is off limits for safety reasons, the bright blue water interspersed with the white rock makes for an unexpectedly photogenic background. Visit here for Instagram-worthy pictures that will add a touch of exotic to your Indonesian vacation.


Buddhism is one of the prevalent religions on the island along with five others. This Buddhist temple offers a unique insight into the Indonesian flavour of the peaceful religion. You are welcomed by a gaily coloured gate that features dragons and other motifs from Buddhism. Take a break from your island exploration and head to Danau Kaolin for moments of reflection and introspection.

Belitung may not have the suave pizazz of Jakarta or the pulsating night life of Bali. But it compensates for its lack of cosmopolitan wonders with one of the most unique island experiences that you can seldom find anywhere else. You must try it yourself on your next visit to Indonesia.

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National Parks and Indonesias Intriguing Beasts

Straddling the equator, Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands. It is a tropical country that is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and bounty, where you can explore the lush emerald jungles surrounding active volcanoes, dive into the crystal clear azure waters to find a diverse marine life, lounge on the beaches, soak in the sun, watch exquisite sunsets, or visit some of the exotic tropical 54 national parks and discover wildlife that are often unique and endemic to Indonesia.

So, what are national parks? A national park is constituted to preserve and protect the flora, fauna/wildlife of a particular area or region, as demarcated and decided by the government of that region, province/state and country.

Indonesia’s national parks are inhabited by some of the most unique wildlife species in the world that are endemic to the country, i.e., – you will find these wildlife species only in Indonesia, and nowhere else in the world.

So, let’s take a journey through some of these national parks.

Komodo National Park

Established in 1980, the Komodo National Park was founded to primarily protect the world famous Komodo dragons, which are endemic to Indonesia. A UNESCO ‘World Heritage Site’, the park includes the three islands of Komodo, Padar, Rinca and 26 smaller islands. It is also one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Nature’.

As part of the Coral Triangle, the Komodo National Park contains some of earth’s richest biodiversity of marine species, such as whale sharks, smaller sized dolphins, blue whales, ocean sunfish, manta rays, eagle rays, pygmy seahorse, false pipefish, clown frogfish, nudibranchs, blue-ringed octopus, sponges, tunicates, and coral.

Spotted in these waters are dugongs, also known as sea-cows/sirenians – a distant relative of the manatees. Omura’s whales, also known as the dwarf whale, the lesser known of the rorqual species, have also been sighted in the park’s waters.

TanjungPuting National Park

Instituted in 1982, TanjungPuting National Park is in the south-east part of the West Kotawaringin Regency, which is part of Central Kalimantan (Central Borneo).

As one enters the park, one is greeted by the wholesome purity of the air, the clear open sky and an astounding view of the Milky Way, during the night. Being an equatorial tropical forest area, thunderous downpours occur with clockwork regularity, instantly cooling the air. The cherry on this veritable paradise is the brilliant sunset with delightful crimson hues. TanjungPuting National Park includes mangroves, swamps, forests and beaches.

This park is famous for its orangutans, which have flourished thanks to the ‘Orangutan Research & Conservation Program’. The park is also home to the bizarre looking proboscis monkey, and seven other primate species.

Apart from the orangutans, the park is inhabited by local species of snakes, frogs, bearded pigs, pitcher plants, crocodiles and monitor lizards. One can also find clouded leopards, civets, Malaysian sun bears, mouse deer, barking deer, sambar deer, and banteng (the Indonesian wild cattle).

The TanjungPuting National Park is home to more than 230 species of birds, which include hornbills, kingfishers, deep forest birds, and many wetland species. Its ‘bird lakes’ are seasonal rookeries for endangered water-birds, including the white egrets. The park plays host to a multitude of insects, prominent amongst them, the giant Bornean butterfly.

The highly endangered “dragon” fish, also known as the Arowana (bony-tongue), is also found in the waters of this park. The Chinese believe it brings good luck and prosperity, due to its red colour and coin-like scales.

KerinciSeblat National Park

Founded in 1999, and spanning across four provinces – West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu, and South Sumatra, the KerinciSeblat National Park, is Sumatra’s largest national park. UNESCO lists the park as ‘World Heritage in Danger’. It is also recognised as an ‘ASEAN Heritage Site’.

The KerinciSeblat National Park is famous for its primary citizen, the Sumatran tiger. The ‘Global Tiger Initiative’ recognises this park, as one of the 12 most important protected areas in the world for tiger conservation. Apart from the Sumatran tiger, the park is home to other cats, such as marbled cat, leopard cat, and the Asian golden cat.

Other highly endangered species of this park include, Sumatran dhole, Sumatran elephants, Sunda clouded leopard, Malayan tapir, and Malayan sun bear.

Over 370 bird species can be found in this park. This includes the Sumatran ground-cuckoo, rediscovered in the park in 2002, amongst 20 other birds that are endemic to Indonesia.

More than 4,000 plant species exists in the KerinciSeblat National Park. Amongst these, you will find the world’s largest flower, the RafflesiaArnoldi, and the plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence, the Titan Arum.

Consider yourself very lucky if you find the Sumatran rhinoceros, since it is listed as an extremely endangered species, close to extinction.

Lorentz National Park

Named after a Dutch explorer, the Lorentz National Park is the largest national park in south-east Asia, with an area of 25,056 km2. Located in Papua, Indonesia, in the south-west of western New Guinea, Lorentz National Park was established in 1997. UNESCO has declared the park as a ‘World Heritage Site’.

Lorentz National Park is recognised as one of the most ecologically diverse national parks in the world. It is the only park in the Asia-Pacific region to exhibit a full ‘altitudinal’ range of ecosystems, viz. – marine areas, mangroves, extensive lowland wetlands, tidal & freshwater swamp forest, lowland and montane rainforest, alpine tundra, equatorial glaciers, and snow-capped mountain peaks. Puncak Jaya (formerly Carstensz Pyramid) standing at 4,884 metres, is the tallest mountain, between the Himalayas and the Andes. The park also boasts of a high level of endemism*, fossil sites and the richest biodiversity in the region.

Lorentz National Park is acknowledged by Birdlife International, as “probably the single most important reserve in New Guinea”, as it contains five of World Wildlife Fund's ‘Global 200’ eco-regions.

At last count, Lorentz National Park has accounted for 630 bird species and 123 mammalian species. However, much of the park is not yet mapped and explored. It is entirely certain that many more species of flora and fauna are yet being discovered – endemic and otherwise.

The bird species include two cassowary species, 31 dove and pigeon species, 500 cockatoo species, 60 kingfisher species and 145 sunbird species.

Apart from Snow Mountain Quail and Snow Mountain Robins, six other species are endemic to the Snow Mountains. 26 endemic bird species nest in the Central Papuan Ranges, while three endemic species nest in the South Papuan Lowlands.

The southern cassowary, Alpine woolly rat, southern crowned pigeon, Pesquet's parrot, Salvadori's teal and Macgregor's giant honeyeater, are some of the threatened species.

The long-beaked echidna, short-beaked echidna, and four species of cuscus as well as wallabies, quolls and tree-kangaroos, are counted amongst the mammal species. The recently discovered dingiso, a tree-kangaroo species, is endemic to the Sudirman range.

* Endemism = The ecological state of a species being native to a single defined geographic location, such as an island, region, state or other defined zone, or habitat type.

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Komodo National Park

In the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, lies the sprawling Komodo National Park. It includes 29 volcanic islands, the most notable being Rinca, Padar and Komodo.

Approximately 2,500 Komodo Dragons inhabit the land along with other species of reptiles, birds and mammals.  Across the Komodo National Park, you’ll find that the terrain is as diverse as the flora and fauna. From tropical rain forests to white sandy beaches, you’ll experience vast diversity. Planning a trip to the Komodo National Park is exciting, to say the least. Let’s look at how you can get there and have a look at some notable sights to witness while you’re there!

Getting to Komodo National Park

To get to Komodo National Park, you can take an overnight boat from either Lombok or Sumbawa. However, travellers have noted that the safest, the most cost and time-efficient way to get to Komodo National Park is by an internal flight!

One of the most popular ways to reach the national park is to take a direct flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo Airport. There are direct flights running multiple times a day.  The flights are relatively inexpensive, starting from as low as $100 to $250 depending on the season and how close to the date of travel you book.

Reasons Why You Should Visit Komodo National Park

The island is so diverse, it has something for everyone. From diving in the blue waters to enjoy the marine life, to witnessing the rare pink sand beach, from hiking to walking amongst Komodo dragons, you’ll leave the island feeling rich with experience.

We’re now going to chalk out reasons why you should visit Komodo National park and catch sights that you absolutely must not miss on your visit there!

To Explore One of the New Seven Wonders of the World

The New Wonders of the World were announced in 2011, and Komodo was announced as one of the seven.  The turquoise waters, the thriving marine and island flora and fauna, the breathtaking landscapes, all contribute to justifying Komodo’s place in the list.

Take in the Ultimate Island- hopping Experience

Komodo’s many islands offer pretty much the works - clean sand, turquoise waters and thriving marine life! Add to all of that some beautiful sunsets on the beach, and you’ll be spoilt for choice, while deciding which of the 29 islands you want to squeeze into your visit.

See Komodo’s Pink Beach

This is highly recommended if you’re on a visit with your significant other, Komodo’s Pink Sand Beach is one of the most romantic beaches and one of only seven in the world! The pink against the gorgeous blue water makes for some memorable photographs. How does the beach get a pink hue? From tiny pieces of shells and coral that have eroded overyears!

Meet with the Komodo Dragons

We cannot help but state the obvious a few times. The main attraction of the island is this magnificent creature and no visit would be complete without visiting them. You can visit them on Komodo Island as well as Rinca Island. If you’d like a more chilled out experience with the Komodo Dragons, Rinca Island is not as busy as Komodo Island.

Swim with Manta Rays and Other Marine Life

Swimming with the graceful big Manta Rays is an experience that is nothing short of awesome. Komodo National Park has a large population of Manta Rays, that are around all year round, but the best time to swim with them or watch them, is between December and February.

If you’re a scuba diver, you’ll be amazed at the thriving marine life here. So, don’t forget to enjoy the colourful reef, the schools of fish, the turtles, and dolphins! If you opt for a night dive, you might even catch glimpses of an octopus, or even a shark if you’re lucky! Remember, the seas here have stronger currents so only consider diving here if you’re a seasoned diver.

Witness Bioluminescence in the Ocean at Night

Sitting on the beach under the stars at night has its own charm. But imagine the night sky studded with stars and the ocean gleaming with sparkling bioluminescence together? Magical, isn’t it?  You can witness this splendour at the beaches around Komodo National Park.

Hike Up to Padar Viewpoint

To catch the best views in Indonesia, hike up to Padar Viewpoint. We’re talking postcard-perfect white sands, blue ocean and a view of many little islands! Don’t forget to pack a camera, you’ll want tons of pictures here.

Convinced? It’s time to tick this one off the list and visit the gorgeous Komodo National Park as soon as travel resumes!

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