THE ISLANDS OF INDONESIA
This vast, volcanic Indonesian archipelago in Southeast Asia, consists of over 17,000 thousand islands, draped over the equator and stretching across 3,000 miles of the Indian Ocean, from the eastern edge of the Asian continental plate to the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. The 8,000 inhabited islands are home to hundreds of ethnic groups, speaking over 300 different languages. It’s a kaleidoscope of so many cultures, people, customs, foods, animals and plants that it’s like visiting 100 countries at once. Every island has a unique blend of people living there. Over time deep and rich cultures have evolved, from the spiritual Balinese to the unusual belief system of the Asman people of Papua.
The archipelago is known for its blindingly white sand beaches, volcanic landscapes, mist shrouded jungles sheltering elephants, orangutans and tigers, its Komodo dragons, and pristine coral reefs. Indonesia is so diverse and truly has something unique to offer everyone.
No matter which islands you visit (you’ll never see them all in one trip) or whether you’re interested in culture, wildlife, adventure, or just some laid back beach time, you won’t be disappointed.
Some popular islands are Sumatra, Java, Komodo and of course, Bali. On the island of Java you’ll find Indonesia’s vibrant capital, Jakarta, and the city of Yogyakarta, known for gamelan music and traditional puppetry. Sulawesi's boasts an incredible white sand coastline and world class diving and snorkeling, while Sumatra is covered by nearly 100 volcanoes, some threatening to erupt at any time. Find beautiful, secluded stretches of beach in Nusa Tengarra.
Indonesia is a diverse and beguiling country offering a myriad of adventures.
WHEN TO GO
When planning your visit to Indonesia, be sure to book during the dry season from June to September. The rest of the year is the rainy season when the weather is wet and overcast.
Indonesia has a tropical climate, but it is such a vast country that the best time to visit strongly depends on where you want to go. When planning for your visit we recommend traveling in the dry season. Generally, it is dry in Bali and Nusa Tenggara from April/May to October, in Java from January to August, in Sumatra in June and July, in Sulawesi in August and September and in Southeast Maluku from December to March.
Although the rainy season means lower prices and less people, the weather is not ideal and heavy storms can often limit access to many of the islands.
WHAT TO SEE/DO
See the dragons in Komodo National Park
Hike one of Indonesia’s many active and dormant volcanoes, like Gunung Bromo in East Java or Gunung Agung in Bali
Tour the coffee plantations while sipping a fresh brew
Ride a becak in Malang or Jakarta
Tour the Borobudur and Prambanan temples near Yogyakarta
Visit Sumatra, Indonesia’s adventure and wildlife capital
Visit Lorentz, a Unesco World Heritage site on the island of Papua, and Southeast Asia’s largest National Park. This 9,674 square mile park is home to a huge array of ecosystems, including mangroves, rainforest, alpine tundra and equatorial glaciers. Its highest point, Puncak Jaya, is the tallest mountain between the Himalayas and the Andes.
Go diving/snorkeling the coral reefs around the islands of Raja Ampat and Sulawesi. Divers will find 75 per cent of all the world’s know coral species, and up to 2,000 species of reef fish.