There’s no way around it – Indonesia is just a stunning place. If you’re considering a vacation once things loosen up in the world, it should absolutely be on your list of places to visit. And it doesn’t matter if you’re going to cruise Indonesia, or you’ll just land in Bali and take it slowly, but there are a few places you absolutely must go to.
And we’re not saying you should limit yourself to these places only – Indonesia has over 17,000 islands, and you couldn’t possibly see everything there is to see in one visit. But you can certainly consider these places as one of the must-visit spots in Indonesia, recommended by almost any traveler who has visited the Indonesian archipelago.
You probably saw this coming, but a visit to Indonesia without heading to Bali just doesn’t work. It’s not only the place to go to in Indonesia, but it’s also one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. Of course, this means that most of the year, it’s absolutely crowded in terms of tourists, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The best thing about Bali is the variety of things you can see and experience. Yes, you’ll get to see those sandy beaches that are surrounded by palm trees everywhere you look, but that’s far from everything. You’ll also get to visit volcanoes and massive terraces of green rice. And don’t get us started on the culture – Balinese Hinduism is an experience in and of itself. And you can find it all around you.
Oh, and here’s a friendly tip – if you’re visiting Bali, the best way to go around the island is on two wheels, so you should consider renting a scooter.
Known by many as the turtle capital of the world, the Gili Islands are another one of those places in Indonesia where you just have a massive variety of things to do. There are three islands in total, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, and each of them is different from the others and has something specific to offer.
To begin with, Gili Trawangan is probably the best developed out of the three. You can find a mix of parties that go on day and night, and laid back beaches where you can relax and sip a cocktail. There is certainly something for everyone. Gili Meno is the exact opposite. It’s the least developed of the three islands, which means you don’t get nearly as many tourists, making it perfect if you appreciate a bit of privacy. Honeymoons, anyone? And of course, you have Gili Air, which is somewhere in the middle between the two. It’s the island you want to go to if you’re a fan of more engaging activities like kitesurfing or SUP yoga, and it also has a variety of authentic villages you can visit.
Yes, Indonesia is best known for islands, but it’s not all just islands. Mount Bromo is a volcano that’s usually surrounded by smoke and will get you one of the most colorful skies you can enjoy. This is why watching the sunrise from Java Island is one of the most popular things you can do in Indonesia, and it’s certainly an unforgettable experience you should try. To add to this, it’s not just the volcano you can visit – there’s a vast desert, as well as surrounding hills and mountains, flower fields and waterfall, and most of it can be explored in not more than a day or two.
It’s Indonesia’s largest island, and Sumatra is a true paradise for adventurers, or just about anyone who’s interested in rainforests and endangered species. It’s also one of the two places in the world where you can see wild orangutans, too.
Now, most of the tourism in Sumatra is actually centered around the largest volcanic lake in the world, Lake Toba. You can swim in the lake, you can lounge around it, and you can also enjoy the island of Pulau Samosir, which is now home to indigenous tribes with their own authentic culture.
Last but not least, the island of Sulawesi comes with a unique twisted shape, making it quite different from anything else you might see. And yes, getting there might be a bit difficult, but you’ll be rewarded with authentic culture and the pleasure of one of the world’s most beautiful islands. You can dive at the Togean Islands, and the water visibility is just phenomenal. Make sure you’re careful with the sharks and saltwater crocodiles, though.
If you want to stay off the mainstream track and avoid what everyone else is doing, Sulawesi is just perfect. And yes, the troubles of getting there are well worth it.