Short flights to discover the highlights of Indonesia have never been cheaper and more readily available while ferries and boats are a comfortable and easy way of travelling to neighbouring islands in the island chain. It can just be a little confusing to work out where to travel to, in what order and which of Indonesia’s thousands of islands are worth visiting.
If you’re looking to explore Bali’s neighbouring islands but don’t know which ones are worth visiting, check out our top highlights of Indonesia below.
The only way to fully understand a country and its culture is to visit its beating heart, its capital. Jakarta is like many bustling, busy Asian cities with motorbikes, street food and markets but it has a cultural side as well. Its old town is filled with museums, cafes and a colonial charm while Dutch style churches, mosques and Buddhist temples sit alongside one another. At night, the city comes alive as its bars and clubs fill up with locals and expats alike.
A short flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta only takes 50 minutes and the journey is worth it! Yogyakarta is one of oldest cities in Indonesia with incredible countryside on its doorstep. An hour and a half outside Yogyakarta is Borobudur. This is a all travel guides top highlights of Indonesia. A ninth century Buddhist temple and the worlds largest with dozens of stupas and statues. It’s easy to find a quiet corner for those reflective Instagram shots. The best lighting is at sunrise when the sun emerges to burn off the morning mist.
Indonesia has over 400 volcanoes though only 130 of these are active. One of the active volcanoes is Mount Bromo which constantly emits steam and sulphur at a steady rate. Its lunar landscapes turn golden at sunrise and sunset and make for incredible photo opportunities. Instagram aside, waking early to reach a sunrise viewpoint is breathtakingly beautiful. For the extra wow-factor, you can even camp overnight close to the crater. In the darkness, surrounded by absolute silence, the stars glitter the sky. Against the warmth of a bonfire, nights like these make you really appreciate trips like this.
Bali isn’t the only place where the parties happen in Indonesia. The nearby Gili Islands are the place to sunbathe, snorkel or cycle by day and party by night. It’s an idyllic island of powdery white beaches and where cars and motorised vehicles are completely banned. To get around you can hire a bike, a pony cart or walk. It’s possible to circle the island in just two hours. Sunsets can be enjoyed on the west of the island with cocktails and nibbles on the beach. For early risers, you can glimpse Lombok’s Mount Rinjani at sunrise.
If you’re chasing the bucket list adventures in Indonesia and you want to visit completely unique places, then you have to visit Komodo Island on a trip to Bali and Indonesia. It is home to the fierce and deadly Komodo Dragons. It is the largest lizard on earth and a hunter, typically feeding on deer. Their swagger is a sight to behold. You can see them on a number of islands near to Komodo Island. Whilst not on the lookout for the dragons, the area is perfect for some island hopping – whether one day or four. By staying on a boat, you can snorkel by day and travel from island to island by night, falling asleep to the soothing lull of the waves.
Need some more Indonesia inspiration? Read about the top ten reasons for why Indonesia should be on your bucket list.
Now that you know where to visit in Indonesia, are you inspired to join one of our backpacking tours in Indonesia? Take a look at our 16-day Indonesia budget tour. Drop us a message in the chat box below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!