The Indonesian archipelago sprawls along 5000km of the equator, its rich expanse of more than 13,000 islands providing a fascinating array of landscapes.
Indonesia is full of contrasts – smouldering volcanoes cough and hiss, surrounded by brilliant green rice paddies; the modern urban jungle of capital Jakarta is opposed by the mysterious, mist-shrouded temple complexes in the east; islands ringed with beaches find themselves reaching snow-capped central peaks.
And that’s just the landscape; the 240 million strong population spans hundreds of distinct native ethnic groups, with many islands homing their own unique tribes. The national motto, Bhinneka tungga or ‘unity in diversity’, could not be more fitting. Indonesia is a joy to behold, and ideal for a multi-destination trip.
Aside from the beautiful, beach haven of Bali, Indonesia is one of Southeast Asia’s least explored countries, and remains largely unspoiled by tourism. Given the variety and splendour of the scenery on offer, this is somewhat surprising, but only makes an Indonesian adventure even more precious. The two main entrances to the country do little to reflect this – airports in Jakarta and Kuta showcase skyscrapers and high rise hotels respectively. A trip to Indonesia requires time and exploration, and the further afield you travel, the more you shall be rewarded.
The chaotic capital of Jakarta is situated on the main island, Java, the world’s most densely populated island. Away from the intense hustle and bustle of the city, deserted landscapes are just waiting to be discovered, from stunning secluded sands to the wonderful coloured lakes of the Dieng Plateau. Two of Southeast Asia’s largest temples, Buddhist Borobudur and Hindu Prambanan, flank the university town of Yogyakarta and are top of most travellers’ bucket lists.
To the west lies the wild and unpredictable Sumatra, a haven for backpackers aching to explore. The thick jungles of Bukit Lawang offers a great spot to see orang-utans in the wild, whilst the vast volcanic lake of Danau Maninjau provides a tranquil location in which to take a peaceful morning swim under the gaze of roaming monkeys. Far East, and seemingly a world away, sits Papua, with the eternal snowscape of Puncak Jaya and the glacial lakes that surround it.
Indonesia is a captivating destination that dazzles its visitors, and if you seek unrivalled scenery, diverse culture and rugged, unspoiled landscapes, it may well be the place for you. Affordable and accessible, there’s no better time than the present to visit this awe-inspiring archipelago.
16 hours 50 minutes
Best Time To Go
July to October