No Indonesian island captures the imagination more than Bali. They call it the “Island of the Gods” and no Indonesian island captures the imagination more than Bali. It has attracted foreign travellers and artists alike for centuries. This is easy to understand when you see stunning rice terraces of rich green, superb temples and Balinese Hindus performing their daily purifying rituals. Add impressive volcanoes, mountainous landscapes and beautiful beaches with a laid back atmosphere and you have the perfect ingredients for an unforgettable holiday.
The Lesser Sunda Islands, east of the Wallace Line that forms the division between the ecozones of Asia and Australia, offer an interesting mix of religions, cultures, fauna and flora that are very different from other parts of the archipelago. Amongst the islands is Flores, famed for the discovery in 2003 of remains of an extinct species of hominins, which stood just over 3’6″ (1.1m) high. Lombok offers some of the best undiscovered beaches in Indonesia and we recommend a trek to the summit of Mount Rijani. The Gili Islands are easily reached from here.
Kalimantan is the name of the largest part of the island shared with Brunei and Malaysia. Dense forests and the lack of access have resulted in unique and isolated peoples like the feared Dayak who have managed to preserve their own identity throughout history. A river cruise is the perfect way to explore the nature of this impressive island and also allows you to come eye to eye with orangutans.
Sumatra was referred to in ancient Sanskrit as the Island of Gold from the deposits found in the highlands. It is the largest island in Indonesia, separated from the Malay Peninsula in the northeast by the narrow Strait of Malacca and in the southeast from Java by the Sunda strait. With its protected rainforests, Sumatra appeals to the adventurous traveller for challenging jungle treks and a chance to encounter orangutans.
Indonesia is one of the few places where you can find Komodo Dragons. Almost identical to their prehistoric ancestors, this predator lives on the islands of Komodo and Rinca. Embark on a relaxing boat trip with enough stops for swimming and snorkeling before visiting the two islands for a close encounter with the Komodo Dragons, always at a safe distance.
Raja Ampat is the ultimate destination for diving in the heart of the coral triangle in the most bio-diverse marine region on the planet. Above the water, Raja Ampat has much to offer. The islands are home to several tribes and people living in startling landscapes, it is the perfect region for travellers interested in roads less travelled.
Sulawesi island is home to the Bugis, a notorious seafaring people that have spread out to all corners of Indonesia and to the Torajas, best known for their extensive burial traditions. This spider-shaped island has many different eco- systems and its culture is an interesting blend of local rulers, heavily influenced by different traders throughout history such as the Portuguese and the Dutch.
Java is the most densely populated island of Indonesia and has many faces. Over many centuries Java has been influenced by different cultures, religions and nationalities, which has resulted in the diverse island that it is now. Today, Islam is the main religion, but traces of Hinduism and Buddhism can be found throughout the island.
Other Destinations in South-East Asia and beyond
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Indonesia Revealed is part of Revealed Travel, owned by Mercator Enterprises Ltd.