Indonesia

ABOUT INDONESIA

Indonesia is made up of thousands of volcanic islands, and is home to hundreds of ethnic groups. Some islands here are bustling wherever you look, while others are remote and uninhabited with fascinating wildlife.

Aside from volcanoes, the nation is best known for its beaches, Komodo dragons, and jungle wildlife, making it is as diverse as it is fascinating.

The major cities here have shopping malls and modern facilities. On the other hand, some villages still have no running water, electricity, and are like stepping back into the past.

The country beyond Bali is probably one of the most underrated destinations in South East Asia. However, it is so worth stepping out into the exciting and unknown country that beckons with such diversity.

Indonesia Destinations

SUMATRA

  • March 13, 2018
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One of Indonesia’s bigger island’s – about double the size of NZ with 50 million inhabitants and home to the increasingly rare Sumatran elephants and tigers. Sumatra is mainly an adventure tourism island, with tropical forests to explore, wild orang-utans to discover and some of the best surf breaks off the Mentawai Islands, which are also home to hunter-gatherer tribes. Inland Sumatra you’ll find Lake Toba, a large natural lake occupying the caldera of a supervolcano. Samosir Island within Lake Toba is worth visiting to learn about the Batak culture and see their traditional architecture.
Live with a Mentawi Tribe and learn their ways of hunter-gathering. This will be a life changing experience for individuals or families. Stay in a resort or onboard a boat on one of the Mentawai Islands to experience some of the best surfing Indonesia has to offer. Discover the beauty of the tropical forest with wild orang-utans, elephants, tigers and rhinos while it remains. Unfortunately deforestation for farms and palm oil plantations are encroaching on virgin forest. Enjoy relaxing on Samosir Island, it’s pretty chilled.

SULAWESI

  • March 13, 2018
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Sulawesi’s capital city, Ujung Pandang, is 1 ½ hours flight north of Bali. The island has an intriguing shape - like a mix of the letters K and F. The cultures have just as much intrigue, especially the highland culture of Tana Toraja. Also enticing are the nearby islands for diving, fantastic coffee and traditional wooden boat building.
Dive or snorkel Bunaken Island, just off the coast of Manado, the prosperous northern area. Or take your diving remote to the lesser known Togian Islands. For culture buffs you probably won’t find anything more fascinating in South East Asia than Tana Toraja, a small area located deep in the mountainous jungle area of central Sulawesi. Toraja also produces some of the best coffee in Indonesia. Discover the origins of the Boogeyman – the original Bugis pirates that brought fear into the European sailor's hearts during the 16th century. The Bugis people are still famous for their wooden boat building techniques.

LOMBOK

  • March 13, 2018
  • alins_zir
Lombok is an island east of Bali and is one of the more popular side-trips taken from Bali. It's remote south coast is known for beaches and surfing spots, particularly at Kuta (yes Lombok has a Kuta beach too!) Lombok is a lot less developed than Bali and many still live in traditional Sasak villages outside the main centres. Mt Rinjani sometimes erupts but is a popular multi-day hiking destination. It’s the 2nd highest volcano in Indonesia.
Take a day trip to the Gili Islands. While we recommend staying at the Gili’s a day trip from Senggigi is also possible. Climb Mt Rinjani. At 3726 metres it takes a few days for the round trip. It’s best to arrange a tour. Relax at the tourist resort beach area of Senggigi. With a variety of hotels and restaurants along the coast. Surfing and Fantastic South Coast Beaches. Spend a few days along the South Coast for unspoilt white sand beaches and great surf spots.
Spread out around the Senggigi Beach Area there's plenty of choice of 3 - 4 star hotels and resorts plus an increasing choice of high end beachfront boutique hotels and villas. Nearby the Gili Islands are the remote and luxurious hotels, Tugu Lombok and Oberoi Lombok While the South Coast is still slowly developing, the Novotel Lombok Resort is still the best choice. With earthy tones and plenty of thatch roof, it's a real tropical paradise.

KALIMANTAN

  • March 13, 2018
  • alins_zir
The expansive Indonesian part of Borneo is full of adventure, with rainforests, rivers and mountains. Tribal groups still living much the same way their ancestors did in their long houses. Cruising down a river in a dug out canoe, surrounded by forest, birds and monkeys, you could almost be in the Amazon!
Visit or stay in a Dayak hilltribe long house. Originally head hunters, their stories and culture will fascinate you. Journey down the river by boat. We recommend and offer the award winning WowBorneo river cruises. If your journey takes in the bustling city of Banjarmasin a visit to the floating market is a must. Many houses are built on the rivers there and so a daily floating market is where the locals go to buy produce and even do their banking.

JAVA

  • March 13, 2018
  • alins_zir
While not much bigger than our North Island, Java has a staggering population of over 140 million (compared to our 3 ½ million) making it the most populated island in the world. Besides the chaos and urban excitements of the mega cities, there are still sleepy fishing ports, quaint villages surrounded by rice paddies, smouldering volcanoes and fascinating cultures. There’s even a tribe living in the forest that has no contact with the outside world, Javan one horned rhinoceros and possibly even Javan tigers.
Jogjakarta is the must-see city of Java. Steeped in history with its own sultan and palace. Here you’ll also find Borobodur Temple, up there with the 7 wonders of the world. Jogjjakarta keeps its traditions alive and really is the cultural heart of Java. Jalan Malioboro with its street stalls, traditional market and modern shopping malls is a shopping highlight. Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia is a mega sprawling city. There are plenty of shopping malls from budget to high end. Nearby is Anak Krakakau, the growing volcano in the sea between Java and Sumatra which makes for an unforgettable day trip. East Java highlights are its volcanoes, especially Mount Bromo which needs to be experienced at sunrise and Mount Ijen which shoots out glowing blue lava during the night.

EAST INDONESIA

  • March 13, 2018
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Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba, Rote, West Timor and Papua are where you’ll find a totally different Indonesian experience. The ethnic people here are Melanesian so even appear different. Outside the towns, many still live in traditional villages, made up of traditional houses. Infrastructure isn’t big here so this is the place to get off the beaten track and head into yesteryear. Typically East Indonesia is a lot poorer than the West.
Rinca Island and Komodo Island are home to the Komodo Dragons which can grow to over 2 ½ metres long and weigh up to 90kg. Generally you’d stay in Labuan Bajo, the coastal town in Flores and take a day trip to the islands, or else explore the area by boat over several days. We recommend and offer Seatrek Cruises. The Island of Sumba has fine examples of traditional villages, built on the tops of hills. Village life hasn’t changed too much over the years and many traditions are kept alive including the annual Pasola Festival. One of the world’s best hotels is on the south coast of Sumba – the Nihi Sumba - is utterly amazing. Papua . The last frontier of Indonesia. With rich tribal traditions that go back centuries and tribesmen still hunt with bows and arrows, we can arrange a visit to Baliem Valley where you can stay with a local tribal valley and experience something quite unlike anything else. Raja Ampat Islands are located near West Papua and comprise over 600 jungle covered islands, made famous for its marine life. Stay in either a luxury boutique resort or visit by ship, eg Seatrek Cruises.