Indonesia Travel Guide

Indonesia Holidays - Tours & Travel Adventure Guide

PureTravel Says
“Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,508 islands, is really a combination of both explored and unexplored land. Visitors in search of traditional holiday tours love it because of the extremely well organized tourism industry that Indonesia offers. Adventure seekers love a visit to Indonesia as an opportunity to break away from the mundane acts of life and thoroughly enjoy the freedom that the barren islands, virgin beaches and mystic blue waters offer. Well-preserved rainforests and national parks are a perfect match with dive sites and surf breaks leave every visitor craving more. Moreover, of course Indonesia has more to offer. With erupted volcanoes, an amalgamation of Hindu, Islamic and Buddhist culture and of course the metropolitan culture of heavenly shopping experiences and food that pleases your taste buds like nothing else. Indonesia is definitely a country you cannot and should not miss on your tour to south east Asia.”

Indonesia Holiday Highlights

Scuba Diving - Indonesia provides ample diving opportunities to all of its visitors. The Indonesian waters boast of aquatic species of over 3,500 and include sea animals ranging from octopus, fish, manta rays, morays, turtles and cuttlefish to dolphins and sharks. In fact, these waters around Indonesia are home to about seventy percent of the fish species of the Indo Pacific water bodies. These figures are more than the estimation in either the Red Sea or the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

Surfing - Known throughout the world, Indonesia is one of the best locations for surfers looking for sheer excitement. Some of the best surf breaks are a part of the Indian Ocean of Indonesia. Southern Java is also a famous spot for large breaks from the Java Sea. Traveling all the way along to Sumatra, there are many breaks like those down in Nussa Tengara. Bali also boasts of 33 divine spots for surfing and Sumatra has 18 wonderful spots.

Nature - Indonesia is one of the very few countries that has preserved its nature. Stretches of rainforest cover about fifty-seven percent of land in Indonesia while there are two percent of mangrove forests. Inhabited land remains at only about 6,000 of the 17,000 islands of Indonesia, causing these uninhabited land percentages. The coastlines enjoyed by the islands together give us a breathtaking figure. The beaches of Bali and Sumatra are in perfect harmony with their own natural forms though the less traveled and relatively less renowned beaches remain beautifully maintained.

The national parks in Indonesia include the Gunung Leuser National Park, the Kerinci Seblet National Park, Komodo National Park, Lorentz National Park, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and others, which attract not only visitors but also world heritage site protectors. The biodiversity present in each of these national parks and sanctuaries are absolutely typical and unique to the land. In fact, the tropical rain forests of Sumatra and Java are home to endangered species like the Javan rhinoceros, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinoceros and Sumatran elephants. You can also sneak a peek in to the tallest flower, titan arum, in Sumatra.

Camping - With the backdrop of super volcanic eruptions that have created the Lake Toba in Northern Sumatra, hiking and camping around the volcanoes can be an enchanting experience. Some of these even have rivers flowing through their ridges and are favored places for exciting rafting sessions. Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Indonesia, has snow clad peaks and provides rock climbers with an enormous amount of fun and adventure.

Culture & History - Indonesia boasts of being the home to over 300 ethnicities of people and has all the influences of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and the European settlers from colonial times. The union of these various ethnicities provides an enriching cultural life to the country. The Borobudur temple around a Buddhist shine and the Parambanan complex, which is a particular Hindu piece of work, are just a few kilometers apart and were both made UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1991. The Sultanate remains remain located for viewing in Pekanbaru and Medan. Besides, the indigenous and native cultures like the special funeral rites of the Toraja or the matrilineal cultures of the Minangkabau are things that are unique only to Indonesia. Yogyakarta known for fine arts and culture of Java is also the meeting point of all the cultures practiced in the country until date.

Metropolitan Tour and Cuisine - The Indonesian capital, Jakarta, provides visitors with excellent experiences of shopping, amusement and sightseeing. Besides Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Manado, Bandung and Denpasar are famous for the exciting nightlife. These cities, like all other Indonesian places, serve you mouthwatering platters of delicacies. The basic principle of all food prepared in Indonesia is halal. The spices, for which Indonesia famous since ancient times, add extra flavor to their food.

When to Go

Indonesia is a tropical country without specific wet or dry seasons. While dry weather is onset by the winds from the east during June to September, monsoons roll in by the West Monsoon winds from December to March. Rainfalls are the heaviest during the months of December and January and the weather is extremely humid.

Top Tips

-The tropical climate can cause sunburn so ensure you carry sun protection at all times.
-Check whether you need an entry visa. Citizens of some countries can be granted a visa on arrival (such as Australia, Cambodia, Canada, UK, USA and more).
-Mosquitoes are common in tropical regions, so use insect repellent to avoid malaria, dengue fever and other diseases initiated by mosquitoes and ticks.
-Though handshakes are considered friendly, the women should be the one to initiate handshakes.
-Remove your shoes before entering homes and places of worship.
-Generally, photography is permitted even in places of worship but do check first.
-Most of the Muslim population of the country do not drink alcohol.

Indonesia Holidays In Focus

Scuba Diving

With more than seventy percent of the marine fish of the Indo Western Pacific Ocean living in the waters around Indonesia, scuba diving can give visitors a psychedelic experience. At the tip of Sulawesi, Bunaken claims to have seven more genera of Coral than in Hawaii. The Tulamben Bay in Bali has a 120 feet deep wreck of the US army vehicle and attracts many tourists for diving. Bangka and Thousand Islands are also very exciting places for diving. Being home to a variety of species, the Indonesian tourists can get to see dolphins, sharks, octopuses and manta rays, cuttlefish and turtles in the same water.


Many of the famous world-class sites that provide immense thrill to surfers are located in Indonesia. There are large oceanic breaks in Indonesia on the southern side of Java from the Indian Ocean. As you move down from Sumatra to Nusa Tenggara, there are famous breaks all through the journey that include those of Bali, Java, Lombok, Aceh, Banten, Sumbawa and Mentawai Islands. With the winds blowing from east to the southeast, May to September is the best time for surfing the breaks around Bali and Sumatra. With G-land in the Bay of Grajagan and the Lagundri Bay, the two most popular surfing spots, Indonesia can boast of surfing breaks of six to eight feet on the Hawaiian scale.

Nature and Wildlife

The exotic beaches in Thailand like Lombok, Bintan, Bali and Nias Island attract tourists from across the world. The virgin and unscathed beaches like Karimunjawa, Banda Islands and Togain Islands are well maintained and great spots if you are looking at relaxing on the beaches.

The total of 25,000 square kilometers, covered by the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and the Kerinci Seblet National Park, account for the Tropical Rain Forest Heritage of Sumatra and is a part of UNESCO’s world heritage list. Since the Wallace Line divides the natural habitat of the country in to two distinct regions, very different biodiversities become apparent in the different national parks. This means that the flora and fauna of western Indonesia resembles the Asian biodiversity while the eastern part shows a striking similarity with the Australian wildlife. The plumed birds like cenderawaish and others like the flightless cassowaries are classic examples of the exotic wildlife of the eastern regions of the country. The Komodo dragon, which is an engendered species all over the world, inhabits the land on the islands of Rintja, Flores and Padar.

Volcanoes and Camping

Hiking and camping around the active volcanoes has been a prominent part of the tours taken to Indonesia. In fact, they are hot spots for adventure. Mount Bromo in East Java with desert all around is one with the highest activity. The rivers flowing through the mountainous ridges of these volcanoes provide a thrilling experience to all white water rafters in this part. The snow-clad peaks of Puncak Jaya in Lorentz National Park are a paradise for all enthusiasts of rock climbing. The volcanoes have also created amazing landscapes around them, the most famous of these is Lake Toba which lies around Medan.

Culture and History

With the co-existence of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam in the country, the cultural life that Indonesia provides to visitors is very interesting and enchanting. From the 3rd to the 13th century, Hindu and Buddhist populations predominantly inhabited Indonesia. This fact becomes apparent through the finding of Buddhist shrines preserved with immense respect at Borobudur within only a few kilometers of the Parambanan complex, a Hindu complex built by the second Mataram dynasty in central Java.

All the Hindu festivals bring celebration with huge pomp in this part of the country. Past this period, as much as 88% (2006 census) of the Indonesian population turned to Muslims. However, changing religions does not imply a change of lifestyle or habits for the Indonesian people. The Minangkabau, in spite of being devout Muslims, still follow their matrilineal proceedings with life. Even the Asmat, Dani, Dayak and Mentawai are all staunch believers in their own customs and traditions. Yogyakarta, which has witnessed the rise and fall of dynasties from Hindu and Buddhist to the Islamic, has indeed become the point of unison of all the Indonesian cultures over the country.

Metropolitan Tours and Cuisines

Indonesian city life is a combination of amusement and fun. With huge shopping malls and arcades like Senayan City, EX, Plaza Indonesia, Plaza Senayan and of course the Mal Kelapa Gading, the mall culture of Indonesia is absolutely breathtaking. With famous gold clubs like the Cengkareng Golf Club, playing golf is also a common activity among the upper classes in Indonesia. As foreigners of the land, you will get a full taste of the Indonesian nightlife in Jakarta, Medan, Manado, Surabaya and so on.

Indonesian cuisine generally consists of halal food with rice as their staple diet. The local cuisine and flavors in Indonesia are kept quite simple in contrast to the highly flavored and infused dishes of Vietnam and Thailand. However, noodles, soybean, potatoes and wheat are also common dishes, accompanied with a host of other condiments. Inspired by the cooking methods of both Asian and Western cultures, Indonesia uses a lot of spices, grasses, roots and leaves to add the extra zing to all their food. The preparation for food is by grilling or frying, simmering, stewing and steaming. In spite of all these mouthwatering dishes, if you ever feel away from home there is also plenty of Western food to be found.

Classic Itineraries

- Trekking in the Gunung Rinjani National Park.
- Witnessing sulphur mining in Ijen Plateau.
- Visit to Komodo National Park.
- Checking out Tangkuban Perahu Volcano craters and the volcanic landscapes by Mt. Bromo.
- Scuba diving in Tulamben Bay, Bangka and Thousand Islands.
- Surfing in G- Land in the Bay of Grajagan and the Lagundri Bay.
- Visit Yogyakarta.
- Rock climbing in Puncak Jaya.
- Shopping and witnessing the Indonesian city nightlife.

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