Choosing just a handful of key cultural and historical sites in Indonesia was always going to be a tall order; after all, the Indonesian archipelago consists of 17,500 islands. Along with glitzy cities, Indonesian Borneo with her amazing orangutans, curious Komodo dragons and world famous Bali, the government has recently revealed their 16 priority destination for touristic development in the country.
Lake Toba in North Sumatra is one of the coolest natural wonders not only in Indonesia, but also in the world. It is a huge crater lake that measures over 1,145 square kilometers and is known as the deepest lake in the world at 505 metres. It is so huge, in fact, that there is an island in the middle of it that is almost the size of Singapore, called Samosir. Top things to do around Lake Toba include hiking the beautiful mountains, swimming in the cool refreshing waters, sailing the lake that could be considered an ocean and exploring the island of Samosir and see the ancient relics.
The Pangandaran Beach in West Java could be the perfect vacation getaway for the whole family. It offers slow relaxing days on the beach, where you can soak up the sun while lazing on the black and white sand. Even the waves are relatively calm, so you can enjoy a safe day swimming with the family. If you want a more upbeat vacation, then you can enjoy hiking and exploring a number of natural caves. There is even a beautiful waterfall that drops directly into the ocean.
The magnificent Borobudur and Prambanan temples are a great place to go visit if you are interested in Indonesia’s cultural heritage. The two temples are not far from each other and they are living proof that Buddhism and Hinduism were able to live close to each other peacefully. The Borobudur-Prambanan regions are situated in Central Java.
The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is a huge park that covers an area of 800 square kilometres in East Java. This park is a great place to go for anyone who is interested in volcanoes. Here are some key facts about three of the famous volcanoes in the park.
Bromo: 2,392 meters tall and 2,770 meters above sea level. Legend says that this is where a brave prince sacrificed himself for his family.
Semeru: This is still an active volcano that sits 3,676 meters above sea level.
Tengger Caldera: This is a huge sea of sand, which measures 10 km. There are also several mountains inside the caldera, and they are: Mt. Watangan, Mt. Batok, Mt. Kursi, Mt. Watangan and Mt. Widadaren.
Lombok is an island east of Bali and it has so many attractions that you are sure to have plenty to do while on vacation. Located in West Nusa Tenggara this is a really popular spot for travellers looking to surf, hike the volcanic peaks and lounge on one of the stunning beaches.
This massive volcano is 3,726 meters tall, and towers over the island of Lombok. The mountain sits in the Mount Rinjani National Park and is said to offer one of the Top 10 treks in all of South East Asia! The scenery in the surrounding area is hard to compete with, including many waterfalls round about in the lush forest. This is a highly spiritual place for many of the locals, so it’s interesting to come and witness their ceremonies and offerings.
The island of Flores in East Nusatenggara is yet another great vacation spot. The island offers many fun and exciting activities including: swimming, diving, kayaking, exploring caves and mountain climbing.
Wakatobi National Marine Park
What a great place the Wakatobi Park is to visit if you want to see and experience all kinds of marine life. Located in Southeast Sulawesi this amazing park covers 1.4 million hectares, 900,000 of which have many different species of beautiful coral reefs. Have fun scuba diving with 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species, which are sure to astound you with the sheer magnificence of beauty and colours.
Toraja is an amazing place in South Sulawesi where the locals have only just recently opened up their little world to others. If you come here, expect to see people who still live the lifestyles and uphold the beliefs and traditions that they have had for ages. The funeral ceremonies are what the Toraja people have become most known for. These ceremonies can take days and they involve entire villages.
These islands in East Kalimantan offer the perfect getaway, whether you are taking your family or are on a romantic trip, this is the place to go. Natural beauty is everywhere you look, from the soft white sand beaches, to the gorgeous underwater life. Here is a small list of some of the life you can expect to see: giant turtles, dolphins, barracudas and jellyfish.
Pulau Weh Island
This beautiful small island in the Aceh province is often visited by yachts and cruise ships. If you like to dive, then this is a great place to be. Dive masters and instructors will take you out to a variety of dive sites, where you can expect to see all manner of sea life. At the end of the day, you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while swinging on a hammock next to a hut.
The beautiful Togean islands in Central Kalimantan are not short of amazing activities. Enjoy the white sandy beaches, the amazing reefs, and even enter into a traditional fisherman village. The six islands are covered in tropical rain forest and offer a stunning view.
The thousand islands are interesting because they are a cluster of islands in the Bay of Jakarta, and depending on the tide, some of them appear and disappear. Here you can laze in the sun, fish, dive, or snorkel yet knowing that you are close to the thriving city of Jakarta. If you are there at the right time you may even get to see a once in a lifetime event, because it is also a hatching spot for hawksbill turtles and green turtles.
The city of Old Batavia in Jakarta is brimming with life. It is a trade city and has a lot to offer to travellers. Immerse yourself in the hubbub and learn of the local history and culture at one of the many great local museums; The Maritime Museum, The Museum Fatahillah, The Fine Art and Ceramic Museum and The Wayang Museum.
Bali is probably the most famous island in all of Indonesia, and that is no surprise because it offers stunning mountain scenery and beautiful beaches, as well as the kind and friendly people. There is so much to see and do here that it is no wonder people love it. You will have your choice from surfing and diving, to fine dining, and exhilarating treks in the wild.
Mt Batur is a small volcano with a deep crater lake inside. It is also surrounded by gorgeous mountains. Enjoy the natural beauty and see the bubbling hot springs. The volcano is still active, and many people still talk of the great eruption of 1917. That eruption took many lives and destroyed many temples.