7 best places to visit in Indonesia
Everyone knows Bali. It’s a beautiful island, which has lately become one of the top holiday destinations in the world. But there’s more to Indonesia than just Bali.
Are you planning a trip to Indonesia right now? Then you have come to the right place. Because here we are going to talk about some of the best places you can visit in Indonesia. Some of which are quite close to Bali, in fact. So you can easily visit them and Bali during a single trip. Sounds like a plan, huh?
Don’t have time for all of these places?
Then our recommendation will be – visit at least one volcano in Indonesia. It’s pretty easy, as there’s an abundance of volcanoes there. In fact, there are 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia, and the whole country is made up of thousands of volcanic islands! No wonder Indonesia is called The Volcano Nation.
Read on to find out what are the best places to visit in Indonesia!
7 best places to visit in Indonesia
1. Bali & Nusa Penida
Bali is the most popular destination in Indonesia.
Its wonderful beaches, unique culture and beautiful nature are among the top reasons so many flocks to Bali.
Bali is popular among surfers. Many people come to Bali also to experience spirituality, meditate and do yoga.
If you are visiting Bali, do not miss its neighboring island – Nusa Penida. It’s known for its pristine beaches and amazing snorkeling spots.
There’s a whole article dedicated to Bali on our blog. Check it out!
2. Mount Bromo, East Java
Mount Bromo is an active volcano in East Java.
It’s a part of the Tengger massif which is an active volcanic complex, and one of the most popular places to visit in Java.
Join an organized group in Probolinggo, or travel to Cemorolawang and explore Bromo from there. Bromo is situated approximately 40 km Southwest of Probolinggo, and just 4 km away from Cemorolawang.
On your way to Bromo or Cemorolawang visit Madakaripura waterfall. It’s an impressive, 200 meter-tall waterfall that shouldn’t be missed.
3. Ijen volcano, East Java
Ijen is another active volcano in East Java.
Known for its dramatic landscapes and magnificent turquoise sulphuric lake, the volcano is clearly among the best places to visit in Indonesia.
During the night a unique natural phenomenon can be witnessed at the volcano’s crater – the blue fire. It is sulphuric gas which is coming out of cracks and is ignited due to high temperatures.
Also there you’ll see sulfur miners at work.
Just like with Bromo, you can either travel there with an organized group or on your own.
4. Flores & Komodo
Flores and Komodo are two (of many) Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands.
Famous for their unique landscapes and unique fauna, the islands have been attracting more and more tourists during the last few years. Yet these islands are still relatively quiet, making them a great place if you want to get off the beaten path in Indonesia.
Head to Komodo to see Komodo dragons in their natural habitat, and swim with rays at Manta Point.
Enjoy spectacular views of Padar Island, one of the islands in the archipelago.
In Flores, visit the tri-colored volcanic lakes of Kelimutu, enjoy the breathtaking views of spider web rice terraces in Ruteng, and visit traditional villages in Bajawa.
5. Borobudur & Prambanan, Central Java
Being the world’s largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur is probably the second most popular destination in Indonesia after Bali. And deservedly so.
Set amid the beautiful lush green rice terraces and fields, this imposing temple consists of 9 stacked platforms and is topped by a central dome. Originally built in the 9th century, and restored in 1911, now Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you are visiting Borobudur, don’t miss Prambanan, another ancient temple. Prambanan, however, is a Hindu temple. Built in the 9th-century, Prambanan also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you want to spend some time on a beach in Indonesia without having to endure the crowds of Bali (however, not everywhere it is crowded!) head to Lombok!
It’s a beautiful island situated east of Bali. It takes just 30 minutes to get there from Bali by plane, or 2 hours by boat. And from Jakarta, it takes about two hours by plane.
Lombok is home to a few unique beaches. The sand on Pink Beach has a pink hue. Semeti Beach has unique volcanic formations. But Tanjung Poki is made up of rock formations and has a few blowholes through which water rushes in during the high tide, creating huge eruptions of water.
Swimming and relaxing by the beach are not the only things you can do in Lombok. You can do some trekking as well.
Climb Mount Rinjani – a mountain and an active volcano! With the height of 3726 metres, it’s the second highest volcano in Indonesia! Trek to its crater at the summit to see the beautiful azure lake at the top.
If you are not up to a long hike, go up Bukit Pergasingan which is way lower than Rinjani. But you still can enjoy beautiful sweeping views of the area from Bukit Pergasingan.
7. Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi
Home to the Toraja ethnic group, Tana Toraja is known for its unusual burial sites and burial ceremonies, and its unique culture.
Visit one of these unique grave sites to learn more about the extraordinary death rituals of the Toraja.
Visit Ke’te Kesu to see how a traditional Torajan village looks like.
To see the sweeping views of the area climb Gunung Sesean. There are some great viewpoints on the way, and the trail itself is very picturesque.
Indonesia travel tips
- You don’t need a visa to travel to Indonesia. Citizens of most European Union countries are entitled to visa-free entry for up to 30 days.
- Consider flying to save time. Geographically, Indonesia is vast, and it consists of many islands. Trains are a convenient and inexpensive way to travel around Java island.
- Use Grab (a ride-hailing app) to book a taxi. It’s way cheaper than a regular taxi. Grab motorbike taxi is very popular in Indonesia, too.
- Dress modestly, especially in places of worship. Ladies should pack lightweight and breathable clothes that cover the knees and shoulders. Bali is more relaxed, though. You can wear shorts and sundresses there.
- Be careful with ATMs in Indonesia. There have been many reports about credit card skimming. To avoid this use ATMs at the banks or shopping malls.