Indonesia is one of the destinations we are looking forward to returning to. During our first trip we only decided to explore two of its thousands of islands: Java and Bali. Later we returned about 3 more times to Bali and made a short foray to the Gili Islands. But we still have a lot, a lot to do in Indonesia. This post is designed for everyone who wants to enjoy the best of indonesia, a kind of wishlist that works for us too (we didn’t do everything, for now of course). Without further ado, we leave you the 20 best things to do in Indonesia (at least once in life).
1. Discover how touristy it is Bali, the island of the Gods is one of the most incredible places in the world. It will be for its temples, it will be for its unique religion in the world, it will be for its extraordinary people … Bali has something special that hooks the traveler. Here you have all our articles from Bali.
2. Fall in love with the turquoise blue of Gili Islands. If you don’t know which one to choose, we will tell you the differences between Trawagan, Air and Meno. After the terrible earthquake that hit them in August 2018, little by little they are returning to the paradise they were. If you plan a trip to Bali of more than a week, it is worth spending a few days here. This is the best thing to do in the Gili.
3. Those who follow traveler accounts on Instagram will have already realized that Nusa penida (and in particular Kelingking Beach) is one of the fashionable destinations, and what do you have to do? Go just because Instagram so dictates? No, of course! You have to go because if in photos the site removes the hiccups … imagine live! Puntazo: it is an island very close to Bali so it is not difficult to get there.
4. On the island of Java you cannot miss one excursion to the Bromo volcano, without a doubt one of the great highlights of a trip to Indonesia. Of course, find out well before deciding which tour to take, we live a somewhat interesting and theatrical experience XD. Here we leave you the post we wrote about it. Now we laugh but at that time buaaahhh.
5. To continue exploring Indonesia from above, the Ijen volcano It is another of the volcanoes of Java that you can visit. It is quite a spectacle thanks to its blue fire (burning sulfur), although there are certain bad customs around it, such as seeing the workers who risk their lives for a few rupees or the little security, which may make us rethink the visit. We have read good and bad opinions and in the end we decided not to go. But without a doubt, climbing the Ijen volcano is something that has to be in the best things to do in Indonesia.
6. If you are surfer or if you’ve always dreamed of riding waves on a tropical beach, Indonesia is a great destination (for beginners and experts alike). We visit the fishing village of Batu karas in Java, but if you want a site with more atmosphere, write this name: Canggu (In Bali, a paradise for surfers). You can see them best places to sweat in Indonesia on this website. There are many options to take a class, if you want to book online take a look here.
7. The Flores island It is another very interesting stop, especially to visit the Bajawa traditional villages, freak out in the Mount Kelimutu and enjoy one of the least touristy islands in Indonesia (among the touristy ones, of course).
8. Although if we talk about peculiar places, Tana Toraja takes the cake. It is in the curious Sulawesi Island and the Toraja people are famous for their funeral rites.
9. Write about Lombok It’s like having your heart in your fist: the earthquake that hit this friendly little island in Indonesia was a tragedy, but don’t be scared, this is when the island needs more tourism. If you are going to travel to Indonesia in the next few months, try to stop by here (it is also a beautiful island, especially Tangsi, its pink beach).
10. We return to Java and move to the city of Yogkyakarta (Yogya for friends). It is the cultural capital of Indonesia and the center of the batik, where you can spend a couple of quiet days strolling through the village and surrendering to the charms of Indonesian food (ains, those satay). But also in the vicinity there are two temples of those that could be on the cover of any National Geographic magazine: Borobudur (the largest Buddhist temple in the world) and Prambaran (A Hindu temple that has nothing to envy, in spectacularity, those of Angkor). If you have little time, a good idea is to take a tour that takes you to know both. This was our passage through Yogyakarta.
11. And what about Jakarta? Well, we are going to include it more than anything because it is the capital of the country and because your plane will most likely pass through here, but for us it was quite disappointing. And look, we love big cities … but Jakarta beat us. Of course, we always say that to know the heart of a country, you have to go through its capital. Also for those who enjoy local cuisine, they will find lots of options.
12. Let’s change the environment drastically. Let’s go to see orangutans in the wild! The best place is on the island of Sumatra, specifically in the area of Bukit Lawang. The best thing is to do a trekking of several days in the jungle (2 or 3) to enjoy the experience to the fullest. In this video you can see how well our friends Jairo and Claudia had a great time. How much does this experience cost? Calculate about € 60-80 per person (3 days).
13. The Indonesian gastronomy We found it to be one of the most complete and delicious in all of Asia (especially Balinese), so something you have to do, apart from trying their typical dishes, is to sign up for a cooking course and learn to replicate the recipes at home. It will be like returning to Indonesia without leaving your kitchen.
14. Of the things we did not do, the Komodo National Park cruise It is one of the ones that most attracts our attention. They are usually two days / one night and you have to go to Labuan Bajo, from where they leave. When we followed the journey of our friend Carla our teeth got sooo long that we would have scared a very Komodo dragon XD
15. And during your visit you cannot miss a trek until panoramic point of the island of Padar. It is one of the most impressive photos you can take in Indonesia, and of which you can make a huge copy to hang in your living room and want to go on an adventure every time you look at it.
16. Treat yourself and stay at one of the many balinese villas with swimming pool and surrounded by rice fields: you will feel like you are inside “Eat, pray and love”. And the best thing is that they are not expensive at all: we stayed in one that was a pa-sa-da for € 40 / night (2-bedroom villa -we were 4 people-). Here you can find and reserve the one you like the most.
17. You are well off having a swim in the pool and beers at sunset looking at the rice fields. If what you are looking for are good adventures, do not forget to go to Kalimatan Indonesian Borneo. Here, in addition to the exuberant nature, you can also see orangutans in the wild (although, all said, Borneo in general is much more expensive than the rest of the Indonesian islands).
18. And one place to combine both plans is Pulau Weh, a great place to dive, but also to lie down to the bartola on its beaches. It is located north of the island of Sumatra.
19. But if you are looking for an ideal destination to dive, the Raja Ampat archipelago it is your paradise. It is one of the areas with the most marine biodiversity in the world. It is also beautiful on the surface: surely that aerial image in which you see hundreds of green islets floating in a sea of different shades will sound familiar. To get there you will have to fly to Sorong and once there, travel by sea to the island you choose as a base.
20. Finally, we end with one of our traveling dreams (thanks Loida for putting this one into our heads too, as if we no longer have too many XD): sailing to Moluccas islands, the islands of spices, and stay for a while like two shipwrecks on a lost island. The trip is long of noses, but according to the photos and the stories of our friend, it is sooo worth it. And since we are there … go to Papua do not? But this is an other history!
And of course … come back! As you will soon understand, Indonesia is huge and in a single trip it is impossible to discover all the charms of this country. These are for us the best things to do in Indonesia. Do you know any more? Which is your favorite?
* Photocredit: Shutterstock