There are so many places to visit in Indonesia and choosing just a handful of points of interest can be an overwhelming process.
The country is home to over 250 million people and spread out over 14,000 islands, which means there is a never ending list of places to visit in Indonesia. To help you plan your trip, here is a narrowed down list, grouped by province.
The capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, is a perfect place to begin when travelling through Indonesia. This world class city is home to over 140 million people and the city’s busyness is reflected in this.
You can find just about everything in Jakarta: good food to eat, nightlife to enjoy and shopping to be done. Even if you’re planning a more relaxing, nature-filled trip through Indonesia, you will most likely travel through Jakarta’s airport. If possible, plan to spend a few days in the capital. [Read – Top 15 Things To Do & Must See Places in Jakarta, Indonesia]
Another important city to visit on the island of Java is Yogyakarta, a nature’s paradise. This city’s claim to fame is the vast amount of culture and history.
There are many museums to explore, but to really experience the culture of Indonesia, explore the streets of Yogyakarta. There you’ll find street vendors selling local wares, can indulge in local cuisine and witness art come to life. Yogyakarta has numerous temples to see as well, as the island is home to Buddhism and Hinduism. [Read – The Top 15 Things to Do in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2016]
3. The Tengger Massif Volcanic Mountains
Situated in East Java, the volcanic complex is home to a series of active volcanoes, including the impressive Mount Bromo. You can explore the area by jeep or on horse, making it a natural wonder not to be missed.
This green, cool city in West Java is surrounded by nature, with volcanoes, tea plantations and even a sulphuric lake.
What makes the city of Bandung especially a must see place in Indonesia, is the food. Tourists and locals flock to Bandung to partake in local delicacies. [Read – Top 15 Things to Do and Places to See in Bandung, Indonesia]
5. Pulau Macan
Otherwise known as Tiger Island, this piece of paradise is a 90 minute boat ride from Jakarta. While the island is home to an eco-resort, if you are coming just for the day you can take advantage of the beautiful beaches and stunning water. There are plenty of places to snorkel and places to eat so that your day can be enjoyed in any way possible.
6. Lake Toba
One of the few volcanic lakes that is safe to swim in, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world at 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. You can relax by the water’s edge or rent a boat to travel across the water. There are plenty of restaurants to eat at and unwind after a full day of relaxation.
7. Lake Maninjau
Another famous lake on the island of Sumatra is Lake Maninjau, a place where nature remains unspoiled. Less popular than other locations, you can enjoy the scenery without too many tourists. The lake is in a volcanic crater and offers a relaxing, peaceful place to rest.
LESSER SUNDA ISLANDS
Bali is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Whether you are looking to surf the waves, snorkel amongst coral, or just relax on white sand beach, there is a never ending supply of beaches to choose from. Stick to the southern coast where you will find hotels, restaurants and bars to complete your experience. [Read – Top 15 Must Visit and Interesting Places in Bali, Indonesia 2016]
9. Island of Lombok
Just east of the island of Bali is the island of Lombok, home to volcanoes, jungles and beaches. It is a nice companion to the popular Bali if you’re looking for something a bit quieter. At the heart of Lombok you can find Mount Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia. [Read – Top 15 Lombok Tourist Attractions – Best Travel Guide About Places to Visit in Lombok]
10. Komodo National Park
In 1991 this nature park was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its rich marine diversity including the famed komodo dragon. A visit here will allow you to see the world’s largest lizard, which can grow up to 3 meters long.
11. Meet the people of Tana Toraja
The Toraja indigenous people reside in the mountains in Southern Sulawesi. While the people of Toraja have begun to change and modernize, understanding their culture is a way to look back in time.
While most people in Indonesia identify as Muslim, Manado is a city that is predominantly Christian. As a result you can find some of the largest and most important churches in this region. Manado is the capital city of the North Sulawesi province and therefore has a number of museums and restaurants to visit. Surrounding the city are volcanoes and lakes that would appeal to any nature lover.
WESTERN NEW GUINEA
13. Baliem Valley
The highlands of Western New Guinea are occupied by an indigenous group of people called the Dani. Baliem Valley is about 80 km in length and home to about 200,000 Dani people. The rites and ceremonies of Baliem Valley are a sight to see, but be respectful as the people that live here are protective about their ancient ways of living.
14. Raja Ampat Islands
If you are an avid diver, then make sure you visit these islands as the waters off the coast are home to over 75% of the world’s coral species. Amongst the coral you can find a sea teaming with reef fish and other sea life.
Located only 3 kilometres south of the equator, Pontianak lies on the delta of the Kapuas River. It is an important trading port. Surrounding the city is lush vegetation, and the famed Borneo forest. If you travel deep enough into the forest you might catch a glimpse of the indigenous Dayak people.
You can travel back in time and stay in traditional log house and witness important cultural rituals. The forest is also home to many species of animals including orangutans and dolphins.
Indonesia is vast and diverse, and there are many must visit places in the country. When planning your trip, start by picking a province or area to travel around and then decide what places to include on your journey.