Nearly 17,000 islands spread between Southeast Asia and Australia , in the middle of the Indian Ocean, make up Indonesia. Which makes it the largest archipelago in the world! To visit Indonesia is to explore diverse and varied landscapes, to meet fascinating fauna, and to soak up a rich culture, influenced by the different religions of the peoples who live there.
With this selection of the 17 most beautiful places to visit in Indonesia, we take you on a journey above volcanoes, through the jungle and rice fields, on paradisiacal beaches with exceptional seabed, but also in majestic temples.
Embark with us to never wonder again what to do in Indonesia!
1. Flores and Komodo National Park
Florès , one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, owes its name to the Portuguese who renamed it so in the 16th century due to the abundance of flowers on the island.
Its volcanoes, including Kelimutu and its surprisingly colored lakes, its magnificent bays of Maumere and Labuan Bajo, or even its charming villages still intact, make it a destination of choice during a trip to Indonesia.
But that’s not all, off Flores, there is a real natural treasure: the Komodo National Park . This archipelago, on the UNESCO World Heritage List and Biosphere Reserve, includes 29 volcanic islands including Komodo, Rinca and Padar, which are inhabited by thousands of giant lizards called “Komodo dragons”. To explore absolutely if you wonder what to do in Indonesia!
2. Borobudur Temple (Java)
Go to the heart of the island of Java, a few dozen kilometers from the important city of Yogyakarta to admire a Buddhist monument of rare beauty: The Borobudur temple . This temple was built in the jungle between the end of the 8th century and the beginning of the 9th century, during the time of the Sailendra dynasty , before being abandoned for several centuries, then rediscovered in the 19th century.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Borobudur attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year.
Note: at sunrise, the show is simply incredible!
3. The Raja Ampat or “four kings” islands
The Raja Ampat archipelago , made up of around 1500 islands, is a real paradise on earth, or rather on the sea. At the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the Raja Ampat islands are renowned for their sublime seabed which will seduce doubt diving enthusiasts or the most curious among you.
Let yourself be enchanted by this still preserved and magical place!
4. Mount Bromo and Kawah Ijen (Java)
What to do in Indonesia? Watch the first light of day appear on the impressive , still active Bromo Volcano , smoking in the distance. Bromo, which culminates at more than 2,300 meters in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, on the island of Java, is sometimes considered the most beautiful volcano in Indonesia.
Further east, we find the Ijen volcano , also still active. Kawah Ijen, which means green crater in Javanese, is best known for its emerald green acid lake and “blue flames”, a mysterious phenomenon due to sulfur vapors escaping from the crater at temperatures of over 220°.
Even today, porters work tirelessly to collect sulfur in this open pit mine.
5. Ubud and its rice fields (Bali)
Impossible to consider a top of the most beautiful places to visit in Indonesia without mentioning the pretty and fascinating Ubud , on the island of Bali. The cultural and spiritual center of what is called the Island of the Gods benefits not only from an extraordinary decor, but also from an atmosphere conducive to well-being and Art.
If you are passing through, we advise you to stroll through its magnificent rice fields (Tegallalang, Jatiluwih, etc.), to visit its fabulous temples, to take a walk in the Monkey Forest or to attend a Balinese dance show. , for example.
6. Lake Toba (Sumatra)
Our planet is full of natural wonders and Lake Toba , on the island of Sumatra, is one of them. At 100 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide, this crater lake is considered the largest lake in Southeast Asia.
You can come and relax there, admiring the mountains that border it. It is the ideal destination to escape the tourists and the sometimes stifling heat, since Lake Toba is 900 meters above sea level.
7. Lorentz National Park (Papua)
Are you planning to visit Indonesia, and more particularly Papua? Add Lorentz Park to your list , which is the largest National Park in Southeast Asia (25,056 km2).
Listed as a UNESCO heritage site, Lorentz is also an extremely rich nature reserve since it allows the development of all the ecosystems of Asia Pacific (tropical forests, glaciers, mangroves, etc.). The beauty of this exceptional setting should not disappoint you!
8. Mount Leuser National Park (Sumatra)
In the North of the island of Sumatra, we find the Gunung Leuser National Park , which takes its name from Mount Leuser culminating at more than 3380 meters. This park, with an area of 9500 km2, is home to lush flora and fauna, and remains one of the only places on earth where it is still possible to observe orangutans and Sumatran tigers in the state. savage.
With the National Parks of Bukit Barisan and Kerinci Seblat, it is recognized as a biosphere reserve by Unesco.
9. Lombok and the Gili Islands
Among the things to do in Indonesia, you cannot miss Lombok and the pretty Gili Islands (Air, Meno and Trawangan). The volcanic island of Lombok attracts as much for its activities in the water, such as surfing and diving, as out of the water, such as a hike on Mount Rinjani, for example.
On the Gili Islands, you will not hear the sound of a single engine since they are prohibited there. Ideal for relaxing, observing sea turtles and enjoying the idyllic setting.
10. Prambanan (Java)
Prambanan, or Candi Rara Jonggrang, is a set of 240 Saiva temples (Hinduism) erected in the 8th century. Its grandeur and history make it an important cultural and spiritual site.
Like Borobudur, the neighboring Buddhist temple (50 km), Prambanan is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its proximity to the Borobudur temple also testifies to a peaceful cohabitation of religions at that time on the island of Java.
11. The island of Nusa Lembongan
Wondering what to do in Indonesia? Take advantage of a trip to Bali to escape for a few days on the island of Nusa Lembongan . Only a few kilometers from Bali, this island is the perfect destination for exploring the seabed.
Perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot manta rays, sunfish or dolphins on the horizon!
12. Kalimantan and Tanjung Puting National Park (Borneo)
Kalimantan, which extends over almost two thirds of the island of Borneo, is well worth a stop during a trip to Borneo as it has so many things to offer.
Orangutans rub shoulders with gibbons in its vast primary forests where all nature lovers will enjoy hiking. A stay in the canopy is a must if you plan to visit Indonesia.
13. Tanah Lot Temple (Bali)
Photographed millions of times, the Hindu temple of Tanah Lot , perched on its islet in the middle of the waves, continues to attract foreigners who come to visit Indonesia, and more especially Bali.
But it is notably, and above all, a place of pilgrimage for all Hindus in the country. The famous temple is said to have been built in the 16th century by a great Hindu sage named Nirartha.
14. Tana Toraja (Sulawesi or Celebes)
The kabupaten of Tana Toraja , in the middle of the mountains and rice fields of the province of South Sulawesi, is the “country of the Toraja people”, which is gradually opening up to the world. But some of their ancient beliefs and traditions are still very much alive and fascinate more and more people, such as their impressive rituals during funeral ceremonies.
If you plan to visit Indonesia and the island of Sulawesi, take the opportunity to observe the traditional Tongkonan houses in the surrounding villages.
15. The Baliem Valley (Papua)
Change of island, change of scenery! Located in the province of Papua at more than 1000 meters above sea level, the Baliem Valley extends over 80 kilometers.
This valley nestled in the heart of the Maoke Mountains is crossed by the Sungai Baliem River, which flows into the Arafura Sea. The Baliem Valley is only accessible by plane.
16. Ujung Kulon National Park (Java)
Ujung Kulon National Park , on the island of Java, is also one of the things to do in Indonesia!
This park, which includes among others the group of volcanic islands Krakatau, is the territory of the Javan rhinoceros and other unfortunately endangered species. Ujung Kulon is also home to the largest rainforest in Kava and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
17. Harau Valley (Sumatra)
The dazzling green rice fields stretch as far as the eye can see between the cliffs of the Harau Valley , plunging its visitors into an Edenic setting.
If you are comfortable, do not hesitate to rent a scooter to go in search of the waterfalls, which are hidden in the valley, and the gibbon monkeys which are surely watching you from afar!