Indonesia is the largest island nation in the world and is comprised of over 17,000 different landmasses. The country is full of stunning natural beauty, from the beaches to the volcanoes, and offers a unique cultural experience. There is something for every kind of tourist in Indonesia if you know where to look.
Here are some of the best islands to visit on your trip to Indonesia:
Bali is one of the most famous Indonesian islands and offers a little bit of something for everyone. Spend the day on the beach relaxing in the warm sun or meditate in one of the world-class yoga retreats. Bali is also home to some of the country’s stunning temples, including the famous Uluwatu Temple. This Hindu temple is made even more enticing with a breathtaking view of the ocean from its position upon the cliff. The island comes to life at night, when all the bars open to offer great food, cheap drinks, and the best company.
The Gili Islands is a group of three smaller islands and is the perfect getaway for those who are more adventurous. The create a picturesque vision of island paradise, with sandy white beaches and crystal-clear waters. You can swim with turtles and take advantage of the waves to go surfing. Gili Trawangan is also known as one of Indonesia’s best locations for a wild night out. Let your hair down after a long day at the beach in a warm and inviting environment and stay awake long enough to watch the beautiful sunrise the next morning.
Although it’s not an entire island, Ubud is a place you can’t forget. A serene Indonesian getaway would not be complete without spending some time in the town of Ubud, Bali. This island is known for its lush greenery, giving travelers a moment of peace on their journey. Explore the terraced rice paddies or the rainforest, then opt into a relaxing spa day at one of the resorts. Ubud is also referred to as Bali’s cultural capital and remains focused on protecting traditional practices. Listen to classical gamelan music, or watch the fire dancers perform at night, for a glimpse into the real Indonesia.
Ternate is a smaller island in the north-eastern part of Indonesia. The island is volcanic and is home to Gamalama, a volcano that is still active. Climb to the top for beautiful views, then come back down and relax on the black sand shores of some of the beaches. This island was once known as one of the wealthiest “Spice Islands” and continues to offer delicious cuisines made from the local clove, nutmeg, and other rare spices.
Yogyakarta is one of the main cities on the more massive island of Java. It is home to several old temples such as the Sewu and Prambanan Temples. The Borobudur Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and a must-see, even for those who aren’t Buddhist. Yogyakarta is one of the only parts of Indonesia that is still ruled by a monarchy, who still lives in the 18th- century Kraton.
Marvel at the historical landmarks, then take advantage of the bustle of the city and participate in some street shopping. For those who prefer the peacefulness of nature, get away from the crowds with a hike up one of the nearby volcanoes - Mount Merapi is popular. The city is not too far from the coast, and the beach is only a short drive away if you want to take a dip in the ocean.