With long white sand beaches, virgin rain forest jungles, unique diving spots with 100 species of corals, friendly and smiling locals the Southeast Asian nation made up of more than more 17,000 volcanic islands, isn’t short of jaw-dropping places to visit – in fact, it was once ranked as the 4th most beautiful country in the world. Here are her favorite best and most beautiful places to visit in Indonesia…
Indonesia is a big country. Due to its size, it is necessary for you to plan your trip properly in order to enjoy your time while seeing the best things Indonesia has to offer. Indonesia is a unique and diverse country that’s spread throughout thousands of islands in the ocean.
Here you can easily explore beaches, jungle, and volcanoes, and each region offers something you probably wouldn’t see somewhere else. A thorough trip to Indonesia takes some time, so you either plan to explore just a couple regions or go all out with a stay of two weeks or more.
There are many remarkable and outstanding places to go in Indonesia whether you are relishing the benefits of traveling alone or choose to go with your friends or family. Here are the most beautiful places to visit in Indonesia…
1. Bali – one of the most popular places to vacation in Indonesia
Most travellers start their Indonesian journey in the country’s most famous island. It’s really one of the world top famous destinations which make your trip absolutely memorable.
Labeled as the Island of Gods, Bali is bounded with breathtaking natural beauty. Relaxing on white-sand beaches will definitely one of the most beautiful feelings you will ever experience when here.
The magnificent waves, clear waters that reflect the blue bright sky and tropical weather are enough reasons why everyone must visit this place even once in their lifetime. Bali has a rich culture and has strong Hindu religion so expect to see temples galore.
2. Komodo Islands and the Pink Beach – gorgeous beauty spots to explore
This island is to be found on the island of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara and Flores in East Nusa Tenggara and this is where you will get the opportunity to spot the ancient reptile Komodo dragon.
There are also many blissful sandy beaches on the island to explore and relax on including the unique and famous aptly named Pink Beach (pictured above).
If you tire of the beaches, go deeper and see the marine life. The marine life the surrounds the Komodo Island is known to be one of the best ones in the world!
3. Bunaken, Sulawesi – one of the best places to visit in Indonesia
This is another slice of paradise on earth. Bunaken is easily one of the most stunning places to visit in Indonesia and a place you shouldn’t miss when you visit.
Bunaken Marine Park is famous worldwide and offers a very laid back lifestyle which isn’t found in big cities. To really make the most of the place I would recommend diving – either on a day trip or night trip.
4. Mount Bromo, Java – the most iconic and the most hiked mountain in Indonesia
If trekking is your thing, you shouldn’t miss a visit to Mount Bromo. The mountain is situated in the province of East Java and is one of the active volcanoes in the country.
The best thing about this mountain is that a visit here is very easy and cheap. This is a perfect place for those nature lovers who love climbing mountains.
5. Jakarta, Java
Not everyone likes the city, but with many unique things to offer, I would still recommend exploring Jakarta. Jakarta is the capital and the largest city in the country and a historic mix of cultures – Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and European – has influenced its architecture, language and cuisine.
I would recommend visiting a few of the many impressive temples, the National Museum which boasts a collection of relics and remnants and the old town, Kota Tua which is home to Dutch colonial buildings, Glodok (Jakarta’s Chinatown) and the old port of Sunda Kelapa, where traditional wooden schooners dock.
6. Lake Tiga Warna, Flores island
Extensively known as one of the nine wonders of the world, Lake Tiga Warna is definitely one of the most scenic places to visit in Indonesia.
The volcano Kelimutu close to the small town of Moni in central Flores island in Indonesia is home to three lakes which lie next to each other with waters of different colours – the red lake called Ata Polo, a blue lake called Tiwu Ata Mbupu, and green lake called Tiwu Nua Muri Kooh Fai.
7. Bunaken Marine Park – the place to visit in Indonesia if you love diving
Situated in the province of North Sulawesi, Bunaken Marine Park is another spectacular place to do diving to see a rich water bottom part of the country. There are more than 20 diving spots that you are able to go to the park.
On top of the countless diving spots, Bunaken Marine Park also offers beautiful beaches for you to relax and experience some of the beauty that the country is famous for.
8. Tangkuban Perahu, Java
This is another mountain I would recommend visiting while you’re visiting Indonesia. It’s an interesting site which is famous for its unique inverted boat shape.
The panoramic sights of the mountain and the forests are also a very ethereally beautiful experience. This peaceful mountain exploded in 1969 and Kawah Ratu is the main hollow or the Queen’s crater.
9. Gili Islands, Lombok – a popular tropical paradise and dive site
If you are looking for the best of both worlds then look no further than the Gili Islands in Lombok. Fringed by white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, the composite of three beautiful and isolated islands namely Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan, and Gili Air boasts unique picturesque appeal.
In addition to adventure water activities such as snorkelling, diving, surfing, you can also go kayaking or watch fishes while riding a glass-bottom canoe. Alternatively, you can simply spend the day relaxing and the night partying.
10. Krakatau Volcano
Another major beautiful place in Indonesia is the wonderful Krakatau Volcano. This volcano exploded in the year 1883 and is one of the most tragic natural disasters in the world’s history.
The whole region surrounding the volcano was swamped in darkness. The volcano has vanished just right after it erupted which resulted in the formations of the little island around the area. Riding the boat to the volcano lets visitors have a closer glimpse to the volcano.
Indonesia is a traditionally rich country with a charming setting. The mainly Muslim country is a place where individuals from different religions and races co-exist. Cultural diversity makes it culturally and traditionally rich.
The friendly locals, yearlong festivals, and numerous tourist spots make the country a great destination for anyone to explore. It’s not surprising that travelers of any kind love visiting so much and a lot of them choose to go back.
11. Borobudur Temple – a stunning must-see attraction to explore in Indonesia
The Borobudur Temple is the world’s largest Buddhist sanctuary, and neither its religious significance nor its beauty and charm will cease to amaze you. With jungles, faraway hills, and ornate stone carvings, this structure is certainly a sight to behold.
Whether you’re there for the religious or cultural significance of the temple or simply because you love being in the middle of beautiful surroundings, your visit is certain not to disappoint.
The main statue is nothing short of amazing, but the entire location offers you a way to learn more about these temples and enjoy something unique.
12. Bukittinggi – the third-largest city in West Sumatra
Located in West Sumatra, the town offers tons of things for tourists to do, and since it is more than 3000 feet above sea level, beautiful mountain views are included in that. The town also offers WWII Japanese underground tunnels, a traditional market, and a majestic canyon named Sianok.
In addition to these things, Bukittinggi has a unique clock tower built in the 1920s and a hilltop fortress, so whether you visit it for its overall beauty or for all of the tourist attractions offering cultural and historical significance, you will not be disappointed in the end.
There is also little wonder why this town attracts so many tourists each and every year.
14. Dieng Plateau
Located at more than 6500 feet above sea level, this plateau truly offers something for everyone. You can enjoy mountain views of jungles and villages, not to mention a hot spring, a beautiful multi-colored lake, and ancient Hindu temples.
The plateau also hosts a festival once a year that allows you to enjoy various rituals, jazz music, and lots of unique performances, all of which are set in one of the most beautiful surroundings you’ve ever seen.
It is also one of the coolest places in all of Indonesia, making it a great place to visit for those who love perfect weather.
15. Komodo National Park – one of the best places to visit in Indonesia
Three islands make up this national park — the Komodo, Padar, and Rinca islands — and it is the place to be if you love Komodo dragons and other types of wildlife.
And if you climb to the top of the hill in Padar island, you get an outstanding view of three incredible bays, each one a bit more unique than the others.
Between the thriving underwater wildlife, the pink sandy beach at Komodo island, and the beautiful hills and coastlines to enjoy, you won’t get bored at this national park because it truly offers something for everyone.
16. Lake Toba – one of the most stunning places to visit in Indonesia
One of the many things that makes this lake so amazing is its size. It is nearly twice the size of Singapore and it is the largest lake in Indonesia. Best of all, you can view the lake from many different angles, thanks in part to its size.
It is surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful hills, and there is even a small island in the middle of it called Samosir. The villages close to the lake are amazing because they offer tons of sights with cultural significance.
Regardless of where you are when you view it, the view of the lake is absolutely stunning.
17. Raja Ampat – a scenic Indonesian archipelago
Clearly one of the most stunning places to visit in Indonesia, this tropical paradise boasts more than 500 species of coral, 1300 types of fish, and 700 species of mollusk.
It is a fairly remote location; therefore, its waters are perfect and gorgeous. Even though it is known for its amazing diving opportunities, it is also a great place to enjoy photography, bird-watching, and simply being on an outdoor adventure.
If you love the outdoors and especially beautiful and luxurious views, Raja Ampat is where you want to be.
18. Tana Toraja – a unique village to explore in Indonesia
At this highland off the beaten path place in South Sulawesi, you get beautiful mountains, lush tropical jungles, and quaint traditional homes to look at the entire time you’re there.
In addition to the stunning scenery, Tana Toraja offers beautiful hills and amazing villages that make it seem as if time has stood still.
Even though the area is known for its funeral traditions, which includes a fascinating burial cave, it is still a great place to visit when you want to enjoy both beauty and a taste of what the native culture is all about.
19. Tanjung Puting National Park
One of this park’s main attractions is an adorable baby orangutan that is witty enough to steal everyone’s heart, but it isn’t the only thing that makes the park memorable.
This is a mostly untouched area that allows you to get a taste of what this part of the world is truly like, including birds, morning fog, gushing rivers, a beautiful tropical forest, and fresh air that you can actually breathe.
If you’re in Indonesia and wish to experience something natural and relaxing, this is the perfect park to visit because it promises never to disappoint anyone.
20. Ubud – one of the most popular places to visit in Indonesia
The Ubud area is charming and is known for its magnificent art and culture. Consisting of lush tropical forests, relaxing rivers, and tons of other natural features, Ubud’s spectacular landscape is one that you will never forget.
Hilly and serene, the area is dotted with quaint homes and lots of greenery.
Whether you want to take a stroll, view its magnificent architectural wonders, or enjoy nature at its finest, Ubud is certain not to let you down. It even has various art galleries and live performances to enjoy when you’re not outside appreciating everything that the great outdoors has to offer.
21. Wae Rebo Village
Located in Flores, this village is absolutely charming and offers a very unique landscape that is filled with cone-shaped houses, beautiful mountains, unique wildlife, and lush green tropical areas.
Beautiful orchids complete the picturesque setting and make you want to stay there forever. It offers not only beauty but also a taste of what the local traditions are like.
In fact, you won’t be able to enjoy too many landscapes such as this anywhere in the world, making a visit there something that you’ll never regret. Enjoy Indonesia!
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Emma-Clair Ni Clearaigh – writer and photographer
With itchy feet, an inquisitive nature and an ardent wanderlust, Emma Clair has always been a traveller at heart. Hailing from the Emerald Isle she calls a small coastal town near Dublin home, but has lived in a few countries including Saigon, Vietnam where she resided for over a year, now she balances travel and travel writing with teaching and a passion for vintage interior design. She counts supping on Bloody Marys on a rooftop in Manhattan, downing Singapore slings at the Raffles Hotel, daring a paraglide on the Grand Cayman, spending an exotic Christmas in Malaysia and exploring the Angkor Wat, Cambodia as her all time favourite travel moments. Although, she’ll always have a special place in her heart for the city where she makes her annual pilgrimages – Paris, her true city of lights. Find Emma-Clair on Instagram or Facebook.