A Travel Guide to Indonesia's Best Islands
Indonesia is the world’s biggest archipelago with over 3.500 islands. This country is stunning and by visiting you get a sneak peek into Indonesian culture, the mix of tradition, religion, customs, rich wildlife, and delicious local food.
There are so many amazing places to visit in Indonesia and you really could spend months exploring the country and still not see everything.
You could plan a trip independently and go backpacking on public transport, book a tour or take a short break to get a taste for the country. Or if you would like something a bit more lavish you could book a luxury Indonesian cruise that will take you on an unforgettable holiday, filled with adventures, new things, and of course- delicious local food.
Here our our top picks for the best islands to visit in Indonesia.
This may sound a bit cliche, but everyone wants to visit Bali at least once in their lifetime. It is the perfect romantic or friendly getaway, for people that like crowds and spending a great time. Bali is crowded throughout the year unlike the rest of the islands, so if you want some peace and quiet, you might want to visit it shortly before continuing your journey.
There are white sand beaches that never end, and you can find yourself a spot there and relax all day, sunbathing and swimming in the ocean. You’ll get that caramel tan you’ve always dreamed of, and you’ll be well-rested for the rest of your trip. There are also some adrenaline-friendly beaches where you can surf and jump off some high cliffs.
Lombok is incredibly similar to Bali, but without the crowd, so if you’re looking for an intimate romantic getaway, you can spend a really nice time here. There are tons of beaches, some of which offer you great privacy. Again, for the adrenaline seekers, there always will be some incredible hiking trails and big waves to be tamed. The locals are really friendly people, and the food they prepare will tickle your taste buds, leaving you craving for more.
3. Gili Islands
Turquoise sea, palm trees, warm sand… what more can you possibly want? The three Gili islands offer you fun, privacy, time off for you to recharge your batteries, and some incredible nightlife. The best of all is that you can visit them in the matter of one day since they are close to one another. Just because they are close, that doesn’t mean they are similar to one another. One of them is incredibly peaceful and quiet. The second one offers you a great night out, while the third one offers you the adrenaline rush of your lifetime.
The word means flower in Spanish, and we can clearly see the resemblance. Flores is the most beautiful island of them all, and it offers you plenty to see and experience. On this island, you can live with the locals and work side by side with them, they are used to having tourists throughout the year, so they are really pleasant and friendly. Even though you might come to a language barrier, after a while, you’ll see that you understand each other perfectly. Those several days that you’ll spend with them will be stuck in your mind forever, and you’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
If you have more time free to explore Indonesia then these islands are also highly recommended to add to your Indonesia travel itinerary:
- Ternate Island
- Wakatobi Islands
- Bangka-Belitung Islands
- Banda Islands
- Raja Ampat Islands
The Best Time to Visit Indonesia
The best time to visit Indonesia is between April and December. The weather is perfect for diving, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Indonesia is close to Ecuador, which means that it’s warm all throughout the year, but between December and April there are frequent showers and the weather is quite humid.
Even though the rain might ruin your plans for going to the beach, it will relax you and bring you some relief from the heat. If you visit during the rainy season, you’ll get the opportunity to see the temples being completely quiet, with the monks inside them, but without the usual crowd.
Things to Do
Indonesia is a travellers paradise with so many amazing activiites.
We recommend going scuba diving or snorkeling here, you’ll be able to see the rich wildlife that is underwater. There is plenty of fish that are all kinds of colors, so you better bring your goggles with you. Also, on your tour, you’ll be able to see the Komodo dragon. It’s one of the biggest lizards on the planet and it can be incredibly dangerous, so follow your tour guide’s advice and you’ll be safe.
If you enjoy hiking or trekking, there are lots of tours of Indonesia where you can explore nature and new places, you’ll see that Indonesia has plenty to offer. During trips, you might stop frequently to take pictures or simply wow yourself with the beautiful scenery around you. Some trips take you far away from the crowds and closer to real local Indonesia.
Did we mention that you get the opportunity to get one step closer to the locals and actually live and work side by side with them? You could apply to volunteer in Indonesia and help good local causes.
Every once in a while, you’ll get to visit a country that is perfect for relaxation, nature an exploring. Make sure to enjoy those moments, because once you get back, you’ll be restless, wanting to go back. Before departing, be sure to check out some important things to know before you travel to Indonesia, which can make your trip extra special.