The largest archipelago on Earth, Indonesia is a fascinating country to explore that has a staggering array of customs, cuisines and cultures for visitors to delve into. While its teeming cities and towns bustle with life, secluded beaches, lush rainforests, and stupendous natural sights never lie far away.
Located in Southeast Asia, the Emerald of the Equator lies in between the Indian and Pacific oceans and shares land borders with Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor. Sprawling across a huge area, it encompasses some 17,000 islands, the largest of which are Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and New Guinea. As well as boasting vast swathes of untouched wilderness, Indonesia also contains lots of dense jungle, soaring volcanoes and an almost endless number of beautiful beaches.
One of the largest cities in the world, its chaotic capital Jakarta is a congested, concrete-clad place that nonetheless has some brilliant shopping, dining, and nightlife to enjoy. After its museums, malls, and enticing mix of cultures, the seaport of Surabaya and highland university town of Bandung are two of the country’s largest and liveliest destinations.
Most people however prefer instead to head to the idyllic island of Bali which is renowned for its lovely beaches, laidback atmosphere, and lush rice paddies. While both Ubud’s temples and caves and Kuta’s nightclubs and surf clubs understandably attract lots of visitors, the unspoiled Lombok is an increasingly popular alternative to Bali thanks to its outstanding beaches, volcanoes and waterfalls and the gorgeous Gili Islands.
As it is the artistic and cultural heart of Java, the bustling town of Yogyakarta is not to be missed out on with the incredible temple complexes of Borobodur and Prambanan also lying nearby. Komodo National Park is another hugely popular draw thanks to its remarkable monitor lizards while some unforgettable hiking and exciting outdoor adventure activities can be had all around the enormous archipelago’s islands, volcanoes, and rainforests.