Must-Visit Attractions in Indonesia

W2A8XP Aerial view Banyak Islands Sumatra tropical archipelago Indonesia, coral reef beach turquoise water. Travel destination, diving snorkeling, uncontamin
W2A8XP Aerial view Banyak Islands Sumatra tropical archipelago Indonesia, coral reef beach turquoise water. Travel destination, diving snorkeling, uncontamin | © fabio lamanna / Alamy
Edira Putri

Gathering hundreds of cultures and ethnic groups into one, Indonesia is blessed with countless awe-inspiring attractions, from natural beauty to flourishing wildlife, ancient traditions to colonial ruins. Discover 20 must-visit attractions in Indonesia, the world’s biggest archipelago.

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Bromo

Natural Feature

Mount Bromo area, Java

This active volcano in East Java puts on a show every morning, when the glorious sun rises with the backdrop of the magnificent cone. Tourists can observe Bromo from the nearby Pananjakan, then head to Bromo itself and witness the beauty of its boiling crater.

Komodo Island

Park, Natural Feature

Pink beach, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Mostly inhabited by the ancient Komodo dragons, Komodo Island is an otherworldly place that shouldn’t be missed, considering its abundant population of the ancient species found only in five islands in Indonesia. Not only loved by the dragons, the stunning island is also cherished by tourists for its magnificent scenery, lush greenery and expansive, pristine coastlines.

Lengkuas Island

Natural Feature
A newfound tourist attraction, Lengkuas Island still has clear, virgin beaches decorated with smooth white sands and majestic granite boulders. It’s home to a towering lighthouse built during the Dutch colonial era, where tourists can enjoy 360-degree view of the whole island and the blue ocean around it.

Ijen Crater

Natural Feature
Ijen is an active (albeit quiet) volcano in East Java, and the Ijen Crater is its turquoise sulfur lake near the summit. Its mineral purity and surrounding volcano walls provide a surreal sight, especially at night, when the combustion of sulfuric gasses emerges as what’s known as the “blue fire” lighting up the sky.

Labuan Cermin

Natural Feature
This lake in East Kalimantan has water as clear as glass; so clear, in fact, that you can see your boat’s shadow on the lake bed. Tourists can also swim with hundreds of tropical fish and snorkel to enjoy the beauty of freshwater coral.

Raja Ampat

Natural Feature

© Jane Gould / Alamy Stock Photo

This world-famous island paradise is home to thousands of different species of coral, fish and mollusks. You don’t even have to descend underwater to be awe-inspired, as the view of tiny scattered islands in the clear blue ocean is unforgettable.

Borobudur

Archaeological site, Buddhist Temple

© Valery Bocman / Shutterstock

An enormous Buddhist temple complex from the 9th century packed with religious, cultural, historical and aesthetic charms. It’s certainly worth the adoration it receives, as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ubud

Natural Feature

Rice terrace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Home to the world’s friendliest and most creative people, Ubud also has some amazing natural beauties, including the famous Tegalalang rice terrace. A cultural and educational hub in tropical Bali, tourists can visit museums, temples, sign up for craft workshops, and more.

Bunaken National Park

Park
One of the archipelago’s richest diving sites is off the shore of Manado, North Sulawesi. The Bunaken National Park is located at the heart of the Coral Triangle. Encounter hundreds of marine species with a magnificent backdrop of small islands and the magnificent Manado Tua mountain island.

Flores

Natural Feature

Wae Rebo Village in Flores, Indonesia

The small island in East Nusa Tenggara has the whole package: breath-taking nature, flourishing wildlife and exotic culture. The Wae Rebo Village, with its iconic traditional houses, and the Kelimutu Lake are among the most popular destinations on the island.

Toba Lake

Natural Feature
Toba Lake is Indonesia’s biggest lake and arguably one of the most beautiful — it even has an island in it. Being a volcanic lake, Toba is surrounded by wonderful mountains and lush greenery, adding beauty to the brilliant blue body of water.

Mount Rinjani

Natural Feature

Panorama view of volcano mountain Rinjani of Indonesia.

The second-highest volcano in Indonesia reserves its beauty for the most adventurous tourists. At its summit, Mount Rinjani has a stunning crater as blue as the sea. The caldera was formed by eruptions, and is considered sacred by locals, so many religious rituals are performed there.

Tana Toraja

Natural Feature

Green and brown rice terrace fields in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi

Home to the Toraja indigenous tribe who live mostly in their traditional ways, Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi offers a glimpse into these people’s ancient traditions and practices, including the famous tradition of walking of dead bodies. The backdrop of majestic mountains and the tribe’s iconic traditional houses is also impressive.

Derawan Islands

Natural Feature

Free dive at Derawan, Borneo, Indonesia

Comprising six staggering islands each with their own charm, the Derawan Islands are a less crowded and more pristine alternative to mainstream island destinations like the Gili Islands near Bali. Maratua Island, for example, has wonderful sea caves, lakes, and gorgeous resorts. Kakaban Island has a lake full of stingless jellyfish tourists can swim in.

Tanjung Puting National Park

Natural Feature
This natural park in Central Kalimantan (Borneo) includes dry lands, forest, swamps, mangrove, and coastal beach forest, and is home to various wildlife, including the protected Orangutan. It’s arguably the best place in Indonesia to learn about primates and wildlife, or to simply enjoy the tropical atmosphere in its most natural state.

Wakatobi National Park

Park, Natural Feature
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, this marine park sustains the life of hundreds of species, from coral reefs and fish to sea birds. It’s also a world-famous diving site. The park includes four main islands, with historical ruins, old villages and various ancient traditions.

Ora Beach

Natural Feature
This remote beach in Seram Island, Maluku, is known for its tranquil clear water that hides wonderful coral reefs and exotic fish. Mountains surround the pristine beach, which now houses seafront resorts from which to directly plunge into the translucent water.

Dieng Plateau

Natural Feature

Lake Telaga Menjer, Dieng Plateau, Wonosobo

Located on the heights of the Dieng Volcanic Complex in Central Java, the Dieng Plateau isn’t only cherished for the magnificent, unrestricted view of the cities and fields below and the volcanoes nearby. Centuries ago, the Javanese established the location as a sacred place and built hundreds of temples there, eight of which still stand now.

Uluwatu

Hindu Temple
One of the most popular neighborhoods in Bali, Uluwatu is packed with unmissable attractions, from surfer’s paradise beaches to sacred sea temples up the hill. Other than being naturally and architecturally beautiful, the Uluwatu Temple hosts regular traditional dance and drama performances held during sunset hours.

Togean Islands

Natural Feature
Located in the less-traveled Gorontalo Province in East Indonesia, the Togean Islands presents exotic species and scenery in their most pristine state. Coral reefs, fish, turtles, sharks and enormous coconut crabs are among the tropical animals tourists can encounter here. On land, the islands charm with lush vegetation, attractive resorts and stunning jetties. The indigenous inhabitants of the island are known as the Bajo, or sea gypsies.

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