20 Must-Visit Attractions in Indonesia

Togean Islands, Indonesia | © Jelle Visser/Flickr
Togean Islands, Indonesia | © Jelle Visser/Flickr
Photo of Edira Putri
19 June 2017

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.

Bromo

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.

Mount Bromo, East Java | © Frank Douwes/Flickr

Komodo Island

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.

Komodo Island | © Adhi Rachdian/Flickr

Lengkuas Island

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.

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Ijen Crater

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.

Blue fire of Ijen Crater | © Dodi Mulyana/Flickr

Labuan Cermin

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.

Surga dunia#labuancermin#kuy

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Raja Ampat

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.

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Happy earth day 🌏❤️, from Raja Ampat-Indonesia | @journesia

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Borobudur

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.

Borobudur Temple | © Justine Hong/Flickr

Flores

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.

Mount Rinjani

Natural Feature
Map View
Panorama view of volcano mountain Rinjani of Indonesia.
Panorama view of volcano mountain Rinjani of Indonesia. | © This road is mine / Shutterstock
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
Map View
Green and brown rice terrace fields in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi
Green and brown rice terrace fields in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi | © Hans Gert Broeder / Alamy Stock Photo
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
Map View
Free dive at Derawan, Borneo, Indonesia
Free dive at Derawan, Borneo, Indonesia | © Misbachul Munir / Shutterstock
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

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.

Orangutans at Tanjung Puting | © Megan Coughlin/Flickr

Wakatobi National Park

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.

Wakatobi National Park | © q phia/Flickr

Dieng Plateau

Natural Feature
Map View
Lake Telaga Menjer, Dieng Plateau, Wonosobo
Lake Telaga Menjer, Dieng Plateau, Wonosobo | © Mulawardi Sutanto / Alamy Stock Photo
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.

Togean Islands

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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