The sprawling archipelago of Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands, 300 ethnicities and countless idyllic landscapes, making it ever-intriguing to explore. From majestic mountains to glorious temples, discover the most beautiful places in the country.
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See this country’s beauty for yourself on our expansive 12-day trip in Bali, where you’ll surf, snorkel and hike, while also checking out majestic temples and nearby islands.
With an incredibly lively underwater scene, this tropical paradise is home to more than 530 species of coral, 700 species of mollusk and 1,300 types of fish. Despite the magnetism of exotic species and a breathtaking island view, Raja Ampat remains largely pristine, largely thanks to the remote location. More than just a divers’ paradise, Raja Ampat is also unforgettable for birdwatchers, photographers and adventurers. Hell, even if you just long for a luxury vacation with an amazing view, you’ll have a great time.
Considered the art and culture capital of Bali, Ubud charms with elegant art galleries and lively traditional performances. It’s also a beautiful neighborhood: the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, for example, is a must-visit spot while in Bali. The lush jungles and calming rivers have also provided many wellness retreats with a serene atmosphere. Even a casual stroll or meal in this locality could easily come with a lovely view of nature or architecture.
For island bliss with plenty of blonde sand beaches, our 10-day tour of Southern Thailand should float your boat. You’ll hop from Phuket to Hong Island, and Koh Yao Yai, with wildlife-watching, mangrove kayaking and blue water snorkelling along the way.
Toba is not only the biggest lake in the country; it could be the most beautiful. Almost twice the size of Singapore, there are so many viewpoints from which you can enjoy this volcanic lake, surrounded by hills and lush greenery. Make sure you visit Samosir, the charming island in the middle of the lake. Then, in the nearby villages, you can also explore the fascinating Batak culture.
Tanjung Puting National Park is a vast, mostly untouched tropical jungle. Visit it to indulge in heavenly fresh air, mystical morning fog and rivers gushing. Still not sold? It’s also home to the wild orangutan, the adorable primate that steals the hearts of many with its loveliness and wit.
On Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the beaches are blindingly white, the sea luminous blue and the lifestyle as laid-back as a sun bed. Soak it up on our epic eight-day tour of the area, from Cartagena to the Rosario Islands.
Located off the coast of mainland Sumatra, Bangka Belitung Island is famed for its idyllic beaches with blissful white sand, iconic granite boulders, and palm trees. But beyond the translucent water and hypnotizing sunsets, the locality is also home to impressive cultural and historical landmarks—many of which are heritage buildings from the colonial era—that suit the charming natural view. From this archipelago, tourists can also venture to the surrounding smaller inhabited islands for even more pristine natural beauty.
The unique charm of this village in Flores has earned it more and more recognition worldwide. The cone-shaped houses align beautifully against the backdrop of mountains and mist; they’re adored by domestic and international tourists alike. Don’t miss the surrounding nature either, with thriving orchids, wildlife and tropical greeneries all nearby.
Sometimes dubbed The Maldives of Bali, this string of three islands off the coast of Bali is an up-and-coming tropical paradise with natural attractions that many would argue outshine the famed mainland. Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan each have their own specialty, but all three offer a splendid underwater scene. There’s always thriving wildlife and translucent water all around – perfect for diving, snorkeling or water sports. Other favourite activities include cliff-jumping in Nusa Ceningan, crossing the yellow bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, caving and hiking.
This charming town in West Sumatra is at the forefront of tourism in the province. At 930m (3,051ft) above sea level, it has a glorious highland view and crisp air. Popular destinations include the majestic Sianok Canyon, Japanese WWII tunnels, hilltop fortress Fort de Kock, Pasar Atas market and Jam Gadang clock tower, which was built during the colonial era in 1926.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Sarine Arslanian.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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