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The 5 wonders of Indonesia that you need to experience

Indonesia is an incredibly diverse and beautiful country. It has buzzing cities, paradise beaches and some of the most stunning scenery on earth. Here we show you exactly why you need to visit, and what to do to see the best of it:

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There are too many reasons to mention why you should visit Indonesia (other than direct, cheap flights!), so we’ve broken it down into a simple 5:

  • Adventurous wonders – whether you’re looking to scuba dive a shipwreck or hike in the mountains, there’s plenty of adventures in Indonesia to keep you on your toes
  • Sensory wonders – if eating good food or taking a yoga class is all part of a great vacation for you, this is the place to go
  • Natural wonders – with its beaches, volcanoes and second-to-none marine life, Indonesia’s natural wonders are practically unrivaled
  • Modern wonders – explore Indonesia’s modern cities with their world class restaurants and luxury hotels
  • Cultural wonders – there are lots of ancient temples and festivals all around Indonesia so wherever or whenever you go, you’ll get your culture fix

Read more: Vacation experiences you can only have in Indonesia

Indonesia has some of the world’s most beautiful scenery

Adventurous wonders of Indonesia 🐠

Go scuba diving

Indonesia has some of the best dive sites in the world. The Raja Ampat islands offer something for all abilities with wrecks, corals and shore dives. There’s also hundreds of other dive spots around the country’s other islands where new species are only just being discovered. Weda Bay near Raja Ampat, for example, offers the chance to dive with dolphins, sharks and pygmy seahorses. Or go to Pombo Island Marine Recreation Park to explore 1,000 hectares of sand and sea.

Read more: 10 best places in the world to snorkel

Take a hike

If lounging on a beach or taking to the sea isn’t your thing, consider taking on one of Indonesia’s incredible hikes. You could climb the stairs to see the turquoise waters inside the Mount Kelimutu volcano crater (this is more of a climb than a hike), or trek through the mountains of Baliem Valley. The country’s varied landscape – mountains, jungles and islands – make it the perfect walking destination.

Go surfing

Indonesia is great for those who like to be on the water as well as under it. There are popular surfing beaches – including some that hold annual international competitions – scattered throughout the country. Surfing in Bali is always fun with lots of affordable beachside hotels offering lessons, and arguably some of the world’s best surfing beaches can be found in Lombok (Gili Air, in particular) and Nusa Lembongan.

Read more about finding the cheapest flights to Lombok here.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia, offers some of the best scuba diving in the world

Sensory wonders of Indonesia🧘‍♀️

Wellness retreats

Going on a wellness retreat in Bali is good for the mind, body and soul. Even if you don’t fancy the full five-day silent retreat, lots of the smaller Bali hotels offer yoga and/or meditation classes, massages and wellness packages. You’ll eat and drink the best fresh produce the islands have to offer and feel totally refreshed once your vacation is over.

Eat your way around Indonesia

Ok, so you don’t need to visit all of Indonesia to understand just how good its food is. If you’re landing in Jakarta, spend at least a few days flavoring its incredible street food or treating yourself to a meal at one of its top restaurants. If you’re heading to Bali, you’re also in for a treat. Home to stunning restaurants such as Swept Away and Ju-Ma-Na where you’ll eat like a king.

Go swinging in Bali

This is one of the newer sensory delights that has emerged recently, and is not for the faint hearted! Bali is now home to a number of huge swings (as in the playpark variety) which are an Instagrammers dream. Some of the favorites are at Alas Harum, and the Bali Swing adventure and leisure park, but there’s plenty more to choose from.

One of the incredible swings in Ubud, Bali

Natural wonders of Indonesia 🌋

Visit the Komodo dragons

The best place to see these huge lizards is at the Komodo National Park, a short flight from Bali. They are virtually synonymous with Indonesia and by far one of its best natural wonders. They’re not particularly friendly though so we recommend you hire a guide to help spot them, and to keep you safe.

Witness an unforgettable sunrise

One of the most famous sunrises in Indonesia is the one you see from the peak of Mount Batur in Bali (we know it’s the same sun everywhere, but you know what we mean!). The views from the top of the volcano are stunning and absolutely worth the early start.

Discover world class beaches

If there’s one thing Indonesia has in bucket loads, it’s beaches (and islands). You’ll be able to find a beach virtually anywhere you travel in Indonesia. If you want to tick off some of its most famous, head to the Komodo National Park to see the ‘Pink beach‘, where the sand has a pinkish hue due to the coral in the sea. There’s also Sawarna Beach in south Java which is popular with surfers and Nyang Nyang Beach in Bali.

The ‘Pink beach’ in Bali

Modern wonders of Indonesia 🌇

Explore Indonesia’s cities

As far as capital cities go, Jakarta is up there with the liveliest! It’s the political and financial center of the country and as such, has a huge selection of five star hotels, world-class museums, Michelin-starred restaurants, designer boutiques and mega malls.

There’s also Yogyakarta, one of the most popular places to visit in all of Indonesia. It has some wonderful markets, hotels and restaurants, and is a very easy city to explore. You should make an effort to seek out its famous silversmiths and those performing the famous Batik fabric dyeing process.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Cultural wonders of Indonesia 🏯

Visit Indonesia’s temples

Few places can rival Indonesia when it comes to temples. It’s home to some of the most stunning ancient compounds, many of them dating back to the 8th Century. One of the most famous is the Borobudur Temple Compounds near Yogyakarta city. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular temples to visit in Indonesia. Other incredible temples include the Ratu Boko in Java and the Prambanan Hindu temple.

Festivals in Indonesia 

Whichever month you visit Indonesia, you’ll likely find it celebrating or marking one of its many, many annual festivals. Some of the most famous festivals in the country include the Rambu Solo Ceremony (the Toraja Funeral Ceremony, in the summer) and the Nyepi (Balinese New Year). There are also some excellent newer festivals showcasing the best arts and culture in modern Indonesia.

The annual Jogja International Street Performance festival puts on dance and music performances across Yogyakarta with performers from across the world. Jakarta also hosts an annual Jakarta Fashion & Food Fest which is growing year to year.

Borobudur Temple Compound, Indonesia

How much are flights to Indonesia?

It depends what airport you’re flying from and where you want to get to. Use our Best Time to Book data to find how early you should book flights to Indonesia to get the best deal, and information on the cheapest time to fly.

By searching flights to ‘Indonesia’ and using ‘Cheapest Month’ in the date box, we can show the cheapest flights from the UAE to Indonesia across a whole year.

Read more: how to find the best cheap flights to Indonesia

To help plan your perfect Indonesia trip, read this: Cheap flights to Indonesia: to flight deals to Bali, Jakarta and more

*This article was published October 2019. Information and prices correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.