The 25 best places to visit in Indonesia

 

At the very north eastern tip of the island of Sulawesi in the city of Manado is the statue of Christ Blessing. Built in 2010, the entire structure stands at 50 metes (158 ft) high, with the statue itself standing 30 metres (98.5 ft) tall it is one of the largest statues of Jesus Christ on the planet.

25. Christ Blessing

 

On the south eastern coast of the island of Lombok is the Pantai Tangsi, translated as the Pink Beach. The white sand mixes with fragments of the pink coral reefs and gives the beach it's distinct colouration, making it one of only seven pink beaches on the planet.

24. Pantai Tangsi

 

On the island of Java, in the Special Region of Yogyakarta is a system of caves known as the Goa Jomblang. Formed through thousands of years of erosion from underground rivers and rainwater, the karst rock has given way to huge tunnels and sinkholes. The highlight of the system is the Goa Grubug, an enormous cave where on the right day sunlight pours through the opening in the roof to incredible effect.

23. Goa Jomblang

 

At the north eastern end of the island of Java is Baluran National Park, named after the 1,247 metre (4,091 ft) extinct volcano, Mount Baluran. Covering an area of 250 square kilometres (97 square miles), the dry savannas, the mangrove and lowland forests are reminiscent of landscapes found in Africa, especially with the abundance of animal life that includes 26 different species of mammal.

22. Baluran National Park

 

To the north west of the island of Lombok is an archipelago of three smaller islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno & Gili Air, home to some of the most idyllic coastline anywhere in the country. With only a few low level resorts, small huts and the lack of any motor vehicles, the Gili Islands allow visitors to get away from the world for a while.

21. The Gili Islands

 

Built in the 8th century on what is now the border of Java and the Special Region of Yogyakarta stands the remains of the second largest Buddhist Temple complex in Indonesia. The site consists of 249 buildings as well as 240 smaller temple buildings adorned with what is left of it's statues and decorative motifs. The main temple of the complex is the Candi Sewu, a large ancient structure with a stupa reaching 30 metres (98 ft) high.

Pictured is the Candi Sewu.

20. Sewu Temple Complex

 

Near the south coast of Western Java is the Green Canyon, believed to have been named after the colour of the water as well as the green vegetation surroundings. To reach the canyon visitors must take a 30-40 minute boat ride downriver before swimming a short distance beyond where the boat can enter. Between the steep cliffs the green river flows, water falls from the high green jungle above and stalactites and stalagmites form interesting shapes on the cliff faces.

19. Cukang Taneuh

 

At the south western end of the island of Sulawesi, a short distance from the city of Makassar is Indonesia's answer to a miniature Halong Bay, the village of Rammang Rammang. This relatively unknown tourist destination is sure to be a favourite in years to come thanks to it's natural beauty and impressive rock formations.

18. Rammang Rammang

 

On the little island of Pelau Belitung in the Java Sea between Sumatra and Borneo is one of the strangest landscapes in Indonesia, the Danau Kaolin, also called the 'White Crater Lake'. Unfortunately the site is not a natural construction, instead it is an abandoned mine. That said, the land has not been contaminated and the water that created the artificial lake was deposited from rainwater, meaning that unlike most of the crater lakes in the region the Danau Kaolin is devoid of Sulphur and any Sulphuric smell. The clear water illuminated by the light against the white surrounds gives it a bright blue colour, giving the location an almost other world feel.

17. Danau Kaolin

 

In northern Sumatra at an elevation of 900 metres (2,953 ft) above sea level occupying the caldera of a super volcano, Lake Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia and the largest volcanic lake in the world. Undoubtedly beautiful, surrounded as it is by steep mountains and smoking volcanoes, Lake Toba also boasts an incredible back story.

Some 60 to 70 thousand years ago Lake Toba was the site of a massive supervolcanic eruption. It is the largest known explosive eruption in the last 25 million years and represented a climate changing event. Having killed most humans living at the time, it affected the genetic make up of the human population worldwide.

16. Lake Toba

 

Formed in 1927 in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra is the small volcanic island of Anak Krakatau, the site of one of the most famous volcanic eruptions on the planet. In 1883 a cataclysmic eruption unleashed huge tsunamis and destroyed over two thirds of the island. The explosion is considered to be the loudest sound in modern history having been heard up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from the point of origin. Growing at a rate of nearly 7 metres a year in a state of continuous eruption, Anak Krakatau can only be viewed by visitors from outside the 3 kilometre exclusion zone surrounding the islands.

15. Anak Krakatau

 

At the centre of the island of Java is the incredible landscape of the Dieng Plateau, at a height of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) above sea level it forms the floor of the Dieng Volcanic Caldera Complex. With it's high mountains, volcanic craters, sulphuric waters and large forests the area provides visitors with some truly mesmerising scenery.

Pictured is the Telaga Warna, 'The Colour Changing Lake'.

14. Dieng Plateau

 

In western Java south of the capital, Jakarta, is the Kawah Putih or White Crater, a volcanic crater lake upon the twin stratovolcano of Mount Patuha. The lake is situated 2,430 metres (7,972 ft) above sea level with high levels of acid allowing it to change colour from bluish to whitish green or brown depending on the Sulphur content. Similar to the Danau Kaolin with it's white alien like landscape, the Kawah Putih is another incredible sight.

13. Kawah Putih

 

In central Java just north of the Special Region of Yogyakarta is the 3,145 metre (10,318 ft) high stratovolcano of Mount Merbabu, the centre of the national park named after it. In an area of equally high volcanoes and enormous valleys, whether viewing Mount Merbabu from another peak or looking out from it's own peak, visitors will be met with one of the most incredible vistas in the region.

Pictured is Mount Merapi as viewed from Mount Merbabu.

12. Gunung Merbabu National Park

 

Between the islands of Java and Lombok is probably the most famous and well trodden tourist destination in Indonesia, the island of Bali. Despite visitors from all over the world pouring in, this paradise island still holds some of the countries best nightlife, some of it finest beaches, tranquil beauty spots such as Ubud, the famous temples of Tanah Lot and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and incredible volcanic landscapes like those that surround the active Mount Batur.

Pictured is the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Water Temple.

11. Bali

 

In southern Kalimantan, the name given to the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo is the Tanjung Puting National Park, a 4,150 square kilometre (1,600 square mile) area of protected land, most famous for it's orangutan conservation. Though orangutans can be found elsewhere within the country, the Tanjung Puting is an excellent place to see them in the wild and also from the rehabilitation centre where orphaned and formerly captive orangutans are trained to live in the wild. For visitors that tour the park by river boats there is also the chance to see gibbons, proboscis monkeys, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, wild boars, crocodiles, pythons and an abundance of bird life.

10. Tanjung Puting National Park

 

In the east of what comprises Indonesian waters, off the island of New Guinea is an archipelago of over 15,000 islands, shoals and cays known as the Raja Ampat Islands. Part of the Coral Triangle, the area is considered the richest coral reef ecosystem on the planet. Whether for diving or for island hopping this remote and relatively undisturbed part of Indonesia is one of the most incredible destinations both above and below the waves.

9. Raja Ampat Islands

 

Built in the 9th century on what is now the border of Java and the Special Region of Yogyakarta, a stones throw the Sewu Temple Complex, is the Hindu Temple compound of Prambanan, the largest Hindu temple in the country and one of the largest in South East Asia. Surrounded by a large complex of other individual decorated temples, the central building stands at 47 metres (154 ft) high. The 240 ancient buildings of the Prambanan Temple Compound have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

8. Prambanan

 

On the island of Flores is the Kelimutu Volcano, standing at a whopping  1,639 metre (5,377 ft) above sea level. At it's peak are three crater lakes, The Lake Of Young Men & Maidens, The Lake Of Old People and the Bewitched Or Enchanted Lake, famed for their ever changing colours. The altering of volcanic gases, rainfall, groundwater and other volcanic elements have contributed to the colour change, which have been recorded changing up to six times a year from varying degrees of blue, green and even shades of red. A must for anyone visiting the island of Flores.

7. Kelimutu Crater Lakes

 

In the extreme east of Indonesia, in Papau, western New Guinea is a 25,000 square kilometre (9,674 square mile) area of protected land known as Lorentz National Park. It is the largest national park in South East Asia, and one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet, ranging from marine areas, freshwater swamp forests, lowland and mountain forests, alpine tundras, mangroves and equatorial glaciers. With areas still unmapped and unexplored this enormous and intriguing national park could still hold some incredible secrets. The entire park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pictured is the Puncak Jaya, at 4,884 metres (16,023 ft) above sea level it is the tallest mountain between the Himalayas and the Andes, the highest island peak in the world and one of the 'Seven Peaks' of our Planet.

6. Lorentz National Park

 

At the eastern end of the island of Java is the Ijen Volcano Complex, sitting within the 20 kilometre wide Ijen Caldera. It's highest peak is the Gunung Merapi, meaning Mountain Of Fire, standing at 2,799 metres (9,183 ft) above sea level. The real draw for visitors is the Ijen Volcano itself, which has a one kilometre wide turquoise coloured crater lake at it's summit. A 3 hour midnight hike will give visitors the chance to witness something truly incredible, something called The Electric Blue Flame of Ijen. Escaping sulphuric gases emerge through cracks in the rock at temperatures reaching 1,112 Fahrenheit (600 Celsius) igniting on contact with the air throwing blue flames up to 5 metres (16ft) high.

5. Ijen

 

Between the larger islands of West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara are 29 smaller islands that make up Komodo National Park, the most famous of which are Padar, Rinca and Komodo itself. Created to protect the worlds largest lizard, the Komodo Dragon, it also protects other species, including the Coral Triangle, one of the richest coral reef ecosystems on the planet. Considered one of the wonders of nature, the park has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Komodo National Park

 

Built in the 9th century on what is now the border of Java and the Special Region Of Yogyakarta is the worlds largest Buddhist Temple, and one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in history, Borobudur. The nine platforms of the temple are decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 individual Buddha statues, the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs anywhere. Still a location for Buddhist pilgrimage to this day, Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of incredible historical and architectural value.

3. Borobudur

 

In eastern Java, covering an area of 502 square kilometres (194 square miles) is the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, named after three volcanoes within it's boundaries. At a height of 2,100 metres (6,900 ft) above sea level within the caldera of the ancient Tengger volcano, four new volcanic cones have emerged, including mount Semeru, at 3,676 metres (12,060 ft) above sea level it is Java's highest point. From the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang visitors can trek their way into the national park and gaze at one of the parks, and one of countries most striking sights, the coned volcano of Mount Bromo in front of Mount Semeru.

Pictured from the view point of Mount Penanjakan.

2. Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

 

On the island of Lombok, named after the 3,726 metre (12,224 ft) high volcano of Mount Rinjani is the Gunung Rinjani National Park. Encompassing a huge forested area, the most prominent feature of the park is undoubtedly the active volcano of Mount Rinjani itself, at it's peak a picturesque caldera is partially filled with a crescent shaped crater lake around a smaller volcanic cone. Considered one of the greatest trekking experiences on Earth, the three day hike will take visitors up into the caldera with an option to wake at 3am on the second night to hike to the highest point for sunrise. It is without argument one of the most wondrous natural sights in the world.

1. Gunung Rinjani National Park

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