Smouldering volcanic sunrises, inexplicable temples and tropical rainforest where orang-utans lurk
Indonesia is located on a hotspot of tectonic activity in the Pacific Ocean, with 129 resulting volcanoes, known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Travel to the lush islands of Java and Lombok – where you’ll summit Mount Rinjani –seeing spectacular sunrises, ancient temples and wandering through local villages along the way. On holidays here, you’ll also explore the archipelago’s fascinating customs and culture. With a population of around 238 million people, it is the world’s fourth most populous country, and across its many islands Indonesia comprises distinct ethnic, linguistic and religious groups.
Indonesia holidays also offer up white palm-fringed beaches, verdant rainforests, exotic wildlife – including orang-utans – and a certain sense of Zen. You’ll come across impressive Hindu temples, stunning rice terraces – the result of more than 2000 years of cultural exchange between India and South East Asia – and Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Bali: Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali tops the list of Indonesia’s highlights with its heavenly scenery, vibrant culture and luxurious resorts. From the iconic rice terraces of Tegalalang to the beautiful beaches of Kuta and Seminyak, Bali offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Explore Ubud, the spiritual and artistic heart of the island, where you can immerse yourself in traditional Balinese arts, visit ancient temples and watch a traditional Legong Balinese performance.
Komodo National Park: Nature and wildlife lovers will be in their element at Komodo National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the Lesser Sunda Islands and is home to the famous Komodo dragons, the world’s largest species of lizard. Embark on a boat tour to explore the stunning landscapes, snorkel in pristine coral reefs and witness the awe-inspiring sight of these prehistoric creatures in their natural habitat.
Mount Batur: Located in Bali, Mount Batur is an active volcano that rises 1,717 metres above sea level and offers breathtaking views and thrilling hiking experiences. The volcano last erupted in 2000, leaving an imposing caldera in its wake. The sunrise trek is a popular activity, where visitors on Indonesia tours can witness stunning vistas of Mount Abang and Mount Agung while soaking up the tranquil beauty of the surrounding landscape. The nearby Lake Batur adds to the allure, creating a beautiful backdrop.
Ponjok Batu Temple: This unique temple complex made from black rock is known locally for its cultural and historical importance. The temple is shrouded in myths and legends, which adds to its mystery and charm. Standing majestically overlooking the ocean, Ponjok Batu offers striking views. Because its unusual shape resembles a peninsula, it was dubbed Ponjok by the local people.
Gunung Kawi Temple: This remarkable archaeological site dates back to the 11th century and is made up of 10 ancient shrines (candi) that are carved into the rock face, each reaching around seven metres in height. These beautifully carved monuments are dedicated to King Anak Wungsu and his queens, serving as their final resting place, and are definitely worth seeing on Indonesia tours. You can explore the intricately detailed carvings of gods, demons and mythological creatures that depict tales of ancient times.
Expert opinion: Mount Bromo
This explosive volcano in East Java is the active cone inside the giant Tengger caldera, one of the area’s most jaw-dropping destinations, and an absolute must-see on Indonesia tours.
“There are sunrise views and then there’s watching the sun rise over Mount Bromo. As the day breaks, the otherworldly peaks of Mount Bromo and Batok rise from the crater floor with Mount Senaru in the background, often reaching out from a sea of clouds with plumes of smoke drifting towards the brightening sky. The brutality of active volcanoes intertwined with the serenity of the rising sun is truly awe-inspiring.”
Exodus Expert Tom Harari. Read more from our experts here.
What are the best places to visit on an Indonesia tour?
Indonesia is known for its rich culture, diverse landscapes and warm hospitality. One of the best places to visit in Indonesia is Bali, famous for its stunning beaches, lush rice terraces and vibrant nightlife. Other must-visit destinations include the vibrant town of Ubud, Bhrama Arama Vihara monastery and the Banjar Hot Springs. For nature lovers, head to the spectacular Komodo National Park, a natural paradise and home to the awesome Komodo dragons which you can witness in their natural habitat.
What is the best time to visit Indonesia?
Indonesia experiences a tropical climate, so it’s generally warm throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is during the dry season, which varies across different regions but typically falls between April and October. Temperatures can reach up to around 33ºC and the evenings remain warm. If you’re visiting the mountainous regions, you’ll find the temperatures tend to be much cooler. Although you should expect rain at any time of year, heavier downpours usually occur between late October and early May.
FAQs on Indonesia Tours
Are there any visa requirements for an Indonesia tour?
For a fee of 500,000 Indonesian rupiah ($33US), many nationalities are eligible for a 30-day visa at Medan, Bali, Yogyakarta, Batam, Jakarta and Surabaya. However, the length of stay and visa regulations may vary, so it’s always best to check with the Indonesian embassy or consulate in your country. You will also need to check the requirements for any other countries that you need to travel through. The links below take you to the government websites for various countries.
Located in the heart of Bali, Ubud is definitely worth a visit. This enchanting town offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture and spiritual experiences. Famous for its rice terraces, Ubud provides a tranquil escape from the bustling tourist areas. With its numerous art galleries, traditional craft markets and lively performances, immerse yourself in the Balinese culture. Additionally, Ubud is home to many yoga and meditation retreats, providing a peaceful respite for anyone seeking relaxation. Whether you’re an art or nature lover, Ubud offers something for everyone, making it an exceptional destination to explore and discover the true essence of Bali.
Where can I see Komodo dragons in Indonesia?
Indonesia is the perfect destination for witnessing Komodo dragons. These unique creatures can be found primarily on the islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar. Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers an incredible opportunity for visitors to observe these fearsome yet fascinating reptiles in their natural environment. A guided tour of the national park provides you with an unforgettable experience as you admire the Komodo dragons up close. Verdant landscapes, turquoise waters and an abundance of wildlife add to the appeal of Komodo National Park
What wildlife can I see in West Bali National Park?
West Bali National Park offers visitors a rich and diverse wildlife experience. The park is home to a wealth of fascinating and rare animals, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. You can expect to encounter the endangered Bali Starling, a stunning bird native to the island. The park also plays host to the Javan Rusa deer, grey macaques, black leaf monkeys and various species of birds. Traversing through the lush, forested areas, you might also catch glimpses of lizards, snakes and a variety of colourful butterflies. West Bali National Park is a wildlife haven that promises exceptional encounters with incredible creatures.
Is Indonesia good for cycling?
Indonesia is an ideal destination for cycling, thanks to its diverse landscapes and unspoilt natural beauty. With its vast network of roads and trails, it offers a wide range of cycling opportunities for both beginners and experienced riders. From challenging mountainous terrain to serene coastal routes, Indonesia has it all. The country also boasts a tropical climate that allows for year-round cycling adventures. As you pedal your way through rice fields and traditional villages, you will also have the chance to immerse yourself in the culture and friendly local communities. Our cycling tour of Indonesia guides you through coffee plantations, tropical beaches and jungles, and up to the crater of Batur Volcano.