It’s so close, yet in countless ways is so far away. Beyond ever-popular Bali, there’s a plethora of other experiences in this vast archipelago. Trek to discover wildlife, including tigers and orangutans, surviving deep in the jungle in Aceh and Northern Sumatra’s Gunung Leseur National Park. Underwater enthusiasts will find they can dive just about anywhere in the country, but there are pristine scuba spots in the Tongian and Komodo Islands. And while surfers flock to Uluwatu in Bali’s south, there are far more isolated waves to be had in places like East Java, with its world-class G-Land barrels, and the Mentawai Islands.
There are more than 18,000 islands to explore across what is the world’s largest archipelago, each with its own cultural twist and geographical wonder. Generally speaking, it’s a world of terraced rice paddies, cloud-fringed mountains, traditional artistry, coffee, richly decorated temples and cities packed to the rafters.
You’ll also discover traditional communities still enacting centuries-old rituals, like the ancient Pasola Festival on Sumba, where warriors on horseback wield spears in one of the bloodiest harvest festivals you’ll ever witness. It’s raw, it’s mesmerising, it’s wild, and there’s plenty more like it to be discovered throughout Indonesia.