Indonesia is a vast and diverse country with a range of extraordinary sites and places that are worthy of anyone’s bucket list, with majestic temples, otherworldly volcanoes and more islands and UNESCO world heritage sites you can count, in no particular order here are 10 of the absolute best bucket list destinations in Indonesia.
This is a paid article written in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry Of Tourism as part of the #WonderfulIndonesia campaign, with products or services supplied by them. Full editorial integrity is maintained at all times. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.
Indonesia’s list of bucket list destinations and activities is seemingly endless, from world class adventure travel opportunities to unique experiences you can’t get anywhere else in the world, not to mention the fact that it is still very budget friendly unlike many of its neighbours, it is hardly any wonder more and more backpackers are choosing Indonesia as the ultimate gap year destination every single year.
Getting there may be akin to a descent into Hades itself, but viewing this active volcanic crater at sunrise is worthy of anyone’s bucket list. The landscape of the caldera from the surrounding craters really is one of the most spectacular and memorable views on the planet and is well worth the time and hassle it takes to get up there.
Krakatoa is one of the single most famous volcanoes in the world, and getting to see it up close and first hand is a must do for anyone who visits Indonesia, but getting to hike it takes the experience to a whole new level and makes it a worthy addition to any bucket list worth its salt!
Komodo National Park.
This paradisaical collection of three islands are more than just stunning, picturesque backdrops to a leisurely speedboat cruise around the Indonesian archipelago. The UNESCO world heritage national park is also home to the majestic Komodo dragons who roam freely around the islands and are viewed with the help of skilled and knowledgeable rangers. Simply visiting these absolutely stunning islands is worth the trip in it’s own right, but seeing these amazing and endangered animals up close really is a once in a lifetime experience.
Karimunjawa is Java’s hidden paradise, unknown to all but the most savvy travellers and locals themselves. This stretch of 27 pristine beaches and tropical islands along an archipelago are still largely untouched by mass tourism and are the perfect way to escape from normal society for a while and relax in tropical heaven.
The famous temple of Borobudur is not only a majestic architectural wonder and a UNESCO world heritage site in it’s own right, it is also the single largest Buddhist temple in the world, making it yet another unique wonder that Indonesia has to offer.
Raja Ampat Islands.
The word paradise really doesn’t do these islands justice, the really are some of the best islands in Indonesia, and that is saying something! This divers paradise is filled with long stretches of powder white sand, turquoise waters and swaying palm trees set to a backdrop of something directly out of treasure island. Whatever image you have in your mind of a tropical paradise, then this is it and then some. And that is just what is above the surface! The unique limestone formation of the islands has led to a vast underwater reefs filled with thousands of marine species and home to some of the most colourful and picturesque underwater landscapes in the world. No wonder it is considered a divers paradise.
These 10th Century Hindu Temples are another well deserved UNESCO world heritage site and another worthy addition to any bucket list. You can get your complete temple fix with this unique temple complex and if that isn’t enough, you can stay after sunset and watch the traditional Ramayana ballet.
A visit to the highlands of Java seems like a world away from the rest of Indonesia. Trekking through the rolling hills and stunningly green plantations is a cool, refreshing break from the heat and the hustle of Jakarta and Yogyakarta, and the location provides some of the best countryside hikes in Indonesia, not to mention the fact that you can hike up an active volcano or two which gives anyone a lifetime of bragging rights!
This iconic Balinese temple is one of six key spiritual pillars of Bali and has one of the best sunsets overlooking the Indian ocean on the island. The traditional Balinese Kecak dance performance however is what most people come to see and tick off their bucket lists.
Okay so it isn’t pink anymore, but it is a beach, and it is a stunning one at that! You can still see hints of the red coral that once gave this beach it’s name and there are still some stunning coral reefs that make for some great snorkelling, but part of what makes a visit to this beach a must on any bucket list is the journey to get there. The boat ride – whether you choose a modern speedboat or a traditional Indonesian Pinisi – through the Indonesian archipelago is an amazing experience in itself.
Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.
Chasing Real Dragons In Komodo National Park.
How To Plan A Trip To Komodo Island, Indonesia.
Ministry Of Coffee Review, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Sri Ratih Cottages Review, Ubud, Bali.
Surviving The Cannonball Run For The Sunrise Tour Of Mount Bromo.
Spotlight On BAWA. Volunteering In Bali.
The Prambanan Temples And The Legend Of The Slender Virgin.
Top 10 Things To Do In Jakarta Indonesia.
I am here now so this is perfect for me!! I had no idea about Komodo island.
It’s such an amazing place, it really does feel like the end of the world and isn’t overly touristy either.
Your photography is just beautiful. Indonesia looks like a beautiful country!
Thank you Alicia, it’s easy to take amazing photos with scenery like that!
Amazing post, I I love the diversity of Indonesia. There’s just so much to see and do. But why would you say getting to Bromo is like hell? I got a jeep and a horse ride up and it was crowded but okay.
It wasn’t so much the ease or difficulty of getting up Eleanor, it was more the irresponsible mismanagement of the place and the animal abuse with the horses. You should check out my posts on the topic.
Oh wow, that Komodo dragon looks amazing!
They were! It was genuinely an experience I don’t have enough superlatives for!
Indonesia is definitely on my bucket list now!
Glad to hear it!
Amazing list, but I heard they had shut down Komodo island because all of the dragons had been stolen?
Well I don’t know about the accuracy of that last one, I mean I heard the same thing but really? They are closing down visitation to help conserve the islands for a period. At the moment it is a year but they are changing plans all the time at the moment.