A beautiful Southeast Asian country, Indonesia is home to innumerable exquisite wonders. It is here you get to witness a perfect amalgamation of nature, culture, history, and holiness. If Indonesia is on your bucket list this season, then read on to know all those soul-soothing things to do when on a holiday in Indonesia.
Travel 101: Top Things To Do In Indonesia
1. Chill Out at the Beaches of Indonesia
Bali is all about the island’s beautiful beaches. If a laid-back beach vacation is what you seek, you must head to one of Bali’s luxury beach resorts and spend some time soaking up the sun and the sea. Here, you would have warm sand and blue water and the island does not disappoint. Kuta is the best-known beach and is great for those who like the sun, sand, and the sea.
Recommended For: Beach Lovers, Couples, Families
Location: Kuta, Jimbaran, Lombok and more
Price: No Entry Fee
Pro Tip: If you are with your partner and are looking for some more privacy on the beach, then visit the Kelingking Beach.
2. Pray in the Scenic Premise of Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is famous as a rock formation emerging out of the sea with a Hindu temple, Pura Tanah Lot perched on the top. Over the years, the ocean tides have carved the rock from the shore leaving it to stand alone at high tide and be accessible on foot during low tide. Venomous sea snakes are said to guard the temple. Visitors travel to the site to worship or to observe the stunning sunsets over the horizon.
Recommended For: Photographers
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Price: $4.30 per person
Timings: 07:00 am to 07:00 pm
Pro Tip: The temple remains closed during high tides, so check it beforehand and plan your visit accordingly.
3. Surf the Lush Waters of Kuta
Visit the famous Kuta Beach, a strip of beach in the south of Bali where the sea rests on a sand bar and provides gentle rolling waves that are perfect for beginners learning to surf. Surfing lessons on an hourly basis are plentiful here. However, visitors can also rent a sponge board and ride the waves on their own. If you don’t want to go in the waters, you can flock to the beach at night to take photos of the exquisite sunset and relax with a beer or a soft drink.
Recommended For: Surfers, Adventure Lovers
Location: Kuta, Indonesia
Price: $50 – $70 per person per day session
Timings: 07:00 am to 05:00 pm
Pro Tip: Visit between the months of May and September as it is the best time for surfing.
4. Tour the UNESCO Site of Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Buddhist temple, located in Magelang, Central Java, is easily visited by travelers staying in the neighboring city of Yogyakarta. Dating back to the 9th Century, Borobudur is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a central dome surrounded by 72 sculpted figures of Buddha, making it the largest Buddhist temple in the world. People come to worship, scale the central platform and marvel at the scenery that stretches beyond the central temple complex.
Recommended For: History Lovers, Explorers
Location: Borobudur, Indonesia
Price: $25 per person
Timings: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm
5. Spot Orangutans At Borneo
No trip to Indonesia would be complete without meeting these cutie orangutans, and Borneo is a great place to visit these beautiful and endangered creatures. Though orangutans still live in the wild, several sanctuaries rescue and protect orangutans as land development infringes on their natural habitat. Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan, Borneo, is home to the largest orangutan population in the world.
Recommended For: Wildlife Lovers, Photographers
Location: Borneo, Indonesia
Price: $150 – $250 (for a day tour including the fee of guides)
Pro Tip: Do hire a guide while looking for orangutans as they are well aware of the forest and the habitats of the animal.
6. Admire the Beauty of Gili Islands
The Gili Islands consist of three islands, Gili Meno, Gili Air, and Gili Trawangan and all of them are located off the coast of Lombok. The largest and most populated of these is Gili Trawangan where only basic roads and transport comes in the form of bicycles or horses and carts. There are no cars and no police and that’s why many travellers make the trip by ferry or speedboat from Bali to get away from it all and to find a peaceful retreat from the bustling towns of Sengiggi in Lombok or Bali.
Recommended For: Explorers, Offbeat Travellers
Location: West Nusa Tenggara
Price: $70 – $90 for a two-way journey
Pro Tip: The best way to get around on the islands is by renting a bike. You can get one for a charge of about $3 per day.
7. Explore the Culture of Ubud
Ubud is a town in the Gianyar Regency and is known as the major arts and culture hub of Bali. Different from other areas of Bali, Ubud does not have a beach and sits instead amongst rice paddies, steep terraces, and lush forests located in the surrounding foothills. Ubud boasts of an abundance of art galleries that now house the works of prominent Balinese artists. Visitors can also watch a Tek Tok dance at the Bali Culture Centre in Ubud.
Recommended For: Culture Explorers, Photographers
Price: $10 – $15 including entrance to art galleries and the art market
Timings: 08:00 am to 06:00 pm
8. Take Diving Lessons at Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat, meaning ‘Four Kings’, is a cluster of islands off the coast of West Papua in Indonesia. An emerging tourist destination in recent years, this archipelago is famous for housing some of the most diverse marine life on earth that includes thousands of species of fish, turtles, and rare coral. There are four major islands in the archipelago some of which feature ancient rock paintings.
Recommended For: Nature Lovers, Photographers
Location: West Papua, Indonesia
Price: $55 per person
Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm
9. Indulge in Shopping at Jakarta
The capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is best known for its shopping opportunities. Whatever the budget or style, there are hundreds of options for all travelers from the famous flea market in Menteng to high-end malls such as Plaza Indonesia or Grand Indonesia. They carry all the latest designs and trends.
Recommended For: Shoppers, Culture Explorers
Timings: 08:00 am to 10:00 pm
Pro Tip: Visit Jalan Surabaya Flea Market for the best of antiques and ornaments.
10. Sail off to the Unexplored Papua
The easternmost province of Indonesia, Papua Province is not to be confused with Papua New Guinea, the independent neighbouring region to the east. Papua is often not visited by tourists but hosts some of the largest areas of untouched rainforest outside the Amazon. There is a variety of unique flora and fauna in Papua as well as coral reefs and sandy beaches and tribal art for intrepid travellers to explore.
Recommended For: Explorers, Photographers
Pro Tip: If you are visiting it with your family and kids, then do visit Base G Beach as it is perfect for picnicking and other beachside fun.
11. Spend at Weekend at Manado
The capital city of North Sulawesi, Manado is the second-largest city in Sulawesi after Makassar. A diverse region, Manado is home to famous Chinese temples, Christian churches and the 4th tallest statue of Jesus Christ in the world. There is also a national park on the island of Bunaken where visitors can enjoy various activities. They have scuba diving and snorkelling activities on offer. One can also explore the local flora and fauna. Manado is also famous for its food and is an amazing Indonesian food tourism hub.
Recommended For: Culture Explorers, Photographers, History Lovers
Pro Tip: If you desire to experience the beauty of Bali without encountering the tourist crowd, then Manado would be the idyllic destination for you.
12. Trek up Mount Bromo
Mount Bromo, located in East Java, is yet another of Indonesia’s active volcanoes and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Java. Named after the Hindu god Brahma, visitors can climb Mount Bromo if the volcano’s activity status allows them. Tours take visitors to the crater and early risers can trek to the summit. Watch the sunrise over the Tengger Massif, a group of mountains that includes Mount Bromo.
Recommended For: Wildlife Lovers, Nature Photographers, Adventurers
Location: East Java, Indonesia
Entry Fee: $22 on weekends and $15 on weekdays for entering Mount Bromo National Park
Timings: Open 24 Hours
13. Have a Fun Time at Lake Toba
Lake Toba in North Sumatra is a natural lake that sprung from the crater of a long-dormant volcano. It is the largest lake in Indonesia. Visitors to Lake Toba can choose to swim or enjoy a variety of water sports on the lake. You can also visit the traditional houses of the indigenous people, the Batak. Watch ornate stone replicas of Batak houses that are the graves of long-dead Batak kings and nobles.
Recommended For: Families, Couples
Location: North Sumatra, Indonesia
Price: No Entry Fee
14. Visit the Dragons of Komodo National Park
Ever dreamt of seeing a dragon at least once in your life? The komodos of Indonesia are no mythical creatures. However, they are fierce and deadly animals. Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the place where you can spot these. The water of these islands is some of the richest and most diverse in the world. The komodo dragons are the stars of the show on any visit to the park. But visitors can also hike, snorkel, go canoeing or visit small villages on the islands.
Recommended For: Animals Lovers, Explorers, Families
Location: Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Price: $11 per person
Pro Tip: The park also allows visitors to go snorkelling and boating. Do try your hand at these fun activities.
15. Take a Peaceful Stroll in Sacred Monkey Forest
Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali, Indonesia. It is here you would find the Sacred Monkey Forest, a serene space to feel ancient majesty. At this Hindu temple, you’ll see many long-tailed macaques, a species of monkey commonly seen throughout Southeast Asia. The temple also makes an interesting visit because Balinese Hinduism combines aspects of several different religions, making it unique among other types of Hinduism practiced today.
Recommended For: Families, Kids
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Entry Fee: $6 for Adults and $4.50 for Children
Timings: 09:00 am to 04:00 pm
Pro Tip: Do not carry food openly while in the forest as the monkeys might snatch it.
16. Catch a Cultural Show at Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta is one of the most significant cities in Indonesia as it is of great cultural as well as historical significance. It has a number of open-air theatres where dance, play and music performances happen regularly. And catching a Ramayana Ballet show will definitely be a treat to your eyes. Enjoy traditional music and also explore the beautiful temples of the city. There is no better thing to do in Yogyakarta than to soak in its cultural presence.
Recommended For: Culture Explorers
Price: $15 – $20 per person for an Organized tour