How many Indonesian islands can you name? We’re guessing your list might not extend that much further than Bali, Lombok and Java. However, there are countless more magnificent places to visit… Whet your appetite for adventure with our guide to Indonesia beyond Bali.
From the many art galleries and bohemian cafes of Ubud to Bandung, a romantic tangle of colonial buildings surrounded by lush tea plantations, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking for cities to visit in Indonesia.
The Gilis are some of our favourite smaller Indonesian islands. These three idyllic specks off the coast of Lombok are too small for cars, so you’ll be taken to your beach hut by a horse and cart. It’s these cultural quirks, combined with palm-fringed beaches and lively nightlife that makes the Gillis one of our top secret travel gems of Indonesia.
Best time to visit
The best season to visit Indonesia depends on what sort of holiday you’re after and which region you’re most drawn to. Although it’s always warm and humid, the year can generally be split into two seasons, dry (April to October) and monsoon (November to March). However, these months vary from region to region.
One of the best places to visit in Indonesia in August is Nusa Tenggara. This constellation of volcanic islands scattered across the inky canvas of the Java Sea boasts beautiful beaches and a kaleidoscope of cultures. August is also the best time to visit Borneo island for wildlife lovers, as baby turtles are hatching and the trees dripping with durian fruit, a favourite with hungry orangutans.
For diving during the monsoon season, head to Ambon, a jungle-clad region in the Banda Sea with its own unique weather pattern, resulting in crystalline waters from November until May.
Tours and deals
Immerse yourself in the traditions of ancient cultures and discover mind-blowing scenery on an Indonesia tour.
From golf, motorcycle and adventure tours to homestays and diving adventures, there are countless ways to discover Indonesia, and a package tour can really help you get under the skin of this dizzyingly diverse destination.
If you’re looking for adventure in Indonesia, a private 4×4 tour through the Toraja highlands of Sulawesi is a must. The hill tribes’ culture revolves around death, and watching an elaborate funeral procession has to be one of the top 10 most interesting things to see in Indonesia.