Adventure awaits in the hot and humid archipelago that makes up the wonderful and diverse land of Indonesia. The world’s third most populous nation remains one of the few truly intrepid destinations on Earth left to explore, beholding an incredible legacy of culture and landscapes lying in wait for those brave enough to get out and discover them.
Indonesia ripples outwards for a staggering 5,000 km across the equatorial seas, made up of no less than 17,000 islands (of which two thirds are inhabited). It’s a place where some of Southeast Asia’s best and most exotic cuisines will tantalize the tastebuds, where vivid colors and heady scents spin and multiply, and dramatic vistas leave heads spinning in amazement.
The Spice of Life – Indonesia’s Variety
It’s hard to find a more diverse nation than Indonesia, where the surfing culture of Lombok is light years ahead of the timeless traditions seen in Islamic-inspired Tana Toraja. At similar extremes, the deep gorges and ancient mummies of Baliem Valley in Papua couldn’t be more distant from the volcanic lakes found on the island of Sumatra.
Legendary Bali is the epitome of beach paradise – with its epic scenery, glorious sunsets, white sands and its gentle Hindu-believing inhabitants. The living dinosaurs on Komodo Island are astounding, while the Buddhist relief carvings and architectural treasures that wait in Borobudur are even more so. For adventure seekers, there’s simply nothing to compare with the remoteness of Kalimantan’s tropical jungles or the teeming wildlife and diverse tribes that inhabit Sumatra.
Progress Indonesian Style
And we haven’t even mentioned Indonesia’s constantly evolving cities – urban centers such as Jakarta and Yogyakarta are like a thriving sea of humanity, where the hectic lifestyle never ends and where construction, technology, poverty and pollution pit themselves in a constant battle for control.
Yet the real gems of Indonesia lie in its vast interior, where much remains unexplored and where true adventure and discovery lie hidden from view, just waiting for their discovery. City slicker cosmopolitan adventures to outback rainforest excursions, and all in between, Indonesia is a feast of touristic delight.
Budget for one week: More than 500 Euro ($750)
Taxes and gratuities: Gratuity is recommended
Local currency: Rupiah
Spoken language and/or official language: Portuguese
Area: 1,919,440 km2 (735,355 sq mi)
Sanitary requirements: You can drink tap water in some places in Indonesia
Major cities: Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, Bekasi, and Serang.