Indonesia Island: Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations

Indonesia islands, with its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, is a dream destination for travelers. From its pristine beaches and lush jungles to its rich history and delectable cuisine, Indonesia has something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first adventure, this article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to make your trip to Indonesia unforgettable.

Visa Requirements for Indonesia

Before you embark on your journey to Indonesia, it’s essential to understand the visa requirements. Many nationalities can enter Indonesia for up to 30 days without a visa for tourism purposes. However, it’s crucial to check the latest visa regulations, as they can change.

Best Time to Visit Indonesia

Indonesia’s tropical climate means it’s a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the dry season, which typically runs from May to September. This period offers sunny weather and ideal conditions for outdoor activities.

How to Get to Indonesia

Getting to Indonesia is relatively easy, with major international airports in Jakarta, Bali, and other cities. Many airlines offer direct flights, making it convenient for travelers from around the world.

Currency of Indonesia

The official currency of Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). It’s recommended to carry some cash for small expenses, but credit cards are widely accepted in larger cities and tourist areas.

Accommodation Options

Indonesia offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels. You can find beachfront bungalows, boutique hotels, and eco-friendly lodges, catering to all preferences and budgets.

Budget-friendly Places

Here are some examples of affordable and budget-friendly places to stay in Indonesia:

Hostels: Hostels are a budget-friendly option, especially popular among backpackers. They offer dormitory-style accommodation with shared facilities.

Some Recommended Hostels Include

  • The Farm Hostel in Bali
  • Mojosurf Camp in Batukaras, Java


Guesthouses are often family-run and offer a comfortable and affordable stay. They are prevalent in various tourist destinations. Examples include:

  • Santai Homestay in Ubud, Bali
  • Green Valley Homestay in Yogyakarta


Staying with local families can provide an authentic experience while keeping costs low. Look for homestays in rural areas or off-the-beaten-path locations.

Budget Hotels

Many budget hotels offer clean and comfortable rooms without breaking the bank. Some options are:

  • POP! Hotel chain in several cities
  • Favehotel chain in various locations

Cottages and Bungalows

In some coastal and island destinations, you can find affordable beachfront cottages or bungalows. These are great for a relaxed getaway. Examples include:

  • Lembongan Beach Club & Resort in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
  • Nipah Guesthouse in Gili Trawangan, Lombok


In larger cities and tourist areas, you can find affordable Airbnb accommodations, including private rooms or entire apartments/homes. Make sure to read reviews for value and quality.


Some eco-friendly lodges offer budget-friendly rates, especially if you’re interested in nature-based experiences. Look for options in national parks and eco-sensitive areas.

Backpacker Hostels

Specifically catering to budget travelers and backpackers, these hostels offer a social atmosphere and often organize group activities. Examples include:

  • Kuta Beach Hostel in Bali
  • KoenoKoeni Villa in Seminyak, Bali (offers budget rooms)

When looking for budget accommodation, be sure to check online booking platforms for deals and read reviews to ensure a comfortable and safe stay that fits your budget.

Luxurious Places

Here are some examples of luxurious and upscale places to stay in Indonesia:

Five-Star Resorts in Bali

  • Amandari in Ubud: Offers luxurious villas with private pools and stunning views of the Ayung River Gorge.
  • The St. Regis Bali Resort in Nusa Dua: Known for its beachfront location, private villas, and impeccable service.
  • COMO Uma Canggu in Canggu: A beachfront resort with lavish suites and a holistic wellness approach.

Private Villas

  • Villa Sungai in Bali: A secluded and luxurious villa in the heart of Bali with personalized service.
  • Nihi Sumba on Sumba Island: Offers exclusive villas and experiences in a pristine setting.

Luxury Boutique Hotels

  • Capella Ubud in Ubud, Bali: Known for its unique and lavish tented accommodations amidst the rainforest.
  • Katamama Hotel in Seminyak, Bali: A boutique hotel with a focus on Indonesian craftsmanship and design.

Luxury Eco-Resorts

  • Bambu Indah in Ubud, Bali: An eco-luxury boutique hotel featuring sustainable design and natural surroundings.
  • Misool Eco Resort in Raja Ampat: Offers overwater bungalows and is dedicated to marine conservation.

Cliffside Resorts

  • Karma Kandara in Bali: Known for its luxurious cliffside villas and private beach club.
  • Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali: Offers breathtaking ocean views and modern Balinese architecture.

Luxury Safari Lodges

  • Nihi Sumba in Sumba Island: Known for its private villas and activities like horseback riding on the beach.
  • Amanwana on Moyo Island: Offers luxury tents in a pristine natural setting.

Historic Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel Majapahit Surabaya: A historic colonial-style hotel with elegant rooms and lush gardens.
  • The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta: A heritage hotel with a charming blend of classic and contemporary.

Private Island Resorts

  • Bawah Reserve in the Anambas Islands: A secluded paradise with overwater bungalows and eco-conscious design.
  • Nanuku Auberge Resort in Fiji (accessible from Indonesia): A luxury resort on a private island with beachfront villas.

Floating Resorts

  • Tiger Blue: A luxury phinisi yacht offering private cruises to remote Indonesian islands.

These luxurious accommodations offer world-class amenities, personalized service, stunning natural settings, and a range of activities to make your stay in Indonesia truly exceptional.

Best Places to Visit

Indonesia is a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, each with its own unique charm. From the lush rainforests of Sumatra to the pristine beaches of Bali, there is something for everyone in Indonesia.

Here are a few of the best places to visit in Indonesia:


Bali is Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination for good reason. With its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant culture, Bali has something to offer everyone. Visitors can enjoy surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and temple hopping.


Yogyakarta is a cultural center in Indonesia and home to some of the country’s most iconic temples, including Borobudur and Prambanan. Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, while Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple complex in Southeast Asia. Visitors to Yogyakarta can also enjoy traditional Javanese cuisine and performances.

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. Visitors can take boat tours to see the Komodo dragons up close, as well as snorkel and dive in the crystal-clear waters of the park.

Other must-visit places in Indonesia include:

Raja Ampat Islands

Raja Ampat is a collection of islands in eastern Indonesia that is known for its incredible biodiversity. The islands are home to more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral, making it one of the best diving and snorkeling destinations in the world.

Lake Toba

Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world and is located on the island of Sumatra. Visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, and hiking around the lake.


Torajaland is a region in Sulawesi that is known for its unique culture and funeral rituals. Visitors can see traditional Torajan houses, carved tombs, and effigies.

Lorentz National Park

Lorentz National Park is the largest protected area in Southeast Asia and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including snow-capped mountains, tropical rainforests, and glaciers. Visitors can go hiking, camping, and birdwatching in the park.

These are just a few of the many amazing places to visit in Indonesia. With its rich culture, diverse landscapes, and friendly people, Indonesia is a country that has something to offer everyone.

Things to Do

Indonesia offers a plethora of activities. You can surf in Bali, hike volcanoes in Java, explore ancient temples, go diving or snorkeling in the Coral Triangle, and experience local culture through traditional dance and art performances.

Indonesian Cuisine

Indonesian cuisine is a melting pot of influences from all over the world, including China, India, and the Middle East. With its diverse range of spices and flavors, Indonesian food is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Here are a few of the most popular Indonesian dishes:

Nasi Goreng (fried rice)

Nasi Goreng is a staple dish in Indonesia and can be found at street food stalls and restaurants all over the country. It is made with fried rice, vegetables, meat or seafood, and a variety of spices.


Satay is skewered meat that is grilled over charcoal. It is a popular street food and is often served with peanut sauce.


Rendang is a slow-cooked beef stew that is made with a variety of spices, including coconut milk, galangal, and turmeric. It is one of Indonesia’s most iconic dishes and is often served on special occasions.

Sambal Sauce

Sambal sauce is a spicy chili sauce that is made with a variety of ingredients, including red chili peppers, garlic, and shrimp paste. It is a popular condiment in Indonesia and is often served with rice dishes and grilled meats.

In addition to these popular dishes, there are many other delicious Indonesian dishes to try. Here are a few more suggestions:


Gado-gado is a salad made with a variety of vegetables, including peanuts, tofu, and tempeh. It is often served with a peanut sauce.


Soto is a soup that is made with a variety of ingredients, including meat, vegetables, and noodles. It is a popular breakfast dish in Indonesia.


Bakso are meatballs that are made with meat or seafood. They are often served in a soup with noodles and vegetables.


Tempe is a fermented soybean cake that is a popular protein source in Indonesia. It can be fried, grilled, or steamed and is often served with a variety of sauces.


Tofu is another popular protein source in Indonesia. It can be fried, grilled, or steamed and is often served with a variety of sauces.

When visiting Indonesia, be sure to try some of the street food. Street food stalls offer an authentic culinary experience and are a great way to try a variety of different dishes at a reasonable price.

Here are a few tips for trying street food in Indonesia:

  • Order dishes that are popular with the locals. This is a good indication that the food is fresh and delicious.
  • Be careful with spicy food. Indonesian food can be quite spicy, so be sure to ask the vendor how spicy a dish is before you order it.
  • Drink plenty of water. This will help to cool you down and prevent you from getting sick.

With its diverse range of flavors and dishes, Indonesian cuisine is sure to please even the most discerning palate. So, be sure to try some of the delicious food that Indonesia has to offer on your next visit.

Cultural Norms

Respecting local customs and traditions is essential when traveling anywhere, but it is especially important in Indonesia, which is a country with a rich and diverse culture. Here are some specific tips for showing respect to Indonesians:

Dress modestly

When visiting temples and other religious sites, it is important to dress modestly. This means covering your shoulders and knees. If you are unsure of what to wear, it is always best to err on the side of caution and dress more conservatively.

Remove Your Shoes

It is customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home. This is a sign of respect for the homeowner and their home. If you are unsure of whether or not to remove your shoes, it is always best to ask.

Greet People

Indonesians are generally very friendly people and appreciate it when visitors make an effort to greet them. When greeting someone, it is customary to smile and shake their hand. If you are meeting a woman, it is best to wait for her to extend her hand first.

Learn Bahasa Indonesian

The official language is Bahasa Indonesia, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Learning a few basic Indonesian phrases, such as “hello,” “thank you,” and “goodbye,” is a great way to show respect to Indonesians. It also shows that you are interested in their culture.

In addition to the above tips, here are some other things to keep in mind when interacting with Indonesians:

  • Be mindful of your body language: Indonesians are generally very polite and reserved people. It is considered rude to point at people or make loud noises. It is also best to avoid touching people in public unless you are close friends or family.
  • Be patient: Indonesians have a different concept of time than many Western cultures. It is not uncommon for people to arrive late for appointments or meetings. If you are waiting for someone, it is best to be patient and understanding.
  • Be respectful of elders: Elders are highly respected in Indonesian culture. It is important to show them respect by using polite language and addressing them by their title.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that you have a positive and respectful experience when traveling in Indonesia.

What to Pack

Pack lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for the tropical climate, along with sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable walking shoes.


Indonesia is generally safe for travelers, but it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Stay hydrated, be cautious of petty theft, and follow local safety guidelines.

Travel Insurance

Invest in travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unexpected events. It provides peace of mind during your journey.

Getting Around

Transportation options include taxis, ride-sharing apps, buses, and domestic flights. In Bali, you can rent scooters for a convenient and affordable way to explore.
Here are transportation examples for getting around in other cities in Indonesia:


  • TransJakarta: A bus rapid transit system with dedicated lanes, connecting various parts of the city.
  • MRT (Mass Rapid Transit): Jakarta has an MRT system that covers key areas in the city.


  • Becak: Cycle rickshaws, a traditional mode of transportation for short distances.
  • Andong (Horse Cart): Traditional horse-drawn carts are often used for city tours and short trips.


  • Surabaya Monorail: A planned monorail system to enhance public transportation options.


  • Bandros (Bandung Tour on the Bus): A double-decker bus tour taking you to various attractions in Bandung.


  • Angkot (Angkutan Kota): Minivans or small buses serving as public transportation within the city.


  • Bentor (Becak Motor): Motorized rickshaws, a unique form of transportation in Medan.


  • Becak: Cycle rickshaws that are a popular mode of transportation within the city.


  • Taxis and Ride-Sharing Apps: Like Grab or Gojek, which are common options for getting around the city.

These transportation options provide convenient ways to explore the various cities across Indonesia, offering flexibility and ease of movement within the urban areas.

Places to Stay

Choose accommodations that suit your preferences and budget, whether it’s a beachfront villa, jungle retreat, or city hotel.



  • Ubud Market, Bali: Known for its traditional crafts, including intricate wood carvings and handmade batik textiles.
  • Sukawati Art Market, Bali: Offers a wide range of Balinese handicrafts, textiles, and artwork.
  • Seminyak, Bali: Features boutique shops and art galleries, ideal for finding unique fashion and artwork.
  • Bali Collection, Nusa Dua: An open-air shopping complex with boutiques and art shops.
  • Ubud, Bali: Explore numerous art galleries and boutiques for unique souvenirs.


  • Malioboro Street is famous for its street market, offering batik clothing and local crafts.
  • Kotagede is renowned for its silver workshops and stores.


  • Visit upscale malls like Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia for luxury shopping.
  • Tanah Abang Market is one of the largest textile markets in Southeast Asia.
  • Pasar Baru, Jakarta: A historic market known for textiles, including batik.


  • Known for its factory outlets offering affordable clothing, shoes, and accessories.


  • The Tunjungan Plaza is a popular shopping mall
  • Pasar Atom specializes in electronics and gadgets.


  • Alun-Alun Kota Malang is a charming shopping district.


  • Visit the Senggigi Art Market for local crafts and textiles


Ratu Indah Mall and Trans Studio Mall offer shopping and entertainment options.

Banda Aceh

Pasar Aceh is known for its traditional clothing and handicrafts.

These destinations cater to shoppers looking for everything from traditional Indonesian souvenirs to modern fashion and electronics. Indonesia’s shopping scene offers a diverse range of products and experiences for visitors.

Outdoor Activities

Explore Indonesia’s natural beauty through activities like hiking, surfing, diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, birdwatching, trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, caving, volcano hiking, jungle trekking, rice terrace hiking, waterfall hiking, and hot spring bathing.

here’s the list:


  1. Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen in East Java
  2. Mount Rinjani in Lombok
  3. Mount Batur in Bali
  4. Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta


  1. Bali (Kuta, Uluwatu, Canggu)
  2. Mentawai Islands
  3. Sumatra (Nias, Aceh)

Diving and Snorkeling

  1. Raja Ampat, Papua Barat
  2. Komodo Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur
  3. Bunaken Island, North Sulawesi
  4. Bali (Tulamben, Amed)
  5. Gili Islands, Lombok


  1. Bali (Jimbaran, Nusa Penida)
  2. Flores
  3. Sulawesi (Manado)


  1. Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park in Java
  2. Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi

Trekking and Mountain Biking

  1. Bali (Ubud’s rice terraces)
  2. Lombok (Senaru, Sembalun)
  3. Flores (Wae Rebo traditional village)
  4. Sumatra (Kerinci Seblat National Park)

Kayaking and Rafting

  1. Ayung River in Bali
  2. Progo River in Yogyakarta
  3. Elo River in Central Java
  4. Alas River in Aceh


  1. Jomblang Cave in Yogyakarta
  2. Goa Gong in Pacitan, East Java
  3. Maros Karst in South Sulawesi

Volcano Hiking

  1. Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen in East Java
  2. Mount Rinjani in Lombok
  3. Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta

Jungle Trekking

  1. Borneo (Kalimantan) rainforests
  2. Sumatra (Bukit Lawang)
  3. Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi

Rice Terrace Hiking

  1. Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Bali
  2. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali

Waterfall Hiking

  1. Sekumpul Waterfall in Bali
  2. Madakaripura Waterfall in East Java

Hot Spring Bathing

  1. Banjar Hot Springs in Bali
  2. Mount Rinjani’s hot springs in Lombok

These destinations offer a wide range of outdoor activities that cater to nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those looking to experience Indonesia’s diverse landscapes and natural wonders.

Beach Activities

Indonesia boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing.
Here are some of the stunning beach destinations in Indonesia where you can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing:

Bali Beaches

  • Kuta Beach
  • Seminyak Beach
  • Nusa Dua Beach
  • Jimbaran Beach
  • Sanur Beach

Gili Islands

  • Gili Trawangan
  • Gili Air
  • Gili Meno

They are known for pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Lombok Beaches

  • Senggigi Beach
  • Tanjung Aan Beach
  • Pink Beach (Pantai Tangsi)

Komodo Island

  • Pink Beach (Pantai Merah)

Raja Ampat

  • Piaynemo
  • Arborek Island
  • Gam Island

Mentawai Islands

  • Macaronis Beach
  • Lance’s Left

Bunaken Island

  • Bunaken is Famous for its marine biodiversity and underwater beauty.

Togean Islands

  • Togean or Togian Islands are Known for their secluded and pristine beaches.

Derawan Islands

  • Sangalaki Island
  • Derawan Island


  • Pink Beach on Komodo Island
  • Kanawa Island


Sulawesi Offers beautiful, less-crowded beaches.

  • Bira Beach
  • Ora Beach


  • Moyo Island A tranquil island with lovely beaches.
Activity Destinations
Outdoor Activities
Hiking Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen in East Java
Mount Rinjani in Lombok
Mount Batur in Bali
Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta
Surfing Bali (Kuta, Uluwatu, Canggu)
Mentawai Islands
Sumatra (Nias, Aceh)
Diving and Snorkeling Raja Ampat, Papua Barat
Komodo Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur
Bunaken Island, North Sulawesi
Bali (Tulamben, Amed)
Gili Islands, Lombok
Fishing Bali (Jimbaran, Nusa Penida)
Sulawesi (Manado)
Birdwatching Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park in Java
Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi
Trekking and Mountain Bali (Ubud’s rice terraces)
Biking Lombok (Senaru, Sembalun)
Flores (Wae Rebo traditional village)
Sumatra (Kerinci Seblat National Park)
Kayaking and Rafting Ayung River in Bali
Progo River in Yogyakarta
Elo River in Central Java
Alas River in Aceh
Caving Jomblang Cave in Yogyakarta
Goa Gong in Pacitan, East Java
Maros Karst in South Sulawesi
Volcano Hiking Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen in East Java
Mount Rinjani in Lombok
Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta
Jungle Trekking Borneo (Kalimantan) rainforests
Sumatra (Bukit Lawang)
Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi
Rice Terrace Hiking Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Bali
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali
Waterfall Hiking Sekumpul Waterfall in Bali
Madakaripura Waterfall in East Java
Hot Spring Bathing Banjar Hot Springs in Bali
Mount Rinjani’s hot springs in Lombok
Beach Activities
Beachcombing Various beach destinations in Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Mentawai Islands, Togean Islands, Derawan Islands, Flores, Sulawesi, and Sumbawa
Sunbathing Various beach destinations in Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Mentawai Islands, Togean Islands, Derawan Islands, Flores, Sulawesi, and Sumbawa
Swimming Various beach destinations in Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Mentawai Islands, Togean Islands, Derawan Islands, Flores, Sulawesi, and Sumbawa
Snorkeling Various beach destinations in Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Mentawai Islands, Togean Islands, Derawan Islands, Flores, Sulawesi, and Sumbawa


Indonesia offers a diverse range of experiences, from cultural exploration to thrilling adventures in nature. By understanding the visa requirements, planning your trip, and immersing yourself in local culture and cuisine, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime in this enchanting archipelago.

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