At last count, Indonesia has been composed of 14,752 separate islands, but not a day that goes by where you can navigate through social media without seeing pictures of travellers exploring Bali. Now don’t get us wrong, the “Island of the Gods” is certainly beautiful and a sure-fire success for its lush rice paddies, awe-inspiring temples and, of course, the popular Bali Swing among Black women. But Indonesia has much to sell than its best-known destination.
In most cases all it takes to find alternatives to the traditional Balinese adventure is a short flight from the tourist paradise. Picturesque islands such as Moyo, Sumbawa, Java, and Borneo offer the same (or better) experiences as Bali without smog-infused traffic, crowds, and wall-to-wall big-box resorts that most travellers leave out of their images and excited Bali owes me nothing!
In reality, if you ask those who dared to travel more deeply, they’re likely to tell you that the other Indonesian islands are the nation’s true essence, and what Bali used to be a travel hotspot before it became so. Switch it up this year and inject some fresh life into your travels with five Indonesian islands which will delight your senses and help you regain your zen.
An archipelago of roughly 1,500 remote islands located in Indonesia’s West Papua province, the beauty of Raja Ampat will leave you speechless. To discover their secret caves, powdery sandy beaches and green jungles, visit the major islands of Misool, Salawati, Waigeo and Batanta. Under the crystal-clear blue waters of the islands you will find coral reefs which are part of the “Coral Triangle” region, claimed to have more marine biodiversity than anywhere else on Earth. Hop on a ship for an unforgettable trip for a week or two, and spend your days exploring the islands.
Travelers enjoy going to Bali for a chance to take a pic on a swing, but if you really want to get a glimpse of the various cultures that call home to Indonesia then you have to go to Sulawesi Island. The island definitely has the usual beach activities, but what makes the island a once-in – a-lifetime experience is the chance to connect with the people of Torajan and learn more about their special view of life and death.
Forget those mischievous monkeys on Bali, if you just want to stroll along the wild side, take a trip to Sumatra’s lush island. Orangutans, endangered tigers of Sumatran, rhinos and elephants fill the wild jungles on the island. Make your way to idyllic beaches like Banda Aceh for some downtime when you’re not on the lookout for animal wonders!
Located just 65 minutes from Bali by seaplane, Moyo Island is a fairly untouched Indonesian gem. The turquoise, coral-rich Flores Sea provides some of the country’s best diving and snorkelling. While the tropical trees, hiking trails and wildlife in all of us speak to nature lovers.
Part of an hour-flight chain of Indonesian islands from Bali. Komodo Island is a roughly amazing island packed with namesake dragons and soothing pink sand beaches. This amazing dragon island will fill your friends back home with envy with every picture you take. Spend your time sailing around to other nearby islands such as Padar and Rinca in the bay.