The Top Natural Sites In Indonesia

Raja Ampat-IndonesiaAlthough many people tend to think of Indonesia as a relatively small country, it is actually the fourth largest in the world with a territory that covers over 17,000 individual islands.  As you would expect in such a large country, there are many different cultures, languages and unique places to visit in Indonesia, and it has a wealth of natural attractions for visitors to the area.  The country still shows traces of colonial times, but the natural spots in the country remain largely untouched, although some places are under threat from the increasing industry of the country.

Bunaken National Park

One of the most interesting and beautiful natural sites in Indonesia is the tropical area in the BunakenNational Park, where hundreds of species of coral and rare fish and marine life can be found.  Within the park there are five islands that are home to around 35,000 people, but the majority of visitors will want to visit the reefs in the waters around the island to view the coral and the marine life.

Unfortunately, the development of a tourist industry based around diving is actually harmful to the sensitive ecosystem in the park, which is now protected by its UNESCO status and has conservation support from the World Wildlife Fund.  Over seventy per cent of the marine life in this part of the Pacific can actually be found in the national park, including the beautiful Emperor Angelfish and the Bluestripe Snapper.

Raja Ampat

Another of the important sea marine parks in Indonesia is to be found in the waters off the Raja Ampat islands, and the coral population here rivals that to be seen in Bunaken.  The islands themselves are made up of four main islands and around 1,500 smaller isles to be found around the area, and because it is very remote the area is still relatively untouched by human visitors.  Because of the remote and isolated nature of the islands, they are generally occupied by lots of small tribes, with the main industry being fishing.

The area is slowly being opened up as a potential dive spot due to its largely untouched quality, and along with a huge variety of fish there are also massive schools of fish to be found in the area.

Gunung Leuser National Park

Along with the amazing sea-based sites that can be visited in Indonesia, there are also some truly amazing areas on land, and the GunungLeuserNational Park is certainly one of these.  It’s location on the mountainous islands of Sumatra make this National Park one of the most important for its population of native species such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros and the Sumatran Elephant.

Although visiting the area is quite difficult due to the steep mountain landscape and isolated location, one of the real highlights is the Bukit Lawang Orangutan Sanctuary.  There are over 5,000 orangutans to be found across the island, and the sanctuary is a great place to get a better look at these reclusive primates.

 Mount Bromo

One of the most interesting natural visitor attractions in Indonesia is actually a live volcano, although eruptions in 2010 and 2011 have been recorded.  As a part of the BromoTenggerNational Park, this active volcano can be reached by a short hike from a nearby mountain, or there are special excursions by jeep to an observation point.  The volcano is constantly monitored by vulcanologists, and there are sometimes warnings against visiting the area.

Komodo National Park

Another of the important natural locations is the KomodoNational Park, which covers three larger islands and twenty six smaller islands.  The main island of Komodo gave its name to the world’s largest lizard, which is the Komodo Dragon.  It is this reason that has led to the area being declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As well as the population of Komodo Dragons to be found on the islands in the park, there are also significant numbers of marine species to be found in the seas around the islands.  This has led to the national park becoming a popular destination for scuba diving, although there is a big emphasis on maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem in this type of tourism.

The Top Activities To Enjoy In Indonesia

indonesia-beachesAs a country which is made up of thousands of small islands, it is no surprise that much of the tourism activities in the area are associated with the sea.  However, the thriving melting pot of tribes and ethnic backgrounds to be found across the country also means that the culture of Indonesia is very varied, and adds to the experience of the visitor.  A holiday in Indonesia will usually be a step away from the traditional package holiday, and for many people the country benefits significantly from being more than the average destination.

Scuba Diving And Snorkeling

One of the most important aspects of tourism in Indonesia is that of scuba diving, with so many of the islands in the country being close to beautiful coral reefs that boast beautiful and colorful marine life.  Many of the islands with a well developed tourist industry such as Bali have a well developed scuba diving industry that will cater to novices as well as more experienced divers.  However, in the more remote islands such as in some of the Raja Ampat islands, divers will often have to explore by themselves or hire one of the locals as a guide.

For those lacking the confidence or the equipment for scuba diving, snorkeling is a pleasant alternative that involves staying much closer to the surface, but still offers a good view of the marine life.


This is another of the most popular activities for visitors to Indonesia, and with many of the islands enjoying great surfing conditions the destinations can be as developed or as remote as the visitor would like.  The island of Bali is one of the most popular locations for those looking for good surf, and along with the offshore island of Nusa Lembongan has over thirty five popular surfing locations to enjoy.

Another of the country’s most popular surfing sites is to be found on the island of East Java, where the G-land surf break was discovered in 1972.  Today the bay that lies around a half day’s journey from Bali is another popular surfing destination.

Animal Spotting In Sumatra

Sumatra is one of the main islands that make up the country of Indonesia, but it is the mountainous region of the island that will be of particular interest to animal lovers.  There are nine species of animals to be found on the island that are only to be found in Sumatra, and many of these are now critically endangered, including the Sumatran variants of the tiger, rhinoceros, elephant and orangutan.  The three main national parks in which these species can be found are high on the list of natural places to visit within Indonesia.

White Water Rafting

Although the water sports industry in Indonesia is dominated by sports associated with the sea, there are also many companies offering white water rafting excursions along some of the exciting rivers in the country.  Because of the established tourist industry on the island of Bali, there are several companies offering rafting trips, with the Balian river during high water periods offering particularly thrilling excursions.

For those wanting to combine rafting and animal spotting, it is also possible to arrange some rafting trips in Sumatra, where the river Alas offers grade three to four rapids while cutting through stunning deep gorges and primary rainforest.

Visit The Buddhist Temple At Borobudur

The temple complex at Borobudur is probably one of the most historic sites in Indonesia, and it is also somewhere the visitors really should visit to appreciate the sheer scale and ambition of this ninth century temple.  The structure of the temple sees six large stone steps topped by three circular platforms on top of these, and it is the thousands of artistic stone carvings and the hundreds of Buddha statues that make this site unique.  A visit to Borobudur is unlikely to be a peaceful one however, as it is the single most visited tourist attraction in the country.

Accommodation tips in Bali

bali hotel

The unforgettable island of Bali in Indonesia offers a good choice of accommodation options whatever your budget is and whoever your holiday companions are. From budget bungalows to local homestays to hotels and even villas, the island is well accustomed to catering for a range of traveller needs. We provide some tips to choosing the best accommodation for your needs.


Bungalows in Southeast Asia are often the equivalent, in terms of budget anyway, of hostels in Western Europe. These bungalows are ideal for those who are happy to take a more ‘rustic’ option for a backpacking friendly budget and are suitable for single travellers, friends or couples. All of this contributes to keeping your budget low when you’re on long stints of travelling, especially if you’re finding your flights from places like Cheap Flights. Bathroom facilities may not be quite the same as a plush hotel but this is part and parcel of budget travelling. The location of these bungalows more than makes up for the basic facilities as they can often be found right on the gorgeous beaches of Bali. Don’t settle for the first set of bungalows you reach, these are often the priciest, make your way down the beach to see if you can find a lower price.


Losmen is the Balinese term for a homestay. This is a particularly good option for a single traveller who would like the safety of staying with a local family. Homestays as you can imagine, vary hugely, but a clean and basic room, access to bathroom facilities and a warm welcome are to be expected. Air-conditioning is possible but more often than not the room will have a fan to help keep you cool.


Hotels in Bali can vary from small, family run, basic hotels to plush five star resorts. The luxury hotels are usually much less expensive than at home so often they make good sense. Luxury hotels may have private beaches, spa facilities and swimming pools as well as air conditioning throughout. You will need to pay hotel tax on top of your room price and this can vary greatly from place to place, so it’s wise to check before you book. Rather than booking a room based on the price provided, you can always give the hotel a call and try to negotiate a lower price, especially out of season.


Renting an entire villa is a very popular choice in Bali. Villas can vary in size but are ideal for large groups of friends, families or even couples. Unlike self-catering options in Western Europe, in Bali thanks to the lower cost of labour, many added extras are available. These can include catering, daily cleaning, babysitting, transport and even grocery shopping services. Always shop around to find the best deal. Some places which call themselves villas are simply bungalows or even a part of a hotel whilst others boast a private pool. If you are not sure about a villa then try to find online reviews to see what other visitors have said. You can often get cheaper deals on newly opened villas, although you may not find sufficient reviews to assess their quality.

Thanks to its booming tourist trade, the island of Bali has a great range of accommodation options and this means it’s easy to find the right one for you. Always shop around, don’t take prices at face value and be sure about the tax you may be charged.


Image (c) Rmonty119

Ten things to do in Bali

Besakih Temple

Besakih Temple

The temples of Bali are some of the grandest and most beautiful temples in South East Asia and there is none more impressive than the Besakih Temple. Besakih Temple, also known as the mother temple of Besakih is Bali’s largest and holiest Hindu temple. Situated at an altitude of 1000m on the slopes of Mount Agung, Besakih is a visually and architecturally impressive sight consisting of at least 86 temples.

Tanah Lot Temple

If the Besakih Temple takes your breath away and you are looking for more spiritual wonder the Tanah Lot Temple is possibly Bali’s most pure and iconic spiritual destination. This stunning sea temple is situated on a large rock, which is constantly battered by the surrounding ocean. Tanah Lot Temple has been described as one of the most amazing places to witness a sunset in the whole world.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu is the final must see temple. Situated on the south-western Bikit peninsula it is another ideal spot for a dreamy sunset, a great place to witness Kecak fire dances and surrounded by a forest of bountiful natural wildlife and monkeys.

Party at Kuta Beach

If you need to let your hair down in Bali, Kuta Beach is the bars and clubs loci of the province. This vibrant destination hosts one of South East Asia‘s most famous party scenes and will be sure to keep you up until daylight.

Kecak Dance

The Kecak is a ritual dance created in the early 1930s by German artist, Walter Spies. The dance features an impressive chorus of up to and over 100 male performers, featuring sensational and hypnotic choreography which will blow your mind.


The small village of Ubud is rapidly becoming one of the most popular spots for travellers. Full of traditional charm, quaint beauty, Ubud is full of markets, shops and stall selling an incredible array of traditional arts and crafts.

Experience the wildlife

Bali is teeming with exotic and impressive natural wildlife. The Ubud monkey park, the Bali Safari and Marine Park and the Elephant Safari Park of Desa Taro are just three destinations in which you can experience animals such as elephants, tigers and monkeys first hand.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana

Garuda Wisnu Kencana is a cultural park on the mountainous southern coast of Bali. The iconic and enormous statue of Vishnu riding on the back of a ‘garuda’ (a large eagle), is still being built and is one of the most popular attractions within the park. This park has also become a centre for art and cultural performances, theatre and exhibitions.

Batur volcano

The active volcano of Batur provides one of the most impressive views of the lake below and the surrounding countryside. Take a local cab to the top of Mount Batur and hike around the amazing countryside.

The Elephant Cave

The Goa Galah or Elephant Cave is one of the most beautifully time worn and weathered pieces of ancient architecture in the world. Carry on inside the cave to find the broken statue of a giant Buddha sculpture that collapsed and fell from the cliff above the cave.


Lloyd documents his travel and culture experiences on his own website as well as various other publications and blogs. He is currently working on behalf of Cheapflights Australia.

Image (c) Satujamsaja


Enjoy your Bali Holidays

Bali is an island in Indonesia that lies between Lombok and Java. It is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands and is located on its western most end. The country of Indonesia is divided into 33 provinces, Bali being one of them.

Most of Indonesia’s Hindu minority community of 3,891,000 lives in Bali. Bali is the biggest tourist destination in Indonesia. It is famous for its traditional as well as modern dance, music and arts. Painting, sculpture, metal works and other highly developed art thrive in the island.

Tourists from all over the world come here to enjoy their Bali holidays. There are a number of hotels and resorts catering to the traveling crowds. The 4.5-star Padma Resort Bali a huge beachfront resort situated in one of the best places in Legian. The resort has a huge swimming pool, high quality Italian and Japanese restaurants, bars, a number of shops, and a Mandara Spa. The resort is located close to the market and other shopping centers in the region.

The Courtyard by Marriott is situated located on the southern coast of Bali is just a short distance from the pristine beaches in the region. The hotel is located inside the expansive grounds of Nusa Dua. The spa, health club and outdoor swimming pool provide vacationers the chance to relax and rejuvenate their bodies.

Located at the center of Seminyak, the Sentosa Private Villas and Spa is a 5 Star facility close to boutique shops and restaurants in the region. There are a total of 38 villas which feature luxurious and chic interiors for maximum comfort for guests. The villas designed by Ground Kents are high walled to provide total privacy. He also designed the Four Season Jimbaran which won him many accolades. Each of the villas comes with a private pool and a landscaped garden with a lotus pond.

Located along the southern coast of Bali and high on top of a cliff top plateau, the Alila Villas Uluwatu is a 5 Star facility hardly thirty minutes from the Ngurah Rai International airport. The Jimbaran Bay which is close to the Uluwatu Temple can be reached within 15 minutes. Vacationers can relax in this beachfront property in style and luxury.

The Samaya Seminyak Bali is a 5 Star facility situated right on Seminyak beach. It comprises of 18 pool villas which come with their own private pools. The villas also have private terraces which pop out through the thick tropical foliage. The Samaya Seminyak is close to the entertainment and shopping district of Legian.

Enjoy Bali holidays in one of these luxurious and exclusive resorts and hotels and have a great tropical holiday. It could be the best holiday experience of your life.

Traveling in Indonesia

kuta beachWhile traveling in Indonesia, I had the great fortune of spending a week on the island of Bali. If you have never been, you should definitely add it to your list of places you have to see. Bali is incredibly beautiful and full of lovely, nice people. When you’re in Bali, you must be sure to travel all around the island to see all that it has to offer.

My days in Bali consisted mostly of lazily laying on Kuta beach. It is the main touristy beach in Bali which is full of all the tacky touristy things you’d expect, including Starbucks. I did try my hand at surfing a couple times, though, but couldn’t stand up for any great length of time. If you do attempt some surfing lessons, beware. It is incredibly addicting. The water in Bali is to die for, so even if you don’t try surfing, it is great for a swim.

You can stay in some pretty neat hotels in Bali that are made-up in the traditional Hindu flare. The hotel where I stayed was decorated like a palace. There is a lot of Hindu decor all over the island as Hindu is the main religion.

During my week stay I also managed to take a day trip into Ubud, Bali’s cultural center. Ubud is a must-see if you are in Bali and you can get some really cool art there. We went north of Ubud, to Taro to take an elephant ride. We had already ridden an elephant in India, but this was neat as well. You get to feed it and give it a bath after your ride.

You cannot be bored in Bali as there are always things to see and discover. And as is the case with many South-East Asian hot spots, the night life is fabulous. I met some great fellow travelers at the local pub near where I was staying. We even traveled to Malaysia together afterwards.