25 Best Things to Do on the Indonesian Islands
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Known for its unparalleled beauty, dense jungles and magnificent beaches, the Indonesian Islands make the perfect destination getaway for those who can’t get enough of the tropics. From Bali to Lombok, Sulawesi to Sumatra, travelers headed to the Indonesian Islands can expect a memorable vacation marked by unimaginable beauty and serenity. Whether you’re looking for something relaxing to enjoy, a historical site to visit, or an exciting activity to participate in, the Indonesian Islands are bound to have what you’re looking for. Start planning your dream getaway with some of the top things to do while visiting this blissful archipelago in Asia.

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1.Senaru Waterfalls

Senaru Waterfalls
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If you’re looking forward to an enjoyable hike and an exploration of the best that Indonesia’s nature has to offer, then a trip to the Senaru Waterfalls is exactly what your itinerary needs to make your vacation in Indonesia spectacular. While Senaru is most commonly known for being the starting point of the Mount Rinjani trek, there are also three fantastic waterfalls to trek to and enjoy. The difficulty of the hikes depends on which waterfalls you intend to visit. The first of the waterfalls to see in Senaru is the Air Terjun Sindang Gila. It is arguably the most popular of all three and is a moderate 20-minute hike from the village. Next is the Air Terjun Tiu Kelep, which is a 60-minute trek upstream from the Sindang Gila. Lastly, but not the least, is the Air Terjun Betara Lenjang. The last waterfall is the most difficult to get to as it requires a 2-hour trek through rough terrain and tropical jungle.

Senaru Village, Lombok Island, Indonesia

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2.Ancol Dreamland

Ancol Dreamland
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Undeniably the largest and most visited recreational park in Jakarta, the Ancol Dreamland is a huge attraction that draws hundreds and thousands of visitors yearly. The Ancol Dreamland is home to several attractions such as an called Seaworld, which is home to a lagoon for fishing and boating as well as a waterpark with artificial waves. Dunia Fantasi, also known as Fantasy World, is another feature of Ancol Dreamland, and is home to adrenaline pumping rides like the Tornado and Hysteria. Cultural attractions can also be visited at the dreamland such as the Pasar Seni Art Center and a handicraft market.

Kota Tua, Jalan Londan Timur No. 7, RW. 10, Kota Tua, Ancol, Pademangan, Kota Jkt Utara, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 14430, Indonesia

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3.Bali and the Islands of Paradise

Bali and the Islands of Paradise
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What better way could there be to explore and experience the island of Bali and many others than on an amazing 8-day cruise aboard the vessel Panorama II. This island adventure, aptly named Bali and the Islands of Paradise, sails from Benoa Port to the Rinca Island and provides all tourists with an island-hopping adventure unlike any other. Some of the stops included on the cruise include the Satonda Island, a remarkable flooded volcano which has a glistening lake at its center. The Keramat Island is another stop on the trip and guarantees all aboard one of the best snorkeling experiences that Indonesia has to offer care of the magnificent coral reefs in its waters. The Komodo National Forest is another stop that is anticipated, as well as Moyo Island.

Phone: 406-541-2677

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4.Bali Botanic Garden

Bali Botanic Garden
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Nestled in the mountainous region of Bedugul, the Bali Botanic Garden is the largest garden of its kind in Indonesia and boasts of beautiful gardens and a breathtaking view of the lowlands of Bali from its perch at 1300 meters above sea level. The botanic garden provides locals and tourists alike with a great escape to the cooler uplands of Bali in addition to lovely views of rare tropical flowering plants as well as wildlife. Other outstanding features of the Bali Botanic Garden include the Bali Treetop Adventure Park, which is home to 160-meter long zip-lines, and the culturally rich Ulun Danu Temple that sits on the slopes of Tapak Hill.

Jl. Kebun Raya Eka Karya, Candikuning, Tabanan 82191, Indonesia

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5.Bali Safari and Marine Park

Bali Safari and Marine Park
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See thousands of amazing animals up close and experience the adventure of a lifetime at the Bali Safari and Marine Park. Promising a fun, educational and adventure packed journey for all those who visit, the park is home to over 100 species of animals. Some of its more notable tenants include endangered species like the Orangutan, the Bali Mynah bird, and the gorgeous Komodo Dragon. In addition to amazing exhibits and animal galleries, the Bali Safari and Marine Park is also an educational center that is at the forefront of Indonesia’s wildlife conservation efforts. As such, visitors can participate in learning opportunities to help build an appreciation for Indonesia’s endemic wildlife and a heart for conservation.

Jl. Bypass Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra Km. 19,8, Serongga, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80551, Indonesia, Phone: +62-361-95-00-00

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6.Bali Zoo

Bali Zoo
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A top attraction on the island of Bali, the Bali Zoo is home to hundreds of interesting and rare animals and offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences to all those who visit. Guests who want to dine like royalty with an adorable guest at the start of the day can book a Breakfast with Orangutan experience at the zoo playground. Meanwhile, on the Elephant Expedition, guests can take a jungle ride on the back of an elephant then feed the gentle giants after. For those who want to enjoy a completely unique island adventure, on the other hand, the zoo offers one of Bali’s latest and most popular performance attractions, Dinner with the Great Elephant.

Jl. Raya Singapadu, Sukawati 80582, Indonesia, Phone: +62-361-29-43-57

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7.Blanco Renaissance Museum

Blanco Renaissance Museum
© Blanco Renaissance Museum

Dedicated to a man who was arguably the most prolific and famous artist to ever reside in Bali, Don Antonio Blanco, the Blanco Renaissance Museum is a flamboyant building that features a mix of Spanish and Balinese architecture. Originally a physician, Don Blanco eventually moved to Bali in 1952 after years of traveling to further his studies and inspiration in the arts. Although he died just before the inauguration of his museum, the Blanco Renaissance Museum features some of his most prized works, created at different periods of his career. See the works up close and personal then learn a bit more about Don Blanco’s life as you walk the halls of his personal studio-cum-museum.

Jl. Raya Campuhan, Sayan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

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8.Bogor Botanical Gardens

Bogor Botanical Gardens
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Featuring 87 sprawling hectares of marvelous greenery, the Bogor Botanical Gardens is the first garden of its kind in Indonesia and is known around the globe for its research and conservation efforts. The garden is home to hundreds of magnificently kept trees, lovely plant flowers, calm and sere ponds, as well as wonderfully manicured lawns. If you’re eager to get a breath of fresh air in Indonesia, the Bogor Botanical Gardens would definitely be the place to get it as its 12,300 plant specimens, which represent 3,170 species, keeps the air clean and fresh. Explore the many facets of the Bogor Botanic Gardens and learn as much as you possibly can as well about Indonesia’s native greenery.

Center for Plant Conservation, Jalan Ir. H. Juanda, No. 13, Bogor, West Java 16003, Indonesia, Phone: +62-251

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9.Borobudur

Borobudur
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Arguably the largest Buddhist monument in the entire world, Borobudur was built sometime between 780AD and 840 AD by the powerful Sailendra dynasty. Since it was finished, Borobudur instantly became a pilgrimage spot that was visited by faithful Buddhists eager to release worldly desires and transition into a state of enlightenment. The full area of Borobudur resembles a Mandala and features 3 different zones: Kamadhatu, the phenomenal world, Rapudhatu, the transitional sphere, and Arupadhatu, the highest sphere. Visitors to this religious site can explore every level of the monument while also discovering the 504 reliefs on the site and the temple corridors.

Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Borobudur, Magelang 56553, Indonesia

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10.Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
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Bask in the all of Indonesia’s natural beauty and glory with a visit to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The park is also noteworthy for being the only conservation area in Indonesia with a sand sea – the Tengger Sand Sea. Additionally, the national park is also home to four majestic volcanic cones, granting visitors with the unique and awe-inspiring view of plumes of smoke rising from Mt. Semeru, one of the park’s active volcanos. Hike the trails around the volcanos or explore the upland plateau in the park that is dissected by valleys and adorned with several small but absolutely beautiful lakes.

East Java, Indonesia

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11.Gunung Leuser National Park

Gunung Leuser National Park
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Explore one of the last two remaining habitats for the Sumatran orangutan at the Gunugn Leuser National Park. The park covers 7,927 square kilometers and straddles the borders of the Aceh province and North Sumatra, and boasts one of Southeast Asia’s richest tropical rainforests. Apart from the orangutans, the national park is also home to a magical variety of native animals such as rhinos, elephants, tigers, leopard cats, Thomas leaf monkeys, gibbons, macaques and siamangs. Another aspect of the Gunung Leuser National Park that makes it a must-visit when traveling in the Indonesian Islands is its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best way to explore the park? With a tour of course! Many tours are held in the national park and will give visitors great insight and higher chances of spotting the elusive orangutans.

Taman Nasional Gunung Leuser, Kabupaten Langkat, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia

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12.Japanese Tunnel Bukittinggi

Japanese Tunnel Bukittinggi
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The Japanese Tunnel in Bikittinggi is an interesting historical attraction to visit and was dug by Japanese colonizers between 1942 and 1945. A remnant of the Second World War, the Japanese Tunnel is 1,400 meters long and 2 meters wide and has arsenal storage rooms, jail cells and anti-air defense weaponry in place. The tunnel was built by forced labor, a fact which probably lends itself to the eerie feeling that it still retains until this day. Guided tours are available for visitors who want to be told stories about the Japanese Tunnel as they walk its length, while other travelers are also welcome to explore the tunnel at their own time and pace.

Jl. Panorama, Bukit Cangang Kayu Ramang, Guguk Panjang, Kota Bukittinggi, Sumatera Barat 26138, Indonesia, Phone: +62-75-27-02-27-77

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13.Kawah Putih

Kawah Putih
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Hypnotizing, ambient and filled with an unparalleled magical splendor, the Kawah Putih, or the White Crater as it is more commonly known, is a charming tourist attraction just a short drive away from the market town of Ciwidey. The White Crater is actually a lake that sits at the center of a large dormant volcanic crater. It is surrounded by an equally beautiful backdrop of tree covered cliffs, which causes a mist to build in the area. These awesome cliffs stand at 2,500 meters above sea level and add to the splendor that Kawah Putih is saturated in. Some interesting locations at Kawah Putih include the remnants of the Kawah Putih Kenzaka Yokoya Ciwidey plant, and remnants of old mines and tunnels from the Japanese occupation of Indonesia.

West Javah

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14.Lengkuas Island

Lengkuas Island
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Located just off the shore of Tanjung Kelayang Beach, the Lengkuas Island is a popular destination for its beautiful scenery and stunning panoramas. The most popular feature of Lengkuas Island is, undoubtedly, the one hundred and twenty-year-old lighthouse that was built in 1883 by the Dutch Colony Government. Despite its age, the lighthouse continues to guide ships to port and provides beauty-seeking travelers with the fabulous views they seek. Visitors to the lighthouse are welcome to explore its 12 floors and admire its large granite stones. Apart from the lighthouse and its scenery, the island is also a top diving spot with colorful reefs and a lively marine environment to discover.

Bangka Belitung, Simpang Renggiang, Indonesia

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15.Lorentz National Park

Lorentz National Park
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Encompassing land in southwestern and central Papua, or Irian Jaya as it used to be called, the Lorentz National Park is a top destination in Indonesia for nature lovers and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This protected area is open for visitors to explore on their own time while guided eco tours are also available for those who want to save on time. Lorentz is home to Gunung Puncak Jaya, the tallest island peak in the world at 4,884 meters, and is also surrounded by glorious glaciers around the Jayawijaya range. Apart from its indescribable beauty, the Lorentz National Park is home to over 630 species of birds and more than 123 species of mammals. For animal enthusiasts and avid bird watchers, this park is definitely the place to go when in Papua.

Papua, Indonesia

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16.Madakaripura Waterfall

Madakaripura Waterfall
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A vestige of the mighty Majapahit Kingdom, the Madakaripura Waterfal is a surreal destination to travel to inside the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. The waterfall is absolutely enchanting and is both culturally and historically significant as it is believed to be the final meditation place of Gajah Mada, the military Commander-in-Chief of the Majapahit Kingdom in East Java. Visitors to the Madakaripura Waterfall can walk beneath its endless waters. The journey to the falls is an adventure on its own as visitors will need to take a 20-minute trek across rivers and rocky paths just to get to its beauty. A statue of Gajah Mada greets visitors upon their arrival to the waterfall’s entrance.

Sapih, Branggah, Lumbang, Probolinggo, East Java 67183, Indonesia

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17.Baiturrahman Grand Mosque

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque
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A symbol of Acehnese religion and culture, the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque stands tall at the heart of the city of Banda Aceh and is a picturesque place to visit due its rich history and heritage as well as its architectural beauty. In addition to its importance as a religious and cultural symbol, the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is also representative of nationalism, spirit and strength having survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Originally designed by Gerrit Bruins, a Dutch architect, the mosque was later adapted by L.P. Luijks and features a Mughal revival style. The mosque is characterized by unique black grand domes and beautiful minarets while the interior features relieved walls and pillars, a marble staircase and marble flooring from China, stained-glass windows sourced from Belgium and even building stones from the Netherlands.

Masjid Raya, Kp. Baru, Baiturrahman, Kota Banda Aceh, Aceh 23116, Indonesia

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18.Neka Art Museum

Neka Art Museum
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Home to an excellent collection of diverse artworks and objects, the Neka Art Museum was established and created by a private Balinese art collector and dealer named Sunteja Neka. For art lovers who are interested in learning about the history of Balinese painting, the Neka Art Museum can give them insight and a close look at the growth and development of the artwork throughout the years. The Neka Art Museum is also home to a variety of local painting styles that are displayed in the Balinese Painting Hall. Other exhibits to view in the museum include the Arie Smit Pavilion, the Lempad Pavilion, the Contemporary Indonesian Art Hall, and the East-West Art Annex. There’s also a Photography Centre which houses black and white Balinese photographs from the 1930s to the 1940s.

Raya Campuhan Street, Kedewatan Village, Ubud Gianyar 80571, Indonesia, Phone: +62-361-97-50-74

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19.Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
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Nestled on the western end of the Beratan Lake in Bedugul, the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a gorgeous landmark in Central Bali as well as an important temple complex. The temple is a favorite getaway destination for locals and visitors alike who seek a retreat and respite from the heat in Bali’s cool uplands. A visit to the temple complex gives guests access to the Pentaran Agung Temple, the Dalem Prajapati Temple, the Dalem Purwa Temple, the Taman Beiji Temple, and Lingga Petak Temple, and the Buddhist Stupa. There are also lake activities to enjoy at the Pura Ulun Dani Beratan as well as photo opportunities with wild animals and many other activities.

Jln. Denpasar-Singaraja, Candikuning, Tabanan, Phone: +62-36-82-03-30-50

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20.Puri Lukisan Museum

Puri Lukisan Museum
© Puri Lukisan Museum


Pay a visit to the first museum in Ubud and the home of some of Bali’s finest modern art the Puri Lukisan Museum in Yayasan Ratna Wartha, Ubud. The museum is part of a number of landmarks that visitors can visit while walking around central Ubud, and is the perfect place to spend half a day of leisure. Visitors to the museums can admire a fabulous collection of modern art as well as traditional Balinese sculptures and paintings. There are also samples of Batuan and contemporary Keliki art, which are more modern kinds of Balinese art. Founded by the royal family of Ubud back in 1936, the museum was inspired by the Pita Maha artistic movement in Bali and continues to inspire artists from all over the world until this day.

Jalan Raya Ubud, Gianyar 80571, Phone: +62-361-97-11-59

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21.Aceh Tsunami Museum

Aceh Tsunami Museum
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Situated on the island of Banda Aceh, the Aceh Tsunami Museum stands as a symbolic reminder of the hardships and overwhelming odds that the locals survived after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. In additional to its being an architectural reminder of the disaster, the museum also serves as an educational center and, should the area ever be hit by a tsunami again, an emergency disaster shelter. Inside the museum, visitors will find a collection of photographs of the victims and exhibits that tell the story of survivors. There is also an electronic simulation of the earthquake and tsunami that visitors can experience to gain a full appreciation of the locals went through.

Jalan Sultan Iskandar Muda No 3, Sukaraima, Baiturrahman, Kota Banda Aceh, Aceh 23243, Indonesia, Phone: +62-65-14-07-74

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22.Taman Safari

Taman Safari
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The adventure of a lifetime awaits at Indonesia’s first and arguably most popular safari park. Located just one hour away from Jakarta, in Bogor’s Cisarua district, the Taman Safari is home to over 2,000 exotic and native animals, many of which actually roam the park without retraint. The park welcomes visitors of all ages, and invites everyone to spend the day feeding animals, catching spectacular animal performances, and enjoying different attractions in the safari park. Taman Safari’s top attraction, however, is undoubtedly the safari journey, in which visitors can ride in a car and drive through several animal zones where herbivores like zebras, llamas, giraffes and more walk through the park freely.

Jalan Kapten Harun Bakir No. 724, Cibeureum, Cisarua, Cibeureum, Cisarua, Bogor, Jawa Barat 16750, Indonesia

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23.The Subak

The Subak
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A symbol of Indonesia’s natural beauty and farming ingenuity, the Subak is practically Bali’s culture embedded in the landscape and is also a UNESCO World Heritage SIte. Located in the highlands of Bali, the Subak is composed of lush green paddy terraces, which stretch from the lowest of the valleys to the peaks of the volcanoes. There is also historical significance with the Subak as some of its irrigation channels, all of which are part of a rather complex and impressive system, were dug as early 944 AD. The stunning view of the landscape isn’t all that there is to enjoy at the Subak, however, as there are a handful of temples of visit in the area such as the Pura Buta Kau, the Pura Ulun Danau, and other water temples which hold festivals throughout the year.

Bali, Indonesia

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24.Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Monkey Forest
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A peaceful and magical place to visit in the Padangtegal Village, the Ubud Monkey Forest is a symbol of spirituality to locals as well as a center of economic, educational and conservation efforts in Bali. What makes the forest so special are the 700 monkeys that call its canopy home as well as the 186 different species of trees that thrive in its 12.5-hectare expanse of land. While the monkey are undoubtedly the main draw of the Ubud Monkey Forest, visitors can also explore dozens of temples within its grounds, which are connected by moderate and easy to follow trails that are equally enjoyable to explore.

Monkey Forest Street, Padangtegal Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia, Phone: +62-361-97-27-74

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25.Waterbom Bali

Waterbom Bali
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Beat the heat and speed down exhilarating water slides at the number one waterpark in all of Asia, the Waterbom Bali. Priding itself in innovative attractions, the Waterbom guarantees bang for your buck with its spectacular features and world-class facilities. Youngsters will enjoy attractions like the Lazy River, and the Funtastic, while those who want a bit more excitement can jump on waterslides like the Python, the Constrictor, and the Superbowl. For those who are looking for a complete and total adrenaline rush, extreme slides like the Smashdown 2.0, the Twin Racers, the Fast and Fierce, the Pipeline and the Double Twist are bound to get your heart pumping.

Jl. Kartika Plaza Tuban Kuta, Bali 80361, Indonesia, Phone: +62-361-75-56-76

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25 Best Things to Do on the Indonesian Islands