Southeast Asia has been in the spotlight for everyone from backpackers to luxury travellers in the last few years, and Indonesia is no different. This island range was formed by volcanic activity, leaving staggering mountains, lush canopies of forest and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife in its tracks. Add to that the amazing beaches each island is home to, and you can see why Indonesia is so popular!
Inspired by my recent trip to the region, I share my guide to Indonesia island hopping to help you plan your own. And since I started my adventure in Bali, that’s where we’ll start today, too!
A haven of temples, rice terraces and more blissful beaches than I can count, Bali is one of the most popular Indonesian islands for good reason. I found that out first hand on my recent visit. I recommend Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu temple, in particular, for a truly calming experience. Keen to embrace your inner zen? Check out these four fabulous Bali yoga retreats.
If you’d rather get active, Bali has plenty to offer you too. From hiking the volcanic landscape of Gunung Batur to waterfall hunting, there are many natural wonders to keep your itineraries full. Get inspiration for your trip with my 10 best things to do in Bali here.
Borneo is a fascinating island, shared between several states. Visit Kalimantan and you can continue your Indonesia island hopping experience, heading somewhere off the beaten track in comparison to Bali.
Here, the jungle you got a flavour for on other Indonesian islands takes over, therefore trekking through the dense vegetation is the perfect way to spend your days. Reconnecting with nature isn’t optional: whether it’s the monkeys or branches and vines, the natural world will make itself known! Keep your eyes peeled for orang- utans, Borneo’s famous orange residents.
Visit Java and enjoy the many dimensions that Indonesia island hopping has to offer. Java is an island that’s very much open for business, and not just for the tourist trade, so you’ll get a flavour for what Indonesian life looks like for many of its residents today.
Take in Jakarta, the island’s biggest city, for activities most often associated with a city, rather than an island, break. There are malls, museums and amusement parks to entertain you, as well as culturally and historically significant buildings to see.
A hit with honeymooners, make your next stop Indonesia island hopping at Lombok. This is the island to visit if you want to load up on laid-back luxury. It’s all about the ocean, so whether you want to hit the surf, spot the sealife snorkelling or enjoy a boat trip to one of the nearby Gili Islands, you’ll be in your element here.
Getting outdoors is a running theme as we’ve been Indonesia island hopping. It’s here to stay for Sumatra too. While the island suffered significant damage in the 2004 tsunami, its majestic volcanic mountains, lush landscapes and surprising beaches remain irresistibly appealing. Not every landscape is within easy access though, so hire a car, pack a map and hit the road to track down your very own hidden gems.
What to pack for a trip to Indonesia
What activities most tempt you to go Indonesia island hopping?
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