Indonesia is a huge country and it, therefore, is impossible to experience it all in one trip. So, if you are looking for travel tips for Indonesia to decide what to do in this incredible country, in this blog I’m sharing the top 10 things to do in Indonesia as recommended by people who know the country inside out.
Indonesia is a country rich in culture and full of spectacular natural views and landscapes that will stay with you forever.
With around 18000 islands, there are many unique things to do in Indonesia. Unfortunately on my travels to Indonesia I ended up in a hospital after getting dengue fever in Bali and didn’t see many of the things I planned to see in Indonesia.
I, therefore, worked on this article with one of the people from TailorGo, who knows the country like no one else, to share some of the best things to do in Indonesia.
Top 10 Things to Do in Indonesia
1. Visit the Komodo Dragons
At Komodo National Park you can see the world-famous, giant lizards – the Komodo Dragons.
The national park is composed of three large volcanic islands (Komodo, Rinca, and Padar), and numerous smaller ones. It is a great area for hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
The Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and seeing the Komodo dragons for yourself is definitely one of the top things to do in Indonesia!
Tip: you can book those tours of the Komodo Islands online by clicking on the links in the text above. I recommend doing this well in advance to make sure they don’t sell out and, you are allowed to cancel them up to 24 hours before the start of the tour.
2. Visit the Tanah Lot Temple in Bali
This Hindu temple is perched on top of an outcrop and is famous for its spectacular sunsets and picturesque views.
It can only be accessed during low tide and therefore it’s best to check the times before going there.
Legend has it that couples should refrain from going there together as it could be unlucky!
The Tanah Lot temple is one of Bali’s most important landmarks and watching the sunset here is definitely something you don’t want to miss.
3. Hike an Active Volcano!
This is one of the most popular things to do in Indonesia for anyone who loves a good hike.
Soaring over 2300 meters (7550 feet) above sea level, Mount Bromo is the only active volcano inside Java’s spectacular Tengger Caldera national park.
Hiking Mount Bromo is popular with both Indonesian and international travelers and it is without a doubt one of the things not to miss when traveling to Indonesia.
People come here to see the smoking volcano, the surreal landscape, and spectacular sunrises.
Legend has it that a brave prince sacrificed his life for his family, so therefore the people here appease the Gods once a year during the annual Kasada festival where offerings of vegetables, chickens and money are thrown into the crater of the volcano.
The best time to visit Mount Bromo is from May until October and if you want to avoid the crowds, better skip the weekends.
Tip: there is a 3-day tour from Bali that takes you to Mt. Bromo and inside the Ijen crater! Or, if you plan to spend time on Java, you can book a day tour to Mount Bromo from Surabaya – or should I say night tour, because the tour starts just after midnight to get you there for sunrise!
4. Be Amazed at the Istiqlal Mosque
This spectacular Mosque can be found in the capital city of Jakarta.
In Indonesia, the majority of the population is Muslim and therefore you find spectacular mosques all around the country.
The Istiqlal mosque is the largest one with a magnificent dome that will take your breath away. It is open to everyone.
Also Read: 15 Interesting Facts About Indonesia
5. Shake Your Body Watching Balinese Dance Moves!
The Kecak and Fire dance is one of the most popular traditional Balinese dances and you can watch this at Uluwatu temple in Pecatu, on the southern peninsula of Bali.
This dance is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Bali! It takes place at sunset and the dancers are beyond amazing!
You can book tickets online which include transportation from your hotel. I recommend booking these early, especially since you are allowed to cancel until 24 hours before the show.
6. Learn How to Cook a Spectacular Meal
Throughout Indonesia you can find cooking classes, where you can learn how to cook with the traditional spices and flavors unique to this part of the world.
Just ask you ho(s)tel for cooking classes nearby.
7. Visit the Borobudur Temple
This famous Buddhist temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, is located in central Java.
It is a masterpiece, the largest Buddhist temple in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The spectacular carvings on the walls tell a beautiful story.
Insider tip: hire a guide, it is absolutely worth it! You can book a half-day tour or a full-day tour which includes transportation from your hotel with a knowledgeable, English speaking driver. But, hiring a guide inside the temple is still recommended.
8. Stay on a Private Sandy Beach
I highly recommend that all love birds visit Pulo Cinta (Love Island).
You’ll love the gorgeous beach, crystal clear water, small huts and a view that will stay in your heart forever.
Legend has it that during a time of war, a young Prince of Gorontalo met the beautiful daughter of a Dutch trader. Among the bloodshed – their forbidden love bloomed in agony. Hidden in the night, under the stars.
Pulo Cinta was their secret escape. There, they could be lovers, far from everything that separated them.
9. Don’t Miss out on Indonesia’s Water Sports
There is a vast number of water adventures available – from canyoning to rafting, surfing, sailing and scuba diving.
Canyoning, especially at Kalimudah Canyon in Bali, is a must-do. You slide down natural water slides – fun for the whole family!
10. Eat as Much Indonesian Food as You Can!
Indonesia is famous for its spectacular culinary delights so of course one of the best things to do in Indonesia is to try all the local food!
From fresh seafood to intricate, flavorful curries. Go on a gastronomic adventure you will never forget!
Definitely don’t miss Indonesian Satay (meat on skewers), Beef rendang, Sop Buntut (oxtail soup) and Nasi Uduk (one of Indonesia’s national dishes).
But really I could go on and on and make this list much longer so just try as much food as you can while exploring Indonesia!
The Best Experiences in Indonesia
Indonesia is so large and diverse that it is impossible to see it all in just a few weeks.
But no matter when and for how long you travel to Indonesia, I hope you’ll have a great time and I hope this list of things to do in Indonesia has helped plan your trip.
Enjoy as much as you can of what this country has to offer! Check out this Complete Guide to Indonesia for more travel tips.
- Traveling to Indonesia? Check Out These 15 Facts About Indonesia First!
- How to Find the Cheapest Flights to Anywhere in the World
- Dengue Fever in Bali – My Personal Experiences
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