With a population of well over 260 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. Not that you’d know it when you’re lazing on a white-sand beach in Lombok, mind you. In fact, only 1% of the population lives in Bali and even less in Lombok, making these the perfect islands to truly get away from it all. It’s not just about beach holidays here either, with diving, snorkelling and surfing all popular pastimes, as well as searching for dolphins and Komodo dragons. Inland too, the 17,500 islands are coated with thick jungles, volcanic peaks and vivid green rice terraces hiding temples, shrines and pagodas galore.
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Where to Go in Indonesia
The majority of the holiday action in Indonesia takes place in Bali, where you’ll find lively nightlife, a wealth of adventure activities, great beaches and captivating culture. But Bali isn’t the only island to visit within the country. The volcanic island of Lombok to the east of Bali promises miles of verdant landscapes, pristine coves and tranquil hillsides. Just off the coast of Lombok, and easily visited on a day trip if you don’t fancy staying, the three Gili Islands offer fantastic snorkelling and diving spots, especially if you’re hoping to spot a turtle. Gili Trawangan, also known as Gili T, is the largest and liveliest of the three, packed with cool bars and good restaurants. Gili Air is the most off-the-beaten track, fringed by plenty of seafood cafés, while laid-back Gili Air, the smallest, is also the most peaceful and romantic.
For a more off the beaten track experience, head for untouched spots like North Sumatra – home to the enormous crater Lake Toba – as well as the 9th-century Borobodur temple in Central Java and Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, where you can summit the mighty Mount Bromo. Blissfully secluded beaches can be found at Tanjung Kelayang and Tanjung Lesung (on Belitung Island and Java respectively), while water sports fanatics will love Mandalika for its surfing and Wakatobi and Morotai for their abundant diving opportunities.
Indonesia Holiday Types
Naturally a holiday to Indonesia should include some beach time, but it’s not the only type of holiday you can enjoy here. From tranquil countryside to charming culture, delicious local food and luxurious resorts, we have a great range of holiday types to show you the best of Indonesia.
Officially the world's largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur is utterly enchanting. The 1,200-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site is made up of 72 stupas and 432 Buddha statues and sits within a valley surrounded by gorgeous countryside and gently sloping mountains. The temple is best viewed at sunrise and sunset when the sun's rays disperse the morning mist, slowly unveiling the captivating temple. Make sure that you don't miss out on seeing this spine-tingling sight.
Less well known than its neighbour to the west, Lombok is the perfect destination for some rest and relaxation away from the crowds that flock to Bali. Here you will get more of a flavour for the 'real' Indonesia, not to mention the opportunity to dive and snorkel some of the world's most pristine corals, surf some of the best waves on Earth, and climb the iconic Gunung Rinjani – an active volcanic peak to the north of the island.
The car-free Gili Islands are made up of a trio of golden sand-fringed isles, flung off the north-west corner of Lombok. Closest is stylish Gili Air, which offers tranquillity in abundance, as well as a friendly local community. In the middle sits the romantic Gili Meno. It's the smallest of the three islands, but packs a punch with some of the best beaches in the archipelago, which in turn makes it popular with honeymooners, sun worshippers and desert island fantasy seekers alike. Finally, hedonistic Gili Trawangan in the most popular and, with its hip bars, trendy guesthouses and abundant restaurants, is a haven for backpackers and party lovers.
Situated on the island of Java, the heartland of cultural Indonesia, is Mount Bromo. This spectacular volcano rises emphatically from a wide black sand desert, creating an alienesque landscape that seems out of place in the tropical highlands of Indonesia. But that's what makes it so special. The peak is best experienced with a sunrise hike tour, so you can watch on as the ever-changing shadows dance across the ground below.
Komodo National Park
Selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, Komodo National Park is renowned for its unrivalled rugged beauty and marine biodiversity, not to mention being home to the unique Komodo dragon. Indeed, this untouched corner of Indonesia boasts an abundance of wildlife – in addition to around 5,700 of the world's largest living lizard – such as whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, sperm whales and even blue whales.
More About Indonesia
Capital city: Jakarta
Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Vaccinations: Courses or boosters usually advised before visiting Indonesia include Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid. To arrange your vaccinations or for more information and advice, we recommend making an appointment at our Travel Clinic at least six weeks before travelling.
Flight time: The London to Bali flight time is around 16 hours.
Main airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali
Visas: British Citizens do not require a visa if staying for under 30 days.
Top 3 Things to Do in Indonesia
- Relax in Ubud, Bali
- Go snorkelling or diving in the Gili Islands
- Visit the Borobodur temple complex in Central Java
When to Go to Indonesia
With its tropical climate, Indonesia is hot and humid all year-round, with temperatures rarely dropping below 30°C. Most visitors come in the dry season from April to October. This season is especially popular, although if you visit in September and October it’s possible to avoid the crowds. The wet season takes place from November to March with 30°C temperatures and high humidity levels, so breezy coastal areas are best for cooling off. This is a great time to tour the temples and highlands, as both will be cooler and more peaceful than in the dry season, and the interior rice terraces and forests are a riot of life and colour.
Why Book Your Indonesia Holiday with Flight Centre
We know Indonesia: At Flight Centre, we have an extensive range of holidays on offer in Indonesia, from family-friendly beach holidays to tailor-made adventures that take in multiple locations. Have something specific in mind? Our Experts can tailor make an Indonesia holiday from scratch to be exactly what you want.
Local knowledge: As part of the global Flight Centre Travel Group, we have staff on the ground in Indonesia who will be on hand to welcome you at the airport, drive you to your hotels and operate select tours during your stay. So from the UK to Indonesia, we’re with you at every step to offer you up to date local information and peace of mind.
Flexibility: We offer flexible deposits, the opportunity to pay the balance of your holiday just 10 weeks before departure and fixed change and cancellation fees.
Flight Centre concierge and 24/7 Emergency Assistance Service: When you book a holiday to Indonesia from our range of tailor-made Journeys, you’ll also enjoy access to our inclusive concierge and 24/7 Emergency Assistance services.