With over 18 thousand islands, Indonesia is a go-to destination when in search of exotic, eclectic and euphoria. With all the variety in terms of culture and religion, you’ll get to learn a lot, but also get to visit some truly stunning beaches that have no equivalent anywhere else on the globe.
That being said, there are a lot of ways to visiting Indonesia, with private charters being on of the most convenient and comfortable. You’re getting a tailored experience that’s completely suited to you and your needs, and you get staff members that are ready to take you on an unforgettable exploration tour of Indonesia’s islands, complete with inside information and tips.
Without further ado, if you are heading to this beautiful country of endless experiences, here are some of its most beautiful and tourist-friendly islands to begin with:
We’re kicking things off with one of the calmest, most relaxed islands in Indonesia – Lombok. It’s a prime destination for surfing, and while many people prefer heading straight to the neighboring island of Bali, we’d suggest that you check out Lombok first. It’s got a lot of privacy, making it perfect for a visit on a honeymoon or romantic getaway trip, and it’s not really one of those islands that are bustling with tourists, which a lot of people seem to appreciate.
There are a couple of smaller cities on the island, but the one to visit is Mataram. It’s a small city that’s got a reputation for one of the most culturally packed cities out there, with plenty of temples and monuments you can enjoy. A prime example is the Taman Narmada complex, which gives you a glimpse into the locals’ religious life and is a beautiful monument.
If, however, you consider yourself an active person, Lombok has some of the most beautiful surfing spots out there. Desert Point is one of the more challenging ones, but if you aren’t all that prepared, you can head to Ekas or Gerupuk, two spots that are a good choice for pretty much any skill level. There’s also the intermediate Mawi Beach, which has incredible consistency but does require you to know what you’re doing.
# Maluku Islands
You’re probably wondering where they are as you might know them by their nickname – the Spice Islands. For quite some time, the Maluku Islands were the only place in the world where you could find nutmeg and clove, which made them the subject of a war that lasted for years. The Dutch emerged victorious, though, getting control over the monopoly, which is why some of the architecture on the Maluku Islands has the Dutch signature all over it.
But it’s not just history and architecture – nature and culture are absolutely incredible. This is especially true since the islands aren’t that popular with tourists, so much of nature and culture is completely unspoiled. The best way to see this is the coral life – it’s incredible, and you’ll find a vast variety of spots for diving and snorkeling around the islands. If that’s something you’re keen on, you’ll love them.
This is the go-to island for people who want to experience everything Indonesia has to offer, which is why it’s the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia. It’s also incredibly crowded year-round, and that’s something you may or may not be a fan of. It certainly makes getting around tricky, but with a little planning and wit, you may just find those paths less traveled.
Culture and religion make travelers feel humble here, as Bali is the home of Balinese Hinduism, and you’ll see temples and offerings everywhere. This is not something you’ll come across in other areas of Indonesia. It’s like every aspect of Balinese life has a bit of Hindu faith. Visiting some of them isn’t an experience we can explain with words, it’s something you’ll have to immerse in yourself.
Here’s a pro tip if you’re heading to Bali – a tuk-tuk or a scooter are two great ways of getting around in the crowded streets, but either rent one with a driver or be very, very careful.
# Raja Ampat
The paradise on Earth that is Raja Ampat is something we just had to mention. This group of about 600 islands has crystal clear waters and beautiful limestone karsts that you can get close to on a small cruise ship, and it’s an absolutely lovely location. There are a couple of larger islands that you can visit, too, but by all means, if given the chance, head to Raja Ampat. You’ll see landscapes and coral life like no other, and it’s something you’ll regret missing out on if you don’t go.
These are just some of the most captivating islands in Indonesia for first timers, that also have a convenient level of services for tourists. However, if you are a an experienced traveler and feel like exploring further, you should consider the more remote Alor Archipelago, the volcanic Spice Islands or West Papua. Feel free to leave a comment below with your planned or past adventures in Indonesia if you feel we left something out.