Discover our must-sees in Indonesia and enter this magical world of seductive charms. Between majestic explorations, sports activities, incredible culinary flavours, paradisiacal corners and ancestral traditions, this destination will reveal all its secrets!
Indonesia abounds in national parks with diverse and varied characteristics. They reveal a rich and colourful flora and fauna like nowhere else. Some are distinguished by the impressive animals that occupy the places and others by their lush vegetation. Many of them have an impressive heritage of tropical rainforests and are considered to be UNESCO protected reserves. This is particularly the case of Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra and Tanjung Puting in Kalimantan with amazing biodiversity. They also contain many endemic species such as elephants, tigers, birds, rhinos or even more orangutans in the wild. Another typical species of the region, the Komodo dragon can be admired on the volcanic islands of Komodo, Rinca and Radar. Just the presence of these deadly creatures undeniably brings adrenaline. It is highly recommended to be accompanied by a specialised guide to discover these large lizards in Komodo National Park. On the seaside, the Bunaken National Marine Park in the North of Sulawesi Island offers some of the world's richest diving spots with thousands of underwater species.
Nature lovers will be tempted by a walk in Bali Bird Park, among the birds. The park counts nearly a thousand birds of 250 species fluttering in the middle of a tropical greenery. In Taro, try a unique experience by meeting elephants at the Elephant Safari Park. You can watch them splash in the lake or paint with their trunk. You will even be able to feed them and go for a ride on their backs. You will bring back from this place exceptional memories, including handicrafts and the vision of the true skeleton of a mammoth from Southeast Asia. Other animals, both curious and endearing, are to be discovered in Alas Kedaton, the forest of monkeys. Many macaques rub shoulders with giant bats, also called warblers. Once their wings are extended, they can measure up to one metre in length. Simply impressive!
While Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world with 200 million practitioners, it is also home to Borobudur, the largest of all Buddhist temples. Built in the year 800 AD in Central Java, it has survived the centuries, with its old stones, 720 stupas and 2,670 bas-reliefs. The surrounding scenery, blending tropical jungle and verdant mountains, reinforces the scenic side of the place. This site is the first tourist attraction in the country, with 2.5 million visitors a year. Along the traditional paintings of Java, travel through the secret temples of these distant lands.
You can also visit Prambanan Park located in Central Java, with 240 temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, built around the 9th century. The sculptures are of rare precision, representing friendly animals, demons or even birdmen, forming the largest Hindu religious centre in the world.
Finally, do not leave Indonesia without discovering the Pura Tanah Lot, a Hindu temple nestled on a rock on the West bank of Bali and accessible at low tide, only on foot. Legends surround this secret place, including the presence of a giant snake that would protect man from evil spirits.
Traditional dances in Indonesia are part of the country's cultural and historical heritage, and over the years have contributed to its fame. Historically, these dances allowed priests to invite the gods for their religious manifestations, during ancestral rites.
Attending a performance of this ancient art is a must during your stay. The grace of movements and expressions, with colourful staging and radiant traditional costumes, transports you to the heart of Indonesian legends with religious and traditional values. On the island of Java, Yogyakarta is known for its dance academies and Ramayana ballet which offers magnificent performances. The dances are accompanied by gamelan with haunting music with percussion instruments, flutes and xylophones or even rhythmic and modern songs such as dangdut. The gambuh, the joged, the legong or even the kebyar, these dances take you to another world!
If you prefer modernity to traditional dances, Jakarta is for you. Indonesia being mostly Muslim, tolerance and festive spirit still rules in the capitale. There, you will have the choice: bars of 70’s influence, electronic nights with famous DJs, rock concerts, the ones who love to party will be glad.
Volcanoes have shaped the landscapes of the Indonesian archipelago and offer great ideas for excursions to sportsmen and daring travellers. With more than 500 volcanoes, these giants rub shoulders with an exuberant and changing nature with innumerable discoveries and dazzling views. The Bromo Volcano, East of Java, is one of the most beautiful in Indonesia, and even in the world. You will be rewarded with surreal landscapes. In the Pacific fire belt, the grey Krakatoa volcano is located in the Strait of Sunda and offers splendid views. On Ternate Island, the conically shaped Api Gamalama Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and offers the highest point on the island. Another, the Agung volcano, considered a sacred mountain reflects the mythical domain of the gods. And, North of Sumatra stands for 100km long, the largest volcanic lake in the world, Lake Toba with Batak houses nearby where the locals dance. Must-see sights await you!
Indonesia is pure pleasure for scuba diving enthusiasts. Bordered by the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, and connected by several other seas, such as Java or Celebes, this destination is, indeed, a paradise for diving. Several sites contain underwater treasures to discover: Bunaken, Raja Ampat, the Karimunjawa archipelago, etc. Not too fond of scuba diving? The Banda Islands offer an equally interesting alternative. With a simple mask, a snorkel and fins, explore the limpid waters of this archipelago that is safe from the tourist hordes during a snorkelling session. Along the coral walls or in the hidden coves, observe the natural riches of the deep turquoise waters during your diving and snorkelling excursions. Or, paddle or surf near palm-lined beaches in Lombok or Kuta, and experience the thrills!
In the middle of a dense and pigmented tropical greenery, the country offers a real playground for mountaineers and extreme activity enthusiasts. The volcanic archipelago is full of unexpected climbs to the high peaks with breathtaking views. Admire the sunrise on the heights of Mount Rinjani with its majestic view of a volcanic lake and beautiful sunsets from our villas in Bali. For more thrills, lose yourself in the hundreds of miles of jungle hiking or trekking and glide rafting in the white water of rivers and hot springs. One of the seven natural wonders of the world is also waiting for you in Komodo National Park with its improbable Komodo dragons and all its wealth of primates, felines, elephants and rhinos. Hikers are spoiled for choice, with only Ujung Kulon National Park, Tanjung Puting National Park or Cenderawasih Bay Park.
With its thousands of islands, Indonesia is a paradise for travellers who like to relax in the sun, enjoying the serenity of its coves and beaches of golden sand stretching as far as the eye can see. Sunbathing is particularly pleasant there. Guests can choose to relax on the Karimunjawa Islands, still wild and mangrove-lined. Or why not in Amed, a small village located East of Bali, where after a few fathoms at sunset, you will see the glowing lights of the star halo the top of the volcano Agung. On the Gili Islands, you will dive into the lively atmosphere of the evenings. You will not find any motorised machine there since the inhabitants move by carriage and bicycle. The waters are extremely clear, allowing you to admire a colourful fauna. Sometimes turtles join swimmers for an unforgettable aquatic ride. Much of Indonesia's coastline remains unknown and is like a lost paradise.
In terms of beaches, this tropical destination really has something to satisfy all desires. The golden sandy beach Indrayanti on the island of Java will appeal to lovers of tranquillity, being still preserved from mass tourism. In West Java, Pangandaran Beach is another natural wonder not to be missed.
The local cuisine is a superb blend of culinary traditions from Asian countries, including India and China. During your trip, you will certainly enjoy sautéed noodles or mie goreng, or babi guling, stuffed and spicy pork. Other typical dishes await you: the Soto, a vegetable and meat soup accompanied by rice with variations depending on the region; the Satay, which sets pieces of meat on charbroiled brooches with spices and peanuts; Pecel, a blend of vegetables and a traditional cracker with spices and peanut paste, or Pisang Molen, a traditional Indonesian pastry made from banana and cheese.
Throughout the year, festivities and traditions are celebrated in Indonesia around parades, dances and ancestral rites.
From January to March, we celebrate the Garebeg in Java with colourful floats, gamelan and crowds in traditional costumes; the Pasola, a traditional festival of Nusa Tenggara with false battles of riders; the fishing festival in Lombok or the Jazz Festival.
From April to July, the celebrations are: the Nyepi, which celebrates the new religious year in which monster effigies and ogoh-ogoh are burned to drive away evil spirits; the commemorative and religious festivals of Galungan or Kartini; the Bali Arts Festival or even the Jakarta Fair where local and foreign salespeople exhibit their products.
From August to December, there is the big Metatah teeth filing ceremony in Bali, the Independence Day on August 17, the Erau International Folklore, the Palembang canoe races and the Toraja funeral ceremonies to honour the dead.
The island of the gods is undoubtedly the most popular destination of Indonesia. Its temples, its exuberant nature, its fauna and its beaches promise an adventure out of the ordinary in Bali. You will discover magnificent sites, such as the Padang-Padang Cove or the sandy beach of Sanur.
Lombok, on the other hand, is an island full of contrast. It has splendid beaches to the South, magnificent volcanic giants, and an incredible fauna and flora. The nature reserve of the Rinjani volcano or the Gilis islands have made the reputation of this little piece of paradise over the years. A real Robinson Island!