With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. Located in Southeast Asia, right between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and directly over the equator, this is the world’s largest island country in the world. Due to the variety of islands Indonesia offers, it’s no surprise that you’ll find an island adventure that is perfect for you. The staggeringly beautiful country offers gorgeous beaches, stunning volcanoes, some of the world’s best diving destinations, and exotic cultures. While some of the islands have gained popularity as travel destinations, there are many that are still untouched by humans. Some of them are renowned surf destinations, while others are home to fascinating endemic species. Therefore, don’t be limited to the pristine white beaches, lush rainforests, and stunning volcanoes. Explore the various islands in Indonesia according to your interests.
Explore The Unique Islands In Indonesia With Us:
1. The Most Popular Island: Bali Island
Bali is a world-acclaimed island paradise that is located just over two kilometres from the eastern tip of Java and west of Lombok. Bali is one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia and is also known as the Island of the Gods. Over the years, Bali has won over the hearts of tourists with its many charms such as a varied landscape, incredible beaches, and an intriguing Hindu culture. Now, the island boasts many newly discovered attractions, passionate ex-pat communities, and luxe establishments.
Bali welcomes millions of international tourists annually and offers something for everyone, be it natural features, food, cultural workshops, art, shopping, or more. Other than your usual beach activities such as kayaking, surfing, and diving, when in Bali, visit the town of Ubud, home to forests filled with monkeys, artists, and galleries, or explore Hindu temples. You can also hike around the foothills of the active volcano Mount Batur, or see the traditional rice terraces still farmed by local residents.
Also Read: Do Not Miss These Places To Visit In Bali
2. One Of The Lesser Sunda Islands: Lombok Island
Another one of the popular islands in Indonesia, Lombok is located east of Bali and west of Sumbawa. Often dubbed Bali’s more laid-back sister, Lombok is a part of the Lesser Sunda Island chain. The island is very well known for its divine beaches, the majestic Mount Rinjani, and spectacular marine life. Along with its stunning natural landscapes, the island is a surfers’ paradise, especially for those who prefer a more intimate atmosphere and historic cities. One such example would be Mataram, the largest city of Lombok. Here, you can find the stunning 18th-century palace of Taman Mayura and a Hindu temple turned into a park by local residents, Taman Narmada.
Also Read: Top Places To Visit In Lombok, Indonesia
3. Home To The Largest Lizard On Earth: Komodo Island
The island of Komodo is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores in the East Nusatenggara province of Indonesia. Komodo Island is a part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo National Park. The island is the native home of the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard that hunts prey as big as water buffalo. It is the only place where you can see these giant lizards roaming freely. Aside from this fascinating creature, Komodo’s rugged terrain and its volcanic slopes that open up to beautiful bays ringed with pink sand alone could justify its recent fame as a hip island destination. Komodo is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia and offers lavish accommodations and liveaboard boats leading to adventure and tranquility in one place.
4. A Tropical Retreat: Gili Islands
The Gili Islands is an archipelago of three small islands and is located off the coast of Lombok. Each of the three islands has its own charm. Gili Trawangan is the biggest of the three and is known for its vibrant nightlife and is also the perfect place to try scuba diving, relax with a week-long yoga retreat, or go surfing. The Gili Meno island is a desert-island getaway that is known to be far more serene and quiet, making it the most romantic of the Gilis and a popular honeymoon destination.
The third island, Gili Air is the spot for pure escapism. It is wildly popular with serious scuba divers who’d want to explore an impressive underwater world hiding some of the planet’s rarest and most dangerous marine species. While all these islands have their own character, they all offer postcard-perfect white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and cute homestays, without any cars, dogs, or in-your-face commercialisation.
5. Largest Island Of Maluku province: Seram Island
Seram Island is a mountainous, sparsely populated island which is located in eastern Indonesia (Maluku Province), near New Guinea. It is the largest and the main island in the province of Maluku. Seram is almost completely covered with dense rainforests, white-sand beaches, coconut palms, and turquoise waters. While much of the island is underdeveloped, the island is well known for trekking, camping, snorkelling, and diving. You will also find a number of trails that you can follow across the island to enjoy many endemic flora and fauna.
6. Remote Treasure Chest Of Unspoiled Natural Beauty: Wakatobi Islands
The Wakatobi Islands are situated off the shore of Sulawesi Island and are the collective name for the four islands that form a mini-archipelago. These islands are Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko. Located in the Coral Triangle, the Wakatobi islands are known for being fantastic dive destination and have hundreds of diving spots. Filled with vibrant underwater life, each of these diving spots is inhabited by different sets of corals, fish, seaweed, and other marine biodiversity. As the islands sit within the wider Wakatobi National Park, you can enjoy the diversity of marine life by simply walking around the islands or snorkeling and swimming. A lesser-known paradise, these islands are relatively quiet and pristine compared to other mainstream Indonesian islands.
7. One Of The Top Scuba Diving Destinations In The World: Bunaken Island
Bunaken Island is situated off the far northeastern tip of Sulawesi Island and is a part of the Bunaken National Marine Park. The island is known as one of the best diving spots in the world because of its crystal waters that are filled with reef sharks, five different species of sea turtles, barracuda, and other amazing sea creatures. In the national park about 390 species of coral and more than 2000 species of fish can be found, making it one of the richest coral ecosystems around the world. Hence, even many snorkelers also visit this island to explore the shallower coral reefs closer to the shoreline. The island stretches over a distance of eight square kilometres, with white-tip and black-tip reef sharks living alongside dugongs, tuna, barracuda, and saltwater crocodiles.
8. Tiny Island Paradise: Bangka Belitung Islands
The Bangka-Belitung is an archipelago of around 470 islands located to the east of the main island of Sumatra. With uncrowded azure waters and clean sands mixed with scenic rock formations, these islands offer some of the best beaches in the world. Out of the many islands, currently, there are only 50 that are inhabited, leaving hundreds waiting to be explored. You can opt for a boat tour which can take you island hopping to the seven islands and explore the tropical flora and fauna there, or you can also visit the famed Lengkuas Island with its iconic 19th-century lighthouse overlooking the translucent sea.
9. Some Of The Most Perfect Surfing Breaks In The World: Mentawai Islands
Mentawai Islands are a collection of over 70 islands situated off the coast of West Sumatra. This archipelago is a world-famous surfing paradise, where surfers from all around the world with different skill levels come to ride the big waves, ranging from two to 15 feet tall.
The Mentawai Islands also hosts a range of surf tournaments annually such as the Mentawai International Pro Surf Competition and more. Along with its well-developed surf culture, Mentawai also keeps a treasure chest of rich and vibrant marine biodiversity below the waves, including dolphins, dugongs, and sea turtles.
If you insist on staying dry, you can take boat tours that will let you island hop around the little coves and inlets, or you can trek through the thick tropical rainforest, or explore the villages and discover the fascinating unique culture of the Mentawai tribe.
10. Volcanic Landscapes: Ternate Island
This small volcanic island lies within the province of North Maluku and is situated off the coast of the larger Halmahera in Northeast Indonesia. Ternate is a small lush island that has many spices, which is why it was once an important part of the international trade route during the colonial era. Its history has left a number of charming ancient buildings and fortresses, adding a cultural charm to the island along with its markets, seafood, and tropical beaches. As Ternate is known to be unspoiled and clean, the island also boasts plentiful diving spots that have preserved its vibrant marine biodiversity.
11. White-sand beaches, Turquoise Seas, And Relaxed Retreats: Karimunjawa Islands
Nestled in the Java Sea off the coast of Central Java, Karimunjawa is a string of islands that are rarely visited by foreigners. This archipelago is the archetypal castaway island paradise that consists of 27 islands that form a marine park, out of which only five are inhabited by people. The islands are home to pearly white sandy beaches, flourishing coral reefs, mangrove rainforests, and rich biodiversity that includes rare and protected species. The beaches here are an ideal spot for beginner-friendly diving and snorkelling. You can also try island-hopping through Karimunjawa’s five inhabited islands and more uninhabited ones. It will not only bring you to gorgeous white-sand beaches but will also allow you to engage with the mix of cultures that are a part of the island’s local population—the skillful seamen of Bugis, crafty Javanese folk, and fishermen from Madura.
All Islands Of Indonesia Boast Limitless Charms
These are just a few of the beautiful islands in Indonesia. Plan a trip around the vast archipelago of Indonesia, which has innumerable island destinations to visit. Stretching far and wide across the equator, this nation will guarantee that you get beautiful ocean views paired with lush hills and thriving wildlife to explore at every corner you visit, along with a charming cultural heritage and wonderful underwater delights. If we have missed any of your favourite Indonesian islands, let us know in the comments below.