With quite literally innumerable islands to explore – estimates vary between 17 and 18,000 – Indonesia’s charms are wonderfully diverse. One moment you could be peeling back the vines that surround jungle-cloaked temples and the next, holidaying in the sun on your very own private-island beach.

There’s a rich, cultural diversity, too; over 300 languages are spoken in Indonesia. You’ll be invited to play chess on street corners in Jakarta, mesmerised by hypnotic Balinese dances, and discover what is the largest Buddhist temple in the world – Borobudur. Dating to the 9th century, it’s an undisputed, UNESCO-listed world wonder, a giant pyramid of ordered stupas and Buddha statues that gaze out over mist-shrouded jungle. But, given that Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country, expect the mellifluous call to prayer to drift over its old towns from successively grand mosques, all bright-blue domes and sky-piercing minarets. And, all these disparate influences go into the cooking pot, forming dishes that are only just getting the attention they deserve.

However, at its heart, Indonesia is a land of adventure. Hike up archipelago-defining, still-active volcanoes; snorkel with turtles off the idyllic Gili Islands; dodge temple monkeys on Bali, and hop over to Flores where Komodo dragons hunt buffalo. Then there’s Borneo. Here, twisting waterways plied by luxury houseboats lead into dense rainforests – the home to bright orangutans and shy leopards. If this all sounds like too much, however, there’s plenty of opportunity for a white-sands holiday. Indonesia is home to some of the world’s most luxurious getaways, ranging from clifftop villas with spectacular ocean views to private-island hideaways where golden beaches are shared only by tiptoeing deer. Getting lost has never been so much fun.

 


Special experiences

For a chance to cross an essential experience off your travel wish list, watch the sun come up between the temple columns of Borobudur or summit Mount Bromo in Java to look over the volcanic crater as the sun bursts across the sky. Step back in time and island hop on a superyacht masquerading as a traditional phinisi schooner. Trek the forest trails on Kalimantan with a top guide, looking for orang-utans, come face-to-face with a dragon on Komodo or seek out birds of paradise. Explore the underwater world and unspoiled reefs of Raja Ampat on a mind-blowing dive or look for sunken Buddha statues at Lembongan Island. Surf western Sumatra’s best breaks with a local surf pro. River raft down a wild river. Discover Bali’s diverse landscapes by bicycle or ATV machines and gallop along volcanic sand beaches on graceful Indonesian horses. Duck into a temple to understand more about Indonesia’s religious and cultural history. Witness a traditional Kecak fire dance and ceremonial performance in a Balinese village or among the monuments of an 11th century temple. Explore beyond Bali and uncover the secret shores of Sumba and the other islands of the archipelago. Take time out to reflect on your adventures and relax on the volcanic sands of Lombok.

Mount Bromo, Java

Watch the sunrise over Java's Mount Bromo

Raja Ampat Explorer cruise

Seek out hidden island gems on a luxury cruise

A turtle swimming off the Gili Islands

Discover an underwater world teeming with life


Where to stay in Indonesia

You’re spoiled for choice. Look for world-class tropical beach villas in Bali and cutting-edge design properties in extraordinary locations like Alila Villas Uluwatu. Immerse yourself in a magical property, Amanjiwo, overlooking Borobudur, seek out blissfully secluded jungle retreats like Jiwa Jawa Ijen or eco-lodges on the forested foothills of Mount Bromo such as the Jiwa Jawa Resort. Relax in cliff-edge retreats with incredible infinity pools including Amankila and luxurious coastal villas like Plataran Menjangan. Alternatively, indulge yourself with a chic castaway escape perfect for barefoot luxury such as Nihiwatu on Sumba Island or a private paradise island escape such as Amanwana on Moyo Island. For the chance to get off-the beaten-track and try a seriously stylish experience, ask us about a berth on board a private phinisi sailing boat, such as the Alila Purnama, considered to be among the world’s most luxurious yachts.


When to go to Indonesia

A trip to Indonesia is all about relaxing and exploring the country's spectacular landscapes and relaxing on its pristine beaches, so plan your trip accordingly. The perfect time to travel to the western islands, from Sumatra in the north to Komodo in the south is between April and October, when you can expect the best weather. The Eastern islands are at their best in the months after this, from November to February, when the diving here is at its most impressive.


Suggested itineraries

Lombok beach and coral reef, Indonesia

Highlights of Bali and Lombok

12 days from £3,495 pp incl. flights

Showcase the best of Indonesia’s paradise islands with stays in private-pool villas and jungle-clad bungalows as private touring and transfers bring you between water temples, snorkelling trips and traditional performances.

Orangutan, Kalimantan, Indonesia

Indonesia and Borneo Adventure

18 days from £4,995 pp incl. flights

From travelling in a houseboat into the depths of the Borneo rainforest to snorkelling off uninhabited islands in Bali and hiking up to sunrise views of still-active volcanoes, this is your chance to explore Indonesia in luxury.

Sunrise at Borobudur, Indonesia

Indonesia in Style

15 days from £5,995 pp incl. flights

Aman’s super-stylish hotels are renowned for being destinations in themselves. Combine that with Indonesia’s charming islands and you have the ultimate luxury experience, with faultless service and opulent indulgence.

Mendaka, Nihiwatu

The Ultimate Indonesian Honeymoon

14 days from £7,360 pp incl. flights

Take in the best of Indonesia's islands and hotels on this honeymoon holiday: sandy beaches, dormant-yet-dramatic volcanoes, jungles sheltering elephants and monkeys, and amidst all this, some fabulous stays.

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