Yes, there are a thousand reasons you can think of to keep coming back to Bali. Trust me, I know. That is why I am still stuck in this tropical paradise since my first visit years ago. However, there is no harm in being up for another island adventure. And Indonesia offers you tons of them!
“Dari Sabang sampai Merauke, berjajar pulau-pulau” is a part of the lyrics from one of Indonesia’s national songs. It means “from Sabang, furthest east, to Merauke, furthest west, islands are lining up throughout this archipelago country.” And I picked some of the best, most interesting islands you should include on your island adventure itinerary.
1. Gili Islands, Lombok
Lombok is only about 100 kilometers (approximately 62 miles) away to the west of Bali. Being that close, it has become the most popular destination for tourists coming from or going to Bali. They are flocking to Lombok for one reason: the Gili Islands.
These islands consist of three small islands. Gili Islands offer quieter ambiance and more authentic tropical beauty. The biggest island is Gili Trawangan, which kind of reminds me of Jamaica with its beach nightlife and thumping sound of music in the air. The other two islands—Gili Air and Gili Meno—are smaller and even quieter. Visiting any of these three beautiful islands is perfect for those who don’t want to be too far from Bali but are craving less traffic and more white sand!
2. Komodo Island, Nusa Tenggara
Flying dragons may only exist in the Game of Thrones world, but Komodo dragons do exist in our world. And they only exist here in this part of Indonesia, East Nusa Tenggara, and further east from Bali. They cannot fly nor breathe fire, but they are called dragons because of their super-size. Komodo is indeed the largest lizard in the world.
Can you get closer to these fascinating creatures? Yes, go trekking at Komodo Island and you get the chance to walk among them. They can be dangerous, but as long as you follow the ranger’s instruction, you will be okay.
Besides visiting the dragons at Komodo National Park on this beautiful island, there are other activities you can do here such as snorkeling, diving, and other water activities. I would recommend you to go bat watching or enjoy the sunset from Pink Beach.
3. Karimun Java, Central Java
The islands of Karimun Java are located up north of Java Island. The limited access to this area is one of the main reasons why it’s not as famous as other beaches in Indonesia. Karimun Java consists of many exotic private islands that you can reach by taking a fisherman’s boat. If you are not in a tour group, you can hire a local fisherman to take you.
Karimun Java is the perfect place to connect with nature. It’s as if you own the beach. There is no buzz around you, just you and the beauty of your surroundings such as the soothing breeze, the sound of the gentle ocean waves, and the smooth white sands that you are sitting on. It is a priceless experience just to sit here, breathe easy, and let go of all the problems that you may be facing in your life.
Read more about the beautiful islands of Karimun Java in this article: The Unspoiled Beauty Of Remote Islands, Karimun Java.
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4. Bangka Belitung Islands, Sumatra
About 400 kilometers (approximately 250 miles) away from Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, lies one of the most popular getaway destinations among locals, Bangka Belitung. Belitung Island and its surrounding islets offer the beauty of sandy beaches with large granite rock formations. Definitely Instagramable!
And that is only the beauty on the surface. Get underneath the clear blue water and you will be amazed by beautiful, colorful fish swimming on its coral reef. One of the islets with its colonial Dutch-built lighthouse, Lengkuas Island, is a great snorkeling and diving spot.
5. Bintan Island, Riau
From the accompanying picture, you would think that Bintan Island is somewhere remotely secluded. But this beautiful island is actually located only a short boat ride away from Singapore. As one of the gateways of Indonesia, Bintan offers historical architecture and history of the Dutch colonial era.
Even though it is located near the heart of Southeast Asia, Bintan still offers you the exclusivity of secluded beaches. It is just more upscale and high priced compared to most secluded beaches in Indonesia. This is reflected by the island’s upscale resorts and championship golf courses.
6. Krakatoa Island, West Java
Mount Agung’s eruption in Bali caused travel bans in several countries. I found this silly and overrated. Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is no stranger to volcanic eruptions. People here are aware of the danger of volcano eruptions. However, from a certain distance, it is safe for us to be around it. In fact, there is an adventurous way for you to witness this majestic natural phenomenon.
Krakatoa Island is where I recommend you experience this. The mountain’s 1883 eruption was one of the biggest, most violent volcanic events in the world. And here lies the silent witness: a smaller volcano as the result of Krakatoa’s massive eruption. This volcano is still actively erupting and is visible from afar. Camping out on Rakata Island under a bright sky is the best way to witness how Mother Nature works on this beautiful island.
7. Raja Ampat Islands, Papua
Raja Ampat is arguably the home to the best marine adventure. Consisting of more than six hundred islands in the most unspoiled part of Indonesia, these beautiful islands will amaze you with their beaches, coral reefs, and marine life.
The waters around these islands are deeper than most diving sites in Indonesia. Hence, you have the chance to dive in and swim with whales here!
Raja Ampat’s beautiful islands will not let you take a break from wonderful adventures. Once you are done with your underwater mission for the day, the mysterious jungle-covered islands are waiting. Go explore some ancient rock paintings and caves on Misool Island or wildlife on Waigeo Island!
Get your gear ready for Indonesia's island adventures!
Indonesia’s beautiful islands are not just about sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets on the horizon. Explore more throughout the country for more adventurous experiences!
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