The bells of Borobudor (Dreamstine)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 25 June

Bali and beyond: 9 unique Indonesian adventures you’ll want to book now

The islands of Indonesia are jam-packed with adventure and culture, but blissfully few visitors. Encounter fearsome wildlife, ancient monuments... and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world

1: Get adventurous in Bali

Rice terraces in Bali (Dreamstime)

Rice terraces in Bali (Dreamstime)

Experience the exhilarating side of one of the world’s most spectacular islands as you hike, bike and raft your way around Bali with Intrepid.

Enjoying a mixture of adventurous activities, you’ll see the best that Bali (and Lombok) has to offer. Go white water rafting outside Ubud, stroll through rice paddies and quaint villages en route to Candidasa, and wind your way along the slopes of Mount Agung to the beach. Climb the mythical route to Lempuyang Temple, trek through monkey-filled forest to Mount Rinjani, and snorkel in search of sea turtles in the remote Gili Islands.

You’ll learn all about about Balinese culture too, and get plenty of time to unwind on pristine beaches in Amed and Gili Air. This Bali and Lombok adventure strikes the perfect balance. 

Trip: Bali & Lombok: Hike, Bike & Raft

Who: Intrepid

When: Departures Mar-Oct

How long: 12 days

How much: £1,200 (exc. flights)

2: Dig deep in Sulawesi’s mind-blowing Toraja Land

Traditional burial site in Tanah Toraja (Dreamstime)

Traditional burial site in Tanah Toraja (Dreamstime)

Experience the unique culture, architecture and festivals of Sulawesi on this extraordinary tour of Toraja Land with Undiscovered Destinations.

Starting from the bustling capital Makassar, you’ll head deep into Tanah Toraja, an area of highlands where traditional architecture and practices are at their strongest. You’ll witness vibrant festivals and unique customs, including a trek to the extraordinary ‘hanging graves’.

Finally, the island’s national parks await, home to a dazzling array of flora and fauna and one of Asia’s least-visited regions.

Trip: Indonesia - Sulawesi Explorer

Who: Undiscovered Destinations

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 15 days

How much: From £1,895 (exc. flights)

3: Meet the orangutans of Sumatra

A Sumatran orangutan (Dreamstime)

A Sumatran orangutan (Dreamstime)

Head deep into the jungles of Sumatra in search of the rarer, longer-faced and paler-coloured Sumatran orangutan on this 11-day adventure with Audley.

You’ll trek through the rainforest and rivers of Gunung Leuser National Park in search of wildlife including elephants, orangutans and, if you are extremely lucky, Sumatran tigers. The Sumatran orangutan is more social than its Bornean counterpart: any fig tree laden with fruit is sure to attract large groups of them.

Finally, you’ll head to western Java, finishing in Yogyakarta with a sunrise visit to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist relic in the world.

Trip: Classic Java & Sumatra

Who: Audley

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 11 days

How much: £3,120 (inc. flights)

4: Discover the treasures of Indonesia

Borobudur Temple (Dreamstime)

Borobudur Temple (Dreamstime)

Discover the prized jewels of the Indonesian archipelago on this incredible adventure through Java, Kalimantan, Komodo Island and Bali with Bamboo Travel.

It’s an extraordinary mix of ancient monuments, rare wildlife, uninhabited islands, volcanoes, and a great diversity of cultures. In Java you’ll visit the Buddhist monument of Borobudur, the Hindu temples of Prambanan, and climb Mount Bromo to witness the spectacular sunrise. In Kalimantan, you’ll stay in a lodge in Tanjung Puting National Park, one of the best places to see orangutans in the wild, before heading to Flores for a three-day cruise around Komodo Island National Park to see the famous Komodo dragons. 

Finally, visit Bali where – after a few days in the laid-back town of Ubud – you’ll relax in a boutique hotel overlooking the stunning beaches of the south coast.

Trip: Treasures of Indonesia

Who: Bamboo Travel

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 17 days

How much: £4,495 (inc. flights)

5: Cycle Bali and Java

The cyclist of Pura Meduwe Karang (Dreamstime)

The cyclist of Pura Meduwe Karang (Dreamstime)

Get a remarkable insight into Indonesia at a pace in-keeping with the country on this cycling holiday through Bali and Java with KE Adventure Travel.

Dutch artist W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp was the first person to explore Bali by bicycle in 1904, a feat memorialised by a carved stone relief in Pura Meduwe Karang temple. You’ll follow in his tracks, riding the back roads of Bali and visiting ancient temples, deserted beaches and traditional villages where life has changed very little since Nieuwenkamp made his journey. 

There is plenty of time out of the saddle too, where you’ll meet the sulphur miners on the Gunung Ijen volcano, raft the Ayung River, and snorkel off the coast of Menjangan Island.

Trip: Bali & Java – Cycle the Islands of the Gods

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: Departures May-Sep

How long: 14 days

How much: £1,695 (exc. flights)

6: Discover the untouched charm of Raja Ampat

Little Wayag, Raja Ampat (Dreamstime)

Little Wayag, Raja Ampat (Dreamstime)

Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in Indonesia's answer to Halong Bay on this intimate journey through Raja Ampat with TravelLocal.

The untouched coastlines and pristine beaches offer incredible kayaking and diving opportunities, and the local rural communities are friendly and accommodating. A Lakkang culinary tour concludes with hands-on cooking lessons, and a cycling tour explores from Bantimurung to Bulusaraung. The Waisai birding trip is an unforgettable highlight.

Trip: Rural Life & Raja Ampat

Who: TravelLocal

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 10 days

How much: From £1,580 (exc. flights)

7: Here be dragons

A Komodo dragon on the beach (Dreamstime)

A Komodo dragon on the beach (Dreamstime)

Meet one of Indonesia’s most fearful residents, the Komodo dragon, on this four-day adventure in Komodo National Park with The Great Projects.

Witnessing these great beasts fight and feed is an obvious highlight, but the island offers so much more. You’ll relax on golden sandy beaches, snorkel beautiful coral gardens, visit Batu Cermin cave, and take a boat trip to beautiful Rinca Island.

Trip: Komodo Dragon Adventure Tour

Who: The Great Projects

When: Departures Apr-Nov 

How long: 4 days

How much: From £495 (exc. flights)

8: Climb every volcano

Mount Bromo at sunrise (Dreamstime)

Mount Bromo at sunrise (Dreamstime)

Climb five of Indonesia's major volcanoes on Java, Bali and Lombok on this challenging trekking holiday with KE Adventure Travel.

Located at the junction of four tectonic plates, Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country. You’ll journey through this amazing landscape of ‘living mountains’, experiencing the incredible diversity of the country as you hop from island to island.

Your trek starts with the ascent of Merapi (2,930m) on Java, then the iconic Bromo and Kawah Ijen where you will see the famous sulphur miners. Crossing to Bali, you’ll climb the island's biggest volcano, Agung, (3,142m) and have some time in the lovely town of Ubud before crossing to the island of Lombok. Here you’ll make a memorable three-day traverse over the summit of Rinjani (3,726m), trekking via the breathtaking Segara Anak crater lake.

Trip: Land of the Living Mountains

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: Departures Apr-Oct

How long: 15 days

How much: £1,595 (exc. flights)

9: Explore the more authentic side of Borneo

Dayak dancers (Dreamstime)

Dayak dancers (Dreamstime)

Get off the beaten track and discover the hidden corners of Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, with TravelLocal.

Travelling deep into the heart of the island, you’ll spot orangutans and proboscis monkeys and encounter local Dayak tribes as you venture towards Tanjung Putting by boat. You’ll visit villages in Loksado, then float down the river on a bamboo raft and visit the floating markets of Banjarmasin, encountering a more authentic side of this fabled island.

Trip: Kalimantan Untouched: Orangutans & Village Life 

Who: TravelLocal

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 9 days

How much: From £1,070 (exc. flights)