When you think of Indonesia, most people would probably just “Bali,” but there are SO many more incredible islands to discover (over 17,000, in fact). As hard as it was to round up, here’s 10 of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia that you must know about.
1. Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is a small island off the southeast coast of the main island of Bali. If you’re visiting Bali, there are many popular tours and easy transport to make your way to this magical island. Blessed with mangrove forests, seaweed farms, and tranquil beaches; it’s a little slice of paradise!
Lombok is one of my favourite islands in Indonesia for many reasons including exquisite white-sand beaches, epic surf, a lush forested interior, and hiking trails through tobacco and rice fields. It’s home too Indonesia’s second highest volcano, Gunung Rinjani, which you’re free to climb. If you’re on the way to the Gili islands, a stopover in Lombok is a must!
3. Seram Island
Fringed by white-sand beaches and coconut palms, sitting in a turquoise sea; Seram island is a vision of paradise. The island is home to many unspoiled beaches and little paradises. It’s also rich in tropical rainforests and many endemic animal and plantation.
4. Rote Island
Rote Island is an island of Indonesia, part of the East Nusa Tenggara province of the Lesser Sunda Islands. According to legend, this island got its name accidentally when a lost Portuguese sailor arrived and asked a farmer where he was. For tourists it’s all about the surf, which can be gentle enough for beginners and wild enough for experts.
5. Pulau Weh Island
Embraced by vivid and healthy coral reefs, Pulau Weh (also known as just “Weh”) Island is naturally untouched despite its small size and convenient access. Come and enjoy a swing on a shady hammock by the high tide hut in an island that many divers call it the unparalleled underwater universe.
6. Karimunjawa Island
Karimunjawa, also known as Karimun Java is a hidden paradise of Java. You can find yourself enjoying the serenity of secluded and tranquil white beaches as it is not known to many tourists. Travelers come here to have a fix of snorkeling and diving where the coral reefs are well protected.
7. Gili Islands
The Gilis are an archipelago of 3 small islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, & Gili Meno) just a few hours from Bali. Each island has its own special character. Trawangan is by far the most cosmopolitan and is famous for it’s vibrant nightlife scene. Gili Air is more chill, with a mix of buzz and languor. Meno is simply a desert-island getaway and quite popular among honeymooners.
8. Ternate Island
Since early in the last millennium, Ternate was one of the only sources for cloves in the world. When you first land here you’ll notice several volcanic islands dotting the deep blue channel beyond, and you might be shocked by its frenetic pace. However, it is a gorgeous island swathed in jungle and worth a visit for its 16th century forts, markets, seafood and tropical beaches!
9. Bunaken Island
Bunaken Island, along with three other islands, together make the Bunaken National Marine Park. It’s known as one of the best diving spots in the world because of it’s crystal waters filled with species of sea turtles (SO damn cute), reef sharks, barracuda and other amazing sea creatures roaming the waters.
10. Wakatobi Island
Wakatobi is actually an abbreviation of the names of the 4 islands of a cluster: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko. This island is particularly special because it has the second largest coral reef in the world (following after the Great Barrier reef in Australia).