A Guide To The Lesser Known Indonesian Islands
Indonesia, home of beautiful islands! As the world’s largest archipelago, this country has over 17000 Islands, each having unique and astounding features, from the urban jungles to sand beaches. Indeed, a sight you don’t want to miss. Bali seems to the most popular of these islands and is known for its rice paddies, coral reefs, meditation retreat, beaches, yoga, and its volcanic mountains. Besides this well-known island, there are several others that are equally breathtaking.
So when next you plan a vacation and have Indonesia in mind, here are some of the fantastic Islands or places you should check out.
Located north of Sumatra, this lake, with its crystal clear waters, sits at a landmass of 1145 square kilometres and has a depth of 450 metres. It is twice the size of Singapore. At the centre of this lake, you’d find the Samosir Island. This island, still in its natural state, has terrific views of supervolcanoes that have remained dormant for years.
There are lots of places to explore around this lake, Binangalom waterfalls for instance, which falls directly into the Lake Toba is the most iconic waterfall located in the north of Sumatra. Its name means ‘refreshing waters.’ If you enjoy swimming or fishing, this freshwater would be the perfect place to do it.
If you love hiking, then the Pusuk Buhit (the holy mountain) would be a fantastic site for you. The views from the top of the hills are breathtaking. It’s about three hours to the top of the mountain.
Komodo National Park
This park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, east of Nusa Tenggara. This part has about 29 volcanic islands including the three famous islands- Komodo, Rinca and Pandar. Komodo Island is famously known for its dragons. To explore this park, look out for the following things;
The Komodo Dragons: These dragons are the largest lizard species, weighing over 70kg and are approximately 3meters in height. This lizard is the park’s most prominent attraction and is the reason the park is so named. As a fierce predator this animal has venomous saliva, but don’t let this deter you from going to see the animal when you visit the park as these animals cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Keep a safe distance, though!
The Pink beach: This beach with its luminous pink sand and pristine turquoise waters is surrounded with green hills and is a lovely sight to behold. The beach has a glowing pink tinge and is the home of hundreds of species of hard and soft corals and reefs, and different species of marine fauna. Surely this serene environment with beautiful blue skies will take your breath away. Don’t forget to go diving or carry out some snorkelling activities when you’re on this beach.
This peaceful and less crowded island is located east of Bali and west of Sumbawa. This island has lots of dream beaches, waterfalls. While you are at Lombok, check out these places;
The Three Paradise Islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, Gili Air. These islands with their colourful waters are famous for relaxing, partying, scuba diving and snorkelling. While you are on these islands, do visit the Gili Meno turtle sanctuary or the bird park-home of parrots, peacocks, pheasants, pelicans, eagles among others. Watch a movie at the open-air cinema or visit the night market in Gili Trawangan.
Mount Rinjani: Located in the northern area of Lombok, this mountain is the second highest in Indonesia and has an active volcano. Within this mountain is the crescent-shaped Segara Anak lake, considered to be a spiritual place to the Balinese. Mount Rinjani is famous for mountain treks and climbs which is easy and can be done without ropes.
Pusuk Monkey Forest: Also known as Baun Pusuk and located near Senggigi, north Lombok, this forest is the home of the wild macaque monkey. The road to this forest looks beautiful, with winding hilltop views. Walk through the woods and enjoy clean and fresh air, if you feel like driving, however, do make sure you are not on top speed because it is not rare to find the monkeys on the road.
Just make sure you don’t forget your travel insurance.