We’ve all heard that Bali is the ‘island of gods”, but did you know that there are many other unique and amazing travel destinations within the Indonesian archipelago? From pristine beaches to majestic temples, from flourishing coral reefs to blue lava volcanoes, there are so many options! Little Steps has hopped island to island and compiled the best destination ideas just for you. Grab your snorkels and go!
The Derawan Islands, located near Borneo, are probably one of the most fantastic places you could visit! The numerous islands in the area make it a great location for island hopping. Swim in a lake with thousands of stingless jellyfish, or explore the vibrant coral reefs. For animal lovers, also consider looking at the turtle preservation area as well as the tidal islands! Lots of wildlife can safely be observed there. Whether you travel to explore different cultures, enjoy the scenery, or go on an adventure, Derawan Islands is an amazing destination regardless! Little Steps recommend booking a trip to Derawan Islands with Kakaban Trips.
Belitung is a magical place with countless things to explore! Other than the natural beauty though, there is also a lot of cultures to see. You can look at timeless traditional houses and visit the Museum Belitung to learn more about this island’s past. You can even visit the picturesque Kaolin Lake which boasts attractive colors, but was actually a mining site! Belitung is also very famous for island hopping, but there's more! It is the hometown of Ahok, one of Jakarta’s former governors! It was also the shooting site for the famous Laskar Pelangi movie. Stay at the popular Sheraton Belitung Resort for the vacation of your dream.
Sheraton Belitung Resort, Jalan Pantai Penarikan Dusun Timur Jaya, Tj. Binga, Sijuk, Kabupaten Belitung, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung 33414, +627198000999, www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/tjqsi-sheraton-belitung-resort/overview
Tanjung Puting is a wonderful place, surrounded by nature’s beauty left and right. Located in Borneo, Tanjung Puting offers so much more than what you’d expect. Just fly over to Pangkalan Bun and take a boat to the various places of interest they have to offer. Visit the National Park and meet some Orangutans, or take a boat through the Sekonyer River! You can also learn about and see all sorts of other endangered wildlife from Proboscis monkeys to Clouded Leopards. Jenie Subaru, a guide in Tanjung Puting has been recommended by many.
Jenie Subaru, Tanjung Puting Guide, +6285764220991
Thinking of going on a fun-filled and culture-rich road trip? We’ve got you covered! Yogyakarta and its twin city Solo offer a memorable experience full of Javanese history and are home to the famous temples Candi Borobudur and Candi Prambanan. The two cities boast the only two royal courts or sultanates in Java. Though accessible by air or by train, Yogyakarta is reachable by car within an 8-hour drive from Jakarta via the new Trans Jawa toll road, is two hours drive away from Solo, and is one hour away from the Borobudur area. Popular places to visit in Yogyakarta include The Keraton (palace), Kotegede, and Mount Merapi National Park. When exploring Solo, the neighboring town, make sure to try riding a becak, which is a form of transportation widely used in the city. Lastly, don’t forget to stop by the Borobudur Temple in Malang. This ancient Buddhist temple was built more than 1,000 years ago. Go ahead and start planning your road trip now! For a relaxing time with a majestic Borobudur view, Little Steps recommends a stay at Amanjiwo.
Amanjiwo, Sawah, Majaksingi, Malang Regency, Jawa Tengah, +62293788333, www.aman.com/resorts/amanjiwo
Banyuwangi, located in East Java next to Bali, is an island full of rich culture, diverse wildlife, and authentic food. Other than island hopping, it is known for famous landmarks such as Pantai Merah (red beach) and Kawah Ijen, which is a crater that boasts blue flames at night. Though it is one of the most popular tourist spots in all of Banyuwangi, the road to view the amazing scenery is no leisure trip and has to be done at night. So, make sure to be well prepared. Banyuwangi can be accessed by air, land, or water. Renting a car to explore the area is advisable for easy transport between places of attractions. Some other child-friendly places to go to include Alas Purwo National Park, Baluran National Park, De Djawatan, Green Bay, Sukamade Beach, and many more. Little Steps recommends a stay at Dialoog Hotel.
Dialoog Hotel Banyuwangi, Jl. Yos Sudarso, Lingkungan Sukowidi, Klatak, Kec. Kalipuro, Kabupaten Banyuwangi, Jawa Timur, +623332800999, www.dialooghotels.com/hotel/banyuwangi
Labuan Bajo is blessed with extraordinary natural beauty! From caves to culture, there is much to unpack in this place. Near Labuan Bajo, you can find Rinca Island, home to dozens of different animals including the famous Komodo Dragons. Or you can visit Kanawa island, which boasts outstandingly clear and pristine water! If you want to learn more about local culture, you could also go to Wae Rebo Village and interact with the locals, as well as enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Be prepared for the long walk though, you’d have to trek for more than 3 hours to get there! Little Steps recommends combining your stay in Ayana Komodo with a live aboard a Phinisi boat option.
Ayana Komodo, Pantai Waecicu, Labuan Bajo, Kab, Kabupaten Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, +6281138202288, www.ayana.com/labuan-bajo/komodo
Just a few kilometers away from the north coast of Java island is the Karimunjawa archipelago, a peaceful and relaxing group of islands in the middle of the glittering turquoise sea. The Karimunjawa Islands present a vast landscape of incredible beauty. To get to the island, you can either take a plane to the Dewadaru Airport of Karimunjawa or take a ferry from Jepara harbor. Once at Karimunjawa, there is a variety of activities to do, such as island hopping to the smaller islands, visiting the tranquil beaches at the coastline, and checking out the Mangrove Forest. The best way to explore the island is by motorbike, which can be rented from the town. Daily expenses in Karimunjawa aren’t too expensive, but since the lights go all dark at night, it’s best to stay at a hotel. Little Steps love an all-inclusive stay at Breve Azurine.
Did you know that Wakatobi is widely recognized as having the highest number of reef and fish species globally? The Wakatobi Regency is one of those places you just have to visit at least once in a lifetime. It’s located in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, and is made up of 150 islands. Swim and snorkel through the beautiful coral life in the seas, explore the gorgeous oasis of Lakasa Cave, taste the mouthwatering local cuisines and gaze at the majestic sight of natural beauty all worth dying for! This place with breathtaking views is perfect for people who enjoy nature's unspoiled beauty and like an adventure. Little Steps love the Wakatobi Dive Resort for an unforgettable vacation!
Wakatobi Dive Resort, www.wakatobi.com/home
Sumba Island is well known for its beautiful coastlines and beaches. However, there is much more to explore regarding their culture, history, and traditions. You can get to Sumba Island by plane or by ferry, and the best time to visit is during the dry season. West Sumba is more popular, with stunning beaches and an abundance of traditional villages. On the other hand, East Sumba is rather desolate, with more wildlife and farms. Things to do in Sumba include visiting villages, surfing, trekking to waterfalls, and participating in their festivals. When visiting Sumba Island, remember to bring mosquito cream, sunscreen, a first-aid kit, and a light source (like a flashlight). For a seamless stay in Sumba, Little Steps love Nihi Sumba Resort.
Nihi Sumba, Hoba Wawi, Wanokaka, West Sumba Regency East Nusa Tenggara, +6281138212910, nihi.com/
Ora beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Indonesia! Located on the island of Seram in Maluku, something that really sets Ora beach apart is its lovely resort. It stands above water, so you could have the pleasure of waking up to little fish right out your window. The breathtaking natural scenery, diverse marine wildlife, and lovely clear skies all combine to make a perfect paradise. Beyond just the looks, however, Ora beach is not only a place for the typical vacationer! With many exciting activities, from snorkeling, to island hopping, and even sea urchin catching, it is a perfect place for those who are adventurous at heart. We also recommend staying in Ambon during your trip to visit some of the exciting attractions.
Ora Beach Eco Resort, Saleman, Seram Utara Barat, Central Maluku Regency, Maluku, +6281248896616, Instagram