Indonesia

Volcanic landscapes, beautiful beaches, exotic wildlife and a varied cultural heritage make this string of islands an appealing vacation destination.

Set along ancient trading routes leading to the Far East, the island nation of Indonesia is home to a wide range of religions, races and cultures. Discover the impact diverse ethnic groups have had on Indonesia’s cultural identity, from the rich, spice-laden cuisine to the colorful festivals.

Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, is located on the island of Java and serves as a reminder of the country’s days as part of the Dutch East Indies. View Dutch colonial architecture and look for wooden schooner boats docked at the harbor.

In the center of Java lies the Borobudur Temple complex, a Buddhist site dating from the 8th and 9th centuries. Survey a series of Buddha statues and three monuments representing the phases in the attainment of nirvana.

A different perspective awaits on Raja Ampat Islands, an archipelago often considered to be among the most beautiful in the world. Dive around the coral reefs here to see the teeming marine life.

If you are traveling with family, don’t miss the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud. Over 600 macaque monkeys inhabit this forest, which was created as a conservation area for both plants and animals.

Make your way to Tanah Lot, a Hindu pilgrimage temple sitting on top of a rocky outcrop in the sea, off the coast of the popular island of Bali. Visit at sunset to witness first-hand one of the most-photographed sights in all of Indonesia. In the northern part of Bali, follow a guide to the Sekumpul Waterfalls. Hike to the base of this series of waterfalls and cool off with a swim.

There are three main airports serving Indonesia, the largest being Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. Once you have arrived, there are numerous public transportation options to help you navigate. In the towns and cities, hire drivers to take you around on motorbikes, in taxis, private cars and becak (three-wheeled carts), or jump on a public bus.

Take a trip to Indonesia during the shoulder season of May and June, when there is little rainfall or humidity, and fewer crowds.

From wildlife-watching and scuba diving to white-sand beaches and religious sites, Indonesia offers adventure, relaxation and cultural engagement.