UBUD & YOGYAKARTA
Bali’s colorful Hindu culture and welcoming locals have lured travelers for decades, and for good reason. Explore verdant rice fields, secluded beaches and the cultural heartland of Ubud to meet traditional mask-makers, ikat weavers and other skilled artisans. Yogyakarta, on the neighboring island of Java, serves as the epicenter for equally fascinating, predominantly Islamic, Javanese culture.
Famous as the home of fearsome and respected Komodo dragons, Komodo National Park also supports populations of wild horses, buffaloes and barking deer. Offshore the marine life is also diverse—dolphins and whales are abundant and teeming coral reefs are a delight for snorkelers.
SULAWESI, FLORES, PAPUA & RAJA AMPAT
From iconic architecture to still-practiced, centuries-old lifestyles, Indonesia’s wildly diverse and proud tribal communities open the door to meaningful cultural interaction. To get off the beaten path, hire a boat to access remote settlements on the islands of Flores and Sumba or consider sailing the Raja Ampat Islands to the Arborek Village for immersion in Asai culture.
The largest Buddhist monument in the world, the 9th-century ruins of Borobudur are stunning in both scale and beauty. The monumental architecture is representative of the ten levels of development one must pass through to become enlightened.
KOMODO, LEMBAH, BUNAKEN & RAJA AMPAT
Quite simply, snorkeling in Indonesia is beyond compare. To access the best sites, consider lodging on a live-aboard vessel—there are options to suit nearly any time-frame and budget. Underwater, colorful reefs burst with life, pilot whales and spinner dolphins play in the surf and a wildly biodiverse collection of marine life make their homes.
Positively pulsing with life, Jakarta fully embraces the hopeful spirit of 21st-century Asia. Wander the streets for a taste of the action, but don’t miss the National Museum and Sunda Kelapa Harbor. Travel 60 miles south of the city, through the city’s village suburbs, to Bogor Botanical Gardens to witness a more tranquil side of this urban hub.
Sailing the waterways through the natural splendor of the Raja Ampat Islands provides an unparalleled way to witness spectacular mushroom-shaped islands, unique wildlife, coves, natural lagoons and stunning panoramas from the comfort of a luxurious small sail vessel. Island hopping the archipelago by boat also presents a multitude of adventures, ranging from spelunking, trekking, swimming, snorkeling, village touring and pearl farm visits.