Perfect blend of scenic landscape and cultural heritage
Why visit Indonesia
Explore over 18,000 islands with a diversity unique culture. Indonesia is one of the hidden paradises in Southeast Asia with an authentic atmosphere. Known as Wonderful Indonesia, it brings you to the second-largest tropical forests, rich cultures, many pristine beaches with great dive sites and surfing waves, amazing hikes to active volcanoes and wildlife.
The government has created 10 new destinations alternative to replace and avoiding over-tourism in Bali as the most visited destination in Indonesia. It is supported by the master plan to develop the skills of locals residence on the tourism sector and to raise awareness of local stakeholders to create more sustainable tourism.
Indonesia has also developed Sustainable Tourism for Development (STDev) program since 2016, adopting the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) worldwide standards for sustainable travel and tourism.
The Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards (ISTA) event is meant to help achieve the target and also to express appreciation for and evaluate the implementation of sustainability in the management of tourist destinations in Indonesia.
Before departing, be sure you have all the necessary travel documents that you will need to bring along on your trip to avoid unnecessary inconvenience. Click here to read more regarding immigration and visas to Indonesia.
Depending on where you depart from, the transportation choice to get to Indonesia will vary.
Ferries connect Indonesia with the neighbouring countries of Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Frequent ferries connect Singapore to various ports in Batam. In Peninsular Malaysia, daily and frequent ferries depart from various ports including Johor Bahru and Port Kland Near Kuala Lumpur.
Considering Indonesia an archipelago country is, the most sensible travel option would be by plane. The principal gateways for entry to Indonesia are Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang (just at the outskirt of Jakarta). Other airports that also serve international flights are Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, Juanda Airport in Surabaya, Hasanudin Airport in Makassar, and Kuala Namu in Medan.
Indonesia has plenty of variety of alternatives to travel around. The easiest mobility to travel inland is by minibus, taxi, bike, urban travel transportation, bicycle and renting a car.
If you’re keen to see more of the largest archipelago, Indonesia has a vast transportation network — planes, trains, automobiles, water transportation (ferry). To reach our four recommended sustainable destinations which are located in Bali and Yogyakarta, there are a couple of options.
By ferry, you must first go to Gilimanuk (Bali port) which is located in the west part of the island. It will normally take 2-3 hours to reach Gilimanuk by bus from the city center. The ferry trip itself will take 45 minutes; click here to check the schedule of the ferries. You will arrive in Banyuwangi (Java port) and from there you can either go by bus or train to reach your next destinations. The ferry is an attractive choice to cross the two islands through the Bali strait, as it is cheap and it runs 24 hours a day every 15-20 minutes, if weather permits.
The fastest way is to go by plane which will takes less than an hour. Don’t forget to join in your trusted travel compensation projects to offset your carbon footprint! 🙂
Tourism & People
Tourism is an important component of the Indonesian economy. While the plan to double the number of visiting tourist is very appealing, Indonesia has to make sure that it will not be concentrated to areas with over-tourism problems. The solution is to balance the growth in tourism whilst preserving the environment and local culture. Sustainable village tourism, alternative activities, and eco-friendly travel products were developed.
There are over 300 ethnic groups spread across Indonesia. Every ethnicity has its own language, history and culture that pertains specifically to it. Indonesian people are in general very welcoming to (international) tourist and known for their friendliness and hospitality.
Travel tips from our editors
Respect the local traditions and beliefs
The Indonesian population is quite religiously diverse. In Java, the majority of people are Muslim while in Bali the majority is Hindu. Please keep in mind as you travel through Indonesia and be sure to check what the local customs are for each island you intend to visit. In Bali, you should keep an eye out for the small religious offerings placed on the ground and all around and avoid disturbing them. You’ll also need to wear a sarong to enter most temples.
Purchase a reusable water bottle
Indonesia has hot weather so be sure to keep hydrated! It’s not recommended to drink from tap water in Indonesia so make sure you stock up on reusable bottled water while traveling around the country. Some accommodations or hotels also provide free refill for your water bottle.
Get travel insurance in advance
Indonesia is a developing country and medical care is not of a high standard; international hospitals are expensive. The most common problem will be travellers’ disease (digestive disorder). Though it may not be serious, but it can also create inconvenience during your travel. A more serious medical issues you might be facing would be tropical diseases like dengue fever. With that in mind, it is highly recommended to have a comprehensive travel and medical insurance before visiting Indonesia.
Four destinations in Indonesia have been recognized for considerable efforts in sustainable and responsible tourism:
Included in the 2019 Sustainable Top 100 Destinations are:
Pemuteran Village (Bali),
Penglipuran Village (Bali),
Nglanggeran Village (Yogyakarta) and
Pentingsari Village (Yogyakarta).