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Indonesia

Wander through Bali’s beautifully terraced rice fields, hunt for dragons in Komodo National Park, dive shipwrecks in seas teeming with turtles, or swim through shoals of sparkling butterflyfish to see Mount Bromo’s smoldering crater at dawn. Watch with trepidation as a native shimmies up a tree to gather coconuts. Enjoy a cup of Bali’s Robusta coffee, produced on fertile volcanic soils. Outwit opportunistic macaque monkeys and keep an ear out for the orangutan’s loud, rumbling cry, which ripples across Sumatra’s pristine forest. At the world’s biggest temple, be charmed by a Kecak dance (rhythmic singing).

Indonesia is a tropical archipelago made up of approximately 17,500 islands, 6,000 of which are inhabited. It is very varied, both naturally and culturally. The nation is primarily Muslim, but it also has a significant Hindu and Buddhist history, clearly represented in its culture, architecture, and creative traditions.

Consider Ubud, with its essential traditions, on the island of Bali, home to ancient Hindu temples and distinctive art forms such as gamelan, or central Java, home to Indonesia’s old capital, Yogyakarta, and the magnificent eighth-century Buddhist structure of Borobudur. Animated marketplaces, panoramic views, delicious food, and charming people all contribute to the experience.

If you’re looking for somewhere different from what the rest of the world has to offer, Indonesia has a lot of islands to choose from! Sulawesi, an hour’s flight from Denpasar, may be an excellent choice. With over 70,000 square miles (112,654 Km) of rough hilly interior and four peninsulas, this island is renowned for its virgin coral reefs and sublime diving sites. While famous among Indonesians, it is seldom included in international itineraries. The Toraja tribe, which holds elaborate burial rituals that may take up to a week, is a Sulawesi’s cultural draw. Visitors are not discouraged from attending, and there are even dedicated covered platforms for out-of-town visitors to view the festivities. While there is no certainty that there will be a funeral when you visit, they will be aware of any happenings if you travel with a New Paths Expeditions’ (NPE) driver and local guide.

Traditional Indonesian textiles come in more varieties than you can count on both hands. With hundreds of islands to choose from, It stretches along the Equator from Southeast Asia to Australia, covering more than 5,000 Km (3,000 mi) from west to east, a span comparable to that found between Canada’s west and east coastlines. Some believe Western New Guinea to be part of Oceania, and Indonesia would be a transcontinental nation in this scenario. It’s little wonder Indonesia has such a diverse culture. Almost every inhabited island has its distinct weaving and dying techniques. Because there is so much travel and commerce across the islands these days, you may expect to see traditional methods in ceremonial pieces and domestic textiles everywhere you go.

Temples of gold leaf poised on clifftops beset by soaring waves, the deserted white-sand beaches of Lombok, volcanic peaks engulfed in a forest. What piques your interest? Travel at your speed and in your manner, knowing that we will offer you the finest choices everywhere you go.

You’ll visit the highlights — and much more — on a tailor-made trip to Indonesia with NPE. We’ll work with you to create your perfect vacation, taking into account your interests, travel style, and budget. Our Indonesia experts know the nation thoroughly and out and can take you to places and experiences that you won’t find in a guidebook. Contact us now at expeditionadvisor@npexpeditions.com and start making your dream holiday come true.

INDONESIA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the islands of Indonesia by boat and on foot.
  • Visit tiny communities, meet healers, and learn to cook and make ikat.
  • View the dawn from Borobudur.
  • Take part in a local cleansing ritual.

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Time and Weather

The climate of Indonesia is nearly entirely tropical, i.e. hot, humid, and rainy all year. In certain places, there is a more or less defined dry season, which is therefore the ideal time for a vacation. Rains fall in the form of downpours or thunderstorms, as is typical in hot regions, and may occasionally create floods. There are also mountains and volcanoes, which are often extremely high in elevation and where the temperature naturally drops with height.

Because Indonesia lies close to the Equator, the day lasts 12 hours all year, and the sun sets early. However, the sun’s beams are very powerful, particularly in the highlands.
All year, the temperature remains constant, with lows around 22-25°C/72-77°F and highs around 30-32°C/86-90°F. The major variation is in the amount and distribution of rainfall, which is related to the position in a hot and humid region, but also to the monsoon regime and its effect on the various locations. The northeast monsoon occurs between December and March, while the southwest monsoon occurs between June and September. The effect of these winds varies depending on the presence of mountains and slope exposure. However, as we shall see when dealing with El Niño, the rains do not necessarily follow the same pattern from year to year.

The ocean in Indonesia is warm enough to swim throughout the year, with minimal fluctuation in temperature between months. There may be powerful currents in certain marine regions, such as the straits of Sape and Lombok, while sharks are present in others.

The best time to visit

With over 17,500 islands molded into a single country, Indonesia has an abundance of natural and cultural variety. Indonesia has it all, from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Borobudur to Komodo National Park to colorful volcanic lakes.

As a tropical nation with a generally consistent climate throughout the year, the weather is split into two seasons: rainy and dry. And the temperature may vary depending on the island of interest.

Indonesian Spring

The dry season lasts from May to September, while the rainy season lasts from October to April. We recommend visiting the country during May and September. The downpours endure a few hours rather than all day during this time.

April-September are the ideal months for diving off the coast of Bali or in Komodo National Park. In January and February, the waters may be choppy.

Java is best visited between May and September when the weather is hot, dry, and sunny.

Plan your trip to Flores Island between April and September for plenty of sunlight and beautiful sky.

Indonesian summer

From June through September, the «East Monsoon» will provide dry weather. If you want to visit Bali, go between May and September and between October and March during the wet season. The weather may also be affected by where you are on an island.

Sulawesi’s weather varies throughout the island, although the driest months in the northern area are between July and October, with occasional rain between June and July.

Indonesian Autumn

The rainy season in Java lasts from November to March, with East Java receiving less rain than the western area. The driest months in Sumatra are April-October, but be wary of November-March, when the rains may return. From November through April, most of the nation experiences the «wet season.»

Indonesian winter

During the «West Monsoon,» which lasts from December to March, anticipate a lot of rain. The wettest months are typically December and January.

Prices are expected to soar over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Wildlife

The archipelago’s mild temperature, rich soil, and minerals found on land and the seas make it a perfect home for a diverse range of fantastic flora and animals. The «Wallace Line» divides Indonesia, a fictitious line between Bali and Lombok, and continues north between Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Any plant or fauna found west of the line is typically Asian, while anything found east of the line is comparable to Australia.

Due to Indonesia’s large number of islands (17,000+), it’s not unexpected to have such diverse terrain. Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Papua are much wetter than other islands and therefore have ancient rainforests that cover a large portion of the islands. Great savannahs may be found on the islands to the east of Bali. At the same time, mountain peaks in Gede National Park, 100 kilometers outside of Jakarta, seem to belong in the Swiss Alps rather than the tropical paradise of Indonesia.

Some of the big creatures found in Asia may be found on a few Indonesian islands, although in limited numbers. Tigers and leopards are becoming more uncommon, although they may still be spotted in Sumatra. Leopards may also be seen in Java’s Ujung Kuton National Park. This national park is also home to the one-horned Javan rhinoceros, a nearly extinct species. Again in limited numbers, elephants may be seen in the wild in Sumatra and Way Kambas National Park. Some have also been seen in Kalimantan’s northeastern region. Papua is the only area of Indonesia where any marsupial species may be found. There are tree-kangaroos, bandicoots, and ring-tailed possums, as do certain Australian reptiles such as crocodiles and frilled lizards.

The orangutan and the Komodo dragon are two of the most well-known animals connected with Indonesia. Orangutans are red apes with long hair that live in Sumatra and Kalimantan. These apes are popular with both residents and visitors. The Bohorok Orangutan Viewing Centre in northern Sumatra and Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan are excellent locations to see these creatures in their native habitat. The Komodo dragon, which may grow 3m long, is the world’s biggest reptile. It is located on the Komodo group of reserves, including the Komodo, Padar, and Rinca Islands.

The first national parks in Indonesia were created in 1980 to preserve and accommodate such magnificent environments and animals, and they have been expanding ever since. There are forty-four currently declared national parks covering both land and water, with six being UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are also several protected areas, botanic gardens, and zoos. Conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and WWF have established programs and reserves across the nation to educate the public about the need to preserve Indonesia’s vast flora and wildlife.

Our Indonesia Expeditions

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