When you’re not soothing your mind at a Balinese yoga retreat, or treating your tastebuds with spicy street food in Jakarta, take some time to get your adrenaline pumping by discovering Indonesia’s wild side. From trekking through lush jungles to scuba diving in crystal clear waters, these are some of the most incredible adventures in nature you can expect from a trip to Indonesia.
Go scuba diving in Raja Ampat
Indonesia is part of the coral triangle – with an estimated 25% of the world’s reefs – and is packed with incredible dive sites. For a truly magical experience head to Raja Ampat, with its shoals of tropical fish, incredible shipwrecks and underwater volcanoes.
This undeveloped corner of Indonesia has some seriously pristine reefs among hundreds of peaceful islands. Some dive sites are so remote they can only be reached by live-aboard boats!
Swim past soaring manta rays, cute pygmy seahorses and laid back turtles as you explore the old Japanese navy boat, the Cross Wreck. Other iconic Raja Ampat dives include Cape Cri, which has broken records for biodiversity – as many as 374 species have been spotted on dives here. Pack your underwater camera for Boo Rock: the two swim-through holes make it extra Instagrammable.
Rub shoulders with dragons in Komodo National Park
Indonesia is home to the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon. This fearsome creature can grow up to 2.6 metres long (8’6″) and weigh up to 91kg (200lb). You don’t have to go too far from Bali to see them in the wild. It’s just 45 minutes by plane to Flores, the hopping off point for a tour around Komodo National Park.
Although they live throughout the marine park, Komodo Island is the best place to see the dragons, who hang around in clusters. They usually laze around looking lifeless, but be careful! They move quickly, and their bite can almost sever a human toe: so resist the urge to snap a selfie. It’s best to bring a guide who can read their behaviour.
Aside from the famous lizards, Komodo National Park is a true feast for the eyes – vivid green hills, pink sand beaches and calm blue waters everywhere. Go trekking in the mountains and enjoy breathtaking views, snorkel in the warm sea among clownfish and enjoy watching the pink sands glow as the sun sets.
Channel Lara Croft at the Borobudur Temple Compounds
The largest Buddhist monument in the world – and a bonfide UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Borodubur Temple Compound is truly incredible. It was built between the 8th and 9th century, around 300 years before Angkor Wat in Cambodia. After spending centuries concealed in the jungle, buried under volcanic ash, it was rediscovered by Sir Stamford Raffles in the 19th Century.
Base yourself in bustling Yogyakarta – just over an hour away. Head over just before dawn to watch the sun rise over the stupas, showing the dramatic volcanoes in the background. You can climb the terraces using the steep, uneven steps and feel like a real 18th Century adventurer. If you want to pack even more into your adventure, the nearby Prambanan Temple is equally impressive. This Hindu monument was built during the 9th Century to celebrate the rise of the Hindu faith.
Make friends with monkeys at Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
More than 750 grey long-tailed macaques live in this lush forest sanctuary in Ubud, among temple ruins and statues. Watch the cheeky creatures swinging through the nutmeg trees, playing pranks on each other and lounging around beside the paths. You can buy bananas to feed the cheeky creatures, who definitely aren’t shy! They’re happy to get up close and personal with tourists, especially if you have a snack to offer them.
The sanctuary isn’t far from Ubud’s town centre, which has plenty of cool cafés, fine dining restaurants and international street food spots. After monkeying around, tuck into Balinese-style Paella at Casa Luna, enjoy vegetarian small plates at Kismet or steady your nerves with cocktails at Elephant.
Trek to the summit of an active volcano
Climbing to the top of Mount Batur at sunrise is one of the most rewarding – and adventurous – experiences around. After all, it’s Bali’s most active volcano. The pre-dawn wake-up call is a must. Because of the roasting daytime temperatures, it’s better to climb as early as possible. The view of sunrise from the top is one of the best that the island has to offer.
It takes around two hours to reach the top, and once you’re there you can relax and watch the island unfold beneath you. Getting up early also means you have the rest of the day to enjoy the wonders – and buzzing beach bars – of Bali.
How to find cheap flights to Indonesia with Skyscanner
Great news, bargain hunters: flights to Indonesia aren’t that expensive at all. In fact, flights from London to Bali topped our list of cheapest long-haul flight routes – Manchester to Bali and London to Jakarta were also in the top ten.
Finding cheap flights to Indonesia is as easy as using our handy search tools to tweak your results:
- Choose ‘cheapest month’ as your departure date, or use the ‘month view’ to see the cheapest days to fly
- Flight prices go up and down all the time. If you’re not ready to buy, set up a price alert and we’ll email you if the cost of tickets goes down
- Choose ‘nearby airports’ – sometimes you can find cheap flights to Indonesia if you’re willing to travel to a different airport than usual