With astounding number of more than 17,000 islands (which 8000 are inhabited), and over 300 ethnic groups with its own languages spoken, Indonesia is definitely a country that offers myriad adventures.  It’s an archipelago country of so many cultures, diverse peoples, animals, customs, plants, sights, artworks and food. The people are very different from each other, with every island a unique blend of the people who live there. Venturing across Indonesia you’ll see dramatic diverse landscape, as diverse as the people who live there.  This ever-intriguing, ever-intoxicating archipelago country offers some of great adventures on earth. As an Indonesian myself, I barely even touched the surface of the beauty that Indonesia offers. Here are my top 3 vacation destinations in Indonesia that I recommended.

 

1.  Gorontalo, North Sulawesi

Pulo Cinta Eco Resort in Kaliantan Borneo

Pulo Cinta Eco Resort (image source: Togian Islands Travelling)

 

Gorontalo is an Indonesian province on the island of Sulawesi.  The total area of the province is 12,435 square kilometers (4,801 sq mi) with a population of 1, 133, 237 (in 2016). Gorontalo Peninsula has had some type of human civilization since approximately 1300 years ago.

Things to do there that I recommended are:

1. Whale Shark Watching and diving experience at Desa Botubarani, Kabupaten Bone Bolango

2.  Hungayono (Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park), Kabupaten Bone. Here you can see Tarsius (the smallest monkey in the world), Black Monkey (Macaca Nigra), Maleo bird conservatory, stalactite cave that has warm spring above it, and many more.

Tarsius at Hungayono

Tarsius, the world smallest monkey (image source: KSM Tour)

2. Yogyakarta, Central Java

The city is named after the Indian city of Ayodhya from the Ramayan epic. Yogya means “suitable, fit, proper”, and karta, “prosperous, flourishing” (i.e., “a city that is fit to prosper”). Its population was 388,627 inhabitants at the 2010 census and its built-up (or metro) area.  Yogyakarta is a cultural hub, a nerve center for traditional and modern puppetry; and it’s known for its arts and handicrafts.

Things to do there that I recommended are:

1. Cave tubing at Goa Pindul. Floating in a river inside a cave by rubber tubes definitely offers a different experience. Located at Gunung Kidul, this destination offers a 45-minutes exhilarating journey inside the earth’s belly by tubing. This adventure combines rafting and caving. Just like caving, cave tubing allows participants to float along a river on a rubber tube and the main highlight of the river journey will take you into a cave, which never dries even in the dry season. I did this cave tubing adventure in 2015. I had a great time there and I really recommended.

Pindul Cave

Pindul Cave Tubing (image source: Yogya Backpacker)

2. Borobudur Temple at Jalan Badrawati, Magelang. The entire site contains 504 statues, 1460 stone reliefs, and 1212 decorative reliefs.

Buddhist temple in Indonesia

Borobudur Temple: the biggest Buddhist temple in the world (image source: Complexmania)

3. Prambanan Temple at Bokoharjo, Sleman Regency. Prambanan is the biggest & the most complete remain of Java’s period of Hindu culture built in the middle of 9th century, about 50 years later than Borobudur.

Hindu temple in Indonesia

Lightning Show at Prambanan Temple (Image source: Safira Journey)

3. Kota Gede. Kota Gede is a suburb of the city of  Yogyakarta. The town is a maze of narrow streets, lined with tiny, traditional silversmith shops. There are a number of workshops where visitors can stop by and watch silversmiths at work transforming a piece of silver into a beautiful artworks.

Traditional handmade silver artwork in Yogyakarta

Handmade silver artworks (image source: Prema Bali)

3. Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan

The Derawan Islands is a group of islands that geographically located on the northern part of Berau Regency, this archipelago consisted of four main islands namely: Derawan Island, Maratua Island, Sangalaki Island, and Kakaban Island. Here you can find rare green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles, whales, dolphins, giant clambs, dugongs, are just a few. Here you can find around 460 species of corals, ranking second place after Raja Ampat in Papua.

Derawan Islands

Derawan Island (image source: Indo Indians)

 

Maratua Island in Kalimantan

Maratua Island (image source: Maratua Paradise Resort)

 

Kakaban Island in Kalimantan

Kakaban Island (image source: Tantular)