A volcanic archipelago consisting of 13,466 islands, 6,000 of which are inhabited, the most populous Muslim country in the world offers the visitor a safe environment and a range of attractions and activities to suit all tastes. What can you expect from a trip to Indonesia? Temples inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage on the island of Java; vibrant, lively festivals and a Hindu ambiance and atmosphere on Bali; pristine beaches on Lombok; impressively majestic lakes on Sumatra; Komodo dragons on the island that shares their name; the deep, dense forests of Kalimantan on the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi, and, located at the very edge of the archipelago, Papua New Guinea.
Religion is much in evidence across the whole archipelago and plays an important role in everyday life. Be respectful towards local customs and take pleasure in accepting Muslim and Hindu hospitality and this will enable to get a better sense of the different religious strands that underpin life in this country. Visiting Indonesia therefore demands deliberate choices and proper organisation. There is no need to panic however: the reviews provided by Evaneos' travellers will guide you in this.
Let's head first to Java. Jakarta is basically nothing more than a sprawling capital city; so head instead to Yogyakarta, where you will have the opportunity to see a Wayang Kulit show, a form of Indonesian shadow puppetry, contemplate the Mount Merapi volcano or the magical Mount Bromo, or descend into the crater of Ijen in search of the damned of the earth, who are obliged to carry many pounds of sulphur on their backs. Visit the Buddhist temples of Borobudur and the Hindu temples of Prambanan, and, if you happen to find the equatorial temperatures suffocating, head to Malang, which is famous for its cool climate.
Or perhaps you would prefer a stay on the Island of the Gods, Bali, for the opportunity to visit Ubud, a primary centre of Hindu culture and the island's culinary capital. Or how about a trip to Sidemen, a village that sits surrounded by rice fields, or even a spot of scuba diving at Pemuteran?
Hop across by boat to Lombok, which is a new destination not yet affected by mass tourism. Climb up to the summit of Rinjani, the secret volcano, spend some time enjoying yourself on Gili Meno, or do a spot of surfing at Kuta Lombok, which is still just a fishing village.
To get even further off the beaten track, head off to Flores and explore the crater lakes of the Kelimutu volcano, or spend some time visiting the islands of Komodo and Rinca. And if you have the time, don't miss the opportunity to tour North Sumatra with an English-speaking guide, or take a flight tour over Kalimantan and its primeval forests.