Contrary to what it might seem like on Instagram, Indonesia – the world’s largest island country – is more than just Bali. The country has more than seventeen thousand islands, many of which offer their own unique experiences and beauty. You can hike an active volcano in Java, get lost in the buzzing streets of Jakarta, dive and snorkel in virtually untouched places like Raja Ampat or cycle the small islands of Gili Trawangan, Meno and Air, just off Lombok, to name a few.
We spent about a month exploring Indonesia, only scratching the surface of this incredible country, and entirely loved it!
We particularly liked Lombok, known as Bali’s ‘quieter cousin’. Lombok has fabulous infrastructure, delicious food and some of the best beaches we saw in Indonesia, if not South East Asia. A few are marred by litter but the others, particularly those in Kuta in the south of the island (not to be confused with Bali’s Kuta area!), have huge white sandy expanses, darling little beach bars churning out fresh coconuts and enough swings to satisfy any photographer! There are also some great surf breaks, if surfing is your thing.
Just off Lombok, you also have to head to the Gili Islands. We stayed on Gili Trawangan and spent most of our days snorkelling with turtles, slurping down smoothie bowls, diving with manta rays, taking in sunsets with a Bintang beer in hand, and moseying around the island on our bicycles. The island doesn’t allow motorized vehicles, making it a really relaxing place to spend a few days.
Of course, you must go to Bali. The island is a veritable feast for the senses. Eat vegan food and shop for new threads in Ubud, take in the beach bars in Seminyak, do some cross-fit in Canggu and relax in Lovina. We really enjoyed the more unexplored north side of the island, staying a few days in Lovina. Our favourite area, however, was definitely Munduk. This gorgeous hillside town is still not used to tourism, making it feel far more authentic. Plus it had some of the most jaw dropping waterfalls we’ve ever seen, all of which are super accessible and walkable from the town itself! Check out our Munduk Waterfalls Guide, and add it to your list!