12 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Indonesia 2024

Last Updated on November 6, 2023


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Written by the Gamin Traveler

Indonesia, with thousands of islands, is the largest archipelago in the world. Wondering what to see in Indonesia?

The wonderful beaches and active volcanoes are a major draw for the tourists, but they’re only a fraction of the places to visit in Indonesia.

One is sure to find everything here in beautiful Indonesia, whether they are here for a relaxing vacation or to experience adventure.

Find the best places to visit in Indonesia, top down view of colourful beach scene with people standing in the sand while vibrant turquoise waves crash and break into surf on the orange sand

Enjoy its culture and history as well as explore the amazing mountains to glorious temples around and the diving and trekking.

This island nation is well famous for several scuba diving and snorkelling spots, and there are many amazing places in Indonesia to try these out!

The sprawling archipelago scattered around the Pacific Ocean boasts of natural landscapes and intriguing ethnicities.

Indonesia also houses a unique range of marine flora and fauna and is one of the most gifted countries in Oceania.

There are several interesting must-see places to visit in Indonesia and many exciting things to do. Plus some of the most beautiful parts of Indonesia are intimately tucked away from civilisation.

Below you’ll find out why visit Indonesia, where to visit in Indonesia for food, culture, architecture, history, and of course the most beautiful places in Indonesia!

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. My #1 recommendation is SafetyWing!

Discover the most popular and most beautiful places to visit in Indonesia

1. Dieng Plateau – The coolest destination in Indonesia

Dieng Plateau is one of the best places to go in Indonesia due to it being a natural and cultural destination with a range of things to do.

About 2,000 meters above sea level, one can enjoy the natural beauty of Indonesia with a sweeping mountain view of jungles and distant villages.

This amazing Indonesia location’s name means “place of the ancestors” or “place where the Gods reside”.

It is the highest plateau on the island of Java, with an average altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, meaning it can be quite cool temperature-wise.

But the plateau is cool not just weather-wise but also because of its many festivals, performances, and traditional rituals.

While here, enjoy exploring the ancient Hindu temples (a must see in Indonesia) as well as multi-coloured lake and hot springs.

It’s easy to see why this is often considered the best place to visit Indonesia as it has so many unique things to do.

Explore all the most beautiful places in Indonesia, person standing on hillside path looking out over tall narrow rock formation covered in green foliage sticking out into the ocean surrounded by deep blue waves and white sand
Nusa Penida is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Indonesia

2. Nusa Penida – The Maldives of Bali

Nusa Penida is part of the string of three islands – the Nusa islands – and is a wonderful place in Indonesia.

Jump onto a speedboat at Sanur Beach in order to take the easiest route to Nusa Penida, with trips leaving regularly throughout the day.

This tropical paradise carries its own unique speciality along with its two island neighbours – Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan, two of the most beautiful places in Bali Indonesia.

Each one of these picturesque islands is also a bird sanctuary, with the idea coming from the Friends of the National Parks Foundation (or FNPF).

Working with the local villages, the FNPF have managed to increase the natural bird population and bring some of the local species back from extinction.

Look out for the endangered Bali starling – there were only 10 left in the wild back in 2005 but their numbers are increasing!

One can look forward to enjoying thriving wildlife, and a splendid underwater scene on Nusa Penida, which make it one of the prettiest places in Indonesia.

Enjoy swimming in the calm and translucent waters that are perfect for water sports, diving, and snorkelling. This is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Indonesia.

🛌🏼 Click here to see availability and prices for the best places to stay in Nusa Penida

3. Tanjung Puting National Park – A popular ecotourism destination

In Indonesia beautiful places are abundant. But if you want to see the best parts of the natural world that Indonesia has to offer, Tanjung Puting National Park is a must visit Indonesia destination.

Tanjung Puting National Park is one of the best places to travel in Indonesia for biodiversity and is known for its boat tours, wildlife, and research centres.

Located on the island of Borneo, explore the wildlife filed with clouded leopards, gibbons, macaques, sun bears, pythons, and crocodiles.

It is guaranteed that you will see the free-roaming orangutans on your journey with a world-class adventure appeal. Take a klotok, a ramshackle, multistorey boat to see the park.

For sustainable travellers, Tanjung Puting National Park is definitely one of the best places to stay in Indonesia. It’s also one of the best places in Indonesia to visit on a budget.

Enjoy these beautiful places in Indonesia, long stretch of sandy beach leading off into the distance with windblown palm trees to one side and low lapping waves on the other under a cloudy blue sky at dusk

4. Bintan Island – A spectacular beach holiday destination

Bintan is the largest island in the Riau Islands. As one of the most popular tourist locations in Indonesia, with its high-end resorts and world-class golf courses, it offers a perfect getaway.

This is why hundreds of thousands of tourists travel here every year – it is just a short ferry ride away from Singapore and Malaysia.

Bintan Resorts are the main tourist attraction of the Bintan Island, and are located on the northern tip of the island.

These luxury holiday facilities provide world class activities, with triathlons, golf courses, spa treatments, sunbathing spots and much more.

If you want some of the freshest locally-sourced seafood, this is one of the must see places to visit in Indonesia.

So come and enjoy a refreshing holiday on the sandy white coast and participate in extreme sports and golf challenges!

Bintan Island is one of the best Indonesia tourist places and one of the top Indonesia vacation spots for beachgoers. Don’t forget your sun tan lotion!

🛌🏼 Click here to see availability and prices for the best places to stay in Bintan

5. Yogyakarta – A historical and cultural hub

Yogyakarta is a favorite destination among the tourists.

The name is fitting: Yogya means “fitting” and karta means “prosperous/flourishing”, so Yogyakarta literally means “a city that is fit for flourishing”.

Appropriately, that means that there is a lot more to do and see here apart from shopping and food.

Explore the main streets as well as the narrow valleys to understand the real culture. You will come across puppet makers, silversmiths, street arts and food vendors.

One question potential visitors often ask of Indonesia is, “Is Indonesia a good place to visit for food lovers?”

Well, the answer is yes, and Yogyakarta in particular is known for being one of the best places in Indonesia for foodies!

The choices for street food in this city are many and varied, but all delicious.

Try bakso, a flavourful meatball soup, or gudeg, which is jackfruit that has been stewed for hours with coriander and other spices combined with coconut chicken.

Of course, you must try the chicken noodles, which come in a sumptuous sauce and can contain all parts of the chicken if you want a bowl large enough!

You can also visit the magnificent temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, devoted to two different religions – Buddhism and Hinduism.

This is the best place to visit in Indonesia to get to know the people of beautiful Indonesia, their cultures, and food habits.

🛌🏼 Click here to see availability and prices for the best places to stay in Yogyakarta

These could be the best places in Indonesia, large ring of rocky mountain peaks surrounding a large lake of clear still water with volcanic mound in the centre under a cloudy sky
Discover the best places to stay in Indonesia, large ring of rocky mountain peaks covered in sporadic greenery surrounding a large lake of clear still water a bright blue sky with some light wispy clouds

6. Mount Rinjani- The active volcano in Indonesia

One of the most unique places to go to in Indonesia is Mount Rinjani, which might be the best destination in Indonesia for hikers.

Whilst being the second highest volcano in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani is also the most active one. But this activity has resulted in some of the most visually astounding scenery in the country.

For this reason, even though it is not the tallest Indonesia mountain, it is incredibly popular with climbers.

Located on the mighty Rinjani mountain range, the massive volcano towers over the Lombok Island.

It is indeed one of the most exhilarating experiences to climb to the top and enjoy the best views in the country.

Mount Rinjani holds a spiritual significance for the locals and is a part of the famous ‘ring of fire’, a place that holds great significance for practitioners of the Hindu religion.

Each year, there is a ceremony held at Mount Rinjani known as Pekelan. During Pekelan, devotees bring jewellery as an offering to the lake, which they put on the surface.

Then a self-clean ritual is performed, which is intended to calm the heart and clear the mind.

For these reasons Mount Rinjani is one of the top places to visit in Indonesia.

Don't miss out on the best places to see in Indonesia, aerial view of a two storey house with terracotta red pointed rooftop and small outdoor pool sitting amidst a large area of orderly green fields with green trees scattered about under a cloudy sky

7. Ubud – The art and culture capital of Bali

Wondering what to visit in Indonesia for those who love experiencing and learning about local culture? Ubud is the best place to visit in Indonesia for you.

Ubud is one of the most popular places in Indonesia for tourists because of its lively traditional performances and elegant art galleries.

It is indeed one of the most attractive neighbourhoods you have come across, and for many is the most beautiful city in Indonesia.

Very famous as the art and culture capital, you will also love the famed Tegalalang Rice Terrace, the lush tropical jungles and other natural features of Ubud.

It’s easy to see why this is one of the best places to see in Indonesia as even a casual stroll in Ubud offers a unique experience of nature or architecture.

Ubud also has some of the most beautiful places to stay in Bali which won’t break the bank too.

📸 PRO TIP: My go-to camera for all my travels is the Sony A7iii – I highly recommend it!

8. Torajaland – home of the Toraja people

Wondering where to go in Indonesia in December? Torajaland will provide a cultural experience like no other.

The highland region of South Sulawesi, Torajaland is home to the Torajans or the Toraja people. The sight of their massive peaked-roof houses, tongkonan, indeed offers a spectacular view.

These people are well known for their strange funeral rites where the dead body is kept for several years.

Torajaland is one of the best places to visit in Indonesia in December as they have an annual death ceremony to honour the spirits of the dead.

If you are looking for truly unique experiences, this is where to go in Indonesia to have them! And if you’re wondering when to visit Indonesia, choose the end of the year!

🛌🏼 Click here to see availability and prices for the best places to stay in Sulawesi

9. Baliem Valley – the lands of Lani, Dani and Yali tribes

Explore the Baliem Valley, located in the Papua area in Indonesia. Learn about the Lani, Dani and Yali tribes which are still practising ancient rites and ceremonies.

Enjoy the fresh air of the misty purple mountains and explore some of the must go places in Indonesia in the lands of the tribes.

You must visit the most popular destination in Papua’s interior and trek through the high mountain scenery and explore the Dani villages.

The villages are really unique and some of the top must see places in Indonesia for visitors.

When travelling to the Baliem Valley, there is only one way to get there, and that is by flying in to the town of Wamena from Jayapura.

After your flight, you can then take a public bus to the valley, or if you prefer you can rent a vehicle for yourself to drive.

10. The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

You can’t talk about the best destinations in Indonesia without mentioning Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.

The park is named after two mountains, Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo, both incredibly beautiful places of Indonesia.

Looking out across the peaks of these two majestic volcanoes is a breathtaking experience, especially in the early light of dawn or the low rays of sunset!

Even though the park is named after just two volcanoes, there are in fact three more volcanoes to be found here, named Mount Watangan, Mount Kursi and Mount Batok.

The Tengger people inhabit the land of impressive scenery and ancient volcanic craters. They are a mixture of agriculturalists and nomadic herders, with a rich history in the area.

Tenggerese people have a festival called Yadnya Kasada, which is held on Mount Bromo.

In gratitude for the abundance of produce and livestock the Tenggerese enjoy, offerings of fruit, vegetables, flowers and sometimes money are taken up to the volcano and thrown into the crater.

The landscapes here are some of the best of Indonesia. Mount Bromo is surrounded by towering cliffs and stands in a sea of volcanic sand; it is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes.

Both Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru each have a relatively high altitude, with Mount Bromo reaching 2,329 meters and Mount Semeru stretching even higher at 3,676 meters – over 12,000 feet!

This national park is one of the most unique places to go in Indonesia and will be a great cultural experience for those who take the time to visit.

11. Lake Toba – The biggest lake in Indonesia

Head to this majestic body of water in Indonesia, and you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for an ocean.

Lake Toba is not only the biggest lake of the country at over 1,145 square kilometers in size, but it’s also the most beautiful lake too.

In fact, many consider this to be the most beautiful place in Indonesia.

And it’s easy to see why, with rolling green hills sweeping down to the water’s edge and lazy fluffy clouds floating in the cool clean air.

Yes, Lake Toba is stunning from every angle and offers excellent views from every point – you must visit Indonesia so that you don’t miss out!

Enjoy looking at the hills and lush greenery that surround the volcanic lake. Tourists love exploring the nearby villages and get familiar with the Batak culture and its captivating traditions.

Lake Toba is one of the rare lakes to be so large that it holds a special landmark inside of it: Samosir.

Do not travel to this gorgeous place without visiting Samosir, the small island in the middle of Lake Toba, and one of the most beautiful places in Indonesia to visit.

Find the most beautiful places in Indonesia this summer, small area of beach with white tables and chairs next to a small bar area with rainbow coloured painted front and price board behind all in front of a dozen boats moored in the blue ocean waters with a backdrop of tall hills and mountains covered by fluffy white clouds in the distance under a clear blue sky

💡 PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

Discover where to visit in Indonesia this fall, two people sitting on a swing set with a large heart-shaped motif on the top that's standing in the sea facing out towards the rich auburn sunset

12. Lombok – the alternative to Bali

The closest neighbour of Bali, Lombok Island is indeed one of the best places to visit in Indonesia besides Bali. The enormous volcano of Gunung Rinjani dominates the island’s northern area.

Tourists enjoy trekking the island and exploring the northwest coast of the three Gili Islands.

This must see Indonesia destination is known for great beaches that make is one of the best places to vacation in Indonesia for families.

The Gili Islands are completely motor-free, adding to the natural peaceful atmosphere.

There are lots of activities and attractions here for every traveller, although the main draw of Lombok was originally surfing.

It was American surfers who first made use of the many reefs, bays and rocky inlets that can be found here.

Each of the Gili Islands also has a thriving nightlife scene, with plenty of seaside bars and beach parties to enjoy late into the night.

Lombok is the land of volcanoes and beaches, and indeed remains one of the last best-kept secrets of Indonesia.

🛌🏼 Click here to see availability and prices for the best places to stay in Lombok

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What is the most beautiful place in Indonesia?

Of course, beauty is subjective, but many consider Lake Toba to be the most beautiful lake AND place in Indonesia! And it definitely is gorgeous. However, there are so many pretty places in Indonesia, you can’t really go wrong wherever you wind up!

✅ Where is best to travel in Indonesia?

It really depends what you are interested in! Dieng Plateau is a fantastic option as it has a lot to see and do for those interested in both cultural sites and Indonesia’s natural beauty. Some other popular places to visit in Indonesia are Bali, Lombok, Yogyakarta and Lake Toba.

✅ Is 2 weeks enough for Indonesia?

2 weeks is enough time to see 1 place, or even to enjoy a few places to visit in Indonesia. In 2 weeks you can get a feel for Indonesia and will probably know where you want to focus your time if you are able to visit again. However, like many places, you could spend months or years and still find new parts of the country to explore.


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