At the end of 2012 Ester embarked on a 3 month journey to Indonesia, where she immediately fell in love with its friendly locals, beautiful landscapes, outstanding snorkelling and picturesque beaches. Here are her top five places to visit in Indonesia…
Ubud is the artistic centre of Bali full of beautiful restaurants and surrounded by lush green rice paddies. It’s a buzzing laid back town with lots going on but not too hectic like other main Indonesian cities can be. It’s a perfect place to spend a few days exploring the little laneways and art galleries. The monkey forest is worth checking out with its beautiful trees and historical temple, but keep your valuables close as the monkeys can be quite cheeky! Keep an eye out for the ongoing exuberant ceremonies that are held in the forest, they are unannounced and quite impressive.
Ubud is a great place to explore by bike, as you get to see the parts of the surrounding area that you wouldn’t otherwise see by foot. Check out the cycling trip we offer while arranging for you accommodation that’s located in the beautiful rice paddies on the outskirts of Ubud.
Kelimutu is worth getting up early for, as you want to be there when the sun has just risen. After a lovely car ride up the volcano through rice paddies and a natural spring, it is simply breathtaking when you get to the top of the volcano after a short hike. The lakes change colours every few months due to the minerals in the water, so you’ll never know what colour you will be treated to upon arrival.
I got two stunningly bright turquoise lakes and the eerie black lake on the other side of the path. I was greeted at the top by a lovely local who sold kopi (coffee), and monkeys that live on the volcano. You can visit Kelimute during our Remote Flores trip.
If you are an animal lover like I am you’ll want to go to the Komodo and Rinca Islands. When I saw my first dragon I was taken back with awe. I knew they were going to be big lizards, but these are impressive (and a tad intimidating) creatures that you want to admire from a safe distance! When I was there it was nesting season and the females were scattered around the islands guarding their nests.
The guides that join you on your trek around the Island know everything there is to know about these magnificent animals, and they like to share their knowledge and answer any questions that I had. After a short while I knew how to spot komodo tracks and their local watering holes. The best time to visit Komodo and Rinca is May to November; check out our ‘In Search of the Dragon’ trip!
In this authentic Lombok lush green country town you will get back to nature. With its perfect micro climate, Tetebatu is packed with rice and peanut paddies, banana trees and anything green that wants to grow. It is worth getting up before sunrise to see the changing colours of the Rinjani volcano and making the most of the morning sun.
The waterfalls offer a peaceful jungle walk and a tranquil experience where not many other tourists go. It is a perfect place to escape from the busy roads in Lombok and a really good place to meet the locals. To visit Tetebatu, check out our Authentic Lombok trip.
Just go. It’s my tropical happy place that I love to revisit over and over again. Its white beaches, superb snorkelling and diving, quiet roads (no cars), and typical island feel with warm welcoming locals make it my favourite spot in Indonesia. The three islands between them have something for everybody. From the quieter of the islands – the honeymoon spot of Gili Meno, to the diving orientated Gili Air and the party island of Gili Trawangan, anyone will find their happy place here.
These lovely little islands do get booked up quite quickly as they have limited accommodation on each, so make sure you book your trip to the White Sands of Gili Meno or Diving on Gili Air well in advance so you don’t miss out.