to see and do
• Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (Java): Check out our photo gallery and you know what we mean by saying that the volcanic Bromo region is one of the world’s most breathtaking sights. The three volcanos Bromo, Kursi and Batok are sticking out of a huge ancient caldera. In addition to the impressive cliffs on the crater’s edge and the very active Gunug Semeru (3676m) in the background this entire setting is a spectacular landscape photo motif. You can book tours in nearly every village around and even through offices in Jakarta. Usually the tours include an early pick-up (3.30am) from your accommodation and take you to the view point on top of Mount Penanjakan on the crater rim where you can enjoy the often misty and beautifully colored scenery at sunrise. Absolutely amazing! After that the 4WDs take you inside the caldera and drop you off at the base of Bromo. Here you can choose between a horseride and ascending the 253 stairs by foot that lead you to the crater rim with the steaming, sulphurous guts of the volcano. There are also hiking options available in the Bromo region!
• Komodo National Park (Komodo): The national park was originally founded to protect the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. It is located within the Lesser Sunda Islands and includes a whole range of small islands. The most famous ones are Komodo, Rinca and Padar. You should at least book a 3 day-tour (with locals) to these islands to gain an insight into one of the richest marine biodiversity on earth. Spend some hours on pink sand beach, go snorkeling and watch the beautiful Komodo dragon in the wild. Besides, Komodo National Park has been selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
• Gili Islands (Lombok): These beautiful islands belong to Lombok and offer anything you need from the best parties (Gili T.) to picturesque lonely beaches with lots of turtles (Gili Meno). These are the best islands for just enjoying your life! Make sure to get some diving lessons in Aquaddiction Dive on Gili T, they are the best. It is also worth hiking or mountainbiking around the small islands to discover magnificent beaches, find awesome snorkel spots or relax on huge swings in the ocean. I (Lena) have to admit that I had my best street food ever on the street market in Gili T, which opens every night on the main road.
• Raja Ampat Islands (West Papua): This tropical paradise off West Papua's northwest tip is still being discovered and a diver's dream. Under water you are surrounded by one of the world’s greatest diversity of marine life and above you can find 1600 mostly inhabited, picturesque islands with jungle, palm fringed beaches and turquoise waters of which some are also nice for bird watching. There are some top end resorts on the islands but homestays with local families are getting more popular and have made Raja Ampat much more accessible. For more information see the text below.
• Gunung Rinjani (Lombok): Rinjani (3726m) is Indonesia’s second-highest volcano and situated in the northern part of Lombok. It is popular with climbers and offers stunning views over the beautiful caldera lake and the Gili islands in front of Lombok’s northwest coast. Because hiking indepently is prohibited, you need to book an organized trip for example at the Rinjani Trek Centre in Senaru or the Rinjani Information Centre in Sembalun Lawang (cheapest options!). Expect to pay around 200 US-Dollars for overnight trekking packages to the summit including camping, equipment, guide, porters, food, park fees and transport. Overnight trips that only include hiking to the crater rim, which is the personal highlight for many trekkers, are cheaper. Tough but unforgettable trip!
03.12.2016 - Lena & Chris
Insider Tips for
11.12.2016 - Chris
Raja Ampat in West Papua is a paradise! Unfortunately it's not cheap to travel there because getting around is only possible by boat and fuel is very expensive which needs to be compensated by the locals. But with a little help of some background information you are able to visit this fantastic place on a tighter budget as well! Expect to pay around 25 dollars/euros per person per night in a basic bungalow (meals usually included) if you choose a homestay for accomodation. To reach this archipelago you have to take a domestic flight to Sorong in West Papua. Many visitors book at least their very first accommodation in advance through internet or at the Raja Ampat information center in walking distance to Sorong airport. If you choose the ultimate diving experience and stay on a liveaboard you are probably picked up by your operator at Sorong harbour which is a 5 minute taxi drive away from the airport. If you decide to stay in the northern part of Raja Ampat you take the ferry from Sorong harbour to the town of Waisai on Waigeo Island from where you will be picked up by boat or car (southern Waigeo only) from your accommodation. There is also an airstrip in Waisai which is served by Susi Air from Sorong with unregularly flights.
In 2016 I stayed on the northern Islands (Waigeo & Kri Island). My favorite place to stay was Papuarts Alter Native Stay on the southcoast of Waigeo next to the entrance of beautiful Kabui Bay. This lovely place is run by a Papuan woman and her Belgian husband. Beautiful setting with an unspoiled house reef, great food and very helpful staff. Right next door is the Raja Ampat Dive Resort (reachable by boat in less than 3 minutes) if you wanna experience the incredible under water scenery of Raja Ampat. Highly recommended! Check out our photo gallery and videos to get some impressions of the Raja Ampat region. By far the best website I know concerning general information, transport, accommodation & what to do in Raja Ampat is www.stayrajaampat.com.