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Indonesia’s Secret Jewels

TravelPost Category - TravelTravel - Post Category - GuidesGuides

Live the ultimate island life in 5 Indonesian paradise islands!

As the largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia is comprised of approximately 17,000 islands. Not all of them are as commercial and established as prevailing Bali, which makes them more unique, because their natural beauty is untouched. These raw islands offer what Mother Nature truly has! And though some of them are more ideal as a romantic holiday for you and the hubby, some of them make for great getaway for the whole family.

Worth the exploration, here is a list of five islands you need to visit with or without the kiddies!

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat

Starting from the far east of the archipelago, Raja Ampat islands is located in the West Papua province of New Guinea. Raja Ampat, which means Four Kings, comprises of four main islands; Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. Part of the Coral Triangle, this makes Raja Ampat one of the most desired places for diving!

How to get there:

– Making a stop in Jakarta is advisable, as there are no international flights to West Papua, except from Singapore. There are however, direct domestic flights from Jakarta to Sorong (Dominique Edward Osok Airport). The flight usually takes around 7 hours.

– To get to one of the four islands, the speedboat service is available from Sorong. Keep in mind it needs to be booked in advanced. For more information visit the official website gorajaampat.com

Accommodation:

Raja Ampat offers a wide variety of resorts and home stay accommodation that is both convenient for use with kids and fascinating for all you nature lovers. There are a number of agents from Jakarta that can assist in providing useful information. A better alternative would be to contact the Raja Ampat Tourism Board.

Komodo Island

Komodo Island

Located in the East Nusa Tenggara province close to Bali. Komodo Island is notable as the home of the Komodo dragon. The island is also a popular area for diving. Travellers can opt for the ‘hunting Komodo trip’ travel through the majestic coastlines, a great way to ‘wow’ the kids and add some captivating photos to your album! In addition, the island provides various activities such as wicked diving, kayaking and snorkelling.

How to get there:

– Travelling via air is preferable as it takes lesser time. Flights are available from Jakarta, Bali and Lombok and stop at Komodo airport in Labuan Bajo.

– Tourists can travel by boat to Labuan Bajo, however it is only available from Bali and Lombok.

– It is best to explore with a local tour guide the resort and activities from Labuan Bajo.

Accommodation

There are distinct styles of resorts and home stay available; all of them provide enchanting views of the sea and mountains that the island generously offers. To make your decision simpler, check out tripadvisor or make a call to your preferred resort for further information, it can be easily found on their website.

Derawan Island

Derawan Island

Part of the Sulawesi sea, is the Derawan island. Rich in marine biodiversity, also located in the coral triangle, it is home to over five hundred water species. It is well known for its ponds of un-poisonous jellyfish that can be found in Maratua Island and Kakaban Island. It also feature caves that lead you directly to the sea, mostly found particularly in the island of Maratua. A boat trip around the caves is a must!

How to get there:

– Derawan doesn’t have an airport; the closest airport is in Balikpapan also situated in the island of Sulawesi.

– A 3 to 4 hour speedboat journey is then required to reach Derawan.

Accommodation

The Meratan paradise resort and the Sematan Palm Beach resort are amongst the many resorts Derawan provides that are top notch. The huts are situated at the shores; imagine yourself living on a beach!

Belitung Island

Belitung Island

In the east coast of Sumatera lies a medium-sized island called Belitung, known for its tin and pepper, the island was an ideal mining spot. More interestingly, Belitung Island has numerous tourist destinations that features crystal blue waters, soft sand and rocky beaches. Pasir Island is a tidal island that is made of sand; the tiny island consists of amazing spots to take photos with starfishes! Don’t miss out Lengkuas Island, home to a 129-year old lighthouse; it is an excellent place to snorkel in its pristine waters. Guests can visit the magnificent Kong Hu Chu Temple, also the centrepiece of the city.

How to get there:

– Travellers can take a 45-minute flight from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan (the largest town in Belitung).

– Another alternative is by boat that departs and arrives from Jakarta.

Accommodation

Belitung Island is known for its five-star hotels with a natural twist. The hotels are located on its beautiful sandy beaches that open its windows to the unique landscape, much like paradise! Visit local sites such as Agoda to get a deeper insight on the best accommodations.

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Karimun Java

One of the twenty-seven islands on the Java Sea, Karimun Java is enveloped with white sandy beaches, coconut trees and breathtaking coral reefs. One of the many attractions is the turtle sanctuary, where travellers can go on diving excursions. Guests can also enjoy a trek on the Mangrove forest along the Barakuda beach. Your weekend can also be spent, island hopping around Karimun Java. Boats are easily available and can be rented from the local fishermen at the island. A fantastic experience for the whole family, not to be overlooked!

How to get there:

– Domestic flights are available from Jakarta to Semarang. An additional 3-hour boat ride is required to reach Karimun Java from Semarang, which may not be ideal for very young travellers.

Accommodation:

A popular accommodation in this island is the Kura-Kura resort. ‘Kura-Kura’ or Turtles is an icon of the island, this resort provides lavish treatments and spaces for family or romantic getaways. There are plenty of other options for travellers to choose, look out for the official websites.

Travel Tips:

  • Your travel kit should consist of sunblock and anti-mosquito repellents at any time of the year.
  • September-November are perfect seasons for diving as the seas are usually gentler with less weather obstructions.
  • To relax and undertake milder water sports such as snorkeling, any time of year is ideal.
  • Don’t forget to bring your underwater camera; the scenery down under is worth the capture!
  • Make sure to bring cash, as there are no ATM’s in many of the islands.

Featured image via Pinterest, Image #2 via Pinterest, Image #3 via Wiki Commons, Image #4 via Pinterest, Image #5 via Pinterest, Image #6 via Wiki Commons

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