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27th May, 2021

Island hopping in Indonesia - all you need to know

Indonesia is a vast and diverse country - consisting of more than 17,000 islands. It’s a whole new world of things to explore, from snorkelling in turtle-teeming oceans to wandering through rice paddies and witnessing some of the world’s most beautiful rare species.

One thing about Indonesia being so expansive is that it can be hard to work out where to start - or which of the islands you should visit as part of your adventure. This is where island hopping comes into its own. Instead of choosing a base and limiting your options, island hopping allows you to enjoy all that Indonesia has to offer - think bustling markets and delicious street food, active volcanoes, and breathtaking beaches. One thing’s for sure - there’s never a dull moment during an adventure in Indonesia.

Limitless things to see and do


There is a never ending selection of things to do during an island hopping adventure in Indonesia, whether you want to hike around historic temples or enjoy the natural beauty of this impressive archipelago.

East Java offers up the chance to visit one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Bromo, found within the Tengger mountains. Witnessing the sunrise over the volcano is a truly breathtaking sight - and widely regarded as one of the highlights of a trip to Java. There’s still magic to be found closer to the ground, too, with insight into the local Tenggerese community and its ancient traditions, cuisines and villages.

You may have witnessed some of Indonesia’s most famous residents on your to-do list, in which case Rinca, Komodo, and the nearby islands are an essential trip. The islands play host to a whole array of wildlife, but the majestic Komodo Dragons are one of the main drawers. In fact, the islands of Indonesia are the only place you can see them in the wild, making the experience even more special.

Bali itself is a must visit destination, from the cultural hotspot of Ubud to the rural heartlands inland. Bali’s highest volcano, Mount Agung, is a breathtaking sight towering over the island, with plenty of temples and religious complexes nearby to explore.

Don’t forget the animal inhabitants

A Komodo Dragon

When you’re talking about the incredible landscapes of Indonesia, it’s impossible to forget the creatures that call these lands home. The vast and varied selection of wildlife is one of the things that often proves most appealing to visitors, including some unique and rare species - from lizards to primates. If you’re a wildlife lover, then Indonesia is the place for you.

As we’ve already mentioned, Komodo Dragons are one of the most famous animal inhabitants in Indonesia, with the islands offering up a unique opportunity to see them in all their glory. But there are plenty of other incredible creatures to keep an eye out for too.

The critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan can be found living in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, while the rare and wonderful Maleo birds are another remarkable breed that’s endemic in Indonesia, in this case on the island of Sulawesi. While on Sulawesi you may even spot the world’s smallest primate, the pygmy tarsiers - although their small size and nocturnal nature makes this a rare occurrence!

A tour for your tastebuds

Traditional Indonesian food on a street stall

Indonesian cuisine is a melting pot of delicious flavours and experiences - a real feast for the senses. With complex flavours, colourful spices, and hearty components, Indonesia is one of the most exciting places to eat in the world.

For an authentic experience, head to Yogyakarta - a city rich in culture and history. Not only will you learn more about the Javanese arts and get to witness the still-inhabited Sultan’s Palace, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a culinary tour of the city’s street food. In fact, the street food scene here is so impressive it was featured on an episode of the Netflix series ‘Street Food’!

Ready to start your Indonesian adventure?

Island hopping is one of the best ways to make sure that you don’t miss a moment of the magic that Indonesia has to offer. Why choose one destination, when you can visit them all? Find out more about travelling in Indonesia, or book your island hopping adventure with Saga today.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.