Indonesia is one of the most culturally rich, diverse, and breathtakingly beautiful places on this planet. Its geography is volatile, as it is harmonious, with most of the world's active volcanoes and regular earth tremors, situated in the middle of the 'Ring of Fire'.
Don't be deterred because mother nature also blessed Indonesia's archipelago of 17,580 Islands that significantly differ from one another. Its also a mystical, spiritual world, rich in traditions and religious rituals that permeate the everyday life of its 264 million inhabitants and their 200 different dialects.
Indonesia's tropical-exotica includes the wild jungles of Northern Sumatra, home to Tigers, Rhinoceros and Orangutang's in Borneo, or the fierce giant Komodo Dragons in the south. Explore and climb active volcanoes in Java or Bali, trek through ancient rice terraced landscapes, or sail Indonesia's unchartered, spectacular islands of Raja Ampat.
Following the spice route of ancient traders, Indonesia is the home to nutmeg, mace, cloves, sandalwood, and spicy, exquisite cuisines. Taste Indian influenced Padang food, Sambal's, (chili jams) and Satay's, melt-in-your-mouth Beef Rending or world-famous Nasi Goring. Street vendors push their cart-offerings around busy streets, and you can take your pick from crispy fried chicken to fish ball soups or fresh fruits. Hot, spicy food is typical in Indonesia, and a tight, close family-oriented way of life remains today.
The monkey forests, deep ravines, rice paddies, rainforests and rivers of Ubud, Bali, are a spiritual and tranquil wonderland. The artistic culture of Indonesia has found its way into homes, offices, and gardens around the world today.
Surfers were the early holiday pilgrims to Indonesia, having discovered some of the world's most famous breaks; tourism has thrived ever since. Party all night in Kuta, Bali and luxuriate in resorts, private villas, beach club's or wellness retreats and find yourself. White sandy beaches, scuba diving, water sports, and massages under palm trees are irresistible.
Witness Bali's bewildering, trance-inducing, Kecak dance performances, artistic Javanese puppet shows, or Papuan tribal war dances, many performed at festivals.
Dutch colonial history, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic cultures all coexist in Indonesia's melting pot today. Ancient temples and towering mosques live side by side, and the Islamic call to prayer is heard across cities and suburbs. The capital, Jakarta, is chaotic as it is fascinating, with towering skyscrapers, enormous shopping malls, and luxurious five-star hotels, cafes, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Lying close to the equator, Indonesia has two seasons. May to September is the dry season and hence the most popular time to visit, as is Christmas and New Year. The wet season, from October to April, means it will rain, and storms are generally dramatic yet short. Temperatures remain relatively constant all year round from 21'C and 33'C with the mountains cooler than the coast.