Consisting of more than 17,000 islands, the vast Indonesian archipelago spans 5,120 km across the equator, positioned between the Asian and Australian continents. Four-fifths of the area is sea with the major islands of Sumatera, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. The 300 ethnic groups that exist harmoniously give birth to a potpourri of cultures and fascinating people. The major ethnic groups are: Minangkabaunese, Malay, Javanese, Sundanese, Maduranese and Ambonnese. Arab, Chinese and Indian immigrants have also settled in regions throughout the country, particularly in the coastal cities.
Geographically, Indonesia’s landscape is greatly varied. Java and Bali have the most fertile islands and rice fields are concentrated in these two regions, whereas Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua are still largely covered with tropical rainforest. Open savannah and grassland characterize Nusa Tenggara.
The lowland that comprises most of Indonesia has a characteristically tropical climate with abundant rainfall, high-temperatures and humidity. Rainy Indonesia’s tropical climate and unique geographical character provide shelter for flora and fauna that are as diversely rich as its land and people. The plant and animals in Indonesia’s western region represent that of mainland Asia while those in the eastern region are typical of Australia. Endemic species, which are the pride of Indonesia, exist in the central region, such as orangutans, tigers, one-horned rhinos, elephants, dugongs, anoas and komodo dragons. The warm tropical waters of the archipelago nurture a rich marine environment that holds a myriad of fish, coral species and marine mammals.
A cultural heritage passed on through generations offers a wealth of traditional arts and crafts. Batik, wooden carvings, weavings, silverworks and many other traditional skills produce exquisitely beautiful items. Indonesia’s multi-racial and multi-religious culture mean festivals steeped in traditions are celebrated throughout the year. Frequently featured in these events are dances, wayang theaters and other performing arts.Visas:
Visa regulations have been in a state of flux since 2002, with changes being made in response to political imperatives and then reversed when pressure is brought to bear by tourism interests. Nationals of 21 countries, including Australia, the US and some European countries, are able to obtain a visa on arrival in Indonesia. Visas on arrival can only be obtained at designated international airports and seaports and Indonesia requires at least 6 months validity remaining on passports for visitors entering the country.
When to Go
Though travel in the wet season is possible in most parts of Indonesia, it can be a deterrent to some activities and travel on mud-clogged roads in less developed areas is difficult. In general, the best time to visit is in the dry season between May and October. Before concerns of about terrorism became so pervasive the Christmas holiday period brought a wave of migratory Australians, with an even bigger tourist wave during the European summer holidays. The main Indonesian holiday period is the end of
Ramadan, when resorts can be full and prices are increased.
Straddling the equator, Indonesia tends to have a fairly even climate year-round. Rather than four seasons, Indonesia has two – wet and dry – and there are no extremes of winter and summer.
In most parts of Indonesia, the wet season falls between October and April (low season), and the dry season between May and September (high season). Rain tends to come in sudden tropical downpours, but it can also rain nonstop for days. In some parts of the country, such as kalimantan the difference between the seasons is slight – the dry season just seems to be slightly hotter and slightly drier than the wet season. In other areas, such as Nusa Tenggara, the differences are very pronounced, with droughts in the dry season and floods in the wet.
Though travel in the wet season is not usually a major problem in most parts of Indonesia, mud-clogged back roads can be a deterrent. The best time to visit is in the dry season. The ‘wet’ starts to descend in October and varies in intensity across the archipelago. The December to February rains can make travel prohibitive in Nusa Tenggara, when rough seas either cancel (or sink) ferries, and roads on Flores are washed out. Parts of Papua are also inaccessible. The rains shift in Sumatra, peaking from October to January in the north, and from January to February in the south. But seasonal change makes little difference in Bali, and in kalimantan higher water levels from December to February improve access to rivers and small tributaries.
In most cases, experiencing an Indonesian festival is reason enough to head to a destination. Some are so significant, however, that they can generate difficult conditions for travelers. Tanga Toraja’s funeral season boosts Rantepao’s population, and hotel prices, substantially during July and August. In Java it’s a good idea to avoid the final days of Idul Fitri, when public transport is mayhem and some businesses close.
A tragic drop in tourist hordes means that Indonesia’s ‘high season’ no longer presents the same kind of bother it once did. The December–January Christmas holiday period and the school holidays still brings a wave of migratory Australians, and Europeans head to Bali, Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi in July and August. But climatic impediments aside, pretty much any time is a good time to head to Indonesia at the moment.
The main Indonesian holiday periods are the end of Ramadan, when domestic tourists fill resorts and prices escalate; Christmas; and mid-June to mid-July, when graduating high-school students take off by the busload to various tourist attractions, mainly in Java and Bali.
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any nation, and in 1990 the population was reported to be 87 percent Muslim. There is a well-educated and influential Christian minority (about 9.6 percent of the population in 1990), with about twice as many Protestants as Catholics. The Balinese still follow a form of Hinduism. Mystical cults are well established among the Javanese elite and middle class, and members of many ethnic groups still follow traditional belief systems. Officially the government recognizes religion ( agama ) to include Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, while other belief systems are called just that, beliefs ( kepercayaan ). Those who hold beliefs are subject to conversion; followers of religion are not. Belief in ancestral spirits, spirits of diverse sorts of places, and powerful relics are found among both peasants and educated people and among many followers of the world religions; witchcraft and sorcery also have their believers and practitioners. The colonial regime had an uneasy relationship with Islam, as has the Indonesian government. The first of the Five Principles extols God ( Tuhan ), but not Allah by name. Dissidents have wanted to make Indonesia a Muslim state, but they have not prevailed.
The Javanese are predominantly Muslim, though many are Catholic or Protestant, and many Chinese in Java and elsewhere are Christian, mainly Protestant. The Javanese are noted for a less strict adherence to Islam and a greater orientation to Javanese religion, a mixture of Islam and previous Hindu and animist beliefs. The Sundanese of West Java, by contrast, are ardently Muslim. Other noted Muslim peoples are the Acehnese of North Sumatra, the first Indonesians to become Muslim; the Minangkabau, despite their matrilineal; the Banjarese of South Kalimantan; the Bugis and Makassarese of South Sulawesi; the Sumbawans of the Lesser Sunda Islands; and the people of Ternate and Tidor in Maluku.
The Dutch sought to avoid European-style conflict between Protestants and Catholics by assigning particular regions for conversion by each of them. Thus today the Batak of Sumatra, the Dayak of Kalimantan, the Toraja and Menadonese of Sulawesi, and the Ambonese of Maluku are Protestant; the peoples of Flores and the Tetun of West Timor are Catholic.
Indonesia Attractions Bali:
The most developed island in the Indonesian archipelago, Java exhibits all the characteristics of an Asian society experiencing rapid transition: great wealth and equal squalor; beautiful open country and filthy cities; tranquil rural scenes and streets choked with traffic. The Hindu-Buddhist empires reached their zenith on Java, producing architectural wonders such as Borobudur and Prambanan. Islam, following on after this, absorbed rather than erased local cultures, leaving Java with a mish-mash of historic influences and religions.
Less developed than Bali, Lombok has better beaches, a bigger volcano and a greater variety of landscapes. Thanks to low key tourism, many Lombokians are less blasé about tourists than the neighboring Balinese so you should have no trouble finding your very own private paradise.
Sumatra is as tropical as it gets. With its Amazon-like rivers moving sluggishly through canopies of natural rainforests, muddy mangrove estuaries, steamy interiors, brilliantly gaudy flora and weird and wonderful fauna, Sumatra is a place and a half for a boat trip. Despite its wealth of natural resources, Sumatra is struggling with a failing economy. The northern province of Aceh is at the epicenter of separatist violence and the area has been hit by devastating earthquakes
The villages of Nggela, Wolojita and Jopu on the island of Flores are renowned for their beautiful ikat sarongs and shawls. The traditional whaling village of Lamalera on Lembata, east of Flores, is a fascinating place to poke around the boatsheds and watch whaling crafts. Kelimutu’s tri-coloured lakes are Nusa Tenggara’s most fantastic attraction. The waters in the three volcanic craters have a curious habit of changing colour. Local legend has it that the souls of the dead go to the lakes. Which colour lake you go to depends on your conduct during your life.
Papua is one of the world’s last wilderness areas. The Papuans live in some of the most rugged terrain on earth – from snowcapped mountains to mangrove swamps – in a region that offers fantastic jungle scenery, equatorial glaciers, abundant bird and animal life and great trekking opportunities.
If you’re expecting to see half-naked, heavily tatooed Dayaks striding down the streets of Balikpapan or Pontianak, you’ll be disappointed. Your first impressions of Kalimantan, which occupies the southern two-thirds of the island of Borneo, are likely to be of oil refineries and timber mills.
Komodo & Rinca.
These two small islands sandwiched between Flores and Sumbawa in eastern Nusa Tenggara is famous for their four-legged inhabitants – the ponderous Komodo dragons. The lizards can be quite fierce, and range from 20g (0.7oz) pipsqueaks to 130kg (287lb) monsters.
The thousand islands of Maluku (formerly the Moluccas) were the fabled spice islands of history, which attracted Indian, Chinese, Arab and later European traders, who came in search of the cloves, nutmeg and mace that grew here and nowhere else.
Most travelers head to the beautiful rugged hill country of Tana Toraja in central and southern Sulawesi, and the small town of Rantepao pulls in many of them. The Toraja have become the focus of tourist attention thanks to their elaborate ceremonies, burial sites and traditional houses.
The magnificent Borobuder temple is the world’s biggest Buddhist mountain,an ancient site widely considered be one of the world’s seven wounders.Built in the 9th century the region of the Syailendra dyna.
Indonesia Tour PackagesA .JAKARTA 2 NIGHTS / 3 DAYS PACKAGE
Yogyakarta is a centre of dance, music, painting and batik is the undisputed cultural capital of Java. The slow pace and compact size of this quintessential Javanese town makes Yogyakarta easy to explore on foot. Close to the extraordinary monuments of Borobudur and Prambanan, the silversmiths’ village of Kota Gede and the beaches of Parangtritis, Yogyakarta offers a feast of culture and history plus nature in all her majesty.
Day 1: Upon arrival at the airport Jakarta, meeting services then transfers to the hotel. Afternoon excursion to Prambanan, Sewu, Plaosan and Kalasan temple. Back to hotel and overnight.
Day 2: Breakfast at hotel. Morning Jogja city sightseeing tour visiting Sonobudoyo museum, Sultan’s palace, Bird market, Batik factory and silver works. After lunch continue visit Borobudur, Pawon and Mendut temple. Back to hotel overnight.
Day 3: Breakfast at hotel. Free day. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
Prices included: – 2 nights accommodation based on twin sharing at Hyatt Regency / Sheraton Mustika / Melia Purosani – Daily breakfast – Excursion as per itinerary with full A.C transportation – English speaking guide services or any language you wish – Entrance fee & Donation As all services whole the world tipping is not a must but expected.
B .TORAJA 4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS PACKAGE
Tana Toraja is a land of green rice terraces and blood-red soils, steep granite outcrops and forested mountains arguably, the most spectacular scenery in all of Indonesia, open to visitors for less than 20 years and seldom visited by North Americans. The Torajans are a shy people who perform ritual feasts for weddings, harvests, new houses, and, most elaborately, for funerals which place remarkable effigies in cliff-face shrines. They are proud of a rich culture that continues to maintain its integrity despite the pressures of modernization. The best way to experience the true majesty of Tana Toraja is on foot, with a professional guide and anthropologist, meeting the people in a way that overcomes their reserve, and coming to understand their way of life.
Day 1: UJUNGPANDANG-TORADJAUpon arrival at Hasanudin airport, transfer to Toraja 8 hours drive across Buggies village with thier typical house on poles along the magnificient mountain passes. Lunch will be serve at Bukit Indah restaurant at Pare-Pare, a small port situated 155 km noth of Ujung Pandang. Arrive at Toraja, check in hotel. Dinner and overnight
Day 2: Breakfast at hotel, full day visiting: The stone grave at lemo, The Royal tombs at Suaya, and the baby grave in the street at Sangalla. Lunch at Rantepao. After lunch visiting natural burial cave at Londa, and traditional carving village at Kete kesu. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 3: After breakfast full day tour visiting traditional Toraja village with bufallo at Palawa, a aving village at Sa’dan and ancient megalithic stone at Bori, lunch at Rantepao. After lunch visit and old stone grave Marante. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 4: After breakfast, proceed to Ujung Pandang, Lunch at Bukit Indah Restaurant Pare-Pare and direct to aiport to catch your onward flight.
Note: Tour and Tour Information are subject to change.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
Price including: – Accommodation at Novotel Toraja based on sharing twin. – English guide services or any language you wish. – Full air-conditioned transportation. – Full board – Donation and entrance fee. As all around the world TIPPING is not a must but expected.
C .BALI GREAT EXPERIENCE 7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS PACKAGE
It is a completed experience in Bali that you got from us for everybody love in adventuring. We will take you to central of Bali famous for its painters communities, UBUD. To enjoy your wonderful holiday. You will have enough time to discover the site and adventuring with most experience one in the same time. We take you to a breathtaking 2 hours journey, 13 kilometers long in the famous AYUNG RIVER. You will paddle over 25 rapids; pass numerous waterfalls, fern laden canyon, sleepy grottos, through narrow gorges and swift moving torrent. We will cycle through spectacular mountain scenery, areas of dense tropical rain forest with its isolated hamlets, and past bamboo plantations. and for the last SOBEK’s Mountain Trekking Tour enables you to truly experience the sights and sounds of the incredibly diverse ecosystem that lies beneath the primeval canopy of the jungle.
Day 1: Upon arrival at the airport of BALI, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in UBUD where you will spend your 6 nights’ accommodation. For those who have already staying in Bali, you will be picked up from your respective hotel for transfer to Ubud.
Day 2: Breakfast at hotel.full day free at leisure for exploring this attractive town with its numerous places of interest. Organized optional sightseeing can be arranged locally.
Day 3: Breakfast at hotel. We will pick you up at 08.30 hours. We take you to a breathtaking 2 hours journey, 13 kilometers long in the famous AYUNG RIVER. You will paddle over 25 rapids; pass numerous waterfalls, fern laden canyon, sleepy grottos, through narrow gorges and swift moving torrent. During the voyage you will see nature run wild; untouched tropical rain forest greets you on every side; and iridescent Kingfishers swoop through vine hung gorges, as one moment you are floating through shaded pools and the next moment you are sent, swirling through bolder strewn rapids. At all times the rafting is fun, the scenery is ever changing, like the river itself. We provide ‘River-dry’ bags for your camera. To finish the trip, an excellent buffet lunch is served located on the bank of the Ayung River. Freshen up in our changing room and showers facilities before our air-conditioned vehicle takes you back to your hotel in Ubud.
Day 4: Breakfast at hotel. Pick-up time at 08.30 hours. The mountain cycling ‘BATUR TRAIL’ was discovered by SOBEK in 1990, descend from the lip of one of Bali’s most famous volcano. Using new aluminum “Montana Lightweight” mountain bikes, we cycle down from 5,000 feet, an interesting and essential part of the Bali Cycling program. We cycle through spectacular mountain scenery, areas of dense tropical rain forest with its isolated hamlets, and past bamboo plantations. A selection of comfortable, extremely well maintained bicycles are available and we provide mountain bike helmets and gloves, as well as USD. 25,000 medical insurance cover. The trip begins with a “Brunch’ on the 14 km wide caldera of Batur. Air-conditioned support vehicles with cool drinks and cold towels are never far away. We finish our journey back in Ubud and an excellent lunch will be served before returning back to your hotel.
Day 6: Breakfast at hotel. Today is a relax day. Free at leisure to do your own activities at hotel.
Day 6: Early breakfast at hotel. The tour begins at 06.30 a.m. Deep in the heart of Bali lies dense untouched tropical rain forest. SOBEK’s Mountain Trekking Tour enables you to truly experience the sights and sounds of the incredibly diverse ecosystem that lies beneath the primeval canopy of the jungle. We transfer you to one of Bali’s still active volcano and our mountain guide lead you on an unforgettable experience through real jungle flora – the home of monkeys, wild boar, deer and Bali’s magnificent bird life. Unique sights are regular as the skill of our guides enables you to go to an area that is only accessible with their insight and knowledge. We rest in the dense forest, and an excellent lunch is provided at the end of the trek before you are transported back by air-conditioned vehicles to your hotel in Ubud.
Day 7: Breakfast at hotel. Today you will be transferred back to your hotel in Kuta / Sanur / Nusa Dua if you intend to stay longer in Bali, or to the airport for your onward flight departure.
Note: Tour and Tour Information are subject to change. And ask best price before booked.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
Price included: – Accommodation at Resort based on twin sharing – English speaking guide – Transfer and excursion as mentioned in the itinerary – Full air-conditioned coach – Meals as mentioned in the itinerary As all around the globe TIPPING is not a must but it is expected.
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