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Indonesia

Overview

Ultimate Diversity, Unparalleled Adventure

The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, comprising a mind-blowing 17,504 islands – many of them still uninhabited. Indonesia has a total population of more than 215 million people from more than 200 ethnic groups. A curious amalgam of cultures, climates and landscapes, Indonesia is well and truly a kaleidoscope of adventures rolled into one destination.

Among the better known islands are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the Maluku Islands and Papua. Each of these isles are blessed with a terrain that is amazingly diverse – from the rice lands on Java and Bali to the luxuriant rainforests of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi, to the savannah grasslands of the Nusatenggara islands to snow-capped peaks of West Papua.

Indonesia’s fertile soil is brought about by lava, and its minerals found on land and in the sea caused by volcanic eruptions, have made this the ideal habitat for a large number of unique and endemic flora and fauna.Her wildlife ranges from the prehistoric giant Komodo lizard to the Orang Utan and the Java rhino, to the Sulawesi anoa dwarf buffalos, to birds with exquisite plumage like the cockatoo and the bird of paradise. This is also the habitat of the Rafflesia the world’s largest flower, wild orchids, an amazing variety of spices, and aromatic hardwood and a large variety of fruit trees. And the wonder doesn’t stop there. Even underwater, scientists have found in North Sulawesi the prehistoric coelacanth fish, a “living fossil” fish, predating the dinosaurs living some 400 million years ago, while whales migrate yearly through these waters from the South Pole. Here are hundreds of species of colourful coral and tropical fish to admire.

Indonesia also has fascinating motley of cultures, reflected in their array of beautiful ancient temples, their music - ranging from the traditional to modern pop - dances, rituals and ways of life; changing from island to island, from region to region.

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Sumatra
Wild and unpredictable, this giant island has seen aeons of violence extruding from within its core. The remnants of the destruction of the past are seen in its fertile soil, allowing for the growth of lush tropical jungles. Sumatra rewards the adventurous soul in myriad ways, from its volcanic crater rim treks in the town of Berastagi, to the exciting jungle treks that offer the chance to spot orangutans at their natural habitat in Bukit Lawang. And after the demanding ride, the tranquil volcanic Lake Toba – the largest of its kind in the world - can offer repose to the worn traveller.  

Java
Java is the the heart-beat of Indonesia. With a 120 million populace, this island emits a vibrancy not found anywhere else on the archipelago. A chain of volcanoes spans its length, representing the pyroclastic backbone of the island. Some of them have mellowed down in quiescence; still others are temperamental giants that can transform into spires of red, hot fury. Gunung Bromo, Gunung Merapi and Gunung Agung are some of the must-sees for the avid volcano-seeker.

Although this amazing island is made almost entirely of volcanic origin, that’s not all it has to offer. Mother Nature has also endowed Java with swift white water rivers, mammoth caves, pristine jungles and beautiful beaches. Not to be outdone, Java’s cultural side also takes the limelight. Inspired by the abundant beauty of the surroundings, and influenced by Hindu-Buddhist, Muslim and Western invaders, the Javanese have created  impressive temples and kraton  (palaces). For instance, the Buddhist temple Borobudur is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument and is an awe-inspiring architectural wonder.

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