Indonesia is basically one massive group of islands, with over 18 thousand smaller islands comprising one huge archipelago. This makes it the perfect destination for cruising, especially when you consider there are just so many things you can enjoy, from sipping a cocktail on a sandy beach in Bali to cruising the paradise on Earth that is Raja Ampat.
If you’ve been contemplating heading on a cruise to Indonesia, you probably find yourself debating which destinations are worth visiting. We took care of that for you, so here’s a list of destinations you absolutely must visit if cruising Indonesia.
Arguably the most interesting destination when it comes to a rich history, the Spice Islands Indonesia are a destination you just must visit at some point. The group of islands is actually called the Maluku Islands, or the Moluccas, but they got the nickname Spice Islands because, at one point, they were the only place in the world where you could find nutmeg and clove. This led to them being a strong point of contention for many nations, for quite some time.
What’s great about the Spice Islands, save for the fact that you can still get some impressive spices at the local markets, is that most of the things you’ll find in terms of architecture and monuments are remarkably well preserved. It’s like time has stopped, nothing is demolished, nothing is missing, and you’re left to enjoy the mesmerizing environment that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Definitely a destination you should head to when you have the opportunity.
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Komodo National Park
The national park actually has more than one island – Komodo, Padar, and Rinca are all part of it, but Komodo is arguably the most interesting one to visit. Sure, you have all the beautiful views to enjoy, that’s true. However, what you’re here for is the Komodo dragon, which is the world’s largest lizard species, reaching weights of up to 165kgs and lengths of over 3 meters. This is impressive, but even more impressive is the fact that you can’t find them outside the national park.
But alas, that’s not everything the national park has to offer for visitors. You’ll also get to enjoy some of the world’s most incredible marine life, thanks to the fact that Komodo National Park is located in the Coral Triangle. You’ll get to potentially see over 1,000 species of marine life, and the diversity you can enjoy is remarkable, to say the least.
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Considered by many as a tourist’s paradise, Bali is the go-to destination for visitors that want to enjoy everything Indonesia has to offer in one place. From a bustling nightlife like no other, to calm beaches that feel like paradise on Earth, you can get it all in Bali. Unfortunately, that does mean that you’ll have to share it with potentially thousands of other tourists, so it’s not the ideal destination if you want a bit of privacy.
Aside from all the tourists, Bali has an incredible variety of architecture and culture. It’s been one of Indonesia’s most important destinations throughout the years, and explorers will get to enjoy everything the locals have been building for centuries, from religious monuments to huge memorial buildings.
And when you’re done exploring, you can head to one of those sandy beaches we mentioned. There are a couple of them, and sipping a cocktail while laying on the pearly white sand truly feels like you’ve hit every jackpot in your life. And if you are a fan of water and its amazing coral world there are amazing snorkelling posts in Bali you shouldn’t miss. Check out our Bali Guide here.
Known by many to be an absolute delight to visit, Raja Ampat will have you cruising among dramatic karst island clusters that offer a view you won’t find elsewhere. It’s an impressive destination to head to, especially when you add all the secret lagoons and beaches to the mix, and it’s an experience that can’t be described in words.
If you’re a fan of exotic bird species and plants, there is plenty for you to enjoy in Raja Ampat. This is where Alfred Russel Wallace stumbled upon species that you won’t find anywhere else but in this region, such as the Red bird of paradise. There are also over 350 bird species, such as king parrots and forest kingfishers. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise.
But then you get to the underwater life, and oh boy are you in for a surprise. The coral life is absolutely astonishing, with a variety that’s specific to the Coral Triangle and includes secret bays, deep drop-offs, pristine reef flats, and coral gardens that everyone will love exploring. We’re talking about over 1,300 species of tropical marine fish alone, as well as over 600 species of coral species.
The icing on the cake is that Raja Ampat is between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, which only makes things even better when it comes to wildlife variety, adding to the reasons you must visit the place.