The 15 Best Islands to Visit in Indonesia

Embark on a tropical odyssey with our guide to the 15 best islands in Indonesia. From the iconic Bali to hidden gems like Raja Ampat, explore diverse landscapes, vibrant cultures, and unparalleled natural beauty across this enchanting archipelago. Whether seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, each island promises a unique and unforgettable experience, inviting travelers to discover the rich tapestry of Indonesia’s island life.

1. Bali

Situated in the western region of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Bali is a province in Indonesia. The province comprises the island of Bali and a few other offshore islands, most notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan to the southeast. It is located east of Java and west of Lombok.

2. Lombok Island

Part of the Lesser Sunda Island series, Lombok is an Indonesian island located west of Sumbawa and east of Bali. It’s well-known for its beaches and surfing locations, especially in the south of Lombok at Kuta and Banko Banko. Off the west coast of Lombok, the motor-vehicle-free Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno) have more beaches, reefs for snorkeling and diving, and a sea turtle hatchery.

3. Komodo Island

The 3 meter long Komodo dragon monitor lizard lives in the rough ecosystem of Komodo island, which is a part of the Lesser Sunda series of Indonesian islands. Komodo National Park, which spans the entire area and is composed of rusty-red volcanic hills, savannah, and woods, is home to nearly 4,000 dragons. Divers love diving in the seagrass beds, mangrove shrublands, and coral reefs that surround it.

4. Gili Island

The 3 meter long Komodo dragon monitor lizard lives in the rough ecosystem of Komodo island, which is a part of the Lesser Sunda series of Indonesian islands. Komodo National Park, which spans the entire area and is composed of rusty-red volcanic hills, savannah, and woods, is home to nearly 4,000 dragons. Divers love diving in the seagrass beds, mangrove shrublands, and coral reefs that surround it.

5. Sumba Island

Originally spelled Humba or Hubba, Sumba is an Indonesian island situated in the Eastern region of the country, officially falling under the administrative jurisdiction of the East Nusa Tenggara province.

6. Java

Nestled between Sumatra and Bali, Java is an island covered in volcanoes and home to over half of Indonesia’s population. It is also the country’s economic and geographic hub. The capital and largest city of Java is the contemporary, expansive Jakarta. It is the location of the vast National Museum, an elegant hotel complex, and an old town (Kota Tua) filled with Dutch colonial structures.

7. Nusa Lembongan Island

Indonesia’s Nusa Lembongan is an island southeast of Bali. Part of the Nusa Penida district, it is the most well-known of the three islands that comprise the group, which is often referred to as the “Nusa Islands”: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan.

8. Mentawai Islands

A group of over a hundred islands and islets located about 150 kilometers off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, make up the Mentawai Islands Regency, a regency of West Sumatra Province. The Mentawai Islands, well-known for being a top surfing destination, are also the perfect location for anyone seeking tranquility, lovely soft-sand beaches, and crystal-clear waters.

9. Flores Island

One of the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia is Flores. It is located west of Lembata Island and east of Komodo Island. A gateway to Komodo National Park, which is well-known for its carnivorous Komodo dragons and waters rich with sea life, including manta rays and turtles, is the west coast port town of Labuan Bajo. Kelimutu National Park, featuring three vividly colored crater lakes and a volcano, is situated on the island as well.

10. Kai Islands

One of the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia is Flores. It is located west of Lembata Island and east of Komodo Island. A gateway to Komodo National Park, which is well-known for its carnivorous Komodo dragons and waters rich with sea life, including manta rays and turtles, is the west coast port town of Labuan Bajo. Kelimutu National Park, featuring three vividly colored crater lakes and a volcano, is situated on the island as well.

11. Sulawesi

East of Borneo, Sulawesi is an Indonesian island made up of numerous long peninsulas that radiate forth from a central mountain range. It is well-known for its dive spots and coral reefs, including Wakatobi National Park, the Togian Islands, and Bunaken National Park. Located in Makassar, the country’s largest city, lies Fort Rotterdam, a former Dutch fort that currently houses two museums. Primitive cave paintings are conserved at Leang-Leang Historic Park, outside Makassar.

12. Belitung Island

East of Sumatra is the Indonesian island of Belitung. Tanjung Tinggi and Tanjung Kelayang, two of the major island’s beaches, are well-known for their smooth sand, peaceful waves, and rounded granite boulders. Tanjung Pandan, the biggest town on the island, has a vibrant waterfront and Dutch colonial buildings. Among numerous small offshore islands is Pulau Lengkuas, which offers snorkeling among its coral reefs and a lighthouse dating back to the 19th century.

13. Sumatra

Large Indonesian island Sumatra is located south of the Malay Peninsula and west of Java. It is well-known for its animals, untamed tropical landscape, and burning volcanoes. There is a museum dedicated to honoring the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that ravaged the city of Banda Aceh, located to the north. The island’s major city, bustling Medan, serves as both the entry point to North Sumatra and a diverse economic center.

14. Wayag Island

One of the islands in the Raja Ampat region of the West Papua province is Wayag Island. The island, which occupies an area of 155,000 hectares, or 383,013.3 acres, is well-known for its stunning atolls and incredible underwater life. This area boasts immaculate beaches and distinctive Karst islands that resemble mushrooms emerging from the ocean. More breathtaking than Leonardo DiCaprio’s beachside retreat in “The Beach,” the scenery along these beaches is reminiscent of a fairy tale. The glistening waters surrounding Wayag Island serve as surreal windows to a variety of underwater plant and animal life.

15. Raja Ampat Islands

An Indonesian archipelago known as the Raja Ampat Islands is located off the northwest coast of West Papua’s Bird’s Head Peninsula. Raja Ampat, which consists of hundreds of islands shrouded in jungle, is well-known for its beaches and marine-rich coral reefs. Waigeo Island is home to the crimson bird of paradise, while Misool Island boasts ancient rock drawings and caverns. The other two largest islands in the archipelago are Salawati and Batanta.

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