Adventure looms large in this vast and steamy archipelago, where the best of South-East Asia’s spicy mélange simmers. Heady scents, vivid colors, dramatic vistas and diverse cultures leave your senses reeling in Indonesia.
Rippling across the equator for nearly 5,000 km, Indonesia encompasses more than 17,000 islands, two-thirds of which are inhabited and richly layered with character. Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in South-East Asia and Oceania. The nation’s capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
On Sulawesi, the elaborate ceremonies and timeless traditions of Tana Toraja are light years from the surfing culture of Lombok. But so are the mighty saddle-backed Batak mansions of Danua Toba and the volcanic lakes of Sumatra from the mummies and deeply etched gorges of Papua’s Baliem Valley. The resorts and restaurants of Bali pamper precocious style cats, while at the same moment threadbare backpackers are adopted by home stays in Kalimantan.
Indonesia’s cities are in a constant state of urban evolution, where dense populations, technology and construction live in hectic symbiosis. But most of the archipelago’s territory remains unexplored, concealing a wealth of cultures and a myriad landscapes.
Oceanic rice fields and ancient sultanates in Java are humbled by haunting volcanic cones. Maluku’s alabaster beaches and desert islands remain pristine while the tourist trail heads elsewhere. The jungles of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua are zoological wonders, revealing impish animals.
Lying along the equator, Indonesia has a tropical climate, with two distinct monsoonal wet and dry seasons. Mountainous areas – particularly in the west coast of Sumatra, West Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua – receive the highest rainfall. Humidity is generally high, averaging about 80 per cent. Temperatures vary little throughout the year. The average daily temperature range of Jakarta is 26–30 °C.