This is a guest post by Jonny Rowntree. Indonesia is the perfect place for holidaymakers who like a little adventure in South East Asia. Explore the quad-cultural mix of Bintan where you can enjoy historical sights and vibrant markets, before taking in the volcanic landscapes and atmospheres of Java and wrap up your trip by landing in Bali or Sumatra. Here are some of the thrilling activities you simply can’t miss.
White-water rafting the Ayung River
The Ayung River is the longest on the island of Bali, running 75 kilometres from the northern mountain ranges down to the Badung Strait near Denpasar. Tour operators offer a range of day trips which incorporate training, followed by three or more hours on the water. You’ll get to experience the rush of battling through Class Four rapids and then relax on the calmer stretched to admire the scenery. The beginner’s level trip is great for families and is more of a ‘lazy river’ experience: you will float gently down the river, spotting wildlife as you go.
Climbing Mount Rinjani
At 3,726 m, Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and it lies on the island of Lombok. It’s an active volcano which last erupted in 2010, so that should help get the heart racing! Its slopes are home to green hanging parrots, cockatoos, honeyeaters, long-tailed grey macaques, rare ebony leaf monkeys, and muntjac deer. A number of travellers hike up the volcano in the dry season, from April to November. It’s a serious climb to the summit, lasting two to four days, and many only go so far as the crater rim. The views along the way and especially from the top are absolutely incredible.
Trekking up Mount Bromo
Mount Bromo is the only active volcano in the Tengger Caldera National Park and, despite not being the highest, it is the most famous. Assuming it’s not bubbling too much at the time of your trip, you can walk or take a jeep tour to the volcano from the mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. The views from the caldera down to the surrounding Sand Sea and other volcanoes are most arresting at sunrise. For this reason, most tours take people to the base of Mount Bromo the previous night, and then you wake up at around 3am to start walking to the summit before the sun comes up. Believe us – it’s worth it!
Sailing around the islands
Hop aboard a traditional sailing yacht and head off on an exploration of the virtually untouched islands of the Indonesian archipelago. This kind of ‘sea safari’ offers travellers access to the clearest, most rich waters for snorkelling and diving – something that will keep every member of the family captivated. Visit the islands of the Komodo National Park – home to the world’s largest lizard – or stop off at the Spice Islands of the Banda Sea. There’s lots of heritage to explore here above water, as well as amazing marine life to see. Alternatively, head to Raja Ampat where you can explore the rich coral reef ecosystems of 1,500 tiny islands.
Canoe through the Tangkahan Rainforest
You can explore this pristine slice of jungle by foot, on elephant back or in a traditional dugout canoe down the Bohorok River. Members of local tribes will guide you and point out the many plants and animal species that make this part of the world unique.
Jonny Rowntree is a freelance luxury travel writer focused on covering everything from hotels to wine tours. He specifically enjoys looking for all things luxurious in the UK capital of London.