We’re starting a new series called Off the Beaten Path. Our first post in the series will cover 3 amazing locations in Indonesia.? Please see our Tour Reviews section for more information about tour operators and schedules.
Note: All prices in the posting are subject to change and/or be included in tour packages. Double check!
Raja Ampat is an archipelago located at the north-west tip of Papua, the Indonesian part of the world?s second largest island, New Guinea. It comprises of more than 1500 islands and is widely regarded as one of the last real remaining paradises on earth. Why? Due to its isolation, it has been so far untouched from mass tourism. Visitors are rewarded with the sheer beauty of nature; even if you?re not a birdwatcher you will love to see plenty of unique bird species in all shapes and sizes calling only Papua their home. You can stroll around the islands with its small hills without seeing any other tourists. Oh, and the underwater world: the turquoise colored water automatically hypnotizes you! Jump in and snorkel or dive ? the magical blend of corals and colorful fishes will surely take your breath away?
How to get there: from Jakarta via Makassar (Sulawesi) to Sorong (Papua) with Lion Air, Merpati, Sriwijaya Air and Express Air.
Fees: 500.000 IDR per person per year, usually to pay at the airport in Sorong. It is more considered as local area tax, in order to preserve the area.
Komodo National Park
Komodo Island is world-wide known for its monitor lizards, the closest living relatives to the dinosaurs. It?s a thrilling experience to see the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat- there are nearly 6000 lizards living across the three islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar, among a number of smaller ones. The area was declared as UNESCO world heritage site in 1991. What else can you do and see? One of the lesser known things is that the park is not only home to the before mentioned lizards, but also to a number of other animals such as wild horses, wild pigs, civets and macaques and reptiles such as cobras and vipers. Further, there are fantastic areas for diving around ? how about some carpet sharks or manta rays?
How to get there: by ferries from Sumbawa, but mainly from Labuanbajo, Flores. In order to reach Flores, you can conveniently fly in from Denpasar (Bali) or Jakarta.
Fees: Entrance fee: 20.000 IDR; Camera: 50.000 IDR; Video camera: 150.000 IDR; Ranger: 80.000 IDR (per group); Local area tax: 50.000 IDR
Mount Krakatau or Anak Krakatau is an active volcano, sandwiched between two of Indonesia?s major islands, Sumatra and Java. It parent volcano exploded in 1883 and was one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in history. Anak Krakatau -?Child of Krakatau ?-was eventually formed beneath Mount Krakatau years later. The island has black sand beach half around the island, while the other half is virtually inaccessible as lava flows down into the ocean. Climbing up the volcano doesn?t take much time, but can be quite exhausting. Once you reached the highest accessible point, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view over the surrounding islands.
Don?t miss out one of the highlights: the mystical yet spectacular view at night of floating lava!
How to get there: by ferries from Sumatra and Java. If you take an organized tour, buses will usually depart from Jakarta (Java) or Bandar Lampung (Sumatra). A Conversation Site Entry Permit (Surat Ijin Masuk Kawasan Konservasi/SIMAKSI) needs to be obtained prior.
Fees: Official Rangers/Guides: 250.000 IDR. Berthing fee: 200.000 IDR per boat.