10 Must-Visit Islands in Indonesia You Need to Explore Now

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Let’s go island hopping through Indonesia. It’s no surprise that Indonesia is an island paradise, and I’m here to spill the beans on the 10 must-visit Islands of Indonesia. From the world-famous shores of Bali, where spirituality and stunning landscapes blend seamlessly, to the untamed wilderness of Komodo Island, home to the legendary Komodo dragons and unrivalled diving spots, our journey to find the best islands in Indonesia will be nothing short of extraordinary.

I’ve also slipped in a few of the lesser-visited hidden islands of Indonesia through the list. Making it the ultimate list of must-visit islands of Indonesia! Let’s dive in.

1. Bali

Welcome to the “Island of the Gods,” Bali! Bali is one of those popular islands in Indonesia that simply can’t be missed. Get ready to be swept off your feet by its magical blend of lush landscapes, ancient temples, and vibrant arts scene. Ride some waves in Kuta, find your Zen in Ubud, and eat your heart’s content across this famous island of Indonesia. 

Best time to visit: April to October. 
Ideal stay: 5-7 days. 
Getting there: Fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport, located near Denpasar.
Bali Travel Guide

2. Komodo Island

This famous island of Indonesia is where dragons reign free. Although famous, Komodo Island is one of the remote islands of Indonesia. Known for the Komodo dragons, these majestic creatures, found nowhere else on Earth. A great place to go on a multi-day overnight boat tour. Komodo Island also offers some brilliant diving and snorkelling sites. 

Best time to visit: April to November. 
Ideal stay: 3-4 days. 
Getting there: Fly to Labuan Bajo on Flores Island, then take a boat to Komodo Island.
Komodo Island Travel Guide

3. Raja Ampat Islands

Welcome to paradise on Earth! The Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua are a diver’s utopia, boasting crystal-clear turquoise waters, vibrant coral reefs, and an astonishing array of marine species. Snorkel or dive among the kaleidoscope of colours beneath the surface, or simply relax on secluded beaches surrounded by lush greenery. The pristine island of the Indonesian archipelago will leave you breathless. 

Best time to visit: October to April.
Ideal stay: 5-7 days.
Getting there: Fly to Sorong, then take a ferry or speedboat to the Raja Ampat Islands.

4. East Nusa Tengarra

Discover a treasure trove of natural wonders in East Nusa Tenggara. This region encompasses several stunning islands, including Flores, Alor, and Sumba. Explore the landscapes of Kelimutu National Park, where you’ll witness the three mesmerizing lakes that change colour with the seasons. Dive into the underwater wonderland of the Komodo National Park, or immerse yourself in the rich cultural traditions of the indigenous communities. A great choice if you are looking for the best remote island in Indonesia. 

Best time to visit: May to September.
Ideal stay: 7-10 days. 
Getting there: Fly into the airports in Labuan Bajo (Flores) or Kupang (West Timor) depending on your chosen island.

5. Lombok

For a more laid-back and serene island experience, head to Lombok, situated east of Bali. With stunning beaches, epic surf breaks, and the majestic Mount Rinjani as its backdrop, Lombok offers a tranquil escape from the crowds. Discover traditional Sasak villages, rejuvenate your senses in natural hot springs, or simply unwind on a surrounding island. 

Best time to visit: April to October.
Ideal stay: 4-6 days. 
Getting there: Fly into Lombok International Airport or take a fast boat from Bali.
Lombok Travel Guide

6. Sumatra

Welcome to the wild side of Indonesia! Sumatra, the country’s largest island, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Trek through the lush rainforests of Gunung Leuser National Park, home to the endangered orangutans. The wildlife safari gives you a chance to spot elephants, tigers, and rhinoceros. For something a bit more adventurous, head to Lake Toba, the world’s largest volcanic lake. 

Best time to visit: June to September. 
Ideal stay: 7-10 days. 
Getting there: Fly into Medan or Padang, the main entry points to Sumatra.

7. Togian Islands

For those seeking a remote island in Indonesia, the Togian Islands are an absolute gem. With white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and exceptional marine biodiversity, this Indonesian archipelago offers incredible snorkelling and diving experiences. A pristine island and in a true sense the best island to visit in Indonesia. 

Best time to visit: March to November. 
Ideal stay: 4-6 days. 
Getting there: Fly to Luwuk or Ampana, then take a boat to the Togian Islands.

8. Nusa Penida

This rugged and less-developed island, located southeast of Bali, offers breathtaking coastal cliffs, hidden lagoons, and incredible diving spots. Explore the iconic Kelingking Beach, snorkel with majestic manta rays, and hike to picturesque viewpoints for unforgettable panoramas. A great addition to your Bali itinerary if you are a first-time traveller. 

Best time to visit: May to September. 
Ideal stay: 3-4 days. 
Getting there: Take a fast boat from Bali to Nusa Penida.

9. Borneo (Kalimantan)

One of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia, here you’ll encounter wild wonders! Explore the lush rainforests of Kalimantan, home to the elusive orangutans and exotic wildlife. Do not forget to cruise along the rivers, visit traditional Dayak villages, and immerse yourself in the rich biodiversity of Tanjung Puting National Park. 

Best time to visit: April to October. 
Ideal stay: 5-7 days.
Getting there: Fly into Balikpapan or Pontianak, the main gateways to Kalimantan.

10. Sulawesi 

The last one on the list is the remote islands of Indonesia. Sulawesi offers an amalgamation of stunning landscapes, unique cultures, and extraordinary marine life. Dive into the underwater wonders of Bunaken National Marine Park, explore the mystical Toraja highlands with its intricate funeral rituals, or discover the breathtaking beauty of Tana Toraja’s ancient cliff graves. If you are in the mood for an off-the-beaten-path, Sulawesi is just the island for you. 

Best time to visit: May to October. 
Ideal stay: 7-10 days.
Getting there: Fly into Makassar or Manado, the main entry points to Sulawesi.