Best Nature Spots in Indonesia

Mt Rinjani, or Gunung Rinjani, is the second highest volcano in Indonesia. Located in the North of the island Lombok, the top of the mountain forms a crater lake 1.2 miles above sea level, known as Segara Anak. Visitors can hike to the lake, which offers spectacular views of Bali and Sumbawa, and while there also visit the Aik Kalak hot springs situated on the crater rim. The trail takes two days to reach the crater, so it is a challenging trek and not recommended for the inexperienced, however it is an adventure that is greatly rewarding should you make it.

The lower elevation slopes are densely forested, with trees giving way to sparse and rugged volcanic rock further towards the crater. Fig trees are prevalent in the lower forests, as well as the Syzygium Jambu, an attractive shrub that bears edible fruit similar to guavas. A wide variety of fauna can also be seen, from the fairly common long-tailed grey macaque, to the rare ebony leaf monkey and rusa deer.

KomodoKomodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated within the Lesser Sunda Islands. It is made up of twenty nine islands, the largest three being Komodo, Padar, and Rinca. These islands are home to the majestic Komodo dragon, a threatened species of lizard that can reach up to ten feet in length and weigh up to 150 lbs. The park is also well know for having one of the world’s richest marine environments, including whale sharks, manta rays, blue-ringed octopuses, and over two hundred species of coral. Because of this it is a haven for divers and snorkelers, who travel to the park by boat from the nearby towns of Labuan Bajo or Sape to experience the world famous coral reefs.

Lake Toba, in Sumatra, is the largest lake in Indonesia, and the largest volcanic lake in the world, covering an area of 660 square miles. An even smaller island, Samosir, lies within the lake and can be reached by boat or road bridge. The lake is a popular destination for tourists looking to get off the beaten track, relax and take in the beauty of the water and mountains. The main town visited is Parapat, and from here visitors can swim in the volcanically warmed lake, visit nearby Sipisopiso waterfall, or rent a motorbike to explore the island of Samosir.

Mount-BromoMount Bromo is one of the most visited attractions in East Java. The volcano sits in the middle of an immense plain named the Sea of Sand, and constantly emits white smoke from its crater, giving it an eery, other-worldly feel. The area surrounding the mountain is inhabited by the Tenggerese people, and plays a huge part in their culture, with sacrifices of fruit, vegetables and livestock being thrown into the crater during the Hindu festival of Yadnya Kasada.

The volcano itself, though beautiful, is largely barren, with rugged peaks and gravel plains, however the surrounding area of lower elevations and valleys are covered in forest. Here wild animals can be spotted, such as pigs, rusa deer, and leopard cats, as well as birds of prey. The mountain is easily climbed from the village of Cemoro Lawang, or alternatively locals offer jeep hire and guided horseback rides to the summit. One can also find the stunning Madakaripura waterfall in the foothills of Bromo, close to the village of Sapih, the waters of which are said to be an elixir of life.

Located off the island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat, or The Four Kings, is a group of over 1500 islands, shoals, and kays. The main attraction for visitors is the amazing biodiversity of marine life, which is the highest recorded on Earth according to Conservation International, and as such it is ranked one of the top ten locations for diving by many sources. Most tourists choose to stay in dive resorts or liveaboard boats that collect them from the nearby city of Sorong, but eco-friendly homestays are an alternative option for a genuine Indonesian experience.

The four main islands are Salawati, Waigeo, Misool, and Batanta, and aside from the marine landscape these islands offer an array of amazing scenery and natural attractions. The waterfall of Salawati is a must-see, or one could explore the caves of the islands by sea kayak.

Must Try Indonesian Food

Do you love Asian food? If you do, then you must have tried Chinese, Thai and other Asian cuisines – Indonesian food must be one of them! Indonesia is not just rich in culture, it’s not only famous for Bali, but the goodness of their local and simple food can satisfy that hearty cravings. Here are some of the Indonesian Food you must try.

Beef Rendang

All the way from Padang, Sumatra, this dish is certainly known for its rich and spicy kick. Beef Rendang has similarities with beef curry. The only difference is that beef rending is not cooked in broth. One thing you can appreciate about this dish is that, yes, it takes forever to cook, but the tenderness of the beef is mouth-watering.

Indonesian Satay

Indonesian Satay is one unique staple. Started out as food sold by street vendors, Indonesian satay has become a very popular food all over Indonesia. A skewer is inserted in chunks of marinated meat, then, it is cooked over hot coals. This juicy dish is usually served with sweet peanut sauce poured on top of it together with rice cakes. This dish is highly addictive and there’s no doubt about that.

Siomay

Simay is originally a Chinese food. But through time, the dishes from china have circulated all over Asia. Each country has made their very own versions and Indonesia is no exception. There is something about this country and the use of peanuts. Siomay is Indonesia’s dim sum version. It is steamed fish dumplings. It comes with egg, potato, cabbages and served with – you’ve guessed it – peanut sauce! If you really want to experience its authentic taste, the best place to buy siomay is from a bicycle vendor who tows a small cart with a steamer at the back of his bike. This is street food at its finest.

Nasi Rawon

Nasi Rawon is Indonesia’s version of beef stew. Originated from East Java, this dish has a very bold and nutty flavor. It’s color ranges from deep brown to black due to the keluak nut used in the dish. This yummy and hearty dish is best served on top of hot and steamy rice.

Sop Buntun or Oxtail Soup

The name of the dish says it all. Oxtail is the protein of this soup. It is believed that London invented this dish during the 17th century but Indonesians have a different version of it. Just like the other popular dishes in Indonesia, it is also a hearty soup. The protein is usually either broiled, barbecued or fried, then, a soup base is incorporated.

Sweet Martabak

Sweet Martabak is a popular dessert in Indonesia. It is actually their own version of pancake and crepe fused into one. Oddly enough, this is usually served only at the evenings. You can also choose different kinds of toppings, fillings and of course, peanuts.

Pempek

This may sound odd but this dish is actually made of fish and tapioca. It is a specialty found in South Sumatra. Kapal selam is the most popular variety of pempek as it contains egg at the middle. Before pempek is served, it is first topped off with pulverized shrimp or shrimp powder with a dark dipping sauce called cuka – a mixture of chili, sugar and vinegar.

Nasi Uduk

Indonesia’s national dish is Nasi Uduk. This meal’s signature is that rice is cooked slowly in coconut milk. This is very similar to the Nasi Lemak in the neighboring countries of Indonesia, the difference is that nasi uduk is also served with tempe or soybean cake, shredded omelette, anchovies, fried chicken, fried onion topped with emping and sambal or also known as nut crackers. This dish usually served on lunchtime cannot do away with sambal.