Home to seventeen thousand islands, Indonesia is an extremely diverse travel destination for tourists, yet often, idolized for a few places such as Bali, Jakarta and Gili. Yes, Bali is love but there are so many places in Indonesia that deserve to be explored and experienced.

Indonesia welcomes around 20 million tourists every year out of which most of them visit Bali. To overcome the concentration in one a particular region, President Joko Widodo suggested a project to boost called “10 New Bali”.

We bring you some places in Indonesia that are magical and stunning. We agree that these places require an effort to reach but that is for a reason!

Indonesia Beyond Bali – 7 stunning places to visit

Check out our top picks for the places in Indonesia, which are outside Bali, Jakarta or Gili.

1. Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua (Diving & adventure)

Places in Indonesia beyond Bali

Image credit: papua explorers

This Indonesian archipelago spans over forty thousand square kilometres and comprises 1500 small islands, in West Papua.

These jungle-covered islands are located in one of the furthest places in Indonesia.

Raja Ampat is renowned for its marine life and is diver’s mecca. The clear water, warm climate, untouched white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons and spooky caves will blow your mind away.

With abundant wildlife, diversity of marine life and coral reef systems are any diver’s dream come true. No wonder, the scientists have described Raja Ampat as a biological hot spot.

Things to look forward to: It is well known for diving. From the fabulous hard coral sites in the north to the colourful soft coral sites in the south, Raja Ampat offers some of the most exciting diving experiences. Not up for diving? Then be sure to hike up Pianemo, startling lookout point with scenery to steal your heart. 

2. Kalimantan (Jungle adventures)

Places in Indonesia

Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and largest in Asia. Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.

If you love adventure, you’ll not be disappointed with this unknown tourist places in Indonesia. Kalimantan is an adventure in every sense.

Remote jungle, fascinating wildlife, pristine natural landscape, winding rivers, and gorgeous mountains serve endless offbeat and adventurous opportunities for an epic trip.

Things to look forward to: (i) Abundant wildlife such as Orangutan, Honey bears and such other interesting wildlife; (ii) Traditional life of Dayaks (the indigenous people inhabiting the forest); (iii) Underwater splendours of Derawan Islands; (iv) Hike over the Mueller Mountain Range.  

3. Komodo (Adventures and Dragons)

Komodo park Indonesia

Image Credit: Indonesia Travel

Komodo National Park, UNESCO World Heritage site is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores.  

The Komodo National Park encompasses a total of 29 volcanic islands and is home to 2000+ Komodo Dragons and other species of reptiles, birds and animals.

Presently, Komodo Island is shut for the public from January 2020 for at least 12 months. This closure is for the sake of conserving the world’s largest lizard species.  

Things to look forward to: (i) Komodo National Park for humungous komodo dragons, other land and sea creatures; (ii) magnificent landscape; (iii) dynamic diving sites; (iv) the traditional village of Melsa Island; (v) Snorkelling at Kanawa Island; (vi) and gorgeous sunsets from the islands.   

4. Flores Island (Island lovers)

Flores Indonesia

One of the lesser-known islands of Indonesia is Flores, named after “Flowers” by the Portuguese.

Hidden away in the shadows of Bali, it’s neighbour and tucked on the west coast of Labuanbajo, it is a gateway to Komodo dragons, pink sand beaches, smouldering volcanoes and tons of adventure.   

While Komodo National Park attracts relatively a lot of visitors, not many wander further into these islands.  

Things to look forward to: (i) Home to hot springs, caves, stunning landscapes, Komodo dragons, rice fields, traditional villages; (ii) hiking to the viewpoint on Padar Island and (iii) heaps of adventure.   

5. Medan (City lovers)

Medan Indonesia

Image Credit: Lonely Planet

Medan is the fifth largest city of Indonesia by population and largest Indonesian city outside Java.

The under-rated Medan is famously home to Lake Toba and the largest volcanic lake in the world. This city is on the cusp of modernization.  

The beauty of this place definitely intrigues you, especially when you travel to the outskirts of Medan. You’ll steal the wonders of moments by watching the beautiful sunset from lake Toba, the lush greenery of Sumatran jungle and enjoying the traditional feasts on the banks.

Take a leap of faith and you’ll find Medan offering so many things.

Things to look forward to: (i) Lake Toba; (ii) Mesjid Raya Mosque; (iii) Maimoon Palace; (iv) Annai Vellangkanni; (v) Medan Mall; (vi) Bolon House; (vii) Pandang island; (vii) Samosir Island; (viii) Tjong A Fie Mansion; (ix) a visit to outskirts of Medan.

6. Yogyakarta, Java (City lovers)

Java Indonesia

Yogyakarta is one most popular cities in Java and one of the foremost cultural centres of Indonesia.

From strolling through the museums to chasing the sunrise in the famous temples of neighbouring towns to shopping at Malioboro road, one does not get bored of this fairly small yet bustling city.  

Things to look forward to: (i) laze at Indrayanti beach; (ii) explore The Kraton (Royal Palace); (iii) go rafting on the Progo River; (iv) explore Wediombo beach; (v) explore museums; (vi) explore Taman Sari Water Castle.  

7. Waktobi, South Sulawesi (Island lovers)


Wakatobi islands are a faraway treasure chest of unspoiled beauty. Located in Sulawesi Province, this regency is perfect for travellers looking for tranquil and crowd-free gateway.

The islands in Wakatobi are known for diving and snorkelling sports. However, Wakatobi is not only restricted to water-babies but is also a heaven for food and culture lovers.

Wakatobi is secluded heaven that you may not want to leave!  

Things to look forward to: (i) Enjoy the marine life and indulge in snorkelling and diving activities; (ii) visit Hoga Island for clear white sand and calm waters and rejuvenate yourself; (iii) visit Kahyangan Summit, a hill on the island of Tomia for a fairytale landscape and a mesmerizing view; (iv) visit Lacasa Cave, a natural wonder; (v) experience the traditional culture by watching Lariangi dance.    

So which of these places in Indonesia are you going to explore on your next visit?

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