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CNN recommends to explore Indonesia for at least two weeks

With thousands of miles and thousands of islands to explore a holiday to Indonesia may seem overwhelming. However, a travel writer makes it simple to see the best of the country, broken down into categories that fit your needs the best. Whether you seek high adventure, culture, luxury or time off the beaten track, it’s easy to book a two-week excursion to Indonesia.

CNN recommends to explore Indonesia for at least two weeks

Consisting of 17,000 islands spread across thousands of miles, Indonesia is enormous, leading some to think it would take a great deal of time to experience the entire nation in one holiday.

However a recently published article on CNN Travel suggests its not only possible to see and do a great deal of different things in just two weeks, but also the article gives recommendations on how to plan out an itinerary, no matter your travel wants and needs.

Writer Theodora Sutcliffe describes four different types of travel plans for Indonesia, giving visitors a way to view the vast region in unique ways.


One of the travel ideas is all about luxury and relaxation.

Nights 1-5

The holiday begins on Bali, just outside Ubud. Here visitors will find the COMO Shambhala Estate with its spring-fed pools and suites. Guests may choose from excursions or take in a massage on-site. The author suggests dining at Mozaic in Ubud or Locavore, with its locally sourced food.

Nights 6-10

The next five days take travellers to Labuan Bajo by air, where they’ll catch a private charter of the sailing yacht Alexa. This one-cabin yacht comes with a dive crew, spa therapist and private chef.

For five nights visitors will enjoy whale watching, spotting Komodo dragons, snorkelling and diving plus a natural marine Jacuzzi before stopping on the island of Moyo.

Nights 11-13

The remaining nights include service at Amanwana resort on Moyo. With deserted beaches this is one of the less common destinations for visitors. Once here, though, guests may take forest hikes or explore by snorkelling or dive trips.


The next itinerary is focused around absorbing the area’s unique culture.

Week 1

The author proposes starting in Yogyakarta, Java’s cultural capitol, to reach the religious monument of Borobudur, a Buddhist temple dating back to the 8th century. A sunrise visit is suggested as this is the time the mist lifts up above the mountains. A scenic photograph of the site accents this point.

Yogya is additionally described as including modern art at places like Sangkring and Cemeti, while also boasting the ancient sultan’s palace of the kraton.

At mid-week visitors may visit Bali, a Hindu island, plus the cultural and spiritual capitol of Ubud. Once in the capitol you will find Hindu temples such as Tampak Siring, Gunung Kawi and Monkey Forest. It’s also the place to learn Balinese painting, silver-smithing, view a kecak dance and explore ancient rice fields, which are shown in an accompanying video.

Week 2

The next week includes a visit to Makassar, Sulawesi, noted as the gateway to the Tana Toraja highlands. The writer acknowledges locals still practice such ancient funeral rites as a buffalo sacrifice there.

To get to Rantepao it’s suggested you hire a driver. Along the way it is possible to view the interesting geological landscapes near Rammang-Rammang and the oldest cave art in the world.

Once in Toraja it’s likely you’ll see a funeral ceremony, especially if you are there during August or September. Visitors may take part when they bring gifts and as long as they dress appropriately for the occasion.

A cultural tour could also involve staying a night or two in a traditional tongkonan house and hiking the highlands. The author proposes this is a good way to see how the old religion of Aluk Todolo impacts the lives of locals even today.

Another cultural experience includes viewing the ancient trees and cave graves which once served as a resting ground for young babies.

Off the grid

The next holiday plan includes taking it off the grid, for two weeks of scenery far from the typical stops of travellers.

Nights 1-9

The first week or so starts in Balikpapan, Kalimantan, with a houseboat tour along the Mahakam River. This excursion includes spotting floating villages, lakes and wetlands, with stops at riverside trading posts and Dayak longhouses. Here, the writer claims you will see proboscis monkeys and freshwater dolphins.

This is followed by a plane ride to Berau, then on to the Derawan Islands. Once there visitors will find homestays and private dive resorts on the Derawan and Maratua islands. Typically snorkelling will unveil turtles and manta rays in the ocean and stingless jellyfish in the marine lakes. Other dives include those with barracuda and sharks, while some choose to simply bask on the white sand beaches.

Nights 10-13

The excursion continues again in Berau with an exploration of the Lesan forest area. The author describes Dayak village overnight stays and canoe trips upon rushing rivers. As well, she writes that Borneo has a large population of wild orang-utans here, though the thick forest makes it sometimes difficult to spot them.


Finally, Sutcliffe proposes an adventurous holiday, one that includes everything from surfing and diving to climbing volcanoes.

Nights 1-5

She recommends flying into Lombok, then climbing Gunung, Rinjani, the sacred volcano. Another suggestion is taking a day to trek to the smoking cone.

The next couple of days and nights it’s suggested that visitors take in the Gili Islands, off the northwest coast of Lombok. For backpacking she recommends Gili Trawangan, while for partying she submits Gili Air and for a sense of calm and tranquillity, Gili Meno.

Nights 6-13

The next few days include surfing in Lombok. Kuta, to the south, is the place to go for those of all experience levels while Desert Point, in the southwest, is best for world-class surfers.

To get a great view of the Komodo islands, book a flight into Komodo airport. Once there you can see turtles, sharks and mantas while diving off Komodo. You’ll also likely spot the infamous komodo dragons native to the region.

Less experienced divers may want to try Manta Alley or Batu Bolong while high-current dives can be found in Cannibal Rock. As well, experienced divers can also try diving from a liveaboard at Komodo.

For extra scenery she recommends staying in Kanawa over Labuan Bajo.

The best of everything

From cultural wonders to natural beauty and modern conveniences, Indonesia welcomes travellers with a host of things to do and experience. While these are simply four suggestions for itineraries, whether you are in search of an adventurous holiday or a relaxing getaway, visitors are sure to delight in a range of things to do in this expansive nation, at home along the equator. 

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