Landscapes in Indonesia range from dense tropical forests, home to millions of species to sprawling fertile basins of rice fields. The list continues from massive volcanoes to picturesque beaches, from sky-scraping mountain peaks to extensive dry grasslands. Indonesia boasts of sheltering various endangered animals as well as rafflesia - the largest flower in the world.
The Sunda Islands can be categorised into two parts - Greater Sunda Islands and the Lesser Sunda Islands. Greater Sunda Islands consist of Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi, whereas the Lesser Sunda Islands consist of a chain of islands located in the east of Bali. There are other groups of islands also that provide different landscapes after a few kilometres only.
Here are nine places which showcase the diversity of landscapes in Indonesia:
The sixth-largest island in the world, Sumatra is a perfect place to enjoy a tropical vacation. The extraordinarily diverse Indonesian landscapes ensure an abundance of volcanic mountains, dense tropical forests, swamps, mangroves and rivers that are home to a variety of wildlife. There are over 10 National Parks in the Island having species like Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Elephant, Sumatran Cuckoo and Sumatran Rhinoceros are now critically endangered due to the clearing of forests. Sumatra is also the largest producer of Indonesian Coffee. Vast pine forests with high mountains cover the northern region of the island. Sumatra is also home to Indonesia’s highest volcano, Mount Kerinci which attracts a lot of trek enthusiasts.
The world’s most populous island, Java is also home to the country’s capital, Jakarta. The island, along with its scenic tourist attractions, is also a place of Indonesia’s religious, historical and cultural heritage. The island is of volcanic origin, hence contains 38 mountain peaks - the highest one being Mount Semeru and the most active volcano Mount Merapi. Java has one of the wealthiest rice cultivation cultures in the world, and also famous for its Coffee Arabica. These plantations are grown on the steps created on mountains and are a source of living for more than half of Java’s population. The island receives plenty of rainfall to give rise to beautiful green scenery of the mountains and plantations. Java hosts a landscape of coastal mangrove forests in the north to massive rocky cliffs in the south with tropical rainforests all over the island. Java is called a birdwatcher’s paradise due to the presence of 450 types of birds and is home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in Indonesia.
Home to some of the untouched rainforests in the world, Borneo is the third-largest island in the world. An abundant region, Borneo falls in three countries - 73% in Indonesia, 26% in Malaysia and 1% of the whole island’s area is a country called Brunei. Borneo boasts of being the centre of evolution with one of the oldest rainforests of the world having a unique kind of flora and fauna.
Kalimantan is the name given to Indonesia’s share of the island. Numerous rivers flow here that give rise to agricultural land.
The land of four peninsulas, Sulawesi is the world’s eleventh-largest island. Three gulfs separate the four peninsulas, and this gives rise to beautiful beach views. There are six national parks and nineteen nature reserves on this island. Deforestation has caused the forest area to reduce to a shallow extent; however, the island is home to diverse flora and fauna that highlight the diversity of the landscapes in Indonesia.
5. Kelimutu Lakes
A trip to Indonesia would be incomplete without a visit to Kelimutu Lake. What separates this place from others is that the three lakes, formed on the volcanic craters, change their colours due to changes in their composition. Usually, they show red, blue and white. The place is away from the cities; hence, one must carry all the necessities with them. The trek takes you through spectacular sunrise and sunsets, highlighting the sheer diversity of landscapes in Indonesia, leaving you with unforgettable views.
6. Lake Toba
Lake Toba is what describes best for this unique landscape in Indonesia that cannot be witnessed anywhere else in the world. Being the largest lake in Indonesia and the largest volcanic lake in the world, Lake Toba is said to be large enough to fit Singapore! Hills surround the lake, and its blue water gives a picturesque view to its tourists.
7. Derawan Islands
The landscapes in Indonesia are so much more than lush rainforests and smouldering volcanoes. The country is replete pristine white-sand beaches, and with an archipelago of six islands, the Derawan Islands are a perfect escape for those who love beaches, caves and adventure. There are lavish resorts and hotels where you can enjoy your stay with spectacular views of the white-sand beaches. The abundant marine life of these islands makes every tourist go for a round of snorkelling or scuba diving in the seas.
8. Gili Islands
A group of 3 islands, Gili Air, Gili Trawangan, and Gili Gede, secluded from the major cities of Indonesia, the Gili Islands are perfect getaways for honeymoon couples and nature lovers. The beautiful white sand beaches with villas lined up for your stay; these islands will make your stay peaceful and refreshing. There are different coral reefs and other forms of sea life that can be explored by adventurists.