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Beyond Bali: Indonesia’s Greatest Hidden Treasures

A love for travel and insatiable wanderlust is at the very heart of madebywave. Today, we’re exploring a little further behind the scenes of our birthplace: Indonesia. Away from the busy beaches, surf scene and hedonistic culture of Bali, this nation offers a whole host of cultural wonders and seemingly everlasting natural beauty.

The Land Before Time

Java is one of Indonesia’s larger islands and home to a whole selection of hidden treasures. One of my personal favourite places to visit is the island’s Borobudur temple in Central Java. This is the world’s largest Buddhist temple that dates back to the 9th century. As a UNESCO protected site, it is extremely well preserved which just adds to the sense of wonder. The temples are embraced by sprawling green valleys and soaring mountains to make the whole experience even more majestic.

Demonstrating the country’s openness and diversity, Java is also home to a large Hindu temple complex at Prambanan. It is truly stunning and a visit here truly feels like a journey back in time as the temples pay tribute to Java’s period of Hindu culture with exquisite sculptural and artistic detail.

On Top of the World

Just a few miles off the coast of Bali, the lesser-trodden island of Lombok has golden beaches abound. The waves here are far calmer than Bali so you can really enjoy the beautiful coastline. The island is also home to the active volcano at Mount Rinjani.

Spend a few days taking a hike through the surrounding national park up to the volcano. The views from the top are breathtaking with glistening crater lakes, sprawling forestry and powerful mountain ranges. If you like to explore flora and fauna, this place will be your heaven!

Artistic Adventures

The lost-world Sumba island in eastern Indonesia is another of the nation’s natural wonders. Totally unspoilt with just a handful of hotels, this is the place to go if you want the beaches all to yourself.

Explore the winding trails and national parks which makes way to beautiful villages and friendly local communities. As a centre of hand weaving and textiles, Sumba retains its authentic culture and heritage and there is plentiful opportunity to learn about the crafts of the island.

Gorgeous Gili

Indonesia is world-famous for her islands and the palm-fringed Gili Islands truly live up to the hype. Located just thirty minutes by boat from Lombok or two hours from Bali, Gili Air is the quieter, more chilled out little sister to Gili Trawangan, that tends to attract a more party-loving crowd.

Choose from any of the boutique-style beach hotels and spend your days sunbathing, swimming in waters are as pure as the Maldives with the local turtles and dining on freshly grilled seafood. The smallest island of the collective is Gili Meno where time comes to a standstill and the snorkelling is among the best in the world.

For water babies, the oceans around the islands of Flores and Komodo are ideal for sailing. Spend a few days island hopping and enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage treasures of Komodo and her eponymous dragons. The

islands are also amazing for diving and if you fancy a shorter visit, they can easily be enjoyed as a day trip from Lombok.

Happy travels! x

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