Bali is a famed vacation destination, known worldwide for its natural beauty, unique culture and nightlife. It is so famous that it often overshadows its parent country Indonesia in terms of popularity and visibility.
Comprised of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago. This nation enjoys a fantastic array of flora and fauna as well as a diverse range of languages and cultures. Bali is well known and well-travelled, yet there are thousands of experiences to be had off the beaten path without breaking the bank in this vast island nation. Check out our top 5 list below for domestic destinations outside the typical tourist circuit.
Here there be dragons! Komodo national park is home to the world's only dragons – carnivorous lizards up to 3 meters in length. Besides being able to spot these modern day mythical marvels in their natural habitat, the park also plays host to some of Indonesia's (and the world's) greatest dive spots. Nearest EF center: EF Kupang.
This diminutive chain of islands of the east cost of Borneo are one of only two places in the world where you can swim with “stingless” jellyfish! Snorkelers and divers rejoice: the reefs just off these islands play host to an abundance of aquatic wildlife. Sea turtles, sting rays and mantas are regular visitors, while intrepid travelers who venture out beyond the closest corals have a chance to spot the ever elusive whale shark! Nearest EF center: EF Balikpapan.
– Bunaken is a marine national park, well known for its incredible biodiversity. The park's closest port of call, Manado is well worth a visit in its own right. Manado boast a unique culture – visitors can push the boundaries of their culinary comfort zones – Manadoese have a reputation throughout Indonesia as adventurous eaters – bat, cat and rat make occasional appearances on manadoese menus. Nearest EF center: EF Manado
Located on the Indonesian Western half of the island of Timor, this city is home to what is currently EF's furthest flung outpost. For those looking to get away from it all, Kupang represents an opportunity to travel far off the beaten path. This rarely visited island enjoys some of Indonesia's most pristine reefs and untouched beaches. The nearby nation of Timor Leste is also well worth a visit, to experience its unique blend of Indonesian, Timorese and Portuguese cultures. Nearest EF center: EF Kupang.
This just might be the world's #1 diving spot. Besides boasting incredible vistas and fantastic biodiversity on land, the amount of oceanic wildlife found in Papua's waters (and nowhere else) is astounding. Closest EF center: EF Manado.