11. Raja Ampat

Photo: Lonely Planet

The Raja Ampat Islands are a series of four islands adjacent to and located in the western part of the Bird’s Head (Vogelkoop) of the island of Papua. Administratively, this cluster is under Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua Province. The islands are now the destination of divers who are interested in the beauty of the underwater scenery. The four islands are Waigeo Island, Misool Island, Salawati Island and Batanta Island. The waters of the Raja Ampat Islands according to various sources, are one of the 10 best waters for diving sites throughout the world. In fact, it might also be recognized as number one for a complete underwater flora and fauna at this time. Unique species can be found when diving here. Some of them are dwarf seahorses, wobbegongs, and Manta Stingrays. There are also endemic fish of Raja Ampat, namely Eviota Raja, a type of gobbie fish. On Manta point, located in the Dampier Strait Arborek, you can dive with a number of tame Manta Stingrays. 

12. Nusa Penida

Photo: Getty Images

Nusa Penida is located in the southeast of Bali which is separated by the Badung Strait. Near this island, there are also other small islands, namely Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. The waters of the island of Nusa Penida are famous for its diving areas, including Penida Bay, Manta Point, Batu Meling, Batu Lumbung, Batu Abah, Toyapakeh, and Malibu Point. Central tourist destinations on the island of Nusa Penida are in the western part of Nusa Penida such as the famous Klingking beach and Broken beach. Central tourist destinations on the island of Nusa Penida are in the western part of Nusa Penida such as the famous Klingking beach and Broken beach. 

13. Weh

Photo: www.andysaiden.com

Weh Island (or We) is a small volcanic island located in the northwest of Sumatra Island. The island was once connected with Sumatra Island, but was later separated by the sea after the last volcanic eruption in the Pleistocene era. This island is located in the Andaman Sea. The largest city on Weh Island, Sabang, is the city located in the westernmost part of Indonesia. This island is famous for its ecosystem. The Indonesian government has set an area of 60 km² from the edge of the island both in and out as a nature reserve. Big mouth sharks can be found on the beach of this island. In addition, this island is the only habitat for frogs with threatened status, Bufo valhallae (Bufo genus). The coral reefs around the island are known as the habitat of various species of fish.

14. Misool

Misool island is directly adjacent to the Seram Sea. This area is located at the head of West Papua and close to the city of Sorong. Misool is divided into two parts, southeast Misool and West Misool. This area is also famous for its cultural diversity, customs, sea, and land. Misool Island, including the world’s coral triangle area and dozens of ornamental fish found in the sea, around 75% of the world’s ornamental fish and coral triangles are also found. This area also has a vast sea that becomes a crossing path for large animals such as whales and octopuses. Misool Island also has a potential of coal mining of around 7.222 million tons.

15. Waigeo

Among the wonderful Raja Ampat Islands, Waigeo is the largest of the archipelago’s four main islands. Waigeo is home to a wide range of attractions. It is also the easiest island to reach by public transport, though exploring its full diversity still remains a challenge. Waigeo Island offers diving, rock islands, scenic bays walled in by towering cliffs, a jungle interior offering good birdwatching, and the cheapest accommodation options in all of Raja Ampat. All in all, it’s the perfect place to start your exploration of the Raja Ampat cluster. Waigeo has a wild and jungly interior, much of which is still largely unexplored and inaccessible. 

16. Derawan

derawan whale shark

Derawan Islands is an archipelago located in Berau Regency, East Kalimantan. In here, there are a number of charming marine tourism objects, one of them is Underwater Park that is in demand by foreign tourists, especially world-class divers. There are several coastal ecosystems and small islands, namely coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests. In addition, many protected species are in the Derawan Islands, such as green turtles, hawksbill turtles, whales, dolphins, clams, dugongs, barracuda fish, and several other species.

Read our WHERE TO FIND WHALE SHARKS IN INDONESIA

17. Wayag

Wayag Island is one of the islands within the Raja Ampat district in the province of West Papua. The island is known for its beautiful atolls and amazing underwater life covering a total area of 155,000 hectares, about 383,013.3 acres. Here, you find pristine beaches with unique Karst islands that look like mushrooms sprouting out from the sea. Along these beaches, tourists can see fairy tale panorama, more captivating than Leonardo DiCaprio’s getaway in “The Beach”. The crystal clear waters around Wayag Island appear like unreal windows to various types of flora and fauna that live underwater.

18. Morotai

Morotai Island
Photo: Kompas

Morotai Island is located in the north side of Halmahera, North Maluku Province and is the northernmost island in Indonesia. The island was a hive of military activities during World War II with tens of sorties roaring daily from air crafts taking off and landing at airstrips along Daruba Bay, endless stamping of thousands of military boots marching across the island, and navy ships anchoring daily carrying supplies and reinforcement. Unfortunately, with its location along with the more vague history of World War II, Morotai island is almost obscure among Indonesian citizens.

Even so, Morotai Island actually holds so many charms that can steal anyone’s hearts. That is what makes the government plans to build various sectors on the island. Hope to make Morotai Island as an economic hub in Indonesia by developing many potential aspects, such as fisheries, tourism, and trade. The island of Morotai has also now been designated as one of Indonesia’s Top Priority Tourist Destination for intense resort development.

Read our 8 REASONS TO VISIT MOROTAI ISLAND, PEARL OF THE PACIFIC

19. Tidung

Tidung Island is one of the villages in the South Thousand Islands sub-district, Thousand Islands Regency, Jakarta, Indonesia. It is divided into two, Tidung Besar Island and Tidung Kecil Island. The use of the area on this island develops towards marine tourism such as diving and research on coral reefs. Tidung Island which consists of Tidung Besar and Tidung Kecil which are connected by a long bridge called the Cinta Bridge with a distance of approximately 3 hours drive from Muara Angke by boat. At the end of the connecting bridge to the coast of Tidung Kecil Island, there is a mangrove plantation area. This area has a beautiful view and can be enjoyed by cycling through a path filled with weeds and white sand beaches view. Watersport is available in the western part of Big Tidung Island.

Read our A DAY TRIP TO THOUSAND ISLANDS

20. Sumba

The Timeless Traditional Villages

The terrain on Sumba – Nusa Tenggara is quite different from its neighboring islands; undulating hills replace the typical volcanic terrain in Indonesia with many areas in the North and East of the island resembling dry savannahs, whilst central highlands are covered in native alang-alang grass and the mountains in the South extend down into lush tropical vegetation. The World Wildlife Fund categorized Sumba as a deciduous forest ecoregion for its special flora and fauna. Sumba’s isolation has helped preserve one of Indonesia’s most fascinating cultures, particularly in its more remote western half, which is home to about two-thirds of the island’s 400,000 people.

Read our 8 REASONS TO VISIT SUMBA – NUSA TENGGARA