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Where to go in Indonesia for beautiful nature, but not too many tourists?


I'm curious on where to go in Indonesia?  I am looking for beautiful nature, beaches, but not too many tourists.  Any suggestions are much appreciated.  Thanks, Peter

11 Answers

top answer by
Rick from Buffalo, New York

Indonesia is a huge string of islands, so nature and beaches are plentiful. I spent time in Bali, but wanted to avoid the tourists as well. Ubud is a more traditional village north of the tourist areas that has access to nature tours. One that I enjoyed was hiking up the active volcano Mt. Batur which is a holy mountain to the local people. The hike starts early in the AM, so bring a headlamp and jacket. It ends in a fruit grove where a farmer served us homegrown coffee. Check in at any tour company in Ubud. 

For beaches, the Gili Islands, a short trip from Bali, offer a car-free paradise. You have your choice of three islands varying on the "tourist scale". Gili Trawangan, the largest island with the most hostels and services, Gili Air, the middle child, just the right size to walk around in over an hour, and Gili Meno, the most sparsely populated of the group. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ubud (attraction)
  2. Gili Trawangan (island)
  3. Gili Air (attraction)
  4. Mt. Batur (attraction)
  5. Gili Meno (attraction)
  6. Gili Islands (region)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Michel from Taipei

Hi Peter,

I can only talk about Bali.

If you're looking to avoid the tourists, anytime besides July-August-December should be fine.

Locationwise, north Bali (Lovina Beach), East coast (Amed Beach) and South-East (Candidasa) and Sidemen are the less touristy place 

Enjoy your trip !

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bali (island)
  2. Lovina Beach (hotel)
  3. Amed Beach (attraction)
  4. Candidasa (attraction)
  5. Sidemen (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Claire from Paris


How many times will you stay in Indonesia?

Do you only want to go to the beach?

Because you should go to Bukit Lawang, in Sumatra. It's in the jungle, far from all the tourists, people are so kind, and you can book a trek!

We spent 2 days in the jungle (but it could be more), it was really magic! We splet in the jungle, near a river, you will ear many noise that we are not familiar with!

You can see monkeys, orangutan, you will eat tasty fruits..

If you need it I have our guide email...

Enjoy your trip



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bukit Lawang (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Matt from Minneapolis

I think it depends on what you want to do.  The places mentioned by Rick are the tourist destinations of Indonesia.  They are a ton of fun, and arguably essential Indonesian experiences, but if you want nature and fewer tourists pass through them only .  If on Bali I would head north to Lovina Beach.  If you want nature few places in the entire world compare to KalimantanSulawesi and, of course, Komodo National Park.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lovina Beach (hotel)
  2. Kalimantan (city)
  3. Sulawesi (city)
  4. Komodo National Park (amusement park)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Eka from Jakarta Capital Region

You can try :

1. Karimun Jawa island, central java

You can see my facebook photo album => Karimun jawa

2. Komodo, East Nusa Tenggara

You can see my facebook photo album => komodo islands

3. Peucang Island, Ujung Kulon National Park, Banten

You can see my facebook photo album => Peucang beach

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Karimun Jawa island (attraction)
  2. Komodo (island)
  3. Peucang Island (attraction)
  4. Ujung Kulon National Park (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Emma from Ballarat

For nature and beaches, I would suggest Sumatra. It doesn't have many tourists and has a tonne of outdoor activities and sights. You could go to Pulau Weh in aceh, then Bukit Lawang in North Sumatra, then Harau valley and Lake Maninjau in West Sumatra.  

Flores Island might also be an option -- it is stunning!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sumatra (attraction)
  2. Pulau Weh (attraction)
  3. Bukit Lawang (attraction)
  4. Harau (attraction)
  5. Lake Maninjau (attraction)
  6. Flores Island (city)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Tracy from Singapore

I've been to Lombok, it is the closer alternative to Bali in terms of distance. If you don't mind to travel further like by taking 1.5hrs domestic flight from Denpasar, I recommend Flores Island (just back from there 2 weeks ago). Spend one night on the boat to get really out of from usual daily life. It feels good. :)

Else, check out Java island. There are a lot good places for scenery and adventure activity. :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lombok (city)
  2. Flores Island (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Marina from Riga, Latvia

Aceh province in Sumatra sees relatively small numbers of tourists and the nature and beaches there are just like a paradise. Here's my blog post about it.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Aceh (attraction)
  2. Sumatra (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Tania from Singapore

Hello Peter,

Yes, I agree that Bali is one of the popular destinations for tourists who are seeking nature and beaches. My 2-3 times visits there over the long span of years helped me realize that they have done a lot to change what initially was an untouched haven. I would, however, suggest Lombok which is a nearby island.

Although I have never personally been there, I have a number of friends who recommended this place as it is not as touristy yet.

Give it a try!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bali (island)
  2. Lombok (city)
1 thanks

answered by

Hi, Peter.

If you want the place like that in Indonesia, you must avoid the Big City and the popular places in Indonesia like Jakarta or Bali

The best place like you mentioned above is Samosir Regency or Sumatera Utara or Mojo Island

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Indonesia (attraction)
  2. Jakarta (city)
  3. Bali (island)
  4. Samosir Regency (attraction)
  5. Sumatera Utara (city)
  6. Mojo Island (attraction)

answered by
Sarah from Global Gypsy

Definitely  Borneo Gemilang Lestari, Pt Peter! You can see wild orangutans and monkeys! So cool. I just came back from a 2-day river trip into the rainforest. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Borneo Gemilang Lestari, Pt (attraction)

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