10 Dec Cruising Indonesia – The Best Destinations to Visit
Not everyone is a fan of “the typical” vacations, to say the least. Many people would just prefer going to a place that has something different to offer, possibly an experience, and if that’s the case, Indonesia is a nice choice. Yes, you still get the “typical” vacation with dramatic landscapes, sandy beaches and beautiful coral and marine life, but there is just so much more about this land known as the Emerald of the Equator.
And while there are a few ways to get to see the best of Indonesia, we would wholeheartedly recommend opting for an Indonesia cruise. It allows you to soak in all the beauty of the archipelago, and you’ll usually get a few options to choose from, so you can go and enjoy the one you fancy most. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few destinations you’ll absolutely enjoy visiting.
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Ambon & The Spice Islands
Ambon is one of Indonesia’s best port cities, but that’s not the main reason to visit it. That honor goes to the fact that Ambon is the place where you can start your destination towards the Spice Islands. The Spice Islands are a stunning place that merges historical significance with unspoiled nature and culture that’s a sight to behold.
The Spice Islands got their name from the fact that nutmeg, at one point an incredibly expensive spice, was only found there for a good while. This is why the islands were a point of interest for explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan.
But that’s not all you can see. When the Dutch discovered the Spice Islands, they established a monopoly on the nutmeg trade that lasted until the 18th century. And in that time, they built a variety of buildings that are actually surprisingly well preserved. If you enjoy colonial-styled architecture, this is a place you must visit. You’ll feel like you’re visiting a museum, with everything in very good shape considering its age.
Komodo National Park
The Komodo National Park is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise. As the name probably tells you, a huge population of Komodo dragons lives on the territory of the park. The Komodo dragons are known as the world’s largest reptiles, and they’ve been a staple species for about 90 million years, so they’re pretty old, too. But that’s far from the only thing you’ll be able to experience in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s also the fact that all around the national park, the landscapes are just stunning. All the volcanic activity that has been going on for ages has resulted in coastal terrain that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. You’re looking at 699 square miles of territory, so you do have a lot to explore if you decide to visit.
Oh, and one more thing must be mentioned – Komodo National Park is a real paradise when it comes to snorkeling and diving. It’s a combination of warm, tropical Indonesia seas and the Indian Ocean’s fast currents, and it’s an absolute must, especially if you’re cruising (and you should be).
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Even though there are over 600 individual islands as part of Raja Ampat, the name translates to “Four Kings”, and there are four main islands – Waigeo, Bantanta, Salawati and Misool. You’ve got quite the biological variety on those four islands, and they’re a great way to check out some rare birds and enjoy a brilliant coral life.
And of course, it’s not just about the water – the flora and fauna on the ground are something to experience, too. Raja Ampat is home to the Pacific leatherback, the world’s largest living turtle species, and one that’s close to being an endangered species.
One thing you will probably love about Raja Ampat is also the fact that you can actually live with some of the locals for a while. You can see how they spend their time, what they do for a living, and if you’re interested, they’ll even teach you some of their skills and crafts.
Of course, Bali is the more commonly suggested option, but if you’d like a calmer alternative with less people that still offers a lot of things to see, Lombok is the better choice. The island has a few smaller cities, and you can do a great variety of things there.
Want to go surfing? Kuta is a beach destination that has excellent waves and a lot of surfers to keep you company. Want to enjoy the culture? Head to Matara, which is the island’s biggest city, and has a lot to offer in that regard. There is something for everyone, and if you want to avoid big crowds, Lombok should certainly be on your list of destinations.