10 Indonesian Islands That Could Be The Next Bali

Here are 10 gob-smackingly beautiful Indonesian islands you must see before they're turned into the next Bali.

Photo © Sally Arnold for travelfish.org

Not keen on Bali? The ubiquitous Bintang singlet not your type of travel wear? Fortunately for the adventure traveler there are another 8,443 islands that make up Indonesia.

Actually that’s just the ones that have names, no one knows exactly how many Indonesian islands there are, but its somewhere between 17 and 18-thousand! They’re not all as beautiful as Bali, in fact they’re often more beautiful!

But beware, the Indonesian government has ordered “10 more Balis” in the next 4 years, and some of the pristine islands are already seeing development activity. So book your tickets now!

Here's our list of islands to visit before the rest of the travel world discovers them.

Bintan Island

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To be honest, this is already super popular. Just a 45 minute boat ride from Singapore it has a number of resorts, including a Club Med. Not discovered by Aussies, but Singaporeans love it.

Mandalika, Lombok Island

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Lombok is no big secret any more being so close to Bali, but in comparison to the holiday island it is almost deserted… ok, not really, but apart from the Gilli islands off the coast of the main island there are very few tourists…. So far.

World Nomads tip: If you’re chartering a boat to get you there rather than taking a ferry, check the skipper is licensed and has proper safety equipment onboard, including a life jacket for every person.

Labuan Bajo, Flores

Nearby is the exciting Komodo national park, with real live dragons!

Lubuan Bajo is a bit of a scruffy port town with live-aboard charter boats sitting in the harbour, but it retains a certain charm and is a great jumping off point for exploring Flores.

“If you've previously visited Bali, don't even slow down for your next trip: Head straight to Flores.” Stuart McDonald Travelfish.org

Worldnomads.com travel insurance covers you for scuba diving, but make sure you are properly accredited.

Thousand Islands, Jakarta

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Not quite a thousand, more like 110 of them. They start just a couple of hundred meters offshore of Jakarta and stretch 45km out into the Java Sea. 11 of them have resorts, some are privately owned, 2 are reserved as national parks.

Toba Lake, Sumatra

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On the shore of a vast natural fresh water lake that sits in the caldera of a volcano. In places the water is 500 metres deep! The volcano was the site of super-eruption some 66,000 years ago which was a massive global event, killing most of the people alive on the planet at the time.

Another global issue – dengue fever. Make sure you cover up and use a good quality insect repellent when you’re near the water.

Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi

There is an existing luxury, eco diving resort here right in the centre of a marine national park. It’s known as one of the best diving sites in the world.

Tanjung Lesung, West Java

Just 175kms south west of Jakarta locals boast that some of the best beaches in all of Java are here. Sit back and relax as you take in the view of what remains of the infamous Krakatoa volcano.

Morotai, Maluku islands

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One of Indonesia’s northernmost islands, and known in history as the spice islands. It was an important base for allied troops used in the WWII battle for the liberation of the Philippines. Consequently there are some amazing dive sites.

Belitung, Sumatra

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Once known as Billiton – the source of the Aussie mining giant’s name BHP Billiton – the tin mines are closed and the welcome sign is out for adventure travelers. This is about as close to paradise as you can get. Some of the smaller islands offshore have white sand the consistency of fine sugar.

Sumba Island

Although it hasn’t made it onto the government’s official list the local community is keen to develop it as a tourist destination.

“Gobsmackingly stunning empty beaches, crazy tall top-hat-roofed thatched clan houses, ritual-filled daily life and one of the few remaining living megalithic cultures in the world, are all just a one-hour flight from Bali. Try to get there for the annual Pasola, a ritual horseback spear-throwing war.” Sally Arnold Travelfish.org

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1 Comment

  • Nicola Jaeger said

    Beautiful selction! We can confirm that Wakatobi is up and coming though still very remote, unspoiled and hard to get to (at least everything other than Wangi-Wangi). The main draw are the beaches, friendly islanders, and the reefs and underwater world in all its glory.
    Sulawesi offers some of the best diving of the world. We spent a lot of time with our heads and cameras underwater and I thought people might enjoy this glimpse on the natural wonders awaiting you in Sulawesi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D41cgHa_Iq4&list=PLFZloRSBXy8yfHoNTNki53UtcU3rqCtG1&index=1
    Keep on exploring, sharing and hopefully diving!


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