Spiced by 400 volcanoes, 128 of which are still active
with 75 erupting in historic times with disastrous effects,
Indonesian land enjoys frequent soil rejuvenation, allowing
it to maintain its fertility and sustain a multitude of
vegetations and plants.
Equatorial waters of two great oceans, the Pacific and
the Atlantic, surround the Indonesian archipelago. Its temperature
and salinity allow the nurturing of corals to blossom into
gardens, which in turn function as homes for whole communities
of marine lfe, nourishment and nurseries for thousand of
fish, shellfish, sponges and marine plants, while protecting
shorelines. This richness makes the Indonesian waters one
of the best sites for snorkeling, scuba diving, deep diving,
and reef exploration.
- Gunung Leuser
Located in Sumatera, this sprawling 830,500 hectares nature
reserve is reachable from Medan, North Sumatera. It has
an Orangutan Rehabilitation Station. A boat trip through
the Alas River may evoke your memory of the Congo River,
because you might catch a glimpse of rhinos, orang utans,
tigers, elephants, gibbons, leaf monkeys, jungle cats,
forest deer, otters, hornbills, and argus pheasants.
- The Riau Archipelago
Spread off the Eastern shore of Sumatera all the way to
the North of Kalimantan, you can find many wrecks, albeit
of World War II vintage, but nevertheless still mysterious.
The waters are shallow, the beaches are excellent, and
the coral near Bintan is memorable. Island hopping is
relatively inexpensive and easy.
- Ujung Kulon and Krakatau
This nature reserve is located on the western tip of Java,
reachable by boat from Sumatera, or by road from Jakarta
or Bogor. It is the last refuge of around 50 remaining
Java rhinos, and it is also home for gibbons, macaques,
leaf monkeys, deer, pigs, bantengs (Java wild ox), and
around 200 species of bird. It has idyllc beaches and
excellent coral reefs. Good snorkeling and diving can
be found around Pulau Peucang and Panaitan. Oh, and take
a day trip to see the magnificent Krakatau.
- Pulau Seribu (The Thousand Islands)
Off the northern coast of Jakarta, this group of islands
actually only has 110 islands, reachable by boat or chartered
aircraft. Bird and marine sanctuaries can be found in
the Northern part. Pulau Putri, Pulau Pelangi, and Melintang
have developed into an upscale resort, with restaurants,
accomodations, and dive shops. Melinjo, Papa Theo and
Sepa are good for divers and budget tourists.
Need I say more?
- Tanjung Puting
The trip to Tanjung Puting itself will be quite memorable,
because you will have to fly from Banjarmain, South Kalimantan
to Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, take the road to
Kumai, and finally travelby boat on the Kumai and Sekunir
Rivers. A trip through the swamp will reveal the secret
beauty of Borneo live, with birds, waterfowl, Bornean
proboscis monkeys, and orang utans sharing your vicinity.
Reservation required, bring canned food.
- Lore Kalamata
Reachable from Palu, Central Sulawesi to Kulawi or Gimpu,
by foot with guides. You will find fine lowland and moutain
forests, streams, wildlife anoa (swarf buffalo), babi
rusa, black macaques. There are also interesting megaliths
in the valleys.
- North Sulawesi (Bunaken)
North Sulawesi is blessed with good beaches and coral
reefs, especially the ones surrounding Bunaken. Bunaken
is considered one of the most spectacular diving sites
in the world. It has the densest marine population in
Indonesia, and an extremely large variety of marine life.
Bunaken has dramatic drop offs and grottos, fissures and
arches, with 30 m visibility. The reefs are reachable
in about half an hour by motorboat from Malalayang Beach,
south of Menado. To support divers, Menado also has a
decompression chamber facility.
- Maluku and Banda Neira
Thousand islands with excellent beaches and reefs and
seascapes for superb snorkeling and diving. Banda Neira,
the original nutmeg island, is one of these islands. It
is surrounded by crystal clear water with coral gardens
filled with tropical fish.