Indonesia, the largest archipelago on earth fascinates its visitors with its tropical landscape of volcanic origin and the diverse culture of over 360 ethnic groups. The islands are spread over a length of 5000 km (3100 m) along the Equator. Tropical rain forests, rice terraces, white sandy beaches, active volcanoes, and friendly people await the visitor.
The capital Jakarta is a modern Western-style industrial city, the dense rainforests of Kalimantan (Borneo) and West Papua (formerly Irian Jaya) on New Guinea, are a strong contrast to the buzzing Indonesian cities.
No one can say exactly how many islands Indonesia has. The most common indication is based on 13 677 islands. Of these, 6000 have a name and 1,000 are inhabited. It's the fourth most populous country in the world, with more than 200 million people. In all, over 370 cultures and hundreds of languages are scattered across its far-flung lands. We think the country's diversity one of the best reasons to visit Indonesia.
The most famous island is Bali, one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Just visit areas a little off the beaten track and have your Bali, enjoy the unique culture and landscape. The hotels have high international standard and offer excellent value for money. Bali, in particular, is an easy and enjoyable place to visit, offering comfortable amenities as well as stunning sights, an interesting unique version of Hinduism and very friendly people.
Indonesia's fourth largest island, Sulawesi, splays like a drunken octopus on the seas between Borneo and Maluku. The long narrow arm of the mountainous northern peninsula contributes to the island's contorted shape. Home to a predominantly Christian population, the province of North Sulawesi, occupies the majority of this strikingly beautiful peninsula.
The island's physical beauty, with its forested mountains and stunning coral reefs, is surpassed only by its intriguing biology. Sulawesi is the largest and most central island of Wallacea, a unique region of the world where plants and animals from Asia and Australia mix. For example, in Sulawesi, Asian monkeys share the forests with pouched marsupials of Australian origin.
An active volcanic arc runs through Sumatra, Java and the islands of Nusa Tenggara, and then north through Maluku to Sulawesi. It marks the place where tectonic plates plunge one beneath the other. This is an area of intense volcanic activity called the "ring of fire." Off the coast of these islands is a deep sea trench, in places more than 7,000 metres (22 000 ft) deep. Within the arc is the more stable Sunda Shelf with shallow seas and less dramatic landscape. Some parts of the country remain vast, barely explored regions of dense jungle, and many islands have extinct, active or dormant volcanoes.
Indonesia is rich in art and culture, which are intertwined with religion and age-old traditions from the time of early migrants, to the Western thoughts brought by Portuguese traders and Dutch colonialists. Religious influences on the community are evident from island to island. Unlike some other countries, art-forms in Indonesia are not only based on folklore. Many were developed in the courts of former kingdoms and, (as in Bali), are part of religious ceremonies.