With more than 17,000 islands, it can be hard knowing where to head and where to skip in Indonesia. Ampersand's tailor-made itineraries will ensure you are visiting the spots that are best suited to your needs. There is much to choose from: seek retreat surrounded by paddy fields, volcanic views and crashing rivers in Bali’s cultural heart, Ubud, or wind down at a spectacular beachside hotel or villa. Beyond Bali’s shores you’ve got a plethora of other options: Java, Lombok, Komodo Island, Sumba, Sulawesi and Raja Ampat. Indonesia also has some fabulous traditional phinisi boats for luxury sailing adventures in her remote eastern seas, which are perfect for scuba diving enthusiasts.
Indonesia - the world's largest archipelago - consists of thousands of sublime tropical islands. The islands are fringed by glorious beaches, making then perfect for those who love the outdoors, and places like Bali & Lombok have some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity which can be experienced by scuba diving, jungle trekking or mountain climbing. Travelling through Indonesia, no two places will be the same; from religion and culture to scenery and landscape, the diversity of this archipelago will leave you wanting to discover more. At the heart of Indonesia lies the island of Bali, with its central interior of rice terraced mountains in Ubud, vivid Hindu culture, ancient civilisations and numerous temples. Unlike the rest of Indonesia which is predominantly Muslim, almost all the Balinese practice Hindu Dharma. The island is often referred to as 'the island of a thousand temples', and there is a pervasive sense of peaceful spirituality. Bali virtually invented the concept of the boutique hotel; villas are filled with antiques, textiles and handicrafts, offering a sense of sophisticated intimacy which makes travellers feel like guests rather than clients, and offers an experience rarely available anywhere else in the world.
Neighbouring Bali is Lombok, home to some of the best surf and a less crowded beach scene than Bali. Lombok doesn't have the same depth of culture, but is unbeatable for peace on the beach and is only a short boat ride away from the secluded Gili Islands. The further east you decide to travel from Bali, the more remote Indonesia becomes, and such remoteness offers innumerable special experiences - whether it's spotting Komodo dragons or diving around Misool Eco Resort on Raja Ampat Island. Indonesia's most populated island, Java, has an abundance of sights of interest, from the grand temple of Borobudur to the bustling cities ofJogyakarta and Jakarta. Indonesia has so much to offer that experiencing everything in one trip is simply impossible; the trick is to do less and plan to return the following year.