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Beyond Bali – Indonesia Unwrapped

Beyond Bali – Indonesia Unwrapped

With more than 17,000 islands spread across 5,000 kilometres,
there’s more to Indonesia than just Bali…  Here, we signpost
the best bits of undiscovered Indonesia including an eco resort
in Sumba and a diver’s paradise in Raja Ampat


JEEVA Beloam Beach Camp Lombok Indonesia 26  (1)
Lombok ticks all the boxes for a charming and rustic beach break, but you can forget what you remember from your backpacking days – she now rivals Bali for first-class style and service. Luxurious options are popping up in the northwest, specifically in Malimbu and the Sira Peninsula, which has a remarkably innocent and untrampled vibe. You have white sandy beaches, cows strolling idly through coconut groves, sweet local villages with mosques humming with the call to prayer. You’ve got sunset views over Mount Agung in Bali, sunrise views of Lombok’s own volcano, Mount Rinjani, and the Gili Islands within grasping distance. There is also an incredible new eco retreat on the remote south-eastern peninsula set on one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen called Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp.


Indonesian tradition meets Western luxury aboard Tiger Blue – a 34-metre-long historic Phinisi yacht that explores the Indonesian Archipelago from Komodo Islands to North West Papua. Tiger Blue is based in the magnificent seas of Eastern Indonesia and guests can visit Komodo, Sumba, Flores, Banda – the remote Spice Islands, up to northwest Papua and see the dramatic landscapes, coastlines and natural history of this magnificent archipelago. As well as unrivalled cultural and historical interest, these areas are surrounded by the richest seas in the world and offer superlative diving, snorkelling and adventure. The boat is one of the finest yet most authentic live-aboards in Indonesia and can arrange customised itineraries, dive trips and specialised family holidays making this the ultimate sea safari...

Nihiwatu Resort, Sumba – AN UNDISCOVERED IDYLL

To call Nihiwatu ‘off-the-beaten track’ would be a huge understatement. This luxury eco resort is located on one of Indonesia’s most undiscovered islands, Sumba. Just a couple of hour’s flight southeast of Bali, the island is unlike its better-known neighbours. Here ancient religions still hold sway and the vast majority of the island’s tourists are surfers hoping to ride the fabled waves. Yet Sumba with its baskable beaches, true-blue waters and lush forests isn’t just for surf-junkies but also perfect for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and fans of diving with scuba diving, diving, fishing, hiking and mountain biking on offer. Unspoilt tranquility, as you’ve never experienced it before…

Borobudur in Central Java – THE ESSENTIAL PILGRIMAGE

A world away from the megalopolis of Jakarta, rising from a mishmash of emerald rice paddy fields and visible above the swaying palms is the colossal Buddhist temple of Borobudur. A temple to rival Angkor Wat – built in the second half of the 8th century AD, three centuries before the famous Cambodian religious complex – Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of Southeast Asia’s wonders. This three-tier mammoth structure is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and home to 504 life-size statues of Buddha. The perfect base to explore Borobudur is the luxurious hotel of Amanjiwo. With amazing views of Borobudur, located in the midst of an aromatic coffee plantation and surrounded by mountains in all directions, Amanjiwo is nearly as unforgettable as its temple neighbour. The hotel can arrange sunrise and sunset visits to Borobudur when the colossus is at its best and elephant safaris around nearby Dagi Hill. No trip to Indonesia is complete without a personal pilgrimage to this ancient place…


Far from the madding crowds, on the intoxicatingly remote island of Moyo – a nature and marine reserve 15km off the coast of Sumbawa (east of Bali), only accessible by chartered Cessna – is the jungle-chic tented camp of Amanwana. Twenty tantalizing tents make up the island’s only resort. In the turquoise sea that surround the seductively beautiful island the diving is superb; on land, in the lush forest birds abound and monkeys and indigenous rusa deer frolick. When staying on Moyo, not only is deer-spotting a must but so is island-hopping – Amanwana’s private boat can take visitors to nearby Rinca and Komodo islands where the legendary dragons live. An urban escapist’s fantasy destination…


With the sort of marine life you usually only see on Blue Planet and scenic beauty to spare, the Raja Ampat archipelago is a mecca for divers. This 15,000sq mile area is considered to be the most bio-diverse region on the planet (a fact only discovered in the last decade)  – with the richest variety of species including an amazing 75 per cent of all known coral species. Found at the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, Raja Ampat (also know as the Four Kings) is an archipelago of over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. Above the blue, this area is wildly beautiful, home to Birds of Paradise and the Pacific’s most important Leatherback Turtle nesting site. The place to stay is Misool Eco Resort, which is housed on its own private island. Eight wooden water cottages (that wouldn’t look out of place in the Maldives or Fiji) hover over the so-blue water for direct access to some of the world’s best underwater scenery. A diver’s dream…


Proving that size truly doesn’t matter, Mount Bromo may be small in comparison to Indonesia’s other volcanoes, but what it lacks in height it more than compensates in spectacular scenery and the sheer drama of its stage setting. Located in the heart of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in east Java in a place called the ‘Sea of Sands’, the rumbling mountain is a photographer’s dream landscape and the place to see one of the world’s most spectacular sunrises. Stay at the rustic-chic hotel of Tugu Malang in the colonial throwback town of Malang, the only place to stay when exploring Mount Bromo. Remember an offering to appease the Gods…


Known lovingly as ‘Jogja’ to the locals, Yogyakarta city is Java’s heritage hotspot. A centre of the arts and learning, it is set against a backdrop of mountains including Mount Merapi – the island’s most active volcano. Highlights include the 200-year old Sultan’s palace, the Kraton; the old-world charms of Dutch colonial architecture; the delights of traditional Javanese dance; and the shopping – get your batik here. Savvy visitors stay at The Phoenix Hotel – a comfortable, colonial, 144-bedroom landmark dating back to the early 20th century. Culturistas only need apply…

Browse Ampersand Travel’s Indonesian itineraries, which start at £2,750 per person and range from 8- to 16-day tours. For further information, visit / 020 7819 9770

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India

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