Indonesia

The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world comprising 17,504 large and small tropical islands fringed with white sandy beaches, many still uninhabited and a number even still unnamed. It has a population of over 215 million divided into more than 200 ethnic groups. The national language is Bahasa Indonesia.

Due to its location and geology, Indonesia has a very diverse landscape, from fertile rice paddies on Java and Bali to tropical rainforests in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. The Nusatenggara islands have savannah grasslands and West-Papua even features snow-capped mountains.

The most well-known islands are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan (formerly Borneo), Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), the Maluku Islands (aka Moluccas; the original Spice Islands) and Papua.

But there are alos many unexplored islands with grand mountain views, green rainforests to trek through, rolling waves to surf and deep blue pristine seas to dive in where one can swim with dugongs, dolphins and large manta rays.

Wildlife is just as versatile as its landscape, including the (prehistoric) Komodo lizard, Orang Utan, Java rhinos, Sulawesi anoa dwarf buffalos, and rare-, exquisite birds such as the cockatoo and the bird of paradise. This is also the habitat of the Rafflesia the world’s largest flower. Underwater, scientists have found in North Sulawesi the prehistoric coelacanth fish, a “living fossil” fish, predating the dinosaurs living some 400 million years ago, while whales migrate yearly through these waters from the South Pole. Here are hundreds of species of colorful coral and tropical fish to admire.