Kopi Luwak, Komodo, Rafflesia, Prambanan, Rinjani

Top 5 Unique Travel Experiences in Indonesia

In Best Of, Indonesia by Sheena16 Comments

Travel is all about stepping out of your comfort zone & there are some things you can only do in Asia – find out the top 5 unique travel experiences in Indonesia for every bucket list!

Top 5 Unique Travel Experiences in Indonesia

  • #1. Hike-up a Volcano for Sunrise

Indonesia is a land of volcanoes – don’t miss the opportunity to climb one of its incredible mountains, especially for sunriset.

And if you’re going to make the effort, we here at DIY Travel HQ say: go large or go home!

Each has its own challenges & beauty but they are all very unique travel experiences in Indonesia.

 Our favorite volcano hikes are: 

* Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before any trip to Indonesia. We’ve been using World Nomads for over 10 years. It’s the best-value provider we’ve found but there are other important things to consider. Check out our post and find out which of our claims were successful or denied.

Bromo, Ijen, Rinjani, Kelimutu

Hike one or all of the best volcanoes: Bromo, Ijen, Rinjani & Kelimutu

  • #2. Explore the Ancient Ruins of Borobudur & Prambanan

Base yourself in Yogyakarta & explore the nearby Unesco World Heritage Sites of Borobudur & Prambanan.

Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, founded in the 8th century.

It consists of 6 raised platforms & 3 open circular terraces, topped by a central dome. There are thousands of sculptures depicting the life story of the Buddha.

Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia & one of the biggest in Southeast Asia, also from the 8th century.

The complex features a collection of sculpted, vertical towers, unusual for Java at the time.

Both Borobudur & Prambanan have similar histories but are quite different in architecture & style.

Check out The Crowded Planet for more things to do in Yogyakarta!

Tour Options:

Borobudur & Prambanan

Visit the Unesco World Heritage sites of Borobudur & Prambanan

  • #3. Search for the Rafflesia Flower

Head into the jungles of Sumatra to search for the rare & elusive Rafflesia.

It’s the largest flower in the world, found only in Sumatra & Borneo.

The Rafflesia can measure over 100 cm in diameter & also emits an overpowering smell of rotten flesh.

The easier place to find the flower is at the Batang Paluph Nature Reserve, near Bukittinggi.

Visit the Kopi Luwak House & arrange a guide to take you on a hot & sweaty trek through the jungle – good luck!

Rafflesia Batung Palupah Park

Track down the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world

  • #4. Come Face-to-Face with Komodo Dragons

Take a boat trip out to Komodo National Park, the only place in the world where you’ll find Komodo dragons.

They are the largest lizards in the world, averaging 2.5 meters in length & 90 kg in weight.

The easiest way to visit the park is on a snorkelling or diving tour from Labuan Bajo – Komodo National Park is also a world-class diving destination.

Most tours will take you to Rinca Island; be sure to arrive in the morning, when the Komodo dragons are the most active.

With a bit of luck, you’re almost guaranteed to see one!

Komodo Dragons Rinca Island

Come face-to-face with Komodo Dragons at Komodo National Park

  • #5. Try a Cup of Kopi Luwak

Taste the world’s most expensive coffee in Indonesia, straight from the poo of the civet cat!

In the Sumatra highlands, civet cats eat and fully digest coffee beans. Villagers & farmers collect its poo, which is then sold to coffee plantations to make Kopi Luwak.

Kopi Luwak can be found in cafes across the country but the best place to try it is at the Rafflesia Coffee House at Batang Palupuh Nature Reserve, near Bukittinggi.

Here, the coffee process is completely organic, local, traditional & sustainable.

The owner will give you a full presentation, after which you can sample a cup or two & also buy a bag to take home as a souvenir.

Check out Lonely Planet for more travel inspiration in Indonesia!

Coffee Luwak Fruits Cat Poo

Taste Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee – straight from he poo of civet cats!

Honourable Mentions:

Did you enjoy reading our list of Unique Experiences in Indonesia?!

Pin it and help others find it too!

Grass and stone sculpture

*** The Final Word – These experiences should be on every Indonesian itinerary! ***

What was your favorite travel experience in Indonesia?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission if you click on a link & purchase something that we’ve recommended – at no extra cost to you. This helps us to keep our site running so we can continue to provide free content. Thank you for your support!


  1. I really love reading posts about Indonesia! I want to go back just so I can see Komodo Dragons because they’re awesome and scary at the same time. I would love to hike all the mountains that you mentioned because they’re awesome! I also have to check out the temple because I’ve been seeing it everywhere!

    1. Author

      There really is a lot to see as the numerous islands in Indonesia offer so many unique experiences. We need to go back to see the jellyfish lake on Borneo & some more diving in LOTS of places.

  2. These are all fantastic suggestions! I really enjoyed visiting Borobudur and Prambanan – so fascinating to be in the middle of such amazing ancient history. I would LOVE to hike a volcano at sunrise. I think that would be an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing – will save this for my next trip to Indonesia.

    1. Author

      We spent two months in Indonesia and only covered from Sumatra down to West Timor. We still have several large islands to visit & many more small ones. It helps to always leave more to experience in Southeast Asia.

  3. What a great list of ideas! My floral obsession would definitely send me out hunting for those reffislia flowers!

    1. Author

      The Rafflesia flower we found was big, but we still want to see an even larger one. We also want to smell them since ours wasn’t rotting yet. The other big one is the Corpse flower that is also found in the same area of Sumatra, Indonesia.

  4. Ahhh!! I really need to make it to Indonesia. I am bookmarking this and adding these things to my list of to do’s when I finally go. Thanks for sharing and I hope my trip is sooner rather than later.

    1. Author

      We hope so too! The added bonus is that a lot of countries no longer have to pay for a visa provided they enter and disembark from the popular immigration centers. This should be easy for most tourists, but don’t try to go to East Timor overland like I did. 🙁

  5. Oh I love these suggestions! I would absolutely love to hike up a volcano! Indonesia is definitely high up on my list of places to explore while I’m living in Asia. Thanks for sharing the ideas!

    1. Author

      No problem, Lorraine. We all need inspiration from somewhere. I’m still amazed at how everyone can just forget the power of a volcano in such a short time around the world. Sometimes it is like it never erupted! I would not rebuild my town at the base again, or put the energy into growing coffee on the slopes knowing it could all be toast any day.

  6. A hike up a volcano and a face off with a komodo dragon sound thrilling and adventurous.Must have been a hell of experience !

  7. A great post. Climbing up the volcano and also having a face of with the dragons sounds to be inetresting and challenging too..

    1. Author

      It’s weird how we found Indonesia frustrating while traveling there, but all the pain vanishes when we look back. Indonesia really has some great & iconic attractions within their borders.

  8. These are really some amazing experiences. I have never been to Indonesia but have read so much about this lovely place, that I feel like I have been there many times. I would love to hike up the volcanic hills for a spectacular sunrise and visit the magnificent temple of Borobudur.

    1. Author

      That’s weird since not many backpackers take the extra effort to visit the islands despite mostly being linked by ferries (even from the mainland). Most people get stuck on the pancake trail from Thailand & east. Hopefully the reality is better than your expectations when you do get to visit.

Leave a Comment

sixteen − 7 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.