Indonesia has a well-preserved, natural ecosystem with rainforests that stretch over about 57% of Indonesia’s land. Forests on *Sumatra and *Java are examples of popular tourist destinations. Moreover, Indonesia has one of longest coastlines in the world, measuring 54,716 kilometres (33,999 mi), with a number of beaches and island resorts, such as those in southern *Bali, *Lombok, Bintan (map) and Nias Island (map). However, most of the well-preserved beaches are those in more isolated and less developed areas, such as Karimunjawa (map), the Togian Islands (map), and the *Banda Islands (map).
Indonesia is home to 167 active volcanoes, far more than any other country. Some of the more accessible mountains for visitors are in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and the Ijen Crater in East Java, Mount Rinjani in Lombok and perhaps easiest of all, Mount Batur, and Mount Agung, its neighbour in Bali.
With more than 17,508 islands, Indonesia presents ample diving opportunities. With 20% of the world’s coral reefs, over 3,000 different species of fish and 600 coral species, deep water trenches, volcanic sea mounts, World War II wrecks, and an endless variety of macro life, scuba diving in Indonesia is both excellent and inexpensive.
*Bunaken National Marine Park (map), at the northern tip of Sulawesi, claims to have seven times more genera of coral than Hawaii, and has more than 70% of all the known fish species of the Indo-Western Pacific.
Indonesia consists of 300 ethnic groups, spread over a 1.8 million km2 area of 6,000 inhabited islands. This creates a cultural diversity, further compounded by Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and European colonialist influences.
The Jakarta Post is Indonesia’s largest circulating English newspaper; you can grab a copy in some of Indonesia’s biggest cities. The Jakarta Globe is in a tabloid format and usually has richer content. Both newspapers provide good online content too.