The sense of discovery you feel as you explore the eastern Indonesian Islands is indescribable. Perhaps most familiar to international ears is the island of Komodo, home to the famous dragons of the same name. The largest lizards in the world, these prehistoric beasts grow up to 3 metres in length and roam the Komodo National Park, spread across the islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar and several smaller ones.
In bright contrast to the dry Komodo Island, the heavy monsoon rains that hit Flores each year make it glittering and green year-round. Travellers are just starting to become aware of its beautiful landscapes, fantastic diving and unusual, Catholic-dominated culture, but it still feels untouched – for now.
Sumba is different again, its slopes covered in maize rather than the rice which dominates the cuisine of the region, and its yawning grasslands home to thoroughbred horses who play an important part in the culture.
For truly secluded beauty, head up to Raja Ampat, a chain of islands off the coast of West Papua. The clear waters here are teeming with marine life, and those in the know rate the diving and snorkelling as among the best anywhere in the world.
Sulawesi is the world’s eleventh-largest island and quite possibly the strangest-shaped, sprawling out like a skewed letter ‘K’ to the east of Kalimantan. It’s fringed with sandy beaches and coral reefs home to a near-endless variety of marine life, and its lush interior is thick with jungle home to vibrant bird and animal life.
The rich diversity of cultures between the islands gives each its own unique identity, making Indonesia perfect for island hopping. We’d recommend a trip on Tiger Blue, a 34 metre sailboat which can accommodate a maximum of 13 guests in its en-suite cabins and takes guests on a once-in-a-lifetime sea safari.