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7 Best National Parks in Indonesia You Should Visit

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Komodo dragon, the biggest living lizard in the world, on Rinca Island, Indonesia.

Komodo dragon on Rinca Island

The natural splendor of Indonesia offers a stunning paradise for locals and visitors in a tropical setting spread across 17,000 different islands, with national parks that capture an essential spirit. The dynamic diversity of the scenery can be found across parts of the Indian and Pacific oceans, where you can climb volcanic peaks flush with emerald jungle or dive into crystal-clear azure waters to find radiant marine life.  The following list offers insight into a number of the best national parks for a new perspective on the island chain’s wonders.

1. Teluk Cenderawasih National Park

Whale shark in Cenderawasih Bay

Whale shark in Cenderawasih Bay

In size and scale, Teluk Cenderawasih embodies the epic scale of a national park in Indonesia, allowing visitors to snorkel above wavering tendrils of soft coral or scuba dive into the depths of the bay to swim close to magnificent whale sharks, a number of which are known to live in the national park’s waters year-round. The diversity of the park also allows you to dip your toes into steaming natural hot springs, plunge into the white water of a waterfall or enjoy the colorful plumage of the avifauna scattered across the three main islands.

Types of fauna you can spot: Sea turtles | Dolphins | Whale sharks | Parrotfish | Butterflyfish | Cockatoos | Green parrots

2. Komodo National Park

Pulau Padar island in between Komodo and Rinca Island

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is one of Indonesia’s most famous conservation areas, attracting visitors from around the world eager to view the largest lizard on the planet, the Komodo dragon, which can grow larger than 10 feet long and weigh over 300 pounds. The ancient and rare lizard species is often compared with dinosaurs. The island has a sunbaked, barren landscape that contrasts the vibrant, lush, tropical ambiance for which the archipelago is famous, with the greater borders of the park spreading to Padar and Rinca islands.

Types of fauna you can spot: Timor deer | Sea turtles | Dolphins | Dugongs | Komodo dragons

3. Bunaken National Marine Park

Huge numbers of colorful tropical fish swimming around a beautiful coral reef

Bunaken National Marine Park

The Bunaken National Marine Park has one of the densest areas of sea life on the planet, showcasing a thriving coral ecosystem that spans over 343 square miles. The impressive population of coral and mollusks shimmer in clear water which offers superb diving and snorkeling spots that feature vertical corals and active sponges at varying depths. The majestic islands boast coconut and palm trees, as well as captivating wildlife. The blend of grandeur from on land and sea offers endless possibilities, from lounging on soft sands to viewing wildlife in and out of the water.

Types of fauna you can spot: Wild deer | Macaques | Bear cuscus | Spotted seahorse | Bluestripe snapper | Pinkish bassle

4. Tanjung Putting National Park

Orangutans hanging between trees in Tanjung Putting National Park

Orangutans in Tanjung Putting National Park

Tanjung Putting National Park covers 1,602 square miles to edge the Sungai Sekoneyer River and wild orangutan territory. Birdlife is abundant in the trees and along riverbanks, where you will find vibrant avifauna. The perimeters of the park include research centers and conservation facilities that protect and study the critically endangered orangutan population, with possible viewing opportunities along the riverbanks at sunrise, when many animals begin their daily forage.

Types of fauna you can spot: mudskippers | archerfish | crocodiles | pythons | orangutans

5. Kerinci Seblat National Park

View into the Kerinci crater

View into the Kerinci crater

The natural beauty of Kerinci Seblat National Park spreads across four provinces on the island of Sumatra and it’s here you will find the world’s tallest flower and Indonesia’s second-largest volcanic peak. The peculiar species within the conserved landscape are particular to the tropical wilderness of the island and the distinctive scenery that supports spectacular wildlife. The jungle and mountainous terrain offer a supportive ecosystem, rare wildlife sightings, and landscapes great for conservation efforts and mountain climbing.

Types of fauna you can spot: Orange pendek | Sumatran rhinos | Sumatran elephants | Sumatran tiger | Clouded leopards

6. Way Kambas National Park

Three Sumatran elephants in the jungle

Sumatran elephants in Way Kambas National Park

The unique scenery of Way Kambas National Park embodies the southwest coast of Sumatra. The borders of the preserved landscape encompass estuaries, marshes and open grasslands, as well as lush rainforest for marvelous birdwatching possibilities. The rare and endangered mammals learn how to patrol the park boundaries instead of venturing outside the protected areas. Way Kambas National Park provides better insight into many of the endangered species of Indonesia and reflects the enchanting natural grandeur of the archipelago.

Types of fauna you can spot: Sumatran rhinoceros | Sumatran elephant | Tiger | Boar | Kingfishers | Pelicans | Woolly-necked storks

7. Ujung Kulon National Park

one-horned rhinoceros

One-horned rhinoceros

The magnificent scenery of Ujung Kulon National Park dates back to the massive explosion of Krakatoa volcano, which destroyed numerous villages, but added unique properties that preserve the vibrant and diverse wildlife of Java island. The conserved landscape allows visitors to connect with endangered plants and animals, in addition to offering views of the 260 square miles of protected area.

Types of fauna you can spot: Gibbons | Crocodiles | Wild oxen | Leaf monkeys | Leopards | Black panthers | Green turtles | One-horned rhino

Explore Indonesia’s National Parks at your Pace

A hawksbill turtle in the waters of Komodo National Park, Indonesia.

Hawksbill turtle at Komodo National Park

Whether searching for unique wildlife or interested in venturing deep into the tropical rainforests, eager to travel along the thousands of miles of coastline or wade through pristine mangrove forests, the national parks of Indonesia possess distinct untamed beauty that reflects natural marvels. Eager to plan your trip? You can speak with a travel specialist free by filling out a Trip Request Form or by calling 1-888-265-9707.

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