Summer in Indonesia

Summer is often the best time to travel, especially for those who are travelling with their family, and it’s a little-known fact that the very best time of year to visit Indonesia is during the summer months. Unlike the rest of Asia, where blisteringly high temperatures and heavy monsoon rains can threaten to make your holiday a washout, from May to September Indonesia enjoys long, dry and sunny days. Spanning an area larger than Europe, Indonesia is a colourful fusion of cultures, religions, languages, exotic wildlife and ancient traditions. Spread over 17,000 islands, each one with its own unique identity, there is so much to explore in this varied and diverse country, from action-packed family holidays to laid-back luxury beach breaks.

Indonesia

For a winning dose of culture and relaxation, Bali has it all, and during the summertime you can expect balmy and consistent temperatures of 30ºC and eight hours of sunshine. Southern Bali tends to get quite busy during this time of year, owing to its popular beachside resorts, but venture off the beaten track to the central hills of Bali’s cultural heart, Ubud, with its vivid Hindu culture, ancient civilisations and numerous temples. Visit remote villages and spend time in and around Ubud with a local Balinese priest, or cycle through the verdant rice terraces, with a skyline of spectacular volcanic views and crashing rivers in the deep gorges. Manggis on Bali’s eastern coast is home to the ultra-sexy Amankila with is signature three-tiered swimming pool and 180-degree sea views, or head to the north western reaches of the island to Pemuteran, with its black-sand beaches and excellent diving and snorkelling.

pagoda

Indonesia is home to the best diving in the world and is often nicknamed the ‘Amazon of the Seas’. From April to September one can snorkel and dive from most islands, but for some of the best experiences the Komodo Islands are a diver’s paradise. A world of ancient tribes, imposing ridgelines, blanketed in windblown grasses and white sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters, where the rich marine biodiversity thrives in warm waters, these mostly uninhabited islands are home to more than 1,000 species of fish and 260 types of corals.

Tiger Blue

Private luxury sailing yachts, such as Tiger Blue and Si Datu Bua, are the best options for superlative a diving and snorkelling adventure, where you have the flexibility to dive or snorkel at your own pace with expert guides who know the very best habitats to explore. Above land, the Komodo Islands are home to the native Komodo dragon, respected by locals who believe they descend from a dragon princess, centuries ago. This prehistoric creature is the largest reptile on earth, it can grow up to three metres long and weigh up to 150kg, and visitors can go hiking in search of these beasts in their natural habitat.

sunset

If you plan to climb one of Indonesia’s many volcanoes, such as Java’s Mount Bromo or Mount Rinjani in Lombok, then the summer months are recommended, when the early morning temperatures cool as you climb. Mount Rinjani, in the less discovered island of Lombok, is Indonesia’s second largest volcano, reaching dizzy heights of over 3,500 metres. Active travellers can challenge themselves with trekking excursions from 1 to 2 nights. But those not so height hungry can explore the lower ground, where cascading waterfalls and natural springs roll off the top of Mount Rinjani. Javanese landscape is truly breathtaking, partly due to the rugged skyline and rocky plains created by the volcanoes, and partly because the volcanic soil is extremely fertile, and so the land here is the brightest shades of green. Mount Bromo is smaller in comparison to Indonesia’s other volcanoes, but the spectacular scenery and the sheer drama of its setting makes the sunrise hike worthwhile.

Mount Bromo

Last but not least, Sumba Island brings us to remote eastern Indonesia. Mysterious and rugged, with stunning unspoilt beaches, fertile jungle, rolling hills and a unique tribal culture where the majority of the population still follow the ways of their ancestors, this far flung island avoids the summer crowds that are drawn to the more popular destinations. Sometimes called ‘The Forgotten Island’, one can really feel as though you are perched on the edge of the world, in a land yet to be found by the rest of the world. What’s more, the island is home to possibly Asia’s dreamiest exclusive hideaway.

Nihi Sumba Island

Nihi Sumba Island, with a winning dose of luxury combined with tribal edginess, is the ultimate location for privacy and romance, and has some of the most stunning views on earth. A village of luxury pool villas dotted across a remote cliff top, this is the place to really immerse in all the island has to offer; world class fishing, surfing and diving are right on your doorstep, not to mention unforgettable activities that are beyond compare. Paddle board down languid rivers which meander through local villages or hike through fields of water buffalo, or simply sit back and relax in your private paradise.

James Jayasundera is Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel. Ampersand Travel create bespoke and luxurious travel experiences to Asia, the British Isles and Southern Africa.

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