Haven't decided yet where to go this summer? These five destinations picked by popular travel bloggers might inspire you.
Misool, Raja Ampat, West Papua
Tourists coming to Raja Ampat in West Papua always take pictures at Wayag, with its unique coral islands in the background. But not many realize that there is another paradise in the region that is even more beautiful, around a five-hour trip by speedboat from Sorong.
According to travel blogger Marischka Prudence, who shares her experiences and gorgeous pictures on www.marischka-prudence.com, Misool, in the southern part of Raja Ampat, offers such a spectacular view that you might think that it is unreal, especially during summer.
"At Yapap, Misool, there are structures of coral islands that look so random that you cannot even begin to imagine what created them. Some of the islands are like neatly cut stones, some are similar to temple structures, one has a shape like a dog's head and there is also one that looks like huge menhir stone floating in the air," says Marischka.
There is also a lake on Misool that is home to stingless jellyfish.
"Though Derawan in East Kalimantan has such a lake in Kakaban Island, Misool's lake is far clearer and deeper, so the jellyfish look more translucent. During summer, when the sun shines, these jellyfish will come up to the surface and make you feel like you are in some kind of alien world, surrounded by jellyfish," adds Marischka.
You can also expect smaller crowds as not many tourists know about this secluded gem in Raja Ampat.
Karimunjawa in Jepara regency, Central Java, is definitely one of Indonesia's must-visit destinations during summer, according to travel blogger Eka Situmorang-Sir, who enjoys sharing her stories on ceritaeka.com.
"Karimunjawa is a perfect getaway. You must take a ferry for six hours to reach it, its poor mobile signal will ensure you have an undisturbed holiday and it offers both spectacular underwater views and smooth white sandy beaches with gorgeous clear blue sky," says Eka.
Karimunjawa is also home to plenty of interesting activities such as snorkeling, diving, canoeing and even swimming with sharks.
"But that's not even the best part of the trip. When you spend the night at Karimunjawa, you will get to enjoy a sky full of stunning stars! During my trip there, I saw millions of bright stars that could calm any restless soul just by sitting on the shore and looking at them quietly," adds Eka.
Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi
Located in Southeast Sulawesi, Wakatobi is actually an acronym for the islands of Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko.
Also known as Tukang Besi Islands, Wakatobi covers an area of 1.39 million hectares (97 percent of which is sea) and has a population of around 100,000 people.
"Of the 850 species of coral known to man, these waters are home to 750 of them. That’s why diving here is excellent, with visibility of 30 meters. You can easily witness how dense, lush and healthy the coral is here, not to mention an astonishing number of fish," says travel blogger and writer Trinity, who chose the spot as her favorite summer destination in the country.
Trinity has been blogging about her adventures on naked-traveler.com since 2005 and recently came back from a year-long round-the-world trip.
Aside from its 39 islands, there are also a number of sandy atolls in Wakatobi. In fact, Karang Kaledupa is the longest atoll in the world, at 48 kilometers.
Sunbathing on deserted white stretches of sand, swimming in crystal clear waters and admiring clear blue skies in the afternoon and countless stars at night are just some of the things that you can expect from Wakatobi.
"For a cultural trip, go to Sampela to see Bajau village — the original home of sea gypsies! Their houses had wooden frames with woven bamboo walls and were built on bases made from piled-up chunks of coral," says Trinity.
Nestled between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia in the South China Sea, Natuna is one of Indonesia's northernmost islands and is blessed with rich oil and natural gas resources as well as beautiful archipelagic vistas and an interesting Malay coastal culture.
Interesting spots to visit in Natuna Islands include Pulau Tiga, which produce cloves and has gorgeous colorful houses on stilts in the sea; Pulau Setai that has serene and smooth white sandy beaches where you can play, swim, snorkel and dive; and Tanjung Senubing, with its awe-inspiring giant rock formations.
"Spend the night at Pulau Tiga to experience the local Malay coastal culture. Prepare to be up all night singing and dancing, and entertained by gambus [traditional string instrument] and gendang [traditional percussion] music in the background," says Dina of www.duaransel.com, who has been backpacking around the world with her husband since 2009.
Pangandaran, West Java
For nature lovers, avid traveler Sukma Dede, who blogs at www.sukmadede.com and shares his family travel experiences on his Twitter account @familytripID, suggested this particular regency in West Java to spend the summer holidays.
"If you are a beach person, Pangandaran has many attractive spots, such as Pantai Timur Pangandaran where visitors can enjoy water sports like banana boat rides and jet skiing; Pantai Barat Pangandaran, which is great for swimming and bodyboarding; and Pantai Pasir Putih where they can snorkel, visit protected forest and historical sites such as Goa Jepang," says Dede.
Other than visiting beautiful beaches, visitors can also amble along the river at Cukang Taneuh, also known as Green Canyon, on a boat while admiring the surrounding high cliffs. It is quite an adventurous trip because, when the boat reaches a narrowed section, you have to continue your journey by swimming to the inner part of Green Canyon.
"River tubing on the Citumang River is also recommended due to its rather blue water, spectacular cliffs and surrounding lush green trees," adds Dede.