Ditch The Crowds: Lesser-Known Islands In Indonesia You Must Visit

OT Staff


Lombok, just an hour by ferry or a 20-minute flight from Bali, offers unspoiled beaches, horse-drawn carts, and lush green rice paddies. It is also home to the majestic Mt. Rinjani.

Lombok | Shutterstock

Sumba Island

An hour's flight from Bali, Sumba is an eastern Indonesian island renowned for its world-class left-hand surf break. This hidden gem features old-growth tropical forests, verdant hills, and charming hilltop villages.

Sumba Island | Shutterstock


Ninety minutes from Bali, Flores is the gateway to Komodo National Park, offering deserted white sand beaches, volcanic lakes, and vibrant marine life. Dive into emerald waters, explore Kelimutu's colourful crater lakes, and enjoy fewer tourists than Mount Batur.

Flores | Shutterstock

Nusa Lembongan

Just 30 minutes off Bali's coast, Nusa Lembongan is emerging as a popular alternative. Once a surfers' hideout, this quiet island now boasts chic boutique hotels, upscale beach bars, and diving centres.

Nusa Lembongan | Shutterstock

Gili Islands

Off Lombok's northwest coast lie three remote islands, each with a unique charm. Gili Trawangan offers turtle diving, Gili Meno is a romantic escape, and Gili Air blends both experiences. These islands are fringed by white sand beaches, coconut palms, and crystal-clear waters.

Gili Islands | Shutterstock

Kanawa Island

While Komodo, Padar, and Rinca attract increasing numbers of tourists, this exotic island maintains a low profile. Parts remain untouched to preserve wildlife and the ecosystem. However, the more touristy areas offer ample restaurants, cafés, and resorts for visitors.

Kanawa Island | Shutterstock

Kai Islands

Big Kai and Little Kei, part of Indonesia's Kai Islands in the Moluccas, are tranquil and stunning. These islands are home to diverse wildlife, coral reefs, migrating pelicans, and an indigenous fishing tribe.

Kai Islands | Shutterstock

Widi Islands

Despite comprising 99 exotic islands and three atolls in the Coral Triangle, the Widi Islands remain largely undiscovered by tourists. This offers a rare chance to experience pristine nature both underwater and onshore.

Widi Islands | Shutterstock

Weh Island

With idyllic white sand beaches and translucent waters, this island is a worthy destination. Enjoy diving, snorkelling, and thriving wildlife. The island features exotic cottages and beachside restaurants, perfect for sunset seafood feasts.

Weh Island | Shutterstock

Kakaban Island

Kakaban's distinctive geography includes a central marine lake resembling a bent bottle opener. Home to stingless jellyfish, Kakaban also boasts vibrant ecosystems like coral walls and dense jungles, offering unparalleled natural wonders.

Kakaban Island | Shutterstock

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Angel's Billabong beach, the natural pool on the island of Nusa Penida | Shutterstock