Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago, comprising an unprecedented 17,000 islands peppering the Indian Ocean. Equatorial waters of two great oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic, surround the Indonesian archipelago. The whole archipelago is tropical, with temperatures at sea level always between 21°C and 33°C, although cooler in the mountains. Its temperature and salinity allow the nurturing of corals to blossom into gardens, which is a home for communities of marine life, and nurseries for thousand of fish, shellfish, sponges and marine plants, while protecting shorelines.
This richness makes the Indonesian waters one of the best sites for snorkeling, scuba diving, deep diving, and reef exploration. The largely volcanic nature of Indonesia islands has created tall cloud-swept mountains swathed in the green of rice terraces or rainforest, dropping to blindingly bright beaches and vivid blue seas, the backdrop for Southeast Asia's biggest wilderness areas and wildlife sanctuaries.
Spiced by 400 volcanoes, 128 of which are still active, Indonesia islands enjoy frequent soil rejuvenation, allowing it to maintain its fertility and sustain a multitude of vegetations and plants. For sheer size, scale and variety Indonesia, as a holiday and vacation destination, is unbeatable. Indonesia's ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is great - the best estimate is of 500 languages and dialects spoken by around 200 million people.
There is a well-worn overland travelers' route across the archipelago, which begins by taking a boat from Penang in Malaysia to Medan on Sumatra's northeast coast. From here the classic itinerary runs to the orangutan sanctuary at Bukit Lawang, the nippy little hill resort of Berastagi, the chilled-out lakeside resorts of Danau Toba and the surfers' Mecca of Pulau Nias. Further south, appeals the area around Bukittinggi because of its flamboyant Minangkabau architecture and dances.
Many travelers on Indonesia islands hurtle through the southern half of Sumatra in their headlong rush to Java. Travel to the ancient capital of Yogyakarta, a cultural centre which hosts daily performances of traditional dance and music and offers batik courses for curious travelers.
Set sail with Indonesia Cruises, to seas holding a wealth of treasures and secrets, just waiting to be discovered. The cultures of isolated Indonesia islands, almost untouched by the passing of time offer a glimpse of an unique and fascinating world while providing ample opportunities to collect artifacts and handicrafts unavailable elsewhere in the world. The Ombak Putih offers Indonesia adventure sailing, the seven day Bali-Komodo-Bali cruise from May to November. This is your chance to discover the unspoiled beauty of the chain of volcanic islands east of Bali.
You can also embark on the traditional schooner Ombak Biru for a cruise from Bali to Komodo, dive all you can at the world's best sites, or explore remote cultures on an adventure sailing cruise to Indonesia's Eastern Islands.
Take your time and laze in the shade of sails on your way to another adventure. Touch one of the last frontiers of the underwater world. Get up close to smoldering volcanoes, tropical beaches and colorful coral reefs of the Indonesia islands.