Indonesia has one of the largest groups of islands in the world. It has more than 17,000 islands, but only 6,000 are inhabited. Most people who visit this amazing country don’t want to leave the island of Bali, and some never do. Bali is a beautiful place with many amazing sights and things to do. Because of this, it has become the target of too much tourism and now gets more than 6 million foreign visitors yearly.
If you feel like Bali is where you need to be, but you don’t want to be there with millions of other people, you might want to think about some worthy alternatives. There are many places besides Bali if you want to see beautiful beaches in faraway places, hike up enormous volcanoes, look at beautiful temples or dive into unique places.
Table of Contents
- Top Alternatives to Bali
- 1. Krabi, Thailand
- 2. Zakynthos Island, Greece
- 3. Gili Islands, Indonesia
- 4. Tropical Queensland, Australia
- 5. Kawah Ijen Crater, Indonesia
- 6. Gozo, Malta
- 7. Borobudur, Indonesia
- 8. Big Sur, California
- 9. Flores, Indonesia
- 10. Culebra, Puerto Rico
- 11. Komodo Pink Beaches, Indonesia
Top Alternatives to Bali
1. Krabi, Thailand
Krabi is, without a doubt, the best beach spot in Southeast Asia, Thailand, with crystal clear waters. You can enjoy your time here and have the best vacations like Bali. Even though Krabi isn’t as popular with tourists as neighboring Phuket and doesn’t have as many beach parties as Ko Samui, it’s a great place to stay for day trips to beautiful places. Krabi is also able to keep some of its Thai charms. You can enjoy a sunset tour and speedboat day tour on your visit.
A beautiful beach, a market, beachside resorts, bars, and restaurants serving fresh seafood and real Thai food are along the main road. But it’s best to avoid the main beach in the morning when most day-trippers are there. That’s when people going to the islands gather there.
About that, you should take at least a few tours. You can spend a beautiful day on Hong Island. Snorkeling is excellent on the reefs surrounding the many small islands just off the coast of Krabi. If you go snorkeling at night, you might even see the glowing plankton on the beach.
2. Zakynthos Island, Greece
Zakynthos is clothed with lush greenery and is the best place like Bali in Europe. The white stones enclosing the island’s commonly known Navagio Beach vividly contrast with the greenery and rocky cliffs. Despite having a turbulent past and being known as “Shipwreck Bay,” visitors will now find Navagio a tranquil paradise of golden beach and azure sea. Stay close by at Eden Resorts, or travel a little farther and set up shop at Kymothoe Elite, which offers a shuttle to Navagio and its private beach than other places.
3. Gili Islands, Indonesia
You can take a short flight from Denpasar airport to Lombok airport, then take a long boat ride or drive to the island. But the trip is well worth it when you see the clear water around the island.
Gili T, which is what the locals call the largest island, does not feel crowded. Gili T has an old-world feel because there are no cars there. The only ways to get around are on foot, by bike, or in a horse-drawn cart.
Gili Air and Gili Meno are two nearby islands with few services, but they are some of the best places to go snorkeling. The Meno Wall, which drops 22 meters into the water and is full of underwater life like tortoises, is one of the area’s best features. You don’t have to stay on Gili Meno to get to Meno Wall. You can rent a local boat or sign up for a day trip to explore the beautiful blue waters around Gili.
4. Tropical Queensland, Australia
Why not take a trip to Queensland, where the weather is warm? Even though traveling in Australia can be expensive at times, we found that Port Douglas, Palm Cove, and Cairns are all very cheap places to visit that are just as beautiful as Bali.
Take advantage of the day trip options, like swimming in the calm waters of Mossman Gorge and exploring the beautiful outer cays of the Great Barrier Reef. You can do a lot of different things during the day. At night, you can try one of the restaurants along the beach in Palm Cove or one of the great cafes in Port Douglas, where you can drink tropical drinks while feeling the ocean breeze. Palm Cove and Port Douglas are both about the same distance from each other.
No matter what time of year, the water temperature never stays below 68 Fahrenheit. There are a lot of crocodiles and poisonous jellyfish, which is the worst thing about this place. During stinger season, the best thing to do on a day trip is to wear a stinger suit and book a room on Booking.com with a pool, where swimming is safer.
See Related: Best Things To Do in Boston
5. Kawah Ijen Crater, Indonesia
One of the most exciting places on Earth is the Kawah Ijen volcano in East Java. The area around the volcano crater looks like the moon, but inside the crater is a beautiful lake with stunning blue color depicting natural beauty.
Most people who go to the crater start their exploration of the area in Banyuwangi, which is nearby. Most people will tell you to create your hike earlier in the day. If it’s not dark, you won’t be able to see the breathtaking azure sparks of the fire unless it is dark out, but this will allow you to see them. The combination of liquid sulfur with air produces flickering streaks that seem like hot lava blazing up the night. These sparks make the night brighter and light up the area. They give the impression that the night is all about lava.
As the sun rises over Ijen Crater, the strange mountain will keep coming into view, and the water will start to take on its typical blue color. Before you get to the volcano, put on your mask to protect yourself from the poisonous sulfur particles at the bottom. The sulfur vapors can be so thick that they make it hard to see and make you feel like you’re traveling on a world that hasn’t been found yet.
Taking a hike of ten miles is considered to be of medium difficulty, and the only way to get this strange, otherworldly feeling is to climb up about ten thousand feet in elevation. Bring a tour guide, a headlight, some sturdy leather boots, and a face shield to stay safe while exploring the area.
The easiest way to see Kawan Ijen is to sign up for a dawn hiking tour. The guide will take care of everything for you. It is also one of the safest ways to get there.
6. Gozo, Malta
Although the second-largest island in the Maltese islands, tourists frequently skip Gozo in preference of its larger neighbor. This is a mistake because Gozo is a fantastic location for your next island holiday, thanks to its stunning sunsets and distinctive buildings. The Ta’ Pinu Basilica, the Ggantija temples, and the rotunda at Xewkija are some notable examples of architecture. Diving is particularly well-liked with energetic visitors off the island’s west shore, at the Blue Hole. It’s a good idea to be close by at Shanti Ghar Gozo B&B if you intend to swim.
The islands are famous for their white sandy beaches, clear blue lagoons, and excellent diving and surfing along the coast. Still, they also have tropical rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, and flea markets, which make them more attractive. A trip to this island is sure to be both relaxing and exciting.
See Related: Best Things To Do in Chicago
7. Borobudur, Indonesia
Borobudur is a great, one-of-a-kind place in Indonesia that everyone should visit at least once. It is the holiest Buddhist site in the world and one of East Asia’s most important ancient sites. Yogyakarta, the biggest city in West Java, is just over 50 minutes away.
In the ninth century, this shrine was made from dozens of Buddhist temples and many carefully carved reliefs. The landscape here comprises lush farmlands and volcanoes in the distance. Borobudur’s massive dimensions and the apparent craftsmanship that went into its construction will astound you. Seeing the sun rise over here is one of the most memorable things a tourist can do in Indonesia.
This route can be explored independently, though assistance is available if desired. Explore the rich history of Borobudur and the Mahayana school of Buddhism at your leisure. Many lodging establishments also provide motorcycles for hire so that you may explore the neighborhood at your preferred pace.
Let’s assume you’ll stay in the neighborhood for a while. To visit Borobudur’s stunning streams and mountainous rice fields, you should consider hiring a personal driver. Take a full-day tour or a quad tour too!
8. Big Sur, California
If seeing the Italian Riviera is on your wishlist, you may get a taste of the beautiful Mediterranean area by traveling to California’s magnificent shoreline. A magnificent shoreline with picture-perfect shores and even the rare waterfall that cascades to the sand is present here, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise. Known as the “American Riviera,” this magnificent section of California’s coast is one of the country’s most beautiful vacation spots. Learn why this area has influenced and enthralled many authors, artists, and poets with its dreamy splendor by taking the picturesque drive along Highway One from San Francisco. It’s among the most amazing islands like Bali.
See Related: Best Things To Do in San Francisco
9. Flores, Indonesia
Travel to the Indonesian island of Flores, part of an archipelago south of Bali, to get away from the crowds on the more popular islands of Bali. Flores is a beautiful island that hasn’t changed much over the years, with its clean white seashores and beautiful hiking.
A lot of people go to Flores to get to Higher Kelimutu. Most people get there by going through the nearby town of Ende. In the craters of 3 different volcanoes, there is blue, greenish, red, and brown water. Scientists think this happens when a lake’s things mix with a volcano’s gases.
There are a few ocean preserves on Flores, but none are as beautiful as Seventeen Islands Marine Park. This area is known for scuba diving and snorkeling because the clear waterways contain coral reefs and other sea life. Most of the beaches in the marine park are empty. So, people who want to visit the park’s many uninhabited islets must rent a guide and a ship from the town of Riung.
If you have the opportunity and want to explore more of the Archipelago, you should head to the stunning Egon mountain. Vistas of its smoldering craters are spectacular from that vantage point. Spend the day relaxing at the Blidit swimming holes after your excursion. You could also stay in remote towns, like Liang Ndara. People there will welcome you with open arms and give you a glimpse into their way of life.
If you want to go to Indonesia but don’t want to stay in Bali, Flores is the best place. It has everything that old Bali had and more.
10. Culebra, Puerto Rico
Culebra territory provides the ideal tropical location if Fiji is your notion of the perfect getaway and places like Bali in US. Its shores are similar to those found in Bali. Less than 20 miles from Puerto Rico’s big island, Culebra is still largely undeveloped and devoid of big hotels, malls, and chain eateries. Although there isn’t much entertainment on this 7-mile-long island, visitors can expect to see leatherback tortoises and the enormous Culebra anole. The bioluminescent creatures illuminating portions of the coastal waterways at night will also be visible to you.
See Related: Best Things To Do in New York City
11. Komodo Pink Beaches, Indonesia
Seeing the globe’s most giant reptiles on Komodo Islands and at Komodo National Park highlights any visit to Indonesia. These massive animals can grow to be ten feet tall and weigh more than three hundred pounds. Because Komodo dragons can be dangerous, people who want to go to Komodo Natural Park must take a tour or be with a coach.
Padre Island’s pink sand Pantai Merah is the best thing on the island. Foraminifera, the same organisms that give coral reefs their red color, give this beach its unique pink color. Pieces of red coral are mixed with white sand to make this beautiful pinkish sand. At the same time, you can relax on Padar Island’s beaches and hike to the top of the area to see the whole island from above.
Because there is so much aquatic life in Komodo National Park, it is home to some of the most important water sports in the country. You might see different kinds of fish, exciting coral, huge manta rays, gentle marine turtles, and even rare sharks.
It is possible to visit pristine beaches in Komodo National Monument from Flores’s Labuan Bajo within a day. There’s no avoiding it; this is one of Indonesia’s must-see destinations.
If you want to learn more about how dynamic and different the other islands are, take the next trip somewhere other than Bali. But before that, get your hands on the best travel agency and online marketplace for tour operators and excursions. Agencies like Viator and GetYourGuide; run a global online booking system for tours, attractions, and activities that will make your trip worthy.