Updated: Oct 14, 2022
Indonesia is beyond Bali and it consists of approximately 17.000 islands constellation. A paradise on earth. In addition, more and more destinations in Indonesia are accommodating ecotourism and carbon-conscious activities. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?
Rich and fascinating cultures, mesmerizing underwater ecosystems, striking variety of landscapes. Even those three are not enough to explain how spectacular Indonesia’s nature is. To help you decide which part of Indonesia you want to visit, we’ll show you our favourite picks!
1. Gunung Leuser National Park, Aceh - North Sumatra
This biodiversity treasure of rainforest is one of the Nature Conservation Areas in Indonesia that covers an area of up to 7927 km2 residing on the border of North Sumatra and Aceh provinces.
It is home to some of Indonesia’s endemic species such as Thomas-leaf monkeys, hornbills, sun bears, and the last remaining population of Sumatran elephants, tigers, and orangutans.
Together with Bukit Barisan Selatan and Kerinci Seblat National Parks, Gunung Leuser National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (listed 2004), a Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra.
You can try to participate in ecotourism activities such as trekking, tree planting and water rafting. By doing those, you’re also supporting the Guardians of Gunung Leuser and you will have an exclusive opportunity to experience hands-on ongoing conservation efforts in remote villages and forest restoration sites.
The ever beautiful and charming Bali. Who would’ve thought that Bali offers ecotourism experiences? Well, don’t be so surprised because ecotourism and sustainable practices have actually been there for quite some time.
West Bali National Park is one of them! Consists of savannahs, dense tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs. This ecotourism spot is also home to the endangered Bali starling and 300 other fauna species.
This site offers eco-tours which come with a tour guide’s assistance for you to indulge in sightseeing on outriggers, diving, trekking, or even simply bird-watching.
Reef rehabilitation projects are also common in Bali. In these projects, you will dive with the experts and help rehabilitate coral reefs and learn extensively about corals and underwater life from passionate divers. Moreover, there are also some reef rehabilitation experiences that are zero carbon emissions which makes it even better for the environment. You can have a look at those experiences here.
3. Thousand Islands, DKI Jakarta
Yes, it’s the same name as the salad dressing. But rather than a condiment, this one is an actual island. 110 of it. This archipelago of islands is located in the northern part of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. And is known as a quick tranquil getaway from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. These islands are divided into several zones. The habitation zone, the recreational zone, and the conservation zone.
You can enjoy the underwater haven by snorkeling or scuba diving. Island hopping and visiting some historical landmarks are also pastime favourites. Some of these islands are Pari Island, Tidung Island, Tiger Island, and Onrust Island.
Since the development of the area follows eco-friendly principles, Thousands Islands have a variety of eco accommodations and conservation centres. One of them is Harapan Island, a beautiful coastal area that are also a habitat for thousand mangroves. You can also participate in these conservation activities such as planting mangroves, coral reefs, taking care of sea turtles, and learning how to make reek grafts.
4. Bunaken, North Sulawesi
Bunaken was formally established in 1991 and was among the first of Indonesia's growing system of marine parks. It is 890.65 km² in total but consists of only 3% of the terrestrial land. The other 97% is the marine sanctuary. It comprises of 5 islands, namely, Bunaken, Manado Tua, Siladen, Montehage and Nain.
There are over 20.000 sea residents in the 5 islands area consisting of seagrass plain, coral reef, and coastal ecosystems. And this is a spectacular spot for divers to experience enchanting marine life and the money you paid will be spent on the conservation programs of the park
5. Gili Islands
There are three islands in the Gili Islands. Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. They are situated on the northwest coast of Lombok. And these three islands basically give off a relaxing and intimate atmosphere.
There are also three holy grail activities for you to try as an eco-traveller in Gili Islands. Terrestrial adventures such as hiking, cycling, walking, or even beach horse-riding. Water activities like snorkeling, diving, kayaking, or stand-up paddling. And it can’t be an eco-travel if you’re not getting your hands on the conservation activities to leave such a beautiful impact on our mother earth.
One of the best trips you can have is the one-day recycling and reef rehabilitation snorkeling trip where you will have it all: from cycling through the breezy island wind, learning about the island’s waste management and reef rehabilitation effort to snorkeling to witness the famous biorock structures.
Bumi Journey envisions climate positive ecotourism by providing carbon-conscious ecotourism experiences focusing on conservation, education, and community empowerment so travelers can contribute positively to the earth’s climate. Learn more about our story here.
Writer: Virda Risyad
Editor: Faiz Karim
Instagram: Bumi Journey
5 Unique Ecotourism Experiences in Indonesia https://www.indonesia.travel/gb/en/trip-ideas/5-unique-ecotourism-experiences-in-indonesia
The 10 Best Ecotourism Experiences in Indonesia's Islands https://theculturetrip.com/asia/indonesia/articles/the-10-best-ecotourism-experiences-in-indonesias-islands/
Indonesia’s Top Ecotourism Destinations, 2020. https://garychandler.com/indonesias-top-ecotourism-destinations/
Guide to Bunaken National Park https://www.dive-the-world.com/reefs-and-parks-indonesia-bunaken-national-park.php
Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra https://www.conservationatlas.org/gunung-leuser-national-park