If you’re searching for a destination with idyllic tropical beaches of powder-soft, white sand and turquoise water, and masses of vibrant marine life, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Indonesia.
Hard to beat as a first stop is Bali. While some stretches of the island’s south coast have been over-developed, others further north and east remain blissfully tranquil. We particularly love the coast around Amed, where colourful catamarans idle on grey-pebble and black-sand beaches, against a backdrop of hills sweeping straight from the shoreline. Lovina, a popular centre for dolphin spotting as well as diving and snorkelling, is another less frequented resort worth considering.
Beaches on neighbouring Lombok are wilder and more windswept. Ringed by dazzling coral reefs, a trio of tiny islets off its northern shore offer the best of all worlds: pristine sand, wonderful snorkelling and some of Asia’s loveliest boutique resorts.
For the full Robinson Crusoe experience, however, we suggest a live-aboard cruise around the remote Raja Ampat Islands, in the far east of Indonesia, where you can swim off beaches frequented only by aboriginal hunters and fishermen, miles from the nearest road or electricity cable.