UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia

While I was in Bali a few weeks back, I visited a few of the island’s attractions and even climbed a volcano, but most of my days were mainly spent at the beach or at the pool. I didn’t really dive into Bali’s cultural and historic sites, which is why I was happy when Julia offered to share about some of Indonesia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Let’s have a look!

A doorway in Ubud, Bali.

When I arrived in Bali, on what was a somewhat last-minute holiday, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I had heard that the Indonesian Archipelago is home to no less than 8 World Heritage Sites, 3 of which can be found in Bali, which was part of the reason that enticed me to take a quick trip to this beautiful island alone.

I didn’t manage to visit them all, because just 14 days is not enough time to visit this beautiful sovereign state, but here are a few that I would recommend, and some that I intend to visit next time!

Rice Terraces in Bali - Flickr CC McKay Savage

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Not as accessible as other sites in Bali, so they are usually almost always tourist-free, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces showcase natural Bali at its very best. Varying in age, although some of the terraces date back to 500 years ago, visitors can explore the terraces by foot, or better still, hire a horse to guide them through this astounding site.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali - Flickr CC Marek Krzystkiewicz

Taman Ayun Temple

Dating back to the 18th century Mengwi Kingdom, the Taman Ayun Temple is an important site in Bali’s aristocratic history. The temple is surrounded by pools of water, and despite its age and popularity with visitors, it manages to maintain an air of quiet calm and beauty.

Boat to Komodo National Park - Flickr CC Adhi Rachdian

Komodo National Park

Home to nearly 6,000 Komodo Dragons, this national park was high on my list of places to visit, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Comprised of the three islands of Rinca, Komodo and Padar, this remarkable national park lies at the juncture of two continental plates, and is home to unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems that can’t be found anywhere else on earth. It must be seen to be fully appreciated.

Sangiran Early Man Site

This archaelogical excavations site is located in Java, and it’s where the world’s first hominid fossil – fossils of early humans – was discovered between 1936 and 1941. In fact, half of the world’s known hominid fossils have been discovered there, and it’s considered a very important site in terms of human evolution.

Indonesia is a place not only packed full of natural and geographical heritage, but plenty of human achievements through history as well. It’s definitely worth ticking some UNESCO sites off your bucket list if you’re lucky enough to come here!


  • Chris says:

    Audrey, I stumbled upon your website while researching about the Whirling Dervish in Istanbul. I’m planning to visit it. While on your site, I also have read about your experience in Indonesia. Thank you for writing articles about it. I’m from Indonesia and I have never been to most islands and other beautiful places within that country. So, that would be my next trip….I’m proud and love my country and I’m so glad that you have written the positive sides of it.

  • Komang Gede says:

    Jatiluwih rice terraces has been designated by UNESCO as heritage site since June 29, 2012. This is my favorite place for holiday with family.
    Komang Gede recently posted..Jatiluwih: A Place with Beautiful View of Rice Terraces in BaliMy Profile

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