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Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago comprising some 17,508 islands that stretch across the equator for more than 5,000 miles. There are five main islands and 30 smaller archipelagoes. The main islands are Kalimantan, Sumatra, Papua, Sulawesi and the most populated island, Java.

Situated along the volcanic rim known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire", Indonesia is the most volcanic country on earth with 128 volcanoes. Straddling the equator, Indonesia has dry season and rainy season.

It is the 4th most populous country in the world. More than 480 ethnic groups display a rich variety of customs, religions and languages (approximately 583) and dialects. Living side by side in harmony, these people still retain their own distinctive cultures. The arts and ancient traditions are expressed through hypnotic music, such as gamelan, angklung, kolintang, as well as sublime dances, exquisite cloths, paintings and carvings.

Indonesia is home to several animal and plant species, that are found nowhere else, such as orangutans, komodo dragons, one-horned rhinoceros, anoa and babi rusa. Exotic white-sand beaches reach towards warm tropical seas teeming with coral and a marvelous variety of marine life in some of the most colorful, breathtaking sea gardens in the world.

Indonesian cuisine displays a mind-boggling variety of dishes that are characterized by the liberal use of aromatic spices and a variety of hot chili peppers, then cooked in a number of exciting ways, including baked or steamed in banana leaves. Rice is the nation's staple for most of the archipelago, but in the eastern islands, corn, sago, cassava and sweet potatoes are more common. An extensive assortment of tropical and sub-tropical fruit and vegetables can also be found year-round to tantalize your taste buds.

The map shown below will guide you to the some of the diversity among the big islands.

Map of Indonesia

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