Indonesia's best hidden gem tourism villages worth exploring

Indonesia's best hidden gem tourism villages worth exploring

An aerial view of Tetebatu Tourism Village in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, on Wednesday (September 8, 2021). Tetebatu was named the best tourism village by UNWTO in 2021.

The Indonesian government has been promoting various tourism villages in the country as holiday destinations, as they are viewed as being able to open more jobs and revive the Indonesian economy.

In early December, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno had completed the 50th visit of tourism villages in Indonesia during the 2021 Indonesian Tourism Village Award (ADWI).

He believed these villages will contribute to developing Indonesia in future.

"These creative and touristic villages are job makers. Thus, the drivers are villagers, MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises), and local business entrepreneurs," Uno stated.

Mentioned herewith are some tourism villages in the country that can be options for holiday destinations in 2022:

Tetebatu Tourism Village, East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

This tourism village is located in the Mount Rinjani valley area. It has a cool and pleasant atmosphere, and it is even called the Ubud version of Lombok Island. Visitors can take a relaxing stroll around the foothills of Mount Rinjani.

Moreover, from the village, visitors can enjoy the view of Mount Sangkareang and Mount Rinjani. There is also a Sarang Walet waterfall or Bat Cave that can be reached by foot in 15 minutes. The Kokok Duren waterfall is another choice.

Thereafter, tourists can visit the Monkey Forest and watch the endemic black monkeys of Tetebatu. Eco farm tours are also offered in this tourism village, such as seeing the process of producing coffee and coconut oil.

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Wae Rebo Tourism Village, Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara

This tourism village has unique potential. Located at an altitude of one km above sea level, Wae Rebo is often called a paradise above the clouds. It has seven traditional houses that have become the icons of Wae Rebo, one of which is Mbaru Niang, a cone-shaped house.

The villagers' customs and culture have blended in with the habits of Flores Island's people, but the building architecture maintains the Minangnese elements. The influence of Minang culture can be seen in the roof style of Mbaru Niang, usually called "Niang Dangka".

Wae Rebo's charm lies in the spacious green grass surrounded by mountains and fog. It gives a magical impression and proffers a sense of peace and calm, though rich. Owing to its natural and cultural exoticism, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) finally recognized the village as a World Cultural Heritage in August 2012.

Bonjeruk Tourism Village, Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

In Bonjeruk, tourists can explore various old buildings with European architecture that contrasts with the rural scenery. This tourism village possesses futile lands and offers a diverse agrotourism experience, such as tasting fruits freshly picked from the garden.

Some nostalgic and traditional games, such as gasing and enggrang, are offered to be played here. Do not forget to listen to Membaca Lontar, storytelling of Hikayat, poetic literature in Sasak language.

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Nglanggeran Tourism Village, Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta

This tourism village was named by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as one of the best tourism villages in the world in 2021. Nglanggeran can be reached from Yogyakarta within an hour's drive. The breathtaking and scenic ancient volcano already awaits there.

Those not getting enough of the magnificent view can head to the guest houses that offer an unforgettable experience of staying with the local villagers. Guests can learn several aspects about animals and plants, make souvenirs from chocolate, create batik, and learn unggah-ungguh, the Javanese language and manner.

Lembang Nonongan Tourism Village, North Toraja, South Sulawesi

Lembang Nonongan offers quirky and competitive attractions that showcase the locals' daily lives that are based on nature. To Mangrengnge 'Pare is an activity wherein people harvest rice, while To Ma’lambuk is when the harvested rice is getting mashed. Meanwhile, To Mangrengnge’ Utan is harvesting the forests' resources and To Mewai is drawing water from the river.

This village has culinary heritages, such as the depatori cake made from rice flour and mixed with brown sugar and Pa'piong that is a combined dish of chicken, fish, and meat cooked using bamboo.

Visitors can appreciate a variety of woven fabrics and bead accessories. Tongkonan Nonongan, the oldest traditional house with high historical value, represents the Toraja people's mythology, their cultural system, and customs that prevail even until now.

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Tamansari Tourism Village, Banyuwangi, East Java

Tamansari serves as a destination of natural reserves and traditional roots, where tourists can witness the glory of Kawah Ijen, a volcanic crater that flares glowing blue fire. Other must-visit locations are the Sendang Seruni Springs whose water flows from mountains, a pine forest, and a flower village.

This village also offers homestays in a mining area where curious guests can inspect closer what the diggers do and how they work.

Educational tourism, such as dairy and honeybee farming, is also on the market. Meanwhile, local art performed in this village are Pencak Silat, jaranan, and goat racing that is held once a year.

Arborek, Raja Ampat, West Papua

Since it is located in the eastern part of Indonesia, it has an appealing sight. Quoted from Indonesia Travel, this tourism village is seven hectares in width and can be explored by foot in only thirty minutes.

The Biak tribe language "Arborek" means thorns in English. The word originated from the island that was once full of prickly shrubs. Here, visitors can engage in underwater activities, such as snorkeling and feel adventurous by exploring the marine life.

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Pujon Kidul Tourism Village, Malang, East Java

It holds different natural gems for tourists, who can watch the sunrise on Nirwana Hill, practice playing gamelan at Kampung Budaya, learn traditional dance, create batik writing, or stop by "The Roudh 78" to play paintball or ride on a motor trail.

Selasari Tourism Village, Pangandaran, West Java

Selasari is located in Parigi Sub-district. This village offers destinations, such as the Sutra Reregan Cave, Lanang Cave that functions as a river outbound, and Pepedan Hill for enjoying sunsets and sunrises.

Cisande Tourism Village, Sukabumi, West Java

Cisande Village is ideal for adventure-seeking tourists and nature lovers, as it offers river tubing, hill trekking, flying fox, camping on paddy fields, and gardening activities.

Penglipuran, Bali

Situated in Bali, this tourism village was once awarded for being the cleanest village in the world. This village has a 45-hectare bamboo forest area that serves as a maintained water catchment for the sake of preserving nature. Religious rites can be witnessed along with enjoying the local dishes, such loloh cemcem and tipat cantok. The Penglipuran Village Festival is held every December.

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