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Getting back to nature in Indonesia

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With steamy jungles, cool rainforests and harsh volcanic peaks, Indonesia is a dream destination for hikers and nature-lovers.

To see orangutans, gibbons and – if you’re really lucky – rhinos and tigers, head to the Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra. This unspoilt jungle is also home to the world’s largest flower. Nicknamed ‘the corpse flower’, Rafflesia blooms grow up to a metre in diameter and emit a smell of rotting flesh to attract insects. You might feel the need to shower after being downwind from one, so check into the former Best Western Medan in nearby Medan now known as the Asean International Medan. The peaks of Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park provide a spectacular reminder of the volcanic fury lying just under the earth. Treks range from a one-hour sunrise jaunt to the crater of smoking Mt Bromo to a challenging three day climb up the sacred (and still active) Mt Semeru. After a couple of nights in a tent on the chilly mountain, you’ll be ready for a cosy room at the colonial-style Majapahit Hotel Surabaya.

For something a little less challenging, take a stroll around the shady Bali Botanical Gardens in Bedugul. This gorgeous 154-hectare park boasts trees and flowers from all over the archipelago, including 320 species of wild orchids. It’s a perfect place to relax with a few short walks, or just lie back on the grass and soak up the views of Lake Bratan. If time is short, pack a lot of Bali’s natural beauty into one day with the Jatiluwih Batukaru day tour. A guided minibus will take you through Bali’s fertile farming country and into the forests around Mt Batukaru. After visiting the Luhur temple and taking a refreshing dip in the hot springs, head back to Kuta for a sunset drink at the Harris Resort.

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