Although not the largest, Java is the main Indonesian island and seat of the federal government.
Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, is home to more than half of the population of Indonesia, but for most visitors is little more than a jumping off point to explore Java. The island offers impressive scenery with a chain of volcanoes running down its length. One of the most famous is Mt Bromo: a visit here at sunrise offers a unique photo opportunity. Further south, the Ijen crater has miners carrying heavy loads of sulphur up the slopes and a picturesque turquoise lake which can mysteriously change colour, making the effort to get there well worthwhile.
The famous stupas at Borobudur are another highlight of a trip to Java. This large Buddhist temple complex surrounded by hills is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thought to have been built in the 9th century. It is worth staying nearby to see at sunrise but can also be visited on a day trip from Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is a popular town with famous markets and architecture and a good place to pick up arts and crafts or take in traditional cultural shows.