Where can you find the world's largest archipelago?

Indonesia has always been known as an island haven, but the South East Asian region is also home to the biggest collection of islands in the planet.

The great Indonesian archipelago stretches across Southeast Asia
  • Kaitlyn Palmer-Allen
  • June 2019

There’s a good reason Indonesia is the perfect place for island hopping adventures – more than 17,000 idyllic islands make up this nation. When you bundle Indonesia with 7000 other South-East Asian islands, including those that make up the Philippines, East Malaysia, Brunei and East Timor, the largest archipelago in the world is formed.

The Malay Archipelago (or Indonesian Archipelago) extends along the equator between the Pacific and Indian oceans for 6100 kilometres and covers approximately two million square kilometres of land and water. Many of the islands were attached to mainland Asia during the last ice age but they separated as a result of glacial retreat.

The archipelago consists of thousands of geological wonders.
The archipelago consists of thousands of geological wonders.

Today, the archipelago’s position on the equator creates high average temperatures of 21°C, while its location on the Ring of Fire sees it dotted with active volcanoes. Some scientists believe the area also drives global air circulation and its weather systems could even influence rain and frost in Europe. The lush terrain is packed with unique species of flora and fauna including exotic orchids, spices such as cloves and nutmeg, as well as beautiful tropical fish and the giant komodo dragon.