Indonesia: Islands in Excess

It's no wonder Indonesia has some of the world's most beautiful beaches, coral reefs and volcanic mountains: With 17,508 islands, it's the largest archipelagic state in the world. Stretching from Sumatra in the west to New Guinea in the east, the nation spans 3,200 miles and connects the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. That's a distance equivalent to one-eighth of the Earth's circumference. Those stats -- plus a total area of 741,100 square miles (about three times the size of Texas) -- must make Hawaii and the Caribbean jealous.