Traveling to Indonesia is one of the best things you can do and that is why we attempted to give you all the information you might need in this This Travel Guide to Indonesia. It’s a great destination for both your first trip and your 100th. With over 17,000 islands, it’s easy to find something new and exciting no matter how many times you’ve visited before. There are so many places in Indonesia that it can be overwhelming for first-time travelers! That’s why we’ve put together this travel guide on everything from transportation to budget tips so that your trip will be as smooth as possible (and hopefully also memorable).
The first thing to know is that Indonesia is a huge country, with many airports and even more islands. Most people will want to fly into the capital city of Jakarta or Bali, which is where most flights leave from and arrive in. But if you can’t find what you want there, there are plenty of other options. For example, if you want to go somewhere else in Southeast Asia (or even Australia or New Zealand), then flying into Denpasar is probably your best bet.
Additionally, there are international airports in the archipelago at Medan, Makassar, Manado, Padang, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta, with connections primarily to airports in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia has ferry connections with Singapore and Malaysia for boat entry.
If you’re visiting Sumatra or Java but don’t have time for a long trip on land between cities, there are also plenty of flights available for those locations as well. And if one island isn’t enough for your trip—or maybe two islands just aren’t enough—you can always get around Indonesia by boat!
We recommend that you take public transport (metro) from the airport because it’s cheaper than taking an airport transfer service provided by taxi companies at the airport. Also, if you take public transport (metro), you don’t need to worry about traffic jams because metro stops running late at night unlike taxis which can be expensive during rush hours because they charge extra fees during rush hours!
While you can use public transportation such as buses, trains and planes for getting around Indonesia, it is often much more affordable to rent a car or motorbike. In fact, renting a car or motorbike is one of the best ways to get around Indonesia because they are more comfortable than public transportation. Moreover, driving yourself gives you the freedom to stop whenever and wherever you like without having to adhere to a schedule and allows you to see Indonesia at your own pace.
Boat tours are another great way of seeing some of Indonesia’s most popular destinations while saving money on accommodation costs. There are many boats that travel along different rivers throughout the country which makes it easy for tourists who prefer this mode of transport over land-based transportation options such as buses or trains due to their higher capacity levels when compared to other modes.
The best time to visit Indonesia is from April to October when the weather is warm and humid. This is because it’s the rainy season in Indonesia. The driest period is December through February, which is also known as the cool dry or dry season.
If you love sunbathing on beaches or swimming in clear waters, then visiting during this time will be ideal for you. During these months, cruise ships are not allowed to enter certain ports due to rough seas and strong winds.
Java – the world’s most populous island, Java still has to offer much of interest to tourists. The island has a rich culture and history and is home to some of the country’s most famous attractions, including the Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Central Java.
Bali – Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination and an ideal destination for families with children due to its many activities, beaches, bars and clubs.
Sulawesi – home to over 5% of Indonesia’s species but less than 1% of its human population means it’s a place where you have good chances at seeing exotic wildlife such as pygmy elephants and other rare creatures that are not found elsewhere in Indonesia or even Southeast Asia as a whole!
Sumatra – it’s home to Mount Kerinci which at 3408 meters is one of a few peaks that tower above all others in Indonesia plus it also contains many protected areas where visitors can see untouched jungle landscapes without having any problems caused by large crowds (even though some places are getting pretty crowded now).
Kalimantan – Borneo Island has many beautiful locations like Danau Sentarum National Park with its mangrove forests or Bukit Lawang Wildlife Reserve with its natural habitat for endangered Orangutans; both locations are extremely popular among nature lovers from around the world because they offer experiences like no other place does on Earth!
Maluku – located within easy reach from Sulawesi via airplane makes this small archipelago quite attractive for those who want something more than just jumping from one beach resort into another one every day during their vacation time here on Bali Island (although there are tons of fantastic resorts available here too!).
- Hike Mount Bromo.
- Chill on the beaches of Gili Islands.
- Visit Lake Toba.
- Explore the jungle in Gunung Leuser National Park.
- Check out the floating stilt houses in Kalimantan.
- Do yoga with a view in Bali.
- Meet the Komodo dragons.
- Go snorkeling in the Similan Islands.
- Explore the caves at Gunung Mulu National Park.
- Trek Mount Rinjani.
- Get your adrenaline pumping at a waterpark in Jakarta.
- Explore the islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
- Visit orangutans at Camp Leakey in Tanjung Puting National Park.
The travel cost in Indonesia is relatively low, given the country’s size and its many attractions. You can get by with $40 per day on your trip, but if you want to live like a king, you can easily spend $100+ per day without even trying.
Taxis are cheap in Jakarta (and other cities) and public transportation (buses) is inexpensive as well. However, most people who visit Indonesia opt for a car rental or use GrabTaxi (the local equivalent of Uber).
Accommodation in Indonesia ranges from $5/night dorm beds to $200+ per night in luxury hotels. There’s no need to stay at expensive places unless you want to spoil yourself or treat yourself to a special occasion.
Indonesia is one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia. It’s also one of the most affordable places to visit in the region. You can spend as little as $20 per day on food alone if you’re traveling on a budget.
Indonesia Travel Budget suggested:
- Food and drink: $20-$40/day
- Accommodation: $10-50/night for hotels, hostels or guesthouses
- Tours and activities: $5-25/day
- Shopping: $5-15 for souvenirs (e.g., batik cloth), $10-30 for handicrafts, art pieces, paintings and antiques (e.g., woodcarvings)
- Transportation: $2-3/ride in a shared taxi or bemo (public minibus), or take an Ojek (motorcycle taxi) with a driver at around 1,000 rupiahs per km if you can find one who speaks English.
Tips to save money while traveling to Indonesia:
Eat like local: Enjoying local food is a good way to save money and discover Indonesia culture.
Rent a bike: Use a motorbike to go around the island like Bali, it’s not only cheap but also the most convenient way.
Booking tour online: When choosing the tour and buying tickets, consider booking online, it’s cheaper with many coupons and discount options.
You’ll probably hear the following terms a lot in Indonesia: nasi, ikan and bakso. Nasi refers to rice, ikan means “fish” and bakso is meatballs. While you may be familiar with these dishes on their own, they’re often used as components of more complex meals in Indonesia.
The cuisine of this country is quite interesting because it’s a blend of Chinese, Indian and Malay cuisine. On top of that, Indonesian food has been influenced by the cuisines of India and Europe too!
Indonesians are very proud of their food and you’ll notice lots of restaurants serving classic dishes like fried rice or rendang (spicy coconut curry). If you want something more adventurous try tempeh (fermented soybean cake) served with spicy peanuts sauce or soto ayam – chicken soup with noodles!
If you love food and want to try some unique flavors while visiting Indonesia, check out this list of top 9 Indonesian foods you must eat in Indonesia:
1. Soto Betawi
2. Nasi Padang
3. Bakso (Meatball Soup)
4. Bubur Ayam (Fried Rice with Chicken)
5. Ayam Goreng Kuning (Yellow Fried Chicken)
6. Es Teler (Noodle Soup)
7. Rujak Cingur (Spicy Fruit Salad)
8. Mie Goreng (Fried Noodles)
9. Lontong Cap Go Meh (Rice Cake with Eggplant Stewed in Coconut Milk)
Although alcohol in Indonesia might be a major problem in Indonesia, there is no need to live in fear of it in urban areas. Anker and Bintang, two beers made in the area, are widely accessible. Consume with caution as spirits are less commonly consumed in public and may theoretically be unlawful. However, home-brewed beverages are frequently offered for sale in villages.
- Don’t travel alone.
- Don’t carry too much cash.
- Don’t wear expensive jewelry.
- Don’t leave your valuables in your hotel room or in your car—especially if you are driving a rental vehicle, as these are often targeted by thieves.
- If possible, avoid walking around late at night, especially if you’re alone and/or don’t know the area well; some areas of the cities can be unsafe after dark.
- Do not eat unripe fruit, as it can cause diarrhea.
- Avoid swimming in the ocean, especially after heavy rainfall and during typhoon season (June to December).
- Don’t travel alone at night. It’s best not to walk alone at any time of day if you are female, but especially at night when the threat of harassment is higher. If possible, always travel with other people or take a taxi for safety reasons (even if it is more expensive).
- It’s also important that you avoid traveling to the highlands (over 2,000 metres) during the rainy season (October–February), as landslides are common and roads can become impassable without warning. And don’t forget: no public transport after dark!
Indonesia is a popular tourist destination, so it has relaxed its visa requirements in recent years. Citizens of most countries are allowed to enter Indonesia without a visa, provided they have an onward or return ticket and sufficient funds for their stay in Indonesia (approx USD $20 per day).
However, there are still some countries from which you will need to get an Indonesian visa before you fly there. These include:
- Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Maldives, Myanmar (except for those traveling on humanitarian grounds)
Visitors to Indonesia must hold a valid passport issued by their home country and remain in good health. If you have a criminal record or are deemed a security risk, you may be denied entry into Indonesia.
You’ll also need to provide proof of onward travel out of Indonesia after your visit – this can be an onward ticket or simply photocopies showing that you have booked flights/trains within 30 days of departing Indonesia. The length of stay allowed with a tourist visa depends on where you’re from: 30 days for EU citizens; 60 days for US citizens; 90 days for Australians and Canadians; and up to 180 days for other nationalities.
This This Travel Guide to Indonesia should give you a good idea of what to expect when traveling to Indonesia. There is much more to explore, but hopefully, this will help you get started on planning the perfect vacation.