Indonesia

Full of effervescent energy and simmering sunlight, Indonesia’s islands are sprinkled across South-East Asia like a collection of colourful spices. This ancient archipelago takes its rightful place among Asia’s darling destinations and beyond the resorts there is a nation full of rich contrasts waiting to be discovered. Sensational Sumatra, boisterous Bali, joyful Java – with over 17,000 islands to explore, Indonesia has plenty to keep you coming back for more.

Indonesia Tours & Travel

Top deals in Indonesia

Departing Days Price AUD
17 Jan 2015 Discover Lombok 8 $930
24 Jan 2015 Beautiful Bali 9 $895
25 Jan 2015 Jakarta to Ubud 14 $1970
25 Jan 2015 Java & Bali Explorer 22 $2790
31 Jan 2015 Beautiful Bali 9 $895

All our Indonesia trips

Jakarta to Ubud

14 days from
USD $1,950
CAD $2,010
AUD $1,970
EUR €1,470
GBP £1,140
NZD $2,195
ZAR R19,710
CHF FR1,780

From Jakarta to Mt Bromo, Seloliman to Ubud, this tour of Indonesia reveals a nation with a heart even bigger than...

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Beautiful Bali

9 days from
USD $885
CAD $910
AUD $895
EUR €685
GBP £515
NZD $995
ZAR R8,915
CHF FR830

Travel to Bali and experience this exotic oasis off the coast of Indonesia. Bali's Ubud, Mt Batur, Lovina and Bedugul...

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Discover Lombok

8 days from
USD $880
CAD $910
AUD $890
EUR €655
GBP £515
NZD $995
ZAR R8,895
CHF FR795

Travel to tropical Lombok and Gili Air to discover quaint mountain villages, steamy jungles and pristine beaches....

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Bali & Lombok Adventure

15 days from
USD $1,695
CAD $1,755
AUD $1,720
EUR €1,185
GBP £995
NZD $1,915
ZAR R17,215
CHF FR1,430

A magical getaway on Indonesia's Islands. Travel across Bali and Lombok visiting arty Ubud, Mt Batur, Mt Rinjani,...

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Bangkok to Bali

28 days from
USD $3,830
CAD $3,950
AUD $3,875
EUR €2,665
GBP £2,240
NZD $4,315
ZAR R38,785
CHF FR3,225

Take an adventure from Thailand to Bali, via Malaysia. This tour of South-East Asia captures some of the region's...

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Java & Bali Explorer

22 days from
USD $2,755
CAD $2,845
AUD $2,790
EUR €2,060
GBP £1,610
NZD $3,105
ZAR R27,885
CHF FR2,495

Travel to Indonesia and visit Bali and Java. Explore the bustling city of Jakarta, the volcanoes of Java and the...

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Indonesia trip reviews

Our Indonesia trips score an average of 4.64 out of 5 based on 84 reviews in the last year.

Beautiful Bali, June 2014

Discover Lombok, June 2014

Articles on Indonesia

The Heart of Java: 6 Awesome Things to do in Yogyakarta

Posted on Wed, 16 Jul 2014 by Louise Burton

Yogyakarta is definitely one our favourite cities in South East Asia. That’s a pretty big claim, but we have our reasons; from the wonderful temples on the outskirts of the [...]

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Bali: beyond the bogans

Posted on Tue, 4 Jun 2013 by Sue Elliot

"Why go to Bali when in other parts of Asia you can scale the Great Wall, explore the temples of Angkor or indulge in ramen in Kyoto?..."

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Caring for mums in Indonesia

Posted on Tue, 21 Aug 2012 by Sue Elliot

Bumi Sehat is making huge inroads to address maternal health issues...

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wake up call in indonesia

Posted on Thu, 19 Jul 2012 by Sue Elliot

It might seem crazy to attempt a mountain climb at night, but Jess has set her sights on this for a long time...

Read more

About Indonesia

At a glance

Trips Available: 0
Capital city: Jakarta (population 9.2 million)
Population: 242.9 million
Language: Indonesian
Currency: IDR
Time zone: (GMT+07:00) Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth) Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)
Dialing code: +62

Best time to visit Indonesia

Indonesia’s close proximity to the equator ensures consistently hot and humid weather in all seasons; however, its tropical climate means many areas are prone to periods of heavy rainfall. The wet season takes place from May to October and flooding can make road travel difficult at times. Popular holiday spots like Bali tend to receive large crowds during Christmas and school holidays but are significantly less crowded in shoulder seasons. Also worth keeping in mind are Indonesia’s various religious holidays. With a large population of practising Muslims, Ramadan results in the closure of many services, so expect a quieter experience when travelling during Ramadan.

Jakarta weather chart

Geography and environment

Mount Bromo
An archipelago of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia works its way across several oceans, beginning with the island of Sumatra in the West and stretching to Irian Jaya in the East. In between, Indonesia includes a sizeable part of Borneo, as well as larger islands such as Java, Bali and Sulawesi. With such a broad selection of islands, Indonesia encompasses a variety of landscapes such as: thick tropical jungle, fertile rice fields, grasslands and volcanic mountain ranges. Indonesia’s ecosystems are full of a rich variety of flora and fauna including the very rare Sumatran tiger and elephant, the Javan rhino and the fierce Komodo Dragon. Indonesia is also famous for its incredible beaches and marine life. With thousands of kilometres of reefs, beaches, bays and lagoons, Indonesia is a diver's paradise.

Top Picks

Indonesian Sun Bear Sumatran Tiger

Top 10 Bizarre Creatures of Indonesia

1. Sumatran Rhino

Appearing almost prehistoric, the Sumatran rhino is smaller in both size and number than its African cousins. Covered in a reddish brown fur, the Sumatran rhino is a solitary animal, and has been quietly grazing the grasslands for thousands of years.

2. Sulawesi Giant Squirrel

Living deep within Sulawesi’s rainforest canopies, this enigmatic and shy rodent can be tough to spot, so stay quiet and alert if you want catch a glimpse of one.

3. Sun Bear

A perennial favourite, the sun bear can be found on many of Indonesia’s islands. Perhaps suffering from ‘small bear syndrome’, these fiery characters are often quite aggressive, defying their nickname as the ‘Honey Bear’.

4. Sulawesi Macaque

Native to the island of Sulawesi, these crafty primates are known for being exceptionally social creatures. With family groups usually led by dominant females, Sulawesi macaques are a prime example of 'girl power' in action.

5. Sumatran Tiger

A noble predator with an almost mythical status, the Sumatran tiger stalks its prey deep within the jungles of Sumatra. With some estimates putting their numbers at just over 300, an international effort is underway to protect this incredible animal.

6. Javan Slow Loris

Slow in name, slow in nature. Don’t be fooled though, this super-cute creature packs a deadly punch – it is the world's only poisonous primate!

7. Long-Beaked Echidna

Inhabiting the island of New Guinea, this crazy critter snuffles about the forest floor using its large snout. Don’t expect to see many of these guys though; they are classified as ‘critically endangered’.

8. Komodo Dragon

The fearsome Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest lizard, often weighing up to 70 kilograms. Described as the ‘perfect predator’, this stealthy beast makes for an exhilarating sight.

9. Moluccan Flying Snake

Scared of snakes? Now you'll have to search the ground and the air as these aerodynamic reptiles have found a novel way to move between the treetops, by becoming airborne and gliding for up to 30 metres.

10. Babirusa

What do you get when you cross a pig and a deer? The odd looking Babirusa: a short and stocky animal with large, curled horns. Native to Indonesia, populations of these bizarre beasts are sadly in decline due to poaching and habitat loss.

FAQs on Indonesia

INDONESIA:
Australia:Yes - on arrival
Belgium: Yes - on arrival
Canada: Yes - on arrival
Germany Yes - on arrival
Ireland: Yes - on arrival
Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
South Africa: Yes - on arrival
Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
USA: Yes - on arrival

Visas on arrival are valid for 30 days, cost US$35 and are available upon arrival by air in Bali, Jakarta, Medan and a few other international airports, or by ship at a limited number of Indonesian sea ports.

No extension of these visas can be made, they will be issued to arriving passengers at a counter set up prior to immigration processing. If paying in a currency other that USD you may be charged an unfavorable rate of exchange.

Entering Indonesia without any visa is now possible for nationals of the following countries and territories: Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Citizens of these countries will be issued a stay permit on arrival for 30 days free of charge, upon presentation of a passport which is valid for at least 6 months. This stay permit cannot be extended or converted into another type of visa.

Citizens of all other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required. Citizens of countries who aren't on the visa on arrival or visa free lists are required to apply for a visa overseas before travelling to Indonesia.

Nationals of all countries planning to stay for more than 30 days in Indonesia have to apply for the appropriate visa at an overseas Indonesian consulate or embassy before their departure.
Tipping isn't mandatory or customary in Indonesia, but a tip of spare change or another small amount would be appreciated by restaurants, drivers and other service workers, especially if the service has been particularly good.
Internet access is widely available in tourist areas like Bali, which has many internet cafes. Internet access is less common in rural and remote areas.
You'll be able to use your mobile phone in most urban areas of Indonesia, although some of the islands or more remote areas may not have network coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your mobile while in Indonesia.
You'll have to adjust to different standards of hygiene and sanitation while in Indonesia. The standard toilet is of the squat variety and this may take some getting used to. However, western-style toilets can be found in large hotels and some tourist areas.
Indonesia is one of the world's favourite budget travel destinations. Here's what you can roughly expect to pay for a:

Street food snack = 2,000 IDR
Fresh juice = 5,000 IDR
Bottle of beer in a bar = 20,000 IDR
Souvenir sarong = 25,000 IDR
Dinner in a restaurant = 40,000 IDR
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Indonesia. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found, some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by large shops, hotels and restaurants in Indonesia. However, they may not be accepted by smaller vendors such as small family restaurants, market stalls or in remote towns and rural areas. Make sure you carry enough cash for purchases, since credit cards aren't always an option everywhere in Indonesia.
ATMs are found widely throughout Indonesia, so withdrawing cash shouldn't be problematic in most areas. Some smaller villages and rural areas may not have ATM access, so be prepared for this before venturing too far from a city or major town.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Jan 24 Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet)
Feb 10 Chinese New Year
Mar 12 Hari Raya Nyepi (Hindu New Year)
Mar 29 Good Friday
May 9 Ascension
May 25 Waisak Day (Buddha's Birthday)
Jun 6 Lailat al Miraj (Ascension of the Prophet)
Aug 8 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Aug 17 Indonesian Independence Day
Oct 15 Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Nov 5 Islamic New Year
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. Estimates are given for some holidays as many religious festivals are timed according to lunar movements, making exact dates difficult to predict in advance. For a current list of public holidays in Indonesia go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Indonesia/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Indonesia Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Indonesia

1. Be considerate of Indonesia's customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. Choose to not support businesses that promote cruelty towards or exploitation of endangered species.

5. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

6. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

7. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

8. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

9. Ramadan is the fasting month for all Muslims. During this month no food, drink or smoking is permitted during daylight hours. While non-Muslims aren't expected to fast, it's recommended to try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours.

10. The precious reefs off the coast of Indonesia need to be preserved and protected. By all means, admire the coral, but never touch or remove coral from reefs. Also, avoid buying souvenirs that have been illegally removed from the reef.

The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.

In Indonesia, The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:

Bumi Sehat

This free maternal health clinic located in Bali assists economically-challenged local women with health services, nutrition advice and education programs.

Image supplied by Bumi Sehat.

To learn more or donate, go to: www.theintrepidfoundation.org

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
A House in BaliColin McPhee
A Short History of Bali: Indonesia's Hindu RealmRobert Pringle
A Little Bit One O'Clock: Living with a Balinese FamilyWilliam Ingram
The Year of Living DangerouslyChristopher Koch
This Earth of MankindPramoedya Ananta Toer