Planning a trip to Indonesia is enough to make any globetrotter green with envy. But it can also be a little, shall we say… daunting? With so many islands on offer and a bucket-load of experiences to choose from, it’s lot for the old brainbox to take in. “Which islands work best together? How do I get from A to B? And when’s the best time to go?” Luckily, we’ve got it covered. Our Travel Specialists have clubbed together some top tips from their own experiences to create the ultimate guide to planning your Indonesia holiday…
Choosing the right islands
Sumatra – One of the less visited islands in Indonesia, Sumatra is a paradise for wildlife and nature lovers. Think jungles, elephants, orangutans and castaway beaches.
Java – Jam-packed with temples, volcanoes & lush rice paddies. Climb rumbling volcano of Bromo (the highest volcano in Indonesia, no less), catch some surf on the coast of Pangandaran and take in the sunrise at one of the many temples.
Bali – Although one of the most visited islands in Indonesia, Bali still has plenty of authentic experiences to be had. From exploring green rice paddies of Ubud, staying in hidden villages of Tirta Gangga or relaxing in the tropical bays of Jimbaran.
Getting around Indonesia?
Indonesia is a WHOPPING country! We suggest combining your islands carefully, so you can spend less time on a plane and more time on your adventure…!
Java & Bali
A truly powerful combo! You can travel overland from Java to Bali in 3 days – giving you a chance to stop along the way to see some sights as you go.
You can also take a 3-hour flight from Jakarta (in Java) to Denpasar (in Bali), if you want to get there a little quicker.
Bali, Lombok & the Gilis
It takes a couple of hours to sail from Bali to Lombok, which is a peaceful way to go from one island to the next.
However, if you fancy a slice of paradise on your way, hop over to the Gilis‘ for some beach time – just a 40-minute boat ride.
Sumatra & Java
It takes 2.5 hours to fly from Medan (in Sumatra) to Jakarta (Java).
Top tip: If you’re visiting Sumatra and want some beach time too, avoid the long flight to Bali and go for a trip to Cubadak Island instead. This stunning island is just off Sumatra and saves the travel to Bali.
Bali, Flores and Komodo
If you want your fill of volcanoes, wildlife and beaches, these are the dream cluster of islands for you.
It’s a quick 2-hour flight from Bali to Flores, and then a couple of hours by boat to Komodo, with a chance to see the ancient Komodo dragon while you’re there.
How can we help?
Aside from the odd bike or boat ride, in most of our trips, we will whisk you around the islands by private transfer. Taking the stress out of organising it yourself and you can enjoy your trip to the fullest!
When to go to Indonesia?
When you’ve decided which of these incredible islands you’re heading to, it’s worth choosing your time to go carefully as it can vary quite a bit!
Things to know before you go
Indonesia is pretty straightforward, allowing easy access and exit. But here’s the main things to think about:
Visas & Passports
If you’re travelling on a British passport, you need at least 6 months validity beyond your departure date.
You’ll require a short stay tourist visa of 30 days which you can arrange for free on arrival at most airports.
Credit & debit cards
There are plenty of cash points in Indonesia. But it’s worth carrying extra cash on less touristy islands like Flores.
The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) £1 is equal to approx 17,000IDR (amended 05/05/17).
We suggest tipping your guides and drivers around £2 per person per day…but of course, tip more if you want to give a little more to the local economy.
Culture & Religion – Facts & Tips!
Fact – Over 85% of people in Indonesia consider themselves Muslim
Tip – Remember to remove your shoes or sandals at the door to a house, and avoid showing the soles of your feet
Fact – Religion plays a large role in Indonesia, with 6 recognised religions including Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
Tip – When visiting Balinese temples, always dress modestly. You may be required to wear a sarong & sash, but these are usually provided.
Whether you’re searching for tropical beaches in Nusa Tenggara, wildlife in Sumatra, volcanoes and temples in Java or endless green rice paddies in tropical Bali, we can help you build an Indonesia trip that’s just right for you. Simply piece together your own adventure using our bite-sized trips or get inspiration from our suggested itineraries.