How to plan your first trip to Indonesia
Indonesia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and when it comes to planning your trip there it can become overwhelming. So where to start? First of all - plan ahead as it can save you a lot of money and time while on the trip. Get all the information about the destination and trips around the country before visiting, so you don’t spend your time on vacation browsing internet and planning. But don’t plan every hour of your trip, leave some time for spontaneous moments.
Where to go?
This is probably the most important question to answer before buying your flight ticket. Most of the people think of Bali, but there is so much more to Indonesia than just Bali. We have listed below some of our favorite destinations to visit on your first trip to Indonesia:
1. If you would like to see wild animals including endangered orangutans and do rain forest trekking, make sure you check out Bukit Lawang in the Northern Sumatra and numerous areas in Borneo.
2. To see Komodo dragons & flying foxes, pink beaches, famous Padar view and one of the most beautiful dive spots, mark Flores as your base to do some serious island hopping.
3. For surfing without fighting over a wave with tourists and discovering uncrowded beaches look mark to spend some time on Lombok which is also very easily accessible from Bali with a boat.
4. If you are a nature lover and got more time for your vacation, fly to one of the last Earth’s paradises and sail Raja Ampat before it gets too touristy
5. For perfect sunrise climb to Borobudur temple, the biggest Buddhist temple in the world and end the day watching sunset at Hindu Prambanan temple, only an hour apart in the outskirts of Yogyakarta city on Java. Since you are already staying in Java, you need to visit the most beautiful sight this island has to offer that is accessible to anyone. It’s one of the most out of the world landscapes, an archipelago of volcanos including Mt Bromo and unique Ijen crater. Definitely not to be missed.
6. Bali needs no further presentation. Yoga, meditation, rice fields and private pool villas in Ubud. Surfing and partying in Seminyak and Canggu. A visit to the north and east for waterfalls, more temples and less crowds.
When to go?
Weather wise, the best time to visit Indonesia is from March until the end of October to avoid the rainy season. Dry season or Indonesian winter with slightly lower temperatures between end of June and beginning of September provides ideal weather conditions, but also attracts a lot of crowds.
We suggest you to visit Indonesia for the first time in the shoulder season, end March to mid June and mid September to mid November for the best experience.
How to even begin planning?
First you need to decide on the length of your trip and count in long flights from Europe, Africa or Americas that might take more than 1 day, one way.
Now that you’ve got an idea what all Indonesia offers, pick your favorite destinations and start saving the places you want to visit to Google maps or maps.me, so you have it all in one place and then consider how to travel from one place to another.
We suggest flying from one island to another, driving scooter on Bali and Lombok, taking a shuttle to a more distant location on islands. If you’re doing trips like climbing volcanos or rain forest trekking, definitely go with an organized tour. For European visitors it has proven to be the best and also cheapest way to fly to Jakarta and to Yogyakarta to see volcanos as Mt Bromo and Kawah Ijen, most beautiful sights on Java island and then visit Bali.
Making it happen!
You’ve got all the information on where, when and how to go, now all you’ve got to do is pick a date and book a flight. If you still feel like you need more information, we’ve prepared an ideal day-by-day 3 weeks Indonesia itinerary, our 10 favorite destinations in Indonesia, best trips from Bali and why you should visit Java in 2020. Let us know if you have any questions!
Author: Traveler and blogger Nika Pensek, www.andshexplores.com