When the solar rose over the volcano caldera, lighting up the sky in shades of orange, pink, and yellow, it illuminated the electrical blue lake and the blue flames of the volcano light into the sunshine. I seemed on the French man subsequent to me, whom I’d met throughout the hike up with the celebrities, and we smiled in unison. That second would function on the spotlight reel of my life.
This wasn’t the primary time an expertise in Indonesia would make that reel. There have been the Manta rays within the water, the Orangutans swinging by the bushes and the pleasant individuals who all made me understand, there’s one thing magnetic about Indonesia. It’s a lot extra than simply Bali.
The primary time I visited Indonesia I budgeted six weeks pondering that might certainly be sufficient to see the entire issues that I needed to see. I shortly got here to comprehend that Indonesia is big and that every island has its personal distinctive meals, tradition, language, and infrequently its personal faith as properly. Due to this fact every island is a vacation spot in itself the place one might spend months or years.
I say this to not discourage, however moderately to assist create some life like expectations in your Indonesia itinerary. There are actually 1000’s of islands on the planet’s fourth most populated nation spanning virtually 2 million kilometers (over 735okay miles).
With that in thoughts listed below are some itinerary strategies for two weeks to 2 months in Indonesia:
2 Weeks in Indonesia:
Should you solely have two or fewer weeks, I strongly recommend choosing one or two areas and doing them justice, like solely Lombok and Bali, or solely Flores and Raja Ampat. Every are so particular in their very own manner and in such an enormous nation, it might in any other case really feel like all you’re doing is speeding and shifting round. Right here’s an excellent possibility:
Days 1-Four: Sumatra
Fly into Medan and take a bus certain for Bukit Lawang. This may take a lot of the afternoon. Keep away from Medan, actually, there’s nothing to see there.
Ebook a day trek into the jungle to see the Orangutans. These are greatest organized with guides who grew up within the jungle and know observe the Orangutans with out providing them meals. More on how to do that here. Spend a day in Bukit Lawang earlier than or after and inside tube down the river, having fun with the corporate of the extremely pleasant locals.
Bus again to Medan and fly out to Bali.
Days 5-10: Bali & Nusa Islands
Whereas most guests to Indonesia flock to Bali, I are inclined to keep away from it because the visitors could be hectic and most of the areas are Westernized, which I wish to keep away from once I journey. That mentioned, Ubud and Canggu are traveler favorites and Keramas is a private favourite of mine, and since Bali is very easy to fly into, think about spending a few days in a single or the opposite earlier than shifting onto the Nusa Islands.
Take a ferry from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan or Penida and spend Three days exploring these beautiful islands – go to beautiful seashores, snorkel with Manta rays, study to surf, or chill at one of many many beachfront swimming pools and cafes. From Lembongan, it’s straightforward to trip a bike over the bridge to Ceningan for a day journey, or think about staying on Ceningan for a extra laid-back vibe. That is well-liked with surfers as properly and boasts a lot smaller crowds than Bali. Click here for the proper Nusa Islands itinerary.
Days 11-14: Lombok
Only a 2-hour quick boat over from the Nusa islands, or a brief flight over from Bali, Lombok is but once more wildly totally different from the opposite islands you’d have skilled with this itinerary, and properly price experiencing. Lombok is way quieter, extra rural, and rugged.
You’ll must make some decisions right here between the Gili islands simply off the coast, trekking the Rinjani volcano, which often takes Three days and a couple of nights, or heading down south to Kuta for some gorgeous beaches and browsing. There are additionally unimaginable waterfalls throughout Lombok to take a look at. The journey there could be countless. This guide will help you decide and select which actions on the island name to you probably the most.
That’s one in every of many doable adventures for two weeks in Indonesia, although when you preserve studying, you possibly can decide and select extra choices under.
1 month in Indonesia
You’ve received a full month in Indonesia – implausible! You may take a bit extra time in every place and rush round a bit bit much less. I additionally extremely recommend including diving into your itinerary, as Indonesia has a few of the greatest on the planet, really!
Repeat the 2-week itinerary, however give your self extra time in every place and increase it to 21 days, spending additional time in Sumatra and including in Pulau Weh for a quiet, secluded island or Lake Tobah to remain on an island inside a lake inside an island (say that ten instances quick), or spending extra time on Lombok as a way to benefit from the seashores, do the Rinjani trek, see the waterfalls, and spend a while on the Gili islands.
From there, this itinerary can go one in every of two methods – the diving route or the volcano route. Should you’re into diving:
Days 22-30: East Java
Should you go this route, reverse Lombok and Bali and fly into Lombok from Medan, Sumatra. Spend time having fun with Lombok, then fly or boat to Bali and after just a few days there, head to the Ubung bus terminal and purchase an onward ticket to Bondowoso, ferry included. Touring to the bottom of Kawah Ijen will take a lot of the day.
As soon as on Java, we’ll head to Kawah Ijen, the expertise I referenced within the opening of this publish, which nonetheless ranks on the prime of my checklist over 5 years of travels and adventures later. Kawah Ijen is legendary for its blue flames and the amazingly sturdy sulfur miners who carry hundreds up and down the volcano all day and night time. Hike in with the celebrities to see the flames and watch the dawn from the crater rim. More on how to do it independently of a tour here.
Subsequent, take a bus to Surabaya by way of Probolinggo and onwards to Cemoro Lawang to trek or drive to the Bromo volcano for dawn – one of the vital well-known volcanos in Indonesia. More on how to do that here.
From there, bus again right down to Surabaya and bus or practice to Yogyakarta to see Borobudur temple. This temple was constructed within the ninth century and represents a mixture of Buddhism and ancestor worship. It’s a singular temple in Java that you simply received’t see a match for in the remainder of Southeast Asia. From there, fly out of Yogyakarta residence or to your subsequent vacation spot.
Days 22-30: Komodo
It’s laborious to beat Indonesia relating to diving and although there are numerous locations with implausible dive spots, Komodo and Raja Ampat reign supreme.
Komodo is a bit cheaper and simpler to get to, flying into Flores and hopping onto a dive boat from there. The corals are implausible, Manta rays are usually sighted, and the surroundings is beautiful as properly. Plus, you get to see the well-known Komodo dragon on Rinca, the island pictured above. For more on diving Komodo, read here.
Komodo’s predominant season is April by December, although you possibly can dive there yr spherical. Should you’re in Indonesia throughout the wet season, think about spending a bit much less time in Bali, or slicing out Sumatra, and spending 11 days to 2 weeks in Raja Ampat, flying into Sorong, West Papua. Whereas it’s doable to get on a dive boat in Komodo for simply three or six days, most dive journeys in Raja Ampat are longer, and it does are typically costlier. That mentioned, the abundance and variety of fish is mind-blowing, and the corals are various, plentiful, and vibrant. Plus, the islands are unimaginable too. It’s simply the most effective journeys I’ve ever been on. Read more on diving in Raja Ampat here.
Notice that each Komodo and Raja Ampat have notoriously sturdy currents and are higher suited to divers with some expertise. It is best to have no less than your superior open water earlier than getting on a dive boat in both place. Nitrox is suggested.
2 Months in Indonesia
With two months in Indonesia you possibly can take a bit extra time in every place, planning forward a lot much less and opting to spend additional days or perhaps a week right here and there within the locations that decision to you probably the most.
For this itinerary I recommend permitting for extra fluidity, with just a few key issues deliberate out upfront similar to flights and diving.
Week one: Sumatra
Spend extra time within the jungles, on Lake Tobah, or on Pulau Weh. To actually head off the overwhelmed path, head south on this large island and discover the jungles.
Weeks two by 4: Bali, the Nusa Islands, and Lombok
Given how a lot there’s to do on and round Lombok and Bali, decelerate, take a bit extra time to discover, and take yoga courses, go for hikes on the volcanoes, study to surf, attend a retreat, or simply park in a bamboo bungalow for every week and grasp on the seashore.
Week 5: Sumbawa or East Java
Discover the volcanoes and temples of East Java, or go the opposite route and take a look at Sumbawa, a very off the overwhelmed path gem that’s good for seashore bums and particularly surfers.
For a wave that has virtually no person else on it, a seashore with only some huts, and the kind of vacationer who tends to remain for 2-Three months on simply this seashore, look no additional than Sumbawa. That is the subsequent hidden paradise that nearly no person is aware of about. That is the spot that’s solely beginning to get on the radar of surfers within the know. To get there, the simplest methodology is a ship with Ozone Adventure from Kuta Lombok.
Weeks six by eight: Diving in Raja Ampat or Komodo
Should you’re a diver, you then completely should expertise Komodo, Raja Ampat, or each. These are simply the very best spots for diving in Indonesia and every has the small stuff, the massive stuff, and unimaginable corals. Scroll as much as the one-month itinerary for extra data on get to every and who to e book dives with.
With that, you’ll have had an unimaginable journey in Indonesia, each within the well-liked locations and in loads of off the overwhelmed path spots as properly. It’s the proper combine in a rustic that delivers excessive worth in your cash and has nice meals and pleasant individuals besides.
Take into account this itinerary nonetheless solely covers a small a part of an enormous nation. There’s additionally Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumba, West Java, East Timor, and so many extra! After the 4 months I’ve spent touring round Indonesia I nonetheless really feel I’ve barely scratched the floor, and my checklist simply retains getting longer!
What are a few of your favourite locations in Indonesia?