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Travel guide

Indonesia offers so much more than Bali's famed sand and surf. Thinking of checking it out? You're in for one huge ride. 

This country is made up of around 18,000 islands and is home to 139 volcanoes, thousands of wild orangutans, and incredible marine life. Throw in ancient, mysterious temples, buzzing cultural hubs and the pristine, turtle-inhabited Gili Islands, and you've got yourself a traveler's paradise! OK now, planning hats on... 

Indonesia: Fast facts

Languages spoken in Indonesia

The official language is Indonesian, but there are more than 700 local lingos, such as Javanese and Balinese.

Currency & exchange rates in Indonesia

Indonesian rupiah (IDR). 10,000 IDR is approximately 75 cent.

Indonesian time zones (there are three!)

Sumatra, Java, western Borneo: Indonesia Western Time Zone (UTC+07:00)
Sulawesi, Bali, eastern Borneo, Lombok & the Gilis: Indonesnia Central Time Zone (UTC+08:00)
Far eastern reaches: Indonesnia Eastern Time Zone (UTC+09:00)

Indonesia's best islands

This nation is as diverse as it is mammoth, so you'd be forgiven for not knowing where to start... but here's four ideas. Trek Sumatra's dense jungles to spot endangered orangutans, conquer the Borobudur and the mighty Mount Bromo in Java, head to Bali for rich culture and food, or float further east to the islands of Lombok or Komodo to find your own paradise. Spoiler: there's dragons!

Bali & the Lesser Sunda Islands


Java & Jakarta


Borneo (Kalimantan)



Map of Indonesia

Pretty big, huh? Here's our suggested one month itinerary. Fly into either Sumatra or Borneo first, before touching down in the capital city of Jakarta. Travel east across Java and then island hop to Bali, then Lombok and the Gilis!

Many travelers carry on to Australia after Indonesia - it's only two and a half hours away.

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How to get around Indonesia

Fly into the capital city Jakarta, which is in Java, or straight to Bali from LAX, San Francisco or New York. The popular route from Java, to Bali, Lombok, the Gili Islands, Komodo and Flores can all be done by bus, ferry and boat rides, but if you want to explore Sumatra, Borneo or Sulawesi, domestic flights are super affordable and frequent.
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The cost of travel in Indonesia



A bottle of Bintang, the local beer, shouldn't cost more than 25,000 IDR ($1.75). Except if you're somewhere fancy in Jakarta or Bali.



A plate of nasi goreng from a local food cart or cafe can cost under $2 and can be just as delicious as a plate three times the price in a midrange restaurant.

cost of accomodation in thailand


A dorm bed or simple hut in a more remote area of Sumatra or Java will set you back around 541,000 IDR ($4). Expect to pay more in Bali and on the beautiful beaches of the Gili Islands, where reputable hostels can cost around 200,000 IDR ($15) per person per night.

Indonesia hotel cost


A mid-range hotel room for two people in Bali is upwards of 270,000 IDR (around $20). Fancier hotels in Bali can cost around $40-50, but if you're off the beaten track, for example in Sumatra or Sulawesi, you'll be able to find a bargain hotel room for half this price. Book in advance with STA Travel to bag the cheapest rates!

taxi cost Indonesia


A taxi in the capital city of Jakarta, or anywhere in Bali, costs around 8,000 IDR (less than 50 cent) per kilometre. A taxi ride from Jakarta's airport to the city centre will cost around 200,000 IDR ($14).

transport cost Indonesia

Public transport

Public transport in Indonesia comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Squeeze into a tiny bemo or angkot (minivan) for longer distances, or take a three-wheeler, similar to the tuktuks you'd find in other parts of Asia, for around 3000 IDR (20 cent) per kilometre. Boats and ferries between islands are frequent and affordable - visit our Bali page to find out more about traveling between Bali, Lombok and the Gilis.

Travel highlights in Indonesia


The Gili Islands


Bromo, Ijen & Rinjani

See tours
Wild orangutans

Sumatra & Borneo

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Indonesia adventure tours

Bromo Java
Indonesia on a Shoestring: Jakarta to Bali | 15 days
Highlights: Jakarta, cultural Yogyakarta, sunrise over Mount Bromo, Borobudur temples, Red Island, blissing out in Ubud, catching waves in Kuta

Includes: All transport, a guide, accommodation and some meals

From $1,279
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Indonesia on a Shoestring - Sumatra to Bali | 28 days
Highlights: Orangutan spotting in Sumatra, Lake Toba, Bukittingi, Mount Bromo, local villages and homestays, Yogyakarta and Borobudur, surfing on Red Island, Ubud.

Includes: All transport and accommodation, a guide and some meals.

From $2,559
view tour
Islands of Indonesia
Islands of Indonesia | 22 days
Highlights: Bali's cultural hotspots of Ubud and Kintimani, Tegalalang Rice Terraces, snorkelling with turtles in the Gili Islands, Komodo National Park, Flores

Includes: All transport, accommodation, snorkelling trip, a guide and some meals

From $3,349
view tour

Do US citizens need a visa to travel to Indonesia?

If you plan on staying in Indonesia for less than 30 days, you don't need to worry about a visa - you'll be stamped into the country on arrival.

But trust us when we say you'll end up wanting to stay in this country longer! The best thing to do if you think you might want to travel (or chill) in Indonesia for longer than a month is to either get a visa on arrival for around $35, or apply online in advance for one, for a small fee. This type of visa can be extended for another 30 days at an immigration office or with the help of a travel agent.*Visa and entry requirements are subject to change at any time. Please always check the current status with your applicable embassy prior to travel.

Want more inspiration? Visit the travel blog!

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