Indonesia Tourism and Travel Guide

Indonesia (/ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/ IN-də-NEE-zhə or /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/ IN-doh-NEE-zee-ə; Indonesian: [ɪndonesia]), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia [rɛpublik ɪndonesia]), is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is the largest island country in the world by the number of islands, with more than fourteen thousand islands. Indonesia has an estimated population of over 255 million people and is the world's fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority country. The world's most populous island of Java contains 51% of the country's population.Indonesia's republican form of government includes an elected legislature and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have Special Administrative status. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world's 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 8th largest by GDP at PPP.The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders and Sufi scholars brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism starting from the East Indonesia of West Papua, Timor to eventually all of West Indonesia, at times interrupted by Portuguese, French and British rule, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, mass slaughter, corruption, separatism, a democratisation process, and periods of rapid economic change.Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups. The largest – and politically dominant – ethnic group are the Javanese. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, 'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' ('Unity in Diversity' literally, 'many, yet one'), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread.
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Best Time to Visit Indonesia

Indonesia has a tropical climate, so you can plan an Indonesia tourism trip at any time of the year. The best time for an Indonesia tourism trip is between May and September, when the weather is dry. You can not only visit all the places mentioned in this Indonesia travel guide but also enjoy all kinds of water sports. Indonesia faces rainfall from October till April. During the monsoons, many water activities are put on a halt, thereby hindering your Indonesia tourism experience. But during this time of the year, you can enjoy off-season perks such as cheaper hotels and inexpensive restaurants.

Visa Information For Indonesia

Indonesia tourism has witnessed a boost because of the hassle-free process of acquiring a visa. If your Indonesia tourism trip is for less than 30 days, then you can apply for visa exemption at 14 designated checkpoints in the country. You can also apply for a visa on arrival at select airports and seaports in Indonesia. A social/cultural visa is also issued to tourists on the basis of sponsorship by an Indonesian citizen. If you are heading to Indonesia for employment or education opportunities, you should apply for a long-stay visa.

Top Attractions In Indonesia

You can visit some of the most splendid beaches, forests and temples in the world on your Indonesia tourism trip. Here are some of the top places to visit in Indonesia which are included in our Indonesia travel guide:

Known as 'the Island of the Gods', Bali offers an unparalleled concoction of luxury, culture and cuisine. On your Indonesia tourism trip, you can visit the spiritual shrines in Bali and take a stroll across its various tourist spots in its balmy weather. The island is home to around 10,000 temples. You can explore magnificent temples such as Tanah Lot Temple, Uluwatu Temple and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. You can also take a stroll across the sandy Echo Beach and Balangan Beach. You can also enjoy the natural beauty of Bali by including destinations such as Tegalalang and Amlapura in your Indonesia tourism itinerary.


If you are into spirituality, you can also visit the impressive spiritual healers of Bali called Balians and visit the serene yoga retreats on the island. You can also acquaint yourself with the avant-garde music of Bali along with its traditional dances such as Legong. If you are into adventure activities, Bali has no dearth of them. Be it scuba diving or snorkelling, you can establish closer contact with the marine life around Bali. You can also head out to explore the secret beaches of Nusa Ceningan and the tranquil beaches of Bukit Peninsula.

Include a visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in your Indonesia tourism trip, where you can find hundreds of monkeys roaming across the temple complex. Ubud is also known for its architectural wonders such as Puri Saren Agung and Ubud Palace. You can also acquaint yourself with the works of Indonesian artists at the Agung Rai Museum of Art. And if you'd like to indulge in a shopping spree on your Indonesia tourism trip, you must head to Ubud Art Market where the narrow streets are lined with little shops selling colourful clothes, handbags and paintings.

Kuta, one of the most popular Indonesia tourist places, will add a rather vibrant charm to your Indonesia tourism trip through its various panoramic locations. Include a visit to Kuta Beach in your Indonesia tourism itinerary and indulge in water sports such as surfing and swimming. You can also visit the happening nightclubs in Kuta such as Sky Garden and Engine Room Discotheque on your Indonesia tourism trip. You can also take a stroll across the sandy beaches of Seminyak and Legian. You can also visit popular tourist spots in Kuta such as Waterbom Bali, which is a water park with enthralling rides and Dream Museum Zone, where you can find 3D artworks perfect for your Instagram feed. A memorial called Ground Zero has also been built to honour the victims of the 2002 Bali bombings.


Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is known for its intricate architecture and splendid museums. Include a visit to various museums such as the Wayang Museum, the National Museum and the Jakarta History Museum in your Indonesia tourism itinerary where you can get acquainted with the rich history and culture of Indonesia. You can also visit Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, a recreational area where you can find various parks, museums and theatres. Explore Ragunan Zoo on your Indonesia tourism trip and  enjoy the company of crocodiles, orangutans, Sumatran tigers and peacocks. You can also take a leisurely stroll across Merdeka Square, where you can visit the National Library, Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta City Hall. 


Include Denpasar in your Indonesia tourism itinerary, and visit some of its most picturesque destinations such as Bajra Sandhi Monument which was built in 1987 and Werdhi Budaya Art Centre which is a cultural hub. You can also visit the museums inDenpasar on your Indonesia tourism trip such as the Le Mayeur Museum and the Bali Provincial Public Museum. Add a touch of spirituality to your Indonesia tourism trip by visiting Sakenan Temple and Pura Jagatnatha. Denpasar is also home to some of the most scenic beaches of Indonesia such as Cemara Beach and Sanur Beach. 


Yogyakarta is the cultural hub of Indonesia where you can find age-old buildings with intricate architecture. You can include a visit to the Palace of Yogyakarta in your Indonesia tourism itinerary. It was built in the 18th century and draws its inspiration from Javanese architectural style. You can also watch the traditional puppet and dance show at the palace. You can also visit other historical buildings such as Taman Sari which used to be a bathing complex and Tugu Yogyakarta which is a historical landmark. You can also explore Gembira Loka Zoo where you can find various wild species such as Komodo dragons and hippopotamuses.

Komodo National Park

Part of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Komodo National Park is home to a wide variety of animals such as water buffaloes, the exotic Komodo dragon, macaques and boars. This national park is also known for its rich marine life that includes underwater creatures such as manta rays, whale sharks, pygmy seahorses and whale sharks. Declared as aUNESCO World Heritage Site, Komodo National Park comprises of various small islands such as Komodo, Rinca, Papagaran and Kerora where you can find around 4,000 inhabitants. You can also enjoy activities such as Scuba diving in the Indian Ocean and hiking to Padar Island at this national park.

Gili Islands

The Gili Islands comprise of three islets - Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan and Gili Air where you can find sandy beaches and azure waters. You can find laid-back resorts and huts on the Gili Islands and relax at the trendy restaurants and shacks of the islands. Vehicles are prohibited on the Gili Islands, so you can either travel by foot or ride a bicycle here. You can also travel on a cidomo, which is a horse-drawn carriage. You can enjoy a tropical climate on the Gili Islands and bask in the sun’s rays. 


The Gili Islands are the perfect place for enjoying water activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling and sea walking. You can swim closer to marine life by going shark diving or swimming with turtles. Gili Trawangan is known for its happening parties and cheap alcohol, but follows a zero noise policy post 10:00 PM. 


The mesmerising Lombok Island is another serene destination in Indonesia. You can admire the views of Mount Rinjani, Indonesia's second-highest volcano. From Lombok, you can also embark on a tour of Gunung Rinjani National Park where you can enjoy spellbinding sunrise views and visit a crater lake called Segara Anak. You can stay at peaceful resorts with lush green surroundings in Lombok. In fact, the island is known for its fertile land and the cultivation of rice, coffee, cinnamon and bananas. You can explore the little villages of Lombok and acquaint yourself with the rich culture of the Sasak tribe. You can also head to the scenic Senggigi Beach from Lombok, which is a white-sand beach fringed by palm trees. There are a plethora of shops and hotels around this beach for your convenience.

Activities And Things to Do In Indonesia

From underwater activities such as scuba diving and snorkelling to outdoor activities such as quad biking and hiking, Indonesia offers a plethora of adventure activities. Here are some of the activities included in our Indonesia travel guide:


Banana boat ride at Tanjung Benoa Beach
Indonesian beaches are not only known for their scenic location but also for the wide variety of activities you can enjoy there. One such activity that you can include in your Indonesia tourism itinerary is a banana boat ride. This 15-minute activity is enjoyed along the sublime coastline of Tanjung Benoa Beach and offers the right amount of adrenaline rush to adventurers. You can enjoy this enthralling activity for around ₹2,500 per person. This activity can be enjoyed with friends and family alike and adds the right amount of excitement to your Indonesia tourism trip.


Snorkelling at Manta Bay

The azure waters of Indonesia attract a huge amount of tourists and rightly so. If you enjoy getting closer to marine life, then you must try snorkelling at Manta Point. The biggest attraction of snorkelling here is the giant manta ray fish. Despite being the second-largest ray species, it is completely safe to swim around manta rays in the crystal-clear waters of Indonesia. The water is 15 meters deep here, and the currents can be quite strong so it is suggested that you should not venture here alone. Although the prices depend on the company you are choosing, snorkelling at Manta Bay with two stops can cost you around ₹1,000 while a trip that includes four to five stops can cost you around ₹2,500. 


White-water rafting On Ayung river

If you are an adventure seeker, you should include white-water rafting in the Ayung River in your Indonesia tourism itinerary. The Ayung River is the largest river in Indonesia along with being the safest for enjoying river rafting. This panoramic river offers a 10-km-long stretch, and requires around two hours of rafting to cover this distance. This activity will cost you around ₹2,500.

Scuba Diving In Bali 

If scuba diving has been on your bucket list fora long time, then you can include this water activity in your Indonesia tourism itinerary. This refreshing activity offers you an unparalleled experience of swimming 12 meters deep into the ocean and acquaint yourself with the marine life around the island. The cost of scuba diving for two dives is around ₹4,500. Most of the scuba diving centres begin the activity at around 9:00 AM when the sun’s rays pierce through the azure waters.


Quad biking In Bali

Quad biking is one of the most adventurous activities in Bali. It offers an adrenaline rush and a chance to admire the scenic views of the island. Include this outdoor activity in your Indonesia tourism itinerary and bike your way through the lush green jungles and rice fields of Bali. It can cost you around ₹3,500 per person to tick this activity off your bucket list. You can ride for two hours and pass through various locations such as Seminyak, Legian, Ubud and Mengwi.


Parasailing in Nusa Dua 

You can make your trip more special by including parasailing in Nusa Dua in your Indonesia tourism itinerary. This activity offers the perfect experience of flying over a vast stretch of the ocean while the cool breeze brushess your cheeks. One trip can last for around five minutes, and it can cost you anywhere between ₹1,500 to ₹2,000. Besides individual parasailing, you also have the option of tandem parasailing which allows two participants to parasail together. Unlike single parasailing, tandem parasailing doesn’t depend much on the wind direction. 


Cafe hopping In Jakarta

Besides beautiful sightseeing destinations, Jakarta also offers great cafes with amazing ambience and good Indonesian cuisine that you can visit on your Indonesia tourism trip. Include a visit to cafes such as Three Buns, Luciole Bistro & Bar and Crematology in your Indonesia tourism itinerary. In fact, on your Indonesia tourism trip, you can also stop at some good coffee shops in Jakarta such as Giyanti Coffee Roastery, Monolog Coffee and One Fifteenth Coffee. You can kick back and relax at these cafes while relishing the Indonesian dishes.


Hike to Mount Batur 

The lush green hills of Indonesia offer amazing hiking destinations. Include a hike to Mount Batur in your Indonesia tourism itinerary and trek across steep trails passing through verdant fields. This is a short hike and takes around two hours to reach the summit. Mount Batur is an active volcano and is known for its sunrise view – when it is surrounded by thick clouds and the vast skies showcase different shades of colour. It can cost you around ₹6,000 to hike up Mount Batur and is the perfect spot for adventure seekers.

Trekking To Mount Kelimutu

Another adventure activity that should be included in your Indonesia tourism itinerary is a trek to Mount Kelimutu. The trail leads you to tri-coloured volcanic crater lakes. The closest location where you can find accommodation options is Moni, and it takes around 3 hours from there to trek to Mount Kelimutu. The best time to visit Mount Kelimutu is around 4:30 AM to 5:00 AM when the sun is rising and the ambience is mystical. Snacks and drinks are sold on the way to Mount Kelimutu. The winding route to Mount Kelimutu offers views of lush green hills and forests.

Where to Stay In Indonesia


Luxury hotels in Indonesia
On your Indonesia tourism trip, you can choose to stay at the luxurious hotels of the country where you can enjoy a unique blend of affluent lifestyle and traditional experience. Some of the best luxury hotels included in our Indonesia travel guide are:

  • Mandarin Oriental in Jakarta
  • The Anvaya Beach Resort in Bali
  • Hilton Petaling in Jaya
  • Royal Ambarrukmo in Yogyakarta
  • The Oberoi Beach Resort in Bali

Mid-budget hotels in Indonesia
You can choose accommodation options on your Indonesia tourism trip which are not only easy on pockets but also offer all the amenities required for a comfortable experience. Some of the best mid-budget hotels included in our Indonesia travel guide are:

  • ARTOTEL Thamrin in Jakarta
  • The Sunan Hotel in Java
  • Grand Zuri Dumai in Riau
  • The Premiere Hotel in Pekanbaru
  • Grand Zuri BSD City in Banten

Budget hotels in Indonesia
If you want to minimise your expenditure and travel on a shoestring budget, you can choose to stay at accommodation options mentioned in this Indonesia travel guide. These are some of the best budget hotels for your Indonesia tourism trip:

  • Hotel Restu in Bali
  • El homestay in Bali
  • Sayang Maha Mertha Hotel in Kuta
  • Konko Hostel in Jakarta

Cuisine And Best Places To Eat

Indonesia is known for its wide variety of lip-smacking cuisine. Vegetarians can relish various dishes such as gado-gado, a kind of vegetable salad, vegetable fried rice, sayur asem, a kind of sour vegetable dish, tofu and a spicy potato dish called sambal goreng kentang. Non-vegetarians can enjoy a wide variety of pork dishes such as babi pangang, nasi bali and pork dumplings, called siomay. You can also try other meat dishes such as sate ayam, sop kaki kambing, oxtail soup and ayam goreng. Your trip to Indonesia is incomplete without trying out Indonesia noodles such as bakmi goreng and mie goreng. Indonesian streets are also lined with stalls selling food items such as batagor, pempek and bubur ayam.

How To Travel In Indonesia

You can either plan an Indonesia tourism trip on your own or choose a tour operator package depending on  your budget and duration. You can find cabs and auto rickshaws in Indonesia to travel within the cities, but it is suggested that you should know the rates beforehand. Flights are also available to travel from one city to another.

Typical Costs In Indonesia

As per our Indonesia travel guide, an Indonesia tour package can cost you anywhere from ₹45,000 to ₹95,000 for 5 to 7 days. A luxury Indonesia tourism trip can cost you at least ₹3000 per day. If you want to travel on a limited budget, you can manage in ₹1500 per day. Means of transport and accommodation options in Indonesia play a major role in determining the cost of your trip.

Written by Shivani Vohra, an in-house writer at Tripoto. She is a storyteller, dreaming of living on the hills someday.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can include scenic destinations such as Bali, Jakarta, Ubud and Denpasar in your Indonesia tourism itinerary if you wish to explore ancient Hindu temples and other cultural attractions. You can also visit some beach destinations on your Indonesia tourism trip such as Kuta, Lombok and Nusa Lembongan.

Indonesia is also known for its picturesque islands such as the Gili Islands and Penida Island. You can also include towns such as Yogyakarta, Bandung and Malang in your Indonesia tourism itinerary, which are known for their historical buildings. Indonesia is also home to some of the best-maintained national parks such as Komodo National Park and Ujung Kulon National Park.

The best time to enjoy an Indonesia tourism trip is between May and September. During this time of the year, the weather is dry, and you can enjoy outdoor activities

  • such as hiking
  • snorkelling
  • surfing

From October to April, Indonesia witnesses rainfall. Constant showers often put a halt on water sports, but you can undertake hikes during the rainy season and witness some lush green vistas in Indonesia. You can also enjoy off-season perks such as inexpensive hotels and cheap transfers during this time of the year.

Depending on your budget and preference, you can find a wide variety of hotels on your Indonesia trip. You can choose to pamper yourself at luxurious hotels such as Mandarin Oriental in Jakarta, Bulgari Resort in Bali and Hanging Gardens of Bali.

If you would like to plan a budget trip to Indonesia, you can find plenty of decent hotels in Indonesia such as El homestay in Bali, D'jero Homestay in Ubud and ZEN Rooms Kemang Raya in Jakarta. Backpackers can also find cool hostels such as Uluwatu Backpackers in Bali and Halaman Depan Hostel in Ubud.

You can relish local cuisine on your Indonesia tourism trip. Vegetarians can try out dishes such as gado-gadosayur asemnasi padang and sambal. Non-vegetarians can savour the flavour of sate padangayam bakar taliwang and babi pangang. Your Indonesia tourism trip is incomplete with trying out Indonesia noodles. Indonesia is also popular for its street food that includes food items such as batagorpempek  and bubur ayam. And you can also enjoy some sweet dishes such as kue lapis legit and pisang goreng.

Depending on your budget and duration, your Indonesia tourism trip can cost you anywhere from ₹1000 to ₹2000 per day. 

For an Indonesia tourism trip, you will need at least 5 to 7 days in order to explore all the major cities and towns of Indonesia. 

As per this Indonesia travel guide, the easiest way to reach Indonesia is via a flight. You can take a flight to Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, from major cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kochi. You can also take a flight to other stops such as Yogyakarta International Airport and Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. Another popular way to reach Indonesia is via sea. Although there is no direct cruise that connects India to Indonesia, you can choose to travel in a luxurious cruise from Singapore.

While making an Indonesia tourism itinerary, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. While travelling to Indonesia, pack loose clothes that will make it easy for you trek or take tours across the various towns of Indonesia. 
  2. Book your hotels beforehand, especially during the peak season.
  3. To save money on transportation, plan a budget beforehand, and get a rough estimate of cab charges in Indonesia from the Internet.

Yes, ATMs are available in all the major cities of Indonesia, but while travelling to rural parts of the country, make sure to carry some cash. While plastic money is accepted by many sellers, there are some places that have not made the transition to digital payments and would require you to make payments via cash.