2 Weeks in Indonesia: The Perfect Itinerary (Beaches, Temples & Adventure!)

top things to do yogyakarta

 

Indonesia Itinerary

Indonesia is one far flung country. 

We just returned from two incredible weeks traveling around Indonesia and loved every minute of it!

From a mud-slinging off-roading adventure in Bandung to exploring the cultural heart of Yogyakarta, then scuba diving in Raja Ampat and learning to surf in Lombok… visiting Indonesia was non stop adventure!

If you're thinking of a trip to Southeast Asia, I included our itinerary below.

It combines Indonesia hot spots like Bali and Yogyakarta along with some islands that are a little less well known – so you can truly explore some of the best places to visit in Indonesia!

 

 

Update 2019 – Indonesia was such a great memory that we went back the next year to explore even more! We're working on some additional travel guides but in the meantime, you can check out #shershegoes_indonesia on Instagram for photos and highlights of the places we've been!

 

Keep reading, or pin this post to read later ⇟

 



 

Incredible Cities in Indonesia


Bandung

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Yogyakarta

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Raja Ampat

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Lombok

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Best Places to Visit in Indonesia

 

Before You Go:

  1. I read up on the main sights and regions using this Indonesia guidebook before heading east. If you already know you want to spend your time in the sun and sand on Lombok / Bali, pick up this region specific book instead.
  2. Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago with 17,000+ islands spread out across more than 3,000 miles so if you want to really explore, you'll likely be flying from place to place. Domestically, we flew with Tiger Air and and Garuda and both far exceeded my expectations (in fact, they were better than the long-haul flights I took getting in and out of Indonesia!)
  3. Borobudur, the 8th century Buddhist temple is one of the world's greatest religious monuments and best visited at sunrise, when the mist lifts from the mountains. The monument sells a special sunrise ticket – buy in advance and show up early, as it gets quite crowded.
  4. Bring sunscreen and extra strength mosquito repellent – lots of repellent. I counted over 50 bites on myself during the trip and arrived home looking like I had chicken pox! For face sunscreen, my favorite is this Biore one and for body I'm loving this Tropic one which smells amazing and is very moisturizing. I got eaten alive by mosquito while there so I'd also recommend cortizone if you're as allergic to the bites as I am
  5. Curious about what to pack for a trip to Indonesia? My packing guide and outfits post is here.

 



 

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The Best Indonesia Itinerary

Since everyone knows about Bali by now, I wanted to combine it in an itinerary with Indonesia's other cities. The country has over 17,000 islands with diverse cultures and ancient UNESCO heritage sites and they're all so different!

I've focused this itinerary around local culture, ancient ruins, good food and fabulous beaches. Keep reading for the off the beaten path to 2 weeks in Indonesia!

 



 

Day 1: Arrive Jakarta

Java Island

Jakarta is the international hub and main landing point into the country (the other international airport is in Denpasar, near Lombok and Bali).

 

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Indonesia's capital city is filled with glittering skyscrapers and heavy traffic.

There's not necessarily many tourist sights in Jakarta, but it's still nice to spend a day or two in the capital to rest and explore after a long flight.

If you like shopping, Jakarta is paradise. 

I spent an afternoon wandering the fancy malls of Grand Indonesia and Pacific Place where for enough dough, you can zoom away in a McLaren or glitter in diamonds.

For my indulgence, I chose an iced coffee drink made with espresso and condensed milk (smaller in price tag but no less luxurious ha).

 



 

Best Things to Do in Jakarta

  • See the city's highlights like Merdeka Square, the Presidential Palace and Istiqulal Mosque. This private full day tour is a convenient option as it includes transportation
  • Learn about Jakarta's colonial past and explore the Dutch style quarter of Old Batavia

 

Getting Around Jakarta

Jakarta traffic is legendary.

Unfortunately there's no public subway system so grab a scooter, uber or taxi to get around and… budget double the time you think you need. That traffic is bumper to bumper!

On the plus side, taxis are very affordable!

 



 

I took a 40 minute ride into the city and paid 125,000 rupiah (just under $10 USD). My Indonesian friends recommended that tourists stick to reputable taxi companies like Blue Bird.

Or, if you've been to Asia before and are comfortable with motorbikes, try GoJek. GoJek is the local taxi/uber version for scooters.

 

Where to Stay in Jakarta

Swiss Belhotel Airport Jakarta is where we've stayed on every visit to Indonesia.

Since we typically only spend ~1-2 days in Jakarta and heard about the horror stories with the city's traffic, this airport hotel on the outskirts of the city was a great option.

The hotel is clean, affordable and spacious with free WiFi and a modern atmosphere. Coming from NYC, the flights to Jakarta are brutally long (and always involve layovers) so the comfortable beds here are a lifesaver.

There's not much to do or see in the capital as it's mainly a working city so I don't think you can go wrong in finding a clean, affordable hotel to rest up after your long flight and then heading onwards! 

Book rooms: Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda

Check rates: TripAdvisor

 



 

Days 2-3: Bandung

Java Island

 

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Bandung is the capital of West Java Province.

Because it's relatively close to the city but feels completely different, the city is a very popular getaway for Jakarta locals. Whereas the capital is congested and modern, Bandung is green, airy and historic.

It's location high in the mountains provides a beautiful open-air feel with lots of great cafes, outdoor activities and an insight into Javanese culture.

Bandung is widely considered Indonesia's center for learning and creativity and I believe part of this is due to the prestigious local university.

After a couple days in Bandung, I could see why it was so popular with Jakartans!

 



 

 

Getting Around Bandung

Bandung is a spread out city and again, there really isn't widely available public transportation.

I believe most local Indonesians drive, so it is very helpful to have a car to get around. If you're traveling with a group, the most economical thing to do is to hire a driver for the day. That's what we did!

 Book  a Private Driver here

 

Best Things to Do in Bandung

 



 

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Where to Eat in Bandung

Two restaurants we tried were amazing:

  • Dusun Bambu: This is a huge park with different greenery, sculptures and lakes. There's lots of restaurants on site and it's a great spot for traditional Indonesian food and fantastic views.
  • Kampung Daun: Another beautiful, airy and huge restaurant. Walking through here was like exploring a rainforest with lots of greenery and bamboo hut style eating areas. Loved the food here as well!
 Read more:  Everything You Must Do in Bandung!

 

Where to Stay in Bandung

Sheraton Hotel Bandung is a gorgeous luxury hotel in the city. 

From the gorgeous lobby, to the multiple outdoor swimming pools, we loved every minute of our stay here. If you're a Starwood member and have SPG points, definitely stay here!

There's free WiFi and a huge breakfast buffet which makes the stay very relaxing. Our rooms had modern, bright decor, extra comfy beds and fantastic views of the pool. 

Book rooms: Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda

Check rates: TripAdvisor

 



 

Days 4-6: Yogyakarta

Java Island

 

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Yogyakarta is one of my favorite regions in Indonesia.

If you like natural wonders, local art and ancient culture, you can't skip a visit!

The region is often abbreviated as “Jokja” or “Jokjakarta” (as in Indonesian, y's are spoken like j's) and has enough sights and attractions to keep you riveted for several days.

Jogja is home to many of Indonesia's most famous temples. It's also the spot to pick up local Indonesian fabric, called batik, or to try making it yourself!

 Read more:  10 Fun Things to Do in Yogyakarta

 



 

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Best Things to Do in Yogyakarta

There's a lot to do in Yogyakarta and its surrounding area. No matter what you like to do – cultural travel, adventure and hiking, try local cuisine – you can do it in Jogja. 

 Read more:  The Best Way to See Borobudur & Prambanan Temples

 



 

Getting Around Yogyakarta

We also hired a driver to take us around Yogyakarta.

It's the most convenient way to get around the city and take nearby day trips, since the sights are pretty spread out. The famous temples of Borobudur and Prambanan are outside the city in nearby Magelang, while some of the really adventure heavy sights are even farther out.

 Book  a Private Driver here

 

Day Trips form Yogyakarta

There's so much to do in the city of Yogyakarta but if you have even more time, there's a lot of natural beauty just a short car ride away. The region is home to several towering volcanoes (that are still active!), extensive cave systems and serene blue lakes. 

If you love the outdoors, you have to at least take one of these day trips!

 



 

Where to Stay in Jogjakarta

We stayed at The Phoenix and this stunning hotel was my favorite of the trip.

It has grand, old colonial architecture that feels quite similar to Raffles in Singapore. But while the rooms are decorated with antique, traditional Indonesian furniture, the hotel is still modern and luxurious!

There's a gorgeous outdoor swimming pool that we took full advantage of and the gigantic breakfast spread was not to be missed – they offer both Western and Indonesia food. My favorite part was the coffee option each morning, with six different types of sugar.

While the rooms themselves are fairly small, they're very comfortable. The hotel offers free WiFi and local fruits on arrival (give the rat tail fruit a try). Stay here for the atmosphere!

Book rooms: Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda

Check rates: TripAdvisor

 



 

Days 7-10: Raja Ampat

Papua Island

 

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Raja Ampat is one of the most beautiful, untouched ocean paradises on earth.

It's composed of four large main islands, called the Four Kings. Together the region of Raja Ampat covers 9.8 million acres of land and sea all the way in East Indonesia. 

For years Raja Ampat was a bit of a “secret” paradise, known mostly to Indonesians and the scuba diving community.

While the islands here might seem “ordinary”, it's the sights under the sea that are extraordinary.

 



 

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Visiting Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is one of the most bio diverse marine sights in the world, with over 540 types of corals, over 1,000 types of reef fish and over 700 types of mollusks.

While I've never been to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, all the divers on our trip who had scuba dived in both places said it was no contest – Raja Ampat blew it out of the water.

Chances are if you're visiting here, you've come to scuba dive. All of our days on the islands were spent in the water, swimming, snorkeling, meeting the locals and relaxing in paradise.

 



 

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Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is on the cusp of two oceans, the Indian and Pacific and the current is pretty strong. The journey is SO worth it, but if you're explicitly looking to visit for the diving, it helps to be extra comfortable.

I would recommend having an Advanced certification or being very comfortable with scuba diving. The waves can be a bit rough for beginners (at least they were for me).

We tried both snorkeling and scuba diving and saw incredible fish and reef life even on the snorkeling so that's always a fantastic option either way!

 



 

Getting to Raja Ampat

So why isn't Raja Ampat more well known?  Probably many reasons but the main one is location.

Raja Ampat is located on the western side of the island of Papua – it's incredibly far even if it might not look it on the map. It's also very undeveloped, and it took us a combination of planes, buses and ferries to get there on a very long and tiring journey. 

At one point I fell asleep in a hotel lobby couch because I was so exhausted! Oops. 

But once we made it, we were surrounded by sand and sunshine. Time there felt unreal, like being in one of the last untouched places on earth. 

 Read more:  How to Get to Raja Ampat

 



 

Things to Do in Raja Ampat

  • Scuba dive with giant manta rays, turtles and the most amazing coral reefs in the world
  • Feed the fish at Sawinggrai
  • Visit the community of Arborek Village for snorkeling and local food (tree sap anyone?)
  • Hike Piaynemo for unbelievable views of the islands
 Read more:  Quick Guide: Visiting Raja Ampat Indonesia

 

Where to stay in Raja Ampat 

We stayed at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge it was incredible. From the first steps onto the long wooden jetty, you know you're stepping into another world.

We spent 3 days in paradise, snorkeling under the dock, watching each sunrise and sunset and having fresh grilled shrimp and fish on the open pit.

Just be sure to pack sunscreen and mosquito repellent! Each night in early October, tropical rainstorms hit and I would wake up with 10 new mosquito bites.

Book rooms: Booking.com, Agoda

Check rates: TripAdvisor

 



 

Days 11-12 Lombok

Lombok Island

 

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Lombok is one of the more popular areas in Indonesia.

It's known for its beaches and great surfing. We had the best time learning how to surf here and highly recommend it!

If you're deciding between the beach regions:

  • Lombok is more touristy and commercial
  • Raja Ampat is untouched and more ‘Castaway' esque
  • Bali is more hippie and trendy

 



 

Best Things to Do in Lombok

  • Brave the waves for a surfing lesson at Selong Blanak Beach
  • Shop for local sarongs in the nearby marketplace
  • Take a 3 hour cooking class to learn how to make spicy local Lombok cuisine
  • Visit the famous Pink Beach of Lombok, where coral fragments turn traditionally white sand into a pastel pink
  • Discover north Lombok, famous for its waterfalls, tribal villages and the Bayan old mosque
  • Take a day trip to the southern part of Lombok where you can visit the Sasak tribe and relax at Kuta beach
  • For a challenge, take a multi day and night trek to reach the crater rim of Mount Rinjani 
 Read more:  18 of the Best Things to Do in Lombok

 

Where to Stay in Lombok

We stayed at Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas.

It's a beautiful, sprawling indoor-outdoor hotel on the beach with tons of daily activities, like taking Indonesia cooking classes, feed the monkeys or trying yoga on the beach.

The rooms felt more like suites – they were airy, open and had modern jungle-y decor. The hotel also had a fantastic breakfast (can you tell I love a great hotel breakfast?!)

The Novotel Lombok is very well known – we saw the most Europeans and Australians on this property than anywhere else on the trip (but that's probably also because Lombok and the nearby Gili islands are a very popular destination in Indonesia.)

If you want more 5 star luxurious accommodation in Lombok, this hotel is it!

Book rooms: Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda

Check rates: TripAdvisor

 



 

Days 13-14: Gili Trangwan

Lombok Island

 

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Gili is the collective name for three small islands off the coast of Lombok.

We stayed on the largest of the 3, Gili Trawangan, which has the most infrastructure. Gili T is known for its vibrant nightlife and felt very similar to Cancun, with street after street of bars and restaurants.

If you're looking for a girls getaway or party spot – this is it!

The island itself is pretty small and doesn't allow any kind of motorized transport. So instead, you can hop on a horse drawn cart, rent a bike or just walk.

We had a lot of fun riding bikes around the island perimeter and trying out all the beach swings.

 



 

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Getting to the Gili Islands

From Lombok, you'll have to take a speed boat to reach any of the three Gili islands.

In high season, there's often a long wait for the ferries so you can save time by booking a trip in advance. You can reserve either a trip on the fast or slow boats.

 Book  a Fast Boat Transfer

 

Best Things to Do in Gili Trangwan

  • Bike around the island, stopping for a pina colada or two
  • Swing on the ocean hammocks and swings (although be aware these can get crowded)
  • Relax by the pool and have a gelato or two (there are tons of stands on the island, all are delicious)
  • Once the sun goes down… bar hop all night long!
  • Learn how to scuba dive with a beginner PADI open water course
  • Take a beginner dive trip to see underwater sea turtles
  • Island hop between Gili Trangwan, Gili Air and Gili Meno
  • Go on a snorkeling trip to the undisturbed, uninhabited islands of Gili Kondo, Gili Kapal and Gili Lampu
  • Don't know how to swim? Walk underwater with a Seawalker tour so you can see the fish

 



 

Where to Stay in Gili Trangwan

We stayed at Villa Ombak, a large gorgeous property right across the dock when you get off on the island.

The Villa has a number of different room types – I had one with an absolutely huge outdoor bathroom / shower that was so fun. There's a great pool with tons of hammocks, bikes to rent and giant chess boards.

You could comfortably stay here all morning, head to the beach and then party at night.

Book rooms: Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda

Check rates: TripAdvisor

 



 

The best tours in Indonesia:

  • Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: a once in a lifetime experience to enjoy sunrise at the summit of Mount Batur. Balinese guides will show you the way under dark and take you to the edge of the active volcano. Check availability here.
  • Beach and Bar Hop: I wish I had known about this tour when I was traveling in Indonesia! Beach and bar hop across bali in these adorable 1980 VW buses (yes, they're wifi and minibar equipped). Watch the sunset at Jimbaran bay, sip cocktails at Bali's best seaside resorts and do Bali in style. Check availability here.
  • Bali Reef Cruise and Lembongan Island Day Trip: Nusa Lembongan is an idyllic protected island and one of the best places to go snorkeling, diving, etc from Bali. This tour takes care of all transportation and meals! Check availability here.
  • Bali Traditional Village Tour: A full day tour to Ubud's traditional villages and most famous temples with a stunning lunch over Bali's volcano. Check availability here.
  • Seminyak Cooking Class: Do you love food? Then you can't miss a cooking class to learn Balinese classics like coconut pancakes, fried banana and papaya soup. Check availability here.

 



 

Visiting Indonesia – Travel Planning Checklist

Go | From New York City, there are no direct flights to Indonesia but you can grab reasonably priced flights if you book early. Check often for routes and fares here. I've transferred in Doha and China and prefer Doha's modern airport via Qatar Airways.

If flying to Jakarta, fares will be slightly cheaper and from Indonesia's capital you can explore Bandung, Yogyakarta and Sumatra on short domestic flights. If your focus is Bali, note that flights from the the East Coast of the USA will be slightly more expensive and typically will involve a 2nd stopover in Jakarta anyway.

Getting Around | You can rent a motorized scooter to get around or book a tour to handle transportation if you're not comfortable. Taxis and Ubers will work in some areas, but not all. Gojek is a popular app for moped taxis. Jakarta and Bali have especially terrible traffic.

Stay | I highly recommend ‘hotel hopping' Bali – the island is quite large and different neighborhoods have their own characteristics. Bali is also a fantastic place to splurge on a luxury resort – the options are endless, the views are unbeatable and the food is divine. We loved both Alila Villas Uluwatu and the Sofitel Nusa Dua.

Airbnb is a great way to stay in luxurious Balinese resorts for discounted rates – especially if you're traveling with a group. Many have spacious villas and beautiful pools.

Pack | Bring light fabrics and traditional summer wear for Bali along with mosquito spray. If you intend to visit Indonesia's other cities and famous temples, bring modest clothing. Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country and can view short shorts and mini skirts as impolite. You can read my complete Bali packing list here.

Protect | Lastly, be sure to visit Indonesia with travel insurance. Whether you get injured and need to be hospitalized, or your phone gets stolen, travel insurance will help when you need it most.

I ended up getting seriously ill and visiting the hospital while in Solo, Indonesia and being taken care of was a lifesaver. Get a quote for your trip here.

 

 You Might Also Enjoy: 

 

Indonesia Vacation Planning Articles

Quick Guide: The Ultimate Indonesia Travel Guide

When is the Best Time to Visit Indonesia

At a Glance: 50 Incredible Things You Can Only Do in Indonesia

An Off the Beaten Path Itinerary: 2 Weeks in Indonesia

 

Java

Yogyakarta : 10 Highlights from Java's Cultural Center

UNESCO World Heritage: Exploring Borobudur & Prambanan Temple

Bandung Don't Leave Without Seeing These 7 Sights

 

Visiting Bali

Bali Packing List: What to Wear in the World's Largest Muslim Country

Where to Stay: Bali's Best Neighborhoods

Luxury Resorts in Bali with Epic Swimming Pools

Hotel Review: Alila Villas Uluwatu

 

More Beautiful Islands

A Raja Ampat Travel Guide: Scuba Diving, Hiking & How to Get There

Sun, Surf & Sea: Visiting Lombok & The Gili Islands

 

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BrendaOctober 18, 2016 - 11:54 am

I really like the 2nd itinerary you listed. I am arriving to denpasar, bali, and will like to follow this one. I have two questions and I was wondering if perhaps you could assist. One for the second itinerary, do you think it would be possible to substitute something (like staying a few days extra in kanawa island ) and going to the Gili islands instead? Also, is it better and less expensive to rent hotels once there or to do it online? (i.e the rates for the places you stayed, did you pre-book?)

SherOctober 18, 2016 - 12:03 pm

Hi Brenda – I don’t quite understand your question as I only posted one itinerary, do you mean the second week? I did include the Gili islands on the trip and if you want a more fun / party atmosphere it’s worth exploring. For hotels yes, it’s definitely better to pre-book, you’ll get a cheaper rate.

Lately I’ve been getting comments from users who leave “check my gift card balance” and other strange websites as their URL. I’m not really sure why. I’m tempted to think your comment is spam! If i’m mistaken, please let me know.

CarmenOctober 18, 2016 - 5:56 pm

It looks absolutely stunning there. I really like how you captured the natural beauty of it. I definitely want to visit some day. Great post! :]

SherOctober 19, 2016 - 12:22 am

Thanks Carmen! Indonesia is SO stunning – hope you make it out there soon :)

JoyceOctober 19, 2016 - 9:49 am

It looks like a dream!! I can’t wait to go back to SE Asia!

[…] Read more: Indonesia in Two Weeks: An Itinerary Covering Bandung, Java, Raja Ampat and Lombok […]

ChloeOctober 23, 2016 - 11:35 am

Such a lovely write up and gorgeous pics. I want to go back and do it all over again! Cx

SherOctober 23, 2016 - 2:33 pm

Thanks Chloe!!

[…] an interest in seeing more of Indonesia’s beaches! Do you have some extra time? How about a 2 week Indonesia itinerary that hits up some more spectacular beaches and even […]

MikeOctober 25, 2016 - 3:41 am

Great photos, layout and information! Was such a great trip!

SherOctober 26, 2016 - 9:02 am

Thanks Mike! Appreciate you stopping by. Hope we see each other again soon!

[…] It was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to tour Indonesia with the helpful advice of some local friends. You can find the final itinerary I took here. […]

[…] on exploring more of Indonesia than just Bali? If so take a look over at SherSheGoes’ Indonesian Itinerary for ideas of where to explore and what to […]

JasmineOctober 28, 2016 - 4:03 pm

Wow! These are such beautiful photos and awesome suggestions too, definitely adding some of these to my bucket list. Really love how you organize your blog as well. It’s so clean and love that little drop-down option. Thanks for sharing!

Cherene SaradarOctober 29, 2016 - 3:35 pm

Hey Sher, it’s Cher. Lol. I loved this post. Very helpful and gorgeous pics. I’m bookmarking this for when I go next spring!

[…] for how to get to the islands. I covered it briefly in my Raja Ampat travel guide and also in my Indonesia itinerary but below is the fully fleshed out series of steps for anyone else looking to make the […]

9 Top Reasons to Visit BaliNovember 1, 2016 - 11:20 am

[…] your visit in Bali, If you want to explore more of Indonesia check this 14-days itinerary from our fellow fashion and photography blogger Sher. Have you ever been to Bali? If so, what is […]

[…] 2 Week Itinerary Bandung, Yogyakarta, Lombok & Raja Ampat […]

[…] is the third largest city in Indonesia and is nicknamed the Flower City for its abundance of greenhouses, local floral growing businesses […]

Five Cool Things to do in LombokNovember 12, 2016 - 4:42 pm

[…] more: Explore Lombok and more in this fab two week Indonesia Itinerary from the lovely Sher She […]

[…] Read more: Two Weeks in Indonesia […]

[…] more: Other Indonesian Regions of Interest: Bandung, Java, Lombok and Gili and 10 Can’t Miss Sights in Java, […]

stephanieNovember 19, 2016 - 10:35 am

This summer I went to Bali and the Gilis for two/three weeks.
But i wish I had had time to see more of Indonesia!
Hopefully i can go back soon!
Thanks for sharing, ive written these things down.
x

SherNovember 19, 2016 - 11:21 am

Ooh wish I had spent 3 weeks in Bali, sounds amazing!

MariaNovember 25, 2016 - 3:04 pm

Hi Sher. Thank you for sharing your experiences in this beautiful countrie. I´m very interested in going to Indonesia, specially Bali for honeymoon. Your itinenary is interesting. I´m flying from either LAX or San Diego. I see that you flew to Jakarta… from where did you flew back to your home? Same? Jakarta?

Please let me know or make suggestions. Many thanks in advance.

MariaNovember 25, 2016 - 3:15 pm

Sher,

I wondered if you received my previous e-mail? I´m going to Indonesia going from either LAX or San Diego. You flew Jakarta way. What airport/city do you suggest coming back to LAX or SD?

Thank you very much!!!!

SherNovember 25, 2016 - 6:18 pm

Hi Maria, I’m happy you’re planning to visit Indonesia. The best place to check flights is either google.com/flights or skyscanner – both will give you great options and allow you to set price alerts for the best deals. Happy to help!

Suzanne HarrisonNovember 26, 2016 - 5:48 am

Hi really great blog, itinerary, photos- what a fab trip. Definately want to do. Just a question you spent 3 days on Raja Ampat- as it takes 2 days to get there? Do you give yourself 6/7 days to get there, 3 days there and get back? just thinking how many days we need to get there and back. I read you said it’s better to pre book rooms/ places to stay- as it’s cheaper. Would we be ok just turning up and asking? Done so in other countries but better to book ahead on Raja ampat. Thanks for all your photos and itinerary and travel ideas- brilliant! Suze

SherNovember 26, 2016 - 3:38 pm

Hi Suzanne – so glad you enjoy the content! To answer your question, I spent 3 full days on the islands of Raja Ampat and the travel time to and from was additional time. If you’re coming from Jakarta or Denpasar, it’s a hair more straight forward as it cuts out one flight, but you should budget at least a full day, possibly a day and a half, for travel time each way.

I covered the full logistical details of getting to Raja Ampat in this post: https://shershegoes.com/how-to-get-to-raja-ampat/

I do recommend booking ahead for a couple reasons. First, it’s quite expensive. Raja Ampat is remote so everything about the trip is pricey – the flights, the ferries/speedboats and the hotels themselves, not to mention diving. If you book ahead you’ll avoid the sticker shock. Secondly, Raja Ampat is a series of islands and the main island where you ferry into, Wasei, is just a industrial port/hub without any tourist infrastructure. Most people choose one of the smaller, more private islands to stay at and to get to the smaller island you need a speedboat which the hotel will arrange for you in advance (at extra cost). If you just show up, you’ll be a bit stranded. You can’t relaly walk around ha. Finally, there aren’t many lodging options. There’s a dive eco center closest to Wasei, the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge I stayed at which is probably the most “luxury”, local home stays on some islands (but these aren’t well advertised unless you are already on the smaller islands) and perhaps 5-8 other hotels so supply is limiting.

Do you speak Indonesian? If so, I think showing up and asking around could be potentially ok. I have to admit I never show up without a hotel booked, even if just as a backup. It sounds like you are comfortable doing it so maybe you may feel differently. I do like booking with booking.com bc you can then cancel without charge if you change your mind.

a final note – Raja Ampat sees very few tourists out in West Papua except “luxury” tourists and die hard scuba divers so there isn’t much infrastructure to cater to Westerners.

Hope that helps and please check the Raja Ampat post for all the logistical details. I put it in there for anyone looking for dedicated info on Raja Ampat! Let me know if you have any other questions, happy to help.

[…] You will find many cultures among the islands, many different activities, and a lot of amazing food!  I have traveled to many countries, and I always find the friendliest people in the world in Indonesia.  The transportation infrastructure is lacking, however, and getting around requires a lot of patience. Make sure to plan an itinerary, so you don’t miss the best places in Indonesia. […]

[…] See my comprehensive Travel Guide to Indonesia’s Best Hidden Destinations […]

SumaiyaJune 2, 2017 - 1:30 pm

Hi there,

Can I just tell how amazing your pictures are. I am sold on Indonesia just by the pictures!

I see that you have been to both Thailand and Indonesia. I would like to get your advise on honeymoon location. Which would you prefer for honeymoon? Both of us aren’t so much into beaches but would like some beach time after the wedding and also do some exploring. We are getting married in August and plan to go on the honeymoon in Sept/Oct. I read weather isn’t too good around that time in Thailand but I was kind of leaning towards Thailand. I would really appreciate any advise or input to make my decision on the location. Thank You!

SherJune 2, 2017 - 1:46 pm

Hi Sumaiya, hmm personally I would pick Koh Samui thailand for your honeymoon! That was my favorite place, and I loved where stayed (conrad koh samui). Its not super beachy bc the villas are built into the cliffs but each room has its own infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, and the hotel has a small private island if you want to snorkel and explore!

TeddieJune 6, 2017 - 7:57 pm

Hi! Amazing itinerary! I read your post on getting to Raja Ampat but was curious how you got from Raja Ampat to Lombok. Did you fly back through Jakarta?

Thanks!

SherJune 7, 2017 - 1:43 am

Hi Teddie – thanks! If I remember correctly we connected in makassar. Doesn’t make sense to go all the way to jakarta, as its further west!

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ChloeMarch 27, 2018 - 7:18 am

Hi- I love how you posted photos. May I ask which image plug-in you use? I’ve been looking for one for a long time. Please let me know. Thank you!

SherMarch 27, 2018 - 10:35 am

Hi Chloe – Thanks for the kind words, but I’m not sure what you mean. I don’t use a plugin for photos

[…]  Read more:  How to Spend the Best 2 Weeks in Indonesia […]

MyaJune 30, 2018 - 8:45 am

Hi, we are considering Indonesia for our next big trip and you’re itinerary is amazing! I think we may follow your recs and schedule haha! I was wondering what time is the best time to go?
We were thinking july-aug (next year).
Thanks!

SherJuly 2, 2018 - 4:18 pm

Hi Mya – Thanks! I wrote about the best time to go / seasonal expectations here

I’ve been to Indonesia in July-August and Sept-Oct. Both were lots of fun!

[…] An Off the Beaten Path Itinerary: 2 Weeks in Indonesia […]

AgungpspOctober 20, 2018 - 3:45 am

Indonesia ?
I love this country cause the nature is amazing. I hope I can go to those places too.

Oh, I just found that you wrote Yogyakarta as Jokja or Jokjakarta, but I am sorry, you are wrong. Yogyakarta is actually Jogja or Jogjakarta and some call as Ngayogyakarta .

Love your posts ?

SherNovember 11, 2018 - 3:48 pm

Thanks for the correction! My bad.

I love Indonesia too!!!

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