When planning a vacation with friends or a trip with your gal pals, exploring Indonesia is not always the first thing that comes to mind. This is largely because lots of travelers don’t really know all the island nation has to offer. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Indonesia has something for everyone. It can be overwhelming to plan an international trip on your own though, so round up your squad and let’s take a look at some of the logistics needed and options available for an Indonesian vacation!
Where should I go?
For those that aren’t too familiar, it can be rough to figure out where to go in Indonesia. We don’t blame you: the country is comprised of more than 17,000 islands, which is definitely more than a handful of choices. With that said, though, there are a couple of main islands that you should have on your radar when booking tickets.
Chances are you’ve heard of Bali as a vacation spot if you know anything about Indonesia. That’s for good reason – the popular island is basically a paradise picked straight from your travel daydreams. Among lots of tantalizing options, the beaches are perhaps the biggest draw, with perfect yellow shores and water that’s made for playing and exploring. If you’re a bit tired after a day out in the sun, don’t fret: there are tons of highly acclaimed spas around the island that you can hit up with your friends. The Taksu Spa in Ubud is particularly well-received, offering yoga, delicious food and life-changing massages.
Of course, you’d be remiss to only stay at the beaches and spas, as you can get a much deeper look at the culture of Bali. Utilize the mini-buses that are common to the island and check out rice farms and temples that are important to the people of the island. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a must-see, situated next to a reflective, mirror-like lake and nestled in a mountain valley.
While most travelers stop at Bali, Java is another excellent choice. It’s the most densely populated of any of the Indonesian islands and has an excellent mix of urban tourism and more exotic spots to visit. You could hit the city of Surabaya and check out some historic architecture and museums, or make the trek to Bandung, a massive marketplace that many travelers skip over. Bandung specializes in denim, so save some money and get some new, on-trend jeans while you’re there!
If you’re less of the city type, you could visit the Anyer beach and rejuvenate yourself in crystal clear water that’s packed with marine life. From here, you can also get a glimpse of Mount Krakatoa, the infamous volcano that’s responsible for creating several of Indonesia’s islands. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, there are several mountains across Java that are worth hiking to, or even summiting. Mount Ijen boasts the largest acidic crater lake in the world at its peak, and Mount Bromo is one of the best spots to watch the sunrise on the island (plus, you can drive most of the way up!).
When should I go?
Picking when to head to Indonesia is of utmost importance, as the seasons can definitely change your experience. Hopefully you’re a person who likes temperate climates, as the temperature averages around 28°C (aka about 82°F). Other than that, though, travelers should be aware of the wet season, which runs from October to April and has heavy rainfall. May through September is considered the best season to go, as it is far more dry, but you should expect lots more tourists around you if you go then (which, if you’re looking to meet like-minded traveler friends, could be a great thing!).
If you’ve never considered a trip to Indonesia before, hopefully you’re now inspired! The different islands all have unique experiences to offer, meaning you can see a whole world’s worth of sights across a small time span. There are tons of common vacation spots that might jump to mind first, but Indonesia can’t be beaten in terms of sheer variety. No matter if you’re looking to explore, relax, shop or just soak in the sights, you can do it here.