With over 17,000 islands under its governance, Indonesia features attractions and excitement for everyone, from diving in relatively untapped waters to visiting ancient temples and climbing active volcanoes. Whatever you decide, the 2 weeks in Indonesia experience will undoubtedly leave you in awe and admiration for a country as rich in history and natural wonders as this one.
Off the coast of the Southeast Asian continent, between the Pacific and Indian oceans, is the nation of Indonesia. The countries of East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia border it. It is also part of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), a geopolitical union.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING INDONESIA
Indonesia is relatively easy to navigate, but there are a few things to be aware of before travelling there. When visiting this unique and beautiful country, it’s always important to be prepared, from knowing how to navigate the top tourist destinations and islands to learning the preferred mode of payment. Before visiting Indonesia, here are a few essential travel tips that can come in handy.
When is the best time to go to Indonesia
The tropical climate of Indonesia features two distinct seasons, namely dry and wet. The dry season, which spans from April to October, is the ideal time to travel to Indonesia. The weather is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, surfing, and seeing all of Indonesia’s top tourist destinations during these months.
If you must travel from June to September, be prepared for higher costs and many tourists as it is the peak season.
In contrast, the wet season lasts from November to March, and the most fantastic time to avoid travelling to Indonesia is in January, as it rains heavily.
Are 2 weeks enough for Indonesia
Indonesia has 17,000 islands. I think it’s safe to say that 14 days in Indonesia is not enough to travel to every beautiful spot in this country. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t visit Indonesia if you have limited time. Many people arrive here and only spend a few days or weeks.
Having limited time means you can visit the locations that matter a lot to you. Then if you like it, you can also come back later and explore new areas.
If you only have 2 weeks in Indonesia, it’s best to focus on one island only or 3-4 cities that are well-located. If you have a basic idea of places you want to visit, this will help you make the most of your time.
If you desire shorter and more reliable boat rides, your best bet is the ferry transfers between islands. The most efficient transportation across Java Island is by train, and you can purchase a transport card at MRT stations or select Transjakarta bus stops. Due to their low cost and constant availability, buses continue to be Indonesia’s primary mode of mainland transportation.
For those who value punctuality, you can opt for flying between islands. Indonesia’s public transport network is significantly inadequate. You’ll have more freedom to travel to remote areas if you have your own vehicle or rent one with a local driver.
Language and currency
Indonesia’s primary language is called Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). For travellers, you don’t have to worry as much since English is spoken in areas popular amongst foreign visitors. While Indonesia and Malaysia have many similarities, your attempts to learn the language will benefit you when visiting Sarawak, Sabah, and Malaysia.
While most tourist attractions accept cards, I suggest carrying enough cash with you as you travel off the grid. The Indonesian rupiah is the country’s official currency. Therefore you should bring some of that on hand and a Visa or Mastercard debit card to get extra cash when you need it.
Visa and COVID-19 policy
One of the very few countries in the world with an open and accessible visa policy is Indonesia. Most visitors can stay in Indonesia for up to 30 days by receiving a visa on arrival for $30. Those with a passport issued by an ASEAN country can enter and stay in Indonesia without paying for a visa.
Suppose your passport is from Africa, Central Asia, and many parts of the Gulf countries and Central Asia. In that case, you might need to apply for a visa at the nearest Indonesian Embassy. Travellers with passports issued by South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia can receive a 30-day visa upon arrival.
Indonesia is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that opened its border as soon as possible after the pandemic. As early as January 2022, Indonesia started welcoming international tourists. Many COVID-19-related policies, such as proof of RT-PCR test and wearing a mask, have been dropped.
What is the average cost for 2 weeks in Indonesia
Travelling around Indonesia is not too expensive. A stay in a hotel for a double room costs about $10-$20 a night; a hostel dorm bed is between $7-$10. For eating out, you can quickly get a nice meal for $1-$2, including food along the street.
If you want to sit in a nicer restaurant, around $3-$4 is reasonable. Imported liquor is expensive here, but local beer is affordable. Transportation is also very cheap in Indonesia by land, sea, and domestic flights.
I plan to spend around $1,000 for one person for 2 weeks in Indonesia. For those willing to stay in dorm rooms, $800 is doable, and for luxury, for $1,500, you’ll travel around comfortably – all excluding flights to and from Indonesia.
Other basic travel tips
The list below will help you plan and book your travel arrangements. I like to book at least the first two nights in advance and then book the rest later. But that only works if you are travelling during the off-season. In peak season, the best hotels get snatched fast. I also like these websites because they let me cancel for free, even until the last minute.
PINNED MAP OF TOP THINGS TO SEE IN INDONESIA
Click the icon on the top right to enlarge the map. Credit: map data: Google
2 WEEKS IN INDONESIA ITINERARY
If you wish to travel for 14 days weeks in Indonesia but don’t know where to begin, then this guide is for you. With this two-week itinerary for Indonesia, which features the top attractions and things to do, you can create the ideal trip with your friends and loved ones or even as a solo traveller.
The places you can go on particular days are listed below. I also added what you could accomplish in each city to maximize your vacation in Indonesia. To assist you in creating your own itinerary, I’ve laid out 3 sample itineraries that you may choose and modify to fit your 14 days in Indonesia.
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Itinerary #1: First Time (Jakarta, Mt Bromo, Bali, Lombok/Gili Islands)
The “Emerald of the Equator” offers everything a traveller might desire, including mouthwatering street food, breathtaking beaches, and historic temples. But with so many places to visit and things to do in Indonesia, it might get challenging to organize the perfect trip.
This itinerary will take you from the nation’s capital, Jakarta, through Bali, one of the most well-known islands, and finally to Gili Trawangan, where you can see green sea turtles. Overall, this itinerary will provide first-time travellers with a fantastic overview of all that this amazing country has to offer.
Jakarta for 3 days
Begin your adventure at Jakarta, Indonesia’s vibrant capital, which is a cultural melting pot of traditions from Arab, Indian, Malay, and Javanese. Here, you can explore Taman Mini Indonesia Indah to glimpse traditional homes. Visit the Old Town to admire Jakarta’s architecture from the colonial period.
Javanese and Malay traditions coexist with Arab, Indian, and Dutch customs. Visit Taman Mini Indonesia Indah to see models of traditional residences from all of Indonesia’s 17,000+ islands. Visit Jakarta’s Old Town to see the deteriorating colonial architecture.
Mount Bromo for 3 days
Mount Bromo, an active volcano, is a component of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. To get the best view of the volcano from the peak of Mount Penanjakan, hikers frequently depart from the nearby mountain town of Cemoro Lawang.
The park’s environment is a mixture of tropical rainforest, a desert-like region, and a chilly zone. I advise making reservations for your stay in Malang if your agenda calls for trekking Mount Bromo.
You can easily get to Mount Bromo from Jakarta by taking a flight of about 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can check out two airports, one at Surabaya (Juanda International Airport) and one at Malang (Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport). There are more flights to Surabaya because it’s a bigger city.
The flight ticket is around $60 for one way, and there are about 4 flights a day. Due to ticket availability, you can do that if you have to fly to Surabaya. Then you can travel for another hour and 30 minutes by land down to Malang.
Bali for 5 days
Pura Tanah Lot, located around 20 km Northwest of Kuta, is one of Bali’s most prominent temples because of its breathtaking coastline location. If you’re looking for romantic activities, climb Mount Batur’s 1,700 meters to the summit and witness the sun rise over the mist-shrouded mountains. Day trips to Ubud, Nusa Penida, or Mount Ijen are among Bali’s highlights.
One of the best beaches in Asia, Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida, ranks the highest for its unique beauty due to its stunning location and T-Rex-shaped cliff. If you’re a photographer or animal lover, I recommend visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
There are no direct flights from Malang to Bali. However, there is one from Surabaya, around $50. If you don’t want to travel back to Surabaya, the flight from Malang connects to Jakarta and costs about $120.
Lombok/Gili Islands for 3 days
The Gili Islands are a top attraction in Lombok, which has grown in popularity among tourists and backpackers over the years. If you want more turtle action, visit the sea turtle hatchery at Gili Trawangan, where hundreds of these animals hatch each year.
Sire Beach is among the finest beaches with a view of Lombok, with Mt. Rinjani, Indonesia’s second tallest volcano, towering in the background. To reach Bali from Lombok, I recommend booking a nonstop flight since it would only take around 40 min. Alternatively, you can opt for a ferry journey that takes roughly 2 hr 45 min.
You can end your trip here since the beaches on these lovely islands rival Bali’s in terms of beauty, and there are also options for diving and even snorkelling at a turtle sanctuary. Ensure to take a trip back to Bali for international flights if you are headed back home or catching a flight to another country.
Itinerary #2: Java Only, Hiking Itinerary (Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Mt Bromo, Mt Ijen
Java is a massive island that would require months to explore thoroughly. However, if you only have a limited time and want a blend of nature and adventure, I highly suggest focus exploring Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Mt. Bromo, and Mt. Ijen.
These destinations are for you if you want to get away from the trendy vibe and touristy beaches. On this 2 weeks in Indonesia itinerary, delve into Java’s fascinating culture and breathtaking natural surroundings. Trek to mountaintops to see volcanoes at daybreak and observe a turquoise volcanic crater.
Get a chance to see Yogyakarta, Indonesia’s cultural centre, and head to two renowned temples such as Borobudur, the grandest Buddhist temple, and Prambanan, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Jakarta and Bandung for 4 days
Among the largest squares in the world, Merdeka Square is a 75-hectare park in the heart of Jakarta. It’s a terrific place to spend a relaxing weekend with friends and family. Suppose you want to embark on a shopping spree. In that case, Plaza Indonesia in Central Jakarta is filled to the brim with high-end international brands, including Christian Louboutin, Kate Spade, Bulgari, and Rolex.
Another option is to take a day trip to Bandung, also called the “Paris of Indonesia,” where you may visit Gedung Sate, the city’s emblem. If you’re into architecture, I recommend checking out Villa Isola to see its distinctive art deco style.
Yogyakarta for 3 days
On the island of Java, Yogyakarta is quickly gaining popularity as a destination for travellers looking for magnificent mountains, temples, and cultural attractions. Plan a day to view the sunrise at Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest Buddhist temple.
Aside from that, you can also visit Prambanan Temple, the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia devoted to Shiva, which is located closer to the city.
Mount Merapi, also known as “Fire Mountain,” is Indonesia’s most active volcano at 2,911 meters. If the weather is correct, it allows for a fantastic but challenging hiking experience. If you’re looking for a quick trip, I highly recommend travelling from Jakarta to Yogyakarta by plane since it would take an average of 1 hr 15 min to arrive.
Mount Bromo/Malang for 3 days
One of the best things to do here is to catch Mount Bromo’s sunrise from King Kong Hill or Seruni, which can be reached by riding a jeep. At the base of Mount Bromo, you can also stop by the Luhur Poten Hindu Temple. Don’t miss the Rainbow Village of Jodipan near Malang, where you may get some fantastic photos against a vibrant background.
Given that Tumpak Sewu Waterfall is among Indonesia’s most outstanding waterfalls, I suggest taking a day trip there from Malang.
Getting to Mount Bromo from Jakarta is pretty straightforward. After all, it’s such a popular destination in Indonesia. The best and most convenient way is to take a quick flight. You can look at two places – the airport near Surabaya (Juanda International Airport) or the one near Malang (Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport). Most people prefer Malang because it’s much closer to Mount Bromo.
The flight is about 1 hr and 30 minutes, non-stop, and the ticket usually costs $60 for one way. I recommend you stay in Malang but if the flights don’t align, fly to Surabaya and then travel down to Malang right away.
Mount Ijen for 3 days
You can end your trip with Mount Ijen, most famous for its unique blue fire and the world’s largest acid lake. Aside from that, the area is home to numerous hills and volcanoes, which are absolutely breathtaking. If you’re planning to see the blue fire, I suggest you do it with a guide to ensure you don’t miss it.
The train system is your best bet for a comfortable and preferred method to reach Ijen from Bromo. You can expect the train trip from Bromo to Ijen, which spans 140 km (miles) depending on the base camp’s location, to take an average of 4.5-6 hr.
I advise making reservations at Banyuwangi for your accommodations before heading outdoors. It takes roughly 1 hour to get to Kawah Ijen campsite from the starting location of the climb, and it takes approximately another 2 hours to hike at a moderate pace before reaching the peak.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Now to the fun part – the must-see places in Indonesia. Below, I arranged them by city so it’s easier to see. Check the map above, which you can make a copy of to help you see where everything is.
- National Monument (Monas)
- Old Jakarta/Old Town (Kota Tua)
- Jakarta Arts and Heritage District
- Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
- Plaza Indonesia
- Jakarta Planetarium
- Presidential Palace
- Jakarta Cathedral
- Ancol Dreamland
- Kuta Beach, Seminyak Beach, and Nusa Dua Beach
- Tegalalang and Jatiluwih
- Scuba diving
- Yoga retreat
- Mount Batur
- White water rafting
- Tirta Empul Temple
- Day trip to Ubud (The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary)
- Day trip to Seminyak
- Cooking class and food tour
- Kuta Beach, Senggigi Beach, and Pink Beach
- Rice terraces of Lombok
- Lingsar Temple and the Mayura Temple
- Mount Rinjani and the Sendang Gile Waterfall (hiking)
- Cooking classes and Food tour
- Yoda and Meditation class
- Tiu Kelep Waterfall (white rafting)
- Lombok Elephant Park (rescued elephants)
- Traditional village of Sade (Sasak people)
- Tangkuban Perahu Crater
- Saung Angklung Udjo
- Bandung City Square (Alun-Alun Bandung)
- Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB)
- Pasar Baru Trade Center
- Bandung Geological Museum
- Bandung Creative Economy Center (BCEC)
- Mount Burangrang and the Pangandaran Nature Reserve (hiking)
- Temples of Borobudur and Prambanan
- Sultan’s Palace (Kraton Yogyakarta)
- Taman Sari Water Castle
- Yogyakarta Art Gallery
- Malioboro Street market
- Mount Merbabu and Mount Merapi (hiking)
- Yogyakarta Batik Museum
- Yogyakarta Bird Park
- Yogyakarta Night Market
MUST-TRY INDONESIAN DISHES, DRINKS, AND SNACKS
Because Indonesia is such a diverse country, it’s not surprising how multicultural the food is as well. There are lots of dishes to try while you are in Indonesia; see if you can at least give 3-5 dishes a shot and find out what you think:
- Nasi Goreng (fried rice)
- Gado-Gado (salad)
- Satay (meat skewers)
- Bakso (meatball soup)
- Soto (soup)
- Rendang (stew)
- Nasi Kuning (rice dish)
- Mie Goreng (stir-fried noodles)
- Rujak (fruit salad)
- Matarbak (stuffed pancake)
- Es campur (shaved ice)
- Ketan hitam, Pulut into, Klepon (glutinous rice with coconut milk)
- Teh botol (sweetened iced tea)
- Es teler (cold fruity drink)
- Bajigur (warm coconut milk drink)
- Bandre (warm ginger drink)
SUMMARY OF 2 WEEKS IN INDONESIA
That wraps up these epic two weeks in Indonesia travel itineraries. As you can see, this country is home to a massive variety of stunning locations, including museums, temples, pristine islands, and volcanoes waiting for you to explore. Spending 2 weeks in Indonesia, you’ll have a well-rounded view of this breathtaking South East Asian archipelago.