- The Red Journal
- Uniquely Red
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and is home to an incredible array of cultures, local customs, flora and fauna, spectacular scenery, art, and cuisine. Every major island has a unique culture and landscape. While many tourists focus on Bali, the more intrepid will venture to Java to visit the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobodur or Flores for its wild landscape.
Take a look at the sample itineraries below that you can use as a starting point to design your perfect trip in Indonesia. We offer 2 types of tours: Group Tours and Private Tours.
Group tours (labeled in red) take place on specific dates beginning in the arrival city and have limited capacity of typically only 8 to 12 people. Some may be led by an experienced western guide, others will use local guides. Some group tours can be done as a private tour. Just ask.
Private tours (labeled in grey) are sample itineraries to spark ideas for your trip. The include a carefully curated schedule of activities. We customize them for when you’re able to travel and for how many people are in your group. Most tours and activities are privately-guided and all internal transportation is included. Prices will change depending on the season, hotel selections, group size, and other factors. We can always adjust these itineraries to add or remove days, destinations, activities, and combine them with other itineraries.
Discover the cultural heartlands of Bali and Flores with this amazing itinerary designed for intimate local interactions and stunning natural landscapes. Learn about ancient rituals and traditions passed down from generations as you meet a Hindu Priest and a local host family over a fun cooking class. Explore rural tribal villages in the hinterlands of Flores as well as spectacular volcanic crater lakes, waterfalls and a prehistoric “Hobbit Man” cave. ... View Itinerary
Savor the aroma of world famous Java coffee plantations and classical fine arts at Yogyakarta, the only Indonesian royal city still ruled by a monarchy. The island of Java is also home to the magnificent Borobudur Temple, a Buddhist temple complex dating back from the 8th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the single largest Buddhist structure that took 75 years to construct. End your trip at the paradise ... View Itinerary
Get away from the crowds! Explore traditional areas in East Bali surrounded by stunning terraced rice fields, spectacular nature and charming rural villages. A paradise for nature lovers, Sideman Valley offers numerous hiking opportunities around hidden caves, waterfalls and rolling hills dotted with friendly villages. Hop on a short speedboat ride to Lombok, relax at a secluded pristine beach or take a day trip around the famous Gili Islands, home ... View Itinerary
The best time of year to visit Indonesia is between May and September when the days are dry and sunny. The wet monsoon season of October through April has more rain with the high temperatures, but the rain is in the form of heavy showers that may last for a couple of hours and still allow for most activities in places like Java and Bali.
As you travel further east to the islands of Lombok, Flores and beyond there is a greater chance of flooding during the wet season and droughts in the dry.
The peak travel season is July and August. The weather is generally great, but the better hotels can fill up and it’s a big party atmosphere at the developed beaches in Bali. The same can be said for the Christmas and New Year’s time period.
We’ve inspected and stayed in dozens of hotels throughout the country. We will not only recommend which hotel may best for you, but which room category. Here’s a few that we highly recommend based on the quality of the rooms and facilities, cleanliness, standard of service, and locations. These aren’t always the cheapest hotels, but they are among the best hotels in their category. We tend to have a preference for high-quality boutique hotels that have a great location, excellent food, and a local ambience, or perhaps a colonial style atmosphere that conjure images of former eras.
Tugu Hotels are a privately-owned and designed collection of luxury art hotels born out of one man’s love and passion for Indonesia’s romantic history. Tugu Hotels’ founder is arguably Indonesia’s biggest collector of fine Indonesian art and cultural antiquities. The fully Indonesian experience is achieved not only through unique designs amidst majestic landscapes, historic towns and refurbished historic buildings, but also from various cultural experiences that guests can only have in the hotels and restaurants.
MesaStila is a luxury boutique resort & spa in the center of a coffee plantation that incorporates an unparalleled collection of remarkable antiques and enchanting buildings; including Central Java icons such as a Colonial railway station and historic Joglo-villas. At MesaStila the focus is on luxury yet keeping the traditional, local and wholesome experiences intact.
Fully vaccinated travelers can enter Indonesia.
Under the Visa Exemption rule, US and Canadian citizens are not required to have a visa to enter Indonesia if staying for tourism for 30 days or less. Entry under the visa exemption is for free but may not be extended or converted to another type of visa.
The visa exemption can only be applied at certain immigration checkpoints, as follows:
Travelers don’t need to quarantine upon arrival in Indonesia. Travelers who test positive for the COVID-19 test performed on arrival must quarantine on arrival.
Proof of negative pre-departure COVID-19 test results is not required.
Travelers must take a COVID-19 RT-PCR test on arrival only if they present any COVID-19 symptoms, including a body temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius.
Travelers must wear masks in closed indoor places and in crowds.
Travelers must download the PeduliLindungi app to get COVID-19 vaccine verification. Travelers must have received a complete dose (second or third dose/booster) of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before departure to Indonesia.
Details and Exemptions:
This vaccination requirement doesn’t apply to the following travelers:
-Holders of diplomatic visas at the ministerial level on official visits;
-Travelers under the age of 18 accompanied by vaccinated parents;
-Travelers under the Travel Corridor Arrangement scheme;
-Travelers with a recovery certificate from a recognized government institution stating that the traveler is no longer actively transmitting COVID-19;
-Travelers with medical conditions must show a health certificate stating the traveler is unfit for COVID-19 vaccination.
For full details and exemptions, see:
If booking a private tour with us, costs can range from $250/day/person for staying in nice 3-star quality hotels to over $500/day/person in high-end luxury hotels. Staying in small luxury boutique hotels can cost an average of $300 to $400/day/person. These cost estimates include not just accommodation, but also internal flights, airport transfers, tours and activities, entrance fees, private guides, and private vehicles with driver.
There are so many that it’s hard to quantify, but here’s a few major benefits: 1) the tour is customized for your interests, which means you get to see and do the things you’re most interested in. 2) you’re not running on a fixed daily schedule, which means you have flexibility to stay as long as you want or move on early from something or even skip it altogether if that’s what you decide on the spot. 3) We’re able to design the activities at popular sights to avoid the crowds!
It’s generally best to avoid tap water and ask about the source of water in restaurants, but ice is usually safe. It’s best to use bottled or purified water in hotels to drink…and brush your teeth.
Yes, 4G connectivity is very good in Indonesia and Bali. Some providers allow for free unlimited data internationally, though they may slow the speed unless you buy a package. However, that’s often good enough for texts and emails, using Google maps, and some browsing. If you’re staying long enough and always want good data access while you’re out and about to post your photos on Facebook and Instagram, buy a local SIM card with a data plan for your phone. They’re quite inexpensive, but be sure your phone is unlocked.
The standard outlet uses the European standard 2 round prongs. Almost all hotels also have international style outlets that accept US-style outlets that are fine for plugging in electronics. However, the voltage is 230 volts and 50 hz, so be sure your devices can handle that. Most electronics can, but hair dryers may not!
ATMs are plentiful throughout the country and the best way to get local currency. Indonesia’s currency is the rupiah. Note denominations are Rp1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000; coins Rp50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000. Pink Rp10,000 and Rp100,000 are easily confused; a newer purple Rp10,000 also circulates.
Change for Rp50,000 and Rp100,000 notes can be difficult, so keep small bills handy. US$1 equals about Rp14,400, as of this writing. Prices are sometimes quoted in U.S. dollars, occasionally in Euros, but payment is always in rupiah. For currency exchange, use PT Central Kuta branches, some of which are in Circle K convenience stores, or BMC money changer in Bali. Other moneychangers frequently cheat; receiving stacks of small bills can signal a scam.
Upscale hotels, shops, restaurants, and markets will accept credit cards. However, small shops and restaurants will not.
Tipping is expected by private guides and drivers, however, the amount depends on the quality of service. Generally for private guides, we recommend about $5 to $10 per person per full day in your group and about $3 to $4 for drivers. For example: if you’re a couple and you’re in Bali for two days and have a full schedule of tours and airport transfers and you’re very happy with everything, tip the guide about $40 and the driver about $15.
Elsewhere such as restaurants, taxi drivers, and hotel staff, tipping is not expected but can be an appreciated surprise. Try to give the money directly to the person you want to tip so that you can be sure they get it.
Please provide as much information as you can so we can generate some ideas before contacting you. For example:
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