Backpacking Indonesia is a take a journey into a different world.
I have spent months backpacking Indonesia. I’ve had wild adventures with Orangutans, explored remote villages in Wakatobi, and gone surfing in Bali.
However, I have only scratched the surface of the adventures, and rich culture that backpacking Indonesia has to offer travelers. This post highlights all the backpacking Indonesia travel tips I have learned throughout my journeys into one of the best countries in Southeast Asia.
Backpacking Indonesia – Why Go?
One of the reasons I love Indonesia is because of all the exciting adventures the country holds. Indonesia offers some experiences that no other country in Southeast Asia can offer.
Indonesia is made up of 17,000 islands, out of which over 900 have people living on them. Across these thousands of islands are over 300 different cultures. All these islands are different both in looks and experiences.
One reason to travel to Indonesia is because it is a vast country made up of islands. This means it is easy to find remote locations, and stray off the beaten path. Trek through the jungles in search of the Komodo Dragons, or bum out on the beaches of Bali; Indonesia has something for everyone.
When to travel to Indonesia
The temperature tends to stay between 70 to 90 F year round.Yep, it is pretty much paradise. Although, the country does have a wet and dry season.
Wet Season – The wet season begins at the end of October and goes until April. This is still a good time to go backpacking through Indonesia just make sure to pack smarter.
Dry season – Dry season begins in May and goes until October.
However, Indonesia is so big that in some places, like Sumatra the seasons are switched.
Peak Tourist Season – The peak tourist season in Indonesia is from mid-summer to the mid-September. This means slightly higher prices, and dealing with larger crowds.
Before Backpacking Indonesia
How much does it cost to travel Indonesia
Indonesia is affordable to backpackers, and travelers. In fact, you can easily get by with 600-1000 USD a month.
Accommodation – It is easy to find good, and cheap hostels on sites like hostelworld. Indonesia has a variety of hostels to choose from.
For those looking for a little more privacy, Airbnb is a good option.
Right now you can save $35 OFF your first stay with Airbnb using this link.
Daily Budget- This depends on you. You can travel Indonesia for $20 a day if you watch your money. However, A safer budget for Indonesia is around $30 -$40 USD a day.
Travel Insurance- It is always important to travel with insurance. It isn’t so pricey and protects you, and your savings. Traveling without insurance is not smart plain and simple.
For Insurance I use RoamRight. It is a company I love!
Some people are who are nervous about traveling to Southeast Asia solo and would rather explore on a tour. While I understand this fear I have to say that I have not had one problem when backpacking Indonesia.
However, a tour is a great way to meet other backpackers and Indonesia travelers. A tour is a great option for those a little nervous.
A couple tour companies I trust are
Best Places to Visit When Backpacking Indonesia
The capital city offers a lot of markets, shopping, and temples. Jakarta is a busy city and has a population of over 9 million people. That is a ton of people. Personally, I wouldn’t suggest spending more than a few days in Jakarta. Indonesia offers destinations that are more fun and exotic.
Things to see in Jakarta.
- National Museum
- Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
- Taman Mini Indonesia
Best Day Trips from Jakarta
Bogor – The third largest city in Indonesia offers sits at a higher elevation. This means cooler temperatures and less humidity. Bogor also has famed botanical gardens and the presidential palace.
Pelabuhan – This is a wonderful fishing village. The surrounding area also has some fantastic resorts for those waiting a relaxed holiday.
Borobudur – In all honest Borobudur isn’t a day trip. But Jakarta is a good spot for a home base for those heading to Indonesia’s most famous temple. Borobudur is an hour flight or ten-hour bus ride from Jakarta which means you can be there and back to the city within a few days.
The third largest island in the world offers some unique wildlife experiences. This thick jungle is beautiful, and there are some great tours that let you see it. One of my favorites is the tour to Camp Leaky to see the wild orangutans. The few days I have spent in Borneo are some of my favorite in Indonesia.
Things to do Backpacking Borneo
River Cruise – Spend a few days cruising down the rivers and deep into the jungles of Borneo. You have the chance to see crocodiles, proboscis monkeys, and much more wild life.
See the Orangutans – This is part of your journey when traveling down the river. Borneo is an Orangutans pervasive. It is only one of two places in the world where you can see these impressive “humans” of the forest.
Get up close and personal with these mesmerizing creatures, trust me, it is worth it.
Photo by JourneyWonders
Wakatobi and the surrounding islands are a great hotspot for those waiting to get away from the touristic epicenters of Jakarta or Bail. Wakatobi has a chill atmosphere. However, Wakatobi has some amazing experiences.
Things to do when Backpacking Wakatobi
Scuba Diving – Wakatobi has some of the most diverse, and impressive scuba diving in the world. One reason I love the diving in Wakatobi is that not many people know about it. Yep, Wakatobi has insane diving, yet, it is still off the radar. There is a good chance you get these waters to yourself.
Snorkeling – If scuba diving is not your cup of tea then you are in luck. Wakatobi also offers excellent snorkeling showcasing a variety of colorful coral reefs.
Bajo Village – I loved my day at the Bajo Village. This cultural experience takes you to a remote people that live their entire lives on the water. Thier houses are built on stilts in the ocean, and at low tides, they wade out to collect shrimp and out seafood snacks.
Bali is the grand jewel for travelers backpacking Indonesia. Bali has soft sandy beaches, lush, rice fields, temples to explore. It is a hotspot for yoga, diving, and snorkeling. Bali is the biggest tourism destination in Indonesia.
Ululwata – This cliffside temples complex is a must see when visiting Bali. Uluwatu offers cultural story tellings, scenic sunsets, and monkeys.
Shopping – Bali has fantastic markets to explore, and see. Haggle and get some cool souvenirs
Learn to Surf- Looking to catch some waves. Bali is a great place to learn to surf. In fact, the first (and one of the only) wave I ever caught was in Bali. There are some awesome surf schools for great prices.
Explore the rice fields- Bali has some beautiful rice planations. Rent a bike take some scenic drives or there are even opportunities to do home stays and work in the rice fields for a day.
Komodo National Park
Without a doubt one of my favorite stops when backpacking Indonesia is Komodo. This is a land of dragons, indescribable islands, and crystal clear water. Komodo is awesome and a perfect stop for adventure travelers.
Things to do in Komodo
Scuba Dive – Manta Point is a dive spot in Komodo. On this dive you have a high chance of seeing Manta Rays.
Padar Island – Padar is one of the most stunning Islands I’ve been seen. Taking a day trip here is worthwhile.
Other Popular Things to do in Indonesia
- Sekumpul Waterfalls,
- Prambanan Temples
- The Green Land of Jatiluwih
- Liberty Shipwreck
- Lijen Crater
- Raja Ampat Islands
Some of these tours are tricky to book, but most of them can be found and TripAdvisor’s Indonesia page.
Backpacking Indonesia is a trip that you will remember for a long time to come. When traveling to Indonesia make sure to use these backpacking Indonesia trips. They will help you navigate some of the best spots the country has to offer.