Indonesia is a fascinating country, rich in culture and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for a road trip. Whether you're exploring the bustling cities, lush rainforests, or pristine beaches, there's no shortage of breathtaking scenery to take in.
One of the highlights of a road trip in Indonesia is the opportunity to see the country's unique culture and traditions up close. From bustling street markets selling traditional goods and street food, to local festivals and ceremonies, a road trip will give you an authentic look into the everyday life of the Indonesian people.
Another reason to take a road trip in Indonesia is the chance to experience the country's stunning natural beauty. From the towering peaks of Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen, to the pristine beaches of Bali, there is no shortage of breathtaking landscapes to take in. And with Indonesia being home to a diverse range of ecosystems, including rainforests, mangroves, and coral reefs, a road trip is the perfect way to see it all.
Furthermore, a road trip in Indonesia offers a level of freedom and flexibility that is hard to match. You can take your time and make stops along the way to explore the places that interest you most, or take a detour to see something unexpected. This level of control over your itinerary allows you to create a truly unique and personalized travel experience.
In conclusion, a road trip in Indonesia is the perfect way to explore this fascinating and diverse country. From experiencing the unique culture and traditions of its people, to taking in its breathtaking natural beauty, a road trip in Indonesia is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.
Java is one of the most popular and frequently visited islands of Indonesia. It can boast a number of interesting places to visit, including its greatest urban jewel, Yogyakarta. Here, you’ll familiarise yourself with the local culture, traditional art and dances, and delve deeper into the topic of Indonesian cuisine. Other notable Java’s attractions include the traditional town of Solo, the Buddhist temple of Borobudur, the volcanic summit of Gunung Bromo, and Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.
The fans of water sports should direct their steps to Bali – a paradise for the lovers of windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, and all activities connected with water. Its pristine beaches, green rice terraces, and arid rural areas will make you fall in love with the country. Check out Kuta for the best beaches, Sanur for top-notch tourist infrastructure, and Ubud for a great insight into the local art.
The second largest island of Indonesia is Sumatra. It is like a breath of fresh air for all holidaymakers who wish to flee from the commotion of the two most popular Indonesian islands. Many places remain largely undiscovered by tourists flocking on Java and Bali. Sumatra is mostly shrouded in lush jungle that is home to orangutan families, beautiful butterflies, and lush Sumatran flora. Among the most interesting settlements on the island, you’ll find Padang, offering a stunning beach, and Mentawai, a great starting point for many jungle adventures.
Suggested Road Trips in Indonesia
Bali to Lombok: This road trip takes you from the lush, tropical landscapes of Bali to the rugged, volcanic landscapes of Lombok. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to visit some of Indonesia's most iconic landmarks, including the iconic rice terraces of Ubud, the towering peaks of Mount Bromo, and the stunning beaches of Lombok.
Java to Sumatra: This road trip takes you from the bustling cities of Java to the lush, tropical landscapes of Sumatra. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to explore the ancient temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, the stunning crater lakes of Mount Toba, and the lush rainforests of Sumatra.
Sulawesi: This road trip takes you through the heart of Sulawesi, one of Indonesia's most diverse and culturally rich islands. You'll have the opportunity to explore traditional villages, visit ancient temples and tombs, and see some of the island's most stunning natural landscapes, including the stunning Tana Toraja highlands and the pristine beaches of Wakatobi.
Regardless of which road trip you choose, Indonesia is sure to provide a unique and unforgettable travel experience. With its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and friendly people, Indonesia is the perfect destination for a road trip.
Indonesia follows left-hand traffic. Don’t worry, even though Indonesian roads aren’t impeccable, they aren’t overly congested, owing to which you’ll have plenty of space to train. However, don’t start from Jakarta as it is, unfortunately, the busiest city of the archipelago.
The roads of Indonesia are mostly bumpy and often lead through dense forests – that’s why it’s best to rent a 4x4 off-road vehicle that will easily cope in such a terrain. There is a very wide choice when it comes to car rental companies in large cities and at the international airports. The three main international airports are located near Jakarta, on Bali, and in East Java.
The minimum driving age is 17, but the minimum driving age if you want to rent a vehicle is 23. Unfortunately, some car rental companies tend to apply extra charges in case of young drivers.
Indonesia has strict regulations concerning seatbelt. They are obligatory for passengers in the front; however, it’s advisable to wear them for safety reasons regardless of the seat that you occupy. Other restrictions concern drinking and driving. There is zero tolerance when it comes to blood alcohol level.
What’s more, avoid driving and talking on your mobile phone. Instead, invest in a hands-free set or make sure that the car rental company provides you with one.
The documents that you should carry while travelling around Indonesia are: driver’s licence, an International Driving Permit, certificate of insurance, passport, and vehicle registration documents. What’s more, the obligatory car equipment includes a safety jacket, a warning triangle, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. It’s also worth carrying a spare set of bulbs.
It is possible to move around Indonesia with an International Driving Permit that has been issued in Jakarta. There’s also an alternative. You can use an International Driving Permit that has been issued in your native country, but it’ll probably have to be endorsed by appropriate authorities in the Indonesian capital.
The speed limits in Indonesia are as follows: 40-80 km/h in built-up areas and in rural areas depending on the roads, and 60-100 km/h on highways. However, the only motorways can be found on Java.
Traffic: Indonesia is known for its heavy traffic, especially in major cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung. Be prepared for slow-moving traffic and plan your route accordingly.
Road conditions: While the main highways are well-maintained, the quality of roads in rural areas can vary widely. Be prepared for uneven and poorly-maintained roads, especially in remote areas.
Fuel availability: Fuel can be difficult to find in rural areas, so it is important to plan ahead and ensure your vehicle is well-stocked with gasoline.
Health and safety: Indonesia has a high incidence of infectious diseases, so it is important to take precautions to avoid illness. This includes staying hydrated, avoiding food that may have been sitting out, and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.
Local laws and customs: Be aware of local laws and customs, especially when it comes to dress and behavior. Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, so be respectful of religious customs, such as covering your arms and legs, when visiting religious sites.
Local language: Although English is widely spoken in tourist areas, it may be difficult to communicate in more rural areas. Consider bringing a phrasebook or downloading a translation app to help you communicate with local people.
Transportation costs: Indonesia is a relatively cheap country, but transportation costs, including fuel and tolls, can add up quickly. Be mindful of your budget and plan your route accordingly.
By being aware of these factors, you can ensure that your road trip in Indonesia is a safe and enjoyable experience. With its stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and friendly people, Indonesia is a truly unique and unforgettable destination.
The best time to take a road trip in Indonesia depends on where you're going and what you want to see. In general, the dry season (May to September) is the best time to visit many areas of the country, as this is when the roads are at their best and visibility is good. However, some areas, such as Bali, have a more tropical climate and are best visited outside of the rainy season (October to April), when heavy rain and strong winds can make driving conditions difficult.
If you're planning to visit the mountainous regions of Indonesia, such as Mount Bromo or Mount Rinjani, the best time to go is between July and September, when the weather is clear and dry. On the other hand, if you're interested in exploring the lush jungles and tropical beaches of Sumatra or Kalimantan, the rainy season can be a great time to go, as the increased rainfall makes these areas even more lush and verdant.
Ultimately, the best time to take a road trip in Indonesia will depend on your personal interests, travel plans, and budget. By doing some research and considering the weather and road conditions in each region, you can choose the best time for your road trip and ensure that you have an unforgettable experience in this diverse and beautiful country.
The cost of a road trip in Indonesia can vary greatly depending on your itinerary, accommodation choices, and activities. Here are some general guidelines to help you plan your budget:
Accommodation: Indonesia has a range of accommodations to suit all budgets. Budget options such as hostels and guesthouses can cost around $10-$30 per night, while mid-range hotels and vacation rentals can range from $30-$100 per night. Luxury resorts can cost $100 and above per night.
Food and Drink: Indonesia has a diverse culinary scene to suit all budgets, from street food to fine dining. A typical meal at a casual restaurant can cost around $3-$10 per person, while a nicer restaurant can cost upwards of $20 per person. Grocery store prices are generally very low, making it easy to save money on food by shopping for essentials and cooking meals on the road.
Transportation: The cost of renting a car in Indonesia can vary depending on the type of vehicle, rental period, and location. A basic compact car rental can cost around $20-$40 per day, while a larger SUV or van can cost $50-$100 per day. Alternatively, many travelers choose to hire a driver or use public transportation, which can be much more affordable.
Activities: Indonesia has a wide range of free or low-cost activities, such as exploring temples, hiking, and visiting local markets. Some attractions, such as guided tours or water sports, may cost extra.
Overall, a budget road trip in Indonesia can cost around $20-$30 per day per person, while a mid-range trip can cost $30-$75 per day per person. A luxury trip can cost upwards of $100 per day per person. It's important to plan ahead and research prices for the specific areas and activities you plan to visit, as costs can vary widely depending on location and time of year.
Additionally, keep in mind that Indonesia has many popular tourist destinations that can be more expensive, such as Bali and Yogyakarta. Budget accordingly and prioritize your spending on the experiences and attractions that are most important to you.
Here are some guidebooks and road maps that can help you plan your road trip in Indonesia:
"Lonely Planet Indonesia" by Lonely Planet: This comprehensive guidebook provides detailed information on Indonesia's top destinations, attractions, and outdoor activities. It includes practical travel tips, cultural insights, and language guides.
"Indonesia Road Atlas" by Periplus: This detailed paper map offers information on Indonesia's major roads, highways, and landmarks. It includes city maps and detailed information on points of interest.
"Indonesia: Insight Guides" by Insight Guides: This guidebook provides a comprehensive overview of Indonesia's history, culture, and geography. It includes practical travel tips, detailed information on attractions, and suggested itineraries.
"Bali & Lombok Map" by ITMB Publishing: This foldable paper map offers detailed information on Bali and Lombok's roads, attractions, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
"Rough Guide to Indonesia" by Rough Guides: This guidebook provides a comprehensive overview of Indonesia's top destinations, cultural highlights, and outdoor activities. It includes detailed information on practical travel tips, transportation options, and suggested itineraries.
Remember to cross-reference information from different sources and to bring a physical map in case of technology failures or lack of internet connectivity. Additionally, be aware that road conditions in Indonesia can be challenging and unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to ask locals for the most up-to-date information on road conditions and safety.