Travel News Indonesia Travel Guide: Top Experiences You Didn’t Know About

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Indonesia Travel Guide: Top Experiences You Didn’t Know About

Travelers often seek out popular Indonesia experiences, such as ancient Yogyakarta and spiritual Bali. Dig deeper and enjoy these less common Indonesia travel experiences!

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Travelers often seek out Indonesia’s most-visited destinations, like Yogyakarta for its rich culture and ancient temples, Bali to climb volcanoes and enjoy beautiful beaches and, of course, Komodo National Park to see the famed Komodo dragons and to dive or snorkel in the Coral Triangle. While these are some of the top activities that initially lure travelers to book a flight to Indonesia, there are countless things to do beyond the obvious and most talked about experiences.

Experience the wonders of Indonesia for yourself—click here to start your journey!

Top Indonesia Travel Experiences

See Endangered Orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra

The island of Borneo, which is known among Indonesians as Kalimantan, is one of the only places in the world where you can see wild orangutans. Search flights to Ketapang, a small airport near the entrance to the airport, and trek into Gunung Palung National Park for your chance to see one of these rare Great Apes.

You can also see orangutans in Sumatra, albeit in a slight less wild setting. Search flights to Medan and then, setting out from the town of Bukit Lawang, join a multi-day jungle trek with an English-speaking guide and go into the tropical rain forest. Good luck!

Attend Festival Funerals in Sulawesi

The Torajans on the island of Sulawesi conduct elaborate funeral ceremonies that date back as far as the 9th century. After the deceased’s family is able to save enough money and gather all relatives (a process that can take months or years), the funeral rituals begin and last for days.

To experience this unique funeral culture, book a flight to Makassar, then take the long (but totally worthwhile) bus journey to Tana Toraja. Other Indonesia experiences on this part of the island include rice terrace trekking and water buffalo fights.

Explore Natural Wonders in Flores and Sumatra

Search flights to Mundo Maya airport on the island of Flores, where the three crater lakes of Mount Kelimutu will mesmerize you. They are all at the summit of the volcano and not only vary in color—like blue, green and red—but also change colors over time, independently of each other.

Or, browse flights to Banda Aceh, in North Sumatra. There you’ll find Lake Toba, which is unique in two ways: it’s a lake inside a volcanic crater and there is also an island in the middle of it! The island, called Samosir Island, is pretty big—Singapore is only 34 square miles larger.

Try Exotic Coffee in Bali

“Java” is a synonym for “coffee”—who not have a cup of it in Indonesia? Beyond classic beans, you can try the rare and most expensive coffee in the world, known as kopi luwak (colloquially, this is often called “poop coffee”). It’s made from coffee beans that the Asian palm civet eats and excretes. The civet’s digestive enzymes are said to improve the flavor profile of the beans, resulting in a rich, smooth cup of coffee.

Book a flight to Bali, where many of Indonesia’s most accessible coffee farms are located. Whether you take the plunge into kopi luwak or sample a more palatable blend, there are few more delicious places in the world to get caffeinated.

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Is Indonesia Cheap or Expensive?

No matter which Indonesia experiences you choose, you’ll find the country to be quite affordable. As of November 2018, 1 USD is equivalent to approximately 14,600 rupiah (IDR), the local currency. For 70,000 IDR (~5 USD) or less, you can buy a local meal with a beer, or rent a motorbike for a day or pay multiple entrance fees to a museum or historic site (the ancient Elephant Cave in Bali, for example, only charges 15,000 IDR per adult).

Budget accommodations can cost just a few dollars, while mid-range hotels are around $30-$50 per night. Luxury accommodations vary, but you can get a room at the five-star Shangri-La in Jakarta for around $200 USD (compare that to the Shangri-La in Paris, which costs more than $700 per night!).

How to Get Deals on Flights to Indonesia

Flights to Indonesia will be your biggest expense, but you can keep a few tips in mind to save money: 

  • Be flexible. If you can’t find the price you want when you search flights to Jakarta, consider flying to Bali or Surabaya instead.
  • Use Skyscanner tools like “Best Time to Book,” which employs cutting-edge technology and up-to-the-minute data to determine when is the best time to book your flight.
  • Be realistic. As of November 2018, the best price for flights from the US to Indonesia on Skyscanner is $408. Be aware of what the going rate is so you know what to look for.
  • Keep an open mind when it comes to airlines. Since no nonstop flights from the US to Indonesia exist, don’t be shy to fly airlines you might never have heard of, such as China Southern.

Alternatively, use Skyscanner’s Flight Search below to find flight deals to Indonesia. Simply type your city of origin into the “From” field, then enter “Indonesia” (or a specific Indonesian airport, if you have one in mind) into the “To” field. Then, click “Search Flights” to be taken to a real-time list of cheap flights to Indonesia.

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