Day 1 – 2: Yogyakarta, Java
The hippest city of Java, Yogyakarta, is a great start to your route through Indonesia. Visit Indonesia’s largest Hindu complex, Prambanan, the underground mosque, and Borobudur. Yogyakarta has an international airport and is connected to many transit airports like Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Discover all the best things to do in Yogyakarta here.
Where to Stay in Yogyakarta
The guesthouses and hotels in Yogyakarta are available in all kinds of price ranges. Hostels go anywhere from 5 USD – 30 USD per night. Where guesthouses and hotels in Yogyakarta will start from 12 USD a night, including breakfast.
Day 3: Train to Malang
Take the early morning express train from Yogyakarta to Malang. It is an 8-hour comfortable train ride that takes you on a scenic route along with small villages & vast rice fields. The express train to Malang is the best way to travel between these cities.
Day 4 – 5: Malang, Java
The higher located city of Malang has a much more comfortable climate. Malang is one of the more surprising locations on your Indonesia route due to its beautiful waterfalls like Coban Putri, Coban Rondo, and Tumpak Sewu, green tea plantations, and the rainbow city Jodipan in Malang, which is a former slum area painted to attract visitors.
Where to Stay in Malang
Malang offers hotels and guesthouses in any kind of price category. But the only place we really can recommend to everyone is Griyo Sultan Agung Guest House. The train station is a 3-minute walk away, and the colored village is just 5 minutes.
Day 6: Bromo, Java
Start day 6 with an incredible sunrise over the active Bromo Volcano. Now, don’t forget to bring something warm because it will be freezing cold before sunrise. Luckily, this is the only cold place on your Indonesia route.
To get there, you could either leave Malang in the afternoon of day 5 and stay in Bromo village or get out back at midnight on day 6 and drive from Malang.
Bromo hotel recommendation: Pagupon Hotel
Day 7: Ijen Crater, Java
Visit the Ijen crater in the middle of the night to see the ‘blue fire’ and the sunrise over the aqua blue crater lake. The hike to the top is pretty steep, which makes it quite challenging; however, the view on the crater makes it up to you!
It’s time to follow your Indonesia route to the island of gods; Bali! From the Ijen crater, it is 30 minutes to the harbor where the ferry is waiting for you. Once in Bali, it takes 3 hours to reach Canggu.
Day 8 – 10: Seminyak or Canggu
Seminyak and Canggu are two fantastic towns popular for its surfing, beach clubs, and an incredible choice of restaurants. Take a day to relax and recover because you just did two sunrise mornings on Java. The beach, a coconut, delicious food, and the nearby rice fields will make sure you recover well.
Where to Stay in Canggu and Seminyak
For Canggu, the most central places are Batu Bolong and Berawa, where there are loads of great cafes, restaurants, and beach clubs close by, as well as great surf spots.
In Seminyak, stay around Jalan Kayu Aya, also known as ‘Eat Street’, for its great variety of restaurants. This street is also just a 10-minute walk from the beach.
Day 11 – 14: Ubud, Bali
Next up is the art village Ubud. The area is popular because of the surrounding rice fields, waterfalls, yoga retreats, and Ubud Art Market. Both Tegalalang rice fields and the Monkey Forest in Ubud are things you have to see on your Bali Route.
Where to Stay in Ubud
Stay in the center of Ubud, where you are close to all the main tourist spots, shops, and restaurants. If you are looking for something a little more rural, there are some great accommodation options close to the rice terraces.
Day 15 – 16: Nusa Penida, Bali
Incredible white sandy beaches and 200-meter high cliff drops; Nusa Penida is one of the most stunning places on your route through Indonesia. Visit the T-Rex head Kelingking and hike down to one of Bali’s most beautiful beaches: Diamond Beach. Nusa Penida is stunning!
Arrange a taxi + boat transfer from Ubud. It takes about two to three hours to reach Penida Island. On your last night, make your way back to Kuta, Bali, and spend the night near the airport. Book a return flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo tomorrow you are heading to Komodo National Park.
Where to Stay on Nusa Penida
The accommodations on Nusa Penida vary from homestays and guesthouses to beautiful bungalows. You can stay anywhere on the island as it only takes an hour to cross from one side to the other.
Day 17: Labuan Bajo, Flores
Labuan Bajo is a little port town on Flores island. It is the entrance to UNESCO labeled Komodo National Park, home of the Komodo Dragon. Labuan Bajo itself has not much to offer so use it as a stopover before you head on a boat into the park. The flight to Labuan Bajo from Bali only takes 45 minutes.
Where to Stay in Labuan Bajo
There are lots of things to do in Labuan Bajo, so aim to spend at least one night here if you can. It’s a small town, and you are able to walk around in 30 minutes, which means most accommodation options will locate you close to all the main bars and cafes. Alternatively, choose one of the relaxing beach resorts which are a bit further out of the center.
Day 18 – 20: Komodo Islands, the highlight of your route through Indonesia
Close-off your 3 weeks in Indonesia with the best part; a 3-day boat trip in Komodo National Park. The park is world-famous for diving and snorkeling where you can expect to see manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, small sharks, and millions of colorful fish. The hiking paths are mind-blowing and don’t forget about the pink beaches, yes pink!
Getting around Indonesia
The islands in this Indonesia Route, Bali, Java, and Komodo National Park, are all well connected. Travel easily with a backpack or suitcase via trains, planes, or car. In populated areas, you can also use transport services like Go-Jek.
You can easily arrange transport from your current location in Indonesia. However, we recommend booking your flights in advance.
Java & Bali Transport
Contact our friend Yande below if you are looking for car transport and make sure to tell him you found him through our Salt in our Hair.
When to visit Indonesia
May until October are the best months to visit Indonesia. There is a year-round temperature of 28°C, and although the wet season is between October & April, it can feel a lot warmer. The wet season is not as bad as it sounds. It is a daily heavy and short rainfall, some days cloudy but some days beautiful weather.
How much does Indonesia cost?
Your budget for a 3-week Indonesia route depends on where you stay and eat. A stay at a guesthouse ranges from 6 – 35 USD a night, depending on the popularity of your location. This is similar for eating; Indonesian food ranges from 1 – 3 USD per meal, whereas Western food can go anywhere from 3 – 15 USD per meal.