Indonesia is hot all year round, with average temperatures of 31 C. It cools down a bit during the wet season, but muddy roads make travel very difficult. The coasts are hotter than the inland areas, but not by much.
When to fly to Indonesia
The peak season for flights to Indonesia is its dry period, lasting from June to September. However, the beaches and coastline in the South have high temperatures year-round, so as long as you don’t mind a spot of afternoon rain, it’s possible to visit at any time.
If visiting the northern parts, the wet season can be prone to flooding and is best avoided.
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Getting around Indonesia
There are a number of airlines that offer domestic flights, primarily between Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta and Surabaya.
Ferries operate between the islands and standards are high.
Three types of bus service operate on the main islands – ekonomi, express and luxury. The luxury buses are the only ones fitted with air-conditioning and with adequate space for rucksacks and bags, however, a trip on the ekonomi buses is an unmissable experience.
Indonesia insider information
- Jakarta, the country’s capital city, on the island of Java has a host of things to do: museums, shops, restaurants and bars… Many of the backpackers' hostels and hotels are in Jalan Jaksa, a cheap and cheerful road in the downtown area. Similar to the Khao San Road in Bangkok, this is where people come to stay for bargain rates and meet other travellers.
- Yokyakarta is the name of both a province and its capital city on the island of Java. The city is known as the centre of culture and the arts. Batik, fine art, music and dance are specialities. To see dancers performing to the traditional gamelan music, head to Bangsal Srimanganti in Kraton on a Sunday or Thursday morning.
- Until the recent bombings, Bali was the favoured island to visit. As well as the stunning beaches and warm sea, the island has a backdrop of forests, volcanoes and rice paddies. It has seen a decrease in tourism, but this can work in the favour of travellers who want a bit more peace and quiet, and a bigger stretch of sand to themselves.
- Visit Borobodur, the Buddhist monument in central Java. The best times to see the amazing monument and its many statues of Buddha are at sunrise or sunset. Many tours head here from Jakarta, and you can join one of them or hire a car and drive there.
- The island of Lombok is east of Bali and boasts similarly beautiful beaches. Snorkelling and diving are very popular here, but there are also various attractions inland away from the beach, such as the floating palaces of justice.