We will take you on a wonderful journey through the diverse Indonesian archipelago! For three weeks you'll experience the enormous diversity of landscapes and colourful cultures. You'll devour the most delicious foods, see traditional dance performances and go searching for orang-utans. You will also enjoy beautiful coastlines, jungles, active volcanoes and rice terraces and with some luck you can see the largest flower in the world, the rafflessia, in full bloom. This most comprehensive journey through Indonesia will remain in your thoughts for a long time after its completion.
It is your own responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents for your trip. You should have a minimum of 6 months validity on your passport beyond your return travel date.
For a number of nationalities, it is possible to gain a free 30-day tourism visa (depending on point of entry). For those not qualifying for the free visa, it is possible to organise the visa upon arrival at a cost of US$35 per person (11/14). If you need to organise your visa in advance of travel then you should do so either through your closest Indonesian embassy or through an agency such as CIBT
Please check visa information in good time before your trip commences as this information is always subject to change. You can check this information through a site such as this one
Accommodation and transport
During this trip we have access to a private bus. The transfers to/ from the airport are not included. The routes between the islands are covered with a domestic flight (Sumatra to Java) or ferry (Java to Bali). On the domestic flight from Medan via Jakarta to Yogyakarta, you may take up to 15 kg of luggage (for each extra kilo you will be charged a supplement locally).
We choose to travel from Yogyakarta to Malang by train. This route is particularly notorious for its long traffic jams that you avoid if you travel by train. At the railway stations you are required to carry your luggage yourself. The train journey includes reserved seats in 'Executive Class'.
Medan airport to Medan: 30 km / 1 hour
Medan to Lake Toba: 180 km / 3½ hours
Lake Toba to Berastagi: 111 km / 4½ hours
Berastagi to Bohorok: 141 km / 5 hours
Bohorok to Medan: 90 km / 4½ hours
Medan via Jakarta to Yogyakarta: domestic flight
Yogyakarta to Malang: 338 km / 9½ hours (by train)
Malang to Bromo: 115 km / 5 hours
Bromo to Ketapang: 240 km / 8 hours (including lunch stop)
Ketapang to Ubud: 138 km / 7 hours (including ferry duration)
Ubud to Sanur: 32 km / 1½ hours
Sanur to Denpasar airport: 20 km / 1 hour
*Of course all times given are approximate and depend upon conditions locally.
You will stay in hotels in rooms for 2-persons, with private bathroom. Most hotels have a restaurant, sometimes with a lovely garden or patio.
Some of the planned hotels have a swimming pool to rinse off from the Indonesian heat! This applies to those in Yogyakarta, Malang, Ketapang, Ubud and Sanur. In exceptional cases it may happen that we change the hotel. If the alternative hotels do not have pools, suitable other facilities will be found (pools).
Travellers booking alone share a double/twin or sometimes triple room. We of course keep in mind to pair you with someone of the same sex. If you prefer to have a room for yourself for the tour then this is possible. You should indicate this when making your booking. A single room supplement is then payable.
NOTE: It is possible that in places (especially Java) unexpected changes in the program need to be made because of congested roads or overbooked trains or hotels during Ramadan for example. It seems as if the whole of Indonesia is travelling somewhere during this period but if these issues occur, we will try to find suitable alternatives.
Our tours are led by trained, local English speaking tour leaders. We know that our travellers appreciate being accompanied by these local tour leaders who, compared to their counterparts (living outside of the destination) have more detailed knowledge of their country. He/she knows the area well, can provide background information and ensure that the trip goes smoothly. He/she knows what to do if something were to go wrong, but is not a "walking encyclopedia". Therefore we would like to refer you to study a good travel guide (book) in advance of travel.
Your tour leader understandably expects a tip at the end, if she/he has completed the job well. Shoestring pay the tour guides a wage which is higher than that of most adventurous travel companies. Our guideline for tipping is between € 1, - and € 2, - per passenger per day (the equivalent thereof).
This holiday is classified as Category C
The difficulty of our travels varies greatly. Added to this is the fact that difficulty is a very personal perception. To give an impression of the difficulty of a particular holiday we have developed a classification system.
Category A: Light travel for everyone to do. Short distances, good hotels, travel at a slow pace.
Category B: For everyone to do as well. Sometimes long distances. Good hotels and camping facilities, sometimes an adventurous overnight experience, travel at a normal pace.
Category C: Good to do for anyone who prepares themself well and is flexible. There are tougher parts of the journey, such as longer distances or walking tours. Several nights can be spent in basic accommodation.
Category D: A relatively difficult journey, travelling long distances, often primitive accommodation or tents, and challenging walking tours.
This Indonesia trip is a Category C holiday. It can be made by any reasonably healthy individual. Although in the cities we stay in simple medium-priced hotels, remember that you are travelling in a developing country with much lower living standards than you are used to at home. Also, roads may be temporarily blocked because of the weather or owing to their state of repair, in which case a detour is unavoidable. A flexible and positive attitude is just as important as a good physical condition.
Nature of the Trip
During this varied tour of Sumatra, Java and Bali you will encounter smoking volcanoes, tropical vegetation and pearl-white beaches. You have the opportunity to see Orangutans in their natural habitat and see the colourful people of the villages around Lake Toba. You will experience Asian city life, the impressive temples and palaces, local dance and music and delicious Indonesian cuisine.
We know that travelling to remote corners of this planet has its effects. At Shoestring we really try to make an effort to keep our impact to a minimum. We try to avoid the use of plastic water bottles on our treks through Nepal and we do not dump our litter during our trips through Africa. All of our staff have been trained to take special care to ensure we make as little impact on the environment as possible.
Furthermore we support a lot of local projects which are mostly related to clean drinking water or making sure that children get vaccinated against illnesses such as tuberculosis. On most tours you will be able to visit some of the projects we support through our local agents. Find out more about the different projects Shoestring are involved with, how you can make a difference and our environmental policies here
Travel insurance, including medical repatriation insurance, is mandatory. It is not included with our packages and it is your responsibility to purchase suitable travel insurance. Make sure that it covers all the activities that you are likely to undertake, such as rafting and trekking. Many ‘free’ insurances that come with banking packages, credit cards etc, are quite often inadequate to cover you on our tours, so make sure you check the policy before you travel. You should enter your travel insurance details via your my.shoestring account and you are required to give a copy of your insurance policy to your tour leader upon arrival. Without proper insurance like this, you will not be allowed to join the tour as we will not be able to respond adequately in case of an emergency if you do not have the right insurance.
1114 AA Amsterdam-Duivendrecht, The Netherlands.
You can call us on number +31 20 6850203 or +44 (0)1306 744797 and email us at [email protected]
Opening hours Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM (Local times in Netherlands).
More country information about Indonesia
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Indonesia