A 15-Day Travel Guide Through Indonesia

by - Wednesday, November 08, 2017

With more than 70 000 islands it can be difficult to choose where to go to for your first visit to Indonesia. But rest assure I am here to help you with it by writing this travel guide that will let you witness different parts of Indonesia and enjoy the beauty of this archipelago in a very adventures fashion.

There isn't much to do in Jakarta apart from mall hopping and food hunting. So if this is your first time coming to Indonesia I would suggest staying a day or two in Jakarta but not more than that.  In my opinion the main or only thing to do as a tourist in Jakarta is to visit the Old Town / Kota Tua. Surrounded by Dutch colonial buildings this part of town has its own unique charm to it. You can ride a vintage colorful bike down there and take a sip or a snack at the Café Batavia whilst overlooking the square, a must when visiting this part! 

If you land in Yogyakarta in the early mornings you can already start booking some tour to do around the city - such as visiting Prambanan and Borobodur Temple or hiking Mount Merapi - and obviously start exploring the city itself. If you are not a fan of group tours the best option is to hire a motorbike or a car and do everything yourself. 

My favorite area to stay in Yogyakarta is around Prawirotaman. Known as the backpacker street it offers really affordable accommodations and restaurants that serve Asian as well as western cuisines. One of my favorite restaurants there to hang out is a Thai establishment called Yam Yam. If you happen to be in that area do check it out, they are super friendly and the food is so delicious - #Cravings. And they are also placed first on the Tripadvisor restaurant guide in Yogyakarta!

The area has many tour operators that are reachable by foot, so if you have any questions regarding what to visit in Yogyakarta you can always hop in and have a chat with the locals. A great travel agency in Prawirotaman is Losari Tours and Travels, they offer different types of packages and in my opinion has the best deals for exploring Mount Bromo and Kawa Ijen. 

The best way to explore Yogyakarta itself is by becak - a traditional three wheeled or pedal power cart. Always negotiate the price and destinations you would like to visit before hopping in. The drivers can sometimes act as travel guides and will sometime stop at a few places such as batik and wayang - Indonesian puppets made out of dried cow skin - shops in hopes of making a small commision from these stores. But apart from that it's really a fun way to explore Yogyakarta - #LikeALocal.

Cultural heritage places to visit in Yogyakarta are Kraton Palace, Tamansari Water Castle, Prambanan and Borobudur temple.  I highly recommend witnessing the sunrise at Borobudur Temple and set foot at Prambanan during sunset hours.

Looking for something special to do in Yogyakarta? Then the answer would be to create your own Indonesian Batik Fabric! My favorite place to go to is Batik Winotosastro because everything is handmade, natural dye is used to create the most beautiful colors of fabric and you can also see the process of making this special Indonesian heritage cloth. They also get orders to create unique Batik prints for well-known Indonesian fashion designers so it is a pretty well established factory.  Batik Winotosastro has a few workshops so book yourself one by giving them a call and if you live around Prawirotaman then it's around a 10 min walk.

After staying a few days in Yogyakarta it's time to hit the road and go to the next destination, which is Mount Bromo, a popular active volcano located in east Java. It takes around 9 hours by train to arrive to Probolinggo from Yogyakarta.  It's a whole day kind of affair. The first 6 hours on the train is pretty bearable as the beauty of the scenery draws you in and allows you to appreciate it but the last 3 hours of the ride can be quite frustrating and honestly speaking tiresome. I guess you can use those last 3 hours to sleep because it will be an early morning wake up call to catch the sunrise over Mount Bromo. By the way I highly recommend going to Probolinggo by train rather than by bus due to unpredictable traffic.

From Probolinggo station you will need to reach by car Cemoro Lawang, a small village offering low-key accommodations on the outskirt of Mount Bromo. If you opted for the tour package from Yogyakarta a car would be on standby if not there are drivers outside of Probolinggo station that offer a lift to Cemoro Lawang. Transportation in Indonesia is quite uncertain it is possible to arrive late night in Cemoro Lawang, so before arriving there don't forget to stop at a small supermarket to purchase some water and maybe instant noodles or bread for dinner. And by the way bring a warm jacket because it can get quite chilly in the hotel room! - #NoHeater.

Set your alarm to 3 o'clock in the morning to see the magnificent sunrise over Mount Bromo. Some would want to hike all the way to Penanjakan viewpoint others would take a ride on a jeep and then walk for around 40 minutes to reach the same viewpoint. So this all up too! This exact picture - down below - was taken at the Penanjakan viewpoint. If you took the jeep ride don't forget to remember or take a picture of the car's plate number because they are literally thousands of them!

After witnessing the beauty of a magical sunrise, it's time to explore the grounds of Mount Bromo. To reach the crater you can do by foot or by horse and then by foot to climb the stairs. I would suggest taking a horse because it's way more fun than walking.

Once done with all the Mount Bromo exploration it's time to reach the next destination: Surabaya. Located North from Mount Bromo, it takes around 2 hours by public bus to arrive at the city. As I knew I was going to be tired and had to catch an early flight the next day to Flores, I took this opportunity to relax and recuperate from the exciting adventures of Mount Bromo. Much needed as the next few days were going to be quite exciting and intense - #Again.


I've written a separate blog post regarding my sailing adventure around the islands of Komodo so for the complete article click here.


After a few days on a boat being one with the ocean it was time to set foot in the greeneries of Ubud. One must at least visit once the famous Ubud market but be aware that due to its touristic popularity prices are seriously more expensive than other markets in Bali. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are also around the corner. If you have time to kill you can stroll around these paddies, take very dreamy pictures for Instagram and have a very relaxing time just admiring the pattern of the rice terraces.

There are so many things to do around the area of Ubud. The Gunung Kawi Sebatu temple is not that popular amongst tourist but it is still a very charming water temple to visit. One of Bali's famous water temples is Pura Tirta or Holy Spring Water Temple. Tourists can have a dip and do blessings in the fresh spring water pool. If you are headed to Kintamani to glance at Mount Batur and feel the fresh breeze that Bali has to offer then stop by along the roads of Bangli as there are charming places that offer tea and coffee tastings. Another site to visit around the outskirt of Ubud is the old Balinese Village called Penglipuran. There you can find local Balinese people living together like the olden days. Last but not least a visit to Pura Kehen, a temple with a magnificent stone carving entrance, lets you appreciate the artistic beauty that Bali is known for. As it is not a popular attraction it is very peaceful to stroll around this village temple.

DAY 11 / 12 - BALI SANUR
Sanur, a seaside town located in the southeast of Bali is not a as popular as Ubud but still a great area to relax and enjoy its white sandy beaches. A fun way to immerse yourself in Indonesia's culture is to take a cooking class. I am a huge believer that you can definitely experience a country through its food. My recommendation would be to attend a class at Bamboo Shoots Cooking School, the instructors are so nice and you get to meet like-minded people who fancy to learn a thing or two about Indonesia's rich flavored cuisine. It is a half-day activity starting with a trip to the local market and ending it with tasting all the different dishes that you've prepared as a group.

Bali is known for its huge movement on well-being. If you are someone who likes to do yoga in the morning whilst feeling the sea breeze on your skin then Power of Now Oasis would be perfect place for you. There classes are set in a stylish open-air bamboo architecture with seaview just up front.  They offer walk-in classes and you don't need to be a pro at yoga to try it out. Once finished with your session you can definitely have a dip in the ocean. If you are into healthy and slow food movement there are two amazing restaurants that you can have a bite at. One is called Malaika Secret Moksha and the other one is Bali Buda

By the way if you have time to visit the islands across Sanur - Nusa Penida, Island Lembongan & Island Cenida - then I would recommend you to do so. I've heard many positive stories about these islands but I myself haven't had the chance to experience it myself.

DAY 13 / 14 / 15 - BALI SEMINYAK
After two days in Sanur time to move and stay at Seminyak. This is a popular area amongst young adults as there are so many hip and cool places to hang out. The best area to stay, in my opinion, is around Jalan Pentitenget because there are so many good restaurants out there -#ForeverHungry

Relaxing by the pool and enjoying the sea view was a top priority. When in Bali one must relax and simply do nothing. You can either chill in the comfort of your hotel or go to a beach club to hangout. There are actually many of them around Seminyak. Here's a couple that I know of: Potato Head Beach Club, La Cabina, La Laguna Bali Beach Bar and Mrs. Sippy Bali.  Apart from soaking the sun and do nothing,  there were some places that were on my list of things that I did not want to miss out like visiting the Jatiluwih rice fields Pura Tanah Lot and Gitgit Waterfall.  

I don't know how to begin describing the Jatiluwih rice terraces. I guess you will need to witness it yourself to understand what I can't express through words. I have been to Bali countless times but never did I set foot on this magnificent wonder of Bali. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces, if I may say, is nothing compare to the Jatiluwih one. Yes it's quite far to reach it - around 2 hours by car without traffic - and yes definitely worth a visit! C'mon it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site so it definitely is worth everything to go there. I recommend to go there as early as possible so that you can just sit and admire it's beauty. You can also stroll through the rice fields and like I've mentioned on my Instagram  - @nathalie__ale - each turn you make you see a different personality of the rice terraces, surprising you and lets you fall in love with it again -#DeepLove

If you happen to be around the Jatiluwih rice terraces then do check out on some waterfalls around the area. A trip to Bali without seeing a waterfall would not be complete if you have never witness one. This exact picture down below was taken at Gitgit waterfall but there are actually others around the area as well.

A trip to Bali would also not be complete if you do not set foot on Tanah Lot Temple, the most famous sea temple out of 7 in Bali. During high tide it's impossible to reach the temple so do visit during low tide so that you can walk around the area, reach the holy spring water and of course be blessed by it. I love watching the sunset at Tanah Lot because it's pretty magical. And everyone seems to be excited to get a perfect picture moment with it.

By the way if you still have time in your agenda then do head south to Uluwatu where you can  experience the Kecak dance at the Uluwatu Temple during sunset hours. It's a performance that you would not want to miss out.

Anyways If you have read this travel guide through Indonesia post until the end then give yourself a round of applause - #ClapClap. I hope I did not bore you with this super long post and overwhelm you with all the information I try to cram inside this one post. I also hope that my pictures are inspiring enough for you to want to visit Indonesia in the near future. And if you have any questions comment down below, I will be sure to get to you as soon as possible.

You May Also Like