Indonesia: A Three-Week Itinerary

It seems like whoever I talk to has a different version to tell about their experiences in Indonesia. Some go for the luxury and villas, some want to experience that “Eat, Pray, Love” feel, some visit for the party atmosphere and some travel to get off the beaten track.

Whatever you want to get out of your trip, you can be sure that out of the 17,000 islands of Indonesia, you’re will find it here. It’s important to remember the size of Indonesia when planning your itinerary, and keep in mind, Indonesia is more like a continent than a country. To see the whole place could take years!

I visited about seven islands on my travels here and have written a blog post today on my itinerary that I followed.

There’s no set way to travel and experience a destination so don’t think my plan is for everyone! I’ve written this in the hope that you can pick and choose what might suit you, get some ideas and be inspired to take a trip to Indonesia! In my three weeks here I concentrated on Bali, Flores, Komodo Island, the Gili Islands and Lombok.

 

Seminyak


How Long To Stay Here?

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Our first stop after stepping off our plane in Denpasar was Seminyak. We took a taxi straight to our hotel in Seminyak, just over an hour away. With limited time and so much to see, don’t waste a night staying near the airport, no matter how late your flight gets in. Hope in a cab, get to your hotel and get exploring ASAP! Two full nights should give you enough time to experience Seminyak and begin your Bali adventure.

 



What To Do?

Seminyak is a great beach for beginner surfers. You can rent a board for as little as 50,000rp, or get a full lesson for a bit more. Grab a sun lounger and enjoy the beautiful weather or stroll the huge beach lined with beach bars. Pick a spot (my favourite was Bali Juice Park), grab a cocktail and enjoy the first of many amazing sunsets in Bali! Try hit the flee markets on day two and then spend your second night in the Potato Head Club.

Where To Stay?

While in Seminyak we stayed in the Harris Hotel. There’s no real authentic Indonesian feel here, with the hotel being very run-of-the-mill and westernised, but sometimes it’s nice to just relax with a mini bar and white sheets! We had a beautiful stay at this hotel, very central and the service was amazing.

Ubud

How Long To Spend Here?

After Seminyak, we booked a driver who brought us to Ubud. By far my favourite place on the island of Bali, Ubud is mountainous, authentic and full of nature and wildlife. We spent four full days here and I didn’t want to leave!


What To Do?

Day one was spent at the monkey forest in central Ubud. This place was like something from the Jungle Book! We passed away over two hours here, wandering around admiring the animals, temples and nature. That evening we ate in Tropical View Cafe, where we had tears running down our faces watching the cheeky monkeys try to swipe food from the tables! To read more on what I got up to in Ubud you can click here.

 

Our second day we hired a driver for 400,000rp. He brought us all around Ubud including the Tegalalang Rice Fields, Tegenungan Waterfall and the coffee plantation where the famous Luwak coffee is made. It was an early night afterward as we had booked out Mount Batur climb for our third day (starting at 2.30am)! You can read more about my volcano experience here.

 

Mount Batur is challenging and with limited sleep the night before, take it easy on your third night, we chilled by our hotel pool, then ate locally. Try Jungle Fish out either, it’s a cool restaurant/bar with an infinity pool with a cool jungle vibe!

Where To Stay?

One of my favourite hotels on our entire trip had to be the Agung Raka in Ubud. So authentic with Indonesian decor and only minutes away from the monkey forest!

 

Uluwatu

How Long To Stay?

From Ubud, we booked our driver from the previous day and took a trip down to the south of Bali to Uluwatu. We stayed for one night. Uluwatu is beyond beautiful, with an air of exclusivity and higher prices than most other parts of the island.

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What To Do?

The Uluwatu Temple is a must. We made this a a pit-stop on our way to our hotel as we were passing it anyway. It’s incredibly beautiful, with monkeys all round. Padang Beach is top of everyone’s list when they visit Uluwatu, but if I’m being honest? It was a dump! Such a disappointment after everything we had heard, it was TINY, crowded and full of vendors selling sunglasses. Instead, head to Bingin Beach, it’s a lot less crowded and the sunset here is a sight for sore eyes! If you can spare some cash, get a taxi to Dreamland Beach, worth a visit!

 

Where To Stay?

We opted for Pink Coco Hotel. Such a cute hotel with two beautiful pools, right up the road from Padang Beach.

Flores – Labuan Bajo and Komodo Island

How Long To Stay For?

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Flores was my favourite place by far on our Indonesia trip. If I had more time I would have loved to have stayed longer and explored the wholes island. We took four nights and five days here to do our Komodo National Park trip. One night was spent in Labuan Bajo, two on the boat, and one more in Labuan Bajo to recover. We flew back to Bali on the fifth day.

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What To Do?

Book a boat trip and explore all Komodo National Park has to offer. We snorkelled off a pink beach, trekked to see Komodo dragons, hiked to see breathtaking views and went in search of manta rays. You can read more about my time on Komodo Island here.

Where To Stay?

Tours can vary widely here in itinerary, length and prices. Do your research, have a time frame planned out and don’t book anything until you arrive at the island. Try get talking to other travellers and compare deals and prices.

Gili Islands

How Long To Stay For?

Is forever too long?! This place was a dream come true and after an adventurous few days, we happily lazed around for five days on these paradise islands!



What To Do?

Gili Trawangan is known as the party island of Bali. The east side of the island (where the harbour is) is where you’ll find all your bars, clubs and restaurants. If this isn’t your scene there’s still plenty to enjoy on the island. The west side is a lot more chill and the sunsets are amazing! I definitely recommend scuba diving with Froggy Scuba, or at least snorkelling to see all the beautiful turtles! Take a day trip to the smaller islands, Meno and Air, where you’ll find picturesque white sand beaches and not another tourist in sight!

 



Where To Stay?

The Gilis offers an array of accommodation for backpackers and families. On the eastern side we had a blast in Scallywags. It’s right in the heart of all the hustle and bustle, the food is amazing and it’s full of backpackers looking for a good time.

For a more chilled out time we treated ourselves to a five-star on the western side of the island. Hotel Ombak Sunset was a dream come true, you can read my review on this amazing place here!

Lombok

You can choose to end your trip in the Gili Islands, but if you have a little longer, a short boat journey to Sengeggi in Lombok is definitely worth seeing. I would have loved to have taken on the challenge of Mount Rinjani in Lombok also, but our time frame didn’t allow it. If you’re a keen hiker and love a challenge, take the few days to complete the climb of the volcano Mount Rinjani.

 

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Keelin Riley

Keelin is an Irish travel writer with a degree in journalism and a background in the Irish media. Based in Sydney, Australia she loves to blog about all things travel-related specialising in budget travel, ethical travel and off-the-beaten-track itineraries!

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