Indonesia has something engaging. The first time you cross it, it always leaves you wanting more and so I have traveled to the country of 17,000 islands three times with three different itineraries and I have decided that there will be a fourth time.
On this trip I enjoyed the serenity of Nusa Lembongan and diving in Komodo, beautiful landscapes and the majesty and hardness of Kawah Ijen. Indonesia gave me gifts and I decided to continue receiving by later visiting the great island of Sumatra.
If you plan to travel to the Asian country, you should know that to enjoy it you better take it easy. Indonesia, although tourism is developing in the country, as in the Philippines, transport infrastructure is precarious in many occasions. This causes the journeys to be long and tedious and often bear much of the day. It is better to cover little and learn more.
So my advice is to stick to one area of Indonesia and do not try to learn too much too soon. Still, if you want to move from one region to another it is possible to go by plane between big cities and so save some time.
In my case, the first time I went to Indonesia I took an express trip and visited some parts of Java, Bali, the Gili Islands, Bandung and South Lombok. I spent some of the days at villa istana bunga, in Lembang, which offered great accommodation during the trip. And while everything was great and the hotel booking was very convenient, I didn’t have enough time to enjoy it all. Would I do this again in less than 10 days? Definitely not. I had little time and even though I had a good time, I think it would have been better to know Bali and the Gili islands for longer.
In subsequent trips I decided I wanted to know Flores and Sumatra and therefore I did it in two parts of almost a month each. In the future, I would love to travel around the island of Sulawesi.
Keep in mind that you need to check the weather while planning your trip. If you do not have too many days, you don’t want some of them to be rainy.
In general, when in the rest of Southeast Asia it is rainy season, in Indonesia is dry season. Thus, the best months to visit the islands of Java, Bali, Lombok, Gili and Flores are the months of June, July, August, September and October.
Do I need a visa?
Since July 2015, citizens of many countries are exempt from visa for visits of tourism in Indonesia for less than 30 days.
Java to Gili
This is the journey that I recommend to everyone for visiting Indonesia for the first time. For me it has everything: culture in the temples of Java and Bali, nature around Ubud and beaches and diving in Gili and the south of Lombok. How many days would you need? At least 20 days to go at a normal pace. In addition, you can visit one of the two volcanoes of Java before traveling to Bali. I think the Bromo and Ijen are two of the most spectacular places in Asia to see. It is possible to make this trip entirely by land, but if you do not have time, you can do any of the sections by air.