3 Weeks in Indonesia Itinerary

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Indonesia is a country between Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Pacific and Indian oceans. Amazingly, it is the world’s largest island country and archipelagic state, as well as the 14th largest country in the world by land mass.

Over the past few years, Indonesia has been one of the most popular beach destinations in Southeast Asia. I’ve been to Indonesia twice, and I can tell you confidently that I have not explored all its islands yet.

Indonesia has over 17,000 islands and is surrounded by various bodies of water, it boasts a myriad of scenic and serene islands and beaches. Indonesia is a tropical country offering stunning beaches, surfing spots, yoga retreats, and cool active volcanoes.

You’ll also find one of the biggest islands in the world here, Borneo, which has extensive biodiversity when it comes to plants, animals, and culture. And we’re just getting started. Read on to discover what else you’re going to find if you spend 3 weeks in Indonesia.

RELATED POST: Best beaches for a summer vacation


4 images - a guy surfing, a picture of temple in Bali, Mount Bromo crater, and downtown Jakarta - 3 Weeks in Indonesia Itinerary

Indonesia can be hard to navigate due to its geographic appearance. It can also be confusing to decide when is the best time to visit. But the travel tips below will help you plan a 3-week itinerary for Indonesia.

ALSO CHECK: 3 weeks in the Philippines or 3 Weeks in Thailand

When is the best time to go to Indonesia

The summer season in Indonesia is from June to August, which is also the peak season and the best time to visit. The rainy season is from December to March, these are the months you should really avoid.

Although a majorly Muslim country, the Christmas season (December) can get very busy in Indonesia due to foreign visitors visiting during this month. If you plan to come here at that time, book your accommodations at least 6 months in advance.

Are 3 weeks enough for Indonesia

Indonesia has lots of islands, although the main attractions are located on the bigger islands where domestic flights are frequent and affordable.

Spending 3 weeks in Indonesia gives you plenty of time to explore its cities, hike its active volcanoes, and catch some waves on the surfing islands. But stick to seeing 4-5 cities to ensure that you’re not wasting your time travelling from one city to another.

Average cost of 20 days in Indonesia

On average, a single traveller could spend around $1,200 for a 3-week trip in Indonesia. This includes a stay in a private room at a mid-range hotel, eating out for food, and booking tours.

If you’re a backpacker, you can do this trip for $900. You will be staying in hostels, dining on street food, and choosing more affordable tours.

Of course, for those interested in a luxury adventure in Indonesia, $2,400 is a great budget plan. Sleep in five-star resorts, try out high-end restaurants and book luxurious tours.

These budgets are for individual people. If you are travelling as a couple of two friends, you can share the private room and save a bit on accommodation. Food, hotel, and transportation are not expensive in Indonesia. You’ll most likely spend more on booking domestic flights, but still on the affordable side.

These numbers don’t include your flight to and from Indonesia, travel insurance, and travel gear. But you can check this Bali holiday budget breakdown to better understand the cost.

What to pack

Packing for 3 weeks in Indonesia depends on the activities you plan to do. For example,e if you want to do some serious hiking, make sure to bring proper hiking shoes or boots. If you want to spend more time surfing or on the beach, bring 3-4 swimwear.

Those planning to visit temples have to dress properly before entering sacred places. Check our packing list for a summer vacation.

How to get around

To get around Indonesia, the modes of transportation available are taxis, car rentals, trains, planes, and buses. Since it is an island, it relies heavily on ferries and water taxis for transportation. The fastest option would be to fly but this is only advisable for far-flung islands.

The most affordable and convenient option is to ride the bus. If you opt to admire the rural scenery then boarding the train is the perfect option for you, although it’s primarily available in Java. A car rental is also a great option.

Language and currency

The language that is most spoken in Indonesia is called Bahasa Indonesia, followed by Javanese. Some useful words/phrases that tourists could use when in Indonesia include 

  • selamat Pagi – good morning
  • selamat sore – good evening
  • selamat malam – good night
  • Permisi pak – excuse me sir
  • permisi bu – excuse me ma’am
  • sampai jumpa – goodbye
  • terima kasih – thank you

Indonesia’s official currency is Rupiah. Cash is still the most widely used mode of payment, especially in remote locations. In Bali, Visa and Mastercard are commonly used. 


Passengers in the ASEAN region can enjoy a visa-free period of 30 days. That includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor Leste.

Prior to 2023, most nationalities can enjoy a 30-day visa-free when travelling to Indonesia. However, since mid-2023, the government has removed almost 150+ countries from the visa-free list. Now, you must apply for an evisa (e-VOA) or pay for a visa on arrival, both are valid for 30 days.

Getting one online will save you time from filling out the information, waiting in line, waiting in the payment queue, and lining up for a stamp right after you land.

If you apply for an eVOA before your arrival, you must go straight to the immigration officer and show your eVOA. The processing time of eVOA is around 5 days, you can also do an express. If you’re out of time, go for a visa on arrival instead.

Package tours

You can also book a package tour for 3 weeks in Indonesia if you want to avoid the hassle of planning and arranging multiple hotels, transport, and tours. In this way, you can relax and enjoy your vacation a lot more.

I recommend the 15 days so you have around 5 days to do anything that you want or see a place that the tour has missed.

Other travel tips

When you are planning your 20 days in Indonesia, these travel sites and tools will help you arrange your hotels, flights, car rental, and even book cooking classes and find suitable travel insurance. These sites will help you plan everything in one sitting and ensure that you will have an amazing vacation.


Click the enlarge button on the top right corner. Credit: map data: Google


If you’re planning to stay for 3-weeks in Indonesia, the most recommended places to visit are Jakarta, Mount Bromo, Mount Ijen, Yogyakarta, Bali, and Lombok.

Jakarta is a dynamic city filled with art spaces that house contemporary artworks by local and international artists. It also has old colonial buildings which are repurposed as cafes and museums, it’s basically one of those cities where historical and modern architecture mesh.

Yogyakarta is the only Indonesian region to still be ruled by a monarchy, you could personally visit some of the royalty’s residences. It also has tons of five-star hotels here that are cheaper compared to Bali, if you want to pamper yourself, this is the perfect place to do so.

Bali is a must-visit not only for those who want to see temples but also for adventurous souls. Some of the activities that you could do there besides surfing include cliff jumping, sliding down natural and man-made waterslides, hiking, and diving.

Day-to-day overview

  • Day 1: Arrive in Jakarta. Get transferred from the airport to your hotel. Find a local sim card with data and get local currency.
  • Day 2 to 3: Explore Jakarta and plan a day trip to Bandung.
  • Day 4: Travel from Jakarta to Yogyakarta by bus, plane, or train.
  • Day 5 to 7: Sightseeing around Yogyakarta.
  • Day 8: Travel from Yogyakarta to Mount Bromo (Malang) by train.
  • Day 8 to 10: Hike Mount Bromo.
  • Day 11: Travel to Ijen (Banyuwangi) via train.
  • Day 12 to 14: Hike Ijen Crater
  • Day 15: Travel from Ijen/Banyuwangi to Bali by plane.
  • Day 16 to 20: Enjoy Bali Island and Lombok.

Jakarta and Bandung for 3 days

Jakarta is a concrete jungle that depicts an energetic landscape that turns into a stunning night skyline. It has many rooftop cafes where you could have a romantic dinner with a special someone or a night out with your friends.

It also is a melting pot of people of various cultures, so you’ll get to try out their foods and learn more about their history.

Aside from historical and modern structures, Jakarta have islands as well, which is perfect for those who want to experience Jakarta’s tropical side. Jakarta is an awesome place to start because a lot of international flights from Oceania, Europe, and even the Americas land in Jakarta or Bali.

You can take a day trip to Badung for a full day, depending on how much time you have, instead of spending a night in Bandung. The travel time between the two cities is around 3 to 4 hours by car or by bus.

Things to do in Jakarta

Accommodations in Jakarta

2 images - nightlights of Bali and Yogyakarta temple - 3 Weeks in Indonesia Itinerary

Yogyakarta for 3 days

Yogyakarta is well-known for its cultural heritage and traditional arts. It is recognized as Indonesia’s cultural hub and the country’s batik capital.

Batik is an ancient fabric wax-resist dyeing tradition in Java Indonesia. Aside from that, it is also famous for nasi gudeg, which is a must-try Javanese dish.

To reach Yogyakarta, if you’re coming from Java, the modes of transportation include train, plane, bus, and driving. The most recommended option is to board the train with a travel time of more than 7 hours.

The cheapest option is to ride a bus, but it would take approximately 10 hours. Flying would be the fastest, 1 hour.

Things to do in Yogyakarta

Accommodations in Yogyakarta

Mount Bromo for 4 days

3 weeks in Indonesia must include hiking, but not any typical hiking. During your vacation here, you must hike an active volcano. Mount Bromo is a must-visit for people who want to see an active volcano and other breathtaking views without much hiking.

Aside from that, the place is easy to access, and it offers affordable packages compared to other volcano excursions.

Aside from the volcano itself, Mount Bromo Tours is also famous for Tumpak Sewu Waterfall and Ijen Crater. To get to Mount Bromo from Yogyakarta, you could board the train which would take 4 hours of travel time towards Malang, or ride the plane to Surabaya and then get picked up by your chosen travel agency’s shuttle.

Hiking just Mount Bromo would take you only 45 minutes one way. However, it would take you three days to hike Mount Bromo if you choose a combined tour with Ijen Crater (which is the most advisable tour package).

Things to do in Mount Bromo and around

  • Mount Bromo Sunrise Tour is the most popular, but you can also for a 2-day 1-night trip
  • Luhur Poten Temple
  • Mount Penanjakan
  • Savannah Hill
  • Ngadas Village
  • House of Sampoerna
  • Cheng Hoo Mosque
  • Heroes Monument
  • Ria Kenjeran Beach

Accommodations in Mount Bromo


Ijen Crater for 3 days

Mount Ijen is well-known for its blue fire, which can only be seen here and in Iceland. It is also home to the world’s largest acid lake, and you can experience great sunrises here because you’ll be able to witness the sky in different hues.

Hiking just Mount Ijen would only take almost 2 hours, but some packages offer 2-day hikes wherein you can hike both Ijen Crater and Mount Bromo.

Banyuwangi is a popular base for those who want to hike Mount Ijen because you can rent a 4×4 jeep and arrive at Ijen in 1.5 hours.

2 images - mount bromo crater and mount ijen boiling water - 3 Weeks in Indonesia Itinerary

Things to do in Mount Ijen or Banyuwangi

  • Ijen Crater sunrise hike
  • Mount Ijen Blue Fire Trekking tour
  • Mount Bromo and Ijen Crater 3-day tour
  • Sukamade Beach
  • Meru Betiri National Park
  • Jagir Waterfall
  • Jawatan Benculuk
  • Overnight trip to Ijen Crater from Bali – look at the price

Accommodations in Banyuwangi

Bali and Lombok for 7 days

If you’re going to stay for 20 days in Indonesia, it is imperative to stay in Bali and Lombok for at least a week. Bali is so popular that many visitors forget that it’s not a country, but an island in East Java. Bali is well-known for its idyllic beaches, captivating cultural scene, and local delicacies.

However, there’s more to Bali than meets the eye. It is a safe haven of some sort, not only physically but even mentally and spiritually. Bali is known as a surfing spot, but there’s more to it than that. You can also go temple hopping or hike through Bali’s best waterfalls.

3 weeks in Indonesia is incomplete without visiting Bali and Lombok – the two most sought-after destinations in the country in the last decade.

You can reach Bali by boat if you come from Banyuwangi and then by bus, taxi, or minivan. The boat goes every half an hour and takes around 40 minutes. From the ferry, you can take a minivan, which is about a 2 hr and 30-minute drive or a taxi.

Flying is also an option but usually requires a connection, so the travel time will not be much faster than by ferry and bus anyway.

Bali actually has a bit of everything and is suitable for everyone because, in Denpasar, there are tons of surfing spots and backpacker trails, perfect for adrenaline junkies. We also have an itinerary for 20 days in Bali.

Meanwhile, Ubud, which is north of Denpasar, is more suitable for laid-back people who want to unwind and reflect. It is well-known for the abundance of yoga retreats that you can find there.

If you have more time, I recommend you book a 4-day trip to the famous Komodo Island to see the magnificent Komodo dragons.

If you take a speed boat, you can do a day trip to Lombok from Bali or fly. But if you have the time, maybe you can spend a few nights in Lombok.

2 images - aerial view of An beach and bali cliff - 3 Weeks in Indonesia Itinerary

Things to do in Denpasar

Things to do in Ubud

Things to do in Lombok/Gili

Accommodations in Denpansar (Canggu)

Accommodations in Ubud

Accommodations in Lombok


Indonesia has 17,000 islands, so you definitely wouldn’t run out of new islands to visit. In fact, if one plans to visit all of the islands, one would spend 49 years doing it if one visits one island per day.

Aside from that, Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest tea producers, so you can experience sipping tea straight from the source at a plantation!

Besides nature-related activities, you could also soak up cultural heritage through a plethora of temples and shrines that they have here. Pair it with various classes that they offer and you’ll certainly experience maximum cultural immersion.

Planning a vacation for 3 weeks in Indonesia shouldn’t be too overwhelming, it should be exciting and a warm-up to your well-deserved holiday. I hope this article helped you write your own travel itinerary.


Spend three weeks in Indonesia: Explore Bali's temples and beaches, visit Java's historic Borobudur, and encounter Komodo dragons. Enjoy diverse cultures, vibrant festivals, and stunning landscapes from Sumatra to Papua. A rich tapestry of experiences awaits. via @threeweektraveller