The best time to visit Indonesia (2024)

In the good old days, Indonesia had only two uncomplicated seasons: wet and dry. But then climate change teamed up with El Nino and La Niña to turn the weather upside down.

These days, with unpredictable weather conditions, it can be a little trickier to say exactly where to go for perfect weather, but we think there's never a bad time to visit Indonesia.

Of course, there are more factors in play than just the weather. Many travelers are more interested in the best time to catch a perfect wave, climb a volcano, or hang out with orangutans and whale sharks. And for some, it's all about beach parties and colorful festivals or avoiding the crowds.There’s a lot to consider, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Whether you're here for the surf or the sand, the jungles, or fabulous festivals, here’s our guide on the best times to visit Indonesia.

The best time to visit Indonesia (1)

The high season (July–August, Christmas & New Year's Eve) is the best time for great weather and beach parties

Peak season in Indonesia falls during the sweet spot of July and August when perfect sunny weather coincides with the European summer holidays and the Australian winter, bringing a surge of tourism across the archipelago. If you don’t mind the crowds, it’s a lively time to visit. Bali and Lombok are especially pumping, with packed beaches and bars. This is also the prime time for trekking, surfing, diving, and outdoor wilderness adventures in most areas, with the exception of West Papua and Maluku, which see heavy rains in July and August.

But with all the fun comes the downside of crowded surf breaks, crammed tourist attractions, swarming trails, and nightmarish traffic, not to mention soaring room rates and airfares. To avoid paying the highest rates, you’ll need to pre-book months in advance. The Christmas holidays are another time when you can expect tourism and prices to ramp up, but there's more rain and humidity.

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The shoulder season (March–June & September–November) is the best time for natural encounters

With its winning combo of superb weather, reduced tourist numbers, and lower prices, the shoulder season periods at either end of the peak season are our favorite times to visit Indonesia. Though you may get some rain (especially towards March and November), you’re more likely to see nothing but glorious sunshine.

Everything seems to click at this time. The waves are pumping, orangutans are out feeding in the jungles of Sumatra and Kalimantan and divers head out in search of big-name visitors such as whale sharks and mola mola (sunfish), which gather from June to September. The shoulder seasons are also great times for scaling Indonesia’s volcanoes, bringing optional trekking conditions without the throngs of tourists.

So what are the downsides of shoulder season? Well, occasionally you’ll get some smoke haze pollution from farmers burning off fields and areas of cleared forest in Sumatra and Kalimantan from September to November. If you have any respiratory issues, this is something you'll need to take into consideration.

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The low season (January–February) is the best time for bargain prices

Ah, the wet season – two words tourists never want to hear, especially those hoping for sun, surf, and sand. However, while Indonesia is undeniably humid at this time, and your hair is likely to get a little frizzy, the rainy season doesn’t mean it’s going to bucket down for the entirety of your trip. Instead, expect short, intense downpours, before the blue skies reappear and the sun starts shining again like it never happened.

During the wet months, tourist numbers plummet, which brings a more relaxed vibe and discounts across the board. Traveling off-season is a great time to immerse yourself in local culture and visit temples across Java and Bali without the usual crush of tourists. It’s not a good time if you’re planning on hiking, with most volcanoes off-limits from December to March. Orangutans and other wildlife can also be harder to spot in the rainy months.

If you’re seeking somewhere less rainy, West Papua and Maluku have their dry season at this time of year. If you’re into hiking to remote villages or diving into the unparalleled reefs of Raja Ampat, these are the best months to visit. Not only is the ocean calm but visibility is crystal clear, offering perfect conditions for exploring this spectacular underwater world.

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Let's zoom in – when’s the best time to visit Bali?

For many tourists, Indonesia means Bali, and there are definitely optimum times to visit this legendary holiday island. Things are just about perfect at either end of the peak tourist season, from May to June, and throughout September. Not only can you enjoy sublime beach weather, legendary waves, stunning volcano treks, thundering waterfalls, yoga retreats, and fascinating Hindu culture, but you’ll also get to experience it all without the jostling crowds. As an added plus, you won't have to worry about booking months in advance, and you can save money compared to peak season prices.

Will traveling in the rainy season ruin my vacation?

If you’re after a chilled-out holiday and enjoy getting a good deal, then a rainy season trip to Indonesia is well worth considering. Sure, you’ll get some downpours from December to February – some of them heavy – but that doesn’t mean it’s going to rain around the clock. Instead, expect a few hours of rain, often in the afternoon, before the blue skies reappear and you can be back by the pool, co*cktail in hand. However, if you’ve got your heart set on trekking, diving, surfing, and wildlife encounters, it's best to schedule your trip during the busier, drier months from April to October.

This article was first published Apr 21, 2021 and updated Nov 28, 2023.

The best time to visit Indonesia (2024)


The best time to visit Indonesia? ›

The best time to visit Indonesia is from May to September when the country experiences the dry season. However, if you're looking to catch the best sets, the best time for surfing is the shoulder season from April to June before the peak season crowds arrive.

What is the best time to go to Indonesia? ›

The best time to visit Indonesia is from May to September when the country experiences the dry season. However, if you're looking to catch the best sets, the best time for surfing is the shoulder season from April to June before the peak season crowds arrive.

How many days in Indonesia is enough? ›

To get the most out of Indonesia's vast cultural and natural treasures, you'll need at least 10 days. This is enough time to see different archipelagos or experience the highlights of a major tourist hub like Bali.

What is the best time to go to Bali? ›

The best time to visit Bali is from May to October, which is the dry season. Expect mostly clear and sunny weather with occasional rain and temperatures ranging between 21-32°C. Note that July and August are peak tourist seasons, resulting in higher prices and larger crowds at that time.

Which season is best to go to Bali? ›

The best time to visit Bali is between April and October, the island's dry season. Although the weather is ideal for travellers, the island is also subject to soupy, humid days throughout the year. Many shops offer sales and promotions; restaurants are less crowded in those mid-season months.

What month has the best weather in Indonesia? ›

The best time to visit Indonesia is between July and August when the weather is dry but is still cool and inviting. Indonesia's dry season stretches from April to October, and the wet season is from November to March.

What month is the rainy season in Indonesia? ›

The rainy season in Indonesia generally occurs from October to March. Meanwhile, in dry season, the monsoon wind with less water vapor blows from Australia to Asia.

Should I go to Thailand or Bali? ›

If you prefer being able to travel around a destination quickly and “see it all,” then you might enjoy Bali more. If you're looking for a destination that offers a range of different cities—each full of its own sub-culture, activities, and climates—then Thailand is an ideal choice.

What is the most expensive month to travel to Bali? ›

Bali's busiest season for tourists occurs from early July through till the end of August. This means these months are not only the busiest but also when it is the most expensive. These months fall within the dry season meaning that temperatures are high and rainfall is low.

What month is the cheapest to fly to Bali? ›

Experience Bali on a budget by visiting in the off-season months of February and October to take advantage of low-cost, affordable accommodation and cheap flights to Bali. You can also keep costs down and save money by keeping an eye on sale fares or looking for last-minute deals for flights and hotels.

What months does Bali have bad weather? ›

The rainy season in Bali

Predicting the weather is hard, especially in the tropics. You can even get days with light drizzles during the windy season. The 'kiting' season in Bali is between June and August. From November, around Christmas, and through the New Year, heavy downpours and sporadic thunderstorms are common.

How much does a Bali trip cost? ›

A 5 days leisure trip to Bali that includes staying at a comfortable property, sightseeing, and getaways to Kuta, Seminyak, and Bali will cost between INR 28,000 to INR 31,500 per person.

What is the cheapest time to visit Bali? ›

Best Times to Visit Bali for Lower Prices

Tourism also sees a boost during the holidays, so you can expect higher hotel prices in November and December. The most affordable time to visit Bali is from January through March, the rainy-season months that fall outside of the festive season.

Do US citizens need visa for Indonesia? ›

Visa: Travel for more than 30 days and travel for non-VOA purposes, including employment and journalism, requires that the appropriate visa be obtained from an Indonesian embassy or consulate before arrival. If you are traveling on an emergency passport, you must obtain a visa before arrival in Indonesia.

What time is cheapest to go to Bali? ›

The cheapest flight season is between Oct - Dec - the dry season is over so expect less people travelling but be prepared for some rainy & humid days!

How much money do I need for 7 days in Indonesia? ›

A one week trip to Indonesia usually costs around $404 (Rp6,661,996) for one person and $808 (Rp13,323,992) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Is Indonesia cheaper than Thailand? ›

Thailand tends to be slightly more expensive than Indonesia. After all, it's one of the most tourism-dependent countries in Southeast Asia. It has a more developed transportation infrastructure, offering various options for travellers of different budgets.

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