Essential Travel Information

Entry/Exit Requirements

U.S. citizens need a valid passport and visa to travel to Indonesia. Passports should be valid for at least six months following the date of your arrival to Indonesia. If you arrive and your passport has less than six month’s validity, Indonesian authorities will require you to depart Indonesia immediately to obtain a new U.S. passport elsewhere; you will not be allowed to renew your passport here and follow-up later with Indonesian authorities. Also, if your passport does not have the required six month’s validity remaining on your passport, you may be denied boarding at your point of origin or at a transit point en route. It is also imperative that your passport has enough blank pages (two fully blank passport pages, not including amendment pages) available for entry and exit stamps issued when going through immigration points. It is each traveler’s responsibility to obtain all documents necessary for admittance.


Under the Visa Exemption rule, American citizens are not required to have a visa to enter Indonesia if staying for tourism for 30 days or less. Entry under the visa exemption is for free but may not be extended. U.S. citizens visiting family or traveling for other purposes may apply for a 30-day visa on arrival. The Visa-on-Arrival may be extended for a maximum of 30 days by applying at the immigration office in Indonesia. You must enter and leave through one of the following ports of entry: Soekarno Hatta Airport (Jakarta), Ngurah Rai Airport (Bali), Kualanamu Airport (Medan), Juanda Airport (Surabaya), Hang Nadim Airport (Batam), plus Sri Bintan, Sekupang, and Batam Center seaports.  Please visit the Indonesian Directorate of Immigration’s website at for a complete list of ports of entry designated for Visa Exemption and for the most current information on the program.  Attempting to exit through an airport or a seaport other than the ones designated for Visa Exemption may result in delays or penalties.


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Please note: Each traveler is fully responsible for bringing and acquiring travel documents (e-tickets, hotel and travel vouchers, etc.) necessary for his or her itinerary. If you are not a citizen of the United States, your entry requirements may vary— please contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the country or countries to be visited and obtain the specific requirements for entry.

Arrival Information

Please refer to the instructions given in your itinerary confirmation. If in the event that you are unable to locate our representative, please call the local contact number as specified on your voucher or confirmation itinerary for immediate assistance.

Map of Indonesia

Capital: Jakarta

Population: 251 million

Largest Cities: Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Bandung

Location: South East Asia

Religion: Muslim, 86%

System of Government: Presidential system; Constitutional republic

Time Zone

Indonesia operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), with three different time zones.

Western Indonesian Time: Sumatra, Java, and West & Central Kalimantan are 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +7).

Central Indonesian Time: Bali, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, and South & East Kalimantan are 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +8).

Eastern Indonesian Time: Irian Jaya and Maluku are 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +9).

At 9:00 am in Bali, it is:

  • 8:00 pm the previous day in New York- Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • 7:00 pm the previous day in Chicago- Central Standard Time (CST).
  • 5:00 pm the previous day in San Francisco- Pacific Standard Time (PST).
  • 3:00 pm the previous day in Hawaii- Hawaii Aleutian Standard Time (HAST).

* Jakarta and Yogyakarta are 1 hour behind Bali.

* Note: Add one hour to local time during Daylight Savings Time.

Practical Information

A good source of health information for travelers is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

A good source of health information for travelers is the Center for Disease Control (CDC). You can visit the CDC web site at Please be advised that high-standard medical care is not available in the more remote areas of Indonesia. Sightseeing may require, at minimum, the ability to walk at a moderate pace for a mile or two, and the balance and agility necessary to climb stairs, enter and exit buses and boats, and navigate uneven or cobble-stoned streets. Some sightseeing stops do not have elevators or wheelchair access. Bring medications in their original, clearly labeled, containers. A signed and dated letter from your physician describing your med­ical conditions and medications, including generic names, is also a good idea. If carrying syringes or needles, be sure to have a physician’s letter documenting their medical necessity. When on vacation, it is always wise to watch what you eat and drink, but please do not drink the tap water while travelling in Indonesia. Most hotels will provide complimentary bottled water and additional bottled water can be purchased throughout your trip.

Indonesia’s unit of currency is the Rupiah (RP), which is divided into 100 sen. It is available in the following denominations: Banknotes: 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 rupiahs; Coins: 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 rupiahs. No more than 50,000 rupiahs can be brought into or taken out of Indonesia at one time. Major credit cards can be used for transactions in hotels and larger shops that are frequented by tourists. Generally, credit cards cannot be used to obtain cash advances in Indonesia.  The exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, but it can be found to be approximately 1 USD = 11,250 IDR. For the most updated exchange rate, please check

Electrical service in Indonesia is supplied at 127/230 volts, 50 hertz. Bringing an adaptor is a good idea if you are planning on using electronics (i.e. cell phones, laptops, cameras, etc.) during your trip.

Indonesian cuisine varies vastly by region, because the country is made up of approximately 6,000 populated islands that each have their own cultural and foreign influences. Indonesian cuisine is rather diverse and many regional cuisines exist based on these different influences. Indonesian meals are commonly eaten with the combination of a spoon in the right hand and a fork in the left hand, to push the food onto the spoon. However, in some other areas, it is also common to eat with one’s hands.


Indonesia’s staple food is rice. In fact, the Indonesian expression “makan nasi,” (meaning “to take a meal”) when literally translated, means “to eat rice.” Rice dishes are usually supplemented with meat and vegetables and complemented with sauces and pastes. Influences are many and varied, from early Indian and Arab traders to the later contributions of the Chinese and Dutch. There are many curries, usually combined with coconut milk to produce a rich flavor and a creamy texture. Chilies are used in varying amounts throughout the country, and you can enjoy your food either hot or less spicy on request.

The official language in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia. However, there are numerous other languages in local use (such as Javanese). A few people speak Dutch from Indonesia’s colonial days, and the substantial resident Chinese community speaks a variety of Chinese dialects. English is widely used in tourist areas such as hotels, airports, and major restaurants, although please extend your patience as this is not their primary language.


Situated along the equator, Indonesia experiences little variation in temperature throughout the year. The country’s tropical climate remains rather hot and humid all year round. Instead of undergoing four seasons, Indonesia only goes through two: a wet season and a dry season. The wet season falls between October and April, where temperatures are hot, humid, and wet. The dry season falls between May and September, where temperatures are hot, humid, and dry. Travelling during the wet season should not deter tourists from enjoying Indonesia; however the best time to visit is from April to October.

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Other Information

This will be contingent on your own personal preference and the time of year you are traveling. Generally, we suggest that travelers pack lightly and to bring comfortable, casual clothes in natural, “breathable” fabrics because of the humidity. Choose versatile styles that can be layered. Indonesia’s varied topography and high altitudes create weather conditions which can change radically in the course of the day, and between daytime and nighttime. A lightweight (preferably non-plastic) raincoat or poncho is a good idea, as well as a sweater or lightweight jacket for early morning/evenings and air-conditioned buildings, or if you are visiting any inland, mountainous areas (on the island of Bali, for example) where altitudes can exceed 1,000 feet. A sturdy, comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must, as sandals may not be comfortable for some sightseeing activities. Some hotels have pools, so you may want to pack your swimming suit. Do not forget to bring sun block, sunglasses, insect repellent, pocket packs of tissues, a sunhat, an umbrella (for both the sun and rain), and any medications you may need. Most hotels offer reliable laundry and dry cleaning services.

This ultimately depends on which parts of Indonesia you are travelling to, as activities differ from one area to another. In most areas, comfortable, casual clothes such as short sleeved shirts, polo shorts, etc., are great for sightseeing. When visiting tourist beach areas (Bali, for example), bathing suits, tank tops, shorts, sundresses, etc. are all typical and acceptable forms of attire.


Although the dress code when visiting temples in Indonesia is not as strict as in the Middle East, these temples are still considered a place of worship, so one should dress politely in modest and conservative clothing as they would at any other religious place. It is always wise to exhibit a sense of respect for Buddhist and Hindu temples in this predominantly Muslim country. Clothing such as short sleeved shirts, polo shirts, and bottoms or skirts that cover the knees are acceptable. Socks are also a good idea since you will have to remove your shoes before entering the temples. Usually a sarong or scarf will be available for those with inappropriate clothing attire, but it may be a good idea to bring your own as they are constantly being reused.

Hotels may impose a hefty charge on international calls. Check your hotel’s policy before placing any calls. To avoid hotel markups you can use a calling card from your local long-distance carrier. A number of United States cell phones manufactured today have the ability to operate overseas on the GSM (Global System for Mobile) standard. We recommend that you contact your cell phone service provider to determine if your phone operates on the GSM and what, if any, activation may be required. In Indonesia, reception on any cell phone can be unreliable and unpredictable. In some locations, transmission is not possible at all. If access to e-mail is of critical importance during your trip, please check availability in advanced. Most hotels have business centers or in room WI-FI service, surcharges may apply.

The nationwide emergency phone numbers are:

Ambulance: 118, 119

Fire: 113

Police: 110


Bali: The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Spectacular Tropical Island (Periplus Adventure Guides)

Island of Bali by Miguel Covarrubias and Adrian Vickers

Indonesia (Lonely Planet Travel Guides)


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