Ultimate Indonesia 10 Days Travel Itinerary – best places to visit in Indonesia with chill and adventure (on 3 islands!)

Explore the best places to visit in Indonesia and make the most of your stay with this Indonesia 10-day travel itinerary covering the adventurous activities in Java, the lush greenery of Bali, and relaxing beaches in Gili islands.

Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary, best places to visit in Indonesia

Indonesia is a diverse country. It has exciting activities for adventure lovers, stunning temples for every architecture fan, and everyone looking for a relaxing time will find it by the sea. If you want to combine the colorful marine life, lush jungles, rich culture of Bali, and pristine beaches of Gili Islands, together with climbing an active volcano and discovering the hardest job in the world – this Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary is just for you. If you are wondering where to stay in Bali, I have you covered.

The map with the exact locations of the places at the bottom of the post.

Swings in Gili Air, Indonesia
Swings in Gili Air, Indonesia
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Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary – best places to visit in Indonesia

There are a lot of places to visit in Indonesia in 10 days, and below I cover the best ones. 

Day 1 – arriving in Bali

I recommend starting or ending in Bali – even with many tourists, the island is always worth visiting. To get the most out of the short time in Bali, I recommend taking some 2 or 3-day tours, that would take care of all the transport and logistics, such as this one “Three Day Island Tour“, covering the main attractions.

If you have a bit more time and energy to organize things on your own, I share my tips below.

Depending on where in the world you come from, the flight to Bali might be a long and exhausting one. Spend the first day relaxing and getting your energy back. A good option is to visit the white sand beaches of Jimbaran and try the best seafood. The place gets very busy in the evening and the top tables with a romantic view can get booked very quickly.

Tip: If you come around lunchtime, you will have the whole beach for yourself and plenty of restaurants to choose from.

This day tour covers the main points on the south coast of Bali, including a seafood dinner in Jimbaran. See the island’s most iconic temple, Tanah Lot, admire Suluban Beach’s picturesque caves, and enjoy an optional Kecak show – check the tour here.

You can find nice accommodation in the area or, like us, move closer to Ubud, where you can enjoy the freshness of the jungle. Deciding on where to stay in Ubud might be a bit challenging, because of different areas and your interests, but here are a few suggestions.

Where to stay in Ubud:

  • Luxury: Alila Ubud – a beautiful hotel located in the middle of the jungle with a wonderful infinity pool. We stayed there for my birthday in a traditional bungalow and loved it! Check availability and the best prices here.
  • Mid-range: Villa D’Bisma – hotel with outdoor pool, overlooking the rice terraces, located close to the Ubud Monkey Forest. We even had a visit from monkeys there.
  • Budget:  – bungalows with terraces as a budget option in Ubud
    Sila Urip Guest House(dormitory beds) – lush garden and relaxing terrace, great to mingle with other travelers
    Bali Backpackers Hostel (dormitory beds) – the best value for money, comfy beds, and friendly staff
Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary - Jimbaran beach Bali
Jimbaran Beach, Bali

Read more: How to plan a perfect trip to Asia

Day 2 – get a Bali feel

Explore Ubud town and its surroundings. You can rent a motorbike, get a driver, walk around the places in town, or take a highly rated small group guided tour, including Ubud, and Tanah Lot.

In the evening make sure to go to the traditional Bali dance performance, it’s so worth it. 

Before that, book a next-day trip to the Gili islands. This can be easily done by one of the many tour providers, whose offices are located on the main street in Ubud. Walk around and compare prices. We got our return trip from Ubud to Gili Air for 500k IDR.

For more luxury trips, including a night at a beachfront resort, you can take a private 2-day tour from Bali and explore all 3 Gili Islands on a private boat cruise with time to swim and snorkel.

Balinese dance performance - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Traditional Balinese dance performance

Day 3 – time for Gili islands

Spend your morning walking around Ubud market and some beautiful temples. Have breakfast by Pura Taman Saraswati, a temple overlooking the pond with lilies, before the bus departure to the Gili islands. The van will take you to Padang Bai, where the speedboats to Gili Islands leave from. You will arrive at Gili Island in the afternoon. We chose to stay on the peaceful Gili Air, but the boat goes to all three of the islands, so you can choose a different one. In the evening, have a leisurely dinner by the beach and watch a stunning sunset.

Where to stay in Gili Air:

Pura Taman Saraswati - best places to visit in Indonesia - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Breakfast by Pura Taman Saraswati in Ubud, Bali
Pura Taman Saraswati in Ubud, Bali - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Pura Taman Saraswati in Ubud, Bali
Beach paradise in Gili Air, Indonesia
Beach paradise in Gili Air, Indonesia

Day 4 – explore the underwater paradise

I recommend you wake up early enough to catch the best sunrise, that you can possibly imagine. The views over to Lombok’s highest volcano – Mt. Rinjani, mist rising from the valleys, and pink fluffy clouds covering the sky, will take your breath away.

After sunrise, you can get a typical Indonesian breakfast in one of the cafes or if you’re staying in the Airbnb/hostel, it would normally be included in the price.

A great way to spend the rest of the morning is to go on a snorkeling trip – swimming with turtles and admiring the colorful fish and coral. The boats usually depart by 10:00 am and are back by 14:30 pm. They will take you to all three Gili islands and the best snorkeling spots, including Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, where you can have lunch by the sea.  The price for the trip (not including lunch) is around 100k IDR per person.

There are also private tours that you can take from Bali, that include private snorkeling tour from the boat, such as this one “Private 3-Day Gili Islands Tour with Snorkeling”.

After returning, you can catch a yoga session or chill by the beach. The island is tiny, so it’s great just to walk around it, trying to find all the famous (and highly Instagrammable) swings. If you are lucky you can even spot the huge lizards, that belong to the same family as famous Komodo dragons.

Don’t miss the interior of the island, as this is where the local people live. Try some local street food called “Bakso” – meatballs with spicy sauce. In the evening treat yourself to a cocktail by the beach under the stars.

Turtle swimming, Gili Islands, Indonesia - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary-best places to visit in Indonesia
Turtle swimming, Gili Islands, Indonesia

Day 5 – back to Bali

You can spend your last morning in Gili Air snorkeling by the shore or enjoying the beautiful views from the beach before jumping on a speedboat, that will take you back to Bali. If you have more time, you can spend it around Padang Bai and go to the Blue Lagoon.

From there you can head north-east towards Amed and finish the Bali loop by going to Pemuteran on the north (our days 6 & 7), or head back to Ubud and take your way from there. You can also try some other interesting experiences in Bali.

Initially, we had plans to go to Amed, but because of the high risk of the volcano eruption the whole area was closed off, so we needed to change our plans.

If you decide to go back to Ubud, the driver might drop you off close to the Monkey forest, so you can visit it on the way. With a bit more time, it’s a good idea to include a Campuhan Ridge Walk, which boasts gorgeous hillside views. This walking tour includes the Ubud Monkey Forest, a Campuhan Ridge Walk, the water temple of Saraswati, and Ubud Palace.

In the evening, organize your next-day trip to Munduk with a trip through some must-see places in Bali. The driver with a drop-off in Munduk cost us 650k IDR per car for 2 people, which seemed like a reasonable price. Make sure you agree on the exact stops before.

Two monkeys in the Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Swings in Gili Air, Indonesia
Swings in Gili Air, Indonesia

Read more: Tips for traveling light – ultimate packing list for a trip to Indonesia

Day 6 – Bali interior

Be prepared for an exciting day full of sightseeing and ever-changing scenery.

If you would like to visit all the major sites in one day but come back to the same location afterward, this tour lasts 10 hours and includes temples, rice fields, and Bali’s best sunset.

Below was our plan for this day, leaving at 7 a.m.

  • Bali Rice terraces – beautiful green terraces with growing rice. 
  • Pura Gunung Kawi – a temple with stone carvings 
  • Pura Tirta Empul – the holy water temple
  • Geopark Global UNESCO Batur – View the Mount Batur volcano and stop for lunch. We also visited the geological institute in town. If you have one more day you could extend your stay in the area and go down the villages around the volcano and Lake Batur or climb the mountain in the morning for the sunrise.
  • Pura Tegeh Kahuripan (Pura Puncak Penulisan) – a local temple located on top of the highest hill. To get to the top you need to walk several flights of stairs, but it’s worth it!
  • The Ulun Danu Beratan Temple  – a picturesque temple complex of significant importance, located by the lake  – is the one that you can see on all the postcards and guidebook covers.
  • Twin Lakes and the viewpoints – handmade platforms, swings, nests, and many more, where you can take the perfect Instagram picture ;) We were a couple of minutes late and the platforms were closed, so if you want to take those cool photos, make sure to get there a bit earlier.
  • Entry gate to the golf course – because it’s cool! The famous gate is the Handara Golf Course gate – an entrance to the Resort and Golf Course.
  • Munduk – a green village in the hills with beautiful waterfalls nearby, that’s where you can experience real Bali countryside

Where to stay in Bali, Munduk:

Rice terraces, Bali - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Rice terraces, Bali
Bali rice fields
Pura Gunung Kawi, Bali - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Pura Gunung Kawi, Bali
Pura Tegeh Kahuripan, Bali
Pura Tegeh Kahuripan, Bali
Kids in Pura Tegeh Kahuripan, Bali
Kids in Pura Tegeh Kahuripan, Bali
One of the view points in the Twin Lakes, Bali
One of the viewpoints in the Twin Lakes, Bali
Handara Golf Course gate Bali

Day 7 – Munduk waterfalls

In the morning visit the stunning Munduk waterfalls. The hike should take you around 2-3 hours and you can visit a few nice places. Leave early to have them all to yourself. Entry to waterfalls is 10k IDR. 

Arrange the car to go to Pemuteran with a few stops on the way. The price for the car is set by the local tourist agency and is 350k IDR (for the end of 2017).

On the way we visited:

  • Banjar hot springs – Holy hot springs, Entrance 20k IDR
  • Brahmavihara-Arama – the only Buddhist temple in Bali, Free entrance

Arrive at Pemuteran, and go afternoon snorkeling just off the beach. Visit Turtle Hatchery in Pemuteran with cute baby turtles.

In the evening take a walk or a ride (we hitch-hiked) to the nearby Pura Pabean temple for the sunset with monkeys and wonderful views of Java. 

Where to stay in Pemuteran:

Munduk view to the hills around, Bali - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Munduk view of the hills around, Bali
Sunrise in Munduk, Bali - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Sunrise in Munduk, Bali
Waterfalls trek in Munduk, Bali - best places to visit in Indonesia
Waterfalls trek in Munduk, Bali
Bali Munduk waterfalls Indonesia itinerary-1

Read more: Singapore in 24 hours – what to visit in one day in Singapore

Day 8 – Pemuteran, black beach, and off to Java

Spend the morning at the beach, snorkeling in the famous Reef project.

In the afternoon take a bemo (local bus) to Gilimanuk to catch the ferry to East Java. The ferry doesn’t take long, but may sometimes wait on the water for an extended period (ours did).

In Java, you will arrive in Banyuwangi, which is a base for climbing the Ijen volcano. Check out the best way to do the Ijen hike with or without a tour and travel to the volcano for the sunrise. We were planning to just get a driver and do a climb ourselves, but we met an Indonesian guy who offered us the whole package (including the guide, masks, and visit to the waterfall and coffee plantations) for a much better price. Go to sleep early so you can wake up for the hike! 

In case you want to go back to Bali and do Ijen as a day tour, this overnight trip from Bali to Mount Ijen has great reviews.

Sunrise in Pemuteran, black beach - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Sunrise in Pemuteran, black beach

Day 9 – Ijen, the blue flames, and the most dangerous job in the world

Wake up in the middle of the night to get to the Ijen volcano around 1-2 a.m. The earlier the better, but you might have a hard time convincing the drivers to depart early, especially with other passengers.

Climb the Ijen volcano (75 minutes one way), and go down the crater (30 minutes) to watch the famous blue flames. Watch the sunrise and talk to the miners who work in the active sulfur mine carrying 90 kg up the crater and down the mountain, sometimes only in flip-flops! This place is a real eye-opener and it’s very worth seeing. More details, together with the full guide to the Ijen hike here.

After the climb, we went to visit the nearby waterfall and coffee plantations as a part of the tour. After that, go back to town, catch a few hours of sleep, and get an afternoon train to Probolinggo (I recommend booking in advance).

Ijen Blue flames - Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary
Ijen Blue flames
Ijen volcano - best places to visit in Indonesia
Ijen volcano
Miners, Ijen volcano - best places to visit in Indonesia
With the miners at the bottom of the crater of Ijen volcano

Day 10 – climbing the active volcano

Wake up early and find a bus going from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang, which is the base of Mount Bromo – an active volcano. The journey takes a couple of hours and the bemos only leave when they are full (or if you pay for the empty seats).

After arriving in Cemoro Lawang, you can go and explore the area. We climbed the Bromo crater in the afternoon with no crowds and no need to pay for it. For more details about the Mount Bromo hike click here.

Go to sleep early as you need to wake up at night in time for another sunrise.

Are you looking to do this trip but from Bali? This Mount Bromo and Ijen Crater’s Blue Fire 3-Day Tour covers both volcanoes and then brings you back to Bali.

Bromo volcano, East Java - best places to visit in Indonesia
Bromo volcano, East Java

Read more: How to travel more with a full-time job

*Day 11 – Sunrise above Bromo and departure

Wake up around 1 a.m. and walk to one of the viewing points. That’s a way of watching Mount Bromo sunrise for free, instead of the organized tour – and I highly recommend this way. The number of cars that were going to one spot chosen by the tour companies was INSANE. There are several viewing spots and they get crowded, so try to arrive there early. You can read more about Mount Bromo hike with no crowds here.

After the sunrise, go back to the hotel and catch a bus back to Probolinggo. From there get a train to Surabaya.

In Surabaya make your way to the airport where you can fly to Jakarta and catch the flight back home (or to the next destination). 

*The 11th day can be skipped and the sunrise can be done on the previous day if you catch the morning train from Banyuwangi (Ijen base) to Probolinggo instead of the afternoon one. It requires less sleeping time, but it’s doable.

Sunrise Bromo - best places to visit in Indonesia
Sunrise over Bromo, East Java

What to pack for the Indonesia trip

Map for the Indonesia 10 days travel itinerary

Posted: 2018, Updated: 2023

What do you think about our Indonesia 10-day itinerary? What else would you add to it? Would you take something out? Let me know in the comments!

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40 thoughts on “Ultimate Indonesia 10 Days Travel Itinerary – best places to visit in Indonesia with chill and adventure (on 3 islands!)

  1. Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to have the opportunity to travel to different countries more! So far I have only been to 3! I guess that’s more than most :) Indonesia looks beautiful! I will refer to this post when I visit!

    1. 3 is definitely a good start, and the numbers don’t matter anyway, you can travel in your own country and be happy about it and this is what matters the most :) Indonesia is worth a visit though, so maybe you can do it yours 4th ;)

  2. Bali has been number one on my bucket list for so long – I have finally arrived in Australia so I am so so close to Bali hopefully I can tick it off by the end of the year!! So many beautiful images, The Ijen volcano looks incredible, Indonesia looks like an amazing adventure!!

  3. So useful! I’m going to Indonesia in 3 weeks and have a few unscheduled days! The Ijen volcano trip looks so interesting… I need to figure out if that’s feasible for me!

  4. Such beautiful photos! I went to Indonesia and really hated Denpasar but I LOVED Ubud and would go back there in a heartbeat. I should add a few more of these places for the next time I go back!

  5. Great itinerary and such gorgeous photos! Would love to explore more of Indonesia, so far we’ve only made it to Bali. Pinning for a future trip!

  6. I am a first time Indonesian traveler. I love this itinerary but I had questions about traveling around the country. How did you get around bali? Also, is it affordable to take taxis from place to place or would you recommend another method to get around that’s affordable?

    Also, I was looking into a day trip to Komodo Island do you know if it is possible to add a day to this itinerary for an 11 day trip? Or do you have any recommendations to make a day trip to komodo island possible?

    I love your blog! Thanks so much for your help.

    1. Hi Scarlett, thanks for coming by!
      To go around Bali, there are several options, with the most popular being motorbikes (only if you know how to drive) and taxis or even cheaper Uber/Grab (an Asian Uber). We decided to get a car with a driver, as in our itinerary we were not coming back to the same location, but going north and then to East Java instead. It worked out the best for us. So it depends on your plans, you can try motorbike or Uber/Grab as those are the cheapest. The public transport exists but it’s not very reliable and to cover bigger distances you’d need to change several times. We used it to go from Pemuteran to the ferry for example – it’s written in the post.

      We were thinking about Komodo island too, but in my opinion, 1 day is not enough, as there is so much to see in the area. You’d need to fly out in the evening to be ready for the boat for the next morning and then schedule your return after you come back from the trip. It is doable but rushed and expensive. You could skip Gili islands/East Java and do it instead, but it’s up to you (and cheap flight tickets ;)). We also saw massive lizards from Komodo family on Gili Air :)

      Good luck and enjoy!

      1. Thank you so much for responding! And for being so informative. One last question, I was considering a private driver too where did you go to hire one? Or are there any websites you would recommend for a driver? Thanks so much again.

        1. We found one in Ubud, we were just going around and asking in the tourist offices and taxi drivers. They have different prices and you often need to negotiate ;) But I’m sure you will find someone even last minute. I had some contacts to another driver from my friend but it was hard to reach him, so we decided to go with someone we found on the street – it’s also good to meet the driver before the trip, so you can see how well his English is and agree on the details :) Good luck!

      1. It’s such a bummer you missed out on Amed. I live in Bali and my partner is from Amed. I was in Amed at th time when people were evacuated from the volcano TO Amed. The roads were never closed to Amed and we found out that the drivers in Ubud and other areas were telling people the roads were closed even though they weren’t (we presumed to keep them spending in their areas/ or possibly misinformation).

  7. As I read the itinerary I was wondering if there any day trips/ tours available from gili air to different sites in lombok?

    1. I think there is a boat from Gili Air to Lombok and I am sure that there are some excursions organized too. But I don’t know more details, as we didn’t have time for it, so we didn’t look :)

  8. Do you have an idea of the daily expenses on a low budget profile? And was there any cool beach good for surfing along the way on your itinerary? Thanks

    1. Hi,
      If you use public transport (tricky in Bali though), eat street food and stay in hostels, then you can travel on very low budget. Street food costs from $0.5-$3 and it’s very filling. You can find local hostels from as low as $2 – you can find a lot of them on booking, just sort by price: https://www.booking.com/searchresults.en.html?region=835&aid=1293006&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1
      I don’t surf, so I am not sure about the exact spots, but I know that south of Bali is popular for surfing and the waves in Jimbaran beach were very strong, when I was there.

  9. Your literary is so informative, do u think you can mail it to me plz. Amazing photos, i wonder who took your pics!!! ?

  10. I am trying to plan a trip to Indonesia and was wondering how much your trip cost for the 10 days doing all the activities, food, stay, travel, etc. cost!

    1. Hi Sarah, It’s hard to estimate the general cost as everyone has a different travelling style – you can do it on the cheap staying in the hostels, eating local food in small street food stands and not taking any organized tours, or you can spend a lot of money staying in the resorts, eating in the restaurants with the best view and traveling in a private car. So it really depends :) Good luck!

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