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 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.
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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
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.
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:
- Luxury: PinkCoco Gili Air – exceptional resort located just by the beach. The view of the sea from the rooms and pink accents in the stylish interior. Check the best prices here.
- Midrange: Nanas Homestay – beautiful cottages with your own terrace, hammock, and yummy Indonesian breakfast. Check availability.
- Budget: Beranda Ecolodge – a beautiful hostel with a traditional Indonesian setting, outdoor swimming pools, and a garden. Bunk beds in shared rooms and all the rooms have a balcony or terrace. Check availability here.
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.
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.
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:
- Luxury: Nadira Bali Resort & Villa – an outdoor pool and beautiful villas with an amazing views. Check availability.
- Midrange: Lesong Hotel and Restaurant – this hotel has an incredible location, in the middle of the rice fields. You will feel a real Bali spirit while staying there. Check availability.
- Budget: Made Oka Homestay and Warung – amazing view of the valley and the hills around. Great breakfast (included). Check availability here.
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:
- Suka Sari cottages – an outdoor bathroom, private terrace, and swimming pool. Close to the beach. Check availability here.
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.
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).
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.
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.
What to pack for the Indonesia trip
- Suncream – I use this suncream as it has great protection, good skincare, and is perfect for kids and adults on the face and body. It is also reef-safe!
- Sunglasses – The sun in Indonesia is strong and you need to protect your eyes. Check UV sunglasses at a good price here.
- Hat or a scarf for sun protection – you don’t want to get headaches from too much sun. Check prices and models here.
- Hiking shoes for volcanoes– Merrell has good hiking shoes. Check the price and models here.
- Reusable water bottle or Filter bottle– save plastic and fill in the small reusable bottle from bigger water bottles. I often use insulated bottles like this one to keep the drink hot or cold for a long time. If you don’t have access to refilling water, then you can use a water bottle with a filter like LifeStraw to have clean water on the go. Check the price here.
- Small day backpack
- Camera with landscape lens – I use Fuji X-E1 and Samyang 12mm, which I used to capture photos in this post.
- Waterproof action camera – I don’t have GoPro, but a cheaper version of it, and it does a good job – AKASO EK7000. Great for underwater shots and anything adventure-related – Check price.
- Light jacket/jumper
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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