Complete Guide to Tourist Visas in Indonesia

Ever dreamt of lounging on Indonesia’s pristine beaches or exploring its vibrant culture? Before you pack those sunglasses and sarongs, there’s the little matter of a tourist visa. Dive in, and let’s get you set for the trip!

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Why Should You Visit Indonesia As A Tourist?

Indonesia boasts a myriad of gorgeous islands and beaches, rich biodiversity, and cultural heritage, and it is one of the most popular places for surfing and yoga retreats in the world.

And with so many flights to Indonesia from almost anywhere on Earth, it’s an easily accessible destination for any traveler.

Indonesia is the most significant island country in the world. Located in Southeast Asia, it has over 17,000 islands, with the biggest and most well-known including Bali, Java, Sumatra, and Sulawesi.

If you know someone who needs to decide about visiting Indonesia for a holiday, there’s everything from wildlife viewing, and island hopping, to shopping and surfing. And, of course, there are plenty of other fun activities as well.

1. Wildlife Watching In Borneo

Borneo is one of the favorite reasons to visit Indonesia. The island is one of the world’s biggest islands and boasts one of the oldest rainforests.

Its incredible biodiversity is a top tourist attraction, with many unusual creatures seen here that are found nowhere else – like the Bornean orangutan.

Birding enthusiasts, too, will be mesmerized. Borneo has over 230 bird species, many of which are endangered.

At the Tanjung Puting National Park, you’ll find big mammals like the Bornean bearded pig, Bornean clouded leopard, Bornean elephant, probosci’s monkey, Malaysian sun bear, eastern and Sumatran rhinoceros, as well as a wild abundance of endemic plant species.

2. Island Hopping In Paradise

Indonesia has an extensive network of over 17,000 individual islands, which means you could spend a lifetime island hopping here. If you were to visit a new Indonesian island every day, it would take you a little over 49 years to see them all!

Indonesia has island vibes to suit every person. Some islands have a thriving party scene, while others are unknown and unpopulated. Some are especially popular for snorkeling.

Some of the most popular Indonesian islands to visit include:

  • Lombok: known for its vibrant nightlife, beaches, and diving
  • Sumatra: known for its expansive size, rainforests, and endangered wildlife
  • Padar: known for its uniquely colorful sandy beaches (one pink, one black, one white) and turquoise bays
  • Bintan: known for its high-end resorts
  • Bali: known for its many surfing beaches
  • Mentawai: known for being off the beaten track
  • Raja Ampat islands: known for its underwater splendor, fabulous diving spots, and coral reefs
  • Wakatobi: known for ecotourism, diving, coral reefs, and the Wakatobi National Park
  • Seram: known for its incredible birding, majestic mountains, and for being very unpopulated
  • Gili islands: known for their pristine seas, party atmosphere, and upscale accommodation and perfect for island hopping

3. Countless Beaches

Indonesia’s white sandy beaches, turquoise crystal waters, and lush tropical surroundings are as close to paradise as you may get. Several are rated among the world’s best beaches, like Ora Beach on Seram Island (Maluku).

Whether you want to relax and soak up the sun, snorkel, dive, or surf, Indonesia has beaches to match your mood. If sun and sand sound like your idea of paradise, here are some of the best beaches for beach hopping:

  • Seminyak Beach, Bali
  • Gili Trawangan, Lombok
  • Sanur Beach, Bali
  • Pink Sand Beach, Komodo National Park
  • Sunset Beach, Gili Islands
  • Pasir Panjang Beach, Labengki island, Sulawesi
  • Tanjung Tinggi Beach, Belitung, Sumatra
  • Bingin Beach, Bali
  • Tembeling Beach, Nusa Penida, Bali

4. Beautiful White Crater Lakes

The crater lake of Kawah Putih in Java is one of two volcanic crater lakes that makeup Mount Patuha. It’s located at a high elevation of 2430 meters above sea level, which sometimes makes it quite chilly.

Kawah Putih is highly acidic, with high levels of sulfur (which can get smelly), and can change color from white with turquoise waters to greenish.

If you’re a photographer, take advantage of this day trip from Bandung. Although you can’t swim here, the unusual colors and scenery are out of this world.

5. Delightful Indonesian Cuisine

Indonesian cuisine is world-renowned. Here you’ll get to try some of their most famed dishes like sambal, satay, nasi goreng, soto, and bakso for a fraction of the price you’re probably used to paying.

Indonesia is a melting pot of cultures and culinary traditions, with over 5,000 recipes from its 17,000 islands. One of the most popular activities in Indonesia is to take a cooking class and try making it yourself.

No matter where you go, you’ll find everything from street vendors, local warungs, and night markets to Padang restaurants and high-end resorts. Even vegans and vegetarians will easily find many delicious options on offer.

6. Sip Tea At A Plantation

Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest tea producers, with thousands of hectares under cultivation and many smallholder farmers growing mainly black and green teas.

As drinking tea is a very entrenched part of the culture, you’ll also find many unusual tea varieties in Indonesia. These include jasmine tea, yellow tea, rooibos tea, oriental red tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea.

Visit luxurious tea houses to sample different varieties of tea, visit a tea garden, or take a tea plantation tour to learn more about the history and art of making Indonesian tea. Some tours will even go in-depth and let you try harvesting tea yourself.

7. Shopping In Jakarta

Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, is a bustling Asian city that’s home to over 10 million people. It is also a shopping haven for international brands, locally made batiks, and culturally iconic crafts.

With over 150 shopping malls and a range of local markets, Indonesia is known for great affordability while also catering to the high-end market.

Here are some ideas of places to visit for a grand shopping extravaganza:

  • Grand Indonesia shopping mall: this expansive and exclusive mall is a shopaholic’s dream, with ten levels, over 200 stores, and various restaurants.
  • Pasar Baru: this famous local market has been operating for over 200 years and is a great place to find inexpensive textiles, spices, or fashionable shoes.
  • Tanah Abang Market: one of the biggest textile markets in Southeast Asia, this bustling flea market is renowned for its wholesale rates and bargains.
  • Glodok Chinatown: Known as the largest Chinatown area in Indonesia, Glodok is where you’ll find an incredible variety of well-priced electronic goods.
  • Ancol Art Market: here, you’ll find over a hundred local Indonesian arts and crafts vendors, many of whom you’ll see in action creating their wares.

8. Watching The Komodo Dragons

Komodo National Park on Komodo Island was established to protect the dragon, the world’s giant lizard.

The area has been established as a World Heritage Site. It boasts an abundance of marine and terrestrial biodiversity, over 50 world-renowned dive sites, and over a thousand different types of fish.

To reach the park, most people fly to nearby Labuan Bajo or Bima and then take a boat to Loh Liang on Komodo Island or Loh Buaya on Rinca Island.

Many people book multi-day cruises through the park, as it comprises 29 volcanic islands and extends 2000 square kilometers.

Popular activities include spotting Komodo dragons (there are about 2500 in the park), diving and snorkeling, hiking, visiting the pinks sands beach, and visiting traditional fishing villages.

9. Climbing Mount Bromo

It’s not every day you get to climb an active volcano.

Mount Bromo in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is one of Java’s most popular tourist attractions, where visitors typically climb the massif to watch the breathtaking sunrise over the sandy plains and other volcanoes below.

If you plan to do the sunrise trek, take a flashlight, warm clothes, water, and sturdy hiking shoes. It’s best to avoid the rainy season, which can be slippery to hike, so April and October is the best time to visit.

You can arrange an organized tour to Bromo with a guide or rely on public transport from Surabaya and book local accommodation, depending on your preference.

10. Surf Some Of The World’s Best Waves

Surfers from around the world flock to Indonesia for some of the best waves, surfing breaks, and international surf contests.

And those who want to learn will find it the perfect place to attend an instructional surf camp or spend a couple of hours taking beginner surf lessons.

Some of the most famous surf spots include:

  • Kuta Beach, Bali: a great place to learn to surf
  • Padang Padang, Bali: one of the most famous surf spots and known as the best pipeline wave in Bali
  • Hollow Trees, Mentawai Islands: a famous shallow-reefed, right-handed barrel that’s exceptionally photographic
  • Desert Point, Lombok: one of the best-known waves in the world, this is a famous left-hand barrel that’s only for severe and experienced surfers
  • Grajagan (G-land), Java: a top, left-hand reef break with consistently great waves

11. Soak Up Cultural Heritage At Indonesia’s Many Temples

Before Islam came to Indonesia, the islands’ predominant religions were Hinduism and Buddhism. You can immerse yourself in this era by visiting two impressive temples near Yogyakarta. You can visit both of them in one day.

Borobudur

Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to about the 9th century and is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Borobudur’s most iconic features include its many bell-shaped stupas.

It’s worth hiring a guide to explain the detailed stone blocks that detail the legendary episodes in the life of Buddha.

Prambanan

Prambanan Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 9th-10th century.

It ranks as the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and one of the largest ones in Indonesia. It contains reliefs that show stories from the Ramayana Hindu epic.

Of the 200-odd shrines that once stood at Prambanan, only the 16 main temple buildings have been reconstructed. Still, it’s enough to hint at how awe-inspiring this site must have been in its prime.

What Is A Tourist/Visitor Visa To Indonesia?

Now that we’ve covered all the activities one should take part in Indonesia let’s move on to the process of getting there. If you are considering visiting Indonesia as a tourist, you may not even have to apply for an Indonesia Tourist Visa.

That’s because the Indonesian visa policy is very lenient, and the majority of people are exempt from tourist visa requirements.

You can enter Indonesia for up to 30 days without a visa. It would be best if you had your passport and proof of a return flight ticket.

If you enter under the visa exemption, you are not allowed to extend your stay. You must depart within 30 days or face a fine on your way out (approximately 1,064,980 IDR for each day you have overstayed).

How To Apply For An Indonesia Tourist Visa?

You can apply for an Indonesia Tourist Visa in one of the following ways:

  • On arrival at the airport in Indonesia (only for citizens of certain countries)
  • At an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia near you.

What Is The Indonesia Visa On Arrival?

The Indonesia Visa on Arrival is a type of tourist visa. It will only allow the holder to stay in Indonesia for up to 30 days. Everyone eligible for the Indonesian VOA is also allowed to enter the country without a visa for a maximum of 30 days.

So, why bother to apply for a Visa on Arrival to Indonesia?

If you enter Indonesia without a visa (i.e., under the visa waiver program), you cannot extend your stay under any circumstances. You must leave before the 30 days are up.

However, if you apply for a Visa on Arrival, you can apply for an extension of your visa and stay longer (for a fee).

Indonesia Visa On Arrival Process

To apply for an Indonesia Visa on Arrival, you have to approach the Visa on Arrival counters at the airport in Indonesia. There, you have to present:

  1. Your passport. It must be valid for at least another six months.
  2. An onward or return flight ticket.
  3. The Visa on Arrival fee. The Indonesia Visa on Arrival cost is 532,490 IDR.

Indonesia Visa On Arrival Extension

To extend an Indonesia Visa on Arrival, you have to go to the Immigration Office in Indonesia at least seven days before it expires. You have to pay another fee of 532,490 IDR there, and your VOA will be extended for another 30 days.

What Are Tourist Visa Requirements In Indonesia?

When you apply for an Indonesian visa, you must have a number of documents that will be used to support your visa application. The tourist visa requirements for Indonesia are as follows:

  1. Indonesia Visa Application Form. You have to complete it and sign it. You can get the form on the Embassy/Consulate website or in their offices, whichever is available.
  1. Your passport. It must be valid for at least another six months from the time you will enter Indonesia.
  1. A copy of your passport.
  1. If you are not a citizen of the country, you live in A copy of your valid Residence Permit/Visa.
  1. Passport-size picture in line with the requirements.
  1. A copy of your round-trip or onward travel ticket.
  1. Proof of sufficient financial means (bank statements).
  1. If you will visit friends or family in Indonesia: a Letter of Invitation from them as well as a copy of their ID card or passport
  1. Letter of Invitation from an organization or institution you will visit there (if applicable).
  1. Proof of having paid the Indonesia visa fee.
  1. For Multiple-Entry Visa: Letter of Visa Authorization from the Directorate General of Immigration in Indonesia. Your sponsor in Indonesia must obtain this on your behalf.
  1. Suppose you will apply by mail: A pre-paid self-addressed return​​ envelope (with a stamp attached). The Embassy/Consulate will use the envelope to return your passport and documents after the visa processing.

Remember: The Indonesian visa requirements are different for every type of visa and from one country to the other. You may have to submit more documents or less, depending on the specific requirements of the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate.

Although not necessarily required by Indonesian law, if you are applying for a tourist visa, you are advised to purchase travel health insurance for your visit to Indonesia.

How To Apply For Tourist Visas In Indonesia At An Embassy/consulate?

If you are not eligible for an Indonesia Visa on Arrival, you have to apply for an Indonesia Tourist Visa at an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia abroad.

The process for an Indonesian Tourist Visa application is as follows:

  1. Find the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate responsible for your jurisdiction. You can find the Diplomatic Missions of Indonesia here.
  1. Contact them or visit their website to learn about the visa application requirements.
  1. Make an appointment if it’s required.
  1. Collect the required documents for the visa application.
  1. Pay the Indonesia visa fee. Some Embassies/Consulates require you to pay through a bank, while others accept cash. The visa fees are non-refundable.
  1. Submit the required documents at the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate. You can submit them in person or by mail if the specific Embassy/Consulate allows this option.
  1. Wait for the Embassy/Consulate to process your Indonesia Tourist Visa application.
  1. Once they have processed the visa application, you should go back to pick up your passport and documents.

If you applied by mail, the Embassy/Consulate will mail them to you. If the decision is favorable, you will receive your Indonesian visa.

What Is The Indonesian Tourist Visa Processing Time?

Usually, it will take about 3 – 5 working days for the Embassy/Consulate to process your Tourist Visa application. However, the exact processing time can differ depending on which Embassy/Consulate you are applying in.

How Much Are The Fees Of A Tourist Visa In Indonesia?

The Indonesia Tourist Visa fees are:

  • For a Single-entry Tourist Visa: 760,700 IDR
  • For a Multiple-entry Tourist/Visit/Business Visa: 1,521,400 IDR
  • For an Indonesia Visa on Arrival: 532,490 IDR

Note: The visa fees are subject to change based on new immigration rules, the country in which you apply, and the local currency.

The payment method for an Indonesia visa fee depends on the Embassy or Consulate you are applying to and whether you’re applying by mail or in person.

The Indonesian Embassies or Consulates of different countries have instructions about the payment method on their websites.

There are many acceptable methods of visa application.

What Is The Duration Of An Indonesia Tourist Visa?

A Tourist Visa for Indonesia is valid for 30 days for a single entry. You can extend an Indonesia Tourist Visa for another 30 days before it expires.

Indonesia Visas on Arrival are also valid for 30 days and a single entry, and they are extendable.

If you want to stay longer or travel to Indonesia often, you must apply for an Indonesia multiple-entry visa. This type of visa is issued to business travelers as well as visitors. It is valid for one year, and you can stay in Indonesia for a maximum of 60 days for each entry.

Indonesia Tourist Visa Extension

You can extend the Indonesia Tourist Visa and Indonesia Visa On Arrival beyond their initial 30 days. You must apply for a visa extension at the Immigration Office in Indonesia within seven days before the visa expires.

The Tourist Visa extension fee is the same as the initial visa fee you paid (532,490 IDR for Visa on Arrival; 760,720 IDR for Embassy Tourist Visa).

Note: If you are exempt from visa requirements and enter Indonesia without a visa, you cannot apply for an extension of stay.

You must leave Indonesia before the 30 days are up. If you do not, when you depart, you will have to pay an overstay fee, which is approximately 1,064,980 IDR per day.

Can You Work With An Indonesia Tourist Visa / Visa On Arrival?

The Indonesia Tourist Visa and the Visa on Arrival are strictly for leisure, visit, and recreation activities. You must refrain from taking up paid employment with either of them. If you want to work, you will have to apply for an Indonesian Work Visa.

If you want to stay longer than 30 days, such as for a family visit or studying purposes, you have to apply for the respective visa:

  • Indonesia Family Visa
  • Indonesia Student Visa
  • Indonesia Business Visa

Visas issued for a more extended period usually require prior authorization from the Directorate General of Immigration in Indonesia.

Conclusion

Indonesia’s enchanting islands are calling, and with this tourist visa guide, you’re all set to answer. Prepare right, enjoy the journey, and those sunsets? They’ll be even sweeter.

Happy touring!

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