We are heading to Indonesia in a few weeks, flying into Lombok and out of Jakarta . This forum was really helpful in deciding to do that, so thank you. I've sketched out a rough number of days for each place below. We don't really want to plan any more (and what's below is nowhere near set in stone, we will just see how things go), but it would be great if you had any suggestions for cool places that are on our route.
We're students, quite active, want to do and see a lot of different things. We haven't dived before but were thinking about doing an intro on the Gilis. We would like a bit of nightlife, but also a lot of nature and culture. Thanks for your help!
2 Senggigi - Gili
7 Rinjani Trek
11 Boat Lombok - LB via Komod
15 Labuan Bajo
16 Labuan Bajo
17 to Ende
18 to Ende
19 to Ende (Kelimutu)
20 to Ende
21 Fly Ende - Denpasar (depending what days flights are on)
23 Bali (Ubud)
30 Ijen and Bromo
31 Ijen and Bromo
32 Ijen and Bromo
PS Haven't really looked at getting between these places, hope to just figure it out as we go, or else go someplace else
#1 Lettie2012 has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 16
That looks like a pretty good itinerary. I kinda like the idea of fitting in the Perama cruise across to East Timor from Lombok - I did the opposite direction and thought it wonderful.
I notice 5 days in the Gilis (if you leave Senggigi early) - this gives enough time for at least 2 of the islands. Trawangan because you like nightlife - I'd then do Meno because it is such a contrast (v laid back) but Air has a good mixture of the other 2.
At least 8 days on Bali. Hell there are so many good places there - for party and shopping spend at least 2 days off the aircraft in Kuta (Sanur is quieter alternative on a nicer beach). I notice you have Ubud marked in - a good call for culture, landscape, trips to the volcano etc with a lively traveller scene. Worth 2 or 3 days. Others? Well Padangbai is a delightful coastal town not too far from Ubud and I have a thing for the beaches of the Bukit peninsula which would be an okay location before you fly out because it is not too far south of the airport. Places there like Balangan, Bingin and Padang Padang have a good surfer/traveller scene and the cliffside warungs overlooking the kamikazi surf-break at Uluwatu are an entertaining pit-stop - hey Uluwatu is more famous with general tourists for its temple and that aint bad either.
A quick thought on the Flores bit (I'm busy putting out coverage onto the site -- rest should be up later today) but in the meantime:
In my opinion, Labuan Bajo itself is not worth two days - not sure what your planned transport method to Ende is, but I'd drop a day in LBJ and head to Ruteng for a night then Bajawa for a night then straight through Ende to Moni (for Kelimutu) then return to Ende for a look around and your flight back.
From Ruteng the "Hobbit Cave" is definitely worth a look and from Bajawa both the hotsprings and Bene are both worth a visit. Moni itself has a waterfall and some village walks etc but I think you'll find your time running out on this stretch (hence my suggestion losing a day in LBJ.
Flores is absolutely stunning.
Thank you both for the advice! Will keep all your suggestions in mind as we go.
We were thinking about possibly hiring a car with a driver for Flores . I believe it is around 30GBP a day, and there's three of us so that doesn't seem too expensive (and I imagine Flores will be cheaper generally). Although do you think we might have any issues being three women (age 20ish)? Would it be good idea to see if we can find a driver someone has recommended? I'm sure we can lose a day in LB. That bit will also depend on when we can get a boat, and when we can fly back. When should we book that flight do you think?
Also, have you heard any good or bad things about Kencana for the boat? http://www.kencanaadventure.com/4d-lombok.html Seems a bit cheaper than Perama (http://www.peramatour.com/46-Sea%20Adventure-Hunting-Komodo-by-Camera-01-2N-3D.html) but that may not be a good thing...
#4 Lettie2012 has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 16
You'll be looking more like 40GBP per day for a car with driver as prices start at around 600,000 rupiah a day, depending on exactly where you are planning on going.
Flores is a bit of a mixed bad pricewise -- accommodation is a bit more expensive than you may expect (though still quite affordable).
For drivers, we recommend a couple from personal experience on the Labuan Bajo transport page here -- both these drivers were used by one of our writers -- a woman travelling alone -- so as a group of three I wouldn't expect any problems.
I'd book your flights as soon as possible -- you don't say when this trip is, but if it is across high season, (July/August) booking accommodation may be a good idea.
I've not sailed with either Pernama or Kencana (tezza above has though) -- I met two backpackers recently who had done it with Pernama both ways and they were happy with the experience though said the boat too Flores had 40+ people on it while the trip back had 13 (different boats) but overall they thought it was good.
Hope that helps.
Yes, June should be fine. Never heard that about Merpati - very odd. We flew Wings Air Bali to Labuan Bajo and back and they were fine -- may be worth a look.
I emailed Perama, and they said they could book Ende-Denpasar with Transnusa for us for 962 000 rupiah. Does that seem reasonable? Are Perama reliable?
#8 Lettie2012 has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 16
Yup, Perama a reliable operator (my Indonesian standards!)
962k is in the right ballpark, though I think that flight may be via Kupang -- not sure though.
I paid 1.4m rupiah for Bali to Labuan Bajo return a month ago.
That plan looks pretty good to me too, but I really would find one night for Dieng Plateau. I know it's not in vogue and few foreigners do it independently, but it is one of my favourites parts of Java. Also, if you're into riding motorbikes, get a motorbike in Garut/Cipanas on the way between Pangandaran and Jakarta -- zip around there area looking at volcanoes, hot lakes, geysers... That sort of stuff.