Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest country by population, third biggest democracy and largest Muslim nation. Best known to many travelers for its alluring beaches and exotic culture, the sprawling Southeast Asian archipelago encompasses more than 17,000 islands.
Indonesia’s fame as a tourist destination obscures its enviable abundance of natural resources and biological diversity. From its mega-city capital of Jakarta to its lush tropical rainforests, the dynamic developing country of Indonesia teems with people and fascinating, diverse species of animal and marine life.
The country is made up of 17,508 islands. It is located in the continent of Asia and sits in the equator.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Indonesia due to COVID-19.
Indonesia has reimposed border restrictions due to COVID-19 and is closed to international travelers with limited exceptions. Government run quarantine measures are in place for all foreigners. COVID-19 is a serious concern in Indonesia. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Indonesia.
If you decide to travel to Indonesia:
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
- Be aware of your personal safety and security at all times.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
A valid passport is required upon entry to Indonesia. Its expiration date should be at least 6 months past the date of entry into the country. Indonesia will not hesitate to turn a person away if they arrive with less than six months validity on their passports. Immigration also requires two blank passport pages. Under the Visa Exemption rule, American citizens can enter Indonesia without a visa if they are visiting as a tourist and stay for thirty days or less. There is no fee for entering Indonesia under the Visa Exemption rule, but you cannot extend your stay beyond thirty days. Visitors entering Indonesia for other purposes may obtain a 30-day visa upon entry to the country for a $35 fee. These visas may only be extended one time. An overstay fine of $25 per day may be enforced for people who stay beyond their allotted visa time period.
It is important that every traveler planning to visit Indonesia be fully up to date on his or her routine vaccines prior to entering the country. Additionally, the CDC recommends that people visiting Indonesia get vaccinated for Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Rabies. Any travel clinic will be able to provide the needed vaccinations.
The weather in Indonesia is generally divided up into two seasons, the wet season and the dry season. The dry season lasts from May to September with warmer temperatures. The wet season lasts from October to April when monsoons and rainfall is more frequent, and slightly cooler temperatures are common. High humidity in Indonesia is a relative constant, as it is a tropical climate.
The country code for Indonesia is +62. The cell phone service in Indonesia is widespread across the country. Additionally, access to the Internet is pretty good throughout Indonesia. Free Wi-Fi is common in many cafés, restaurants, malls, and hotels across Indonesia, most with adequate Internet speed. Bringing an unlocked cell phone is a good idea, as several cellular phone companies will have sim cards for purchase that can provide access to 4G/LTE service as well as wireless internet access.
Indonesia’s standard voltage is 230AC with a cycle speed of 50HZ. The most common type of plug used in Indonesia is a two-pin socket plug. Many hotels and villas will be able to provide adapters upon request. If you plan to travel in more rural areas, it may be best to pack an adapter with you for your travels.
Make two photocopies of your passport, tickets, and visas. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home. There is an increased risk of natural disasters and terrorism in Indonesia. Be aware of possible natural disasters by monitoring local media for up to date information from the Government of Indonesia on current natural disasters. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and/ or volcano eruptions have affected certain areas of Indonesia in the past. Terrorist attacks can happen without warning. Due to various reasons, terrorists continue to plot possible attacks in Indonesia. For these reasons, it is essential to exercise increased caution when traveling to Indonesia.
The legal currency in Indonesia is the Indonesia Rupiah (Rp). Using US dollars, though unfavorable, may be accepted in some areas such as large hotels, but will likely be at a very poor exchange rate. It is best to exchange your money at an official money exchange location, bank or even at the airport in the US or upon arrival to Indonesia.
Approximately 40.1% of the Indonesian population identify as Javanese, while 15.5% as Sundanese, 3.7% as Malay, 3.6% as Batak, 3% as Madurese, 2.9% as Betawi, 2.7% as Minangkabau, 2.7% as Buginese, 2% as Bantenese, 1.7% Balinese, 1.7% Banjarese, 1.4% as Acehnese, 1.4% as Dayak, 1.3% as Sasak, 1.2% as Chinese, and 15% as other.
There are more than 700 languages used across Indonesia. The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, which is a modified form of Malay. Javanese, English, Dutch and many other local dialects are used throughout the country.
It is interesting to note that the Indonesian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. However, the government only recognizes six official religions: Islam (87.2%), Roman-Catholic Christianity (2.9%), Protestant Christianity (6.9%), Hinduism (1.7%), Buddhism (0.7%) and Confucianism (0.05%).
Indonesian politics work under the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic. The president, currently Joko Widodo, of Indonesia is elected by a majority vote, with a five-year term. As the commander-in-chief, he is responsible for heading the United Indonesia Cabinet, as well as being the head of state. The president of Indonesia is in charge of policy-making, foreign affairs, and is responsible for domestic governance.
Indonesia has several major industries that make up its economy, which include natural gas, petroleum, textiles, mining, cement, apparel, plywood, footwear and chemical fertilizers. Additionally, Indonesia is one of the world’s main suppliers of rubber, coffee, cocoa, and palm oil. Tourism is also an integral part of the economy in Indonesia and though due to natural disasters and terrorist attacks, tourism in Indonesia experienced a decline, it is currently on the rise.