With 12 days in Indonesia, you can see many major sites and cover multiple islands, but it's best to decide which of Indonesia's diverse landscapes you prefer. Focus on nature by bird-watching in West Papua or visiting the orangutans in Borneo; beach hop around the Gili Islands, go on a multi-day trek through the jungle toward Wamena or spend more time in the local villages learning about Indigenous tribes, like the Dani Tribe of Papua New Guinea or the people of Sumba.

Itinerary #1: Discover Bali: Temples, Trekking, Volcanoes & Gili Islands

This discover Bali itinerary is excellent for travelers who enjoy light trekking and beach hopping. It's the perfect sampling of Bali's landscapes, from Ubud's rice paddies and historic temples to the countryside and views atop a volcano. Highlights are trekking to Mount Batur to catch the sunrise, snorkeling around the Gili Archipelago, and visiting beaches along the southern coast. 

Explore the wild beaches of the Bukit Peninsula in southern Bali
Explore the wild beaches of the Bukit Peninsula in southern Bali
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bali Ubud, Bali
Day 2 Balinese Cooking Class Ubud, Bali
Day 3 Vintage Car Tour through the Balinese Countryside Ubud, Bali
Day 4 Mount Batur Sunrise Trek Ubud, Bali
Day 5 Transfer to Sidemen via Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi, Tirta Empul, & Pura Kehen Sidemen, Bali
Day 6 Hike in Sidemen Valley Sidemen, Bali
Day 7 Transfer Padangbai Harbor, Boat to Gili Meno Gili Meno
Day 8 Boat & Snorkelling Trip around the Gili Archipelago Gili Meno
Day 9 Free Day on Gili Meno Gili Meno
Day 10 Transfer to Bali, Free Afternoon in Jimbaran Jimbaran, Bali
Day 11 Beaches of Bukit Peninsula & Kecak Show in Uluwatu Jimbaran, Bali
Day 12 Depart Bali  

Spend your first days enjoying Bali by means of a cooking class and exploring the Palace, temples, Campuhan Ridge, and the Sacred Monkey Forest in and around Ubud. Day 3 brings you on a driving tour through the Balinese countryside in a vintage car to the famed Tegallalang Rice Terrace and on to Kintamani before visiting the historic water temple of Gunung Kawi Sebatu. On Day 4, trek your way to sunrise views atop Mount Batur, an active volcano. Head to Sidemen Valley on Day 5 while visiting many famous UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples, like the Cave of the Elephant.

The next day, go for a leisurely hike in the countryside around Sidemen Valley before going to the laidback beaches and the best snorkeling spots of the Gili Islands for the next three days. Head to the south coast, Jimbaran Bay, and nearby Tegal Wangi Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali. On Day 11, you can beach hop to Bukit Peninsula, Padang Padang Beach, Thomas Beach, Green Bowl Beach, and Pandawa Beach. Then see a Kecak show of traditional Balinese dance at the Uluwatu Cliff Temple. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Indonesian Escape: Borneo, Maratua & Bali

This Indonesian escape trip plan showcases three Indonesian islands focusing on nature and wildlife. Spot orangutans in Borneo, swim with whale sharks off of Maratua Island, venture through terraced rice fields in Bali's Tegallalang, tour Hindu temples, and experience Balinese culture through a Kecak dance show.

Whale shark under water
Swim with whale sharks off the coast of Maratua Island
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kalimantan (Borneo) Kalimantan
Day 2 Wildlife Preserve Walking Tour & Orangutan Island Balikpapan
Day 3 Fly to Berau, Boat to Maratua Island Maratua
Day 4 Maratua Snorkeling Expedition Maratua
Day 5 Whale Shark Swim, Labuan Cermin Lake Swim & Biduk Biduk Visit Maratua
Day 6 Fly to Denpasar (Bali), Transfer to Ubud Ubud
Day 7 Free Day in Ubud Ubud
Day 8 Vintage Car Tour through the Balinese Countryside Ubud
Day 9 Transfer to Jimbaran via Goa Gaja & Sukawati Art Market Jimbaran
Day 10 Day Trip to Uluwatu Temple Tour & Balangan Beach, Evening Kecak Performance Jimbaran
Day 11 Free Day in Jimbaran Jimbaran
Day 12 Depart  

You'll fall in love with learning about rainforest conservation and Borneo's orangutan during your visits to a protected area of rainforest called Samboja Lestari, Orangutan Island, and Bukit Bangkirai on Days 1 and 2. Slow the pace down with three nights on Maratua Island in the Derawan Islands, and snorkel your way through an underwater world. For those who can't wait to get back into the water, you'll have the opportunity to swim with whale sharks at Talisayan on Day 5.

The following day you'll fly to Bali and transfer to Ubud to discover the Hindu temple of Tirta Empul, or Ubud Monkey Forest, where cheeky monkeys roam freely among the temples. Day 8 brings a scenic tour of Ubud via convertible, where you'll zip through the countryside and spot the terraced rice fields of Tegallalang, the village of Kintamani, and Mount Batur. During your last few days, discover the gems of Jimbaran, like Uluwatu Temple, Balangan Beach, and a traditional Balinese Kecak dance performance. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Culture & Beaches in Indonesia: Bali & Gili Islands

Slow the pace way down and spend ample time in only three locales shared between Bali and the idyllic Gili Islands on this 12-day itinerary. Beach lovers and culture enthusiasts will enjoy exploring historic temples and villages, viewing Bali's most beautiful waterfalls, and learning about traditions from sarong- and paper-making to cooking a Balinese meal.

Bali scenery
Enjoy relaxing, surfing, and snorkeling on Bali's white-sand beaches
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bali & Transfer to Ubud, Optional Visit to Mas & Celuk  Ubud
Day 2 Cultural Day in Ubud & Sidemen, Visit Suwat Waterfall Ubud
Day 3 Ubud VW Safari Car Tour Ubud
Day 4 Ubud Temples & Traditional Village Excursion Ubud
Day 5 Transfer Padangbai, Speedboat to Gili Air Gili Air
Day 6 Free Day in Gili Air Gili Air
Day 7 Snorkeling Trip Around the Gili Islands Gili Air
Day 8 Day Trip to Gili Trawangan or Gili Meno Gili Air
Day 9 Transfer to Seminyak via Goa Lawah & Tanah Lot Temple Seminyak
Day 10 Visit Uluwatu Temple & Kecak Traditional Dance Performance Seminyak
Day 11 Enjoy a Surfing Class  Seminyak
Day 12 Depart Bali  

Get acquainted with Balinese culture by exploring Ubud Market and local street kitchens or visiting Mas and Celuk villages, known for their handicrafts. On Day 2, enjoy the landscapes of rice fields and plantations near Sidemen before visiting Suwat Waterfall, one of Bali's most beautiful. The following day, see Ubud's famous temples and sites like Tibumana Waterfall, Tegallalang's rice terraces, and Monkey Forest while dashing around in a VW convertible. Before heading to Semarapura on the east coast, enjoy the architecture of several countryside temples and the well-preserved culture of the highland village of Penglipuran.

Days 5 through 8 in the Gili Islands bring an abundance of leisure or adventure—it's your choice. Relax on the white-sand beaches, cruise around the three islands of Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan, spot sea turtles while snorkeling, or spend focused time on one of the islands. Before returning to Bali, this time to Seminyak on Day 9, visit Goa Lawah, a bat-inhabited temple, and discover Tanah Lot Temple, perched on a rock by the sea. While Day 10 brings another temple visit to the famed cliffside Pura Luhur Uluwatu, you'll hang loose on Day 11 with a surfing lesson. Learn more 

Itinerary #4: Indonesian Adventure: Trekking, Tribes & Birdwatching in West Papua

With multi-day treks, village and tribe visits, and two days of bird-watching, this Indonesian adventure is another itinerary great for active people who love immersing themselves in nature and learning about the local culture—this time, on the island of New Guinea in West Papua. You'll trek through the untouched rainforest, experience a traditional Dani tribe pig festival, and search for bird-of-paradise varieties in West Papua. 

A potrait of Dani child in West Papua
A portrait of a Dani child in West Papua
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Jayapura, Transfer to Wamena (Highland Papua) Wamena
Day 2 Trekking & Village Life in Jiwikia Wamena
Day 3 Trek to Sogogmo & Seinma  Wamena
Day 4 Excursion to the Northern Baliem Valley & Kotilola Cave Wamena
Day 5 Transfer to Lake Habema, Explore Camp
Day 6 Jungle Trek Toward Wamena (Day 1) Camp
Day 7 Jungle Trek Toward Wamena (Day 2) Camp
Day 8 Jungle Trek Toward Wamena (Day 3), Return to Hotel Wamena
Day 9 Traditional Pig Festival with the Dani People Wamena
Day 10 Fly to Jayapura, Transfer to Nimbokrang & Bird Sanctuary Nimbokrang
Day 11 Transfer to Sentani, Boat Trip on Lake Sentani Sentani
Day 12 Transfer to Jayapura, Depart  

Kick off the first two days with cultural experiences in Papua, including visiting a local market in Wamena, seeing a traditional salt spring of the Dani tribe, and walking to Kurulu village to see an ancient mummy. Trek to the village of Sogogmo the following day, along the vast Baliem River, over a suspension bridge, and pass by Dani settlements before reaching Seinma. Then on Day 4, journey to the northern part of the Baliem Valley and admire the gigantic stalactites and stalagmites in Kotilola Cave and the rare flora in the Pass Valley

You'll transfer to Lake Habema, with views of Mount Trikora, on Day 5. The next day you'll begin a three-day jungle trek toward Wamena, following the Ibele River to Baliem Valley, where you'll find settlements of the Lani tribe. Day 8 brings you to a small missionary station with an airfield and the end of your jungle trek. More cultural encounters abound on Day 9 with the Dani tribe's traditional one-day pig festival, while Day 10 takes you to Nimbokrang and a bird sanctuary where you might spot the flamboyant mating dance of a bird-of-paradise. Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Sentani on Day 11 and your final night in Papua. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Nature & Beaches in Indonesia: Bali & Sumba

Intrepid travelers might prefer the lesser-frequented locales this nature and beaches itinerary offers, particularly of Sumba. Immerse yourself in local culture through several visits to villages, discover pretty beaches, and venture to otherworldly landscapes, like the mangrove forest, rock formations, and lagoons in Sumba. 

Mangrove forest at Walakiri Beach, Sumba
Mangrove forest at Walakiri Beach, Sumba
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Uluwatu Uluwatu
Day 2 Optional Snorkeling Excursion, Uluwatu Temple Visit & Dance Show  Uluwatu
Day 3 Fly to Tambolaka (Sumba), Visit Bukit Waikapulota & Pantai Kita Beach Tambolaka
Day 4 Visit Ratenggaro Village, Weekuri Lake & Mandorak Beach Tambolaka
Day 5 Explore Watu Maladong, Bwanna & Pero Beaches Tambolaka
Day 6 Transfer to Waikabubak, Visit Traditional Villages & Lapopu Waterfall Waikabubak
Day 7 Discover the Beaches of Sumba: Marosi, Kerewei & Watu Bella Waikabubak
Day 8 Transfer to Tarimbang, Visit Tarimbang Beach Tarimbang
Day 9 Transfer to Waingapu, Visit Bukit Wairinding & Walakari Beach Waingapu
Day 10 Explore Bukit Persaudaraan, Waimarang Waterfall & Rende Village Waingapu
Day 11 Fly to Bali, Transfer to Uluwatu Uluwatu
Day 12 Depart Bali  

Discover Padang-Padang, Green Bowl, or Melasti beaches on your first day on Bali. Then Day 2 brings you snorkeling around Nusa Penida Island, a visit to the cliffside Uluwatu Temple, and a captivating Balinese dance performance. On Day 3, you'll board a quick flight to Sumba to visit with locals at Bukit Waikapulota village and swim in the clear blue waters of Pantai Kita Beach. The next day, check out Ratenggaro village to meet the locals and see traditional Sumba homes, followed by taking a dip in salty Weekuri Lake. Day 5 takes you beach hopping across Sumba highlighting stunning rock formations and a stone archway. 

Step into Indonesian culture on Day 6 with visits to local villages before seeing Lapopu Waterfall, where you can swim in a pond below the falls. Days 7 and 8 are about discovering beaches, including Marosi, Kerewei, and Tarimbang, with its freshwater lagoon, and Day 9 takes you to the striking mangrove forests of Walakiri Beach. On Day 10, explore the rolling hills of Bukit Persaudaraan before visiting Waimarang Waterfall and Rende village, where you'll learn about traditional clothes dyeing. In Prailiu on Day 10, find grave monuments and traditional Sumbanese houses before returning to Bali the next day. Learn more

More Great Indonesia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Indonesia? Check out these other Indonesia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 12 Days in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 12 Days in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas