When is the Best Time to Visit Indonesia?
Published on: August 15th, 2017
Last modified: July 27th, 2023
Indonesia is a country where beach-meets-jungle. This chain of more than 17,000 islands in Southeast Asia serves unspoiled beaches and crystal-clear waters that are best explored on luxury yacht expeditions, particularly across the idyllic archipelago of Raja Ampat. Add in a collection of UNESCO Heritage Sites in Java and legendary dragons in Komodo National Park and there are more than enough reasons to visit.
The best time to visit Indonesia is between May and September. Little rainfall, clear skies and average temperatures of 30°C (86°F) are perfect conditions for exploring the islands. Indonesia’s tropical rainy season falls between November and February. Showers typically pass quickly and with less crowds, travel at this time has its benefits.
If you’re thinking of visiting Bali in particular, the best time to go is the shoulder season; April, May and September. There’s glorious sunshine, little rain and temperatures of 31°C (87.8°F). You can enjoy the great weather, without the crowds of the high season; July, August and December.
Best Time to Visit Indonesia by Season
May to October is Indonesia’s dry season. Temperatures average 30°C (86°F) with almost no rain - a great time for island hopping. Opt for April, May and September (shoulder season) when visiting Bali and Lombok which get crowded during the peak months of July and August.
The dry season is a good time to visit Java for epic volcano hikes as the pathways are dry and easier to traverse, although it’s best to avoid the hot midday sun. Those looking for a challenge can try sunrise hikes of Mount Ijen and Merapi.
May to October is also a great time to take exclusive yacht charters around the Komodo National Park for some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world, in calm and clear waters. You also have the chance of meeting a Komodo dragon, in their UNESCO protected habitat, during your excursions on land.
Indonesia’s rainy season lasts from November to February. Temperatures are warm with some high humidity, averaging 31°C (87.8°F). The wet season can still be a good time to travel to Indonesia. Heavy showers tend to fall in the afternoon and evening, breaking the humidity and leaving mornings clear.
Exploring Indonesia during the tropical rainy season has its advantages, it’s much quieter on popular Bali and Lombok. It's still possible to visit remote and rugged Sumba. A stunning island rich in cultural heritage where you can watch displays from the skilled Pasola horsemen or learn to weave traditional Sumbanese ikats.
The best time to visit Raja Ampat, which follows a different seasonality, for spectacular diving and luxurious yacht cruises is between October to April. This stunning archipelago, just off the coast of West Papua experiences calm seas at this time, the perfect conditions for exploring the magical underwater world.
What is the hottest month in Indonesia?
The hottest months in Indonesia are May, October and November where temperatures regularly reach 32°C (90°F). From October onwards, expect high humidity too. Bali is hottest in May, but the humidity should be starting to subside. In Jakarta, be prepared for typical daily temperatures of 33°C (93.5°F) from May to November.
The Best Months to Visit Indonesia
Indonesia in January - March
January is one of the best months to visit Raja Ampat for an exclusive yacht exploration, with little rain and balmy average temperatures of 31°C (87.8°F). Calm conditions and low winds are perfect for water activities, both below and above the surface.
On the lunar new year (between January and February) the festival of Imlek is celebrated throughout the country. There’s a national holiday and a series of exciting street parades and firework displays.
Visit Bali in March to see the island glistening green after the rainy season, temperatures average 31°C (88°F) and the rain is starting to dry up. It’s an important month for Balinese Hindus as Nyepi, the Day of Silence and Bali’s new years day is celebrated. The entire island comes to a standstill with airports, shops and businesses closing to allow complete peace for a day of self-introspection. Hotels and resorts do typically operate as usual and while this is an important day, it’s mainly observed by Balinese residents.
Indonesia in May - June
May and June are wonderful months to visit Java, Bali and Lombok. A perfect combination of good weather and fewer crowds means the islands’ beauty, culture and activities can be fully appreciated. The temperatures at this time stay warm at around 31°C (87.8°F) and there’s very little rainfall. Conditions are now great for hiking in Java as the pathways have recovered from the earlier rains.
Depending on the ancient lunar cycle (but always in May or June), Buddhists celebrate the Wesak Day Festival, the day of Buddha’s birth, death and enlightenment. A spiritual and significant day, with some of the most elaborate festivities, including the lighting of thousands of lanterns, taking place at the enormous, ornate Borobudur temple in central Java.
Indonesia in July - August
July and August see gorgeous weather; very little rain at all and uninterrupted sunshine. There’s not as much humidity at this time and temperatures are pleasant at 30°C (86°F). Although these are great months to experience the beaches, waters and interiors of the islands, it can get very busy. In Bali and Lombok, in August there can be lots of crowds and we recommend booking well in advance if you plan to travel at this time.
For a slice of Indonesian history, it’s worth braving the crowds and visiting during August, to witness Indonesia Independence Day celebrations. Previously a Dutch colony, independence was declared in 1945. Across the country there’s parades, games and festivals to mark the day.
Indonesia in September - December
September and October are Indonesia’s shoulder seasons. September, much like May, has the glorious weather of the high season, temperatures of 31°C (87.8°F), without the crowds – making September one of the best times to visit Indonesia for a laidback, sunny atmosphere.
The humidity and rain starts to creep in and by October and November temperatures will increase to 32°C (89.6°F). In Bali, the rain showers tend to be short lived and there’s still spells of sunshine to be enjoyed.
Despite December being the start of the more persistent rainy season, the crowds still flock to the islands to celebrate the holidays and the New Year in places like Uluwatu – unsurprisingly, it’s necessary to book well in advance if you want to travel at this time of year.
In Java in November the islamic festival of Sekaten celebrates Maulid (the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad). It’s an intricate and religious event which includes a royal procession through the streets, parties and the creation of an enormous model mountain made from sticky rice, sweets, fruits and vegetables.