Backpacking route Indonesia: Sumatra, Java and Bali itinerary
Borobudur temple indonesia yogyakarta

About this trip


21 days or shorter/longer if you want to. Just spend some more time in the cities you like.

Budget estimation

€900,- to €1400,- per person including hotels, transfer, food and some tours. Excluding your flight ticket.

When to go?

The best travel time for Java and Bali is from may to september. Sumatra from june to august (high season)


Train to Bandung, Green Canyon & Green Valley, Borobudur & Prambanan temple, Orangutans, jungle tour, lake Toba and the white sand beach in Bali.

Suggested itinerary: Jakarta – Bandung – Pangandaran – Yogyakarta – Bukit Lawang – Samosir island – Medan – Ubud – Sanur

This is a beautiful backpacking route through Indonesia. Within three weeks, you will explore the three main islands of Indonesia: Sumatra, Java and Bali. You will see the highlights of Indonesia. Check out this three week itinerary through Indonesia. Searching for a backpacking route Bali only? Click here.

Your backpacking route Indonesia:

Indonesia backpacking route
Indonesia itinerary for 3 to 4 weeks

Day 1 - Departure

Finally! Your journey starts today. You will travel to Indonesia.

Day 2 - Arrival Jakarta

Your holiday starts in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. You’ve traveled a long way (or not), so make sure you’ll get some rest in a decent hotel. Get a cab to your hotel: Blue Bird taxi costs €11 (165.000 IDR Gambir area).

Blue bird taxi Indonesia
Reliable taxi: Blue bird taxi

Hotels in Jakarta

You will stay here for one night (or more if you want to extend your trip).

My pick: Mercure Jakarta Sabang ****

Hotel Mercure Sabang Jakarta

This luxury hotel is located near Gambir train station, where you have to catch the train the next morning. This hotel offers a pick-up service from the airport (€15). Rooms are very nice and there is also a swimming pool. This hotel is rated with an 8.3 on and costs €82,- per night for a double superior room.

My cheaper pick: Citi M Hotel **

This guesthouse also offers an airport shuttle. It is only a 20 minute walk to the Gambir train station. It offers simple rooms, with AC and a private bathroom. Rated with a 7.9 and costs €30,- per night.

Do you want to choose your own hotel in Jakarta? Look over here.


Day 3 – from Jakarta to Bandung

Today you are traveling from Jakarta to Bandung.

Tea plantation Ciwidey near Bandung
Tea plantation at Ciwidey near Bandung!

How you get there

Take the train at Gambir train station. The trip to Bandung takes three hours and costs max. €10,-. There are frequent trains to Bandung, but book in advance via On this website you can check the actual time schedules and prices.
From Bandung train station you can take a taxi to your hotel. I paid 30.000 IDR / €2 to get from the train station to my hotel Ivory by Ayola. It took only a few minutes to get there.

Hotels in Bandung

You will stay here for two nights.

My pick: Ivory by Ayola Hotel Bandung ***

Hotel Bandung Ivory by Ayola Bandung

Close to Bandung’s train station, in the heart of Bandung. This hotel is reviewed with an 8.6 and costs €45,- per night. Hotel rooms are very spacious and modern. The hotel is a 5-minute drive from the lively Dago area, a 10-minute drive from Gedung Sate and a 15-minute drive from Husein Sastranegara Airport. The Cicaheum bus station is a 20- minute drive away.

My cheaper pick: Elenor’s Home at Eyckman ***

If you want to stay on budget, this is an excellent choice. Elenor’s is located just a 5-minute walk from the famed shopping spot along Cihampelas Street in Bandung. It is rated with an 7,9 on and you can have your own room with private bathroom for only €20,- per night.

Or check other hotels in Bandung.


Day 4 - Bandung

Today you are in Bandung and you’re free to choose what you want to do. You can book a tour to the Tangkuban Perahu volcano and the Gracia Spa hot springs. A car with a driver costs 600.000 IDR per day.

Tea bandung
Tea time!

Kawah Putih Bandung
Kawah Putih near Bandung


Day 5 – from Bandung to Pangandaran Beach

Beach-time! Today you are going to Pangandaran, which is Java’s best beach. (You can also travel to Yogyakarta directly –> move on to day 7).

How you get there

Pangandaran has no train station. The easiest and most expensive way to get to Pangandaran, is by private taxi €100,- and takes 4 to 5 hours. A cheaper option is the door-to-door mini-bus of Sari Harum Travel, who takes you for €15,- p.p. but takes 7 hours.  This mini-bus leaves at 06.00h or 14.00h. Ask your hotel host for more information.

It is also possible to take the tourist bus. You have to get to the bus station of Bandung “Cicaheum”. Bus company “Budiman” leaves every hour to Pangandaran. At 09.00h a NON-AC bus leaves. A ticket costs only 65.000 IDR / €4,33 and can be bought on the bus! At 10.00h the AC bus left (100.000 IDR / €6,70). The ride takes exactly 7 hours.

Budiman bus Bandung Pangandaran
Budiman bus from Bandung to Pangandaran

Hotels in Pangandaran

You will stay here for two nights.

My pick: The Arnawa ***

Hotel Pangandaran The Arnawa

Close to the beach, a nice pool and rated with an 8. A double room costs 40,- per night. Check it out!

My cheaper pick: Mango Guesthouse *

Very simple rooms, but close to the beach and very cheap. A double room with private bathroom costs €12,- including breakfast.


Day 6 - Pangandaran

You’re free to do whatever you like. Explore the beaches or arrange a trip to the Green Canyon and Green valley. It costs €26,- per person. I recommend DinDin Tours! Contact him via WhatsApp: +62 812 2376 0776

Green Canyon tour Pangandaran - Dindin


Day 7 - from Pangandaran to Yogyakarta

Your journey continues to Yogyakarta. The city near the famous Borobudur temple.

How you get there

You can take a taxi or bus to the train station in Siradeja. This takes 45 minutes by car. Then you will catch the train to Yogyakarta. It costs €12,- and takes another six hours. From the train station you can take a tuk tuk to your hotel or guesthouse. There are two tourist offices in Pangandaran where you can purchase mini-bus – train combo’s (250.000 IND /  €16,70 p.p.).

If you want to travel directly to Yogyakarta from Bandung, you can catch the same train. The ticket also costs €12,- and the journey takes 8 to 8,5 hours. Or you can take the plane, which will take you to Yogya within one hour. A ticket costs €30,- via Loinair Airlines. Check to find the cheapest flight.

Hotels in Yogyakarta

You will stay here for three nights.

My pick: Bamboo Bamboo Homestay **

Bamboo Bamboo homestay in Yogyakarta

This guesthouse is very cute. The location is ideal. Close to the pubs and restaurants. A superior double room costs €30,- per night or you can sleep in dormitory room for only €6,-. With an average score of 8.6 on, this guesthouse is the real deal!

My cheaper pick: Rumah Roso Homestay

A cosy double room with a shared bathroom, costs €15 per night. This guesthouse is located near some main highlights of Yogyakarta. It is rated with an 8.5.

There are so many hotels and guesthouses in Yogyakarta. You can check them out on this website.


Day 8 - Yogyakarta

You can rent a bike and cycle through Yogya or book a tour to the famous temples Borobudur and Prambanan. A (group) tour costs approximately €20,- per person. Borobudur temple

Some action @ Borobudur


Day 9 - Yogyakarta

Enjoy your last day here in Yogya. Tomorrow you will take the plane to Sumatra!

Day 10 - From Yogyakarta to Bukit Lawang via Medan

Jungle-time! First you’ll fly to Medan. Then your journey continues to Bukit Lawang.

How you get there

Airasia offers a direct flight from Yogyakarta to Media. They fly twice a day. The flight takes 2 hours and 45 minutes and a ticket costs €65,- to €90,-.

From Medan Airport (Kuala Namu KNO) there are multiple ways to get to Bukit Lawang:

  1. The easiest way is to arrange a taxi via your guesthouse in Bukit Lawang. By taxi it takes 4 hours to get there and it costs €45,-.
  2. Arrange your own taxi at the airport: 400.000 IDR / €26,70 is a good price! Be prepared for hassle.
  3. You can also travel by bus. You have to take the ALS (Antar Lintas Sumatera) bus to Binjai. A ticket costs €2,70. In Binjai you’ll catch the minivan (€3,50) to Bukit Lawang. At the bus stop you can take a motor-taxi to your accommodation. The trip by bus takes 5 hours.

Jungle huts in Bukit Lawang

You’ll stay here for three nights (one in the jungle).

My pick Jungle-style: On the Rocks

On the rocks Bungalows Bukit Lawang
On the rocks Bungalows

Not much luxury, but a unique experience. You’re in the jungle! On the Rocks has great jungle bungalows (or huts), surrounded by nature. Huts are available from €13,- to €33,- per night. On the Rocks also organizes several tours and jungle treks to the orangutans. Book ahead via


Day 11 - Bukit Lawang

I recommend you to do a jungle tour. Enjoy the beautiful nature, monkeys, birds and peaceful feeling. A day tour costs €50 per person and includes tub rafting, a lunch and orangutan feeding.

Are you looking for more adventure? Spend the night in the jungle (€70).

Jungle trekBukit Lawang
Jungle trek Bukit Lawang


Day 12 - Bukit Lawang

If you chose the overnight jungle adventure, you will return to the accommodation around 3 PM.

If you didn’t spend the night in the jungle, than you can choose to travel to Samosir island today.


Day 13 - from Bukit Lawang to Samosir Island

Ready for a long journey? Today you are traveling to Samosir Island at Lake Toba.

How you get there

The easiest way to travel to Samoris / Lake Toba, is by private taxi. Your guesthouse in Bukit Lawang will help you to arrange it.

Option A: From Bukit Lawang via Siantar to Parapat. Takes around 7 hours. Costs 1.150.000 IDR/car (€75) and includes driver, gasoline and parking fees. Or try to arrange your own private car for approx. 700.000 IDR.

Option B: From Bukit Lawang via Berastagi to Parapat. Takes around 9 hours. Costs 1.300.000 IDR/car (€85) and includes driver, gasoline, parking and entrance fees. 2 stops: Sipiso Piso Waterfall and King Batak House included. From Parapat you’ll take the ferry to Tuk Tuk, which leaves every 30 minutes between 08.30 and 18.00h (low season) and 07.30 and 19.30h (high season).

Option C: A cheaper option to Samosir is by Tourist Bus. It leaves from Bukit Lawang at 8.30 am. Costs 230.000 IDR per person and includes a one-way ferry ticket. Takes around 9 hours.

Hotels in Tuk tuk Samosir

You’ll stay here for two nights.

My pick: Mas cottages **

Hotel Samosir Mas cottages
Located 3 m from Lake Toba, Mas Cottages features traditional Bataknese-style exteriors with simply furnished rooms. Rooms are available from €22,- per night. This accommodation is rated with a 7.8 on

A cheaper pick: Sony Hotel Samosir*

There aren’t that many options in Tuk Tuk, but this is one of the cheapest. Only €8 for a double room with lake view.


Day 14 - Samosir island

Rent a scooter or bike and explore the island. Or take a refreshing dip into the lake. Enjoy your freedom! Lake toba Sumatra

Day 15 - from Samosir to Medan

Tomorrow morning you will take the plane to Bali. So you have to travel back to Medan first.

How you get there

Take the ferry to Parapat. From Parapat you can take a shared mini bus for €8,- per person. It leaves every hour. You can arrange a ticket via your hotel or guesthouse. You can also take a private taxi to Medan or directly to the airport. It costs 500.000 IDR / €34,- and takes 4 to 5 hours (or even 7 if it is busy on the road).

Hotels in Medan

You will stay here for one night.

My pick: Grand Aston City Hall Hotel & Serviced Residences *****

good hotel medan

Those five stars say it all. Only €65 per night. Ideal location, close to the train station. There is a direct connection between this train station and the airport. The hotel rooms are huge and beautiful. The hotel also has a pool, a spa and a wellness center.

My cheaper pick: d’primahotel Medan **

This hotel is located within Medan’s train station. Rooms are nice and only cost €30 per night. It is rated with an 8.2 on


Day 16 - from Medan to Ubud (Bali)

Take a flight to Bali in the morning or noon.

How you get there

Take the train to the airport (Medan naar Kuala Namu). It costs 100.000 IDR (€7). The first train leaves at 4 AM and takes you within 30 minutes to the airport. Buy your ticket in advance via Railink.

Lionair has three daily flights from Medan to Bali. The flight takes almost 5 hours and a ticket costs €100,-. Check for actual prices and time schedule.

You arrive in Denpasar, Bali’s capital. From the airport, it’s a 60 minute drive to Ubud by taxi, which costs €15.

Hotels in Ubud

You’ll stay here for two nights (or longer if you want to).

My pick: Pertiwi Bisma 1 ***

Pertiwi Bisma 1 - Infinity pool ubud
Pertiwi Bisma 1 with nice infinity pool

This is a pretty good deal! During high-season a room costs €67 ($70) but during low-season, you can stay here for €47 ($50) only! The location of Pertiwi Bisma 1 is ideal. The famous Ubud Monkey Forest is a 5-minute walk away. It takes 10 minutes to walk to Ubud Market, the old Ubud Palace and the famous Antonio Blanco’s Museum at Campuhan River. Do you want to stay here? Book a room at Pertiwi Bisma 1.

My cheaper pick: Alamanda Accomodation

A small-scaled bed & breakfast. Simple rooms, but located in the heart of Ubud. Rooms with a fan from €16,- per nights, or €23 if you require AC. This guesthouse has a small swimming pool and is reviewed with an 8.4.

Looking for a hotel with an infinity pool?


Day 17 - Ubud

Go and explore Ubud. It is gorgeous.ricefields Ubud

Day 18 - from Ubud to Sanur

Your holiday ends on the beach! Today you are going to Sanur (or Kuta).

How you get there

Take a taxi to Sanur. You’ll be there within one hour and it costs €10,-. You can also take the Perama tourist shuttle bus for only €3,-. Let a tuk tuk driver bring you to your hotel.

Do you prefer a beach party at Kuta beach? Take a taxi from Ubud for €15,- or take the Perama tourist bus for €4,- (travel time 1,5 hour).

Recommended hotels in Kuta: Citadines Kuta Beach Bali **** €80,- per night. Or Kondra Premiere *** only €20,- per night.

Hotels in Sanur

You’ll stay here for three nights.

So many hotels to choose from. Take a look over here.


Day 19 - Sanur

From Sanur you can do many excursions. For example to the capital Denpasar, the water palace or the island Nusa Lembongan. You can reach Nusa Lembongan within 30 minutes by boat. It costs approximately €18,- per person. Sanur beach Bali

Day 20 - Sanur

Relax for a day. Chill at the pool or beach. Enjoy your last day of full freedom!

Return flight from Jakarta?

If you are flying back home from Jakarta airport, it is best if you fly back to Jakarta in the evening. A flight takes 1 hour and 45 minutes and costs €40,- via Airasia. Spend the night at Bale Ocasa for €20,- per night. This hotel has a free airport shuttle service.


Day 21 – going home

Your journey ends today ☹. Make sure you’ll reach the airport on time. Good luck!


What do think of this backpacking route Indonesia? Do you have questions or suggestions? Please let me know and leave a comment below.

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About Author

Evy van Kan
In India heb ik de eerste keer de ultieme vrijheid van backpacken mogen ervaren! Sindsdien wil ik niet meer anders. Voor elke reis kies ik mijn eigen bestemmingen, route en hotels. Deze tips deel ik graag met jou, hier op Have fun!


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