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Cycling in Indonesia, Java, Bali, Lombok
and further in Nusa Tenggara

Indonesia is still much ignored by travelers on bicycle. Cycling in Indonesia is considered by many people as impossible. I disagree. However, there are some things you need to know before getting a bicycle and fly to Indonesia. For some travelers this is not a big issue. You get your bike, go to the airport and fly to either Jakarta at Java or Denpasar at Bali and start the journey.

Prambanan complex 1992
Prambanan complex, Central Java, photo from 1992 - in 2010,
it looks different, see my Prambanan page

For others it is a major step in life. My first Asian journey was a Big Step. After that, it became easier. So, what do you need to know about cycling in Indonesia?

First of all, Indonesia is a tropical country. This means you need to be aware of the heat. The traffic on ongoing roads can be troublesome, especially in some big cities in Java (Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung, Surabaya) but it's surprisingly easy to cycle in for example Denpasar Bali.

But the benefits of riding a bicycle in Indonesia are plenty. You will find places you have not even dreamed off because they're not on the main travel route.

Indonesia is an amazing country with an amazing array of things to see. It has a very long history. It doesn't matter if you prefer to see the cultural or natural aspects of Indonesia, both are plentiful, beautiful, if not spectacular.

The Borobudur is a must visit, but there's a great back road to cycle
The Borobudur is a must visit, but there's a great
back road to cycle, which I highly recommend

Organized bicycle tours

No time to organize your bicycle journey in Indonesia? Join a bicycle tour in Indonesia. No worries about visa, hotels, or even the route to take. Just get your bicycle and join. Here are the details about the bicycle journeys in Indonesia we can offer

View on Bali

Organized bicycle journeys in Indonesia

Where to start?

But what if you do not want an organized tour? Most travelers arrive either in Jakarta or at Bali. Here many travelers can get a visa on arrival (non extendable) for 30 days. It costs US $25. See our Indonesian visa page for details.

Jakarta (Java) and Denpasar (Bali) are excellent assessable from many international destinations. Here you can get a visa on arrival too.

West Java, the road to the Puncak Pass, a very green and beautiful country
West Java, the road to the Puncak Pass, a very green and beautiful country

What to bring?

Bring as little as possible when talking in terms of clothing. Only if you intend to climb volcanoes, you want some warmer clothes but you will be able to buy some in the bigger cities and at Bali.

When you bring your bicycle, you will want to bring spare materials. In Jakarta and Denpasar you may get spare parts but further it will be difficult. However, the Indonesians are clever in solving problems and find usually a way to help you out.

People at Flores

People at Flores


Bring your own, it might be difficult to get some.

What to see

Indonesia is an amazing country. There is so much to see, I can't even begin to explain. Obvious highlights could include the Borobudur, Prambanan Complex, Mount Merabu, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Malang, Dieng Plateau, to mention only a few on Java alone. Bali, Lombok, the island of Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Sumba, Irian Jaya, Kalimantan, all have much to offer and all islands are different. To give you an idea... At Java there are 5 languages spoken while at Sulawesi there are 80 languages known. You can spend a lifetime in Indonesia.

View at Bali, from the ferry from Lombok
View at Bali, from the ferry from Lombok

Best place to start is a guidebook before leaving. I think the Lonely Planets are a good introduction.

Here is more about islands in Indonesia:

Bali, Lombok, Flores and Sumba Java Sulawesi

Visa for Indonesia

For many travelers obtaining a visa is easy. Just fly in and get a visa at the airport. But to be on the safe side, have a look here to sort out what exactly you need.

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Flores is a magnificent island. It has a very rich culture, some beautiful nature to explore and it's not spoiled by mass tourism. An ideal island to get a bicycle.


Komodo, Rinca and the Komodo Dragon

The small islands that form together the Komodo National Park are worth a visit. Seeing the Komodo Dragon is for many a highlight but there is more

Komodo, Rinca and the Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon