Indonesia Traveler Information - Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Indonesia Traveler Information guide.
At AARDY we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Indonesia Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Indonesia.
Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: 6 months beyond date of arrival.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: Two.
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: No (for tourist travel under 30 days).
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: 100,000,000 Indonesian rupiah (approx. $7,500 USD).
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: 100,000,000 Indonesian rupiah (approx. $7,500 USD).
Embassies and Consulates
Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan No. 3 - 5
Jakarta 10110, Indonesia
Telephone: +(62)(21) 5083-1000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(62)(21) 5083-1000 ext. 0 (operator)
Fax: +(62)(21) 385-7189
U.S. Consulate General Surabaya
Jl. Citra Raya Niaga No. 2
Telephone: +(62)(31) 297-5300
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(62)(811) 334-183
Fax: +(62)(31) 567-4492
U.S. Consular Agency Bali
Jalan Hayam Wuruk 310, Denpasar, Bali
Telephone: +(62)(361) 233-605
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate in
Fax: +(62)(361) 222-426
American Consulate Medan, Sumatra
Uni Plaza Building
4th Floor (West Tower)
Jl. Let. Jend. MT Haryono A-1
Medan 20231, Indonesia
Telephone: +(62)(61) 451-9000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(62)(61) 451-9000
Fax: +(62)(61) 455-9033
The U.S. Consulate in Medan, provides only emergency assistance to
U.S. citizens and does not offer routine consular services.
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Indonesia for information on U.S. - Indonesia relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
Your passport must have at least two blank pages and be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your arrival in Indonesia. If your passport does not meet these requirements, you will be denied entry into Indonesia. The Government of Indonesia does not recognize the 12-page U.S. emergency passport, issued by U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, as a valid travel document for visa-free travel, and, if traveling on this emergency passport, you may be refused boarding and/or entry by immigration officials. If you travel on a limited validity passport, such as an emergency passport, you must obtain a visa prior to arriving in Indonesia.
If you are traveling on a full-validity passport, there are three ways to enter Indonesia:
- Visa Exemption: This is a no-fee stamp placed in your passport upon arrival for travelers staying less than 30 days; no extensions are allowed and no adjustment to another visa status permitted. You must enter and exit through an immigration checkpoint at major airports and seaports. You also must have a return or onward ticket to another country and have not been previously refused entry to Indonesia or blacklisted.
- Visa-on-Arrival: This is a $35 USD visa issued upon arrival valid for up to 30 days for tourism, family visitation, and other purposes. See the Indonesian Immigration’s website for more information. You may extend a Visa-on-Arrival one time for a maximum of 30 additional days, for another $35 USD. Diplomatic or official passport holders should not apply for Visa-on-Arrival, and should either use visa exemption if staying in Indonesia less than 30 days, or obtain a visa in advance if staying longer than 30 days.
- Visa in advance: Travel for more than 30 days or travel for non-tourism purposes, including business, employment and journalism, requires that the appropriate visa be obtained from an Indonesian embassy or consulate before arrival. If you are traveling on an emergency passport, you must obtain an visa before arrival in Indonesia.
Entry requirements are subject to change at the discretion of Indonesian immigration authorities. If you overstay your visa, you are subject to a fine of 1 million Indonesian rupiah (about $70 USD at current exchange rates; fees may change at any time) per day and may be detained and deported. U.S. citizens have been jailed for visa overstays or entering the country on the wrong visa class for their purpose of travel. Travelers coming to Indonesia for non-tourism purposes are strongly encouraged to consult Indonesian Immigration’s website.
While you are in Indonesia, always carry your passport, valid visa, and work or resident permit, if applicable. Immigration authorities may request that foreigners present their travel documents during routine inspections of apartment buildings, other residential areas, or offices. Travelers have been detained for questioning for not having their passports with them.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents in Indonesia. The Indonesian government screens incoming passengers in response to reported outbreaks of pandemic illnesses.
Safety and Security
Since 2002, Indonesian police and security forces have disrupted a number of terrorist cells. Although extremists in Indonesia continue to aspire to carry out violent attacks against Indonesian and Western targets, police have arrested more than 1,700 individuals on terrorism-related charges since 2002 and have greatly reduced the capacity of domestic terrorist organizations. Extremists may target both official and private establishments, including hotels, bars, nightclubs, shopping areas, restaurants, and places of worship. Whether at work, pursuing daily activities, or traveling, you should be aware of your personal safety and security at all times.
Recent incidents of extremist violence include the May 2018 bomb attacks against three churches in Surabaya that killed 15 civilians and injured 50 more, and an attack in January 14, 2016, by terrorists using guns and explosives attacked near the Sarinah Plaza in Central Jakarta, which killed four civilians, including one foreigner, and injured 17 others. In 2002, more than 200 foreign tourists and Indonesian citizens were killed by a bomb in Bali’s nightclub district.
Demonstrations are very common in Jakarta, Surabaya, and other large cities, but less common in Bali. You should avoid demonstrations and other mass gatherings, since even those intended to be peaceful can become violent. Demonstrations may become more frequent ahead of the Indonesian general elections scheduled for April 2019.
Currently, travel by U.S. government personnel to the provinces of Central Sulawesi and Papua is restricted to mission-essential travel that is approved in advance by the Embassy security office.
Crime: Pick-pocketing, theft, armed car-jacking, and residential break-ins are common. Avoid travelling to isolated areas late at night. Beware of your surroundings, particularly vehicles or individuals that might be following you.
Use a reputable taxi company or hire a taxi either at a major hotel or shopping center. Travelers have been robbed in taxis that have been painted to look like legitimate taxis.
Credit card fraud is a serious and growing problem in Indonesia. Avoid using credit cards when possible. Criminals have “skimmed” credit/debit cards to access and drain bank accounts. Use an ATM in a secure location and check the machine for evidence of tampering. Monitor your account statements regularly.
Tourists and Indonesians have suffered from serious illness and have even died from "drink-spiking” and drink poisoning incidents, particularly in clubs and nightspots in urban and tourist areas.
Victims of Crime: Victims of sexual assault should seek prompt medical assistance, contact the Embassy, and call the local police at 112. For a criminal investigation to be initiated by the police, the victim must make a full statement to the local police, in person.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. Water sports can be hazardous in Indonesia with operators lightly regulated and hyperbaric chambers available only in Bali and Ambon. Traffic is hazardous in Indonesia and U.S. citizens are frequently injured while riding rented motorbikes. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities, and even then only basic stabilization may be available. Serious injuries require medical evacuation to another country. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: All foreign nationals in Indonesia are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Criminal cases can take months or even years to resolve, and suspects can be held without charges for up to 60 days, and in many cases longer. If you are convicted of possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs in Indonesia, you may be subject to heavy fines, long jail sentences, and even the death penalty. Indonesian prison conditions are harsh and do not meet Western standards. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: LGBTI status or conduct is not formally illegal, but local authorities sometimes take legal action against, or tolerate harassment of people engaging in LGBTI relationships or openly expressing LGBTI identity. Some local governments have passed laws criminalizing LGBTI relationships. Foreign same-sex marriages or civil unions are not recognized as legally valid. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Sharia Law: Sharia law is enforced in Aceh and may exist unofficially or through local legislation in other areas. The law is intended for Muslims and should not apply to non-Muslims or foreign visitors. You should be respectful of local traditions, dress modestly, and seek guidance from local police if confronted by Sharia authorities.
Earthquakes and Tsunamis: There are approximately 4,000 earthquakes per year in Indonesia, or more than 10 per day on average. While most earthquakes are mild, some cause significant destruction and can trigger tsunamis. Tsunami warning systems may not be operable or reports of tremors and tsunamis may be delayed. Local construction standards are lower than in the United States, and many structures including hotels and malls are prone to damage or collapse in an earthquake. Access to disaster-affected areas is often difficult and assistance from the U.S. Embassy may be limited.
Volcanoes: There are 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia. Eruptions frequently cause travel delays, displace local populations, and disrupt economic activities.
Environmental Quality: Air quality in Indonesia’s major cities can range from "unhealthy for sensitive groups" to "unhealthy." Current air quality data for Jakarta can be found on the Embassy’s Air Quality page. Tap water is not potable throughout Indonesia.
Papua and Central Sulawesi: All travelers to Papua and West Papua provinces (including Raja Ampat) and Poso in Central Sulawesi province must obtain a travel permit (surat jalan) from the Indonesian government.
Mountain Hiking: When hiking in mountainous areas, obtain current information on local conditions, travel with a reputable guide, have overseas medical insurance, and carry a local mobile phone. Hikers on Puncak Jaya in Papua should have realistic primary and backup plans for climbing down the mountain. Tour operators have abandoned climbers. Taking shortcuts through private property is considered trespassing and is not a safe or legal alternative to a proper plan. If possible, ensure your hiking plans are registered and known to local authorities and/or tourism operators, as this helps identify your presence in these areas in the event of an emergency
Dual Nationality: Indonesian law does not recognize dual nationality for adults over 18 years of age. U.S. citizens who are also Indonesian nationals may experience immigration difficulties in Indonesia. Please visit our Dual Nationality page.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:Persons with disabilities will face severe difficulties in Indonesia as most public places and transportation facilities do not accommodate disabled people.
Women Travelers: Please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical Facilities: Sanitation and health care conditions in Indonesia are far below U.S. standards. Routine medical care is available in all major cities, although most expatriates leave the country for all but the most basic medical procedures. Psychological and psychiatric services are limited throughout Indonesia. Physicians and hospitals often expect payment or sizable deposits before providing medical care, even in emergency and/or life threatening situations. See our Embassy's website for a list of English-speaking doctors and hospitals, but keep in mind that even in large cities the quality of English-speaking medical personnel will vary and there are often communication difficulties. In remote areas there may be no English-speaking medical personnel.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that the U.S. Embassy does not pay medical bills and Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, which can exceed $100,000 per person.
Always carry prescription medication in their original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Be aware that Indonesian authorities may consider some prescription drugs as illegal narcotics. The government does not publish a list of which pharmaceuticals are considered contraband, and these decisions may be arbitrary.
U.S. citizens are advised against mailing or shipping by courier any medications to Indonesia. Indonesian authorities pay close attention to packages containing pharmaceuticals and may detain or arrest recipients of both prescription and over the counter medications. Even if a medication is legal or has been prescribed in the United States, it may be considered an illegal narcotic in Indonesia. U.S. citizens are advised to only hand carry prescription medications into the country, in the original packaging with a copy of any prescription. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates cannot assist you with the importation and/or release of medications.
Local pharmacies carry a range of products of variable quality, availability, and cost. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a significant risk; patronize only reputable pharmacies.
Malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and Zika virus are mosquito borne diseases in Indonesia. Prevention of mosquito bites is strongly encouraged; malaria preventive medication is needed in some areas. Pregnant women should be aware that Indonesia is a CDC Zika risk area and that Zika can be spread by mosquitos as well as sexual contact.
Diarrheal diseases are very common throughout Indonesia and food and water precautions are recommended. Rabies is prevalent in animals and animal contact should be avoided.
Vaccinations: Update all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Traffic in Indonesia is hazardous, congested, and undisciplined. Traffic signals are frequently ignored and often in disrepair. Motor vehicles share the roads with other forms of transportation such as pedicabs and pushcarts. Buses and trucks are often dangerously overloaded and travel at high speeds. Accidents between a car and a motorcycle are invariably viewed as the fault of the driver of the car. Consider these risks before driving your own vehicle, especially if you are unaccustomed to Indonesian road conditions. When an accident results in personal injury, Indonesian law requires both drivers to await the arrival of a police officer to report the accident.
Public Transportation:Air, ferry, and road accidents that result in fatalities, injuries, and significant damage are common. While all forms of transportation are regulated in Indonesia, oversight is spotty, maintenance may not be properly performed, and rescue and emergency capacity is limited. Indonesia has experienced several fatal plane crashes and non-fatal runway overruns in recent years. Also in recent years, several ferry accidents and a train collision resulted in dozens of fatalities and even more injuries because of over-crowding and unsafe conditions.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight:The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Indonesia’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA's safety assessment page.
Since 2014, a number of private pilots have inadvertently crossed into Indonesian airspace and have been detained and paid heavy fines. If you intend to fly on private aircraft through Indonesian airspace, get correct clearances from Indonesian aviation authorities before you depart.
Maritime Safety and Security: Inter-island travel by boat or ferry can be dangerous: storms can appear quickly, vessels may be over-crowded and lack basic safety equipment, and safety standards vary between providers. A number of ferries have sunk, resulting in loss of life. The Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency records boat and ferry accidents resulting in injuries and deaths, yearly. Make sure you are satisfied with safety standards before travelling, including safety equipment and life jackets.
Piracy: Maritime piracy and other related crimes in and around Indonesian waters continue. Recent reports include thefts of valuables or cargo from boats that are in port and out at sea. Before traveling by sea, especially in the Strait of Malacca between Riau Province and Singapore, and in the waters north of Sulawesi and Kalimantan, review the current security situation with local authorities. Be vigilant, reduce opportunities for theft, establish secure areas on board, and report all incidents to the coastal and flag state authorities.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Indonesia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts on the Maritime Administration website. Information may also be posted to the websites of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Geospace Intelligence Agency (select “broadcast warnings”).
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Indonesia. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.