With a tropical climate, the whole archipelago of Indonesia has two seasons; the dry season (April to October), and the monsoon season (November to March) and enjoys hot and humid temperatures all year, always between 21˚C and 33˚C, although cooler in the mountains. However, in northern Sumatra and Sulawesi, this pattern is effectively reversed as these regions experience some rain in June & July. Temperatures remain fairly constant year round with averages of 28°C throughout the region. The peak tourist season, but not necessarily the best time to visit, is between mid-June and mid-September and again over the Christmas and New Year season. This is particularly relevant in the major resorts, where prices rocket and rooms can be fully booked for days, and sometimes weeks, on end.
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If you like it wet, Indonesia is the place for you in January! The first part of the month is busy in Bali as many Australians arrive for Christmas and New Year holidays. Europeans searching for warmth also arrive in large numbers. During January, the rains are widespread across Indonesia, especially in the Nusa Tenggara islands such as Flores and Komodo National Park, and although it's difficult to find some sun, you can still be lucky at this time of year. Kalimantan sees one of the wettest times of the year, with rainfall occurring in the form of intense downpour; however the rains are not as heavy as in other neighboring islands such as Java. Meanwhile, Sulawesi and the city of Makassar in the southern region are characterized by warm, humid weather, with average temperatures around 26°C and high humidity.
Visit Indonesia in February
Indonesia continues to get a good soaking in February so this is not the time and place for your dream beach holiday! The rest of Indonesia remains under rain clouds however, the sun is back out in northern Sumatra and Medan, where rainfall is at its lowest. Wild orang-utans tend to be on the shy side, so be sure to pack some patience! In the east it is dry season and this is a good time to hit dive and snorkel sites in Maluku, Raja Ampat and West Papua, where the waters will be especially clear. As the month progresses, the rains begin to reduce and temperatures hover around the low 30°Cs.
Visit Indonesia in March
March is a good time to visit Indonesia as crowds are few, options are many and things are certainly moving in the right direction. Kalimantan and Sumatra are improving ahead of the others while the rainy season is tailing off in Java, Bali and western Nusa Tenggara with rainfall across the entire region is certainly less than in previous months with much more good weather just around the corner with Indonesia set to become Asia's darling once again soon. That being said, you may be able to secure some low season bargains.
Visit Indonesia in April
The wet weather of previous months tails off in April most of Indonesia, with Sumatra still seeing a little rain in the afternoons as dry season begins and sunny days replace overcast skies. Minimal rainfall also means April is a good month for trekking Lombok’s Mt Rinjani, although temperatures will be cooler as you climb so we would recommend taking warm layers. As the islands start to dry out, the wildlife comes out to play and it is a good time of year for orang-utan spotting in the rainforest of Kalimantan and the Sumatran jungle. Levels of rainfall are significantly subsided and the beaches begin to welcome us sun worshippers once again. Towards the end of the month, Indonesia gets busy so it's best to arrive early to avoid the crowds.
Visit Indonesia in May
May is one of the best months to visit Indonesia: dry, sunny days are the norm. Dive conditions are excellent; as are conditions for mountain climbing. Although being the hottest month of the year, Bali and Lombok receive some of their best weather for the year and beach goers flock to the area, making the most of the glorious sunshine and clear blue skies. In Sulawesi, it is characterized by hot, sunny days with average temperatures rising slightly to 29°C and the mercury hitting 32°C on occasion. Rainfall can still be expected in Manado and north Sulawesi, but the southern regions of Toraja are drier as the month goes on. This is a good time to spot orangutans as they come out to play in the forests, and you may be able to take advantage of shoulder season hotel promotions.
Visit Indonesia in June
The beginning of June is quite possibly the best time to travel to Indonesia. Favourable diving conditions can be enjoyed across the Indonesian islands in June: expect clear, warm waters and an abundance of marine life, especially in the Komodo National Park, Lombok, Flores and around the Gili Islands. Rainfall should still be expected in north Sulawesi (including the city of Manado), but Toraja and the southern regions are much drier, making June a beautiful time to be trekking in Maros & Bantimurung, as the rice fields and forests are lush & green following months of rain. Wildlife is also at its peak, making treks through the forests in Medan and North Sumatra extremely rewarding. If you go early enough you will sees few crowds anywhere, and you are almost guaranteed sunny weather throughout.
Visit Indonesia in July
Optimum weather conditions combined with European summer holidays in full swing and the sun nearly always shining means July is an extremely popular time of year to visit Indonesian islands. The island of Sumba is slightly warmer than its northern neighbours of Lombok and Flores and can hit 31°C on occasion. Predominantly dry, sunny weather continues throughout Kalimantan, which makes travelling across the island much easier although high humidity levels can make some feel uncomfortable. In island of Sulawesi, rainfall may still occur in Manado and the northern regions, but conditions for diving around Manado Bay are excellent. Beach hotels, particularly in the resorts of Bali, Jimbaran, Sanur and Seminyak, can feel a little crowded and are busy so early booking is recommended.
Visit Indonesia in August
August offers great conditions across Indonesia which enjoys some of the best weather in all of Asia throughout August, making it the peak time for travelling to Indonesia. Dry days with plenty of sunshine are the norm, with the weather, wildlife and national parks all key attractions. Independence Day on 17 August sees a spectacle of parades and celebrations in Jakarta and across the country. You'll see school kids out practising their marching in the prior weeks. It's wise to book early to avoid disappointment due to high visitor numbers across many Indonesian islands (and the best accommodation always goes first). Note that Bali gets busy with Australians escaping the southern hemisphere winter.
Visit Indonesia in September
September in Indonesia brings the favourable weather conditions of August, but without the crowds and high season prices, making it a brilliant time to visit. During the month, Java attracts many visitors who wish to take advantage of peak weather conditions without peak crowds at the popular tourist spots of Yogyakarta and Borobudur. Favourable diving and snorkelling conditions continue off the coast of Lombok, the Gili Islands and in the Komodo National Park, with water temperatures around 27°C. As the dry weather continues, it's also a good time of year to spot orang-utans in Tanjung Puting National Park.
Visit Indonesia in October
October is a good month for travel with few crowds and many good deals as it marks the start of rainy season. Warm and sunny weather still dominates most of the region, although regular showers can be expected in some areas, worsening in intensity as the month draws on. If you intend to climb one of Indonesia's many volcanoes, such as Mt Bromo or Mt Rinjani, then don't leave it later than October as rainy season will soon make climbing conditions too dangerous. Northern Sumatra, in particular, experiences one of its wettest months, which can affect roads. This can be a great time to grab a shoulder season bargain.
Visit Indonesia in November
November brings a steady increase in rain across many of Indonesia's islands, but you may be lucky and experience the occasional burst of sunshine; particularly in Bali and northern Sulawesi. Temperatures still average around 30°C in most areas, but the rains mean that road conditions can be poor and the humidty can be stifling. Those wanting more comfort will want to travel in October or even September if possible.
Visit Indonesia in December
During December you are likely to experience rain and high humidity levels throughout Indonesia in full swing. This is a busy time in Bali where numerous festivals are occurring but prime time for diving in areas such as Maluku's Banda Islands. With Christmas prices just around the corner, it may be best visiting popular tourist areas early in the month.
Events & Festivals
(January/February) Chinese New Year is celebrated in Indonesia as a public holiday and is ushered in with the lighting of fire crackers at midnight on the eve of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
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