When to visit Indonesia depends, of course, on what you are planning to go there and not too much on the weather. The weather, in general, is pretty stable in Indonesia; hence most times would be a good time for you to visit Indonesia.
But if you are going there for specific reasons, activities, or festivals, you might want to plan around it. As Indonesia is also large and widespread, the weather may differ from region to region.
Weather in Indonesia
Indonesia’s weather is tropical climate, and it is considered to have only two seasons: the dry and wet seasons. Being a vast country, it may vary in different regions, like Jakarta’s weather compared to Bali’s weather. Still, generally, most of the country’s dry season is from April to October, and the wet season is from November to March. For highland temperatures it is naturally cooler, with some peaks in Papua covered with snow. It is also cool in the mountains of Sulawesi.
In terms of weather, the best time to go to Indonesia is from July to August, as the temperature is at its coolest and driest in terms of rain. But it is also the peak season naturally; thus, take note of the tourist crowds and book in advance.
However, it is still possible to travel in the rainy season. It may still rain during the dry season and not rain for a week in the wet season, and it usually comes down in short blasts in the evening or late afternoons. Therefore if you must, traveling in Indonesia during the wet seasons is still possible if you do most of your sightseeing in the morning and early afternoons and rest in the evenings.
Also, note that the weather is also changing nowadays and may differ from the usual schedule we know about. Therefore, I would say come to Indonesia with an open mind and try not to let any weather changes impede your trip!
High/Peak and Low Season in Indonesia
April to September will be the high season in Bali, as it is purportedly the dry season and generally the summer holiday season in many parts of the world.
The quieter months are from October to March, and though it is considered the rainy season, most of the rains come only in the evening and leave pretty quickly. Therefore, enjoying Bali in this weather is still possible if you plan your days earlier and rest in the evening.
Best time to visit Indonesia
The best months to go to Indonesia in terms of weather and the crowd are the shoulder seasons, that is, either March or October. You will have relatively dry weather at these times without the tourist crowds!
Generally, most people visit during the dry season from April to October to get the best out of their time without rain dampening their activities.
Take note also of peak seasons, which are July and August during the summer vacations of the Europeans and mid-December to late January for the Australian school holidays. This is especially obvious in the famous touristy places like Bali, Lombok, and Gili Islands.
It is still possible to travel in the rainy season. It may still rain during the dry season and not rain for a week in the wet season, and it usually comes down in short blasts in the evening or late afternoons. Therefore if you must, traveling in Indonesia during the wet seasons is still possible if you do most of your sightseeing in the morning and early afternoons and rest in the evenings.
If you want to visit some of the festivals in Indonesia, here are some of the popular and interesting festivals to visit that you might want to look out for:
February / March
Bau Nyale Festival – Hundreds of people will rush to Lombok in February or March to catch glimpses of the first cycle (worm-like fish) at the vast fishing festival.
March / April
Bali Nyepi day – also known as the day of silence, is celebrated every year as the Hindu New Year (Saka new year). The date changes according to the Balinese calendar every year but usually falls between March and April.
May / June
Waisak – In commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Gautama Buddha, the Indonesian Buddhist will usually observe this special day sometime during the full moon of May / June. During Waisak in Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world, the day will be grandly celebrated by thousands of monks and pilgrims.
June / July
Yogyakarta Festival – You will find shows and exhibitions here from June to July.
Bali Arts Festival – Normally around June-July, There will be performances from all remote corners of Indonesia, almost forgetting the ritual and village dances, food and offerings, classical palace dance, and even contemporary dances from the schools of Denpasar.
July / August
Jalan Jaksa Festival in Jakarta – takes place in July / August, where you can find the street closed to all traffic and replaced with food stalls, craft workshops, street artists, and musicians.
Bali Kite Festival – held yearly in July in Padang Galak Area, Sanur Beach, Bali. People from Denpasar villages will make their traditional giant kites and fly them in a competition.
August / September
Toraja Funeral Ceremony – usually between July to September, this is an ancient and fascinating funeral rite to send the spirit of the dead to the after-world to prevent misfortune for the deceased family.