Home » Practical Information » Recreation

Great Escapes: Explore Indonesia

When the pace of the Jakarta lifestyle starts to get you down, and you need a little holiday vacation in a more scenic, rural or adventurous setting ... check out some of these Great Escapes. Whether it's Surabaya hotel reservations or a vacation villa for your family in Bali, as expatriates living in Indonesia, we have the unique advantage of being within a few hours flight or drive from beautiful pristine beaches, towering volcanic mountains, great scuba diving/snorkeling, verdant rain forest, wildlife refugees and fascinating cultural experiences. Check out the resort properties and destinations below to help with your travel plans in Indonesia!

Take a long weekend, or use a portion of your annual holiday leave to see more of this fascinating country that we expats are temporarily calling home. Just imagine the air fares you'd be spending to get back to Indonesia again for holidays in the future! Many savvy tourism operators, recognizing the great pool of potential customers right here in-country, offer discounts to resident expatriates. Don't get stuck in the big city ... get out and see what Indonesian life is like in more laid back, traditional settings.

Many of these sponsors listed below offer special rates for ITAP/ITAS holders, so mention you saw their listing on the Living in Indonesia website and see if they offer a discount!

Indonesian holiday destination map

Great Escapes in
Riau Islands, West Java, Central Java, Bali, Kalimantan

Click on the social media icons below to follow these great travel destinations and see their reviews:


The Watergarden Hotel and Spa in BaliVoted one of the ten most romantic hotels in Bali. The Watergarden features twelve elegant bungalows and one suite set amidst luxuriant tropical gardens and surrounded by lily ponds filled with Koi Carp. Only the murmur of flowing water, bird song and the splash of leaping fish disturb the tranquility when you sit on your very private verandah. Traditional Balinese styled bungalows with everything you need for your comfort and convenience. Located in the small village of Candi Dasa the hotel is a popular place for those wishing to avoid the chaos of Kuta and to explore the delights East Bali, all within easy reach are Ujung Water palace, Tirtagangga Water palace, Besakih Temple and Tenganan.

Our famous Restaurant is probably the best in Candidasa, renowned for its excellent cuisine, food festivals and special events, like Weddings, birthdays and Anniversaries. Our newly opened “Orchid Spa” has become as famous as our restaurant and very reasonably priced, compared to other nearby Spas. Although the staff's natural warmth and friendliness make it hard to leave the hotel. For info on nearby diving read Water World - one expat's experiences learning to dive in East Bali. To see some pictures of the Watergarden Hotel. Water World - one expat's experiences learning to dive in East Bali. Facebook Trip Advisor Reviews Instagram page


Club Med - Bali and BintanBetween fields of rice paddies and temples, Club Med Bali is a sanctuary for families and friends on the shores of Nusa Dua, with masses of space to unwind. With contemporary design inspired by local culture, an adults-only Zen Pool overlooking a lush field of palm trees, and a floating restaurant with delectable al fresco dining, a holiday to Club Med Bali rejuvenates body and spirit. Little ones can fly on the trapeze and play about in the splash pool with new friends, while adults can explore nearby temples or be pampered in the Spa. Plus, embrace local culture with Balinese cooking lessons and evening shows…Your Bali holidays have never been so blissful!

Club Med packages are all-inclusive, so that you can enjoy your hassle-free holidays and leave all ordinary behind. Club Med price includes, stylish accommodation, breakfast, international gourmet lunch and dinner served with wine, beer and soft drinks, free flow of alcoholics and non-alcoholics at the bar, snacking, extensive land and water sporting facilities with expert tuitions as well as Club Med signature evening entertainment. Sun, smiles, gentle manners and delicious delicacies await you in an exotically colorful setting for a heavenly Balinese holiday. Facebook page

Villa Wira BaliCome and make yourself at home in the beautiful Villa Wira, a celebration of Bali's unique culture and relaxed lifestyle, with artwork and interiors curated by interior designer Caroline Usher-Dumergue. This home was originally built as a private retirement home by its late Balinese owner. His passion for family and dining is evident in the spacious kitchen and dining space and cozy gathering areas, perfect for families or groups of friends. You can get a massage by the pool, find a private corner to read, enjoy TV and video in the multi purpose room, host a dinner party, and sip a glass of wine on the fourth floor while taking in the sea breezes and a 360 view of the ocean and rice paddies that are what make Bali so magical. The villa is walking distance from Berawa Beach and in near proximity to Canggu Club, Canggu Deli, Desa Seni and many restaurants and cafes. The villa is also a short distance away from the shops, restaurants, bars and lounges of Seminyak, Legian, and Kuta.

return to top

West Java

Ocean Queen Adventure Resort Hotel The Ocean Queen Adventure Resort Hotel lies on the ruggedly beautiful and sparsely populated South coast of West Java, only 4 hours drive from Jakarta. Transfer to and from the resort can be arranged by us. The setting is idyllic, on a long private beach bounded by cliffs and the Indian Ocean, set in paddy fields and coconut trees. The lush foothills of the volcsano Gunung Halimun, the largest National Park in West Java, form the backdrop to the North. The sunsets are spectacular. The Ocean Queen has traditional but comfortable, and modern bungalows, self catering and fully serviced; rooms; a lounge; a restaurant; a pool plus kid's pool which are set in 2 hectares of tropical gardens. You can fill every day with activities. Explore the pristine coast by boat or motorbike. Surf, swim, and fish in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Trek, hike and bird and animal watch in the primary forest of Mount Halimun. Whitewater raft the rivers cascading down from the mountain. Walk along the pristine coast, beaches, bays and headlands of southwest Java. Watch the marine turtles lay their eggs at Ujung Genteng. Visit the hot springs, bat cave, local markets and towns. Or relax by the pool, have a massage in your own cabana, sunbathe on the beach, admire the sunset, and BBQ a seafood dinner. Facebook page You Tube channel Trip Advisor Reviews

Vila Botani Less than an hour from the Bogor toll road exit and less than two hours from South Jakarta, Vila Botani on Mt. Salak lies far from any kampong and is located right on the boundary of the Halimun-Salak National Park. Our 5.5 hectare (14 acre) property is ideal for a leisurely stroll, a hiking trek or mountain biking adventure in our 6000 ha “backyard” of park forest. Walk to two nearby waterfalls. View the city lights of Bogor and sunrise over Mt. Pangrango. At an altitude of 750 meters, temps waver between 19 and 27C. A paradise for nature lovers, Vila Botani offers cool breezes amid our flourishing arboretum of 2,000 trees (250 local species). Guests can chill out and relax away from the Jakarta bustle and listen to nature’s chorus of birds, frogs and insects amid the extraordinary tranquility of Vila Botani, while avoiding crowds and the Puncak traffic jams. Over 300 kinds of local herbal medicines are available. A villager, Pak Acep, provides therapeutic massage and herbal potions.

Our 4 forest lodges are suitable for small families or larger groups (sleeping from 4 up to 15 persons). Our meals feature organic veggies from our on-site farm. Ask us about budget corporate retreats with simple facilities and meals as well as outbound programs for business teams, for up to 50 persons. Vila Botani is reachable by car or public transport. The facility is pet-friendly, and welcomes guest's dogs. An expat American was involved in setting up the botanical garden at this eco-resort. Learn more about our facilities and activities on our website, linked above. Facebook Instagram

Central Java

MesaStila Spa Retreat & Coffee PlantationEnter the nostalgic 1920s world of a 22-hectares Dutch colonial coffee plantation in the forested highlands of Java with a memorable stay at MesaStila Resort and Spa. Surrounding the resort, eight volcanic mountains thrust above the luscious vegetation on the hills and the fragrant floral landscape plunges below each balcony of the 23 Javanese-style luxury villas. Five splendid bedrooms with butler service are featured in the classic Bella Vista Villa, each bedroom has a private garden, and one with a private pool. As you relax on the verandah of the MesaStila Club House in the 1928 original Dutch Mansion, a cup of the best organic MesaStila coffee in hand, you will see the old Javanese village and the coffee warehouse which has been converted into the Plantation Bar.

The Hammam Spa provides opportunities for creating a harmony between mind, body and nature. The rejuvenation treatments start with yoga at the traditional Javanese architecture  building named Sasana Yoga followed by relaxing signature Turkish treatment at the Hammam. The resort features two signature restaurants: the Java Red and Java Green offering International and Authentic Nusantara menus with gourmet delicacies and variety of salads from MesaStila's own organic garden. Nearby attractions include the spectacular Borobudur Temple, rides on a 1902 cog steam train “The Queen of the Mountains” through rice fields and mountainous landscape, Pawon and Mendut Buddhist Temples, and verdant Javanese rural scenes of country lifestyles. See special offers for expats! Facebook Twitter Instagram

return to top


Kalimantan Tour DestinationsJoin WOW Borneo on one of our relaxing Jungle River Orangutan Cruises! We operate 4 comfortable vessels on 3 different river systems in Central Kalimantan:

Tanjung Puting National Park & Camp Leakey - fly into Pangkalan Bun

Tanjung Puting Park cruise is aboard our air-conditioned boats, the Sekonyer and the solar-powered Kumai. Each vessel has 3 air-con double cabins which feature the same standard of comfort and service as our other vessels. Available for Private Charter or scheduled join-in departures every Saturday and Tuesday. See videos of the Kumai - One - Two

Palangka Raya Orangutan and Dayak Village Cruise – fly into Palangka Raya

The Kahayan and Rungan Rivers cruise in Palangka Raya offers a combination of orangutan experience and cultural visit to local villages, onboard the Rahai'i Pangun  which has 6 cabins and comfortably accommodates 12 people. Available for Private Charter or scheduled join-in departures every Saturday and Tuesday.

Katingan River & the Sebangau National Park - fly into Palangka Raya

Cruise with the Spirit of Kalimantan which accommodates 7 passengers in 3 air-conditioned cabins. She is an adventurous experience for our guests wanting to visit the famed Sebangau National Park, as well as exploring villages and remarkable black water lake systems off the Katingan River. Departures are any day subject to availability.

SPECIAL PROMO: Special promotion for expatriate residents of Indonesia being offered by WOW Borneo for a Kalimantan Getaway Package if booked by February 28, 2021.

Blog Facebook page Trip Advisor Reviews

Riau Islands

Club Med - Bali and BintanAccessible from Tanjong Pinang airport, just at 1h20mn direct flight from Jakarta, Club Med Bintan offers astounding raw natural beauty and endless ways to rejuvenate body and soul. Treat yourself to a beautiful spa perched on the rocks, glide through the air on a flying trapeze overlooking the sea, or practice your yoga postures on a private beach reserved exclusively for our guests: Club Med Bintan is the ultimate wellbeing getaway. With so many water and land sports options, plus artistic and cultural activities for kids aged 2 to 17, this stunning island is also the perfect family destination. To top it all off, Club Med Bintan is located at 5mn from Ria Bintan Golf course, voted one of the best golf courses in Asia, with panoramic ocean views and greens atop magnificent cliffs.

Club Med packages are all-inclusive, so that you can enjoy your hassle-free holidays and leave all ordinary behind. Club Med price includes, stylish accommodation, breakfast, international gourmet lunch and dinner served with wine, beer and soft drinks, free flow of alcoholics and non-alcoholics at the bar, snacking, extensive land and water sporting facilities with expert tuitions as well as Club Med signature evening entertainment. Club Med is one of those unique paradise, where both, parents and children, can enjoy their holiday by practicing adapted activities free of charge for everyone. Facebook page

Many of these sponsors offer special rates for ITAS/ITAP holders,
so mention you saw their listing on the Living in Indonesia website, and see if they offer a discount!

Looking for help in booking these vacations?
... read the article on Choosing a Travel Agent!


Last updated June 7, 2022