Jarrod Hobson's 18-day Indonesia Itinerary

Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Photo: Ethan Daniels/Getty Images

Jarrod Hobson is a member of Travel + Leisure’s A-List, a collection of the top travel advisors in the world, and can help plan your perfect getaway. Below is an example of the type of itineraries he creates. To work with Jarrod, you can contact him directly at jarrod@atj.com.

Day 1: Arrive in Indonesia

On arrival in Jakarta, you'll need to clear Immigration and Customs formalities. Obtain your Indonesian visa on arrival, then connect to your onward flight to Makassar, on Sulawesi. Upon arrival you will be met by a local representative of ATJ, who will transfer you to your hotel via private car.

Stay: Aryaduta Makassar

Day 2: Cruising the Raja Ampat Archipelago

Early this morning, fly to Sorong, the gateway to the Raja Ampat Archipelago. Raja Ampat — or "Four Kings" — is off the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula and is comprised of four major islands surrounded by 1,500 small islands and cays. In Sorong, board your live-aboard boat, your home for the next seven nights, and head northwest en route to the limestone islands of Penemu.

Stay: MV Temu Kira

Days 2-3: Cruising Around Penemu

Reefs throughout Raja Ampat are among the world's most pristine. Currents rush coral larvae across the Pacific Ocean to constantly replenish reef ecosystems. Some areas harbor large schools of fish. Others offer regular sightings of large species such as grouper and harmless sharks. Spend two days snorkeling the calm waters between Penemu's mushroom-shaped rock islands, which harbor miles of hard and soft corals. Explore a shallow lake filled with cassiopea jellyfish and juvenile sharks.

Stay: MV Temu Kira

Days 4-5: Cruising Around Waigeo

Spend two days exploring Waigeo Island, one of the largest in Raja Ampat. The island has the greatest number of land and fresh-water bird species in the archipelago. During walks through the lush interior, look for parrots, hornbills, lorikeets, marbled frogmouths, Wilson's birds of paradise and red-throated myzomelas. During snorkeling outings, look for napoleon wrasse, cardinalfish, angelfish, and butterfly fish swimming among swaying sea anemones and colorful coral heads.

Stay: MV Temu Kira

Day 6: Cruising Around Wayag

Wayag Island, which lies just north of the equator, is remote and thinly populated — ideal conditions for reefs to flourish undisturbed. In the aquamarine-colored waters surrounding these rock islands, look for Moorish idols, triggerfish, and juvenile wrasses. You may also see octopi and mantis shrimps here or elsewhere during the tour.

Stay: MV Temu Kira

Day 7: Cruising Around Uranie and Kawe

During snorkeling outings in the waters surrounding the vegetation-covered, limestone islands of Uranie and Kawe, keep an eye out for schools of barracuda tagging along with blue tail surgeonfish in the current, silvery trevally glistening from the sun, and iridescent parrotfish. At these islands, and throughout the voyage, you'll also see giant clams anchored on the sea floor. In the late evening, set sail for Sorong.

Stay: MV Temu Kira

Day 8: Sorong

Welcome back to Sorong. Upon arrival you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.

Stay: Marina Mamberamo Hotel

Days 9-11: Wamena

Welcome to Wamena, in West Papua, where you'll be met and taken to the local market to have lunch. This afternoon, visit a couple villages in the Southeast Baliem Valley including Napua and Wesaput, which are populated by the Dani people. Late this afternoon you'll be taken to check in at the Baliem Valley Resort, just about one hour from town, built in traditional village style. Spend the next few days visiting other Dani villages and trekking the scenic Baliem Gorge and Napua Hill.

Stay: Baliem Valley Resort

Day 12: Makassar

Fly back to Makassar, on Sulawesi, connecting through Jayapura. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.

Stay: Aryaduta Makassar

Days 13-16: Torajaland

Transfer overland to Tana Toraja, stopping en route to visit the Bugis Village and have lunch at a local restaurant in Pare Pare. The orchid-shaped island of Sulawesi has a dramatic and rugged landscape with shimmering blue mountains, limestone hills, and deep blue bays. At the crossroads of several historical sea-lanes, the island was formerly a strategic trading port with the seafaring Bugis dominating the southern tip, and the Toraja, a culture based on animism, guarding the mountains to the north. Spend the next few days exploring the region with your guide, stopping at local markets, typical Toraja villages, caves, archaeological sites, coffee plantations, and more.

Stay: Toraja Heritage Hotel

Day 17: Makassar

Meet your private guide and depart on the 9-10 hour drive back to Makassar. Lunch today will be served at a seafood restaurant in Pare Pare. Spend the rest of the day in Makassar at leisure.

Stay: Aryaduta Makassar

Day 18: Depart from Makassar

Transfer to the airport and on to Jakarta for your onward flight home.

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