Indonesia: Domestic Travel
Indonesia is a huge country stretching over 5000km from west to east, thus each island is a destination unto itself. It's confusing we know. Below are a few basic hints, and if you need more detail including flight information please contact us. The liveaboards plan their schedules around local flights so flights are usually not a problem. Flights within Indonesia are relatively cheap for the most part and there are few budget airline start ups in recent years. Booking flights can be daunting and sometimes a real hassle. Don't waste your time until you've spoken with us. Most of the problem is that Indonesian airlines are not allowed to accept overseas credit cards. In fact, most businesses are not allowed to accept credit cards, you'll often be asked to FAX copies of your credit cards. Not with us, however, as we have an online merchant system.
Many of the boats will ask that you book a specific flight so that all of the people on that trip are on the same flight. This makes any delays less worrisome as we know where you are and why you're late. It makes it easier for the ground staff to help you. So book your liveaboard first, then we'll worry about domestic flights. Most places you'll just fly in to board the boat, and fly out the day the vessel returns. Many of these small airport towns in Indonesia are not tourism oriented so there is little reason to stay overnight. Of course, there are exceptions. Have a look at our hotel section for a better explanation.
This link shows a list of airlines which have an Air Operator Certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Indonesia. The two largest airports in Indonesia are Jakarta, the capital, and Denpasar, Bali's international gateway. You can get anywhere in Indonesia from either of these airports.
Indonesia: International Travel
Indonesia is a very easy country to get to and visa on arrival rules have just been eased for most countries. Check with us for the latest or go to this Wikipedia page. International flights arrive to Denpasar, Bali (DPS) and Jakarta (CGK). For most liveaboards, Bali is a better choice. But if you're going to Raja Ampat, Jakarta has better connections to Sorong and often international arrivals are cheaper to Jakarta than to Bali. Not always. Best to check with us first. But any booking engine on the major websites can book flights into Indonesia. Like elsewhere, prices change with the seasons. High season in Bali is June until October when the prices are the highest.
Bali (Denpasar International Airport)
It is very easy to get to Bali, as it is one of the main tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. There are numerous daily direct flights to Denpasar, Bali from Europe, America, Australia and most Asian countries. There are also direct or connecting domestic flights to and from almost all airports within Indonesia.
Labuan Bajo Flores (Komodo National Park)
There are several domestic flights per day from Denpasar (Bali) to Labuan Bajo, Flores the port where many of the Komodo liveaboards depart. Some of the vessels leave from Bima on Sumbawa, and there are daily flights there as well.
Manado (North Sulawesi)
There are direct international flights to Manado from Singapore, Malaysia and Davao (Philippines). Domestic flights originate from Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar and Balikpapan.
Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi)
Wakatobi Resort offers charter flights from Denpasar (Bali) which you book as part of a package if you will stay there. If choose another area of Southeast Sulawesi, then generally you'll fly through Manado first, then catch a connecting flight onward.
Sorong (Raja Ampat)
There are daily flights from Bali and from Manado. Flight time from Bali to Sorong is about five-hours. Currently, an overnight stay is required in Makassar (Sulawesi) which can be arranged us. The flight time from Manado to Sorong is two-hours. The flight is direct. There are also flights directly from Jakarta, leaving around midnight and arriving early morning for a direct transfer to the vessel.
Flights to Maumere originate from Denpasar.
Kupang (Timor Island)
Flights from Denpasar and Alor.