Indonesia offers short stay visa free facilities for tourists from 169 countries. Valid for 30 days, the visa is non-extendable and cannot be transferred into any other type of stay permit. This visa can be obtained directly when you enter through certain airports, seaports and land borders in Indonesia regardless of the purpose of your visit (Business, Tourist, Social).
If you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you should apply for a Visa-on-Arrival. Costing US$35, the visas are valid for 30 days and are extendable for another 30 days to be applied at Immigration offices in Indonesia. To check if you are eligible for this visa, click here.
Tourists often spend more than 30 days exploring Sumatra along with other parts of Indonesia, in this case you need to apply for a longer duration visa. Please contact the Indonesian embassy in your country or the country you reside in for more information.
Passports – Proof of onward travel
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from your date of arrival, and you must have proof (tickets) of onward or return passage.
Airport tax and Departure
Airport tax is included in the cost of your ticket for all domestic flights within Indonesia. For some international flights departing Indonesia, airport tax may not be included in the price of the ticket. Please check with your airline or travel agent before you travel.
Overstaying your visa
Overstaying your visa without the proper authority is a serious matter and visitors can be held in detention or refused permission to leave the country until a fine of IDR. 300,000 per day is paid. After overstaying for 60 days, you will be detained and possibly imprisoned.
If you stay in private accommodation in Indonesia (not a hotel) you must register your presence with the local police or you could face a fine of IDR. 5 million. If you stay in a hotel you will be registered automatically.
There are two ATM’s located near Bukit Lawang. Both are a short taxi/bike ride away.
The nearest ATM is situated in Bohorok, a 20 min journey from Bukit Lawang. Bank Ankyat (BRI) has two ATM’s here next to the Minimart. The machines issue IDR. 50,000 notes and there is a maximum withdrawal of 1 million per transaction. Most international cards are accepted here including Mastercard (not VISA though). Please note you will be charged a transaction fee to use this machine.
There is also another ATM a further 10 mins drive from here, although this is sometimes out of order. If you’re planning on visiting Tangakhan, you will have an opportunity to stop at an ATM along the way to withdraw cash.
Most guesthouses now accept credit or debit cards although will charge a 5% transaction fee. Please note that some ATM’s are temperamental and may decline your bank card for no apparent reason. To avoid disappointment, please ensure you have sufficient cash during your travels.
If you are travelling from Medan, it’s a good idea to visit one of their many ATM’s (either in the city or airport) before you travel to Bukit Lawang.
Money changers can be found in airports, major cities, large hotels and many shopping malls, and tend to be open 24 hours, seven days a week. The worst exchange rates tend to be offered at airports and hotels. Beware of money changers operating on the streets, as they may rip you off.
Before visiting a money changer, always check live exchange rates. Most local banks offer competitive exchange rates. If you want to change US dollars, they should be in brand new condition to ensure they are not rejected.