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Indonesia, with its varied landscapes and popular destinations like Bali and Jakarta, is a favorite among global travelers. Its appeal ranges from Bali’s untouched beaches to Jakarta’s bustling city life.

In 2024, the Indonesian rupiah experienced a significant depreciation, becoming one of Asia’s weakest currencies. This economic downturn, influenced by historical, political, and economic factors, is particularly noticeable when compared to the USD.

However, this depreciation presents a unique opportunity for travelers. It allows them to experience Indonesia’s rich culture and enjoy a luxurious vacation on a budget. Wego provides strategies for planning a cost-effective trip to Indonesia, making it an ideal time for potential visitors to start planning their journey.

Indonesia’s economic history and current state

United States Dollar to Indonesian rupiah

Indonesia’s economic history and the rupiah’s depreciation are linked to several key events. The rupiah, Indonesia’s currency since 1946, saw a significant drop during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998, with values plummeting from IDR 2,500 to IDR 16,900 per USD.

The 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic also affected the rupiah. Despite these challenges, the Indonesian government and Bank Indonesia took measures to stabilize the economy and currency.

Today, the rupiah’s value is volatile due to global and domestic factors. Globally, a strong US dollar puts pressure on the rupiah. Domestically, Indonesia grapples with a significant current account deficit, high inflation, and slower economic growth. The general elections in February 2024, which will decide President Joko Widodo’s successor, have added to economic uncertainties. These factors all contribute to the current state of the rupiah against the dollar.

Should you convert your currency to Indonesian rupiah now?

Considering the recent depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah, you might be wondering if it’s the right time to exchange your US dollars. This decline presents a potentially advantageous opportunity for significant savings on your trip to Indonesia. However, as the rupiah continues to weaken against the dollar, this trend could persist, leading to further devaluation. 

While the current exchange rates are favorable, waiting for potential further declines could be a strategic alternative. Remember, timing your decision wisely could yield even better outcomes.

Should you make your bookings now?

Given that the rupiah is nearing its lowest point against the dollar, it might be an opportune time to plan a spontaneous holiday to Indonesia. However, if your trip is not immediate and you have the luxury of time, waiting and assessing the situation further could be beneficial before making your decision. This way, you can ensure you’re making the most cost-effective choices for your travel plans.

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Indonesian hotels, like the five-star Hotel Mulia Senayan in Jakarta and Merusaka Nusa Dua by Mengiat Beach, often offer lower rates for advance bookings to ensure occupancy and manage resources. Conversely, last-minute bookings might have higher rates due to their uncertainty.

Take, for example, the Hotel Mulia Senayan, a luxurious five-star establishment in Jakarta. There is a noticeable price difference of approximately USD 36 when comparing bookings made in May 2024 to those made in August 2024.

Wego hotel price for May 2024 stay

Wego hotel price for August 2024 stay

In a similar trend, Merusaka Nusa Dua, a luxurious five-star hotel situated by the white-sand shores of Mengiat Beach, follows the same pricing pattern. The hotel charges USD 261 for bookings made in late May 2024, but the price drops significantly to USD 206 for bookings made in late August 2024.

Wego hotel price for May 2024 stay

Wego hotel price for August 2024 stay

Comparing hotel prices reveals that early bookings typically offer more value than last-minute ones. This strategy could lead to significant savings, allowing you to allocate more funds towards enriching your experiences and activities during your Indonesian adventure.

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Flight rates to Indonesia have significantly increased compared to pre-pandemic levels, likely due to the easing of quarantine and travel restrictions, which has led to a resurgence of tourism. This trend of rising prices is expected to continue. If you’re planning a trip in the near future, securing your tickets and traveling to Indonesia sooner rather than later could result in substantial savings. 

In the next section, we’ll examine the trend of flight rates from various major Middle Eastern cities to Indonesia’s premier tourist destinations, culminating in a comprehensive conclusion.

Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from Dubai to Jakarta


Flight prices from Dubai to Jakarta on Wego for 24 May 2024


Looking at the graph, we see a spike in July 2023, aligning with the Jakarta Fair, a month-long event featuring exhibitions, trade promotions, shopping, and various performances. This event, known as Southeast Asia’s largest fair, draws international tourists annually. The significant depreciation of the rupiah in recent years makes it particularly attractive to visitors due to the relatively low prices.

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Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from Riyadh to Jakarta


This mirrors the earlier graph, showing a peak in July 2023. The same rationale applies here, with the annual Jakarta Fair likely being the driving force behind this surge.

Flight prices from Riyadh to Jakarta on Wego for 24 May 2024


Book Cheap Flights from Riyadh to Jakarta Book Cheap Flights from Riyadh to Jakarta


Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from Dubai to Bali


Consider the flights from Dubai to Bali. While the graph’s pattern may be complex, a trend is evident. July consistently shows a peak each year, likely due to Dubai’s extreme dry heat from June to August, which encourages people to escape to Bali’s cool beaches.

Furthermore, July coincides with Dubai’s school holidays, making it an ideal time for family vacations.

Flight prices from Dubai to Bali on Wego for 24 May 2024


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Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from Riyadh to Bali


Flight data from Riyadh to Bali shows a yearly spike at the start of the year, likely due to the end of Indonesia’s rainy season and the onset of milder weather, making it an attractive time for Riyadh residents to visit Bali.

Flight prices from Riyadh to Bali on Wego for 24 May 2024


Book Cheap Flights from Riyadh to Bali Book Cheap Flights from Riyadh to Bali


In summary, people from the Middle East often choose Bali as their holiday destination early in the year. This preference is largely driven by the end of Indonesia’s rainy season, which brings about a mild climate, a welcome change from the intense heat common in the Middle East during this period.

In vibrant cities like Jakarta, there’s a surge in tourist numbers during major events, such as the annual Jakarta Fair. The event’s appeal for Middle Eastern tourists lies in its affordability, a result of the significant depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah.

The perfect time to explore Indonesia

The ideal time to visit Indonesia is typically outside its rainy season, which spans from approximately October to March. During this period, the weather can be extreme, characterized by frequent thunderstorms, owing to Indonesia’s tropical climate.

Opting for any month outside this season is advisable, as the weather becomes sunny and pleasant. The rest of the year offers warm to hot weather, perfect for outdoor adventures.

Leveraging the rupiah’s depreciation at top spots

As the rupiah depreciates, tourists can affordably discover Indonesia’s cultural heritage and culinary wonders in Jakarta, Bali, and Yogyakarta. Dive into historical sites and savor local halal cuisine for an unforgettable adventure.


On sunny days, tourists can explore Kota Tua, also known as ‘Old Batavia.’ This area showcases 17th-century Dutch-style architecture. The city, meticulously designed following Dutch urban planning, features a fortress, city wall, public square, churches, canals, and tree-lined streets.

Among its attractions is the Museum Fatahillah, where tourists can delve into the area’s history and view artifacts from the colonial era. The ticket price for Kota Tua and its attractions is IDR 5,000 (approximately USD 0.3) for adults and IDR 2,000 (approximately USD 0.12) for children under 12. This allows tourists to experience grandeur at an affordable price.

After exploring the area, tourists can relax at Batavia Corner, a popular local restaurant located conveniently across from the museum. Given the rupiah’s significant depreciation, this place offers great value. For a mere IDR 15,000, under a dollar, visitors can savor a hearty bowl of Soto Betawi.

This traditional Jakarta beef soup is renowned for its rich, savory flavor, enhanced with coconut milk and a medley of spices like cumin, candlenuts, coriander, and nutmeg.

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On clear, sunny days, a visit to Seminyak Beach, one of Bali’s finest beaches, is a must for tourists. This beach, known for its stunning sea views and sizable waves, is a surfer’s paradise and can be enjoyed at no cost.

After beach activities, tourists can indulge in Ayam Betutu, a unique and tasty traditional dish. This Balinese ceremonial delicacy consists of chicken stuffed with traditional spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and slow-cooked by baking or burying in a coal fire for 6 to 7 hours.

The result is a tender, flavorful dish that encapsulates Bali’s culinary charm. Betutu Chicken Gilimanuk is the go-to place to enjoy this dish in Bali, offering a whole chicken for approximately IDR 40,000, or about USD 2.5.

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In the sunny atmosphere of Yogyakarta, tourists shouldn’t miss visiting Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The meticulously crafted stones of the temple, dating back centuries, provide a captivating sight. Navigating the temple can be tiring, but the experience is certainly rewarding, especially with the affordable ticket prices: IDR 50,000 (just over USD 3) for adults and IDR 25,000 (approximately USD 1.5) for children under 10.

Near Borobudur is the well-known Sehati Restaurant, where visitors can enjoy unique dishes like Ndas Beong, a special fish from the Progo River, or Sop Senerek, a hearty red bean soup with meat. Both are priced modestly at IDR 20,000, about USD 1.2. With the current depreciation of the rupiah, it’s a cost-effective dining option.

As the rupiah dips, it’s your opportunity to discover the historical treasures of Jakarta, the untouched beaches of Bali, and the timeless wonders of Yogyakarta. Beyond these renowned destinations, Indonesia’s affordability invites travelers to explore its diverse landscapes, relish local delicacies, and uncover hidden gems. 

Indonesia offers an unforgettable journey that goes beyond budget limitations. It beckons you to immerse yourself in its rich cultural mosaic. Seize this moment, and let Indonesia’s enchanting tapestry weave an unforgettable story for you.

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