Destination Alert- Balikapan, Indonesia

Everyone knows Bali in Indonesia. But have you heard of Balikapan? This post shares some details.

Balikapan is a city north of Bali. Refer map to get orientation. Balikapan is still a developing city and is like what Bali was 10-20 years ago. Less tourists and more undisturbed nature.
Reasons to visit Balikapan, Indonesia
  • Bukit Bangkirai Rainforest, 45 min from Balikapan
  • Wait River reserve forest
  • Crocodile farm Teritip
  • Lots of beaches with less crowd: Monument Beach, Segara Beach, Manggar Beach, Kemala Beach, Melawai Beacch, Brigade Mobile beach etc
In short Balikapan may offer a calm and pleasant holiday without large crowds. It will be a different experience still offering most of the things you get at Bali.

Reaching Balikapan Indonesisa
  • Balikapan has an airport. (Airport Code BPN)
  • Cheapest tickets from India can cost around INR 25000-30000, but this will be two stop via Kuala Lumpur and Jakartha. Malindo Air/Lion Air/Batik Air has good service to Balikapan. Tickets to Balikapan cost about 10k more compared to flying to Bali, due to less demand and non availability of direct flights.
Alternatively you can also visit Balikapan separately from Bali or Jakartha, as an extension of your Indonesia trip. Return ticket to Balikapan from Bali may cost around INR 8000 or less.
  • Singapore Airlines and its low cost subsidiary Scoot and Silkair fly directly to Balikapan from Singapore, making them only 1 stop option from various cities in India. SQ obviously costs a bit more but might be a more convenient option.
  • Please check visa requirements- while Indonesia gives Visa on Arrival, the facility may be available only at Jakartha, Bali and Surabaya. If you are entering directly to Balikapan, cross check if prior visa is needed or Visa on Arrival is applicable. If you are taking two step via Jakarta then no problem- you can get Visa on Arrival at Jakartha and then to Balikapan will be a domestic flight. You will have to collect your bag and re-check in though.
Balikapan has lots of hostels, hotels and luxury resorts, so stay is not a problem. Use to book your accommodation. 

What are your thoughts? When are you visiting Balikapan?

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