Hiring a Guide in Indonesia - Pros & Cons


by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Chloe M.

Last updated : Apr 10, 20237 min read

Indonesia is a country so full of wonder, culture, and adventure, that everyone should take time to visit at least once. Home to more than 17% of the whole world’s biodiversity, ranked as the country with the largest coastline worldwide, and equipped with more than 18,000 beautiful islands to explore, the tropical country stuns in more ways than one.

Like its Southeast Asian counterparts such as Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand, it is best to be fully prepared before embarking on your equatorial adventure. This may mean a lot of research on your side. 

If you do not have the time or patience for that, we suggest booking a private and customizable tour with a professional guide. Not only will you save time, but you can also save a pretty penny!

You may also like: Indonesia Tourism Statistics 2022: All You Need to Know

Still unsure whether hiring a guide is for you? We have anticipated this, and so GoWithGuide collated a list of frequently asked questions about hiring a tour guide



Q: Is hiring a tour guide worth it? 

A: The short answer is yes! With a tour guide in tow, you reduce the risk of stress, getting lost, miscommunication, and any other cultural obstacles. For those who feel more comfortable with more people, group tours will do nicely. As for those who want more exclusive and personalized experiences, private tours will do the trick. 

The long answer is more complicated. By this, we mean that preference is a huge factor in deciding this. Of course, going on a private tour may not be for you. This is why we created a list of pros and cons of hiring a tour guide.


Hiring a Guide in Indonesia - Pros and Cons

Q: Advantages of hiring a tour guide


  1. A local guide is your source of all things local, from recommended attractions, arrival times, food, and prices. Having someone who knows the ins and outs of the area will come in handy more than you know, from haggling on the floating markets in Bandung to figuring out the best way to get to the island of Java.   
  2. English is not a primary language spoken in the country. 94% of the population speaks Indonesian. It is the official and national language of the country. If you decide to hire a private tour guide for your trip, any issues with miscommunication can be dismissed. This is indeed a big stress reliever when it comes to countries that do not use English daily. 
  3. If it’s a customized experience you want, then that is exactly what you will get. Want to experience a little bit of everything? Or maybe you wish to do only a few choice attractions on your holiday because of your limited time. Explore at your own pace and maximize your time, money, and experiences by consulting with our local guides. Together, you can create a unique tour that will fit everything you wish to do in this tropical paradise. 
  4. Contrary to popular belief, hiring a guide can actually be inexpensive. Avoid getting the “foreigner price” whilst haggling in the local markets. Don’t get lost and end up riding a taxi to your destination. Choose from a range of three hour tours and half day tours to satisfy your wanderlust without breaking the bank. Local guides will also give you tips and recommendations for the rest of your stay. You are bound to have a good wealth of knowledge coming out of any tour.
  5. Finally, having a tour guide is a great way to maximize privacy and exclusivity. Whether you want some family fun, crave for some adventure, or are up for some cultural immersion, customized private tours are preferred for safety and solitude.


Q: Disadvantages of hiring a tour guide


  1. Depending on the service you desire, upscale tours can get pretty pricey. Make sure to check out group tours if you are looking for a more economical vacation.  
  2. Group tours can be inflexible with time and attractions. Because the tours are set, you may be visiting some attractions that are not on your bucket list. To save time, customized tours are your best bet. 
  3. Private tours may not be the best way to meet new people. Although your local guide will give you much insight about the culture, meeting others organically can be difficult. In this case, group tours are better for you. 


Q: What does a private tour mean? 

A: A private tour is a unique experience exclusively for you and your travel mates. You will not be grouped with people you are not traveling with or are not familiar with, making for a comfortable and relaxing experience. Because the tour is private, you will have full command over your time, your itinerary, and your travel dates.


Q: How much are private tours? 

A: Private tours are actually not too expensive! Of course, fees will depend on the type of experience you are looking for. When it comes to affordable tours, group tours are usually on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Three hour and half day tours are often also much cheaper than whole day tours. Private tours can range from $20 to $400. This figure will change relative to the length of the trip as well as the number of people. 


Q: Can you hire a tour guide in Indonesia? 

A: Definitely! Local guides are not only founts of knowledge, they are also kind, professional, and eager to share their culture with you.


Hiring a Guide in Indonesia - Advantages and Disadvantages


Indonesia has something for every type of traveler. The city dweller can roam through Jakarta City’s busy streets and enjoy the urban life in the tropics. If Indonesia’s scenery awoke the mountain hiker in you, then head on over to Mount Batur for a sunrise surprise. Of course, once in Indonesia, a visit to at least one exceptional beach is essential. On the island of Bali, take your pick of coastline and lounge on the beach like there’s no tomorrow. 


With Indonesia’s cost of living considerably lower than many Western countries, it is expected that more and more travelers will flock to this Southeast Asian country in the next few years. Be the first to share these tips to friends and family. They might just join you on your Bali adventure!

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