Volunteer, work and travel in
Indonesia

50,000+ projects

local communities, individuals and families

161 Countries

for volunteering, working and cultural exchange

573434 Feedbacks

the world‘s leading community

Low cost travel

without having to pay expensive agency fees

Volunteer and work in Indonesia - low cost travel abroad - Workaway!

Here at Workaway you will find 202 hosts and organisations for volunteer work in Indonesia.
Low cost travel without having to pay expensive agency fees.


Travel to regions in Indonesia

Latest from our community in Indonesia

Feedback from Workaway members

There are 1603 reviews for 150 Hosts and organizations in Indonesia.
150 Hosts in Indonesia were rated at least 4.9/5!

What an amazing Workaway experience. Martin and Maria were super welcoming and I immediately felt like part of the family. I've been travelling south ...

read more...

Actually my best ever Workaway experience, and I've done about 7/8.
Gandis was so enthusiastic for me to come and was messaging me on WhatsApp before ...

read more...

Wow! What an incredible Experience! This has been my best Workaway experience so far. The family was great from beginning to end and made me feel like...

read more...

I have wonderful teaching experience in Indonesia!!All of the students in the school are very enthusiastic and friendly.During the classes I will intr...

read more...

I stayed at this workaway experience for 2 weeks and had an amazing time :) Robi, Anna, and all their friends are so genuinely kind and funny, and loc...

read more...

Registering as a Host

Registering as a host with workaway.info is completely free of charge.

Workaway.info has been set up to promote and encourage exchange and learning. Hosts on Workaway should be interested in cultural exchange and sharing experiences. They should be able to provide a welcoming friendly environment for visitors as well as offering accommodation and food.

Register to be a host

Workaway benefits

24 hour support for members
Paid members have 24 hour access to our friendly support team
Personal reference letter
Subscribers can request a personal reference letter showcasing their feedback left by hosts while Workawaying
Receive tips and advice on how to showcase your profile
A member of our team will personally review your profile and offer tips on how to highlight your skills for hosts
See hosts and Workawayers nearby on a map
See who's around and send them a direct message. Chat, meet up and connect with like-minded people
Talk to your personal advisor via live chat
Members can chat to one of our team in real time who will help answer any questions
Connect with fellow travellers
Find travel buddies with common plans and interests. Connect profiles to visit hosts and explore your destination together!

Popular Hosts and organizations in Indonesia

School (79)

Family (71)

Other (21)

Hostel (20)

NGO (18)

Indonesia

Although it’s one country, Indonesia is made up of an impressive 17,000 islands, over 300 ethnicities and 700 spoken dialects! Not to mention it has some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world thanks to rainforests, volcanoes and vibrant marine life. We have over 200 hosts in Indonesia with the majority in Papua, Sulawesi, Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra. When a country’s motto is “unity in diversity” you know it’s going to be a special destination, so let’s dive in!


Indonesia at a glance

It’s no question that as an archipelago made up of thousands of islands, Indonesia showcases astounding diversity and natural wonders. Lush rainforests, unspoiled beaches, and vibrant coral reefs coexist with bustling cities and ancient temples. It really is paradise on earth. With a population of over 270 million, it's also the world's fourth-most populous country, adding to its diverse offering of cultures, languages, and traditions.

As well as one of the most populated, Indonesia is one of the most biodiverse nations on the planet, as 10% of the world's known species call Indonesia home! From the famous Komodo dragons (found only here!) to 130 active volcanoes, the surreal landscapes of Indonesia can feel like another world at times.

Such unique surroundings means equally unique volunteer opportunities. Fancy protecting orangutans in Borneo? Teaching English in local villages? Or engaging in marine conservation on the Gili Islands? Explore these islands’ hidden gems and get to know the people while helping to protect the precious ecosystems. It’s time to discover more than the Insta-infamous Bali and discover the true Indonesia.


Reasons to Volunteer in Indonesia

In recent times, Indonesia has been associated with over tourism which has led to exploitative practices and overdevelopment. As an influx of tourists and resorts take over, the country has struggled to conserve its precious natural resources, traditions and wildlife.

With many of the ecosystems at risk, social inequality rising and varying levels of poverty it is vital now more than ever to make a meaningful impact during your visit. This country doesn’t need more selfie-snapping tourists demanding avocado toast. It needs travellers who want to make a difference. Here’s why:

  • Authentic experience: Over tourism in Indonesia is eroding traditional culture by overwhelming local customs, promoting commercialisation, and altering the island's authentic identity. The surge in tourist numbers has forced locals out, resulting in endangering the country’s heritage and way of life. But you can help change that by volunteering! By staying with a local, you can embrace the authentic Indonesian way of life instead of encouraging hotel chains and overpriced tours.
  • All about the animals: Indonesia is home to over 100 endangered animals. These animals include the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, the Komodo Dragon, Orangutans and sea turtles. Although the country makes up a mere 1% of the Earth’s land area, its rainforests are home to 10% of the entire world’s known plant species, 12% of all mammals and 17% of all known bird species! This highlights the importance of conservation projects, wildlife sanctuaries and environmental volunteering. All of which you can support through Workaway.
  • Sand, Sea, Surf: Indonesia's coastline is second to Canada for being the longest coastline on earth - that’s not surprising when you have over 17,000 islands to explore! This not only means Indonesia is home to some of the best surf spots in the world (particularly on Bali, Mentawai Islands and Sumatra) but there is huge demand for diving enthusiasts to help preserve the vibrant coral reefs, mantas, and marine life.
  • Language Learning: If you are passionate about teaching abroad, or love all things language your next Workaway needs to be in Indonesia. Home to over 700 different languages and dialects, it is a haven for language teachers. Just the Papua Province alone, boasts over 270 spoken dialects and over 198 million people speak Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian!)
  • Work with young people: If you are interested in volunteering with young people whether through education, environmental or social impact projects you’ve found the perfect playground. This is because Indonesia has the world’s biggest ‘young’ population as the country is home to 165 million people under the age of 30. Young people represent the future of any nation, so investing in their development is essential. By volunteering and not just visiting, you can contribute to youth empowerment projects, support education, offer mentorship and help young Indonesians build a brighter future for themselves and their communities.
  • Eco-tourism: Thankfully, eco-tourism is growing in Indonesia but it needs your help! It is vital to preserve the natural beauty, protect fragile ecosystems, and maintain cultural authenticity. Through sustainable practices we can support local communities, ensuring that tourism benefits both the environment and the people who call Indonesia home. Many of these projects require skills in marketing, photography and social media. Volunteering with eco-tourism projects allows you to preserve Indonesia's natural beauty while sharing it with visitors from around the world.
  • Religious and Spiritual Experiences: Indonesia's deep spirituality is rooted in diverse faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and indigenous beliefs. This means many people are attracted to the islands to find that profound sense of tranquillity and spiritual connection. It won’t take long to find, amidst ancient temples, serene landscapes, and a culture of kindness. If you seek a soulful and enlightening experience, Indonesia could be just the place. Whether you volunteer in temples and monasteries or simply support yoga or wellness communities that are popular throughout the country.

Is Indonesia safe?

Good news! Indonesia has a relatively low crime rate, but petty theft (especially in busy tourist areas) can occur. For a safe and uneventful trip, follow the usual advice (solo travellers, check out these tips) such as safeguarding belongings and avoiding poorly lit or isolated areas, particularly at night.

It should be noted that Indonesia sits between the world's most active seismic region — the notorious Pacific Ring of Fire — as well as the world's second most active region — the Alpide belt. This means the islands can experience strong earthquakes and powerful volcanic eruptions.

Due to population density, more than 60 percent of Indonesians live in earthquake-prone areas. It’s not uncommon for the country to experience several per day. This means you should always have the correct travel insurance, and familiarise yourself with local tsunami evacuation routes and designated safe zones.


Regional Highlights of Indonesia

How do you know where to begin when exploring the world’s largest island country? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This vast country can be divided into seven geographical regions. We’ve rounded up the highlights and hidden gems for each region to inspire your Indonesia bucket list.

Java

Provinces: Banten, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, S.R. Yogyakarta, East Java

Some would say Java is the bustling heart of Indonesia. It is the world's most populous island, with approximately 145 million people, so over half of Indonesia's total population call this region home! As the nation's most developed region, Java is a dynamic blend of old and new. Here are a a few highlights to consider:

Highlights

  • Vibrant Cities: Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is situated on Java and offers an exciting urban experience. Other unmissable cities include Bandung and Yogyakarta, known for their street food, markets, and lively art scenes.
  • Cultural heritage: Don’t miss Borobudur Temple. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the world's largest Buddhist temple and one of the most iconic cultural landmarks in Java. Other cultural highlights include, the Hindu temple complex of Prambanan Temple (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Yogyakarta Palace (Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat) which is the seat of the Sultan of Yogyakarta.
  • Natural Wonders: Despite the insane amount of people who call Java home, the island is not shy of natural beauty too. From the active volcanoes like Mount Bromo to tranquil terraced rice fields, and towering waterfalls like Tumpak Sewu (often referred to as "The Niagara of Indonesia") Java's landscape provides endless opportunities for adventure.

Kalimantan

Provinces: West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Kalimantan

Fun Fact: Borneo (the third largest island in the world) is politically divided between three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the North, then Indonesia in the South. The Indonesian part of Borneo is called Kalimantan. The region is an ideal destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure in a land of untamed beauty. It is a haven for nature enthusiasts who want to encounter indigenous culture, and access remote, pristine wilderness.

Highlights

  • Orangutans: Kalimantan is home to some of the world's last wild orangutans. In particular, head for Tanjung Puting National Park, a renowned orangutan conservation area, to witness these incredible creatures up close and learn about ongoing conservation efforts.
  • Indigenous Culture: Kalimantan is rich in indigenous Dayak culture. You can visit traditional longhouses, participate in local ceremonies, and gain insights into the unique customs and traditions of the Dayak people.
  • Biodiversity and Rainforests: If you’re looking for a biodiversity hotspot - Kalamatan is the place! Trek your way around the enchanting rainforests or enjoy the wildlife in areas such as Kutai National Park which offer the chance to see proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, and other unique species.
  • River Cruises: If hiking your way through the rainforest sounds like hard work why not head onboard a relaxing river cruise? Kalimantan features picturesque river systems, including the mighty Mahakam River. River cruises allow you to venture deep into the dense rainforest while witnessing daily life along the riverbanks.

Maluku Islands

Provinces: North Maluku, Province of Maluku

It’s going to be tough to summarise what to see and do here in a few sentences as The Maluku Islands are actually around 1027 islands! Although the total area of this region is 850,000 square km, over 90% of it is sea. This means it's a haven for underwater adventures! Ambon is the largest island in the archipelago in terms of population, and foodies are attracted to the region as spices like mace, cloves, and nutmeg originated here in ancient times.

Highlights

  • A Spicy history: Foodies will be impressed by The Maluku Islands’ pivotal role in the historical spice trade. Visitors can explore remnants of this history, including old forts, Dutch colonial architecture, and the famous Banda Islands, where nutmeg and mace were once traded as "white gold."
  • World-Class Diving: The crystal-clear waters surrounding the Maluku Islands are a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Pristine coral reefs, diverse marine life, and underwater caves make it one of the best diving destinations in the world.
  • Island Hopping: As mentioned, there are ALOT of islands to explore, each with its own unique charm. Take your time hopping from one island to another, exploring the distinct cultures, traditions, and natural beauty of places like Ambon, Seram, and the remote Kei Islands.

Lesser Sunda Islands

Provinces: Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara

The Sunda Islands consist of The Lesser Sunda Islands and the Greater Sunda Islands. In total there are over 900 islands within the Sundas that are divided among four countries: Brunei, East Timor, Malaysia and Indonesia. The majority fall under the jurisdiction of Indonesia.

Due to the unique location and landscape you will find flora and fauna here that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. This includes the world's largest lizard (the Komodo dragon) and 74 species of bird that exist nowhere else! While Bali and Lombok are renowned tourist destinations within this group, there's so much more to explore, such as:

Highlights

  • Diverse Landscapes: Are you ready for dramatic cliffs, terraced rice fields, lush jungles, and breathtaking vistas? Let’s start with Mount Rinjani, Lombok. This majestic volcano features a stunning crater lake, hot springs and unmissable sunrise views. Next up, Flores which boasts a mix of volcanic peaks to pristine beaches. The Kelimutu volcano's tri-colored lakes and the rugged Wae Rebo village are also highlights. For colourful coral reefs, divers will adore the Alor archipelago, surfers need to visit Sumba and Timor offers a mix of savannahs, mountains, and picturesque coastlines. You could say, this region of Indonesia ticks all boxes!
  • Marine Biodiversity: With so many islands to explore, it's no secret that some of the world's best diving and snorkelling opportunities can be found here. Locations like Komodo National Park and the Gili Islands are known for their stunning coral reefs, abundant marine life, and the chance to swim with majestic manta rays and sea turtles.
  • Sumba: If you crave an escape from the crowds of Bali, head for Sumba, one of the more remote islands in the region. Renowned for its megalithic tombs, waterfalls and picturesque landscapes, Sumba offers a mix of cultural and natural wonders. If you can, time your visit for the famous Pasola ritual, a colourful and thrilling annual event that involves traditional spear-throwing battles!

Western New Guinea

Provinces: West Papua, Province of Papua

Western New Guinea, also referred to as Papua and West Papua, is considered somewhat of a “ hidden gem” in Indonesia. While it may take some effort to reach, the region's unspoiled natural beauty, vibrant culture, and unique wildlife make it an authentic off-the-grid destination.

Highlights

  • Find Snow: Bet you weren’t expecting snow in Indonesia! Carstensz Pyramid, also known as Puncak Jaya is one of the famous 'Seven Summits' on the island of Papua New Guinea. It is the tallest island peak on earth as it sits 4,884 metres above sea level. With the right experience, fitness (and budget!) it is possible to climb to the summit. It is also the only place in Indonesia where you can find snow although climate change is causing it to melt at an alarming rate.
  • Raja Ampat: From the highest peaks to the depths of the sea. Raja Ampat refers the four largest islands of Western New Guinea – Waigeo, Misool, Batanta, and Salawati. These four islands are known as the Four Kings, or Raja Ampat in the local language. It is home to 1,000 types of coral fish, including 27 species of reef fish you can only find in this region. You can also share the waves with turtles, manta rays, sharks and seahorses.
  • Indigenous Cultures: Western New Guinea is culturally rich, with over 250 indigenous languages spoken. You will have the opportunity to engage with local tribes, such as the Asmat, Dani, and Yali, to learn about their unique customs, traditional art, and daily life.

Sulawesi

Provinces: North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi

Sulawesi is the 11th largest island globally and is a captivating region of Indonesia. It is home to over 18 million people as well as a treasure trove of natural wonders. This includes eight Indonesian national parks, four of which are marine parks, showcasing its immense biodiversity and unique ecosystems. Like most of Indonesia, this region is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore and encounter the splendour of Indonesia’s natural heritage.

Highlights

  • Tana Toraja: For a unique experience unlike any other, head for the Tana Toraja region. This area is known for its elaborate funeral ceremonies and traditional culture. You can witness intricate rituals, unique architectural gravesites, and Torajan houses, known as tongkonan.
  • Bunaken National Park: This underwater paradise is a diver's dream! Known as one of the world's best diving destinations, it boasts opportunities to see turtles, sharks, and various fish species.
  • Outdoor adventures: If exploring under the sea isn’t your vibe, try an overland adventure instead. Sulawesi's intriguing shape with deep valleys, high mountains, and narrow peninsulas sets it apart from other Indonesian islands. Explore the fascinating limestone caves of Maros-Pangkep, including the famous Leang-Leang prehistoric caves with ancient cave art. Visit areas like Tangkoko Nature Reserve or explore the trails around Rantepao in Tana Toraja. Or continue the island adventure by hopping from one paradise to the other on smaller islands such as Togian islands and Wakatobi.
  • Culinary Delights: Sulawesi's cuisine is unique and diverse. Try local dishes like coto makassar (beef soup), palu butung (rice cake), and ikan bakar (grilled fish) in particular.

Sumatra

Provinces: Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, Jambi, Bengkulu, South Sumatra, Bangka Belitung Islands, Lampung

As the world's sixth-largest island, Sumatra features towering mountains, active volcanoes, expansive plains and mighty rivers. The equator runs through its central heart, blessing this region with tropical beauty. However, Sumatra's remarkable biodiversity is under threat, with its precious flora and fauna facing challenges from deforestation.

Much of the island's pristine rainforests have been cleared for human development, in particular, coffee plantations. This means it is both a place of natural wonder and environmental concern, highlighting the need for volunteers to visit and contribute to conservation efforts.

Highlights

  • Lake Toba: Visit the world's largest volcanic lake, which rests within a super-volcano. It spans 100 km in length, 30 km in width, and reaches depths of 500m! An ancient mega-eruption 70,000 years ago shaped the landscape and is believed to be Earth's largest known eruption. The island of Samosir within the lake provides a serene escape for swimming, exploring Batak culture and admiring the lush beauty of the area.
  • Orangutan Trekking: Sumatra is one of the last refuges for the critically endangered orangutans. Bukit Lawang serves as a gateway to the Leuser Ecosystem, where you can participate in ethical orangutan trekking and river tubing adventures.
  • Kerinci Seblat National Park: Talking of endangered animals, this national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the last remaining habitats for Sumatran tigers, rhinoceroses, and elephants. It offers opportunities for trekking, bird-watching, and wildlife conservation experiences.

Volunteering in Indonesia

With such contrasting regions and thousands of islands to explore, this means a vast range of volunteering opportunities. From the spiritual and artistic communities of Ubud to the divers’ dream of West Papua – you’ll be spoiled for choice!

As the world’s leading community for volunteering and cultural exchange, Workaway is the perfect platform to connect with locals, discover their way of life and make a difference. Whether you are a solo backpacker trying to find a travel buddy, recently retired or setting off on a grown up gap year – your perfect host is only a few clicks away.

Best of all, you can join solo, as a couple, or even as a family, avoiding expensive agency fees. In exchange for a few hours of work each day, your host will usually provide free accommodation, meals and a cultural exchange money can’t buy.

Whether you want to protect orangutans in Kalimantan, discover the indigenous dialects of Western New Guinea or support ecotourism from hostels in Bali – with Workaway you can do it all!


Making a difference in Indonesia

Hopefully we’ve persuaded you that volunteering in Indonesia is the ultimate win-win. You get to soak up the amazing culture, explore the diverse landscapes, and experience the incredible local hospitality. Plus, by sharing your time and skills, you're part of something big – creating lasting change and making a real, meaningful difference in communities all over the country. It's the best way to give back the right way!

Unsure where to start? Check out our guide to the different types of volunteering which includes a fun quiz to match your personality with your dream project.

There are endless ways you can make a difference in Indonesia, but these are the most common examples:

  • English/Language Teaching: If you are looking to volunteer as a teacher or build up experience working with children, Indonesia is the place! There is a demand for volunteers in major cities like Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung but also rural communities that need to improve their language skills to access more job opportunities. Not only does Workaway have an abundance of opportunities in education, but volunteering is a great way to get your CV top of the pile!
  • Content Creation: Digital nomads flock to Indonesia due to its affordability, generous visas and incredible scenery. By volunteering, you can build experience before venturing on your own digital nomad journey or test drive your dream career without the long term commitment. From hostels to NGOs there are many projects that need writers, videographers, developers and photographers. There is also a demand for those who are social media savvy to educate, inspire and inform both locals and those further afield.
  • Agriculture assistance: Fancy giving off grid living a chance? Or simply want to learn more about permaculture, horticulture, and agriculture? From family farms to rural communities, your green thumbs and enthusiasm for the outdoors are needed all over Indonesia!
  • Conservation projects: You may have guessed by now Indonesia is a haven for nature enthusiasts. From orangutans to komodo dragons, the wildlife here is out of this world but they need your help! If you fancy workawaying with animals or you’re simply passionate about protecting the planet, there are SO many ways you can make a difference.

How to find a Workaway host in Indonesia

Firstly, you can use the destinations and regions above as a guide or you can use your skills and interests as keywords in the search box. For example, do you want to support indigenous tribes on Western New Guinea? Protect the rainforest and rhinos on Sumatra? Share your skills with diving schools on the Maluku Islands? This will help you to find your perfect Workaway host in Indonesia.

Perhaps you can’t decide? The good news is, when you join Workaway you are not limited to just one Workaway experience or host. Your membership allows you to access over 50,000 volunteer opportunities across 170 countries. This means you can island hop all year long from one host to the next. A few favourite places for onward travel include, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia as all three countries are less than a 3 hour flight away.

From the mystical Borobudur temple to the popular shores of Bali, there is no question that Indonesia is an incredible backdrop for your volunteer journey. Whether you're working on coral reef conservation in Raja Ampat or supporting local education initiatives in Yogyakarta, you'll experience the resilience and unity of the Indonesian communities. Are you ready to embark on a meaningful adventure in this remarkable archipelago? Join Workaway to be part of something truly extraordinary!