May is one of the best months to visit Indonesia with dry, sunny weather expected across the entire country. Peak tourist season is still a couple of months away, meaning lower visitor numbers on the beaches, at the temples, watching sunrise from the mountain summits.
NB: the westernmost point of Indonesia is a full 3200 miles from the eastern most tip, so it should come as no surprise that summarising the weather is not straightforward. The tables above split the ‘country’ (made up of 17,508 islands) into two regions - the western & central islands and the eastern islands (that sit to the east of the Wallace Line), however we encourage you to read the more detailed summaries below as there can be significant variations in conditions between the islands within each group.
May brings smiles across the island of Java as dry season is now in full swing. As with all tropical climates, the odd afternoon shower should not come as a surprise, but days are predominantly sunny, dry and hot with average temperatures in the region of 30°C.
Minimal rainfall means May is an ideal month for climbing Mt Bromo and visiting the Ijen Plateau, although temperatures will be cooler as you climb so we suggest taking warm layers.
Essentially May is one of the best times of year to visit Java, and with no major holidays on the horizon visitor numbers are fairly low in the popular tourist spots of Yogyakarta and Borobudur.
May is the hottest month of the year in Bali, with dry, sunny weather and average temperatures in the region of 29°C. Dive conditions are excellent; as are conditions for mountain climbing. With no major holidays on the horizon, the island is not overly busy with tourists and hotel prices are fairly low. It's no surprise that May is amongst the most popular months to travel to Bali.
May is characterised by dry, sunny days and blue skies throughout the Nusa Tenggara islands, with minimal rainfall and average temperatures of 28°C. It’s another great month for diving off the coast of Lombok, the Gili Islands and in the Komodo National Park and trekking continues on Lombok's Mt Rinjani.
Dry season is well underway across South Sumatra in May, although as with all tropical climates, the odd afternoon shower should not come as a surprise. The northern regions of the island are wetter than the south but rainfall is by no means constant and hot, sunny days are the norm. Average temperatures of 28°C can be expected, with frequent highs of 33°C in Palembang and the south.
Light rains continue throughout Kalimantan during May, but sunny days are more frequent. The temperature continues to rise and highs of 32-33°C are not uncommon during the day, with warm evening temperatures around 24°C. Humidity levels are also fairly high at this time, especially in the rainforest regions.
May in Sulawesi is characterised by hot, sunny days with average temperatures rising slightly to 29°C and the mercury hitting 32°C on occasion. Rainfall can still be expected in Manado and north Sulawesi, but the southern regions are drier as the month goes on. May marks the beginning of excellent conditions for diving in Manado Bay, which continue until October. It is also a beautiful time to be trekking in Maros & Bantimurung, as the rice fields and forests are lush & green following months of rain.
Favourable weather conditions continue across the southern islands of Kei and Aru, and the northern islands of Ternate and Tidore in May. The Banda Islands are also enjoying warm (28-30°C), sunny and dry days. The story is different across the central Molucca islands of Ambon and Seram as rainy season kicks in.
Average day time temperatures remain consistently warm (in the low 30’s) during May throughout Raja Ampat and about 10°C cooler in the Baliem Valley region. However, May sees the arrival of the southeast monsoon across the islands of Raja Ampat and heavier rainfall can be expected in the highlands of the Baliem Valley.