Money, Banks and ATMs

Most local accommodation owners must be paid in cash.

Some homestay owners provide the ability to be paid by bank transfer before you arrive, and a few of the busiest homestays now accept credit/debit cards. You’ll find “Can pay by credit card” in the features checklist on a homestay’s page if it can accept credit cards. (Apply the accommodation page Other features search filter of that name to quickly find homestays that can accept card payments.) A surcharge is levied by homestays to cover the bank fees charged for card use.

Note that there’s no guarantee that your particular bank’s Visa or Mastercard will be accepted. Confirm with your card provider that you will be able to use it in Indonesian ATMs. Most homestay card facilities are supplied by Indonesia’s Mandiri Bank, so it might also be a good idea to test that your card will work in a Mandiri ATM before arriving in Sorong.

There’s no access to cash out in the islands.

The only ATMs in Raja Ampat are in Waisai. If staying at a place without a credit card facility, you’ll need to bring a lot of cash. The largest denomination Indonesian bill is 100,000 Rupiah, so be ready to carry a sizeable wad of notes. To avoid problems and delays on arrival, the best approach is to work out how much cash you’ll need for your stay (including a margin for the unexpected) and get it all in Indonesian Rupiah before you land in Sorong.

Money, Banks and ATMs in Sorong

ATMs: Be aware that there’s no guarantee your card will work in all Indonesian bank ATMs. To avoid nasty surprises it’s recommended you test your card in a few different banks’ machines prior to arriving in Sorong. Also be aware of your daily withdrawal limit.

There are many different Indonesian bank ATMs in Sorong, but the most convenient are the ones at the airport. They have fairly low maximum dispensing limits, but you can withdraw multiple times up to your own bank’s daily withdrawal limit.

Exchanging Currency: It’s probably best to do this at a bank in Sorong. If you want to exchange US currency, be aware that most banks will only accept recently issued $100 notes. We don’t know what the requirements are for Euros or other currencies. Probably similar. Banks are not open on weekends and Indonesian Public Holidays.

Money, Banks and ATMs in Waisai

Options are much more limited in Waisai, but more ATMs are being installed every year. BCA, Mandiri, and BNI ones are usually the best to try first. Any taxi or ojek driver will be able to help you find those.

Comments

Add Comment
  1. Marjoleen on

    Do banks/exchangers accept euro 50/100 euro bills as well waisai?

    1. We would be surprised if they did not Marjoleen, but have never tried, so can not say for sure.

  2. Theo Chrisostomou on

    Hi,

    Firstly, thanks for your amazing website. Wouldn’t have managed to plan a trip for my wife and I without it.

    I’m flying from the US to Sorong at the end of November and would be grateful of your advice regarding money.

    I can get hold of IDR in the US but suspect the exchange rate would be much better if I take $ to Indonesia and change it there.

    The problem with changing the money up out there would be that:
    – I only have 3 hours between arriving in Jakarta and flying out to Sorong, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to change it up at this point.
    – I land in Sorong at about 6am and hope to get the 9am ferry, so the banks there will be shut.

    Do you know if I will be able to exchange the cash in Waisai? Also do you know if it is still the case that you need $100 bills?

    Thanks again for any advice you can give.

    Theo

    1. Thanks for the kind words Theo :)

      You will definitely be able to change the cash In Waisai, and would probably be able to do it in Jakarta too, as you’ll have to exit the international terminal to go to the domestic one. (It would be more convenient to do in Jakarta if you can, because you might need to go the few kilometres into Waisai from the port otherwise.)

      Everywhere that we’ve ever changed money in Indonesia, you get the best rate for nice, new, high denomination bills, so yes – recommend bringing 100s if you can. Not sure if there would be a rate difference between Jakarta and Waisai money changers, but doubt it would be much if so.

      1. Theo Chrisostomou on

        Thanks so much for your quick reply! That’s really useful.

        Last thing I wanted to clear up. I’ve read that if you use ATMs in Sorong there is a massive (circa 25% of the total withdrawal) fee. Have you any idea if this is true?

        Thanks

        Theo

  3. Patricia Wentzell on

    Hi, I’m trying to work out how much IDR to bring with me to Raja Ampat. After accommodation, diving, transfer costs, is 8,000,000 IDR sufficient for 2 people for 2 weeks? Also, is it best to bring it from the UK? The only opportunity I’d have to withdraw from an Indonesian bank would be at the stopover in Makassar. We arrive in Sorong early and want to catch the 9am ferry so I’m assuming banks there won’t be open yet… are there custom issues carrying around 35,000,000 IDR? Thank you so much for your amazing website btw. I don’t see how planning a trip to Raja Ampat would be possible without it!

    1. Thanks for the kind words about the site Patricia – it’s always great to hear the work is valued! :)

      Unless you also want to also do a lot of boat trips for sightseeing (or buy alcohol), then that should be fine. Don’t know if you’ve already accounted for the mandatory Entry Fee (1,000,000 per person), but even 6,000,000 would be plenty of spending money for 2 weeks. Probably best to get it all in the UK, and there won’t be any customs issues carrying that amount.

      1. Patricia on

        You guys are amazing! Thank you so much!

  4. Ana on

    As Raja Ampat is quickly developing, does anyone know if there are any money exchange facilities in or around Marinda airport, in Waisai?

    We’ll carry Australian dollars and not flying thought Sorong, but straight to Waisai.

    Terima kashi!

    1. Hi Ana

      We’ve never used Marinda airport, so can’t tell you if you’ll be able to change money there. You’ll definitely be able to change money at Sorong airport though. (All the current flights into Marinda leave from there.)

      1. Ana on

        Thank you!
        We will indeed fly from Sorong but only on a very short transit from Jakarta.
        Thanks again for such a lovely and helpful website.
        All the best

  5. Michael B on

    We will be arriving to Indonesia from Thailand. Can we change Thai baht to rupiah at a bank? Thanks!

    1. We can’t imagine why not Michael, but – having never tried – can’t say for sure.

  6. Kristina on

    Hello!
    I’m thinking about sending money for my holidays about western union. Do you know how much money I get there at most? I need a lot to stay about two month at the islands and I don’t think I get all about the ATMs.
    Where are western union places in sorong and wasai?
    Thank you for answering.

  7. Kristina on

    Everyone talks about US$. Are Australian $s also easily exchanged in Sorong Airport?

    1. Hi Kristina

      Banks in Sorong would definitely change AUD. The airport moneychangers more than likely would too. Don’t know for sure, but imagine that, same as for USD, you’d get the best rate for 100 dollar bills.

      1. PASQUALINI on

        We are french.
        If we have to change money in Sorong (at the airport or in a bank), do we need $ or they take also € 100 Euros Bills. But maybe the exchange is better with $ than € ? What is your opinion please :)
        Best regards,
        Alexandra

        1. Hi Pasqualini

          Yes, you can change Euros in Sorong, but we don’t know how the exchange rate compared to USD.

  8. Quoc on

    Hi, is there money exchange counters at the Jarkata airport? And do they accept the new $US100 bills? ( since I read below the banks in Sorong don’t take the new bills?)

    And there are also money exchange counters in Sorong airport?

    1. International airports always have money exchange counters. Domestic airports (like Sorong) usually do not.

      1. PASQUALINI on

        Halo, bonjour from France :)
        We are going to visit you during November, so great !!
        One question about change money please,
        Our flights : KUALA/MAKASSAR. We arrive late in Makassar and leave early to SORONG, so we can not go to the town to change money and we do not know if the currency exchange office are open late in Makassar airport and we are not sure if there are some in the airport.
        If we arrive in Sorong only with Dollars, is it possible to change it in a bank ? I rode maybe it is possible if we have only 100$ note (not smaller), is it a correct information ?
        If we can change in Makassar airport, is it better to change all our money in the airport or it is better to change in a bank of Sorong ? What is the best deal for us, what do you think ?
        Thank you a lot for your help,
        Have a nice day,
        Warm regards,
        Alexandra

        1. Hi Alexandra

          Sorry, but I can’t remember for sure if there are money changers open late in the Makassar airport. I think there probably are, as it is an international airport.

          If not, you can certainly change money at banks in Sorong. Banks will change notes smaller than $100, but you’ll always get the best rate for 100 dollar bills.

          Banks will usually give you a better rate than money changers, but if there are money changers at the new Sorong airport it may be more convenient to change there, rather than have to wait for banks to open in Sorong.

          1. PASQUALINI on

            Thank you a lot for your prompt answear :)
            We are going to follow your information :)
            Your web site is really complete, Thank you for all these indications :)
            All the best for you,
            Alexandra

          2. Fred_Barbara on

            Bonjour,
            nous avons prévu un séjour dans les Raja Ampat en Juin.
            Serait-il possible de vous contacter pour avoir votre retour d’expérience, notamment sur les complications avec l’argent à amener, mais également tout autres infos utiles ?
            Merci d’avance.
            —————————————————-
            Désolé, je relance car je me suis désinscrit par erreur du suivi de ce post

  9. Michael Friedman on

    Can you please comment a bit on money safety?

    If we need to pay for everything in cash, it seems that we must bring easily 10MM to 15MM rupiah to the homestay. That’s a lot of cash. Is it safe in my bag with a lock on the bag?

    1. Hi Michael –

      I don’t know how easy it is to change USD in Waisai – we haven’t seen any money changers at the port, which means you’d have to go into town. If we were you, we’d save the time and trouble and change it at the international airport in Jakarta!

      We’ve never heard of a single incident of money or possessions disappearing from homestay accommodation. We usually carry our cash inside a small (closed but not locked) shoulder bag along with passports and other personal items. When in the water we leave it in our room, unless we’re going somewhere in a boat, in which case we leave it in the boat when we hit the water. It’s always been safe.

  10. Michael Friedman on

    Can you please update on ability to change USD to Rupiah in Wasai? I am flying in and out of Jakarta on Sunday night and will arrive in Sorong Monday morning. If I need to change money in Sorong then I will miss the 9:00am boat to Wasai. So if I can be confident that I can change money in Wasai I will do so there.

  11. Bill on

    Hi,
    I saw on the website for an eco resort that their prices were excluding a 21% tax. What is the tax rate in Raja Ampat and what is it applied to? Do the prices you quote include tax?
    Thanks again for such a fantastic site, Bill

    1. Hi Bill –

      Yes – all prices quoted include the 10% accommodation tax that all Indonesian accommodation providers are required to pay. Don’t know why the resort mentions 21%. Perhaps they are required to pay service taxes that don’t apply to homestays. Glad the site’s proved helpful to you – thanks :)

  12. Ann Cabot on

    Hi,
    I’m trying to determine a budget for our January trip to 4 homestays. I’ve taken into account the park fee and the homestay prices. What will the taxi ride in Sorong from the airport to the ferry cost? And how much is the ferry to Waisai? Thanks for your help! Ann

    1. Hi Ann – you’re welcome :)

      Those transport prices are covered on the How to get to Raja Ampat page. Airport to ferry terminal taxis are IDR 100,000 and the Express ferry costs around IDR 240,000 (or a bit more if you want the air-conditioned VIP section).

  13. fauzy on

    you can go to a bank named BRI, I could change my $50, even $20 there.

    1. Stay Raja Ampat on

      Good tip fauzy – thanks! :-)

  14. Betti on

    one of the ATMs at the airport (don’t remember the bank sorry) does dispense 100,000 notes and it is possible to withdraw 2,500,000 for one transaction.

    1. Stay Raja Ampat on

      That’s certainly convenient! Thanks for the update Betti.

  15. Catherine on

    Regarding money and cash. Exchange facilities in Sorong are not garanteed. Banks in Sorong accept ONLY 100$ note (no smaller bank notes) and are closed on week-end and holidays. Make sure you have enough rupiah with you before heading for Mansuar. Near by Raja Ampat Dive Lodge accepts credit cards with a 2.5% commission (if you are really stuck).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *