Solar Eclipse 2016

Last updated: May 14, 2015
Solar eclipse

Planning your trip to the total eclipse of the heart sun.

Indonesian cities for viewing total solar eclipse

According to, several cities in Indonesia will provide the best opportunity to see the total solar eclipse on 9 March 2016.

Mau Ke Mana is already booking flight tickets and hotel rooms for international tourists visiting Indonesia around this time. (Indonesian domestic airline websites only accept Indonesian credit cards, unlike Mau Ke Mana).

But which of the cities listed is the most suitable?

1. Getting There & Away
Which of the cities is easiest to visit?

Indonesia Solar Eclipse Flight Map

City Distance from
Jakarta (km)
Jakarta Flights
(per day)
No. international
flights (per day)
Palembang 418 1:00 29 2
Palangka Raya 917 1:40 4 0
Balikpapan 1257 2:00 23 2
Palu 1580 2:30 6 0
Ternate 2428 3:40 7 0

Palembang and Balikpapan are by far easier to travel to than other cities. There are many more flights to these two cities than the others. They also have international connections to Malaysia and Singapore, although it is usually cheaper to fly through Jakarta.

Sofifi doesn’t have an airport, so is not rated; it is very close to Ternate anyway.

2. Other Attractions
Maybe visitors would like to do more than just stare at the sun, seeing they come a long way. Which cities have the most tourism potential?

maitara tidore Rp1000

Near Ternate and Sofifi, there are the note-worthy islands of Maitara and Tidore, with multiple sites for snorkelling.

Few people visit Balikapan or Palangkaraya themselves, but use them as a lanchpad to visit other nearby locations. From Balikpapan, you can travel upriver, to nearby wildlife sanctuaries, or a bit further to offshore island resorts. Palangkaraya is an alternative location to Pangkalan Bun for river cruises, orangutan tours, etc.

There’s not as much to do in Palembang, Palu and Sofifi.

3. Weather
Wikipedia helpfully points out:

Unfortunately, the Indonesian region is prone to a 60-70% likelihood of cloud cover in March.

Less helpfully, it doesn’t mention that rain showers usually occur in the mid-late afternoon, and the eclipse occurs in the mid-morning, Indonesian time.

Still, March is the tail-end of the wet season in Indonesia, and it would suck if – after travelling so far – your view was obscured by clouds; where is this least likely to happen?

City Average March
Rainfall (mm)
Average March
Rainfall Days
Palu 40 11
Balikpapan 129 12
Palembang 140 14
Ternate 177 19

Source: World Weather Online
Palu would appear to be the driest city on average, but the rains falls across a similar number of days to Palembang and Balikpapan, so the gap isn’t as big as it may appear at first.

Unfortunately, reliable monthly weather averages were unavailable for Palangka Raya.

Solar Eclipse Charter Flight

Please note: it is not known whether airlines are planning to run special flights that fly above the clouds, as happened in Norway earlier this year.

Mau Ke Mana is already booking flight tickets and hotel rooms for March 2016.

Are you interested in booking flights? Please send an enquiry.

You can book a hotel directly through the links below:

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Palangka Raya
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2 Comments on “Solar Eclipse 2016”

  1. Chris says:

    Despite Ternate being the most remote city in Indonesia to see the solar eclipse, many Ternate hotels (e.g. Bela International, Puri Azzalia) are already fully booked for 7-10 March 2016.

  2. Richard says:

    I’ve booked Air Asia from KL to Balikpapan for £40 and £35 going back. I like Air Asia so it was a no brainer.

    From Balikpapan I’m planning on heading the few miles south to the centre, either by road or boat.

    Weather-wise it’s a toss up but I figure the east side of the landmass has as good a chance of being clear as anywhere. So here’s hoping :)

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