Temples, volcanoes and timeless landscapes – this Indonesia tour is a delightful and spectacular collection of highlights from the islands of Java and Bali. Discover untouched landscapes set far away from the maddening crowds, and soak in the pristine charm of lesser known destinations such as Solo, Malang and Pemuteran. The perfect mix of natural beauty and culture of Indonesia!
Yogyakarta in Java is a unique place for the appreciation of contrasts. Yogyakarta is best known for its two historic temples: Borobudur Temple, a 9th century Buddhist monument and UNESCO World Heritage site, and Prambanan Temple, dedicated to the divine Hindu Trimurti (trinity).
Highlights Of Yogyakarta & Prambanan Temple
Your tour of Yogyakarta is brimming with historical charm! Venture to the Sultan’s Palace, or Kraton, as it is known locally. The palace lies between Mount Merapi and Parangtritis beach region, which is considered a central force within Javanese cosmology. Built in the 18th century, it is a fine example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. The Sultan still resides in the palace, making it somewhat of a living museum, as it showcases Javanese relics and occasionally hosts cultural activities, including puppetry and classical poetry performances. Head onwards to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Prambanan Temple, a 9th century Hindu temple complex, located a 45 minute drive out of the city. These imposing temples contain three important shrines, dedicated to the Hindu holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, which your local guide will explain in depth. (Full Day; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 1 hr; Duration: 6 hrs; Fitness level: Easy.)
Sunrise Visit To Borobudur Temple (Half Day)
Awake early to take a one hour drive to the famous Borobudur Temple, which many say rivals Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. This famous 9th century temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. This giant pyramid structure was based on an ancient text and took about one hundred years to be completed. Ancient documents suggest that it was inaugurated in 824 AD. Rising up from the green plains in a similar shape to its neighbouring volcanoes, this is a most marvellous setting from where you can watch the sun rise. Although there is quite a climb up its six tiers, reaching the top is well worth it as you will find 72 small latticework stupas that each house a Buddha. Once you have witnessed the beautiful, tranquil views, head back to your hotel for breakfast. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 1 hr; Time of the day: Morning at 0300 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; Please note that in order to reach the temple, you have to climb 100 steps, although they are not very steep. Please also note that in case of cloudy or rainy weather, your view may be obstructed.)
Solo (or Surakarta) in Java is at the epicenter of the famous island’s identity and traditions! Shying away from the desire to integrate into Westernised ways, the city has retained much of its original character.
Highlights Of Solo (Half Day)
Experience an afternoon tour of Solo, with visits to Sukuh and Cetho – two of Java’s oldest Hindu temples that were built before the island converted to Islam in the 16th century. Located on the western slopes of Mount Lawu, you can enjoy spectacular scenery overlooking the terraced tea plantations. Sukuh Temple has a pyramidal shape to it, not dissimilar to the Mayan temples of Central America, and yet it boasts stone phallic carvings that symbolize the Hindu god Shiva. After exploring and learning about its history, head to Cetho Temple, which is located in a more remote mountain location and attracts fewer visitors. Although the stone ornaments of Cetho Temple are similar to those at Sukuh Temple, their structures are dissimilar. The Cetho Temple has an interesting and distinctive layered architectural style that is believed to date back to the fifth century. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; If you have a preference for timing, please tell your travel consultant at the time of booking, otherwise our team will schedule the tour at the best available time.)
Malang in Java has been a favoured city for centuries. During its erstwhile colonial era, its former Dutch rulers appreciated Malang for its mild highland climate.
Highlights Of Malang (Half Day)
Explore Malang and discover the attractions of this wonderful colonial-era city, with its leafy boulevards, fresh climate and leisurely pace. Founded by the Dutch in the last decades of the 18th century, Malang earned its fortune from coffee, which you can see in the surrounding flourishing hillsides. Venture to a domestic animal market to witness the locals and their timeless traditions. Discover the cathedral and the famous Ijen Boulevard. Head to Alun Alun Merdeka, a popular park for the locals, and then drive to Batu, where you can enjoy views of the Coban Rondo Waterfall, and the mountain village of Cangar with its hot spring pools. Head back to your hotel to spend your evening at leisure. If you wish, you can wander through Malang’s bustling streets, taking in the inviting smells and sounds of the many street food stalls. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; If you have a preference for timing, please tell your travel consultant at the time of booking, otherwise our team will schedule the tour at the best available time.)
Mount Bromo in Java is a fabulous volcano with views! Located in Eastern Java and part of the Tengger massif, it enjoys pride of place within the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.
Half Day Tour Of Mount Bromo
Rise and shine before the break of dawn and enjoy a four wheel jeep drive to Mount Bromo volcano, where you will be taken to a lookout point. On a clear day you will witness breathtaking views and watch the sun rise up from neighbouring Mount Penanjakan volcano. Head down to the crater of Mount Bromo, either with a short walk or a horse ride. The crater is often still covered in a fine mist during the early morning, creating a most unique, lunar surface-like scenery with its ash-covered ground, and is probably the closest to feeling like you are standing on the moon! (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Time of the day: Morning; Travel time to activity: 1 hr; Duration: 6 hrs; Fitness level: Moderate; Horseback rides to the crater are available. Please note that the Indonesian Centre for Volcanology & Disaster Hazard Mitigation sometimes issues warnings against visiting Mount Bromo in case of excessive volcanic activity. Please bring warm clothes for the excursion. Between Oct – Apr, views can be affected by fog.)
Igen in Java is where you can explore a most magical yet natural landscape. At 2,300 meters, Igen boasts Indonesia’s largest volcanic crater, which just so happens to have a magical blue fire.
Igen Volcano Visit (Half Day)
Ijen volcano is the most acidic volcano in the world, due to the hot sulphur that emanates from its core as an ethereal green vapor. When you venture to the local sulphur mining area, you can witness the interesting process of creating pure sulphur blocks. The steam is collected by a large pipe where it condenses and forms red rivulets, which are then frozen and carried away in large blocks. It is a difficult job to create this, but the result is very healthy sulphur. Explore the nearby lake, before returning to the ranger’s post en route to your hotel. (Half Day; Private activity & transfers; Time of the day: Morning; Travel time to activity: 1 hr to the base of the volcano; Duration: 6 hrs; Fitness level: Moderate as you will need to trek for 2 hrs each way; please bring sturdy walking shoes. Please note that the views are weather dependent.)
Pemuteran in Bali is the ultimate beach oasis! This hidden jewel is located on the northwestern tip of Bali and is only known to visitors who have been vacationing in Indonesia for years and prefer a quieter beach.
Menjangan Island Snorkelling
From Pemuteran Bay, take an hour’s boat ride to Menjangan Island, a small, uninhabited sanctuary off the northwest coast of Bali. With its clear waters and calm waves, the island reputedly offers some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities in the whole of the region. An experienced guide will take you to the most interesting sites in this colorful underwater world. In addition to wonderful coral gardens, reefs and sandbar eels, above water you can witness the mysterious Menjangan Deer (also known as Iceland Deer), which are indigenous to the region and swim once a year through a small canal from Bali to the island. (Half Day; Private activity & transfers; Travel time to activity: 1.15 hrs; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; You will be accompanied by a diving expert upon arrival. The activity includes the fees for renting equipment. Please carry an additional set of clothes with you.)
Munduk in Bali is undoubtedly one of the most charming mountain villages of Indonesia. With its lush hills that are dotted with jungles, paddy fields, fruit trees and other island plants, it is the ideal location to unwind within the harmony of nature.
Munduk Waterfall Worlds Tour (Half Day)
Splash out to experience the island’s most fabulous waterfall during your tour of Munduk village. At an altitude of 800 meters above sea level, it is easily one of the most beautiful sights on the island. Head out on nature walks in the fresh mountain air where you will experience lovely coastal views. En route you can enjoy witnessing the many clove, coffee, avocado, taro, durian and banana plantations that are scattered all over the verdant landscape of North Bali. (Half Day; Private activity & transfers; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; If you have a preference for timing, please tell your travel consultant at the time of booking, otherwise our team will schedule the tour at the best available time.)
Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali. Home to the country’s royal family, the town is rich in art and at the center of Balinese craft and traditional dance.
Highlights Of Ubud & Monkey Forest (Half Day)
Hop out into the delights of Ubud with this half day tour. Begin by visiting Bali Palace, the official residence of Bali’s royal family, and a fascinating example of Balinese history and architecture. Head onwards to the ARMA, or Agung Rai Museum of Art, which is dedicated to promoting Indonesian art and culture, including traditional dance forms and musical performances using the bronze percussion instruments of gamelan. The museum is set within beautiful landscaped gardens with zen water features. Head onwards to the sacred Monkey Forest, which conserves rare plants, promotes spiritual well being with its onsite temple, and has plenty of monkeys! Afterwards, stroll the streets of Ubud to enjoy the local wares, including food, clothing, and art. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 15 mins; Duration: 3 hrs; Fitness level: Easy)
Cycling Tour Of Ubud (Half Day)
Discover a beautiful landscape and a UNESCO World Heritage site on the back of a bike. Begin your cycling tour at Jatiluwih Valley – one of the most fascinating rice-growing regions in the world! The terraced landscaped was lovingly shaped by generations of farmers over 500 years. Today, the land boasts sophisticated irrigation facilities, including an intricate network of canals, dams, and aqueducts to irrigate individual fields. Cycle downhill past breathtaking rice paddies, verdant mountains, hills and rolling valleys, to reach a gravel road just a few kilometers away. Afterwards, embark on a hike through the field towards Babahan, where you will take a short break to see Pura Besi Kalung temple. Continue onwards on your bike till you reach the village of Pinge. There you can enjoy enjoy an authentic Balinese meal at Rumah Desa (Balinese House). Spend some time observing the local vegetables grown in the garden and afterwards, watch how your chef uses these to cook up a delicious meal for you! (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 30 mins; Duration: 3 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; Please bring comfortable shoes, suntan lotion, and your hat. Please note that the cycling activity is planned in the morning from Jan- May, as this season has occasionally afternoon rain.)