This Indonesia travel experience offers a magical mix of cultural delights and natural beauty in Java, impressive temples in Yogyakarta and colonial flair in Malang. In Bali, discover charming rice terraces and mystical experiences, and end your Indonesia tour with an incredible beach stay amid heavenly bliss in the Gili Islands!
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 (Half Day) 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, and 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 hosts occasional cultural activities, including puppetry and classical poetry performances. Head onwards to Taman Sari Water Castle, which literally translates as fragrance garden and was a former royal garden. This tranquil spot with its meditation areas and pavillions magically combines both Javanese and Portuguese architectural design influences. (Half Day; Private activity & transfers; Duration: 3 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.)
Prambanan Temple Tour (Half Day) Enjoy a half day tour as you explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Prambanan Temple, a 9th century Hindu temple complex. The structures are located about a 45 minute drive away from the city of Yogyakarta. These imposing temples contain three important shrines, dedicated to the Hindu holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Learn about the symbolism and the ancient history of the temples from your local guide as you observe the grand buildings. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 1 hr; 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.)
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.)
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.
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.)
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)
Gili Trawangan in Lombok region is the largest and most populated of the three established Gili Islands. What makes the island a paradise today is that there are no motorized vehicles, just bicycles and the local cidomo – a small horse cart.