Festive Special: Indonesia’s Timeless Landscapes and Unique Culture
15 Days from $ 3,855 / person
Temples, festivals, volcanoes and timeless landscapes – discover the highlights of Java and Bali on your Indonesia vacation. On your itinerary are Indonesia’s unique heritage and picturesque landscapes, as well as the opportunity to participate in one of the biggest festivals of the country! Witness the color, pomp, fervor and splendor at the spectacular Vesak Festival of Borobudur for yourself.
Borobudur is considered the garden of Java, due to its agricultural heritage and timeless fertile lands. Borobudur is most famed for its ancient 9th century Mahayana Buddhist temple, located on a hill between the twin volcanoes of Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and next to Progo River and Elon River.
Explore Rural Borobodur On A Bicycle Explore rural life on an exhilarating bicycle ride through timeless villages early in the morning. Soak in the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of the gorgeous countryside set against the backdrop of the Menoreh Hills. Ride through the village lanes with your local guide and catch glimpses of time-honoured traditions as you watch farmers on their emerald rice fields, learn about rural cottage industries or watch skillful village potters at work. The 2-3 hour trek includes a trip to a traditional tofu factory too, where you can catch the fascinating process of soy milk being churned into bean curd. You can also visit a Javanese rice cracker factory on this exploratory morning trip. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Time of the day: Anytime; Travel time to activity: 1 hr; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Easy, Please bring walking shoes, insect repellents and sun hats).
Vesak Festival In Borobudur Temple Celebrating the Vesak Festival at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of the ancient Borobudur Temple is a spectacular and humbling experience. The Vesak Full Moon, usually in the month of May, marks the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha Sakyamuni – Siddhartha Gautama. Tens of thousands of Buddhist monks and pilgrims congregate at the 9th century Borobudur Temple complex to pray and meditate for universal peace and enlightenment. A colorful and festive procession led by Buddhist monks, nuns and pilgrims from the Mendut Temple makes its way to the Pawon Temple, before reaching the Borobudur complex. The kilometer-long procession finally settles down before the world’s largest Buddhist temple, all awash in the silvery light of the Vesak Full Moon, to pray and silently meditate in unison. This intensely powerful spiritual experience is followed by ritually circuiting the temple three times and releasing paper lanterns into the sky to mark the Buddha’s release from the circle of life. (Duration: 5 hours; Time of day: Evening; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy. Please note that this year the Vesak Festival is on 29 May 2018).
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.)
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 jeep drive up to Mount Penanjakan, the mountain overlooking the Mount Bromo. Hike up the mountain to witness the breathtaking view of the sunrise. Head down to the crater to drive up to the base camp of the Mount Bromo. Hike up to the base of the volcano or choose 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, while you walk around the natural curve of the rim of the crater and feel like you are standing on the moon! (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; start from the hotel: 3am; Travel time to sunrise activity: 1 hr; Duration: 5-6 hrs; Fitness level: Moderate; Horseback ride to the crater is available. Please note that the Indonesian Center for Volcanology & Disaster Hazard Mitigation sometimes issues warnings against visiting Mount Bromo in case of excessive volcanic activity. Please bring warm clothes/warm 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.
Ijen Volcano Visit (Half Day) Experience one of the most fascinating volcanoes on the planet! You will begin the 3km long and often steep ascent to Kawah Ijen, the volcano´s crater lake, in the early morning hours. High concentrations of sulfur and gypsum cause an extreme acidity and the characteristic turquoise color of the lake. With the help of a simple and yet ingenious method, hot sulfur gases are converted into a solid mass that can then be mined and transported. The so-called “Ijen taxis”- hand-pulled and pushed carts- provide an opportunity to the miners for some additional income and for exhausted visitors an alternative to the strenuous hike. If you want to experience the blue flames you will need to begin the hike between 1 and 2 am as they can only be seen clearly until about 4am. A small path leads down from the crater rim and after 30-45 minutes you´ll reach the blue flames. Please keep in mind that you have to walk the same path back up again. It is possible that the path down to the blue flames gets closed due to heavy sulfur gases. (Half Day; Private activity & transfers; Time of the day: Early Morning; Travel time to activity: 1.5 hr to the base of the volcano; Duration: 6 hrs; Fitness level: Difficult as you will need to trek for 2 hrs each way; please bring sturdy trekking shoes. Masks will be provided by your guide. Please note that the views are weather dependent.)
Set on a picturesque corner of Bali in the Indonesian archipelago, Jembrana offers the ideal beach hideaway. Boasting an untouched landscape, the region had remained isolated from external influence until as recently as the mid-nineteenth century when it was conquered by Dutch colonial forces.
Enroute Visit: Tanah Lot Temple Discover a spectacular Indonesian temple. Enroute to or from Jembrana, stop by Tanah Lot located on the western coast of Bali. The 15th century temple is perched on a giant rock in the sea, which has been shaped by the tide and the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean, over millions of years. The temple itself was built by local fishermen, who received instructions from Nirartha – a Hindu priest from Java arrived in Bali during the time of the Majapahit Empire. Tanah Lot is one of the seven sea temples located on the Balinese coast that were built to protect the island from harm. A fundamental element of Balinese mythology and legend for centuries, the temple is an essential symbol of Balinese religion and cultural heritage. (Half Day; Private Activity & Transfer as it is en route to/from Jembrana; Duration: 2 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; Please note that only Hindus are allowed inside the main temple. Kindly avoid shorts and short skirts and dress appropriately to show your respect for local tradition. Please note that the path to the temple is flanked by souvenir shops which may look touristic.)
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 & Cycle Ride Explore the vibrant Ubud city! Begin your tour at the Peliatan Palace to see beautiful Balinese architecture and continue onwards to ARMA Museum where several interesting art and cultural artifacts await. Guide your steps towards the Sacred Monkey Forest to meet its mischievous occupants, and then it’s straight to the heart of the city for a walk around the busy streets. At the choc-a-block local market, you’ll find everything from clothing to art and souvenirs. Afterwards, drive towards Jatiluwih Valley, whose rice fields were shaped over 500 years. The region boasts sophisticated dams, canals and aqueducts for efficient irrigation. Cycle downhill past beautiful rice terraces, mountains and valleys, to reach the narrow streets and gravel roads just a few kilometers away. After a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site, embark on a hike through the field towards village of Babahan, where you will take a short break at Pura Besi Kalung. Continue cycling towards the Pinge village where you can break for an authentic Balinese lunch at Rumah Desa (Balinese House). Explore the vegetable garden at the hotel and witness how the food is prepared before you sit down to a hearty meal. (Full Day; Private Activity & Transfers; Travel time to activity: 30 mins; 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.)
Sideman is a quaint and picturesque town nestled in the foothills of the majestic Mount Agung of East Bali. The town is surrounded with lush green rice fields and vast agricultural lands.
Fullday Visit To Besakih Temple Thirtagangga Water Palace And Tenganan Village En route, stop by the Besakih Temple, or the Bali Mother Temple, which has been built on the slopes of the sacred Mount Agung volcano. This uniquely terraced landmark, is a very important religious site for local people. Venture onward to the 700 year old walled Tenganan Village which is home to the Bali Aga – the first aboriginals to settle on the island. Their customs are sprinkled with a touch of magic – the women weave a rare cloth, which is said to protect the wearer and plays an important role in cremation ceremonies. The weaving of one cloth can take up to five years. Venture to Tirta Gangga, or ‘Water of the Ganges’, where you can amble around a beautiful park with a huge water fountain and a rambling pond. Built by the Karangasem King in 1948, legend has it that the park contains a sacred spring serves as a divine bath for the Gods. (Half Day; Private Activity & Transfer as it in enroute; Duration: 3 hrs; Fitness level: Easy)
Full Day Rice Field Walk And Hike To Pura Bukit Tegeh Soak in the sights and sounds of rural Indonesia as you walk through the rice terraces in Sideman. The emerald green paddy fields and swaying palms that dot the terraced landscape are a picturesque sight. Ask friendly villagers and they will be delighted to take you through subak, the traditional Balinese irrigation system that crisscrosses the rice terraces. A long walk through rice fields and scenic trails brings you to Pura Bukit Tegeh Temple. This small temple atop a mountain offers the most stunning vistas of the Balinese countryside. The view from here is spectacular so keep your smartphone or camera handy. (Full Day; Private Activity & Transfers; Time of the day: Morning, 0800 hrs; Duration: 7 hrs; Meal included: Lunch; Fitness level: Moderate; Please bring walking shoes, insect repellent and a hat.)
As the gateway to the island of Bali, Denpasar is one of the biggest tourist hubs in the island nation of Indonesia.
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 3,855 /person
Option 2 From $ 4,495 /person
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation (on a twin-sharing basis) on the indicated meal plan for 14 nights.
The following train journeys in the highest class available: Yogyakarta – Mojokerto (Train)
All activities as listed :
Borobodur: Explore Rural Borobodur on a Bicycle
Borobodur: Vesak Festival in Borobudur Temple
Yogyakarta: Highlights of Yogyakarta & Prambanan Temple
Mt.Bromo: Half Day Tour of Mount Bromo
Ijen: Ijen Volcano Visit (Half Day)
Jembrana: Enroute Visit Tanah Lot Temple
Ubud: Highlights of Ubud & Cycle Ride
Sideman: Full Day Visit to Besakih Temple Thirtagangga Water Palace and Tenganan Village
Sideman: Full Day Rice field walk and hike to Pura Bukit Tegeh
All airport and hotel transfers
A high-quality air conditioned vehicle with a safety-tested chauffeur for all activities specified in the itinerary
All activities specified in the itinerary, including entrance fees wherever applicable, accompanied by our tour guide
Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
Welcome kit including all important documents and information regarding your itinerary