14 Days Java to Bali Nature & Culture

Day 1 : Yogyakarta City tour

Morning Yogyakarta city tour: This morning you will be taken on a tour to explore the cultural highlights of Yogyakarta. Start with a visit to the "Sultan's Palace" or Kraton. The influence of the Mataram Empire dominated the region from the mid 18th Century, and Yogyakarta has since thrived under a powerful Sultanate that first resisted colonial forces and then negotiated a special autonomous status within the Republic of Indonesia. Parts of the Sultan's Palace, are open to visitors, including a number of open air buildings used for ceremonial purposes and museums with memorabilia showing the life and work of previous Sultans. The Water Castle and gardens of the Palace can also be visited, which is where the Sultans enjoyed their time with their many wives and concubines in a series of elaborate bathing pools. Continue with a tour of a traditional batik workshop to see the process involved in this traditional art form, and Kota Gede the original home of Yogya‘s silver industry where craftsmen have practiced for hundreds of years.

Day 2 : Borobudur

Afternoon tour of Borobudur: This afternoon head north out of Yogyakarta for Borobudur, a journey of around 1.5 hours. Indonesia's largest and most impressive Buddhist monument, Borobudur is a vast structure with 9 levels and an awe inspiring setting in the midst of a fertile valley ringed by volcanoes. The temple was built as a pilgrimage site to teach followers how to practice the Buddhist way of life. Each level of the monument has intricately carved sculptures and symbology from the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. The top level of the temple is a particularly spiritual place dotted with stupas housing Buddhist sculptures, with magnificent view of the surrounding countryside.

Day 3 : Yogyakarta - Solo

Morning tour of Prambanan: This morning you will be taken on a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Prambanan, Java's largest Hindi Temple. The Sanjaya Dynasty built the 47m high temple dedicated to the three forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in the 9th century and surrounded it with several smaller temples. The temples were first rediscovered by a British surveyor under the instruction of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1811.

Day 4 : Tour Solo

Guided tour of Candi Sukuh & Candi Cetho: After checking in to your hotel drive 25 miles east of Solo to the ‘Highlands of Solo', on the slopes of Mount Lawu, to discover the ruins of an exotic 14th century temple called Candi Sukuh. One of Java's most mysterious and striking temples, Candi Sukuh is built like a Mayan stepped pyramid and is believed to have been constructed at the time when the glory of the Majaphit Empire was already in decline. The reliefs, and statues, tell the story of Tantric Hinduism which flourished in this area in the pre-Islam era. The main temple stands 9   m above sea level on the western slopes of Mount Lawu and is covered in intriguing carvings. Afterwards you will drive to see the 15th century Javanese-Hindu temple at Candi Cetho which is located at an even higher elevation than Sukuh, with spectacular views of nearby green tea plantations and the surrounding countryside. After the sightseeing return to Solo for the evening.

Day 5 : Solo - Malang

Road journey from Jombang to Malang, via Trowulan: Upon arrival in Jombang travel by road to Malang, a journey of approximately 4 hours. There is an option to do a detour to the town of Trowulan, once the seat of power of the powerful Majapahit Kingdom. This was Java's most significant Hindu emprire which flourished between the late 13th and 15th Centuries. The success of the empire came from an enterprising spirit to trade spices and rice that grew abundantly in the fertile soils of East Java with merchants from Malaya. Today the largest reminder of this once great era is a large bathing pool and several small Hindu temples made of red brick surrounded by exceptionally well tended gardens with colourful flowers. The town also has a museum with displays of pottery and other artefacts to tell the story of the Majapahit empire. Sir Thomas Raffles re-discovered the ruins in the 19th century and described the site as ‘the pride of Java'.

Day 6 : Malang - Mount Bromo

Half day city tour of Malang: This morning you will be taken on a tour of Malang. Classic Dutch architecture can be seen in all corners of the city including the cathedral, schools, hotels, mansion houses and even a coffee shop. Just outside Malang there are the small Hindu ruins from the Singosari Empire which ruled East Java for a brief spell in the 13th Century before the ascendency of the mighty Majapahit Kingdom in nearby Trowulan.

Day 7 : Malang - Bromo

Road journey from Malang to Mount Bromo: This afternoon depart Malang and head in an eastward direction to the Bromo National Park. After driving an hour from Malang arrive at a typical East Javanese village and take a coffee break in a local family house. From this point onwards the vehicle will be changed to an open top jeep for the bumpy ride through the volcanic landscape to the start point of an optional trek through an area of the Bromo Savannah most visitors do not get to see. Descend into the caldera where Mount Bromo is located and walk for about three hours over a bizarre black lava lake to the other side of the crater rim. If you do prefer not to do this trek your guide can arrange for you to travel on horseback (surcharge payable locally) or remain on the jeep. Continue to your hotel to check in late this afternoon.

Day 8 : Mount Bromo - Banyuwangi

Sunrise at Mount Bromo: This morning wake up at 4am for the chance to see the sun rising over Mount Bromo. Depart from your hotel in a 4x4 jeep and ascend bumpy roads for 45 minutes to a viewing platform on Mount Pananjakan. As the dawn arrives enjoy panoramic views over the lunar landscapes of Mount Bromo and the surrounding mountains. After the sun has risen there is the opportunity to take a horse ride along the sea of sands to the foot of Mount Bromo, where a series of steps leads to the crater rim. At around 8am return to your hotel for a well deserved breakfast.

Day 9 : Banyuwangi

Day at leisure: Today is free to relax at your hotel or explore the local area. Popular activities at the resort include a range of watersports, hiking in the surrounding countryside and mountain biking.

Day 10 : Banyuwangi (Java) - Pemuteran (Bali)

Morning hike to Ijen's Crater: After an early wake-up call and breakfast travel by car to one of Java's last rainforests, passing by rural villages and spice plantations. Ijen's slopes are covered with towering trees, giant ferns and a multitude of wildlife. The 9  minute hike to Ijen Crater starts from the Park Ranger's post. The trail follows a shady track with interesting plants and views to see along the way. The crater rim is an altitude of 2883 meters from where there are spectacular views of the lake with its eerie colour, and smoke wafting from bright yellow sulphur deposits. The landscape is desolate and barren yet vibrantly alive. Watch miners descend into the crater and re-emerge carrying up to 8  kilos of ore on bamboo basket along the treacherous path. Afterwards walk down the mountain and drive back to your hotel. Please note this trek is on steep and uneven terrain that can get slippery, and not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Road journey from Ijen to Ketapang Harbour: After this morning's hike depart for Bali. The journey starts with a 1.5 hour drive to Ketapang Harbor.

Ferry crossing: Drive on to the local public ferry for the crossing to Gilimanuk harbour in West Bali, a journey of approximately 3  minutes.

Road journey from Gilimanuk to Pemuteran: Continue your journey by road to Pemuteran, a drive of approximately 45 minutes.

Day 11 : Pemuteran

Day at leisure: Today is free to relax at your Balinese resort, or take an optional snorkelling or diving trip to Menjangan Island in the Bali Barat National Park.

Day 12 : Pemuteran - Munduk

Road journey from Pemuteran to Munduk: After breakfast this morning continue your journey by road to Munduk, a drive of around 1.5 hours ascending from north Bali's coastal plains to the central highlands. Plantation hike around Munduk: Your guide will take you on a leisurely 2 hour hike in and around the rural village of Munduk. The area is very fertile and large plantations are found throughout. The walking trail leads through clove, cacao and coffee plantations with stunning views over the coastline of north Bali. There is also the chance to visit a waterfall in an area of rainforest.

Day 13 : Munduk - Ubud

Road journey from Munduk to Ubud with sightseeing en route: After breakfast this morning set off on the fascinating journey to Ubud, passing through the heart of Bali. The first stop will be made at the twin lakes of Buyan and Tamblingan. The next stop is Bedugul to visit Lake Bratan and the atmospheric temple of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Further stops are possible at the village of Candi Kuning village before having lunch at the beautiful rice terraces of Jatiluwih. Continue to Ubud and check in to your hotel.

Day 14 : Ubud

Half day cultural tour of Ubud: Start your cultural trip with a visit to Tohpati, which is known for batik products and continue to Celuk, the center of exquisite silver works and Mas, known for fine woodcarvings. Enter Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali with many fine art galleries, and a home to a score of local and foreign artists. One of them is Agung Rai Museum of Art which has an extensive collection of paintings by Balinese, Indonesian and foreign artists in classic balinese and contemporary styles. Afterwards, you can test your bargaining skill at Ubud market prior to a visit to Puri Saren Agung, whose royal family ruled Ubud from the late 18  's until 1917.

The price includes:

  • International flights with Singapore Airlines.
  • Accommodation in a shared double or twin room throughout.
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Private transfers and tours with an English speaking local guide.
  • Entrance fees for the sightseeing described above.
  • Train and ferry tickets within Indonesia.
  • Service charges, room tax and handling fees.

The price does not include:

  • Indonesian Visa - available on arrival for US$35.
  • Expenditure of a personal nature such as travel insurance, drinks, souvenirs and laundry etc.