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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Sarah Coupland

    Excellent trip - full of variety

    I loved the variety in this trip, it's three different holidays in two weeks ! From jungle hiking in Sumatra to seas and sunsets in Flores and finally Bali for temples, the beach and chilling. Despite the distances covered and three flights, it doesn't feel like you are always on the move as when you get to a location you stay for several days. All the accommodation was good and well located and the Indonesian people are lovely and welcoming. Food on the boat is exceptional and sleeping on deck is an experience. An excellent guide and fantastic travel companions made this a highly memorable trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The main highlights were obviously seeing the orangutans and Komodo dragons and we saw both. We were lucky to have the opportunity to watch several orangutan mothers with their babies in close proximity and we saw plenty of dragons on both Rinca and Komodo islands. Other highlights were watching the fruit bats fly at sunset and watching the playful monkeys in Ubud. I also did an optional horse riding excursion (from Sanur) which unexpectedly included a visit to a turtle conservation area where we saw just hatched baby turtles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wira was an excellent guide. He usually does the activity based trips in Bali, but had stepped in to take this tour as Elly was unavailable. Wira was always laughing, approachable, organised, practical, knowledgeable and sociable, he was always prepared to go the extra mile for you. Additionally, the local guides that accompany you in Sumatra and Flores are excellent. Wira had to deal with a couple of situations which he did quickly and effectively and he couldn't apologise enough for a couple of issues that were completely beyond his control. He helped to arrange some optional excursions that were "not on the list" and even joined a few of us on one of them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take decent walking boots, I'm glad I did especially for the 2nd day "long" walk in Gunang Leuser National Park. They provide walking sticks (no need to pack one)- I was grateful for the one I used though it does become a liability when trying to take photos ! If you are offered the opportunity to visit the Bat Cave - it's not for the faint-hearted, lots of rocks and scrambling (I had to bail part way through) A few of us wanted to do different excursions to those presented to us on the list. So from Sanur, 5 of us went horse riding on the beach with Bali Horse Riding who were very professional, taking time to assess your ability and matching you with one of their well looked after horses. Most of us slept on the boat deck for both nights. If you go July, I recommend taking something warm to sleep in. I wore my jacket and leggings both nights and many of us added socks for night two ! Some of our group got the chance to see Manta Rays at Manta Point, so make sure you are "snorkel ready" with your underwater camera when the boat gets there. Some of us also wanted to visit Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, so Wira arranged a driver for us and actually came with us. He even arranged the hotel to do breakfast e=half and hour earlier so we could leave and get there before any of the tourist buses. We watched the locals go about their prayers, saw a cremation purification ceremony and got "classic" photos of the temple (minus hoards of tourists). We then went onto the Jatiluwih rice terraces which were beautiful and so much less touristy than the ones we'd seen the previous day on the itinerary trip. We left at 7.15am and we were back for 1.15pm and it cost us about £7/8 each (including driver's trip) well worth it. If you want to do the optional half day trip to Tanah Lot temple from Sanur, I would ask your guide if you could arrange to leave earlier than scheduled, we left at 8.15am and got stuck in the dreadful traffic and consequently we were rushed around the temple.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As with any trip, it depends on your interests and attitude as to whether it's the one for you. But if you like some variety in a trip, I highly recommend this one.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Gary Lavin

    Sucessful and Safe

    A lovely and interesting trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The temple complex of Pranbaman

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very informative and helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy climbing all possible volcanoes

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The snorkelling is fantastic
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Patricia Carr

    Trip was what it said on the tin

    The whole trip was enjoyable and it was definitely Volcanos and Temples. I had travelled to Bali before but the majority of the sites that I visited this time were different from those I visited last time.I

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was to see Borobudur and Bromo that I booked the trip. But saying that I loved taking part in the cleansing ceremony and climbing the volcanos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juno was fantastic. He made sure everyone was happy and nothing was too much trouble. I did the 2 optional volcano climbs and he was there for support and encouragement when it got tough for me. His sense of humour and attitude towards his work was great and well appreciated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As long as the trip notes are read there are no suprises. If planning to climb the volcanos take walking poles. Expect getting to the view point for Mt Bromo to be congested.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only thing that was slightly disappointing was the stated thermal pools. The pools themselves were ok but I did not expect it to be a spa resort. Also one of the restaurants that we stopped off for a lunch ( sorry I can't remember the name) was sadly lacking.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    M B

    Volcanoes & Temples Indonesia

    Recently returned from this trip . The contrast between Java and Bali , both in terms of landscape , population , costs , is striking. In Java many members of group were regularly asked for a picture , with locals standing alongside . Bali being more of a tourist destination , particularly for Australians , this photo request never happened. Lots of volcanoes and temples to be seen and explored. Lots of history and differences in religions. Snorkelling in Menjangan island ( Bali) was amazing, even the walk in from beach area had so many species of fish to see.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Borobudor was fascinating , as was Prambanan.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juno was informative and ensured we were aware of our surroundings , meeting points etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The volcano walks were a challenge but do-able with determination and time. Sunrise , being a natural phenomenon , doesnt guarantee clear views , just enjoy what you see when you see it. Pay attention if any monkeys about at temples, they are surprisingly quick at grabbing things and scaling nearest tree.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You are in an earthquake zone , we had the unexpected experience of a plus 5 earthquake while in Denpasar. A tale to tell the folks back home , all safe and only us tourists excited.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Brian Bullingham

    Primates and Dragons May 2019

    A well organised trip. The chief guide was excellent as were all the additional guides. The accommodation was first class with a variety from Eco Lodges to top hotels. The tour was arranged to see the maximum sights during the 3 week period - but at times there seemed too many options and a slower pace would have improved the trip. Of necessity there were lots of internal flights that had to be endured! As a group we all mixed in -we varied from 3 couples and 6 singles but all meals etc. went well. An enjoyable trip that ticked all the photo opportunities with a blend of local culture for interest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most hilarious moment was during our watch of the Orang-utangs when another visitor had left his back-pack open and this was spotted by a sharp-eyed male who shot down from his tree, snatched a crisp -packet from the bag and shot up another tree where he ripped open the packet and starting eating the crisps - never underestimate the intelligence of a primate!! My other memory is of the traffic and the number of mopeds all overtaking cars and lorries with abandon and with no overt action from the car,etc. being overtaken - a lesson in politeness for Westerners!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elly our group leader was very efficient and got us in a group to the right place at the right time - no mean feat considering all the different ways of travel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a poncho as it can rain heavily.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Mojgan N.A.

    Beautiful trip

    I really enjoyed this trip. Wira (our guide) and the support team worked very hard and ensured it all went smoothly. I had little knowledge about Indonesia and I feel that this trip has opened a new world to me. I learned a lot about the culture, history and customs of this beautiful country and Wira contributed a lot to this. Bali is covered with temples and statues and for me it felt like an open museum. Another interesting point that caught my eyes were the architecture of the mosques in East Java. It has influences of temples and shows that the two cultures have been integrated which was very interesting to see. Everywhere we went people were very friendly and smiling and greeting us. There were some tough rides, a few nasty uphills, some very steep and rough downhills and off roads which made this trip even more interesting. Wira explained the detail of the route and what to look out for which was very helpful. The hiking up the Ijen volcano and watching how the sulphur miners work was the highlight of the trip for me. The other activities such as hot spring, snorkelling and swimming (pool and the sea) were all very enjoyable. Most hotels had a swimming pool so swimming after a hard cycling day under a hot humid condition felt like heaven! :)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the Ijen volcano. The landscape was beautiful and the view of the lake from the top was simply stunning. Seeing the sulphur mine workers carrying such heavy loads on their shoulders up that steep route was simply an eye opener. Riding on the old lava field (very rough off-road) was quite amazing too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wira was an excellent leader. He was always calm, friendly and carried a beautiful smile. He was very knowledgeable and explained to us about people/farmer's lifestyle and customs. Every day he explained to us how the route would be in terms of points of interests as well as the challenging parts. The support teams also contributed to the success of the trip. They were very helpful and every little detail was taken care of, eg every time we had a break, they would fill up our water bottles without us even noticing it which was a nice touch.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you do your homework ie training! :) There are some tough uphills as well as very steep downhills with sharp corners and also some quite rough off-roads.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Rebecca Fawcett

    Amazing wildlife

    A fantastic holiday, you see and do a lot including the two main highlights of the trip (Orangutans & Komodo Dragons) in a beautiful country. The trip is very well organised so it's not too hectic or tiring but full of great experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Orangutans. There was a moment when a baby was one tree away from it's mother and the mother reached her hand out for the baby to take before helping her swing into the other tree. It was such a human-like moment between a mother and child, wonderful to spend time with such a beautiful species.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elly was brilliant, every things she did was to ensure we enjoyed the trip and made fantastic memories. She kept an eye on us all when snorkelling, ensured we had the best photo opportunities and gave us ointments to put on sunburn when needed!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a t-shirt / rash vest for snorkelling, the sun is incredibly strong and it's very easy to get burnt.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Isabella Campbell Harry

    A wonderful guide and very well organised trip

    The trip was very well organised and the local guides were incredible. Although the trip is only 2 weeks long we were able to pack a huge amount and sample the diversity of Indonesia, with some level of flexibility. From the Orangutans in the North to the Komodo dragons and Manta rays in the south. This trip has it all and so much more. It was amazing to respectively see these creatures in the wild. Elly, our guide, is filled with so much joy and enthusiasm. It was lovely that although she has done this trip many times, she is filled with just as much awe as us tourists at Indonesia's natural world. We could have perhaps done with a little less time in Bali but other than that I have no complaints! I hope one day I will be back and be able to visit the local people I can now proudly call friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming with the manta rays was extraordinary.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Rita Jones

    Amazing adventures

    This trip packs in so much. Close encounters with orangutans, Komodo dragons and an amazing amount of marine life on the best coral we have ever seen. All the hotels used were lovely with nice pools to relax by. Our guide Elly was lovely and local guides on trips couldn't have been nicer. Wonderful food including an amazing jungle picnic. Really felt well looked after on this trip. Wish I could go back right now!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to select one....there were so many! Being so close to a huge but very placid male orangutan and his family. Especially when he stood up and wanderered about on two legs so close to us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was lovely. Very caring to the whole group

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Volunteer to sleep on the deck of the boat. Cabins are a bit stuffy in the heat. Take your own towels on board. Jungle treck needs a reasonable level of fitness but you can go as slow as you want. Plenty of guides around to help.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On Summatra we had a lovely village walk including time spent talking to the schoolchildren. It would have been nice if we could have helped the local environment as we walked round e.g a voluntary litter collection .
  • Reviewed November 2018
    simon cappin

    what an amazing trip

    This was an exceptional trip. Our guide Elly was very caring, had a great sense of humour,was incredibly well organised and ensured everything went smoothly.The itinerary was extremely varied but the pace of the trip was not too frenetic. The hotels were all very comfortable with lots of character.Seeing orang utans in the wild was a real highlight( saw 6 in total) in the jungles of Sumatra. What I particularly enjoyed was snorkelling in the seas off Rinca and Komodo.Whilst I primarily booked the trip to see the Komodo dragons the quality of the coral and abundance and variety of fish was magical.I have snorkelled and dived all over the world and this is the best I have ever seen.Swimming with 10 Manta rays was absolutely incredible.I would definitely recommend this trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming with manta rays

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have suitable sun protection for snorkelling .Buy an underwater camera

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend extending your trip to include Mt Bromo and Borobudur in Java and booking the rafting trips in Bali.
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