Volcanoes & Temples of Indonesia

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Trip code: 
AOJ
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Delve into central Indonesia's rich culture and admire some of its most spectacular volcanoes.

Rice paddies give way to luxuriant jungles which coat towering volcanoes. Ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples bear witness to old and still vibrant cultures and traditions. The longest archipelago in the world made up of over 17,500 beach-fringed tropical islands, this is Indonesia. We journey through the geographical and spiritual heart of the country as we make our way through Muslim Java and Hindu Bali, taking in spectacular ruins, active volcanoes, village life and palm-fringed beaches.

Highlights

  • Ancient Borobudur and Prambanan
  • Watching the sun rise over Mt. Bromo
  • Lesser visited northern Bali

Key information

  • 2018 Itinerary
  • 7 nights standard hotels, 5 nights comfortable hotels, 1 nights basic hotels (where there are no other options)
  • Travel by minibus and ferry
  • Some long drives on good roads

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Yogyakarta.

    Today is a free day and land only passengers can arrive at any time. The group flights should arrive in the afternoon. Yogya, as the city is commonly referred to, is an ancient city which, a thousand years ago, was the centre of the Mataram Kingdom. Today it is Java’s cultural and traditional heart and is renowned for its batik, ballet, drama, poetry and music.
    Duta Garden Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    City tour; afternoon visit of Prambanan.

    This morning we explore Yogya by becak (bicycle rickshaw) and visit the Sultan’s Palace. Also known as Kraton, the palace constructed in the 18th Century is a fine example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. We continue to the ‘Taman Sari’ water palace and garden which was initially built with bathing pools for the Sultan’s harem.

    This afternoon we visit the 9th century Prambanan temple compound, consisting of 224 temples. The Hindu temple complex is stunningly beautiful, and devoted to the gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. It is the wealth of its sculptural details that these temples are known for, the most famous being on the inner wall of the balustrade, of the Ramayana epic.
    Duta Garden Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Explore the temples of Borobudur.

    Today we drive to Magelang 1.5hrs away where we visit one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world, Borobudur. Scholars disagree on exactly when it was constructed but many speculate it dates back to between the 7th and 8th centuries. They do agree, however, that a huge workforce must have laboured to move and carve the 55,000 cubic metres of stone and that construction took about one hundred years. The temple was abandoned, probably when the population converted to Islam in the 15th century, and over time it was blanketed by volcanic ash from nearby Mt. Merapi, and then covered in thick jungle growth, until the British rediscovered it in the 1800s.

    Continuing to the village of Candirejo, we get to experience local life with a horse cart ride. Known as dokar, the horse cart takes us through this peaceful, charming village with its small lanes lined with traditional houses. We stop to see local activities such as making cassava crackers, playing the gamelan (traditional instrument) and harvesting and drying vanilla and chili.

    Return to Yogya late afternoon.
    Duta Garden Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Train ride through Central Java and on to Batu.

    Today is a long day. We get up very early this morning in order to catch our train for a 4hr train journey past Central Java’s volcanic scenery to Mojokerto. From here we visit nearby Trowulan, site of the former capital of the Majapahit Kingdom who ruled Java for centuries. We visit the archaeology museum and the temples of Candi Bajang Ratu and Candi Tikus. Continue to Jombang for a late lunch before transferring (4hrs) to the Hill Station of Batu along a scenic mountain road around the western slopes of Mt. Arjuna via Pare.
    Kampung Lumbung Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Bromo Volcano; Sand Sea exploration.

    As we leave Batu, our first stop is the Cuban Rondo Waterfall where we will take a short, easy walk. Continuing to Malang we visit a local market before heading north towards Bromo via Pasuruan and Probolinggo (please be aware that the market is primarily a flower, bird and live fish market, however Indonesian attitudes to animals means that some of the animals are not kept in the best conditions which may be distressing to some people). At Sukapura we switch to a local shuttle for the final leg of our journey. Our hotel is spectacularly located on the edge of the Tengger crater. The ascent of the volcano is usually the highlight of every visit to Java. The rest of the afternoon is free and there may be time to start exploring the Sand Sea by foot. This is a great time to visit as the Sand Sea is practically devoid of all people.(drive about 6.5hrs)
    Lava View Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Sunrise over crater; to Kalibaru.

    An early rise (3.00 am) will ensure we have enough time for the jeep ride to the sunrise viewpoint. The view of Bromo and the Semeru volcano in the back is fantastic (despite the crowds), made even better when the slowly rising sun reveals an amazing moon-like landscape. After sunrise we cross the Sea of Sand and climb 246 steps up to the cone of Mt Bromo where you can see smoke rising from the crater. We get back to the jeep and drive back to the hotel for breakfast. We rejoin our bus in Sukapura for the 6hr drive along the north coast to Kalibaru. We stop along the way for a late lunch near Jember and the final leg of the journey takes us through forests and mountains. Kalibaru, on the eastern tip of Java, is beautifully surrounded by coffee, cacao and rubber plantations.
    Margo Utomo Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Plantation and village walk; optional Ijen visit.

    This morning we visit the area including some of the plantations such as cacao, coffee, pepper and rubber, and learn about their growing and harvesting. The morning tour is concluded with a coffee tasting session. The afternoon is free.

    Those who want can opt to visit Ijen Volcano (optional extra). Heading off either in the early hours (for sunrise) or after breakfast (if not going for sunrise) the drive by 4WD to the start hike takes about 2.5hrs. The hike starts from Paltuding at 1,850m and takes about 1.5hrs (3kms) up to the crater rim at 2,368m. Along the way you may cross local men carrying sulphur loads weighing up to 70kgs on their backs. From the top you can enjoy views of the steaming, acidic crater lake. We return the same way. Please note that the trail down to the ‘blue fire’ is considered too dangerous.
    Margo Utomo Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    To Pemuteran in Bali, via Pulaki Temple.

    The drive to the harbour takes about 2hrs and is followed by a crossing of about 45mins to Bali (though depending on schedules we may be waiting 30mins-1hr for the ferry to depart). As Bali is one hour ahead we should arriving at Gilimanuk harbour late morning. Our destination for today is only a short drive away but we first visit the Pulaki Temple. This Hindu shrine is situated in front of a hill overlooking a beautiful beach. The temple is guarded by a troop of Longtailed macaques who, according to local lore, protect the temple from bad influences.

    From here we continue to our beach-front hotel in Pemuteran on Bali’s north coast. The rest of the day is free to relax, enjoy the beach, snorkel amongst the Bio-Rock garden in the waters just off the beach (a series of cement and wire sculptures and formations placed in the bay to encourage the growth of coral), or make use of the spa.
    Adi Assri Cottages or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Optional Menjangan Snorkelling; to Ubud.

    This morning is free with the option of going on a snorkelling trip to Menjangan Island off the north coast of Bali, part of the West National Park. The reefs around the island are reputed to be the best in all of Bali. The excursion includes some time snorkelling around the coral gardens as well as a short walk on the island itself where you may see some deer.

    After lunch we depart the coast and head into the interior of the island. We visit Ulun Danu Temple, an important Hindu Shiviaite water temple located on a small jut of land within the calm waters of Lake Beratan. When the water levels are high (mostly during the rainy season), this 17th century temple looks as though it’s floating on the lake. From here we continue to Bali’s cultural and traditional heartland, the vibrant town of Ubud. 
    Sahadewa Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Free day in and around Ubud.

    Ubud gets its name from the Balinese word ubad (medicine); the town was originally important as a source of medicinal herbs and plants, but these days is known for its artistic community, awash with artists' workshops and art galleries. Ubud's history can be traced back to the eighth century, when a Buddhist priest came to Bali from Java, he meditated at the confluence of the two Wos rivers at Campuan, just west of the modern day town centre. A shrine was established and later expanded by Nirartha, a Javanese priest who is regarded as the founder of Bali's religious practices and rituals as we know them today. When Ubud became a Dutch protectorate at its own request, the colonialists interfered little, allowing the traditional arts and culture of the area to remain relatively unchanged. From the 1930s onwards western artists and intellectuals arrived furthering the local art scene, amongst them Charlie Chaplin and H.G. Wells. Ubud is still a haven for literati, glitterati and art collectors.

    Today is a free day to explore Ubud, wander around Monkey Forest, take in some of the museums, visit some of the temples, do a spot of shopping or sit in cafes and watch the world go by.
    Sahadewa Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Rice terraces and temples of central Bali.

    Our first stop today is at some of Bali’s famed rice terraces at Tegalalang before continuing on a tour visiting two ancient and important temples: Gunung Kawi and Tirta Empul. 11th century Gunung Kawi is set amidst lush rice paddies and features ten rock-cut ‘candis’ (shrines) carved into the cliff-face. They combine elements of Hindu and Buddhist temple attributes and are accessed via numerous stairs.

    Tirta Empul is a place where Balinese Hindus come to bathe in the holy waters and wash bad spirits away.

    From here it’s on to the village of Kintamani located on the caldera rim of a huge, ancient volcano. This is the best spot, weather permitting, for views of Mount Batur, the active volcano towering over Lake Batur.

    The rest of the day is free.

    Hotel Segara or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Mt Batur; on to Sanur.

    For those who wish to do the optional sunrise hike to the top of Mt. Batur (see money section for prices), the day starts at around 4am for the short transfer to the start of the trail. After meeting the local guides and getting a safety briefing we start the hike to the summit. The 2kms hike takes about 2hrs and goes through jungle before reaching a windswept rocky pathway devoid of almost all vegetation. Whilst not too challenging the walk is a sustained 2hrs+ uphill along mostly fairly steep trails and a reasonable physical condition is needed.

    Reaching the summit (1717m) a hot drink and simple breakfasts keeps us occupied as we wait for the sun to rise over Mt. Rinjani on neighbouring Lombok (which can be seen on clear days).

    After the sunrise head back down via a small steep path on the western slope of Mt. Batur and stop off at a 2nd crater from the 2001 eruption. Lower down the trail is the youngest 1999 crater with a smoking cone. We observe the lava field surrounding the volcano and trek across a black lava sea of sand to the finishing point from where we return to the hotel to rest. The whole excursion normally takes 5-6hrs.

    Those not wanting to do the optional Mt. Batur hike still get to experience the volcano as we head on a 2-3hr walk starting from the rim of the Batur Caldera and descending through black lava fields. We learn more about the Batur Geopark and take in some of the region’s panoramic views. We depart the hotel for this walk around 07:30 and are back by about 10:00 for breakfast (having had a small refreshment along the way.

    After lunch we check out and make our way to the southern Bali beach resort town of Sanur stopping Goa Lawah Temple on the way.

    Swastika Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Free day in Sanur.

    We end our two-week exploration of Java and Bali with a well-deserved day on the beach in Sanur. This popular resort is more relaxed than some of the other beaches in southern Bali but still offers a number of activities as well as just unwinding and enjoying the restaurants and cafes. As well as relaxing, maybe with a final massage, there are numerous optional activities both on the water and inland, these can change so will be discussed with you in Bali.

    Swastika Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Bali.

    For land only passengers the trip ends this morning after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be taken the short distance to Denpasar Airport in time for their flight home and anyone doing the Gili extension will be taken to the harbour in time for the boat across.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Gili Extension

Extend your adventure with our perfectly designed Gili extension.

Only a short boat ride away the Gili islands epitomise tropical paradise with white sand, palm trees and warm waters teeming with rays, sharks and all kinds of marine life.

Spend a couple days snorkelling, diving or just relaxing by the turquoise sea and taking in the atmosphere on Gili Air.

This is a 4 day extension; you will spend 3 nights in a 7Seas cottage right by the beach. The best place to jump out of bed and into the sea in the morning.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Essential Info

Visas

Indonesia

Many nationalities, including British, can now get a visa free of charge upon arrival at Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Batam, Bali and Yogyakarta. Where a free visa is not available the cost is generally US$35. The Indonesian government may change the visa policy on short notice and start charging for the visas so be prepared to pay for a visa in case this happens.

Vaccinations

Indonesia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential if your trip goes to Flores, Komodo, parts of Sumatra, Kalimatan or Sulawesi but not for Java, Bali or Lombok. and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. For the latest information please visit our Zika Virus page.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts

Food is cheap in Indonesia and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is available in Yogyakarta and Bali, though it is well worth trying the local cuisine. Peanuts are a popular ingrediant especially in dishes such as sate or gado gado and you should inform Exodus and your tour leader if you have a peanut alergy. Nasi (rice) and Mie (noodles) are very popular, especially the staple dish Nasi Goreng (fried rice). The cuisine does vary between Java and Bali and Ubud in particular has some excellent restaurants. Quite often tea or water (aqua) is drunk with a meal. Beer is not always cold and coffee is unfiltered and usually very sugary.

Weather

Indonesia has an equatorial monsoon climate with the weather remaining similar throughout the year. It is hot and humid; temperatures range from 23-33ºC during the day and rarely drop below 20ºC at night. In the mountains temperatures are much cooler and on the coast sea breezes usually keep temperatures comfortable. In most parts of Indonesia the long rainy season falls between late October and early May, though rain occurs throughout the year. Rain tends to come in sudden tropical downpours.

Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta

Is this trip for you?

Indonesia is a massive country and whilst this tour focuses on Central and Eastern Java and Bali, there is still a considerable amount of ground to cover in just over 2 weeks but the itinerary is scheduled in such a way as to not feel too rushed and there are various activities scheduled every day. Most drives are reasonably short lasting between 2 and 5 hrs. There are, however, longer drives including from Bromo to Kalibaru (8hrs). The longest day is from Yogyakarta to Batu, however this day is broken up by mixing modes of transport as we use a train as well as a bus and stop for some sightseeing along the way. The walks through villages and rice paddies are not strenuous and are accessible to everyone. If you want to do the optional sunrise hike on Mt. Batur you need to be of reasonable fitness as it takes 2-3hrs to climb to the summit but it is not a challenging hike.  Those who wish to get up for the sunrise over Bromo and for the Ijen and Batur optional hikes will be getting up in the very early hours (around 3 or 4am). When travelling in some areas of the country, service may not be as fast or reliable as you are used to in other countries and Indonesian attitudes towards certain things such as animal welfare and food may differ from your own. That said, if you come ready for an experience the country's rewards will not fail to deliver.

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Standard and Comfortable Hotels

We stay in a range of hotels ranging from standard to comfrotable though we do have one night (on Mt. Bromo) in a basic hotel (as there are very limited options). All properties have en suite bathrooms and wifi should be available almost everywhere. It is possible to do laundry in any place where we stay two nights.

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

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Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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