Prepare to be dazzled by incredible Indonesia.
Get to know Indonesia from another – more varied – perspective on a dazzling 14-day escapade from Jakarta to Ubud. Discover both the current capital and cultural capital in Jakarta and Yogyakarta, hike up Mt Bromo for epic views over the countryside, meander through the lush jungles of Seloliman Nature Reserve in search of local wildlife, and cross the ditch to the north coast of Bali, with plenty of time to chill out on the sandy shores of Permuteran. This journey takes you from city to coast, jungle to market and temple to mountain, so take the plunge and get to know some of Indonesia’s hotspots in a more authentic way.
Why you’ll love this trip
- Embark on a cycling trip through the backcountry of Yogyakarta. A world of flower-studded fields and smiling locals, this cultural centre is one of South East Asia’s standout destinations.
- Take a guided walk through the jungle and rice paddies of Seloliman Nature Reserve, then sit back, relax and soak up the ambience under the stars as a small group.
- Climbing Mt Bromo in the early hours of the morning is an adventure to remember. If the conditions are right, you’ll be rewarded with a dazzling view over mist-laden volcanoes.
- Get behind the scenes of some of Java’s fascinating local industries – from coffee, cocoa and palm sugar to traditional Javanese medicine of jamu.
- Balance out all of the activity and adventure with plenty of time to chill out away from the crowds at beachside paradise of Pemuteran on Bali’s less-visited north coast.
Selamat datang! Welcome to Indonesia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. If you arrive early, why not check out some of Jakarta’s interesting museums, such as the Wayang (puppetry), Balai Seni Rupa (fine arts) and maritime museums. The National Museum is great for first-time visitors. For city monuments, don’t miss Si Jagur – an old Portuguese cannon ornately decorated with a disguised meaning, or the Monas (National Monument) dedicated to the spirit of the Indonesian people.
Familiarise yourself with the city on a full-day tour with your local guide. Take in Sunda Kelapa port – where the Dutch first landed, temple-filled Chinatown and the old town of Batavia. Visit a Chinese mansion (Chandra Naya) and gain an insight into the beautiful Peranakan architecture. Wander about Fatahillah Square, then explore the religious side of the city at Cathedral Church and Istiqlal Mosque – the largest mosque in South East Asia. Also, be sure to meander through the antique market at Jalan Surabaya.
Today there’s some distance to cover, so you will spend large chunk of the day travelling. Travel by train to Purwokerto City (approximately 5.5 hours), then take a private minibus to Pangandaran (approximately 3 hours). Pangandaran is a small fishing village popular with visitors looking for a coastal escape. The Penanjung Nature Reserve on the adjoining peninsula boasts some impressive flora and fauna, which you’ll see some of tomorrow!
Set off on a tour of the local surrounds, villages, cottage industries and the impressive Green Canyon. Your day trip begins with a stop at a local market to check out the produce and home industries such as palm sugar and rice cracker production, as well as the famous Javanese wayan golek (traditional wooden puppets). Then you’ll continue to the Green Canyon. Hop aboard your boat and travel upriver (approximately 30 minutes) through superb jungle scenery, before stopping for a swim up in the canyon itself. This spot, whose water is as green as its name suggests, is a popular hangout for locals, so take the opportunity to interact. Your day will take you to a nearby beach where you can have a break for lunch and swim in the afternoon before heading back to your accommodation.
Head inland by private minibus (approximately 1 hour) before catching a train to Yogyakarta (approximately 4 hours). This town is one of South East Asia’s real gems. It’s Java’s cultural heart, has a great atmosphere and is an Intrepid favourite. From batik workshops to the nearby Hindu and Buddhist temples, Yogya offers a great array of cultural avenues to explore.
Rise early to catch the morning light and avoid the crowds at Candi Borobudur – the largest Buddhist structure on earth. This magnificent World Heritage-listed site is set in a tranquil park. As you approach, you’ll see the enigmatic temple rise before you, looming amongst the tropical foliage. With your local guide, follow the route of ancient pilgrims, circling the mandala-shaped structure from the early realms towards Nirvana. It’s truly one of South East Asia’s treasures. Afterwards, enjoy an afternoon of free time. You might like to visit one of Yogya’s other heritage temples – this time perhaps of the Hindu faith. Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu complex in Java. This evening, perhaps catch a performance of the epic Ramayana Ballet – your leader will be able to check dates and availability for you.
Pedal out of the city on a cycling tour (approximately 6 km) through the rice fields and countryside surrounding Yogyakarta. See the locals in this area making various goods, from bricks to tofu and tempe. As well as palms and lush green grasslands, you will see the odd burst of yellow and pink flowers by the side of the road, which make for great photo opportunities. This cycling tour is on relatively flat ground, so it won’t be too strenuous. There will be ample time to take in all the interesting scenes of slow-paced local life. You will then have a free afternoon today and there are many activities for you to choose in Yogyakarta. Perhaps a cooking class to learn about Indonesian cuisine or salute to the sun with a yoga class – there is something for everyone!
Day 8: Seloliman Nature Reserve
Travel by train (approximately 4.5 hours) before transferring on a minivan (approximately 1 hour) to Seloliman Nature Reserve. The peaceful Seloliman Nature Reserve is situated on the slopes of the sacred volcano of Mt Penanggungan. Meet some of the volunteers working at the Seloliman Environmental Education Centre and eat delicious, locally grown organic produce cooked by their staff. The centre’s accommodation is atmospheric, even with open-air bathrooms built in harmony with the surrounding forest, so take this opportunity to relax. This is a beautiful spot to appreciate nature – be sure to sit under the stars tonight and take in the ambience of what’s around.
Day 9: Seloliman Nature Reserve – Mt Bromo
Join reserve staff on a walk around the reserve, learning about the local environment and the Javanese tradition of herbal medicine (approximately 2.5 hours). You’ll gain an insight into the region’s flora and fauna, traditional farming methods, rice production, the mini hydroelectricity plant and the local village coffee shop. Finish up with a traditional jamu demonstration and a tasting of this Javanese herbal medicine. Continue on to Mt Bromo – the timeless homeland of the Tenggerese (approximately 4 hours). The still-active volcano – standing at 2329 metres – is the most well-known of the Tengger massif. This region is also the homeland of the Tenggerese and the steep, cultivated hills of the Tengger Valley. Retire early tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s early start.
Day 10: Mt Bromo – Kalibaru
Your early start today (around 3 am) will be well worth it; trust us. First, drive to a lookout point in jeeps for sunrise over the sea of sands. If the weather is clear, the sunrise over this eerie sea of volcanoes is an unforgettable experience. Afterwards descend in your jeep to the sea of sands and climb up to the volcano crater to take a peek inside. The ascent is not too difficult (approximately 45 minutes), but it can be very cold, so don’t forget to bring extra layers of clothing. It’s also worth bringing a scarf to cover your nose and mouth, as it can get dusty. Return to the hotel to freshen up and then depart midmorning to Kalibaru in a private minivan (approximately 5.5 hours). You’ll stop for lunch en route, then arrive in the afternoon, with time to relax by the pool or perhaps indulge in a local massage.
Day 11: Kalibaru – Pemuteran
Head out early in the morning to tour nearby coffee, cocoa and rubber plantations. You’ll see how rubber is processed, how coffee is dried, and, if there’s time, how cocoa is fermented. Before you set off, enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea and snack on fried banana. Travel by minibus to the far eastern end of Java – Gilimanuk (approximately 3 hours). There is often a lot of heavy traffic on this stretch of road as it’s the main entry point for Bali, so there may be some delays. Next you’ll board a ferry across the Java Strait (approximately 1 hour), before boarding another minibus for a journey along the west coast of Bali (approximately 1 hour). Travel on to Pemuteran – your destination for the next two nights.
Enjoy a relaxing day in this gorgeous beachside location. Maybe start the day with a relaxing yoga class and then explore the local area at your own pace. You could visit the surrounding monkey-filled temples, go swimming off the coast, or think about booking in a snorkelling or diving expedition to the turquoise and marine life-rich waters of Menjangan Island. Otherwise, simply sit back, relax and watch the fishermen go about their day-to-day on one of the beaches.
Make the journey to Ubud (approximately 5 hours). En route, stop in at Taman Ayun Temple, taking in the impressive Balinese architecture while you stroll around the tranquil gardens. Ubud is Bali’s main arts and cultural centre – a thriving centre of markets, shops and warungs and close by to verdant rice terraces and lush jungles. With nature and wellbeing at its core, Ubud is a highland haven of Bali. It’s a wonderful place to experience the magic that has made Bali such a popular travel destination. Tonight, why not get a group of your travel pals together and find a local place to eat some traditional Balinese cuisine.
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. There is plenty to see and do if you’re staying longer. Hire a bicycle and explore the surrounding rice paddies and small villages, or visit galleries, museums and handicraft merchants in town. If you would like to spend more time in Ubud, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
13 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Ferry, Private vehicle, Taxi, 4WD, Train, Boat
Hotel (9 nights), Guest house (1 nights), Resort ( 3 nights)
- Jakarta – City tour
- Pangandaran – Green Canyon
- Pangandaran – Village & cottage industries tour
- Borobudur – Temple Tour
- Yogyakarta – Countryside cycling tour
- Seloliman Nature Reserve – Environmental Education Centre Visit
- Seloliman Nature Reserve – Environmental Education Centre Lunch
- Seloliman Nature Reserve – Environmental Education Centre Dinner
- Seloliman Nature Reserve – Guided Walk & Herbal Drink Tasting
- Mt Bromo – Sunrise climb
- Kalibaru – Coffee, Cocoa & Rubber Plantation Tour
- Mengwi – Taman Ayun Temple
Images courtesy of Intrepid Group
INT – TISE