Java & Bali Explorer

From AU$ 3670 22 Days
  • Indonesia
  • Max 12 passengers
  • Jakarta Ubud
  • Train, Taxi, Private minibus, Ferry
  • Hotel (20 nts), Guesthouse (1 nt)
22 days From AU$ 3670


Discover a nation of incredible contrasts and magical landscapes as we scale earthly volcanoes and explore pre-historic jungles, then relax on Bali’s stunning beaches, and snorkel in pristine tropical waters. This 22 Day Java and Bali Explorer is a fantastic way to experience the natural beauty and warming culture of Indonesia. Leave the tourist buses behind and discover the local way of life on this famous archipelago, as we leave the tourist strip, jump on bikes and head to rice paddies, tea plantations and remote villages. Feel the pride within as we conquer two volcanic mountains, Mt Bromo and Mt Batur, to be rewarded with spectacular sunrises.  Discover that there is more to Indonesia than simply an island holiday destination, as we minge with the locals, discovering its rich cultural heritage, witness traditional dance performances and visit ornate temples. From the hectic Jakarta to the back alleys of Ubud, and the volcanic mountains to pristine beaches, the islands of Bali and Java are Indonesia’s most celebrated duo, you are sure to be impressed at every turn as we discover a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, rolling hills and dynamic cities.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Jakarta

Your 22 Day adventure of a lifetime begins this evening with a welcome meeting at the hotel.   Feel free to arrive anytime today, check into your room, leave your bag and get out and explore Jakarta at leisure, just make sure you are back in time for the important meeting this evening.  If you arrive early, 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 sexual imagery, or the Monas (National Monument) dedicated to the spirit of the Indonesian people.


Day 2 Jakarta

We head out as a group this morning, to check out the city on walking tour with a local guide.  We discover Sunda Kelapa port, where the Dutch first landed, temple-filled Chinatown and the old town of Batavia. We also visit a Chinese mansion (Chandra Naya) and gain an insight into the beautiful Peranakan architecture. We explore Fatahillah Square, before heading to the religious side of the city at Cathedral Church and Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in South-East Asia. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, you may wish to search for a bargain by exploring the antique market at Jalan Surabaya.

Day 3 Jakarta to Pangandaran

We board a train this morning and head to Pukuwerto City, before heading to Pangandaran on a private minibus.  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.

Day 4 Pangandaran

Today we enjoy a tour of the local surrounds, villages, cottage industries and the impressive green canyon. We begin our day at a local market to check out the produce and discover the regions industries such as palm sugar and rice cracker production, as well as the famous Javanese 'Wayan Golek' (traditional wooden puppets).We then make our way to the Green Canyon, where we board a boat and travel up river through superb jungle scenery, before swimming into the canyon itself. This idyllic spot, which boasts beautiful green water, is a popular hangout for locals, so take the opportunity to interact. Afterwards we head to a nearby beach where we stop for lunch and enjoy the afternoon swimming before heading back to Pangandaran.

Day 5 Pangandaran to Yogyakarta

This morning we head inland by private minibus before catching a train to Yogyakarta.  Mingle with the locals, maybe practice your newfound language skills as we travel alongside the locals on our way to Java’s cultural heart and one of South-East Asia's real gems. From batik workshops to the nearby Hindu and Buddhist temples, you will be impressed by the vast array of cultural avenues that 'Yogya' offers.

Day 6 Yogyakarta

This morning we rise early to catch the morning light and avoid the crowds at Candi Borobudur, the largest Buddhist structure on earth. This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site is set in a tranquil park, and as we approach, we will witness enigmatic temple rising before us as it looms above the tropical foliage.  With a local guide, we 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. In the afternoon we enjoy time at leisure to rest and relax or to visit one of Yogya's other heritage temples, such as Prambanan Temple, the largest Hindu complex in Java.

Day 7 Yogyakarta

Today we continue exploring Yogyakarta, however  today we enjoy the slow pace of our own pedal power as we pedal out of the city through the rice fields and countryside surrounding Yogyakarta. We witness locals making various goods, from bricks to tofu to tempe. Make sure your camera is handy as the landscape will impress with tall palms and lush green grasslands, as well as the odd burst of yellow and pink flowers by the side of the road, todays slow paced cycling tour is a perfect way to take it all in.

Day 8 Yogyakarta to Seloliman Nature Reserve

Mingle with the locals again, as we board a train towards Seloliman Nature Reserve. The peaceful Seloliman Nature Reserve is situated on the slopes of the sacred Penanggungan volcano, and we enjoy the chance to meet some of the volunteers working at the Seloliman Environmental Education Centre, which is where we will spend the night   We enjoy eating delicious, locally grown organic produce cooked by their staff, and enjoy the ambience of the forest with the accommodation built in harmony with the surrounding forest. This is the perfect spot to appreciate nature and sit under the stars taking in the ambience of the magical surrounds.

Day 9 Seloliman Nature Reserve to Mt Bromo

Pull on your hiking boots this morning as we enjoy a walk around the reserve with a local guide, learning about the local environment and the Javanese tradition of herbal medicine.  We also learn about the mini hydroelectricity plant that the reserve boasts before enjoying a visit to the local village coffee shop and finishing up with a traditional Jamu demonstration and a tasting of 'Javanese medicine'.   Afterwards we make our way to the still active Mt Bromo (2,329 m) the most well known volcano of the Tengger massif.  This region is also the homeland of the Tenggerese and the steep, cultivated hills of the Tengger Valley. Tonight we head to bed early, in preparation for tomorrow's early start.

Day 10 Mt Bromo  to Kalibaru

We begin our day at 3.30am, as we pull on our hiking boots and get ready to climb a nearby hill for fantastic views over Mt Bromo. The climb is not too difficult, 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. Your early rise will be worth it as you are rewarded with fantastic views and if the weather is clear, the sunrise over this eerie sea of volcanoes is an unforgettable experience. After descending back down to our accommodation we jump on a bus and head to Probolingo, where we board a train to Kalibaru.  We stop for lunch en route, arriving into Kalibaru in the afternoon, with time to relax by the pool or perhaps indulge in a local massage.

Day 11 Kalibaru to Balian Beach

Enjoy another early start (although it will seem like a sleep in after yesterday’s early start) as we head out early this morning and make our way to nearby coffee, cocoa and rubber plantations. Enjoy learning how rubber is processed, how coffee is dried, and, if there's time, how cocoa is fermented.   This is the perfect place to enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea and snack on fried banana. We then jump on a minibus and head to the far eastern end of Java, Gilimanuk. Keep in mind that 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. We then board a ferry across the Java Strait, before boarding another minibus for a journey along the west coast of Bali.  We stop at the Segara Urip Turtle Conservation Centre and spend some time learning about the important work done here before continuing onto Balian Beach, our home for the next two nights and home to some beautiful sunsets. Notes: Due to the program at the Segara Urip Turtle Conservation Centre, it is unlikely that there will be turtles to view during your visit.

Day 12 Balian Beach

This is the perfect place to relax, so today we enjoy a day at leisure relaxing in this gorgeous beachside spot. We begin the day with a relaxing yoga class and then explore the local area at your own pace. You may wish to visit the surrounding monkey-filled temples, go swimming, or simply sit back, relax and watch the fishermen go about their work.

Day 13 Balian Beach to Ubud

This morning we make the short trip to Ubud, stopping along the way at Taman Ayun Temple, taking in the impressive Balinese architecture while strolling around the tranquil gardens. We then continue to Ubud, Bali's main arts and cultural centre, recently made famous by the Hollywood movie Eat Pray Love. It's a wonderful place to experience the magic that has made Bali such a popular travel destination.

Day 14 Ubud

Enjoy a day at leisure in the relaxed atmosphere of Ubud to rest and relax or explore at your own pace.  This evening we will have some new travel mates joining us, so after a day of exploring, take the chance to meet the new travellers at the evening welcome meeting. After the meeting, you may wish to welcome some of the newcomers by heading out to Gianyar night market to try some of the local cuisine; this is a great way to get a taste of the local culture and delicious cuisine.

Day 15 Ubud

This morning we enjoy exploring Ubud on foot. Led by our local guide, we will see the goings-on of daily village life, rice fields, an alang alang valley (wild grass that is used for making the roof on traditional buildings), and visit a local painting and handicraft area. We finish the tour in central Ubud, and enjoy some free time to explore the many cafes, galleries and shops found here.   Afterwards we head to Bumi Sehat, a local community-based health clinic whose mission is to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality. Tonight we sit down to a traditional Kecak dance performance, you are sure to be left in awe as we experience this beautiful performance which is driven not by musical instruments but by human chanting, sure to be a trip highlight.

Day 16 Ubud to Sidemen

We jump on bikes this morning and explore the backstreets, quaint villages and rice fields surrounding Ubud with our own pedal power. This slower pace gives us the chance to stop for photos, chat to locals and visit some of the small and intricately carved temples. After finishing the bike tour in Ubud, we then jump in a minivan and head for the hills and the village of Sidemen. Set against a backdrop of Bali's highest peak, Mt Agung, the peaceful and friendly village of Sidemen is proof that Bali has pockets which are tucked away from the tourism the island is famous for. It's a little cooler up here, thanks to the elevation.


Day 17 Sideman to Mt Batur

Enjoy starting the day with a village walk around Sidemen, stopping by to visit the craftspeople of the local songket weaving industry. We are treated to a traditional 'bungkus' lunch on the walk and admire the beautiful scenery as we explore the area. The walk also offers the opportunity to cool off in the river nearby, the perfect reward for a mornings walk. After our walk we continue our journey higher into the mountains, as we drive along the crater rim road to a fishing village on the edge of Lake Batur. Volcanic Mt Batur (1,717 m) sits inside a stark and spectacular caldera, and with Lake Batur below it's a stunning sight. The lake supports the local fishing industry, while many of the villagers work as guides for the volcano climb. Tonight we sleep at a basic hotel at the base of Mt Batur, a fantastic location at which to start tomorrow's early morning trek without extra travelling time.

Day 18 Mt Batur to Lovina

Our second really early start(3am) of the trip is worth the effort as we pull on our hiking boots and grab a warm coat s we begin our walk to the summit of Mt Batur.   It is not a long walk, however we rise early to witness a gorgeous sunrise over the valleys of Bali. On a clear morning, it's possible to see all the way across the Lombok Strait to the peaks of Lombok's Mt Rinjani. This may well be one of the most memorable parts of your trip. Do keep in mind, however, that the weather can be unpredictable and sometimes the view is obscured by clouds.  After sunrise we begin the decent down the volcano, where you may wish to reward your morning’s efforts with a relaxing soak in some stunning hot springs with fantastic views over the lake and caldera. After we are all refreshed and relaxed we leave the mountains and head to the small coastal town of Lovina. You may be lucky enough to spot one of the dolphins that patrol Lovina’s coastline. Lovina is also a great spot to indulge in fine food, traditional massage and yoga.


Day 19 Lovina

This morning we leave the mountains and head to the beach for a day of snorkelling on Menjangan Island reef.  We enjoy a short boat ride from the coast, and head to Menjangan Island, which together with the surrounding coral reef is part of the Bali Barat National Park. After a morning of snorkelling we return to Lovina in the afternoon, where we enjoy some free time to explore the sun-drenched coastline. Just be careful of rubbish in the water if you go swimming, as this can be a problem after bouts of stormy weather in the waters around Menjangan, as in other coastal areas in Bali. Notes: Intrepid no longer supports dolphin-watching trips as an optional activity, as there is little regulation of them, and many previous travellers have raised concerns over sightings of motorised boats pursuing dolphins.

Day 20 Lovina to Bedugul

We start our day off with a steamy visit to the small, but local Banjar Hot Springs. After a relaxing soak we head to the tiny hilltop village of Munduk, where we enjoy a scenic walk through clove and coffee plantations to a hidden waterfall. We then head to the nearby Lake Bratan, where we are treated to delightful views of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a Hindu-Buddhist temple set on a small island in the lake. Afterwards we make our way to the mountain town of Bedugul, nestled in the cool and misty highlands, in a volcanic lake region, it is a mystical region covered in lush vegetation. Your warm clothes may come in handy for early mornings and evenings here.


Day 21 Bedugal to Sanur

This morning we head to the Bali Botanical Gardens in Bedugal, where over 2000 species of plants from all over Indonesia are on display in a tranquil highland setting. Afterwards we make our way to Sanur where we enjoy spending the afternoon at leisure.  You may wish to use this free time to explore Sanur’s sandy white beach, which stretches along the coast for five kilometres, sheltered by reef making it a perfect swimming beach. Take the time to stroll along Bali's first beachfront walk, chat with the locals as they too enjoy the sea and sun, watch the fishermen in the shallows or kick back and relax at one of the beachside restaurants. Sanur maintains its traditions and local customs and ancient temples are only a hop, skip and a jump from the beach.  As this is a combination trip, your group leader and travel friends may change here, so take the opportunity to bid farewell to those leaving and meet any newcomers at this evening’s group meeting.


Day 22 Sanur

This morning we enjoy our last group breakfast before our 22 Day Java and Bali Explorer sadly comes to an end.  On check out of the hotel this morning you can rest assured knowing that you will be left with amazing memories of an adventure of a lifetime as you hiked, cycled, snorkelled and swam your way around Java and Bali, meeting locals as you explored, ventured into scared temples, scaled volcanic mountains, experienced the smells and tastes of spice plantations and relaxed on some of the most pristine beaches in the world, all whilst making great friends as you explored this colourful country.


Notes: The volcanic activity has increased recently at Mt Bromo, and the crater has been closed until further notice. There may be amendments to your sunrise hike of Mt Bromo, depending on safety precautions.




  • Hotel (20 nts), Guesthouse (1 nt)
  • Train, Taxi, Private minibus, Ferry

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