Explore the natural and cultural wonders of two of Indonesia's most diverse islands, Java and Borneo. This week-long trip begins with a day of cultural sightseeing in bustling Jakarta, then catch a flight to Borneo, where you'll board a boat for a jungle cruise through Tanjung Puting National Park. Visit an orangutan rehabilitation center and spot wild pigs and monkeys in their natural habitats, relaxing on the boat's deck at night. Then jet back to Java and spend the last few days of the trip touring colorful Yogyakarta and side-tripping to the world's largest Buddhist temple.

Highlights

  • Cruise through Borneo's jungle by boat
  • Explore the world's largest Buddhist temple
  • Look for orangutans and monkeys in the wild 
  • Visit glittering Sultans' palaces in Yogyakarta
  • Go cycling or horseback riding with locals in a small village

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Jakarta & Sightsee Jakarta, Java
Day 2 Navigate the Sekonyer River by Boat Kalimantan, Borneo
Day 3 Meet the Orangutans of Borneo Kalimantan, Borneo
Day 4 Transfer to Yogyakarta via Semarang Yogyakarta, Java
Day 5 Visit the Sultan Palace & Explore Yogyakarta Yogyakarta, Java
Day 6 Tour the Historic Borobudur Temple  Yogyakarta, Java
Day 7 Depart Yogyakarta, End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Jakarta & Sightsee

Looking out over a mosque in Jakarta
Welcome to Jakarta, the capital and largest city of Indonesia! This sprawling city is a melting pot of cultures, including Javanese, Arab, Malay, Chinese, Indian and European. After checking in at your hotel, go for a stroll through the historic center of Kota Tua, watch the old wooden boats in the harbor at Sunda Kelapa, and sample street food in the Chinatown-like district of Glodok. Get some rest before the next day's adventure begins.

Day 2: Navigate the Sekonyer River by Boat

River cruising in Borneo
River cruising in Borneo
Catch a quick flight to Pangkalan Bun in the morning. Welcome to Borneo! You'll transfer to your boat, where you'll meet the boat captain and get an overview of local wildlife before your journey begins. The boat ride takes you along the Sekonyer River, passing through Tanjung Puting National Park. Keep your eyes open for orangutans, monkeys, bush pigs, wild deer, and a diverse variety of birds. You'll enjoy a relaxing dinner on the boat in the evening.

Day 3: Meet the Orangutans of Borneo

A wild orangutan in the Borneo rainforest
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Have breakfast on board while navigating to Pondok Tanggui, home to an orangutan rehabilitation center. You'll learn about orangutans and have the chance to interact with them. Then continue navigating along the river to Camp Leakey, looking for crocodiles and other wildlife along the way. You'll go on a guided jungle hike in the afternoon to maximize your chances of seeing orangutans in their natural habitat. Back on the boat, you'll have dinner and see the night sky lit up by thousands of fireflies.

Day 4: Transfer to Yogyakarta via Semarang

An aerial view of a beach in Yogyakarta
In the morning, you'll cruise to the harbor of Kumai. Transfer to the airport to catch your flight to the island of Java, landing in Semarang, a bustling port city with a rich history. From Semarang, travel across the island by private car to  Yogyakarta, Java's cultural capital. After settling into your hotel, you'll go on a guided tour of Ullen Sentalu Museum to learn about the island's artistic traditions. Walk along the Code River, then stop in the alun-alun (a large open square) at sunset. For dinner, try a regional dish like nasi uduk (rice cooked in coconut milk with lemongrass, cloves, and cinnamon).

Day 5: Visit the Sultan Palace & Explore Yogyakarta

Yogykarta
The Sultan Palace in Yogyakarta

Today you'll start exploring the culture and traditions of Java. Start with a stroll around the historical sites of Yogyakarta, including the sacred temple of Prambanan, erected in the 9th century. This stunning temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to more than 200 shrines. Then visit the ornate Sultan Palace and the water palace of Taman Sari, a historic pleasure palace for Sultans. The complex includes an interesting underground mosque. Sample Indonesian cuisine in a local restaurant before getting some rest at your hotel. 

Day 6: Tour the Historic Borobudur Temple 

Borobudur Temple
One of the platforms at Borobudur Temple

In the early morning, begin your journey to the world's largest Buddhist temple. The famous Borobudur Temple, built between the 8th and 9th centuries, is located about 25 miles northwest of Yogyakarta. Roam around six terraces, three circular platforms, and 504 Buddha statues. Your guide will tell the story of this UNESCO World Heritage site. On the way back to town, stop in the village of Candi Rejo to learn about the production of tobacco. You'll also have a chance to ride a bicycle or a horse with villagers. Back in Yogyakarta, enjoy one last Indonesian dinner before the trip is over.

Day 7: Depart Yogyakarta, End of Trip

A view of Prambanan Temple

The trip ends today. Head to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!

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