Explore the cultural and natural highlights of Java's historic city of Yogyakarta and the island of Bali on this eight-day trip. Begin by visiting Yogyakarta's shopping and night markets and discovering Borobudur Temple on a guided tour. Wander the UNESCO-listed Prambanan Temple Complex, then transfer to Bali and explore Ubud and the Tegalalang terraced rice fields, then visit a family-run Rumah Desa (village house) for a tour and traditional lunch. On your last day, say hello to the monkeys at Uluwatu Temple and enjoy the cliffside views.


  • Meet villagers, visit a local school, and hear traditional Gamelan music in Candi Rejo
  • Explore hundreds of temples and admire ancient sculptures in Prambanan Complex
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the ancient archaeological site of Pakerisan
  • See monkeys and stunning cliffside views at Uluwatu Temple in Bali

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Yogyakarta (Java), Explore Yogyakarta
Day 2 Visit Borobudur Temple & Discover Candi Rejo Village Yogyakarta
Day 3 See Prambanan, Taman Sari & the Underground Mosque, Ramayana Ballet Yogyakarta
Day 4 Fly to Ubud (Bali), Explore Ubud
Day 5 Explore Temples & Holy Springs, Visit the Tegalalang Rice Fields Ubud
Day 6 Cultural Immersion at a Rumah Desa, Explore Pura Taman Ayun Ubud
Day 7 Transfer to Jimbaran, Visit Uluwatu Temple Uluwatu
Day 8 Depart Bali  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1:  Arrive in Yogyakarta (Java), Explore

Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta
Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta on a foggy morning
Welcome to Java, Indonesia! When you arrive at the international airport in Yogyakarta, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Once you arrive, settle in and wander through the city to discover the culture and meet the locals. Be sure to check out Malioboro Street, the biggest shopping street in Yogyakarta, a giant bazaar ideal for buying souvenirs and small gifts. You can also explore the neighborhood of Alun Alun, a lively area frequented by domestic and foreign travelers. In the evening, take some time to enjoy a meal at one of the city's restaurants or night markets. 

Day 2: Visit Borobudur Temple & Discover Candi Rejo Village

Wander around the iconic stupas at Borobudur
Wander around the iconic stupas at Borobudur

Discover Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist temple, on a morning guided tour. Take in the eighth and ninth-century structure, which is shaped like a mandala and surrounded by volcanoes and 500 Buddha statues. Immerse yourself in the history and spirituality of the site as you admire its intricate architecture.

Later, prepare for an authentic village experience in Candi Rejo, where you'll have the opportunity to learn about the production of krupuk and tobacco. Then, take a bicycle or horseback ride and meet the villagers, followed by a visit to the local school for an introduction to Gamelan (traditional orchestral percussion) music. End your visit by enjoying a local lunch with your guide.
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Day 3: See Prambanan, Taman Sari & the Underground Mosque, Ramayana Ballet

Prambanan Temples
Side view of Prambanan Temple Complex

Step back in time on a unique tour of the ancient UNESCO-listed Prambanan Temple Complex, locally known as Roro Jonggrang. You'll explore 240 temples built in the ninth century, including the three main temples devoted to Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma—the tallest of which stands at 155 feet (47 m). As you wander through the complex, admire the exquisite sculptures and ancient artwork, which provide a perfect insight into the peaceful coexistence of Buddhism and Hinduism in this region.

Later, experience the fascinating history of Taman Sari, the palace of the early sultans. Trace the sultans' steps through the intricate palace grounds, and get a glimpse of how life was for the royal family in the past. Stop to admire the Underground Mosque and learn how and why it was built. Then, in the evening, immerse yourself in the traditional beauty of Indonesia by attending a Ramayana ballet performance. Witness 200 dancers and musicians playing the Gamelan as they tell the story of Rama and Sita.

Day 4: Fly to Ubud (Bali), Explore 

Sea of clouds by Mount Bromo
Sea of clouds surrounds Mount Bromo
Catch a domestic flight from Yogyakarta to Bali, enjoying the views of Mount Bromo from the plane. Once you arrive, transfer directly to your hotel in Ubud. Take some time to explore the city's charming streets and traditional attractions, such as Balinese fine arts, cultural dances, and music. If you're looking for a more active adventure, try an optional cooking class, spa treatment, or rafting trip to take in the area's lush forests and apple-green rice terraces. 

Day 5: Explore Temples & Holy Springs, Visit the Tegalalang Rice Fields

Gunung Kawi temple
The verdant landscape of Gunung Kawi temple

Discover Bali's rich culture and history with a visit to the ancient archaeological site of Pakerisan. Enjoy a guided tour of this unique site and explore the impressive collection of shrine reliefs carved into the rocks as you take in spectacular views of the valley below. Afterward, immerse yourself in the spiritual side of Balinese culture with a visit to the iconic Tirta Empul Temple. Explore the temple complex, and witness locals praying in the shrine and bathing in the "Holy Spring."

Learn about Balinese traditions as you observe locals using the 11 water spouts in the central courtyard for spiritual cleansing. The last two spouts are reserved for funeral rites. Then, head out to experience the iconic beauty of Tegalalang Rice Fields on a local tour. See the terraced paddies from high above as they weave around the valley. Trek down to learn about the unique water irrigation system the Balinese farmers use and take advantage of the great photo opportunities.

Day 6: Cultural Immersion at a Rumah Desa, Explore Pura Taman Ayun

Cultural Immersion and traditions at Rumah Desa
Immerse yourself in the cultural traditions at a village house in Bali

Start your Balinese morning with an interactive visit to a family-run Rumah Desa (village house). See unique agricultural techniques, tour the village rice fields and plantations, and finish with a traditional-style Balinese lunch.

In the afternoon, head over to Taman Ayun, which literally translates to "beautiful garden" and is generally regarded as one of the most attractive temples in Bali. The Taman Ayun temple is located near the village of Mengwi. It was built in 1634 by the Raja of Mengwi, I Gusti Agung Putu. At this Pura Kawiten (family temple), worshippers honor the deified ancestors of the Raja Dynasty of Mengwi.  

Day 7: Transfer to Jimbaran, Visit Uluwatu Temple

A view of Uluwatu Temple
A cliffside view of Uluwatu Temple

Travel to Jimbaran in the south of Bali via private transfer, a journey of about two hours. Settle into your accommodation, then head out to visit Uluwatu Temple, a striking building perched on a cliffside at 230 feet (70 m) above the sea. Take some time to wander around this temple dedicated to the Hindu god Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in his manifestation as Rudra. Enjoy spectacular views of waves crashing below the temple as you learn a little bit about its history. The temple is known for its monkey residents, so keep watch of anything you are carrying that isn't attached, and secure closures on personal items.

Day 8: Depart Bali

Diamond Beach Bali
Diamond Beach Bali
Say goodbye to Bali today! Your driver will wait for you in your hotel lobby to take you to Ngurah Rai International Airport. Have a safe flight!

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Map of Culture & Nature in Indonesia: Yogyakarta & Bali - 8 Days
Map of Culture & Nature in Indonesia: Yogyakarta & Bali - 8 Days