- Visit six Buddhist and Hindu temples around Yogyakarta
- Hike through tea plantations in Surakarta (Solo)
- See the lunar-like landscape around Mount Bromo, an active volcanic caldera
- Explore Bali's rich nature and culture in a vintage VW convertible
|Arrive in Yogyakarta, Free Time & Optional Candirejo Village Tour
|Visit Kota Gede District & See Three Temples, Optional Ramayana Show
|Explore Temples & Yogyakarta Market
|Private Transfer to Surakarta, Stop at Mangkunegaran Palace
|Discover Surakarta's Tea Plantations & Temples
|Train to Mount Bromo in East Java
|Sunrise Trek to Mount Bromo, Transfer to Kalibaru
|Explore Kalibaru Plantations & Muncar Port, Transfer to Ijen
|Trek to Mount Ijen & Transfer to Ubud
|Ubud VW Safari Car Tour
Day 1: Arrive in Yogyakarta, Free Time & Optional Candirejo Village Tour
Welcome to Yogyakarta! Your driver will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Depending on what time you land, you may prefer to simply sit back and settle in before enjoying dinner. For those looking for some immediate adventure, head out into the city and begin to explore Indonesia's cultural capital. Streets decorated with striking graffiti and urban art, coffee shops, charming restaurants by the handful, and temples dotted across the skyline… There's plenty to see here!If you have extra time today, enjoy an optional visit to the charming village of Candirejo, which you can explore by horse cart. Travel along narrow lanes lined with traditional houses and stop to see village activities, like playing gamelan (traditional ensemble music), making cassava crackers, and harvesting and drying vanilla and chili. You can get a great insight into the life of the villagers by observing their everyday tasks.
Day 2: Visit Kota Gede District & See Three Temples, Optional Ramayana Show
This morning, you'll visit Kota Gede, a historic neighborhood in Yogyakarta, which was once the center of the powerful Mataram Kingdom. Take a walk through the remains of the palace, royal cemetery, royal mosque, and defensive walls and moats, while admiring the traditional joglo houses. Later, head outside the city to discover the temples of Sewon and Plasoan, majestic Buddhist temples located in Bugisan village, which are neighbors of the Prambanan Temple Complex. Experience the magic of the complex, which was built in the 9th century, as you admire its exquisite sculptures and ancient artwork.In the evening, you have the option of going to dinner at the Puri Wisata Theater in Prambanan to watch a performance of the Ramayana in traditional costume. The Ramayana is a Sanskrit epic consisting of 48,000 verses telling the story of Rama, son of King Dasaratha, who sets off in search of his wife, who was abducted by the demon Ravana. This is one of the fundamental writings of Hindu mythology.
Day 3: Explore Temples & Yogyakarta Market
The next day, you'll head off on a short trip to Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist temple, and a visit not to be missed! This famous temple dates from the eighth and ninth centuries and was built in the style of a mandala, which symbolizes the universe according to Buddhist teachings. Afterward, continue to Pawon Temple. This tiny temple was designed as a place to keep King Indra's weapon, called the Vajranala (Flaming Thunderbolt), and also contains a Buddha statue.
Then, head to Mendut Temple, older than both Borobudur and Pawon. This temple is home to an exquisitely carved 10-foot (3 m) high statue of the Buddha. When you've finished exploring, return to Yogyakarta for the evening. If you are a lover of culinary discoveries, a small tour of the city's local market will delight you. Enjoy the local food stalls, herbal drinks, and spices.
Day 4: Private Transfer to Surakarta, Stop at Mangkunegaran Palace
Your driver will pick you up at your Yogyakarta hotel in the morning, and you'll travel by car to Surakarta, also known as Solo. Along the way, stop and visit Mangkunegaran Palace, a remarkable repository for art objects, writings, and Javanese documents.
You will also have the pleasure of driving through local villages and watching the life of the locals. Let your private driver know if you want to stop to take a closer look at the villages. Once you arrive in Surakarta, spend the evening settling into your hotel and getting your first look at this historic capital city.
Day 5: Discover Surakarta's Tea Plantations & Temples
The next morning, enjoy an easy hike through the tea plantations on the verdant hills surrounding Surakarta. You may have the chance to observe the tea pickers as they go about their daily activities.
Later, you'll visit Sukuh Temple, decorated with puppet-shaped bas-reliefs, which is the only erotic temple in Java. Afterward, enjoy a bumpy but scenic drive to Cetho Temple, whose 13 terraces are spread out to the top of a hill. Here, you'll discover a splendid panorama of the nearby Mount Merapi, the most active volcano in Indonesia.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Train to Mount Bromo in East Java
Your driver will take you to the Surakarta train station. From there, you'll take the train from Surakarta to Jombang. Another driver will pick you up at Jombang Station and take you to your hotel at the foot of Mount Bromo.
After you arrive, you can relax in your room or by the hotel pool or explore the surrounding area. You may want to go to bed early, as you'll be heading off very early tomorrow to see the sun rise over Mount Bromo.
Day 7: Sunrise Trek to Mount Bromo, Transfer to Kalibaru
Wake at 2 am for your Mount Bromo adventure. You'll set off by Jeep to the top of Mount Penanjakan, which looks over the Sea of Sand caldera, home to five volcanoes, including Mount Bromo. Watch the early-morning mist evaporate to reveal panoramic views of the sun rising over Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.
Afterward, climb back into your Jeep and descend to the Sea of Sand for a different perspective of this lunar-like landscape. This is the base for your hike up Mount Bromo, which soars 7,641 feet (2,329 m) above sea level. When you reach the summit, look down into Bromo's smoldering caldera before continuing your journey to King Kong Hill for more spectacular views. Once you've wrapped up your hiking adventure, your driver will take you from Mount Bromo to Kalibaru, located in Banyuwangi regency.
Day 8: Explore Kalibaru Plantations & Muncar Port, Transfer to Ijen
Today you will discover the plantations around Kalibaru. Coffee, rubber, cocoa, and sugar cane are grown daily here by the locals. They will be happy to help you learn about—and participate in—their activities. Watch them climb the coconut trees to get you a delicious fresh coconut to sip on the spot! Along the way, make a stop at the traditional fishing port of Muncar, one of the largest in East Java. Boats with bright colors and many flags are lined up along the quays by the hundreds.
When you've finished the excursion, your driver will take you to the Ijen area. In the evening, a guide will visit you at the hotel to help you prepare for your hike the next morning. Rest well, as you'll be up early!
Day 9: Trek to Mount Ijen & Transfer to Ubud
Set out before sunrise with a local guide to discover Mount Ijen, a sulfur-mining site famed for its dancing blue flames and acid crater lake, which is the largest in the world. While climbing Mount Ijen, you'll see sulfur miners carrying baskets of yellow crystals, which they extract from the edge of the lake. The three-hour hike takes you through the forest and past the milky-green lake. At the crater top, watch the blue flames created by burning volcanic gases and molten sulfur. Ijen is the only place on the planet where this otherworldly phenomenon occurs naturally.
After the trek, head to Banyuwangi Port to catch the ferry to Bali, which takes around 45 minutes. The most famous of Indonesia's 17,000 islands, Bali is loved for its surf-friendly beaches, lush rice paddies, towering volcanoes, and traditional temples. You'll transfer directly to Ubud in the cooler upland plains of the island. This bohemian town is known for its temple ceremonies, dance displays, and exquisite handicrafts. Explore the leafy streets and enjoy dinner with views of the surrounding rice paddies. Ubud is a great place to try typical Balinese dishes, such as babi guling, roast suckling pig.
Day 10: Ubud VW Safari Car Tour
Discover the highlights around Ubud in style on a vintage VW convertible tour. Start with a short walk to Tibumana Waterfall for a quick swim in the refreshing waters surrounded by forest. Afterwards, head to the 11th-century Gunung Kawi temple, where elaborate royal shrines are carved into the cliff face in a deep ravine, giving the site its name of the "Valley of the Kings." Your next stop is the temple of Tirta Empul (its name means "sacred source" in Balinese), located in the village of Manukaya. The waters here come from the Pakerisan River and have the reputation of being purifying.
It's then on to one of Bali's most photographed views: Tegallalang and its stunning rice terraces, which are cut into the hillside like giant green steps. Next, in Ubud's Monkey Forest, meet the troops of monkeys that freely roam the nature reserve and the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal temple. The curious monkeys are fun to be around and can be particularly mischievous—keep your belongings close! End your adventure with a trip to the lively Gianyar Market. Here, you can awaken your tastebuds with flavorful Indonesian specialties and get an insight into local life on the island.
Day 11: Depart Ubud
Say goodbye to Bali as you meet your private driver and transfer to Denpasar Airport for your flight. Have a safe journey home or to your next destination!