Explore Java on this 5-day tour around the island's cultural monuments and pristine natural landscapes. Base yourself in Yogyakarta for the first few days, home to the world's largest Buddhist temple. Then continue on to Surakarta, also known as Solo, to shop for batik and attend a traditional Javanese cultural show. Round out the adventure with a trekking day around the slopes of Mount Lawu, hiking to a pair of historic temples and a beautiful waterfall.

Highlights

  • Admire Borobudur's 504 Buddha statues at the world's largest Buddhist temple
  • Shop for batik (hand-dyed fabric) in Solo, one of the country's batik centers
  • Trek to historic temples on the slopes of Mount Lawu
  • Sample Javanese cuisine like the rice-based dish nasi uduk 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Yogyakarta & Sightsee Yogyakarta
Day 2 Visit Borobudur & Ullen Sentanu Museum Yogyakarta
Day 3 Go on a City Tour & Transfer to Solo Solo
Day 4 Trek in the Highlands  Solo
Day 5 Depart Indonesia, End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Yogyakarta & Sightsee

Prambanan Temple at dusk

Welcome to Indonesia! 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. Sample Indonesian cuisine in a local restaurant before getting some rest at your hotel. 

Day 2: Visit Borobudur & Ullen Sentanu Museum

Borobudur Temple, dating back to the 8th century

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. Then you'll go on a guided tour of the Ullen Sentalu Museum to learn about the culture and art of Java.

Walk along the Code River in the afternoon, 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 3: Go on a City Tour & Transfer to Solo

 Yogyakarta's mix of old and new

Today you'll go for a sightseeing tour around Yogyakarta, visiting the Sultan Palace and the water palace of Taman Sari. Then you'll move on to another Javanese city, Surakarta, also known as Solo. Check in at your hotel and indulge in a quick nap. Then go for a stroll around a local batik market—this is one of the best places in the country to buy the unique hand-dyed and printed fabric. In the evening, you'll attend a traditional Javanese cultural show to learn more about the island's musical and artistic traditions.

Day 4: Trek in the Highlands 

The green slopes of Mount Lawu

Today you'll venture to the western slope of Mount Lawu, home to two important temples that are surrounded by nature. If you're up for it, enjoy a trekking tour to Cetho Temple. You'll then pass through local farms, enjoying the scenery on your way to the 15th-century Sukuh Temple. Continue on to Jumog Waterfall. Feel the spray of the cascades falling dramatically over a rock cliff before heading back to town to enjoy a free evening. It's another excellent opportunity to sample Javanese cuisine in a family-run restaurant. 

Day 5: Depart Indonesia - End of Trip

Looking down over terraced rice fields in Solo, Indonesia

Today the trip comes to an end. You'll transfer to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!

More Great 5-Day Indonesia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Indonesia? Check out these other 5-day Indonesia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Map

Map of Highlights of Java - 5 Days
Map of Highlights of Java - 5 Days