From the orangutan forests of Sumatra to the ancient temples of Java and the pink beaches of Lombok, this 16-day itinerary introduces you to three of Indonesia's most beguiling islands. The trip starts out with an adventurous slant, as you trek through dense jungles, climb to dramatic waterfalls, and ascend volcanic peaks by Jeep. Then it's time to wind down with a week of laidback sun, sand, and snorkeling on the idyllic shores of Lombok.

Highlights

  • Spot orangutans on a trek through Sumatra's Gunung Leuser National Park
  • Discover towering volcanoes & hidden waterfalls on Java
  • Watch the sunrise over the world's largest Buddhist temple at Borobudur
  • Marvel at the ceremonial dances & ancient martial arts of Lombok
  • Explore the Southern Gili Islands by fishing boat
  • Swim, snorkel & sunbathe from Lombok's hidden beaches

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Medan, Sumatra Medan
Day 2 Gunung Leuser National Park Trekking Excursion Bukit Lawang
Day 3 Fly to Surabaya, Java & Transfer to Malang Malang
Day 4 Sunrise Excursion to Mount Bromo Malang
Day 5 Explore Tumpak Sewu Waterfall & the Caves of Goa Tetes Malang
Day 6 Train Journey to Yogyakarta Yogyakarta
Day 7 Yogyakarta Temple Tour Yogyakarta
Day 8 Borobudur, Pawon & Mendut Temple Tour Yogyakarta
Day 9 Fly to Lombok, Transfer to Kuta via Ende Sasak Village Kuta, Lombok
Day 10 Explore Lombok's Southern Beaches Kuta, Lombok
Day 11 Gili Islands Boat Trip & Snorkeling Kuta, Lombok
Day 12 Rural Lombok: Rice Paddies, Villages & Waterfalls Kuta, Lombok
Day 13 Boat Trip to Pink Beach & Hidden East Lombok Kuta, Lombok
Days 14-15 Free Days in Kuta & Southern Lombok Kuta, Lombok
Day 16 Depart Lombok  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Medan, Sumatra

Medan's ornate Great Mosque dates back to 1906

Welcome to Indonesia! Upon arrival at Kualanamu International Airport, your private driver will welcome you and bring you to your hotel in North Sumatra’s capital of Medan. The city is a melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Batak cultures, dotted with reminders of its Dutch colonial past.

Get settled in, then, set off on a city tour of Medan's highlights. Stops include the Maimoon Palace, a grand and colorful building that's still home to the sultan, who acts as a figurehead of the Malay community. Continue to the Great Mosque—one of the most beautiful mosques in the country—and end your tour with a stop at the impressive Chinese temple known as Vihara Gunung Timur.

You’ll have the evening free to explore at your own pace. If you're hungry, take a stroll through Chinatown to sample some of the island's best street food. 

Day 2: Gunung Leuser National Park Trekking Excursion

Spot rare and endangered orangutans in Gunung Leuser National Park

Fuel your energy for the day ahead with a delicious breakfast served at your hotel. Afterward, a Jeep takes you on a 3-hour off-road journey through rubber plantations and lush jungle vegetation to reach Gunung Leuser National Park. Here a knowledgeable local guide will accompany you on a day of trekking through the largest wilderness area in Southeast Asia. Come face to face with rare wildlife like orangutans, Sumatran elephants, Thomas Leaf monkeys, long-tail macaques, and gibbons, and marvel at the over 10,000 plant species that flourish in this remarkable ecosystem. Keep an eye out for the spectacular Rafflesia arnoldi (corpse flower) and the towering Amorphophallus titanium (titan arum).

After an unforgettable day in the jungle, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to Medan for the evening. 

Day 3: Fly to Surabaya, Java & Transfer to Malang

Colorfully painted tile roofs in Malang

Say your goodbyes to Sumatra this morning as you meet your driver and transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Surabaya, capital of East Java. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred south to the city of Malang, where you can get settled into your hotel and grab a nap. Known for its cool, highland climate and colorful blend of colonial and traditional architecture, Malang is a perfect gateway to the spectacular countryside of East Java. 

The afternoon is free for you to explore the city at your own pace. Take a stroll around the rainbow-colored streets, enjoy the fresh mountain air, and get to know some of the welcoming and friendly Javanese residents. 

Day 4: Sunrise Excursion to Mount Bromo

A magnificent sunrise over Mount Bromo

Wake up early for a Jeep ride to the top of Mount Penanjakan, where you'll watch an unforgettable sunrise over the volcanoes of Mount Bromo and Semeru. Bromo's setting in a "sea of sand" makes for a surreal and dramatic backdrop that draws crowds of foreign and local visitors alike. Despite its popularity, the experience and the views are well worth the visit. 

Day 5: Explore Tumpak Sewu Waterfall & the Caves of Goa Tetes

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall
Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

Today is full of outdoor adventure, starting with a drive to Tumpak Sewu (also known as Coban Sewu), a tiered waterfall that's located between Lumajang and Malang Regency. The name means "a thousand waterfalls" in the Javanese language, and the dramatic cascades lie in the shadow of Semeru Volcano, the highest mountain in Java. Continue to the neighboring Goa Tetes to descend into spectacular caves hidden behind a sheer curtain of water, experiencing some of Java's most dramatic natural scenery along the way. 

As afternoon approaches, your driver will take you back to Malang for a quiet evening.

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Day 6: Train Journey to Yogyakarta

Take a scenic train journey to Yogyakarta

This morning, it's time to head to Malang Train Station and board a train south towards Yogyakarta. Along the way, enjoy beautiful views of the Javanese countryside as you make your way toward's Java's cultural capital. Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed by your new driver and transferred to your hotel, where you can relax and get settled in for the evening, or head out to explore the city. With streets decorated with stunning graffiti, coffee shops, charming restaurants, and temples decorating the skyline, there's plenty to see.               

Day 7: Yogyakarta Temple Tour

Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple complex in the country
Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple complex in the country

Start the day with a visit to Kotagede Heritage District, the former center of the Mataram Kingdom. Learn about the remains of the first capital of the independent Javanese kingdom known as the Mataram Sultanate, which was established in the 16th century. Your guide will take you through the Royal Palace, the Royal Cemetery, the Great Mosque, and the surrounding defensive walls and moats. The area is also known for its silver craft, so you may want to take a break to do some shopping.

Then, you'll head towards Sewu and Plaosan Temples, both of which are important Buddhist landmarks in the area. Admire their unique stone architecture and sculptures before continuing to Prambanan Temple. Built-in the 9th century, Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. Sunset is a popular time here, as the view is breathtaking.

After a full day of touring temples, you'll be returned to your hotel to relax or spend more time exploring Yogyakarta.

Day 8: Borobudur, Pawon & Mendut Temple Tour

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

You'll have an early wake-up call today for your transfer to Borobudur—the world's largest Buddhist temple. Once you arrive, watch the sunrise in this peaceful place before taking a tour of the grounds. Built between the 8th and 9th centuries, it was designed in the style of a mandala, which symbolizes the universe according to Buddhist teaching. It consists of three tiers—a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms, and, at the top, a monumental stupa (shrine).

From Borobudur, your guide will continue driving, and you'll explore some of Java's most beautiful Buddhist temples, including Pawon, designed as a place to keep King Indra's weapon, and Mendut, home to an exquisitely carved 10 foot (3 m) high statue of the Buddha.

In the afternoon, return to Yogyakarta and join a market tour to discover local food stalls, herbal drinks, and exotic spices.

Day 9: Fly to Lombok, Transfer to Kuta via Ende Sasak Village

Witness Gendang Beleq and the ancient art of Peresean
Witness Lombok's breathtaking traditional dances and martial arts

You're on the move again this morning, as your driver takes you to the airport to catch a flight east to Lombok. Upon arrival, you'll be met by your guide and welcomed in the traditional way of the Sasak people with a gift of a selandang (scarf).

On your way to your hotel in Kuta, stop by the Ende Sasak Village, where you will get to witness children playing Gendang Beleq (a music and dance performance with big drums) and Peresean (fighting with rattan sticks), an ancient martial art that recreates the legend of Mandalika Princess. This ceremonial fight also serves to ask the Gods to bless them with rain for the planting season, with the ancient belief being that the more blood spilled, the more rain would follow. After the performance, take a 30-minute tour around the village, meeting the locals and learning about the traditional ways of life here on Lombok.

Then, you'll make your way to Kuta, where you'll have the afternoon free to relax and explore the beaches. Go for a swim or a surf, chill in one of the beachside cafes, go for a wander through the neighborhood, or take a nap before making your way into town for dinner and an ocean sunset.

Day 10: Explore Lombok's Southern Beaches

Check out the tropical Mawun Beach
Check out the tropical Mawun Beach

The aim of today is sun, sand, sea, and relaxation. After a leisurely morning, your private driver will pick you up for a laidback tour of Lombok's most beautiful beaches, from Selong Belanak to Tanjung Aan

Spend as long or as little on each beach as you like, ask your driver for off-the-beaten-path suggestions, including the best look-out spots, and swim, sunbathe, and relax to your heart's content on some of Indonesia's most picturesque coastal hotspots.

As the day draws to a close, trek to Merese Hill for the ultimate sunset experience, then return to Kuta and spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 11: Gili Islands Boat Trip & Snorkeling

Go snorkeling on the southern Gili islands off Lombok
Go snorkeling on the southern Gili islands off Lombok

After breakfast, your driver will take you to the local harbor, where you will jump into a local fishing boat and go on a day trip around the southern Gili Islands of Gili Nanggu, Gili Sudak, and Gili Kedis

Meaning small island in Sasak language, these islands may be lesser known than their western counterparts, but they're just as beautiful. Spend your day exploring above and below the water, with plenty of time to go snorkeling on the coral reefs that surround the island. Keep your eyes peeled for starfish and tiny blue seahorses in amongst the colorful coral.

Stretch your legs on the sandy beaches of Gili Kedis, a tiny heart-shaped tropical island. Ask your captain to take you to Nemo's Spot to see clownfish hiding amongst the anemones, before jumping back on board and returning to Kuta.

Day 12: Rural Lombok: Rice Paddies, Villages & Waterfalls

Cool off under waterfalls around Tetebatu

Head out into the countryside today, starting with a drive north to the beautiful village of Tetebatu. Spend the rest of the day exploring the area's local villages, hiking through rice paddies, and visiting fruit and vegetable plantations, where you'll get to sample local delicacies like rambutans, jackfruits, and guavas. Along the trek, you'll also get the chance to meet rare black langur monkeys, a species classified as endangered by IUCN.

After lunch, a short hike through the jungle takes you to a stunning waterfall, where you can take a dip in the plunge pool at the base and brave a natural massage from the falling water before making your way back to Kuta. You'll arrive in the late afternoon, just in time to go for a walk on the beach and grab dinner at sunset.

Day 13: Boat Trip to Pink Beach & Hidden East Lombok

Pink Beach in Lombok
East Lombok's secluded Pink Beach

Spend today on the water, as you discover the untouched treasures of East Lombok by boat. Making your way to the small village of Sekaroh on the Ekas Peninsula, you'll find the famous Pink Beach that remains hidden from most visitors. With inviting turquoise waters and pristine blush-colored sands, this slice of paradise makes for an unforgettable day trip. You can also hike to a nearby viewpoint for breathtaking views.

Continue sailing to explore the islands of Gili Petelu, Gili Gambir, and Gili Pasir, as you stop to snorkel and swim amongst rich marine life in the warm, inviting waters before returning to Kuta for the afternoon.

Days 14-15: Free Days in Kuta/Southern Lombok

Explore hidden beaches in Lombok
Explore more of Lombok's hidden beaches at our own pace

Round off your trip with two free days to explore Kuta and Lombok at your own pace. Spend your time surfing, relaxing on the beaches, shopping in the markets, or sightseeing a little further afield. There are plenty of beaches and unique caves to explore along the south coast, and your private driver will be available to show you any and all of Central Lombok's hidden gems.

Day 16: Depart Lombok

It's time to say goodbye to Indonesia
It's time to say goodbye to Indonesia

After an epic journey through Indonesia, it's time to bid the island of Lombok farewell. If time permits, spend the morning doing some sightseeing or souvenir shipping—or head to the beach one last time.  When the time comes, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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