For travelers who want to focus on natural beauty and wildlife, this 12-day itinerary will show you the best features of three of Indonesia's islands. Start with a stay in a wildlife sanctuary in Borneo before taking a boat to Maratua Island, where you will swim at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Then, head to Bali to explore rock-cut temples guarded by monkeys, verdant terraced rice fields, and colorful art markets.

Highlights

  • See wild orangutans on Orangutan Island
  • Swim with whale sharks on Maratua Island
  • Walk through terraced rice fields in Tegallalang
  • Tour the majestic Uluwatu Temple
  • Watch a traditional Balinese Kecak dance

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kalimantan Kalimantan
Day 2 Wildlife Preserve & Orangutan Island Balikpapan
Day 3 Transfer to Maratua Island Maratua
Day 4 Maratua Snorkeling Expedition Maratua
Day 5 Whale Shark Swim - Labuan Cermin Lake Maratua
Day 6 Transfer to Ubud Ubud
Day 7 Free Day in Ubud Ubud
Day 8 Scenic Tour of Ubud Ubud
Day 9 Transfer to Jimbaran Jimbaran
Day 10 Uluwatu Temple Tour - Balangan Beach Jimbaran
Day 11 Free Day in Jimbaran Jimbaran
Day 12 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Borneo

Welcome to Borneo
Welcome to Borneo

Welcome to Indonesia! When you land in Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), you'll then catch another two-hour flight to Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan International Airport (BPN) in Balikpapan. From here, you'll meet your driver for your final transfer to Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. 

You'll be staying at Samboja Lodge, which is part of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Here, you will learn about Indonesian wildlife, rainforest conservation, and their work to preserve the endangered Bornean orangutan.

You'll have the evening free to explore and relax. The lodge has a distinctive design that incorporates local handicrafts and recycled materials. The area is surrounded by lush vegetation which you can enjoy from the patio or balcony off of your room.

Day 2: Wildlife Preserve & Orangutan Island

A Borneo Orangutan
A Borneo Orangutan

You will head out on a walking tour this morning to explore the abundant natural beauty of a protected area of rainforest called Samboja Lestari. Your first stop will be Orangutan Island, where orangutans are reintroduced into the wild by professionals.

Then, your driver will take you on to a Sun Bear sanctuary where you can see some of these majestic animals. The wildlife adventure continues in Bukit Bangkirai, an area focused on the conservation of tropical trees, where you might also spot gibbons, hornbills, Asian paradise flycatchers, maroon leaf monkeys, and other wildlife native to Borneo. 

In the evening, your driver will take you to your hotel in Balikpapan, and you'll have the rest of the evening free.

Day 3: Transfer to Maratua Island

Maratua Island
Maratua Island

The next destination on your adventure is Maratua in the Derawan Islands, where you can experience the supreme beauty of true island life with clear turquoise waters and white sand beaches.

A driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to Sepinggan Airport for your short flight to Berau. You'll then be transferred to a dock where you will take a boat from Tanjung Redep to the island. 

In the evening, you'll check in at your hotel and have the rest of the night free to explore the island on your own.

Day 4: Maratua Snorkeling Expedition

Clownfish off the coast of Maratua Island
Clownfish off the coast of Maratua Island

After breakfast, you will head to the dock and get on a speedboat that will take you around the island and the best spots to see some local wildlife like sea turtles. 

When you get to the reef, your guide will help you with your snorkeling gear, and you'll be able to swim with colorful tropical fish.

Lunch will be served on the beach later in the afternoon, and you'll be returned to your hotel after you finish your meal. You'll have the rest of the day free to explore more of the beach and the island.

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Day 5: Whale Shark Swim - Labuan Cermin Lake

Swimming with whale sharks
Swimming with whale sharks

Today, you will go on an unforgettable swim with whale sharks. In the morning, a speedboat will take you to Talisayan, where you'll meet with your guide and enjoy a swim with these peaceful giants of the sea.

Your next stop will be Labuan Cermin Lake, a place with crystal clear water, that is ideal for a swim. Another stop on your itinerary is Biduk Biduk, where you can stroll through coastal villages.

Day 6: Transfer to Ubud

Offerings at a Temple in Ubud
Offerings at a temple in Ubud

Today you'll say goodbye to Borneo as your adventure continues on the island of Bali. You'll take a speedboat to Tanjung Redep and then catch a flight to Denpasar. From there, your driver will take you to Ubud, about one hour and 30 minutes way.

After a long day of travel, you'll check in at your hotel and have the rest of the night free to explore or relax.

Day 7: Free Day in Ubud

Tirta Empul
Tirta Empul Temple

You have the day free to explore Ubud with your driver. If you want to learn about local culture, you might visit Tirta Empul. Located in the village of Manukaya, this Hindu temple is dedicated to purification and its name means "sacred source" in Balinese. The waters of the pools come from the Pakerisan River, and you can learn about the ritual bathing that takes place here.

For local wildlife, head to the Ubud Monkey Forest where a tribe of cheeky monkeys roams free among the three temples there, so be sure to secure your belongings.

For a more relaxed day, you can have a traditional Balinese massage or try a yoga class. 

Day 8: Scenic Tour of Ubud

Convertible tour of Ubud
Convertible tour of Ubud

You'll take a unique tour of Ubud and the surrounding countryside today in a sporty convertible. Your driver will take you down the twisting roads around Ubud, and you'll see terraced rice fields, historic villages, and tranquil artist's studios. Your driver will gladly stop at any point along the way, so be sure to ask to get out and explore whenever the mood strikes. 

You will see the impressive terraced rice fields of Tegallalang, the village of Kintamani, and an outlook with incredible views of the volcano known as Mount Batur. In the afternoon, you will stop to have authentic Indonesian food for lunch. 

At the end of the day, your driver will return you to your hotel. The evening is yours to relax at the pool or venture out to explore more of Ubud.

Day 9: Transfer to Jimbaran

Lively Sukawati market
The lively Sukawati Art Market

You'll have the morning to explore more of Ubud's art galleries and local markets before your guide takes you to Jimbaran. After lunch, your driver will take you one hour and 30 minutes south of Bali, and you will be able to stop and see Goa Gaja, also known as the Elephant Cave, and the lively Sukawati Art Market along the way. 

When you arrive at your hotel in Jimbaran, you'll have the rest of the evening free.

Day 10: Uluwatu Temple Tour - Balangan Beach

Uluwatu
Uluwatu Temple

You'll discover the southern Bukit Peninsula today. A guide will pick you up and drive you about one hour to the seaside Uluwatu Temple. You can enjoy the wonderful view of the sea from this cliffside temple surrounded by dense forest, and be sure to look at the area's cheeky monkeys that have a tendency to steal from people. 

On the way back, you can stop at Balangan Beach to enjoy a cocktail or lunch while watching the surfers catch waves.

In the evening, you can watch a traditional Balinese Kecak dance show and return to Jimbaran for a dinner of fresh seafood.

Day 11: Free Day in Jimbaran

Restaurants on a beach in Jimbaran
Restaurants on a beach in Jimbaran

As today is your last day in Bali, you'll be free to grab some last-minute souvenirs, pamper yourself at a local spa, or hop in the car with your driver to see more of the area's beautiful temples. 

You can also just spend the day relaxing at the pool or taking a cooking class to where you'll be able to take Indonesian recipes back home with you. 

Day 12: Departure

Goodbye Bali
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

It's time to say goodbye to Bali! After a final breakfast, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you back to Ngurah Rai International Airport where you can catch a flight home or on to your next destination.

 

Map

Map of Indonesian Escape: Borneo, Maratua, & Bali - 12 Days
Map of Indonesian Escape: Borneo, Maratua, & Bali - 12 Days