Experience the best of Indonesia's culture and nature on this 12-day itinerary. Sample street food in Jakarta before flying to Balikpapan on Borneo Island to spot rare wildlife in the rainforest. Then venture to Yogyakarta to glimpse life at a Javanese village and the Sultan's 18th-century palace. In Bali, visit art galleries in Ubud, explore waterfalls and temples, and take a traditional Balinese cooking class. Complete the trip in Nusa Dua to hang out with monkeys in a forest sanctuary and relax on the island's beaches.


  • Learn about conservation efforts at an orangutan and sun bear sanctuary
  • Walk amid the forest canopy on a suspension bridge in Bukit Bangkirai
  • Participate in a hands-on Batik workshop involving wax-resistant dyeing
  • Hike to an active volcano during sunrise before soaking in hot springs

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Jakarta, Optional Activities Jakarta
Day 2 Fly to Balikpapan, Visit an Orangutan & Sun Bear Sanctuary, Free Time Balikpapan
Day 3 Canopy Bridge Walk & Rainforest Trek in Bukit Bangkirai Balikpapan
Day 4 Fly to Yogyakarta, Visit Borobudur Temple & Candirejo Village Yogyakarta
Day 5 Visit Yogyakarta's Palace & Taman Sari Water Castle, Batik Workshop Yogyakarta
Day 6 Visit Prambanan Temple, Fly to Bali, Transfer to Ubud, Free Time Ubud, Bali
Day 7 Day Trip to Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Tukad Cepung Waterfall & Temples Ubud, Bali
Day 8 Mount Batur Sunrise Trek, Relax in Hot Springs  Ubud, Bali
Day 9 Visit Lempuyang Temple & Tirta Gangga Water Palace, Cooking Class Ubud, Bali
Day 10 Visit Ubud Palace & the Sacred Monkey Forest, Transfer to Nusa Dua Nusa Dua
Day 11 Explore Beaches on Nusa Penida Island, Optional Activities Nusa Dua
Day 12 Drive to Bali, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Jakarta, Optional Activities

Learn how the district of Kota Tua was established during the Dutch colonial period in the 17th century

Welcome to Indonesia! Upon arrival at Jakarta, the country's capital, you'll be assisted with the immigration process before meeting your driver, who will take you to your hotel near the airport. After settling in, set out for a five-hour exploration of the city. Begin in the historical district of Kota Tua and Fatahillah Square, once the administrative center of the Dutch East India Company. You'll be guided through Jakarta's Dutch colonial past as you explore the Jakarta History Museum and Wayang Museum, dedicated to an Indonesian art form featuring shadow puppetry.

After exploring Kota Tua, try street food, from nasi goreng (fried rice) and satay to martabak (stuffed pancake) and bakso (meatball soup) at Jalan Sabang. For a cultural experience, head to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, a park with miniature replicas of traditional houses, temples, and landmarks from different Indonesian regions, and catch one of the park's traditional dance performances. Afterward, your driver will return you to your accommodation so you can prepare for tomorrow's adventures with wildlife. 

Day 2: Fly to Balikpapan, Visit an Orangutan & Sun Bear Sanctuary, Free Time

Transfer from Jakarta (CGK) to Balikpapan (BPN) via Orangutan Island and Sunbear Sanctuary
Explore an animal sanctuary that spans across nearly 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) of restored rainforest

Get ready for a full day of travel and discovering wildlife on Borneo Island. From Jakarta, you'll fly for 2.5 hours northeast to Balikpapan. Upon arrival, you'll visit the Samboja Lestari Orangutan and Sun Bear Sanctuary. Here, observe orangutans and sun bears in their natural habitat, witnessing their playful antics and foraging behaviors. Learn about conservation efforts dedicated to protecting these endangered species and participate in educational activities to raise awareness about wildlife conservation.

Then, the afternoon is yours to explore the coastal city of Balikpapan at your leisure. Visit the Balikpapan Museum for local archaeological finds, historical documents, traditional costumes, and artworks. Then, head to Kemala Beach or Manggar Segarasari Beach to soak up the sun, swim in the pristine waters, snorkel or paddleboard. End your day at one of the city's popular beachside cafés or visit Pasar Baru Square for local street food. Stroll along Jalan Sudirman, one of the main thoroughfares, soaking in the city lights reflected in Balikpapan Bay before tucking into your hotel in Balikpapan.  

Day 3: Canopy Bridge Walk & Rainforest Trek in Bukit Bangkirai

Admire the rainforest canopy from 98 feet (30 m) above the forest floor

Prepare for some adventure because today, you'll discover the lush rainforest from the forest canopy above! Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding greenery and peaceful sounds as you traverse the Canopy Bridge, suspended 98 feet (30 m) above the forest floor. Observe the sprawling branches of towering trees to the intricate network of vines and epiphytes in the Bukit Bangkirai rainforest, an important conservation area.

After your Canopy Bridge walk, venture deeper into the rainforest on various trekking trails, ranging from easy to challenging. Follow your knowledgeable guide as you discover the forest's diverse flora and fauna, keep an eye out for butterflies and rare birds, such as hornbills and kingfishers, and spot curious primates like macaques and gibbons along the way. Learn about the importance of preserving this delicate ecosystem and have your camera ready to capture photos of the incredible scenery and wildlife. Afterward, your driver will return you to your hotel in Balikpapan. 

Day 4: Fly to Yogyakarta, Visit Borobudur Temple & Candirejo Village

Prepare to be wowed at Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world

Today you'll fly for about two hours to Yogyakarta, southwest of Balikpapan. This epicenter of traditional arts and culture is your home for the next two nights. On a half-day guided tour, your first stop, Borobudur, is about an hour's drive north. This eighth and ninth-century structure is the world's largest Buddhist temple. Shaped like a mandala, the site has impressive stupas and wide terraces with volcanoes and 500 Buddha statues surrounding it. Next, check into your accommodation and relax before visiting Candi Rejo in Central Java to experience village life.

There, you can learn about the production of krupuk and tobacco. You can take a bicycle or horseback ride and meet the villagers, followed by a visit to the local school to learn about gamelan (traditional orchestral percussion) music, witness a puppet-making workshop, or participate in traditional Javanese activities like batik-making or rice planting. Finally, explore Malioboro Street for 1.5 hours, a giant bazaar ideal for buying souvenirs and small gifts. You can also explore the neighborhood of Alun Alun, a lively area for a meal, or one of the city's night markets. 

Day 5: Tour Yogyakarta's Palace & Taman Sari Water Castle, Batik Workshop

Look for patterns on traditional Javanese ceilings, inspired by Javanese folklore
Plan your trip to Indonesia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today, you'll delve deeper into Yogyakarta's culture with a one-hour visit to Keraton Yogyakarta, the 18th-century royal palace and residence of the Sultan. Explore the blend of Javanese and European architecture, wandering through pavilions, courtyards, and gardens while learning about the history of the Yogyakarta Sultanate and watching traditional Javanese dance and music performances.

Next, spend an hour at the Taman Sari Water Castle, an 18th-century royal garden and retreat. Admire the water features, explore the partially restored ruins, and learn about their significance in Javanese culture on a guided tour. Discover the remains of bathing pools and structures once used by the Sultan and his family, gaining insight into their lives. Conclude your day with a 1.5-hour workshop for the traditional craft of batik, where you'll learn to use wax-resist dyeing techniques to create intricate patterns and designs on fabric and create your own masterpiece to take home. 

Day 6: Visit Prambanan Temple, Fly to Bali, Transfer to Ubud, Free Time

Start your day with a trip to Prambanan Temple before flying to Ubud

Begin your day with a two-hour guided visit to the ninth-century Prambanan Temple, a Hindu architectural masterpiece adorned with carvings depicting stories and myths surrounding Shiva and other Hindu deities. Before heading to the airport, catch a traditional Javanese dance or music performance here. Next, transfer to Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali, via a three-hour flight and ground transportation. Upon arrival, settle into your hotel and set out to explore at your own pace.

Spend your free time hiking through picturesque rice terraces and visiting traditional villages. Dive into Ubud's thriving art scene by exploring local galleries and museums, such as the famous Blanco Renaissance Museum and the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA), housing an extensive collection of traditional and contemporary Balinese art. Finally, unwind with yoga and meditation or rejuvenating spa treatment before returning to your hotel in Ubud.

Day 7: Day Trip to Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Tukad Cepung Waterfall & Temples 

 Walk around the Tegalalang Rice Terrace and take photos

Prepare for a full day touring Bali's temples and nature, starting with Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud. Spend one hour exploring the terraces, witnessing the Balinese tradition of cooperative farming. Get a glimpse of local life by visiting nearby traditional Balinese villages, where skilled artisans create handicrafts like wood carvings and batik textiles. Next, hike down a narrow, rocky path for about an hour before reaching Tukad Cepung Waterfall, hidden within a cave setting. Notice the play of light and shadow created by the sun filtering through the cave and enjoy a refreshing swim.

Continue your tour at the Mother Temple of Besakih, the largest Hindu temple complex in Bali. Explore the impressive architecture, intricate carvings, and views of mountains and rice paddies. Learn about Bali's Hindu culture as your guide tells its history dating back to the eighth century. Conclude your day with a visit to Tirta Empul, a 10th-century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Participate in a traditional purification ritual using the temple's sacred spring water with healing powers, and explore the temple's statues, courtyards, and gardens.

Day 8: Mount Batur Sunrise Trek, Relax in Hot Springs 

Reward yourself at nearby hot springs after completing a sunrise hike at Mount Batur

Early this morning, you'll make your way to Mount Batur to start the ascent of this active volcano before sunrise. This challenging trek takes around 1.5-2 hours and will take you up to a height of more than 5,577 feet (1,700 m) above sea level. When you finally reach the top, you'll watch the sunrise from above the clouds and be rewarded with incredible views over the island. Directly below you, you can see Lake Batur, and through the clouds, you can spot Bali's other volcanoes in the distance: Abang, Agung, and Batukaru.

Enjoy a light breakfast provided by your guide amid this scenery. After sunrise, make the short trek back down, soak in the morning light, and possibly spot local wildlife. Once back at the base, meet your driver, who will take you to rejuvenate in the therapeutic hot springs. Reflect on your exhilarating hike as you unwind in the warm waters before returning to Ubud.

Day 9: Visit Lempuyang Temple & Tirta Gangga Water Palace, Cooking Class

See why Lempuyang Temple is known as the "Gateway to Heaven" due to its split gate

Today's itinerary begins with a 1.5-hour visit to Lempuyang Temple, one of Bali's most sacred Hindu sites. Ascend the 1,700 steps, immersing yourself in the lush surroundings as you climb toward the temple complex. Explore intricately carved smaller temples and marvel at the Gate of Heaven, framing Mount Agung. Afterward, venture to Tirta Gangga Water Palace, a royal retreat showcasing Bali's cultural heritage. Spend one hour wandering through lush gardens, admiring the architecture, and participating in rituals at the small temple.

Next, indulge in a culinary adventure with a cooking and arak-making class in Ubud. Explore a local market and learn about Balinese ingredients and spices. Then, during a two-hour cooking and arak-making class, master traditional dishes like nasi goreng and satay and the art of slow-cooking bebek betutu (a spiced duck dish wrapped in banana leaves). Learn about arak-making, from harvesting to distillation, tasting various types of this culturally significant liquor. Conclude the day by savoring your creations, exchanging stories, and making memories with fellow participants.

Day 10: Visit Ubud Palace & the Sacred Monkey Forest, Transfer to Nusa Dua

Meet some of the 700 long-tailed macaque monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Today, admire the blend of Balinese and Javanese architecture during a one-hour visit to explore Ubud Palace's ornate halls and courtyards. Next, spend an hour browsing through stalls of traditional clothing, artwork, and souvenirs at the bustling Ubud Market as your guide tells you about the market's history, and you shop for authentic goods. Continue to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, where over 700 long-tailed macaque monkeys roam freely. Spend an hour in ancient Hindu temples and gain insights into conservation efforts.

From here, enjoy a two-hour scenic drive southeast through the Balinese countryside to Nusa Dua, also on the island of Bali, known as a luxurious resort destination with pristine beaches. Conclude your day with a one-hour visit to Tanah Lot, an interesting rock formation and temple dedicated to Balinese sea gods, which you can access via a narrow causeway during low tide. Witness a sunset over the ocean, browse local shops, and savor delicious food amid a sacred atmosphere guarded by playful monkeys. Afterward, return to your accommodation in Nusa Dua. 

Day 11: Explore Beaches on Nusa Penida Island, Optional Activities

Enjoy a beach tour today and hike up to this viewpoint above Kelingking Beach

On your penultimate day in Indonesia, you'll see some beautiful beaches, starting with Broken Beach on Nusa Penida island. Marvel at the arch formation created by limestone cliffs and admire panoramic views. Then, descend to the beach for an hour of swimming and sunbathing. Next, venture to Kelingking Beach, known as "T-Rex Bay," due to the shape of the cliffs. Begin your day early to beat the crowds and hike to the viewpoint for unparalleled views of the beach and surrounding cliffs. Spend an hour swimming and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life.

Conclude your island adventure at Diamond Beach, accessible via a steep staircase for coastline views. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and rent sun loungers and umbrellas for ultimate relaxation. Finally, unwind in Nusa Dua, where you can explore cultural and historical attractions such as the Pasifika Museum and Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center before witnessing the captivating kecak dance performance at the nearby Uluwatu Temple. Indulge in various activities like water sports, golf, and spa treatments, and savor diverse cuisine options for a truly memorable luxury beach holiday experience.

Day 12: Drive to Bali, Depart

Until next time, Indonesia
On your final day in Nusa Dua, you can unwind on Geger Beach, visit the Pasifika Museum to learn about the art and history of the Pacific region if you missed it yesterday, relax with a traditional Balinese massage, or explore local markets such as Pasar Seni Nusa Dua to shop for souvenirs before departure. At the right time, your driver will take you to the airport in Bali, where your point person will assist you with your luggage and accompany you to the immigration gate. 

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Map of Ultimate Beach, Rainforest & Culture Tour in Indonesia - 12 Days
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