Spend 11 glorious days exploring Indonesia's most incredible islands, starting in Java. Here you'll discover the museums and street food of Jakarta, then fly to Yogyakarta for ancient temples. Next, visit traditional villages and scenic beaches on the island of Lombok and snorkel the clear waters around Gili Trawangan before ferrying over to the famous Bali. This is where you'll learn the secrets of Balinese cooking, swing over lush rice terraces, and watch the sunset from a beautiful seaside temple.


  • Check out volcano views from Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist temple
  • Learn ancient weaving techniques to make your own memento on Lombok
  • Snorkel around the incredible reefs surrounding all three of the Gili Islands
  • Meet monkeys in the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary near Ubud in Bali

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Jakarta, Free Time Jakarta
Day 2 Fly to Yogyakarta, Visit Borobudur Temple & Explore Yogyakarta Yogyakarta
Day 3 Visit the Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta Palace & Taman Sari Water Palace Yogyakarta
Day 4 Fly to Lombok, Explore the Island Lombok
Day 5 Ferry to Gili Trawangan, Free Time Gili Trawangan
Day 6 Island Hop & Snorkel in the Gili Islands Gili Trawangan
Day 7 Ferry to Bali, Visit the Ubud Palace & Ubud Art Market Ubud, Bali
Day 8 Experience a Sebatu Purification Ritual, Balinese Cooking Class Ubud, Bali
Day 9 Visit Rice Terraces, Temples, Waterfalls & Monkeys Near Ubud Ubud, Bali
Day 10 Visit the Uluwatu Temple, Drinks at Rock Bar, Sunset at Tanah Lot Ubud, Bali
Day 11 Depart Bali  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Jakarta, Free Time

Start your adventure in Indonesia's capital and check out the museums and street food

Welcome to Indonesia! After you arrive in Jakarta, the country's capital, you'll meet your driver for your hotel transfer. After settling in, set out to explore the busy streets, fantastic cuisine, modern skyscrapers, and colonial architecture. Begin in the historical district of Kota Tua at Fatahillah Square, once the administrative center of the Dutch East India Company. While there, don't miss the Jakarta History Museum and the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum.

After exploring Kota Tua, try Indonesian street food, from nasi goreng (fried rice) to satay to martabak (stuffed pancakes) and bakso (meatball soup) at Jalan Sabang. Don't forget to sample the famous kopi luwak coffee in the market. One of the world's most expensive coffees, it's made from beans that have passed through the digestive system of a small, local mammal.

Later, visit Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, a park with beautifully designed pavilions representing each province. Wander through to discover Indonesia's customs, architecture, and traditions, demonstrated in miniature replicas of temples, houses, and landmarks. The park also hosts authentic dance shows and other cultural events, so catch one if possible.

Day 2: Fly to Yogyakarta, Visit Borobudur Temple & Explore Yogyakarta

See the incredible views of Java from the Borobudur Temple

Today, you'll fly for about one hour to Yogyakarta, Java's epicenter of traditional arts and culture, and your home for the next two nights. Once you land, join a tour for an hour's drive north to the world's largest Buddhist temple, the UNESCO-listed Borobudur. This eighth-century structure is shaped like a mandala, with impressive stupas and expansive terraces surrounded by 500 Buddha statues and spectacular volcano views.

Your driver will then take you to your accommodation in the center of Yogyakarta. Settle in, then delve into the city's rich cultural and natural landscape. Head to the nearby beaches of Indrayanti and Parangtritis to relax in the sand, climb to the top of the famous Mount Merapi to experience one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes up close, or walk through the wildlife-rich forest of Kaliurang National Park.

Immerse yourself in the lively arts scene by wandering the mural-filled streets or exploring the Affandi Museum and the Jogja Gallery for a crash course on local Indonesian artistry. Try your hand at the local handicrafts, a traditional puppet-making workshop, or in a batik class, one of Java's quintessential art traditions. Explore the giant bazaar at Malioboro Street for shopping and people-watching, then end the day in Alun Alun for dinner at one of the city's night markets.

Day 3: Visit the Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta Palace & Taman Sari Water Palace

Enjoy the views and dance shows at the awe-inspiring Prambanan Temple

Begin your day with a two-hour guided visit to the ninth-century Prambanan Temple, an architectural masterpiece adorned with carvings depicting stories and myths of Hindu deities. Walk among the towering spires of one of Southeast Asia's largest and most beautiful Hindu temples as your guide provides insight into the history and religious significance structure. Explore the main temple, dedicated to the goddess Shiva, and smaller temples honoring other Hindu deities, all showcasing the exceptional artistry of the Javanese people. 

Next, delve deeper into Yogyakarta's culture with a one-hour visit to Yogyakarta Palace (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. 

End the day at Taman Sari Water Castle, an 18th-century royal garden and retreat. The expansive grounds include a complex system of water features, including lakes, canals, and fountains. Wander through the remains of bathing pools and structures once used by the Sultan, along with other partially restored ruins. Finally, head back to Yogyakarta for your final night in the city. 

Day 4: Fly to Lombok, Explore the Island

Lombok is often called "undiscovered Bali," and is home to epic mountains and pristine beaches

This morning, your driver will drop you off at the airport in Yogyakarta for your under-two-hour flight to the island of Lombok. Considered by some to be the "undiscovered Bali," Lombok is full of sandy beaches, jungle waterfalls, and volcanoes—all without the crowds. It's also an ideal spot to immerse yourself in Balinese culture, as the island has retained much of its traditional heritage. 

After your hotel drop-off, explore the distinct culture and landscapes of Lombok on your own. Witness the mastery of traditional weaving techniques by skilled artisans in Sukarara before learning how to create your own handcrafted memento. Then, visit Desa Sade, a village renowned for its conventional thatched-roof houses and traditional activities like weaving, pottery making, and rice farming. 

After your village visits, it's straight to the beach for you. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the area include Kuta Beach and Tanjung Aan Beach, both with amazing views and pristine water ideal for swimming. For the sweeping views of Lombok and its surrounding islands, make the challenging trek up Mount Rinjani. This hike takes you through dense jungle, past rushing waterfalls, and finally to the summit of this active volcano, Indonesia's second-highest mountain.

Day 5: Ferry to Gili Trawangan, Free Time

Take a ferry to the party island of Gili Trawangan and meet fellow travelers (if you so choose)

It's time to explore new shores as you transfer to Serangan Harbor to catch your morning ferry for Gili Trawangan. The largest of the three Gili Islands located off the coast of Lombok Island, "Gili T" has a reputation as a party spot and has its fair share of sandy beaches and yoga studios, along with crystal-clear water beloved by snorkelers and divers. Upon arrival, a horse and cart will take you to your hotel (there are no cars or motorized vehicles on the island).

After you settle in, you'll have the rest of the day to explore. An essential activity in Gili Trawangan is visiting Sunset Point on the southwest part of the island to watch the sunset from the many lively beach bars or overwater swings. If you want to immerse yourself in the island's rich history and culture, stop at the Gili Trawangan Cultural Center, which showcases traditional art and music and offers classes in Balinese cooking and crafting.

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Day 6: Island Hop & Snorkel in the Gili Islands

Snorkeling in Gili Meno Island
Hop between the Gili Islands and visit the best snorkeling spots along the way

Today, you'll catch another boat for island-hopping and snorkeling between the Gili Islands. These three small pieces of paradise, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, offer world-class snorkeling, picturesque coves, and their own distinct charms. Each island has its share of sandy beaches fringed with palm trees, and coral reefs teeming with marine life lie just offshore.

Starting at Gili Trawangan, you'll snorkel to Wreck Point to spot its famous sunken ship. Look for sea turtles in the water off Turtle Point on the serene Gili Meno. On Gili Air, several popular snorkeling spots include the Gili Air Wall, Haan's Reef, and Nemo City. In addition to sea turtles, keep an eye out for sharks, moray eels, colorful coral, and tropical fish. You'll head back to Gili Trawangan in time for dinner.

Day 7: Ferry to Bali, Visit the Ubud Palace & Ubud Art Market

Wander around the artsy town of Ubud on Indonesia's famous island, Bali

Say goodbye to the Gili Islands and ferry to the famous island of Bali today. There, you'll settle into the charming town of Ubud. Surrounded by green rice terraces and tropical forests dotted with ancient Hindu temples, Ubud is considered the spiritual center of Bali. Get the lay of the land by hiking along the easy and scenic Campuhan Ridge Walk or by taking a restorative yoga class with a view of the jungle. 

Next, shop for handmade Balinese crafts and souvenirs at the world-renowned Ubud Art Market, a lively open-air hub next to Ubud Palace. Snap up some gifts, such as traditional textiles, woodcarvings, jewelry, and paintings, for yourself or a loved one. You can also shop in the conventional, everyday section of the market for items like fruits, vegetables, and household goods.

After exploring the market, visit the neighboring palace, with its well-preserved Balinese architecture and lovely gardens, for a traditional legong dance performance, a nightly occurrence. Legong, which likely originated in the 19th century, requires such intense training that most girls begin at the age of five. The complicated hand movements and intricate footwork tell a mesmerizing story, often of mythical origins, accompanied by a soundtrack of traditional gamelan music.

Day 8: Experience a Sebatu Purification Ritual, Balinese Cooking Class

Learn to make traditional Balinese dishes in a cooking class

Today, meet your guide for a journey through the lush green landscape of Sebatu to the sacred water temple of Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu, caved into a hillside overlooking the valley. Here, you can participate in a traditional purification ritual. Cleanse in holy waters, offer prayers to the deities, and join in age-old traditions led by local priests during this spiritual experience. The serene area has lush tropical gardens and intricate Balinese architecture, adding a sense of sacredness to the occasion.

In the afternoon, you'll join a cooking class in Ubud to learn how to make several typical Balinese dishes. Follow your guide at the local market for fresh ingredients, then head to a coconut plantation to tap the trees for their sap, which is used in making arak, a distinct Balinese liquor. Then, your chef will demonstrate various techniques to create authentic Balinese dishes, such as lawar (finely minced spiced meat) and bebek betutu (slow-cooked duck in banana leaves). At the end of the lesson, sample different types of arak.

Day 9: Visit Rice Terraces, Temples, Waterfalls & Monkeys Near Ubud

Visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Swing above the lush rice terraces surrounding Ubud

Prepare for a full day touring Bali's temples and nature, starting with a visit to Ubud's mesmerizing Tegalalang Rice Terrace, a landscape of verdant terraces carved into steep hillsides. Swing above or walk through the paddies to get an inside look at old Balinese farming techniques. Nearby, you'll find several traditional Balinese villages where you can witness local life and culture. Next, hike for about an hour to the hidden Tukad Cepung Waterfall, located within a cave, for a refreshing swim in the pools underneath.

Continue your tour at the Great Mother Temple of Bali at Besakih, the largest and most significant Hindu temple complex on the island. Situated on the slopes of volcanic Mount Agung, far-reaching views of the mountains and rice paddies surround the complex of over 80 temples and shrines, each dedicated to a different deity. The temple dates back to the eighth century, and despite being located in an active volcanic area, it has survived numerous eruptions and earthquakes over the years.

In the afternoon, you'll visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, a popular tourist attraction in Ubud. The forest sanctuary, established in the 14th century and sacred to the local Balinese, is home to over 700 long-tailed macaque monkeys. You can learn about the sanctuary's conservation efforts, observe the monkeys in their natural habitat, and even feed them. The forest is also home to several temples, and you can walk through the forest to visit these intricate shrines while the monkeys wander free. 

Day 10: Visit the Uluwatu Temple, Drinks at Rock Bar, Sunset at Tanah Lot

Take in the incredible views from the cliffside Uluwatu Temple outside of Bali

Today, you will visit the spectacular setting of Uluwatu, also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu. This 11th-century temple, perched on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, is dedicated to the Hindu god of the sea, Dewa Baruna. The temple is also home to a large population of monkeys, which is considered sacred and believed to protect the temple from evil spirits.

Explore the temple grounds and learn about the history and traditions of Balinese Hinduism. While there, you'll also witness a kecak dance performance held on the temple grounds. This Balinese dance and music form originated in the 1930s in Bona, Bali, and is performed by male dancers who use their bodies and voices to create a mesmerizing rhythmic chanting sound.

Next, make a memorable sunset visit to the iconic sea temple of Tanah Lot. Located on a rocky outcrop along the southwestern coast of Bali, Tanah Lot becomes even more enchanting during sunset. Then, spend your final night in Bali at the famous Rock Bar in the town of Jimbaran. The bar, designed in a modern and minimalist style, is accessible by a steep cliffside tram or stairs. The views are more than worth the trip! Watch the stars appear over the ocean as you enjoy live music, delicious small plates, and creative cocktails. 

Day 11: Depart Bali

Catch one last sunrise in Bali before departure
It's time to say farewell to Bali! Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to the airport with plenty of time to catch your departing flight. Sampai jumpa lagi (see you again soon), and safe travels!

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Map of Unveiling Java, Lombok & Bali's Ultimate Treasures - 11 Days
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