Travelers will be arriving at different times during Day 1 so feel free to arrive at the joining point at any time as there are no planned activities. You will have a group meeting around 6pm (look out for the Welcome Note in the hotel lobby) and an optional dinner afterwards to get to know your fellow group members. Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and the economic heart of Java. Day 2 you may wish to take an optional city tour, take a walk around the old Dutch colonial heart of Kota, or simply search out your first true cup of Java coffee!
Day 3 begins with a bus journey (3 1/2 hours) south east to Cianjur. Along the way we visit the 100 yr old Gunung Mas or 'Golden Mountain' Tea Plantation where we learn how tea is hand picked and then processed continually throughout the year. Cianjur is the Capital of the Cianjur Regency and is also considered the capital of rice production in Java. The region sees very little tourism and you will be delighted by the reactions of the friendly local Javanese. Experience local life by sleeping at a homestay both nights here. The homestay is located on the outer ring of Cianjur and accommodation is multi-share.
We transfer by bus to Bandung on the morning of day 5 before boarding our train for a scenic trip to Yogyakarta. Once home to the Mataram Palace, Yogyakarta (or Yogya as it’s known locally) lies in the shadow of Mt Merapi, but is most famous for the nearby Buddhist Temple complex of Borobudur. Built in the 8th century, this stunning artistic and architectural marvel lay undiscovered under layers of volcanic ash until 1815 when Sir Stamford Raffles, then Governor of Java, ordered that the area be cleared. Further attempts at restoration were finally completed in 1983, and no visit to Java would be complete without a visit to this awe-inspiring World Heritage Site. Other options in and around Yogyakarta include the impressive Kraton, an 18th century palace built by the Sultans of Yogya and one of the finest examples of Javanese palace architecture or Taman Sari Water Castle, built around the same time as a pleasure park for the Sultan. Yogyakarta is very walkable and stroll around the fascinating bird market is always interesting, and if silver is of interest, then a trip to Kota Gede is definitely worthwhile to pick up a hand-beaten bowl or some fine filigree. Of course, being the home of arts, this really is the place to take in a Wayang (puppet) show, or a dance performance- usually based on the Ramayana story.
We begin the day with an easy 2 hour drive to Solo. On the way we have the option of stopping at Prambanan to explore the largest Hindu temple complex in Java by foot. Built between the 8th and 10th century, these temples stand as a one of the most outstanding works of Hindu art, with a wealth of intricate design, particularly on the Shiva temple. Solo, also known as Surakarta was selected by Pakubuwono II as the new capital of the Mataram Kingdom, following the sacking of Kartasura in 1745. Ranking alongside Yogyakarta at the heart of Javanese culture, Solo boasts Kraton Surakarta, the magnificent 18th century palace and museum of the Royal Family as well as producing some of the finest Batik in Java.
Our 8-9 hour bus journey today takes us eastward to Malang, the second largest city in East Java. Dating back to at least AD760 Malang has been a regional center of government for successive dynasties eventually being enveloped by the Mataram Kingdom in 1614. Owing to it's altitude (476 meters) the climate here is cooler then the lowlands and therefore became very attractive to European settlement during Dutch colonisation. Spend the afternoon checking out the gorgeous parks, the bird and flower market, Singosari temple, Jago temple or Kidal temple or just relaxing with a cup of local tea.
Today's drive takes us through the tropical winding landscape of Eastern Java, climbing ever upwards and further out of the heat towards the grandeur of Mt Bromo- part of the Tengger Caldera, the largest volcanic range in the area. Bromo is only one of many peaks, but is distinct in appearance, having blown its top completely off and is constantly smouldering with white smoke.
A pre-dawn trek across the “sea of sand” to watch the sunrise over the crater’s rim is a must-see, popular with both tourists and the local Buddhist Tenggerese alike who can be seen giving offerings of food to receive blessings from the Supreme God Hyang Widi Wasa. After this wonderful start to the day, a 6 hour drive takes us to our overnight accommodation in the coffee plantations of Kalibaru. Brought to Java by the Dutch, Indonesia is now the world’s fourth largest coffee grower and the name “Java” is recognized in coffee houses all over the world.
Following a picturesque 2 hour drive through the rolling hills and plantations down to the coastal lowlands, we board our 1 hour ferry trip and bid farewell to Java. Arriving in internationally acclaimed Bali we continue with a short drive to Pemuteran. Pemuteran lies on the quiet North West coast sandwiched between National Parks containing pristine coral reefs and luxuriant tropical rainforest. 14kms offshore lies Menjangan Island, one of the best snorkel and dive sites in Bali with rich marine life and protected coral reefs. You may also wish to snorkel the reef directly off the beach at Pemuteran and explore the intriguing Bio Rock Structures, a forest of wire frames through which low voltage electric current is run to encourage fast coral regeneration. Wander up the beach and past the rural countryside for magnificent coastal views and ornate traditional temples inhabited by tribes of cheeky monkeys. For the energetic explorer, set out on an optional guided hike through the West Bali National Park in search of deer, pigs, macaques or the elusive Bali Starling. The natural beauty of Pemuteran will astound and enchant you.
Today's drive is a journey, highlighting the spectacular natural diversity and intense cultural wealth that makes Bali such a sought after destination. Our journey takes us across the entire island of Bali through the rich tropical jungle, passing by idyllic terraced rice fields, quaint scenes of local village life and eventually passing through the thriving metropolis of Denpasar before arriving at our overnight destination on the magnificent beaches of Sanur.
Depart at any time today.