This 16-day journey provides a wonderful introduction to Indonesia, combining appealing cities, floating markets and temples with fantastic scenery including volcanoes, waterfalls and the chance to see orangutans in the wild.
Highlights: Banjarmasin – Tanjung Puting – Borobudur – Yogyakarta – Prambanan – Mount Bromo – Kalibaru – Ubud
Arrival at Banjarmasin
You will be welcomed by our guide at the airport and driven to a comfortable hotel in the centre of Banjarmasin, the capital of south Kalimantan.
The city is situated in the beautiful delta of the Barito river. Daily life is centred along these waterways and every family has its own canoe.
In the afternoon you will board a canoe for a fascinating excursion along the Martapura River providing a first glimpse into life as a local.
Banjarmasin has two floating markets and the one at Loh Baitan is the most traditional - but it means an early (pre-dawn) start. Jukung (local canoes) offering fruits and vegetables, different types of tea, coffee and cakes. If the sun is too bright (or if it starts to rain) big round Banjarnese hats made of palm leaves are used as protection.
On the journey back to Banjarmasin there are several stops for a walk over raised boardwalks on the riverbank which connect houses and different areas.
After a Banjarnese lunch at a local home you will be taken to see the process of batik sasirangan. Batik sasirangan is a local procedure of decorating textile. Also in the afternoon visit the impressive mosque of Sabilal Muhtadin.
Excursion to diamond villages.
The village of Pumpung, north of Banjarmasin, is where diamonds are found using both traditional and modern methods. Depending on the structure of the soil a shaft is dug up to depths of 30 meters, the earth is placed into rattan baskets, brought to the surface and washed to check for diamonds and other precious stones.
After viewing the extraction process, visit the town of Martapura to see the traditional polishing methods.
On the way back to Banjarmasin you take a different and very scenic route.
Banjarmasin – Tanjung Putting
Fly from Banjarmasin to Pangkalanbun and transfer by road to Kumai, where you board your klotok riverboat to sail through the narrow, tannin-tinted waterways of Tanjung Puting National Park.
Tanjung Puting National Park covers more than 1500 square miles (400,000 hectares) and consists of tropical rainforest, freshwater swamp, tropical heat forest, peat swamp mangroves and wetlands. It is home to over 200 types of bird, 17 species of reptile and primates including gibbons and orangutans.
Overnight on board your klotok.
Tanjung Puting National Park
Witness the feeding of orangutans at one of the feeding stations in the park. The information centre at Camp Leakey provides helpful detail about their work in rescuing orphaned orangutans and releasing them back into the wild. There are also trails to follow through the jungle, providing an opportunity to observe them in the wild.
Overnight on board your klotok.
Tanjung Puting National Park
Further adventure in the national park, bird-watching and monkey-spotting. Keep your eyes peeled for the proboscis monkey, with its distinctive long nose. The park is also the habitat of bush pigs and wild deer.
Overnight at a lodge in the park.
Borneo to Java
Return to Kumai and fly to Semarang in Java, where you will be met and driven to Magelang, gateway for visits to Borobudur.
Borobudur - Yogyakarta
A visit to central Java would not be complete without visiting the impressive Buddhust temple of Borobudur which consists of 9 platforms topped by a central dome. It will mean an early start to witness sunrise at Borobudur but there will be time to explore the different levels with detailed reliefs depicting the life of Buddha and his teachings. There are fantastic views from the top of the temple.
Later in the morming cycle through the appealing countryside with a stop at a local market,
Afternoon transfer to Yogyakarta, the cultural and artistic heart of Java.
Free morning to explore the bustling old town of Yogyakarta in your own time. The best way to do this is by becak (three-wheeled rickshaw). We recommend a visit to the Royal Palace (Kraton) of the Sultans of Yogyakarta and perhaps to a batik-workshop.
Afternoon excursion to Kota Gede, about 3 miles from Yogyakarta, which is famous for its silversmiths and on to the Hindu temple of Prambanan which has reliefs depicting the story of the Ramayana and Prince Rama's quest to rescue his wife Sita from the evil king Ravana who has 10 heads and 20 arms.
In the evening there is the opportunity to see a dance performance of the Ramayana story.
Train to Malang
Travelling by train is a lovely way to view the countryside with its rice fields. In the late afternoon you will arrive in Malang, a city rich in colonial history and with a cooler climate.
After checking in to your hotel there is a bit of time to explore the city at your leisure.
Drive to a small village south of Mount Bromo where you will change to an open jeep to travel through beautiful scenery with a stop at a waterfall before reaching the 'sea of sand' surrounding the volcano which has been erupting sporadically in recent years.
To experience sunrise at the crater rim of Mount Bromo you can cross the Sea of Sand on foot, by horse or by jeep. In the early daylight the scenery has a lunar landscape.
Mount Bromo - Kalibaru
Transfer to the small hill town of Kalibaru, surrounded by fertile plantations and farms against the backdrop of Java's volcanic Ijen plateau.
Accommodation on a plantation.
A free day to relax at the pool or to go for a wander in the plantation to learn all about the plants and spices that grow here (such as cloves, pepper, cinnamon and pineapple). You can also hike to a nearby waterfall, approx. 2 miles out of town.
Ferry to Bali and transfer to Ubud
Departure transfer to Katapang harbour to catch the ferry for the short crossing to Bali. You will be met on arrival and driven to the Hindu temple of Tanah Lot, a beautiful landmark located on a dramatic offshore rock which makes for an ideal introduction to this 'island of the Gods'.
Continue from here to Ubud, with a lovely setting in the rice paddies and steep ravines of the central foothills and the surrounding villages noted for the quality of their handicrafts and woodcarvings.
Free day to explore Ubud in your own time. There are a number of museums and art galleries along the main Jalan Raya Ubud road.
The Setia Dhama House of Masks has a collection of over 1,000 masks and some 4,000 Indonesian puppets. We recommend a visit to the Monkey Forest and to the fascinating temple of Pura Dalem Agung.
If you would like us to arrange white-water rafting, a cooking lesson or kayaking do let us know.
Departure transfer to Denpasar airport in time to check in for your transatlantic flight home.
Please contact us to discuss beach extensions or onward travel to Komodo, Flores or other Indonesian islands.
The above sample Indonesia holiday can be varied in any way you choose to suit your exact requirements so give us a call now on 01932 424252 to discuss any modifications.
Indonesia has a wide range of types & styles of hotels, at a variety of price-points to suit all budgets. Please chat to one of our Travel Consultants to get informed advice as to which hotels they would suggest for your tailor-made Indonesia holiday.
The tours, excursions & activities mentioned in the above sample Indonesia holiday are just a selection of what is available in each location. The programme can be adjusted to fit your particular requirements for this holiday; please liaise with your Travel Consultant to confirm what other activities are available and what you would like to include in your tailor-made Indonesia holiday.
If you like the broad sweep of the above sample Indonesia holiday but have either fewer days to spend, or wish to extend it in any way, please ask your Travel Consultant for ideas on how to shorten or lengthen the holiday, or how to reorganise the itinerary.
We would be delighted to email you a no-obligation, fully-detailed itinerary & quote, containing images of the hotels we suggest for your tailor-made Myanmar holiday along with a link to the hotel’s website, plus details of any included tours & excursions. The quote will clearly state what is, and what is not included in the quoted price. If you thereafter wish to make any changes to the initial itinerary – be it an alternative hotel, different activities, a different duration in any location etc. – that’s not a problem and we will continue to work with you to adjust the programme until it exactly matches what you’re looking for from your tailor-made Indonesia holiday.