15 days from £ 3970 per person
Places Visited: Yogyakarta, Pangkalan Bun, Tajung Putting National Park, Semarang, Bali, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Ubud
Take a walk on Indonesia’s wild side and see endangered orangutans, Komodo dragons, proboscis monkeys, elephants and other amazing jungle creatures across a string of exotic islands. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the country’s most spellbinding ancient ruins and atmospheric colonial ports, and experience traditional culture in beautiful Bali, where the trip comes to a heavenly conclusion!
Wildlife Holidays Landscape & Nature Holidays
Fly overnight from the UK to Yogyakarta via Singapore.
On arrival in Yogya, you’ll be met by your TransIndus driver and guide and escorted to your hotel, where you’ll stay for three nights. Spend the remainder of the day recovering from your journey.
Yogyakarta is Java’s culture capital, and the place to experience traditional gamelan, shadow puppetry, classical and contemporary Javanese dance and ritual theatre – all of which you will have the chance to see between trips to the ancient wonders in the countryside around the city.
Spend today touring Yogya’s main sights, including the Royal Palace (in the Kraton, or ‘walled city’), proceeding later to Borobudur to experience the magnificent Buddhist ruin at sunset time.
Borobudur encapsulates everything that’s most exotic about Java. At sunset you can watch the warm evening light illuminating the faces of 1200-year old stone Buddhas, which gaze over a plateau of lush rice fields and palm groves to the plume of smoke rising from the summit of Gunung Merapi. Ash from the volcanoes on the western horizon buried the mighty stupa until the early 19th century, when British and Dutch officials re-discovered the site.
Visit the ancient Hindu temple of Prambanan in the morning. Spend the afternoon exploring the heritage sights of Yogyakarta in an old-style becak (rickshaw).
Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the UNESCO-listed Prambanan complex centres on an elaborately carved, 47-metre-tall sanctuary tower, surrounded by over 200 subsidiary shrines, all of them richly decorated. The spectacle of this extraordinary behemoth soaring above the palm canopy, swathed in smoke from village fires, ranks among the most memorable Southeast Asia has to offer. Once back in Yogya, don’t miss the beautiful Water Palace and Sonobudoyo Museum, where the highlight is a collection of 1,200 wavey-bladed kris daggers.
Tanjung Puting National Park
Travel to Semarang and take a short flight to Pangkalan Bun in Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. Spend the afternoon travelling up the Sekonyer River on a private klotok boat and into the jungles of the Tanjung Putting National Part for a two-night stay in a local forest lodge.
Covering tropical swamp forest on a peninsula jutting into the Java Sea, Tanjung Puting is Kalimantan’s premier nature reserve. The reason for its great popularity is its 1,000-strong population of orangutans, who live semi-wild around three feeding stations deep inside the park – part of the famous Camp Leakey rehabilitation programme, which helps the animals adapt to life in the wild if they have been orphaned or captured. As well as the orangutans, you stand a good chance of sighting gharial crocodiles, red-leaf monkeys and possibly even a clouded leopard – a creature so elusive it was only identified as a separate species in 2006.
Tajung Putting National Park
Spend the day visiting orangutan sanctuaries, including the one at Camp Leakey.
Safaris on the Sekonyer River are generally conducted on klotok cruisers – a wonderful way to experience the jungles of Borneo. Spiky pandanus bushes, vivid yellow gardenia and ranks of stately dipterocarp trees line the banks. As you glide deeper into the forest, keep your eyes peeled for orangutans nesting in the trees, gibbons swinging through the branches, crocs drifting through the still, green water or hornbills flitting through the tropical canopy.
Travel by boat back to Pengkalan Bun and onwards to Semarang, where you’ll be spending the night. In the afternoon, tour the Dutch colonial buildings and narrow, covered lanes of Chinese quarter.
The most interesting neighbourhood in this predominantly modern city is the Chinese kampung, a district of tightly packed, twisting lanes where the 18th century Tay Kak Sie Temple is the striking landmark. Nearby, the Bereja Blenduk (‘Domed Church’) stands as a reminder of Dutch rule.
Fly to Bali for an overnight stay.
Labuan Bajo, Flores
Transfer to the airport and take a flight east to Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores, where you’ll spend the next two nights. Explore the fishing village with your guide, and sample some freshly grilled seafood at the market.
Located on a half-moon bay surrounded by steep hills, Labuan Bajo is a pleasant place for leisurely ambles. In the afternoon, visit the fish market for a plate of freshly grilled seafood, then head over to Paradise Bar in time for sunset. The bar has a stupendous view over the bay and hosts live music most evenings.
Labuan Bajo, Flores
Travel by boat to Komodo Island today to see the awesome dragon on Komodo itself, and then neighbouring Rinca. Between treks, enjoy snorkelling in the clear turquoise waters around the archipelago.
The world’s largest lizard, the legendary Komodo dragon, survives on 5 islands in eastern Indonesia – the most accessible of them Komodo and nearby Rinca. Both are starkly beautiful, with parched, undulating hills of bleached grass and spindly lontar palms falling to turquoise bays and pale, pink-sand beaches. In order to ensure your safety while observing the dragons, expert guides and rangers will accompany you throughout your safari. The finest panorama in the region is to be had from the summit of Komodo’s highest hill, Gunung Ara; on the way, your guide will point out cockatoos and megapodes, a rare bird resembling a turkey.
Fly back to Denpasar and spend three nights in Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital.
Ubud is the place to experience traditional dance and ritual arts. The town is jam-packed with absorbing little stalls, boutiques and crafts workshops where you can watch artisans at work and browse an astonishing range of quality local handicrafts. The thatched villages around it offer windows on the island’s more traditional way of life, as well as plenty of scope for forest walks, white water rafting, bird spotting and encounters with long-tailed macaques.
Spend the day exploring the temples and cultural villages of Ubud.
One of most magical places to start your day’s sightseeing is the town’s beautiful Botanical Park, a wonderland of lilies, weeping figs, orchids and rainforest plants. Linger for lunch at the Chocolate House Café, housed in a century-old teak hut. Then sample the local art scene at the Neka Art gallery and, later, call at Threads of Life, which stocks a superb range of fine traditional textiles. Another must-see is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, on the south side of town, where over 200 macaques congregate in a patch of dense forest scattered with old stone shrines.
Another day to explore the town’s art scene and traditional crafts – or simply relax back at your hotel.
Ubud is the perfect place to enjoy a Balinese massage. The spa at the Hotel Tjampuhan, housed in a former royal guesthouse overlooking the Gunung Lembah Temple and river, is one of our favourites thanks to its delightful traditional architecture. Later, experience Balinese dance in the Puri Saren Palace, accompanied by live Gamelan music and performed against a backdrop of beautiful old temples. While you’re waiting for the show to start you can wander around the adjacent Water Palace, with its pretty tropical lily ponds.
It’s time to say goodbye to Bali as you drive to Denpasar airport to catch your flight back to the UK via Singapore.
Arrive back in the UK.
15 days from £ 3970 per person
✓ International flights from London
✓ 12 nights accommodation
✓ All internal transportation and transfers
✓ English-speaking guides
✓ Breakfast daily
✓ Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary
The conservative rule of Yogyakarta’s traditional Sultans has ensured the tidal wave of westernization sweeping across the rest of the country has made a more measured impact in t...
Borobudur encapsulates everything that’s most exotic about Java. Come before dawn and you can watch the first rays of daylight illuminate the faces of 1200-year-old stone Buddhas ...
Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, Prambanan, 11 miles (18km) east of Yogyakarta, was constructed in the mid 850s AD, but deserted only a couple of generations later – probably bec...
The Indonesian state of Kalimantan covers threequarters of Borneo – one of the very wildest, and least visited, parts of Asia. Infamous for their former practice of headhunting, t...
Tanjung Puting National Park
Covering 4,000 sq km of tropical heath and swamp forest on a low-lying peninsula jutting into the Java Sea, Tanjung Puting is Kalimantan’s premier nature reserve. The reason for i...
Bali, to the east of Java, has always been considered the pearl in the necklace of Indonesia’s Sunda Islands. Its mix of spellbinding volcanic scenery, glorious beaches, pounding ...
This long, rugged island straggles across Nusa Tenggara Province, its mountainous volcanic spine soaring to an impressive 2,500m (8,200ft). Portuguese traders were responsible for...
Komodo and Rinca Islands
The world’s largest lizard, the legendary Komodo dragon, survives on 5 islands in eastern Indonesia – the most accessible of them, Komodo itself and nearby Rinca. Both are starkly...
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