Java and Bali discovery tour
- Indonesia and Bali
Welcome to Indonesia! Your trip will start in Yogyakarta, true heart of all things Javanese. You will explore beautifully restored archeological sites, from an era when powerful kings ruled Java like Hindu gods. Observe the processing of age-old crafts. Pay homage to the Sultan, traditional ruler of an intriguing society on the crossroads of ancient and modern times. Travel the charming and far less populated East Java with a visit to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park covering a massive area of 800 square km in the center of East Java before touching down on fabled Bali, still capturing the imagination of travelers from the four corners of the globe.
Selamat Datang! Welcome to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. You are greeted by your guide and driver at Adi Sucipto International Airport for your transfer to the hotel. You will have time to relax at your hotel and adjust to the pace of Yogyakarta. This beautiful city is bustling with energy.
Overnight at Hotel Santika Premiere Jogja.
This morning tour will get a good impression of the city of Yogyakarta, generally considered as the heartland of the venerable Javanese culture. First to Kota Gede. Yogya's silver street has a large number of shops, ranging from small hideouts in the little alleys to real superstores. But they all produce the finest jewelry and costly silver household. In another section of town, the Kraton, the Palace of the Sultan, you can still breathe an atmosphere of past grandeur. Further down the street, you may walk through the small alleys of a mysterious place, called the Water Castle, a network of pleasure domes, canals and charming ponds, all complete with secret hideaways and rooftop chambers.
For lunch you will indulge in a selection of Javanese delicacies. A visit to the splendid temple complex of Prambanan, a short drive east of the city centre, is the main afternoon program. Comprising more than 200 large and smaller buildings, this place is a permanent reminder of Java's Hindu past. Right in the center of the inner walls, the 47 m high Loro Jonggrang triumphs over the nearby plains. This grand monument is dedicated to the god Shiva. Wonderful bass-relieves tell the old Indian story of Ramayana. The whole area is a true open air museum of Javanese antiquity, with abundant stone marks of the past and remains of Buddhist and Hindu temples.
Overnight at The Phoenix Hotel in Yogyakarta.
Today you will have ample time to discover the mystery and history of the world famous Borobudur temple, one of the biggest and most impressive Buddhist monuments ever erected by mankind. It lies tranquil against the splendid background of the Menoreh mountain range, about 40 km from Yogyakarta. The terraced temple tells the times and a life of the Lord Buddha in well over 1500 bas-reliefs and thus it is a real prayer in stone. It also illustrates the will of man to preserve the past. Once enshrined by a wild jungle, it took more than ten years and great financial effort to save the monument. Now it belongs to the finest examples of Buddhist architecture. Next we will take you to explore the village of Candirejo, a village dedicated to preserving local culture. It is located near Borobudur temple and set in an authentic Javanese environment. Slow travel along its lanes by `delman`, a traditional Javanese horse drawn carriage, is a highlight. Every sight tells a story of local culture, daily Javanese village life plays out in front of you. Drive past local houses with their kitchens separated from the living and sleeping quarters. Wood is the cooking material of choice. Learn how the local agricultural produce is moved to and traded at local markets. You might even stumble onto some rare ceremonies, intertwined with Hindu past of Java and completely unexpected in a predominantly Muslim island. There are rituals dedicated to the Gatekeeper of the Mountain, who can predict volcano eruptions. Amazingly the villagers have ceremonies requesting God for good harvests. They are part of an extensive series of rituals governing the complex relationship between God and humans, according to ancient and complex Javanese beliefs.
Overnight at Hotel Santika Premiere Jogja.
Transfer to the railway station. Today you will experience one of the highlights of your trip during an authentic train journey through scenic Central Java. While the most beautiful rice paddies, stunning valleys and picturesque villages pass the eye, and taking you ever further into Central Java, you will enjoy the comfort of an air conditioned train wagon. Once in a while, during a lazy stop, vendors will try to sell small amenities such as cigarettes and candies to the fortunate travelers on board, you! Before noon you will reach Mojokerto.
Meet your guide and proceed by car to Sukapura, nestled against the mighty slope of Gunung Bromo. En route plenty of photo stops, with sights on dormant volcanoes, picturesque Javanese villages, old sultanate towns and the never boring street sights with thousands of vehicles and people, moving goods in becaks to seemingly all directions at the same time ! Arriving in the late afternoon and rest of the evening free, preparing for a nightly excursion you will never forget.
Overnight at Jiwa Jawa Hotel in Sukapura.
After a very early morning wake-up call, we start our trip to sacred Mount Bromo. After a short but steep jeep ride we will take you to Penanjakan point to witness a glorious sunrise. Only when the first rays of dawn appear, you realize the splendor of the environment. A wide sea of sand, bordered by the highest mountain tops of Java, resembles a moonscape! From here we drive into the huge caldera and will take you across a wide open terrain on horseback to reach the inner sanctum. There you have to climb some stairs before reaching the top of the active Bromo volcano.
Return to your hotel for a well-deserved breakfast. Relax till departure to Surabaya airport – lunch en route – depart by regular flight to Denpasar, Bali. SUB – DPS suggested taking late afternoon flight. Upon arrival meeting service and transfer to your hotel in Ubud.
Overnight at Wapa di Ume Resort in Ubud.
In the morning you’ll visit a small, charming temple, built along a holy spring in Tirta Empul. This is one of the dedicated spots where the Balinese people fetch holy water for their numerous rituals. A bit further, you’ll find the Gunung Kawi, monumental rock shrines, dedicated to a long lost royal family of the 11th century. Have lunch in one of the many excellent restaurants of Ubud, overlooking a steep valley. In the afternoon, it is time for the arts.
The Neka Museum harbors some world class paintings of renowned Indonesian and famous foreign masters. Walking through the themed halls, you’ll discover the beauty of paintings inspired by Balinese culture. Finally, visit to the central market with lots of souvenirs and the monkey forest of Ubud, where hordes of monkeys will welcome you!
Overnight at GREEN FIELD RESORT in Ubud.
Depart to the North, first to Mengwi, home of the splendid Taman Ayun. The 17th century royal temple sheds a magnificent light on the secrets of traditional Balinese temple architecture. Very few other temples were constructed along such 'ideal' lines. Three terraces blend harmoniously into one another, each of them representing different worlds, dedicated to the Negative and Positive Forces in the universe. Afterwards, proceed to visit of Pura Luhur Batukaru Temple Bali, set in the plateau area with tropical rainforest sorrounding it on the slope of Mt. Batukaru. Batukaru temple is included in one of the six main temples (Sad Kahyangan) in Bali Island as described in Kusuma Dewa papyrus manuscript. Lunch at local restaurant.
Then continue visit to Jatiluwih, featuring breathtaking view of rice terrace unfolding from the foot of mountain until the coastal side. It has been well appointed as one of UNESCO World Heritages since the site has been able to maintain the local culture heritage in form of water irrigation system managed traditionally called by the name of Subak. The trip continues to the north through countryside road until you reach Lovina for overnight.
Overnight at The Lovina Hotel in Lovina.
Drive up to Munduk, a sleepy villages high up in the mountains and not far away from Lovina. Munduk is the perfect spot to make easy hikes. This is the best way to take in the magnificent beauty of North Bali. A stroll past forests, idyllic rice fields and lush waterfalls is quite pleasant at an altitude of some 1.000m and guarantees some stunning views on the surroundings. Nearby the hot springs from Banjar are a pleasant one kilometer hike away from the main road. It is widely believed its water can heal diseases. But it is the natural beauty of the environment that justify the effort to get there.
The Buddhist Monastery of Banjar is a tranquil place and comes complete with a lotus pool and religiously inspired sculptures. The views on the hills above Lovina and surroundings are extraordinary. The terraced complex has a few praying rooms with golden Buddha`s. On the highest level of the complex you find a stupa, almost like a small version of the Borobudur in Java.
Overnight at The Lovina Hotel in Lovina.
Depart to East Bali. First pay a visit to Pura Beji, one of the most important subak temples of North Bali. Drive small mountainous roads to Penelokan. Enjoy the marvelous vistas over Lake Batur, Gunung Agung, and Mount Batur, a smoldering volcanic cone right in the middle of a large caldera. Continue to Pura Besakih, aptly named the Mother Temple, a sprawling complex of numerous shrines and temples. Some of the bigger ones are obviously dedicated to the Hindu trinity Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, while the smaller ones seem to relate to various castes or even the different regions of Bali. Ceremonies held here are feasts for the eyes and attended by thousands of people. The temple is built against the slope of Mount Agung. The last leg of your trip of today, leads past beautiful rice terraces, all the way down to Candidasa.
Overnight at Rama Candidasa Hotel in Candidasa.
First impression of East Bali. Morning visit to the village of Tenganan, home of the original Balinese and one of the few places, where cloth is still woven by the double ikat method. Textiles produced in this manner, are expensive and believed to protect their owners from disease. Next we drive past beautiful rice terraces and take a dip at the spring fed pools of Tirtagangga, a veritable water playground designed by 6 princes in the Royal Family of Karangasem as a resting place. The exotic pools and water fountains sustained some damage during the eruptions of Mt. Agung, but the water gardens remain as serene, and tempting as ever, to the weary traveler.
Next stop at Amlapura, home to a fascinating palace, built in the 19th century and once the home of the raja`s of East Bali. It is well restored and has numerous references to a time and age when God-Kings ruled much of Bali. Some of them even conquered parts of Lombok. A unique architecture combines Balinese, Chinese and European elements. Return to hotel in the afternoon.
Overnight at Rama Candidasa hotel in Candidasa.
Morning at leisure until departure time, meet your guide at the lobby and direct transfer to Denpasar airport or continue for an extension stay in south Bali.
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