Explore a unique, exotic culture that has retained many of its ancient cultural traditions while simultaneously growing with the outside world. Discover Javanese dance and see village life in the same form it’s been for centuries with our 6-day Journey Into the Heart of Java itinerary. Watch the sky light up over the majestic Borobudur Temple as the sun casts its first rays across the morning. This rare cultural experience will give you an exclusive glance into an ancient, simpler way of life.
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Arrive in Yogyakarta - a pulsing cultural Mecca that was the capital of Indonesia during the Indonesian National Revolution. Settle in at your hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring the city. For convenience, we recommend the Tentrem Hotel or Phoenix Hotel.
Start the morning by visit the sprawling 17th-century Sultan’s Palace, also known as Kraton. Marvel at the posts covered in gold leaf and elaborate carvings. Continue onto the Taman Sari Water Castle, the site of the lush royal garden that was built in the mid-18th-century. Spend the afternoon in the quaint blacksmiths’ village of Kotagede. Visit a traditional and immensely colorful Batik home. If you’re feeling daring, pick up a Javanese-style floral shirt and sport it yourself. Finish the day by visiting the impressive Prambanan temple complex. Learn about classic Hindu temple architecture and enjoy a special showing of the light-hearted Javanese traditional dance. Indulge in a delicious and authentic Javanese dinner.
Immerse yourself in the local Javanese lifestyle as you spend the day in Candirejo village. Learn the traditional farming methods, the plantation resources and ceremonies. You’ll feel like one of the Javanese, as the locals invite you to join in their customs. That afternoon, you will drive for 1 hour to the Magelang area near Borobudur and stay the night. We recommend staying at either Amanjiwo or Plataran Borobudur.
Rise early to watch the sun rise above the beautiful Borobudur Temple. That afternoon, discover the volcano Merapi from the perfect viewpoint in Kaliadem. This is the most active volcano in all of Indonesia! Walk down to the Elo River and climb aboard a raft for a fun ride you won’t forget - not to worry, the Elo River offers Grade II-III rafting, while it won’t be boring, it’s perfectly safe.
Enjoy the view of acres of rice paddies and small villages as we drive for 3 hours to Dieng, a steep volcanic plateau that rises 6,561 feet into the sky. This plateau was sacred to the Javanese Hindus for its closeness to the heavens. Centuries ago, hundreds of temples could be found in the area but only eight survive today. Visit the holy sites that are built in classic Javanese architectural style before journeying back through active volcanoes, sulfur springs, hot geysers and mineral lakes. Smell the contrastingly-sweet odors of tea leafs followed by tobacco leafs as we cross through their respective plantations. Savor a delicious meal at the best restaurant in the area.
Spend your final morning relaxing at your hotel before checking out, and departing to check in for your return flight home.
Hotel Tentrem Yogyakarta takes its inspiration from a Javanese word that, in their culture, refers to a peaceful, tranquil, and calm state of being. This independent hotel prides itself on providing a quality experience to its guests by focusing on every detail. The property is situated just 5 minutes from downtown Yogyakarta and 20 minutes from the airport. Dining options include Kayumanis Coffee Shop for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Eboni Bar and Lounge for light fare and drinks; and The Grand Duck King for lunch and dinner.
The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta is situated in the heart of Yogyakarta just minutes from the popular Malioboro shopping district and 15 minutes from Yogyakarta International Airport. The hotel was originally commissioned in 1918 to be built as the private residence for a wealthy Chinese merchant. Later, the building served as the Chinese consulate. Asian and European influence can be seen in each of the hotel’s 144 rooms and suites, each with its own private balcony. Amenities include a spa, swimming pool, and fitness center. Dining options include Paprika, which offers Indonesian, Chinese, and Western cuisine and the 1918’s Terrace Lounge. Vino Bar offers a wine and cocktail selection.
In the heart of Central Java lies Amanjiwo, built from Yogya, the area’s famed local limestone. The bell-shaped rotunda of the main building echoes the nearby Borobudur, an ancient Buddhist temple and one of Indonesia’s most visited sites. The resort offers unspoiled views of this wonder, in addition to the fertile paddyfields of Kedu Plain. Indonesian and Western cuisine are served in the Dining Room, which is opulently decorated with gold-leaf murals of scenes from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and breakfast, lunch and light snacks can also be served in the colonnaded Pool Club that extends into the rice fields. Other places for guests to unwind include the library, art gallery, spa, tennis center and outdoor infinity-edge swimming pool. Amanjiwo’s 36 suites are arranged in two crescents, which frame the main building. Each suite is topped with a traditional volcanic ash tinted roof and interiors include hand-carved coconut wood furniture, exotic Javanese textiles and antique glass paintings. Wireless broadband access is available in all public spaces and in all accommodations.
The Plataran Borobudur is a comfortable eco-friendly resort and spa located in Borobudur, an area situated in between two volcanoes in Central Java. The villas offer views of the Borobudur Temple, Mount Merapi, and the surrounding teak forests. The Plataran Borobudur is located approximately 1 ½ hours from the international airport that services Yogyakarta. Facilities include the Padma Spa Borobudur, a salon, fitness center, playground for children, and organic garden. Dining options at the resort include the Patio Lounge and Restaurant, the Stupa Lounge, and the Kastil Royal Dining Room.