Indonesia is a land of huge diversity, boasting paradise beaches, towering mountains, dense tropical jungles and sprawling urban cities. Many visitors head straight for the sands of Bali, the famed jewel in Indonesia's crown. However, there is so much more that this incredible country has to offer. This month-long itinerary really allows you to embrace it all. After touching down and exploring Jakarta, you'll head Palangkaraya and Kumai in Borneo, where you’ll get a chance to see the beautiful and intelligent orangutans. This is followed by an epic journey across Java, Bali and Flores, with a short trip to see the monsters that inhabit the mysterious Komodo Island. Finally, it’s back Bali for some well-deserved beach time as your trip winds down.
This epic itinerary was originally designed by Remote Lands for a client of ours who wanted to spend a month exploring the best Indonesia has to offer, and we think it’s too good not to share!
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As soon as you touchdown at Jakarta International Airport, the VIP treatment begins. Private transport will take you to the luxury Dharmawangsa Hotel, in which you’ll be given an Executive Room for the next two nights. The setting of this five-star hotel is as equally stunning as your room. Take time to relax in the 4.2 hectares - an oasis of tranquility in this busy capital city.
After a good night’s sleep, today is really when your adventure begins. After a buffet breakfast at Dharmawangsa Hotel, you’ll depart for a full day tour of Indonesia’s capital city. You’ll be guided through the city’s major attractions, including Liberty Square, the stunning Jakarta Cathedral, and Istiqlal Mosque - the largest of its type in the whole of Southeast Asia.
It’s time to leave Jakarta and head to more tropical surroundings. An early morning flight will take you to Palangkaraya, located on the stunning island of Borneo. You’ll then be transferred to your private riverboat, which will be both your accommodation and transportation for the next two and a half days. This really gives you the best opportunity to see the incredible Borneo island in all its glory.
The Borneo river cruise continues for the next two days on your private cruise boat. Relax and take in the scenery from the comfort of your own luxurious cabin, or from the inside sitting area and upper viewing deck. Sail past villages of houses sitting above the water on stilts.
On the Ruhui Rahaya river boat, you’ll wake up with the rest of the surrounding jungle. On this final day of the river cruise, you’ll be making your slow but steady journey back to Palangkaraya. Along the way there are many chances to stop and see some wildlife and also visit local villages for a quick sample of traditional life on Borneo.
After arriving back in Palangkaraya, a short flight will take you to Kumai, where you’ll check into Rimba Lodge. This whole area is famous for its diverse ecosystem and rare local species, and there will be ample opportunity to see some for yourself. Bring your binoculars and from the comfort of an afternoon river cruise, you might be able to spot a Proboscis monkey or a Great Hornbill.
For the animal lovers of the tour, the seventh day will be a particularly special one. This is your chance to get up close and personal with orangutans in a full-day excursion to Camp Leakey, an orangutan research centre located in the Tanjung Puting Reserve. Coming this close to such an intelligent and beautiful creatures is an unforgettable, and in some cases, life changing experience. The excursion also includes a jungle trek - so bring your hiking boots!
In the morning you will say goodbye to Kumai and take a short 50-minute flight to Semarang in Java. From there, you will taken by private transport to Borobudur - your next destination, a 2-hour drive away. After you’ve checked in to your one-bedroom villa, you can either cool off in your pool, or explore the breathtaking temple surroundings and thriving nature all by yourself.
Spend the day exploring Borobudur on the island of Java in a full-day excursion. Borobudur is the most popular tourist destination in the whole country, and upon first glance you’ll realize why. The hundreds of temples, statues and ruins are truly breathtaking. You’ll have to leave your villa early to catch the stunning sunrise over the ancient temple complex, which is the largest Buddhist monument in the world.
On your second day exploring this fascinating region, you will visit Gedong Songo Hindu temple, built during the Sanjaya dynasty and originally made out of volcanic stone. The trip also stops off at Dieng Plateau, 4 hours away, a 1,300 year-old Hindu temple complex situated 2,000 meters above sea level.
In the morning, you will be transferred to your next hotel in nearby (1 hour) Yogyakarta, a central Javanese city renowned for its classic architecture and vibrant cultural scene. The afternoon has been designated for your own free time, allowing you to sample the excellent art, music and dance venues across town. Hop on one of the cute three-wheeled, pedal-powered ‘trishaws’ for an authentic and fun way of getting around.
Visit the Sultan’s Palace, a wonderful example of classic Indonesian architecture which was designed to reflect the Javanese cosmos. On this full tour of Yogyakarta, you’ll also stop by Taman Sari, a beautiful stone castle built around pools of turquoise water. The last stop, and certainly not least, is at the enormous Prambanan Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll definitely want the rest of the day to explore these intricately detailed 9th century ruins.
The trip from Yogyakarta to Bromo is a chance for you to tick off yet another exciting mode of transport on your epic journey: the train. As you make your way from Central to East Java, you’ll watch as the landscape evolves from flat jungle terrain to rugged mountains and towering volcanoes. This is a particularly memorable journey - one in which only the steady pace of a train ride can do sufficient justice to. After all, with scenery like this, what’s the hurry?
After a good night’s rest at your hotel, which lies 6,561 feet above sea level, it’s time to tackle the intimidating Mt Bromo. With its peak at over 7,709 feet in the sky, this active volcano is worth seeing properly. Do just that by exploring in a 4x4 jeep, followed by a horseback ride that stops at a waterfall. In the afternoon, you’ll head onwards to the historic Javanese city of Melang.
At this halfway stage on your Indonesian adventure, you’ll be shown around the town of Melang (a 90-minute drive away), soaking up the rich culture in the city center and visiting the temple ruins of Singosari and Jago. There will also be the chance to sample some of the colonial delights served up at the famous Toko Oen restaurant. You’ll find a mix of Dutch, Indonesian and Chinese classics as well as some tasty cookies to take home.
Make your way to the airport today, where you’ll catch a flight to one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world: Bali. Private transportation will bring you to your accommodation where you can rest up for the rest of the day.
The next day is a chance for you to learn more about your surroundings, particularly the rice fields that are so noticeable in the area. The best way to see them is by foot, so a trek with a professional guide is arranged. Near to your accommodation, you’ll also be offered a traditional Balinese blessing. The short ceremony performed in the ancient Sanskrit language is meant to chase away bad spirits, purify the soul and bring about good fortune.
A new day, and in the land of over 17,000 islands, it must be time to visit a new one. A quick plane trip away lies the island of Flores, home to some breathtaking scenery shaped by millions of years of volcanic activity. After arriving in the sleepy capital city of Ende, you’ll make your way to your hotel, located in Moni, a small village that bathes in the shadow of the giant Mount Kelimutu.
As the saying goes, ‘the early bird catches the worm’ - and if you’re up early enough, you’ll be able to catch the breathtaking sunrise over Mount Kelimutu. Though it may be a struggle to leave the comfort of your room, this is one sight that’s definitely worth the extra effort. An overland trip for the rest of the day will bring you back through Ende for another look, past Tanggo Beach for a quick dip and onto your next destination, Bajawa.
Now you’re really going off the beaten track. A full day tour through the Flores countryside will take you past rolling hills and over intricately layered rice fields. Stop off at the remote Tololela and Bena villages, where you can eat, shop and experience the simple, peaceful and almost untouched lifestyle of the local people.
The next leg of your journey takes you from Bajawa to Ruteng, a 3.5-hour drive. The mountainous, and in parts coastal route takes you past Mbalata Beach, where you can stop off for a relaxing swim. Whilst this beach might not offer the crystal clear water or white sand of other Indonesian beaches, it does have one of the finest beach backdrops you’ll ever see, with the distant volcanic skyline offering a reminder of just why this part of the world is so special.
The surrounding area of Ruteng provides more untouched beauty - at times you’ll feel as if it has been reserved especially for you. The town itself is quiet, but a short trip out to Tengku Lese Waterfall offers great views and a chance to cool off in its pool - so don’t forget your swimsuit! You’ll explore the nearby ‘Hobbit Cave,’ nicknamed after the discovery of the ancient remains of a three-foot tall person.
A three-hour trip past the lovely villages of Caro and Melo takes you to your next port of call: Labuan Bajo. Here you will board a private boat and set sail for the mysterious Komodo Island. This oversea journey is just as spectacular as the other land trips you have made on this spectacular journey. Feel the fresh ocean air as you pass the plethora of tiny, often inhabited Indonesian islands. Dinner tonight is onboard, and so is your bed.
After breakfast and lunch onboard, you’ll sail into Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of three islands. Once on dry land, an afternoon trekking trip has been organized in through Komodo and Rinca Islands, where you’ll be sure to find the 10-foot-long, 150 pound monsters that the park is named after. But don’t worry - you won’t get too close!
Back onboard, you’ll wake up with the waves lapping at the bottom of the boat. Once you’ve had breakfast, its time to go snorkeling. The water here in the Flores sea is so clear that thousands of professional divers flock here every year to observe the underwater wildlife. Afterwards, you'll continue to two tropical islands where you can take a (long) moment to relax.
After a few days at sea, it’s back to dry land. A morning flight from Labuan Bajo will take you to Denpasar, where you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel at Canggu Beach on the south coast of Bali. You’ll have free time to yourself in the afternoon to acquaint yourself with your home for the next few days.
For the remaining four days of the trip you’ll have free time for doing as much - or as little - as you want. One of the most popular tourist activities in this stunning coastal area simply involves a good book, some sunscreen and a ice-cold drink. Kick back and relax without feeling guilty - you’ve had a long journey!
Today is another free day to explore the area of Canggu Beach or just spend time to revitalize yourself after travelling thousands of kilometres over the past month or so. Try an early morning yoga session or take a trip to one of the fantastic nearby spas, where you’ll find traditional Balinese massage techniques and soothing detox treatments.
Luxuriate in yet another day to yourself. If by now you’re feeling a bit more energetic, you could try one of the several interesting activities in the area, such as one of the various beachside water sports (surfing, swimming, diving), golf sessions or day trips.
Today is the last full day of your month-long Indonesian journey. Spend this free day relaxing pool- or beachside and preparing for your departure tomorrow. For your last night, why not head to one of the many waterfront seafood restaurants for an delectably fresh dinner? Enjoy the delicious fresh food and watch the sun go down on what has been a truly unforgettable trip.
In the morning you will depart your hotel at Canggu Beach with private transportation. Say goodbye to the island of Bali and catch a lunchtime flight back to Jakarta. You should arrive back in the capital around mid-afternoon for your onward flight, marking the end of your Indonesian adventure.
Located in the bustling commercial district of Mega Kuningan, the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta is one of the capital's most luxurious five-star properties. The hotel offers 333 luxurious rooms and suites including one Presidential Suite, three Ritz-Carlton Suites, 31 Mayfair Suites, two Grand Spa Terrace Villas, 298 spacious guest rooms and club level rooms. All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, high quality linen, sunken bath, designer bathroom amenities, ironing board and iron, free WiFi, LCD TV and a fridge and minibar. The hotel spa and fitness center is one of the finest and most exclusive in Jakarta, and offers a range of invigorating spa treatments. Dining options consist of Asia, an all-day international/Asian buffet; Lobo, a chic high-end Italian restaurant that also serves over 100 different martinis; and Tempus, a sophisticated bar, nightclub and karaoke lounge.
This elegant, luxurious five-star boutique hotel in Jakarta is located in Kebayoran Baru, an exclusive residential area in Jakarta. Consisting of 64 rooms and 36 suites, each guest room and suite opens onto a large private balcony. All rooms and suites are adorned with fabrics and art pieces, and feature dual-line telephones, data port, high speed internet access, briefcase-sized safes, fax machines and multimedia entertainment centers. The hotel is home to three restaurants: Jakarta, which serves Indonesian, Asian, and Western fare in a casual setting; Sriwijaya, inspired by the eponymous, eighth-century Indonesian kingdom, which offers French cuisine; and Sekitei, reputedly Jakarta’s top Japanese restaurant. The hotel also offers indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, and tennis and squash courts. The Dharmawangsa is approximately thirty-three minutes from Jakarta's international airport.
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.
Amankila is perched on a cliff overlooking Lombok Strait and the private beach just below the resort. The 34 thatched-roof suites have walkways that wind through vegetation, attaching them to restaurants and public areas. The restaurant overlooks the pools and the sea and serves Western and Indonesian cuisine; private dining in the suites is available all day. Amankila’s Beach Club is located at the base of the cliff where there is a large pool in addition to the three-tiered pool on the cliff side. The club offers a range of activities; windsurfers, kayaks, boogie boards and Hobie cats are all available for use. Yoga classes are available at the Beach Club, or taught privately in your suite. There is no fitness center and no business center, however wi-fi is available in all rooms and public areas. The spa offers beauty and Balinese massage treatments on the beach, hidden away among coconut trees, in your suite or in a massage pavilion. The resort is one hour from Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS).
One of six ecolodges operated by Ecolodges Indonesia, the Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge is a low-impact resort whose mission is to showcase the natural beauty that Flores has to offer, while maintaining environmentally friendly operations. The lodge’s bungalows offer stunning views of the volcano Kelimutu. The main attractions of the area are arguably the three crater lakes that lie on Kelimutu, at about 1,400m elevation. The lakes change colors, but are generally found to be hues of red, green, and blue. Accommodations are basic, but comfortable and include terraces and gardens, balconies with views of Kelimutu, a bar, and a restaurant.
Hotel Happy Happy is a simple, clean guesthouse located in Bajawa. Owned by a couple from The Netherlands and staffed entirely by locals, the small guesthouse places special attention to customer service and hospitality. Hotel Happy Happy has only six rooms for guests, which ensures that you will be a priority during your stay with them. Amenities include hot water (a rarity in these parts of Indonesia), free wireless internet, and breakfast with homemade bread and fresh juice.
Wisma Santa Maria, also known as Hotel Susteran, is a guesthouse operated by the nuns of a convent. The guesthouse began operations to meet the internal needs of the order, but began to offer stays to the public and has continued to offer modest accommodations to travellers visiting Ruteng. The rooms and amenities are scarce, however, the hotel is widely regarded as the best in the area.
Amandari welcomes you to stay in central Bali at its 30-suite luxury property designed to resemble a traditional Balinese-style village with coconut wood posts, Javanese marble and volcanic stone. The suites come with a private garden, courtyard and outdoor sunken marble bath. The open-air restaurant serves Indonesian and Western cuisine with views of the lush gorge. Amenities at Amandari include a swimming pool, fitness center with state-of-the-art machines, private outdoor yoga classes, tennis courts and a library. Wi-fi is available in all rooms and public areas.The spa is surrounded by a lotus pond and has a beauty room, sauna, steam room and two bales (gazebos) for outdoor treatments. Amandari is approximately a 45-minute drive from the Denpasar Airport (DPS) in Bali.
The Legian Bali is located on Seminyak beach, which offers some of the world’s best surfs, sunsets and nightlife. The hotel comprises 68 rooms and suites, all designed in a modern chic style, while also incorporating traditional Balinese artwork and artifacts. Guests can immerse themselves in the Indonesian way of life while staying at The Legian Bali with its tropical scenery and tranquil surroundings. The amenities and facilities are plentiful and delightful, with several treatments available at the elegant spa, including body polish rituals for detoxing or rejuvenation, performed amidst beautiful natural garden surroundings. Guests can indulge in restaurants that serve some of the freshest, most succulent seafood around, caught daily from the nearby waters. From the hotel’s many well-appointed restaurants, stunning views of the ocean, as well as the famous Seminyak sunset, can be observed while guests sip away on one of the hotel’s custom-made cocktails.