What you get
New Year on the paradise islands of Indonesia. Java, Bali and Raja Ampat
This New Year will rock your world! We will celebrate it on deserted islands in the middle of the most unique coral reef of our planet.
- Meet the sunrise on the top of the volcano Bromo and watch the "poisonous lake" glow in the crater of the active volcano Ijen
- Explore the shrines famous all over the world - the 9th century Buddhist shrine of Borobudur and the complex of Prambanan temples
- Jump into the warm waterfalls of Bali in the middle of the pristine jungle
- Enjoy the white beaches on the tiny uninhabited Raja Ampat islands
- Swim next to dozens of sea devils - giant manta rays in the open ocean
The price of the trip includes:
- All domestic flights (Yogyakarta-Surabaya, Bali-Sorong)
- Accommodation during the entire trip
- All rides along the route, including buses, boats, ferries, rented transport and urban transport of all kinds
- All food during five days on the islands of Raja Ampat and some breakfasts on the route
- Professional guiding services during the entire trip
What is NOT included:
- Flight to Yogyakarta and back home from Sorong (Let us know if you need help finding the best flights)
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Entrance fees to temples, parks and other attractions (maximum $200);
- Diving (from $39 per dive)
- Snorkeling ($7-10 for renting equipment per day)
- Food ($8-15 per person per day)
Day 1 - 2
We arrive to Yogyakarta and check into a hotel. We found ourselves in the cultural capital of the country where we begin our group trip to Indonesia. We will try gudeg – a dish made of jackfruit, coconut milk, duck eggs, rice and chicken, enjoy unusual local sweets and then visit the Kraton Palace, where Yogyakarta sultans have been living since the 18th century.
Imagine the size of this complex, where, besides a sultan and his family, 20 thousand servants have been staying! This place is significant for Java inhabitants, because in 1812 the British burned it after conquering the Java Sultanate. Soon the palace was rebuilt, and now it is a city in the city. There are cafes and shops, a museum of gifts of European monarchs, a museum of carriages and a museum of ancient musical instruments. The part of the palace, where the Sultan's family now lives, is closed.
After lunch we go to the Hindu temple complex of Prambanan, where we learn more about Hinduism in Indonesia. The complex consists of many temples dedicated to Hindu gods and was built in the 9th century. The highest temple of Shiva has a height of 47 meters! We visit the most important temples and walk to some remote ones, where tourists rarely go. We enjoy the silence exploring images of deities and ornaments. Being under the impression we greet a sunset on an endless beach.
In the morning we go to the 9th century Borobudur Buddhist stupa. It consists of nine platforms with 504 Buddha statues. On the upper platform there are 72 small stupas in the shape of bells, and each of them has a statue inside. People who are a little familiar with Buddhism can read this stupa like a book. It reveals the dramatic story of the birth of Buddha Shakyamuni in the family of the king, his years of spiritual quest, and the main principles of his teaching and departure to parinirvana.
Now imagine that all this amazing structure stands against two huge volcanoes. Because of one of them - Merapi – Borobudur in the 14th century was covered with volcanic ash, then overgrown with jungle and forgotten. It was rediscovered only in the 19th century. Since then a great work has been done not only of digging up the complex, but also of its complete dismantling and reconstructing!
In the evening we walk through Muslim quarters of Yogyakarta, observing local authentic life. We visit a restaurant in a traditional Javanese house and a market of medicinal plants and spices.
Day 4 - 5
We continue our small group trip to Indonesia and in the morning fly to the city of Surabaya (1 hour) and then move to the village of Chemoro Lavang at the foot of Bromo volcano (3.5 hours). We check into a hotel and early in the morning take a vehicle to the crater of the volcano. Here at an altitude of 2 329 meters we will enjoy an incredibly beautiful sunrise!
What does one feel watching the first sun rays illuminating the horizon, flooding the valley and neighboring volcanoes with pink light? We will feel the power of our planet under our feet - after all, we are standing at the crater of an active volcano, whose erupted in 2015!
We will explore the crater, and then return to the hotel for breakfast. After some rest, we start our way to Bondowoso (6 hours on the way). We make a stop at the cascade of Madakaripura waterfalls. To get to the highest 200-meter waterfall, we have to walk under the cool streams of water. At the end of the day we check into a hotel near the Ijen volcano.
At night we start climbing the Ijen volcanic complex. In about an hour we reach the edge of the crater at an altitude of 2 350 meters. Even from afar, we observe a strange blue glow in the dark. We come closer and see how hundreds of people carry large wicker baskets out of this huge blue flame. Mystical spectacle. In front of us there is an acid lake in the crater of Ijen volcano!
When the sun rises, we see that the lake has bright turquoise color. Men moving along its shores are workers who extract sulfur here at night. Loaded with huge baskets full of yellow cobblestones they descend to the foot of the volcano, and then carry their burden a few more kilometers to the village, where they can leave sulfur and get paid. Watching their hard work, we go down to the bus.
After breakfast we go by bus and ferry to the north of Bali (only 2-3 hours). We checked into a hotel and swim on the volcanic beach in the evening.
Day 7 - 9
Our guided tour to Indonesia has taken us to the heart of the resort island of Bali. Ubud is surrounded by picturesque bright green rice plantations, small temples, and wild jungles. We walk along coffee plantations, explore waterfalls, visit a beach hidden between the steep slopes in the south of the island and do a ten-kilometer rafting along the fabulous Ayung River.
We will also visit the Ubud rulers’ palace and the temple on Bratan Lake. We also go to the Tirta Empul Water Temple, famous for its sacred sources. Hindus come here to perform ritual ablutions and to cleanse themselves from sins. The culmination of our stay in Bali is the famous traditional dances in the temple on the edge of a 70-meter cliff!
In the evening of the last day we go to the airport and fly to Makassar, where we take a night flight to Sorong. Upon arrival we check into the hotel.
We arrive in Sorong, the largest city in West Papua where we continue our guided tour to Indonesia. This is the most remote and authentic part of Indonesia. A few years ago, Sorong was just a small village without a single paved road. In this town we spend only a couple of hours to buy essentials and wait for our transport.
After a ferry (about 5 hours), we board a motorboat and sail towards Raja Ampat archipelago (45 minutes). Our road will reach its end in twilight so we have an opportunity to admire the sunset. We check into simple houses on a small island.
We are completely cut off from civilization. Raja Ampat is the most remote region of Indonesia, and we stay on its most inaccessible part. There are no tourists here, no dwellings except our huts, no Internet, and electricity is supplied only at night by a fuel generator.
In the morning we start exploring the most remote and desert islands of the archipelago by motorboat. On one of the islands we climb a cliff to admire the view that opens over the archipelago: hundreds of pyramidal rocks sticking out from water and islands covered with jungles connected by bridges of sandy spits. Sea water here is so transparent, that even from a height of several dozens of meters you can see turtles and sharks swimming far below.
We visit a limestone cave, considered sacred, sail inside through a huge natural corridor and in light of torches we watch ancient petroglyphs on cave walls. We will swim in a salt lake with thousands of jellyfish. These animals do not sting and are absolutely safe for humans. We visit a secret lagoon nestled in the middle of the island. To reach it we have to walk through narrow cave passages filled with water and then climb over the rocks.
We explore the cave of the reflective princess. Here over thousands of years the forces of nature shaped an ordinary stalagmite into a figure which looks like a female. And near the grotto there is a fantastic absolutely desert white-sand beach.
Day 12 - 13
In the morning we continue our trip around the archipelago. We will watch coral reefs in colorful bays. Climb a hill to observe the Love Lake - a small heart-shaped lagoon.
We swim in small bays that are famous for their limestone rocks. Winds and water cut these boulders protruding from the sea into odd thin-legged mushrooms, stone clouds and pyramids.
In the morning we take two ferries (about 7 hours on the way) and reach the town of Waisai, which become our base for traveling along the northern part of the archipelago. From here on a small boat we go to the island of Kri and check into a bungalow on a beach. We will enjoy the evening on a veranda with a sea view, listening to birds of a nearby forest.
Day 14 - 15
Raja Ampat is located in the heart of so-called “coral triangle”, which is famous for its incredible natural diversity. Here you may meet sea turtles, giant manta rays and hundreds of species of fish, mollusks and corals.
In the morning we snorkel or dive around the islands of Kri and Mansuar. Residents of some coastal areas do not eat fish due to traditional taboos. Therefore local waters are full of fish shoals numbering thousands of individuals! We spend the second half of the day in our camp. We can enjoy the beaches, explore the coral reef with sharks, turtles and wacky lionfishes and spadefishes.
In the morning we go to the island of Arborek for snorkeling or diving with manta rays – people also call them sea devils. Here’s one of very few places where you can meet several dozens of these giants at once! These fishes feed on plankton, so looking for food they swim close to water within your arm's reach! After lunch we take a speed boat to the island of Waigeo (2.5 hours on the way) and check into a bungalow located among mangroves.
Day 16 - 17
Early in the morning we sail for Wayag island (1.5 hours). We will find ourselves in the middle of untouched nature. A park ranger is the only one human being we meet at this desert place. As soon as we arrive to a shore, our boat is immediately surrounded by flocks of small fish and two-meter reef sharks. We will walk on the white-sand beach hearing bird singing from a nearby forest. Right on the beach, we snorkel and watch colourful tridacna mollusks and huge parrotfish – all of them can reach a length of more than a meter.
We climb two hills to admire the islands from a bird's eye view. The path to the first one goes through a perfect untouched beach. And to reach the top of the second one, we have to seal to a steep rock and then climb up. But the view is worth the efforts – the sea surface is covered with hundreds of small islands, conical rocks, dazzling white beaches and lagoons with water of various shades.
After lunch, we return to Waisai and spend the night in a bungalow among mangroves. In the morning we go to Sorong by ferry (2 hours). From Sorong we fly back home. Our group trip to Indonesia has come to an end. Thank you for exploring this unique country with us!
Is this trip for you?
Persons holding passports issued by 170 countries can visit Indonesia without a visa for 30 days.
3G mobile internet in Indonesia
Price: + $12
Local prepaid sim card with 2GB internet package
Mexico. Beaches, caves, Chichen Itza and Mexico city
Cuba. Famous sights and hidden corners
The best of Cuba and Mexico. Yucatan, beaches, Chichen Itza and Ek Balam
Incredible India: Most famous landmarks
The main holy sites of India
India. Delhi, Jaipur, Agra
Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam
Myanmar and Cambodia
Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos
Guatemala. The world of the ancient Maya, unique history, natural wonders
Discovering Sri Lanka: Holy sites, mountains, whales and beaches
Cambodia and Laos
Hong Kong, Singapore and treasures of Borneo
Hong Kong, Singapore: Asian tigers
Laos and Vietnam
Treasures of Borneo
Treasures of Borneo and Singapore
Kenya. Beaches, safari and cities
Ten days in Kenya
Japan. History and super technologies during the "momiji" red leaves season
Spring in Japan and South Korea
Cherry blossom season in Japan and the best of South Korea
Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines
Hong Kong and the Philippines. Clear water
Hong Kong, Philippines and Singapore
Iconic sights of Japan. Wonderful season of red leaves "momiji"