You’ll begin your journey of enlightenment at two of the world’s most absorbing temple complexes – Borobudur and Prambanan – at Yogyakarta. Then it’s on to Tanjung Putting National Park where you’ll meet the Old Man of the Forest; orang-utans, both wild and rehabilitated. In Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park you’ll cross a sand sea to witness a stunning sunrise over towering volcanoes, and in Lombok you’ll top off your cultural and wildlife experiences with the chance to laze for days on miles of pure white sand.
London – Singapore – Yogyakarta
You leave London Heathrow in the morning, on a flight to Singapore and beyond to Yogyakarta.
You arrive in Singapore the next morning to take a flight of just over an hour to Yogyakarta. Here you’ll be staying in a luxury resort surrounded by verdant teak plantations and outstanding views of Borobudur Temple, Mount Merapi and Menoreh Hill. So naturally you’re ideally located to tour the temple complex – built between the 7th and 8th centuries AD – and Prambanan Temple, dating from the 9th century and the largest Hindu shrine dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. The extent and beauty of these two temple complexes will give you an absorbing introduction to local history and culture, which will be completed on the following day by a carriage trip around a traditional Javanese village to discover local customs, lifestyles, arts and handicrafts.
Stay: Three nights in a deluxe wooden villa at Plataran Borobudur.
Tanjung Putting National Park
Today you head off towards a life-changing encounter. You transfer to Semarang Airport to catch a flight to Pangkalan Bun and a boat to Tanjung Putting National Park. It is here, amongst the nipa mangrove swamps, tropical peat and heath forests that you’ll see all manner of wild animals and birds – the most haunting and unforgettable of which are the wild and rehabilitated orang-utans of Camp Leaky. This remote camp can only be reached by boat along the Seikonyer River, but watching orangs at feeding time is one of the big highlights of your holiday. The next day you’ll meet juvenile orang-utans at Pondok Tanggui before hiking through a jungle reforestation area and embarking on a boat trip to Tanjung Harapan Village, an intriguing Malayan and Semi Dayak settlement.
Stay: Three nights in an emerald room at Rimba Lodge.
Fly from Pangkalan Bun to Surabaya and you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the trading history and culture of Indonesia’s second largest city. You’ll be staying within easy reach of Surabaya’s old quarter, ancient Chinese temples, spice market, Arab quarter and Moroccan open air bazaars.
Stay: One night in a premium pool room at Melia Hotel Makassar.
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
A two hour drive through the Javanese countryside brings you to Mount Bromo and your next stopping point. This charming lodge features local artwork, making it the highest art gallery in Indonesia. It is also a great base for trekking through Bromo National Park, across the sand sea to see the sunrise over Bromo, Batok and Semeru volcanoes.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at Jiwa Jiwa Resort.
After the dense greenery of Bromo Tengger Sermeru National Park, a short flight will take you to the vivid blues and white sand of Lombok. You’ll be met on arrival and shown to your hotel, situated on the pristine beach of Sire. Mile after mile of untouched white sand will be yours. But you can also choose the greens of a neighbouring golf course, or the shady palms of your hotel’s six acre plantation. You can hike to see the sunrise over Mount Rinjani or browse through the hotel’s hundreds of examples of original artwork and antique furniture to gain an insight into the original culture and history of Lombok Island.
Stay: Five nights in an Aloon Aloon Villa at Tugu Lombok.
Lombok – Singapore – London
You’ll fly out of Lombok in the evening, to Singapore to meet your connecting flight back to London, arriving early the following morning.