Day 1,2 - February 20,21, 2016: Depart Los Angeles
Departure from Los Angeles (LAX).
Day 3 - February 22, 2016: Arrive Jakarta
Upon arrival in Jakarta, you will be met by an English-speaking guide and transferred to your hotel. En route you will visit Old Batavia. First stop on this interesting day tour is Sunda Kelapa Harbour, which dates back to the 17th century. This was the first harbour to be used by the Portuguese and Dutch when they arrived in Indonesia. The harbour extends for around 3km, so there are plenty of amazing photo opportunities.
Starting from Sunda Harbour, you’ll first visit Syahbandar Tower and Maritime Museum – both buildings were previously occupied as a spice warehouse of the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or Dutch East India Company). VOC was a Dutch company which managed the trading activities on both sea and land for the interests of the Dutch. Near the fish market we pass Kota Intan Bridge – a bridge constructed in the 17th century in Dutch style. The current bridge has been restored by the Indonesian Government and has become a famous sight in Sunda Kelapa Harbour.
Continuing to China Town, known to local people as ‘Glodok’, you'll see a different side of Jakarta, before continuing to your hotel.
Accommodation: Excursion to Bogor
Day 4 - February 23, 2016: Excursion to Bogor
Depart from the hotel in the morning and head to Taman Mini Indonesia ‘the miniature Indonesia’. The park is laid out in a way that you can see all 33 provinces of Indonesia in one area, complete with buildings, traditional costumes, handicrafts, musical instruments and more. With everything from the former cannibalistic tribes of Papua to the unique houses of Toraja and the impressive Sumatra pavilion, this park is sure to hold your interest.
This excursion will also include the Bogor Botanical Garden – Built in 1817 by Proffessor G Reinwardt on 200 hectares of land, the Bogor Botanical Gardens are internationally recognised as one of the best botanical gardens for tropical plants in the world. With more than 15,000 plant species, some of which are indigenous to Indonesia, the gardens are stunning, and you can also see the Presidential Palace from this area on a clear day.
The tour proceeds to Puncak – a cool mountain retreat. Feel refreshed by the beautiful landscape of tea plantations and magnificent views of the valleys below.
Accommodation: Alila, Jakarta (B,L)
Day 5 - February 24, 2016: Medan/Bukit Lawang
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Medan.
On arrival you will be met by our tour guide and then taken for a short city tour visiting the Sultan’s Deli Palace built in 1888. In former times the Palace was considered as the town's administrative centre before the city of Medan developed around it. The tour continues to the Great Mosque. It was built in 1906 by the first sultan and is still considered as one the most beautiful mosques in the country.
Drive to Bukit Lawang, part of Gunung Leuser National Park. The driving time is approx. 3 hours driving from Medan pass via Binjai and Kuala villages.
Lunch will be served at local restaurant en route.
Accommodation: Bukit Lawang Cottage (B)
Day 6 - February 25, 2016: Bukit Lawang
Bukit Lawang is located 90km from Medan, the largest city in Indonesia's northern island of Sumatra, at the entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park and is the last sanctuary of the Sumatran orangutan.
It's an early start today in order to be on time and ready for the first feeding of the orangutans at 08.00am.
The excursion starts with a short walk along the riverbank, then crossing the river in a traditional canoe, continuing the hike amidst the thick and hilly bushes until you reach the platforms where the orangutans are fed, twice a day.
From here you continue climbing up further into the jungle to see the orangutans enjoying their breakfast. Take some time to savour this special moment, before walking deeper into the jungle. Here, you have the opportunity to see several species of indigenous flora and fauna. Total walking time is approximately 3 hours before returning to the hotel.
Spend the rest of the day at leisure, we recommend strolling down to the village of nearby Bukit Lawang.
Accommodation: Bukit Lawang Cottage (B,L)
Day 7 - February 26, 2016: Toba
This morning you leave Bukit Lawang and drive for Lake Toba along the coastal road of Tebing Tinggi and Pematang Siantar (265km). The journey takes approximately 6 hours but is very scenic with views over estate plantations of rubber, oil palm, cocoa and cassava/tapioca.
Upon arrival at Parapat, a small town on the eastern shore of Lake Toba, you will cross to Samosir Island by local ferryboat (60 minutes). This small island is located in the middle of Lake Toba, the caldera lake of the Toba Volcano, which was formed over 75,000 years ago.
Accommodation: Toledo Inn (B)
Day 8 - February 27, 2016: Samosir Island
Today you will spend a full day exploring Lake Toba and its shores by boat (08:00-15:00)
Surrounded by towering volcanic walls, you will cruise along the calm waters of this 100-kilometre long lake.
Visit Ambarita whose villagers are known for making chairs and tables out of stone and which was the infamous execution place of the Siallagan Kings.
Stop at Simanindo where you’ll be treated to a performance of Batak Toba, traditional dances called Tor-Tor and a visit to the fascinating museum.
Along on the way you may have the time to stop at a local school to see the activities of young children and visit a village where the people make traditional hand weaving.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant en route and you’ll return to your hotel mid-afternoon. The remainder of today is at leisure.
Accommodation: Toledo Inn (B,L)
Day 9 - February 28, 2016: Brastagi
In the morning, cross back by ferry to Parapat (approx. 60 minutes) and then continue to Brastagi with a stop at Simarjarunjung to enjoy the fantastic view of Lake Toba, there will also be a further stop at the village of Pematang Purba.
Here you will be able to observe the long house constructed on pile works about two centuries ago which was known as the dwelling of the ancient Batak Simalungun Kings. The trip will continue to the 120 meter Sipiso-piso waterfall that is located in the Batak Karo highlands. An underground river that then plunges from a cave into Lake Toba caldera forms the beautiful waterfall.
Arrive in Brastagi, located at some 1,400 metres above sea level, visiting the traditional fruit market and Gundaling Hill (for observing the two active volcanoes, Mount Sinabung and Mount Sibayak).
Accommodation: Grand Mutiara (B,L)
Day 10 - February 29, 2016: Fly to Surabaya
At 07.00AM drive from Brastagi to Medan airport takes approx. 3 hours passing the villages of Sibolangit and Sembahe.
Fly from Medan to Surabaya via Jakarta.
Upon arrival in Surabaya, our representative will meet you and drive you to Bromo (approx. 3-4 hours) and stay overnight in Bromo Tosari Village.
Accommodation: Bromo Cottages (B,L)
Day 11 - March 01, 2016: Bromo & Malang
Early wake up call; join a jeep ride to the viewpoint at Mt. Penanjakan (2,700 m) providing a bird’s eye view of the whole national park with Mt. Semeru in the background.
After sunrise, cross the sea of sand to Tengger Temple then proceed to the crater of Bromo. You'll return to the hotel for breakfast before heading to Malang (approx. 3.5 hours). Overnight in Malang
Accommodation: Santika Malang (B,L)
Day 12 - March 02, 2016: Malang to Yogyakarta
Travel from Malang to Yogyakarta by train (approx. 5 hours)
Yogya means 'suitable, fit, proper', and karta, 'prosperous, flourishing'. It is renowned as a centre of classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry, and puppet shows.
After meeting your English-speaking guide, you will be transferred to your hotel in the city
Accommodation: M Gallery Phoenix Hotel (B)
Day 13 - March 03, 2016: Yogyakarta City and Prambanan Temple
In the morning your guide will take you for full day tour of Yogyakarta city and Prambanan Temple.
The first stop today is the Sultans palace, also known as the Keraton, located in the centre of the city, which was founded in 1755. Look out for the ornate reception halls as well as the large open-airpendopos, specifically built so that the Sultan could listen to gamelan performances. There is also an air-conditioned room where the desk at which the ninth sultan planned the overthrow of the Dutch is enshrined. Something particularly curious, or just plain odd, is the painting of the eighth sultan on the day of his circumcision!
Lunch will be served at the local restaurant
The next visit is Tamansari (also known as the Water Castle), which is situated just 250m from the Sultans palace, and was built in 1758 by the prince, and was used as a ‘place of pleasure’ by the prince and his harem. The prince would sit in his tower, enjoying watching his harem frolic in the water, and send for any one of them who he fancied at the time.
Sonobudoyo Museum - this Museum is built in traditional Javanese style. It houses weapons, leather and wooden puppets of Wayang Theater, masks, statues, textiles, curios and old Javanese gamelan instruments.
Next, you head to Prambanan Temple, the largest and one of the most beautiful Hindu temple complexes in Indonesia. Built in the 10th century, today, after extensive restoration projects, only the three main temples, and three of the smaller temples, are standing. Since being abandoned in the 13th century, the temple has suffered from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and general weather conditions, yet the restoration is simply wonderful.
Return to the hotel, freshen up and be ready for a becak ride around Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta before heading to the Royal Garden restaurant for dinner.
Accommodation: M Gallery Phoenix Hotel (B,L)
Day 14 - March 04, 2016: Yogyakarta - Borobudur Temple
It's an early start this morning, heading to the stunning Borobudur temple before the sun comes up. In around 850AD, the temple was deserted when the Hindu Majapahit Empire overthrew the Sailendra Dynasty. Borobudur is the largest single Buddhist monument in the Southern Hemisphere. Here you can climb the steps and along the way see the 1,640 relief panels and 504 Buddha effigies within the complex. Climb to the top of the monument, and witness the most spectacular sunrise in the world.
You will also visit Candirejo village, traveling by horse drawn buggy (Dokar), giving you the chance to see the farms and plantations. The ride ends with a lesson in traditional Gamelan music at a local house before lunch at a local restaurant.
Accommodation: M Gallery Phoenix Yogyakarta (B)
Day 15 - March 05, 2016: Fly to Bali
Breakfast at the hotel and at the appropriate time, you will be picked up for your transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Bali.
Bali is an island paradise, with lush rice field terraces, stunning volcano and lake views and beautiful beaches, but it is often the warmth and friendliness of the Balinese people, that make any stay on the island so memorable.
Upon your arrival in Bali, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Sanur.
Accommodation: Sanur Beach Hotel (B)
Day 16 - March 06, 2016: Bali - Rural Village & Mt Batur Tour
In the morning after breakfast, depart from the hotel for a full day excursionof Rural Bali & Mount Batur.
A warm welcome waits at a Balinese home, where a traditional light snack is served with Balinese coffee or tea.
Walk through the local farms to experience the life of Balinese farmers working in the rice fields, learning more about the simple and traditional irrigation system called Subak, the process of rice growing, from planting the seedlings, to harvesting and even cooking the rice.
Next stop is Pura Kehen, constructed in the 13th century. Stepping through the “Kori Agung” (stone capped gateway, there are elephant sculptures, which is unusual for a building of that age, as Bali was never home to its own elephants.
Once inside the temple, there is a small compound, which is guarded by a mythical ‘Naga’ (dragon), which has a magic stone inside it. Apparently the stone glowed red hot once the site of the temple had been decided.
Following this fascinating local insight, continue to Kintamani, where you can enjoy lunch overlooking Mount Batur, an active volcano, and the picturesque Lake Batur, in the crater.
Accommodation: Sanur Beach Hotel (B)
Day 17 - March 07, 2016: Fly to Ternate
Today we fly east from Bali across the archipelago to the spice island of Ternate. Lying off the western side of the sprawling island of Halmahera, the ancient sultanates of Ternate and Tidore are islands rich with history and are visually spectacular with their near perfect volcanic cones enveloped in tropical forest.
The island’s rich and colourful history is the result of the spice trade and the enormous economic impact on them in the 16th and 17th century. At this time the islands were the world’s only source of cloves and the resulting spice trade made Ternate and Tidore’s sultans the most powerful rulers in the East Indies and brought the islands to the attention of the European powers of the time. Battles between the powers eventually lead to Dutch control, a legacy that can be seen in the three fortresses built in the early years of the seventeenth century.
At the northern end of town the Sultans Palace (Keraton) contains a museum of artefacts from the reign of the sultans, a lineage that dates back to 1257.
Ternate feels like, and indeed is, a far outpost of Indonesia visited by few western tourists. When travelling to the Moluccan islands there is a real sense of heading off the beaten track.
Accommodation: Bella International (B)
Day 18 - March 08, 2016: Ternate
Free at leisure. Optional tours are available.
In the evening Dr.scott Young will present a lecture in which he will give full details of the eclipse viewing location.
Accommodation: Bella International (B)
Day 19 - March 09, 2016: Eclipse Day
An early start will be required on eclipse day as we will be travelling across to the island of Tidore to gain an additional 20 seconds of totality and enjoy a truly unique experience. Explorers will be chartering a ferry and then driving around this beautiful island to reach the small town of Soasio where we have an exclusive agreement to access the grounds of the Palace of the Sultan of Tidore. The Palace is set in a large and enclosed open space which is perfectly suited for the eclipse viewing. During the eclipse we will provide soft drinks, water, snacks, parasols and chairs and toilets.
Accommodation: Bella International (B)
|Start of Partial Eclipse||00:24:24|
|Start of Total Solar Eclipse||01:54:47|
|End of Total Eclipse||01:58:56|
|End of Partial Eclipse||03:30:08|
Day 20/21 - March 10, 2016: Return to Bali
Today we fly back to Bali on a charter flight and connect with the flight home.