An Indonesian odyssey, with accommodation in some of Southeast Asia's finest hotels. This two week trip includes exploration of some stunning UNESCO protected temple sites, traditional village life and beautiful landscapes of Bali, and time to unwind on a remote island, sleeping in luxurious safari-style tents.
Depart from the UK on an indirect overnight flight to Yogyakarta in central Java, transiting in Singapore on route.
Your Indonesian travels begin in the heart of rural Java. Amanjiwo is a chic retreat set amongst the Menoreh Hills, Borobudur and the surrounding valley, where spectacular views of tea plantations, jungle and the ancient Buddhist Stupa Borobudur can be enjoyed. Take time to rejuvenate after your flight - perhaps a dip in the pool (water lovers should upgrade to a private pool suite) or a Javanese healing treatment, handed down through generations and awaiting your indulgence at the Spa.
Spend your first evening sipping a soursop martini and gazing at the sunset across the valley and rice fields, or choose a spot in which to experience a traditional Selamatan dinner, complete with dance, music and local cuisine. The hotel restaurant also offers a Javanese Ristaffel tasting menu, should you wish to begin your journey with an exciting introduction to local cuisine.
Arise early today, as you will travel to the beautiful Buddhist Stupa of Borobudur in time to enjoy a serene sunrise and watch the morning mist rising over the surrounding Menorah hills. As the largest Buddhist Temple in the world, constructed from thousands of volcanic and river stone blocks, the site is a true work of art. Your expert guide will be able to talk you through the carvings, which tell the story of Ramayana in a chronological order over ten levels.
Stop for a break in the local restaurant before strolling through fruit plantations on your way to Watu Kendil, a viewing platform to gaze at stunning vista of five volcanoes and the Borobudur complex. From here, you will journey onwards to the local market just in time to experience the hustle and bustle of morning trading times.
The surrounding rice fields are a beautiful vision from the hotel, but even more so experienced up close on a guided trek through the numerous footpaths.
Journey to Selgriyo, an 8th-century Hindu temple, high up in the slopes of Mt Sumbing and on your way your will pass through some of Java's most enchanting rice paddies with villages working in their fields and stunning views over the valley. The trek is fairly gentle and provides the perfect opportunity to surround yourself with lush greenery of the Javanese countryside and visit a lesser-known Javanese temple.
From Java you will continue onto Bali. It's a 90 minute drive south to the airport to catch your direct flight to Bali, which will take around two hours.
Upon arrival, your chauffeur from the luxurious Amankila hotel will be waiting for you after immigration. The drive to the east coast should take around two and a half hours. Spend the remainder of the day stretched out on a lounger alongside the triple tier infinity pool. Bliss.
Embrace the turquoise waters and board one of Amankila's boats, echoing the design of a traditional Balinese fishing craft, for an afternoon sail.
With a huge abundance of fish and coral species in Indonesia's surrounding waters, there is much to explore as you make stops to swim or snorkel.
Begin the day with a private breakfast in a beautiful bale. Amankila's Bale Tirta Sari is set high up the hills above the village of Pegubugan, and offers beautiful ocean views in the distance. As you indulge in all manner of breakfast treats you can observe the local farmers as they tend to their crops of rice, peanuts, corn and cassava.
Upon your return to the hotel, spend your time relaxing at the Beach Club, where black sand crumble beneath your feet. Rejuvenate in the spa with a traditional Balinese treatment or find sanctuary in a secluded massage accompanied with sea views.
Nearby, you can visit the beautiful Ujung Water Palace, a spectacular mix of Balinese and European architecture and built by the late Raja of Karangasem 100 years ago. The complex looks as if it is floating on the water the way that it is built over the expanse of three large ponds, and connected by elegant pathways.
Journey inland to Ubud, where you will be staying inland at Amandari, set high above the Ayung River Gorge.
The hotel embraces local traditions with its Balinese village design and feel. Your suite is individually thatched with beautiful views of the Ayung valley and rice paddies beyond.
The hotel holds daily yoga classes, which can be enjoyed against the beautiful backdrop of the Ayung River.
Early this morning your day will start at the local produce market. Put your bartering skills to the test using your local guide as translator, as you purchase the ingredients for today's cookery lesson. You may also pick up a trinket or two as you go.
Leaving the market behind, travel to the village of Kedewatan, where your private cookery class will take place in a family compound. Enjoy a sweet tea or strong Bali coffee before you set to work whipping up a range of delicious Indonesian dishes under the expert tutelage of your local guide.
Explore the beautiful scenery of central Bali on foot and by peddle power today, as you journey from the village of Juwet, to Bongkasa. Your journey starts in Juwet, on the far side of the Ayung River Valley from the hotel.
First up is a cycle ride of around one hour to Carangsari Village, passing river gorges, traditional villages and beautiful farmland as you go. Arriving in the village, leave the bikes behind and continue on foot to Getasan, a walk of around one hour through vibrant green rice paddies. When you arrive in Getasan, your bikes will be waiting for you for the next leg of your journey to Bongkasa, tracing the western side of the stunning Ayung River gorge. Your efforts will be rewarded with a delicious brunch served in Bongkasa, before the final stretch - a half hour trek across the gorge back to your home at Amandari. Should you have overindulged at brunch, a car can be sent to collect you.
Leaving Ubud behind, you will return south to the airport for the short flight to Amanwana on Moyo Island.
You will be travelling by float plane and so can enjoy spectacular views of both Mount Agung on Bali, and Mount Rinjani on Lombok as you fly east. Your plane will land in the bay at Amanwana, allowing for a super slick arrival.
Settle into your luxury safari style tent and spend the rest of the day reclined on a lounger, overlooking a deserted bay.
As the only resort on the island, your stay will reflect the unspoilt nature of the reserve, with free-roaming Macaque monkeys and rusa deer, all viewable from your tented suite.
A range of activities are included in your stay. We suggest that you take a guided trek through the forest to a hidden waterfall, where you can enjoy a cooling dip in the limestone spring-fed pool.
Sadly your time in Indonesia has come to an end. Return to Bali by floatplane, to connect with your international departure flight home.
If you would like to book the itinerary mentioned above, with economy flights, during mid-season and staying in our preferred room category at our preferred hotels.
If you would like to pare back the above itinerary by travelling at non-peak times, staying in a standard room and removing some or all of the guided activities.
If you are looking for something extra special, we can discuss with you upgrading your accommodation, flights or activities.