The Best of Three Islands, Private Tour
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The three most precious islands of Indonesia will allow you to discover the great cultural diversity of Indonesia in depth. Begin in Yogyakarta, the centre of art and traditional Javanese culture. Cross to Celebes, also known as Sulawesi, to meet the Bugis people and immerse yourself in the ancient traditions of the Toraja tribe. The final journey is to Ubud, in the heart of Bali, to explore this traditional village and surrounds. Visit the highlight, Kintamani, and take in the beautiful scenery of Mount and Lake Batur. Don’t forget the mother temple, Besakih, with the majestic Mount Agung as the backdrop. Three distinct Indonesian islands all with their own charm to discover.
Yogyakarta: This city ranks as one of the best-preserved and most attractive in Java, with its ‘Kraton’ (the Sultan’s Palace), the centre of Yogya’s traditional life
Prambanan: The breathtaking temples at Prambanan date back to the ninth century
Makassar: Well-known for its handicrafts, which include silk, gold and silver filigree, wood-carvings, pearls and beads
Toraja: Admire its villages of elaborate houses with towering roofs, surrounded by terraces of green rice paddies
Ubud: Known as the arts and crafts centre of the island, tradition is particularly important here and temple festivals happen almost daily
- Operated with English-speaking qualified guides.
- 11 nights at your selected hotel category
- 11 Breakfasts; 9 lunches; and 7 dinners
- Air-conditioned transportation throughout the tour
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
- All entrance fee and activities indicated in the itinerary: Borobudur Temple with bicycle tour, Sultan’s Palace, shaman reading, Mount Merapi tour, rice paddy bike tour, Prambanan, Fort Rotterdam, Paotere Harbour, Balla Lompoa Museum, Lemo and Suaya villages, Londa village, Ketekesu, Batutumonga trek, Tirta Empul temple, Gunung Kawi temple, Lake and Mount Batur, Besakih temple, barong dance performance
- Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals if not stated explicitly in the programme
- International flight tickets or Indonesia visa fees (if any)
- Domestic flight tickets
- Airport taxes for domestic and international flights (if any)
- Gratuities for driver and guide
- Optional tours
- No refund for unused services. Splitting of package is not allowed
- Local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the tour contents without prior notice
- Recommended flights : Yogyakarta-Makassar: GA695 at 09:00 – 11:55 hrs and Makassar-Denpasar (Bali): GA675 06:30 – 07:55 hrs
What do I need to bring?
Comfortable and light clothing is the most suitable for travelling in Indonesia. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.
Day 1-3 Yogyakarta:
- Standard Hotel Category = Indies Heritage or similar 4*
- Superior Hotel Category = Gallery Prawirotaman or similar 4*
Day 4,8 Makassar:
- Standard, Superior Hotel Category = Aryaduta or similar 4*
Day 5-7 Toraja:
- Standard, Superior Hotel Category = Heritage Toraja or similar 4*
Day 9-11 Ubud:
- Standard Hotel Category = Puri Garden or similar 4*
- Superior Hotel Category = Ubud Village Hotel or similar 4*
- Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVE YOGYAKARTA (15km – 30 min)
Arrive at the Yogyakarta International Airport and meet with your guide to be transferred to your hotel for check-in. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Yogyakarta.
Day 2 : YOGYAKARTA: BOROBUDUR TEMPLE – SULTAN’S PALACE – JAVANESE SHAMAN (90km – 4 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, drive to Borobudur Temple before the crowds arrive, located around 40 kilometres west of Yogyakarta. Discover the incredible history behind the construction of this massive temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. The thousands of volcanic and river stone blocks were assembled entirely by human labour, taking nearly 100 years to complete. At the entrance gate, your classic bicycle awaits you to explore the temple and surroundings together with your local guide. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this beautiful temple is still visible in its full glory boasting magnificent and unusual carvings.
Drive back to Yogyakarta and visit the Sultan’s Palace, located in the heart of the old city. The huge palace of the sultans of Yogyakarta was effectively the centre of a small walled city within a city. Stroll through the palace before moving on to the back of the palace where Bale Raos restaurant is located, which the palace’s culinary heritage lives on.
Shamanism is still practiced to this day in Indonesia, especially in Java and Bali, and today it’s your turn to get to know this old cultural tradition. Make your way to the busy town of Yogyakarta to meet with a Javanese shaman, or Shinse. The shaman will read your profile, character and habit through a Javanese calendar method. Transfer back to your hotel with time at leisure.
Overnight in Yogyakarta . Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 3 : YOGYAKARTA: MOUNT MERAPI – KALIADEM CYCLING – PRAMBANAN (105km – 4 hrs)
Early in the morning after breakfast, prepare yourself for today’s adventure! From your hotel, head to the village of Kinahrejo, located on the slopes of Mount Merapi volcano. Hop aboard a classic Jeep Willys and cruise along the remains of past eruptions of Merapi, discover the famous ‘alien stone’, a massive stone hurled out of the last Merapi eruption, visit the bunker that was used for evacuation and the mini museum displaying the ruins of some personal belongings of the house owner that was burned by the hot lava, such as a motorcycle, cutlery and furniture.
Next, continue your exciting day by cycling through the paddy fields, bamboo forest, and the beautiful scenery of the rural village of Kaliurang. The cycling trip ends in the village, followed by lunch.
After, visit a temple located not far from downtown Yogya, Prambanan – an ancient Hindu temple complex built in the ninth century, which features three main inner shrines dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you walk the grounds, your guide will explain the history and symbolism of the temples. Return to the hotel followed by leisure time.
Overnight in Yogyakarta. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 4 : YOGYAKARTA – MAKASSAR (60km – 2.5 hrs)
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport. Catch your flight to Makassar, on the island of Sulawesi (recommended GA695 at 09:00 – 11:55 hrs; flight not included).
Arriving to Makassar (also known as Ujung Pandang), you will be welcomed by your guide followed by a transfer to your hotel. En route, visit Fort Rotterdam, the city’s most iconic landmark, built in the 16th century. After, visit Paotere Harbour, located in the north of Makassar, where you will discover many fascinating traditional Buginese sailboat, called phinisi. Visit Balla Lompoa Museum, the former palace of Gowa Kingdom, where you can find an original collection of articles that once belonged to previous kings. Lunch at a local restaurant. Check in at your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Makassar . Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Day 5 : MAKASSAR – TORAJA (330km – 9 hrs)
Have breakfast at the hotel, followed by a nine-hour drive to Toraja. A lunch stop is made at a seafood restaurant in Parepare. Afterwards, continue on a scenic drive with photo-stop en route at Puncak Lakawan to enjoy the spectacular view. Late afternoon arrival in Rantepao followed by check-in at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Toraja. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 6 : TORAJA (55km – 3 hrs)
After breakfast, head south of Toraja to visit two traditional villages and the surrounding area. Begin with a drive to Lemo and Suaya villages, which are surrounded by cliffs pierced with graves and realistic tau tau (hanging effigies) of deceased nobility. These cliffs are also referred to as the ‘death at the balconies’ due to their location. Continue to the village of Sangala where you will see the graves dug into the trunks of trees, the traditional burial method for babies.
Lunch is served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Londa village, where wooden coffins are suspended by ropes and poles extending from the cliffs. Continue to Ketekesu, a village which has one of the finest ensembles of tongkonan (traditional houses of the Toraja area). These boat-shaped houses have tall roofs made of slender bristles and create strange silhouettes in the sky. The tongkonan façades boast many carved and painted motifs and a buffalo head made of wood adorns the wealthiest homes. Ketekesu also has a rice granary of the traditional Toraja country style. Return to the hotel in late afternoon and enjoy your dinner.
Overnight in Toraja . Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 7 : TORAJA (60 km – 3 hrs)
Have breakfast at the hotel before a morning visit to the villages north of Rantepao. Travel first to Batutumonga for a light trek through Toraja villages. Perched on the slopes of Mount Sesean, this village offers beautiful views of rice fields dotted with large black rocks, remnants of ancient volcanic eruptions.
An easy two-hour walk takes you through the villages of Bori and Palawa where you get to meet the locals and observe their traditional lifestyle and customs. These two villages have traditional stone circles, part of the local lore of the Toraja people, with each stone representing an important noble who has passed away. They also feature impressive tongkonan houses. Lunch at local restaurant. Your excursion continues in the afternoon with a visit to Marante, a village noted for its tau tau, which are located on a cliff and all dressed in white. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Overnight in Toraja . Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 8 : TORAJA – MAKASSAR (330km – 9 hrs)
Breakfast. Depart from the hotel, driving nine hours from Toraja back to Makassar, with lunch en route. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel, followed by dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Makassar . Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 9 : MAKASSAR – UBUD (65km – 3 hrs)
Start the day with breakfast. Depart from your hotel to the Makassar airport for your flight to Bali (recommended GA675 06:30 – 07:55 hrs; flight not included).
Arriving in Bali, you will be welcomed by a local guide followed by a transfer to your hotel in Ubud. En route, visit a Balinese compound, the Tirta Empul temple, famous for its holy water, where Balinese worshipers have been drawn to for more than 1,000 years. You will find a bathing pool of natural spring water displaying archetype Balinese architecture. Numerous stairs lead you down to the 10 rock-cut shrines carved into the cliff amidst lush rice terraces on the edge of Petanu River, Gunung Kawi temple.
Afterwards, we drive you back near central Ubud where we host you for a delicious lunch overlooking the valley. Next, check in to your hotel with the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Ubud. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 10 : UBUD
Breakfast at the hotel. After so many days of excitement and activities, enjoy the day at leisure.
Overnight in Ubud . Breakfast included.
Day 11 : UBUD – TEGALALANG – KINTAMANI – BESAKIH – UBUD (105km – 4.5 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, continue from Ubud to explore the mountainous side of Bali, Kintamani. Enjoy the scenic drive along the beautiful rice terraces of Tegalalang, one of the best in the island. You may walk down through the rice field and see the farmers working the land. Enjoy the magnificent view from the top of the still active volcano Mount Batur and Lake Batur.
After, drive to the eastern part of Bali visit Besakih temple, located on the western slopes of Mount Agung, Bali’s highest volcano (2,567 m). Besakih is the largest and most important temple on the island. Lunch is served at a panoramic restaurant facing the beautiful horizon of rice terraces and Mount Agung in the distance. Transfer back to the hotel with the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. In the evening, transfer to view a barong dance, followed by dinner at a local restaurant featured in the film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Cafe Wayan.
Overnight in Ubud. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 12 : UBUD – DEPARTURE DENPASAR (35km – 1.5 hrs)
Enjoy your last breakfast at the hotel. Have free time until it is time to be transferred to the Denpasar airport for your flight back home.