This exciting Borneo and Komodo islands wildlife adventure combines a gentle river cruise through the forests of Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo with a sea cruise aboard a traditionally built, ironwood phinisi schooner through Indonesia’s lesser Sunda Islands and the majestic Komodo National Park. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to explore Java’s cultural city of Jogjakarta, where you can discover the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur, followed by a local train journey to the active Mount Bromo volcano and the dramatic landscape of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. You can also enjoy a few days on the beautiful island of Bali, combined with some mouth-watering Balinese cuisine.
Kalimantan’s meandering rivers remain the best way to travel through the lush rainforest jungles of Borneo, where a startling array of flora and fauna and a wealth of cultural and ecological treasures include indigenous tribes. Keep your eyes peeled for long-nosed proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, red langurs, brahmini kites, hornbills flying gracefully overhead, and Asia’s only great ape, the Orangutan. Drop into a renowned orangutan research and rehabilitation center, located in the heart of Tanjung Putting National Park and meet some of these magnificent creatures.
Visit the city of Jogjakarta, the historic and cultural soul of Java, which is known for its wonderful arts and is still headed by a sultan. Wander through the Sultan’s ‘kraton’ (walled city palace), which remains the hub of traditional life, as well as the Taman Sari water palace and the city market. Marvel at the sunrise over the 7th century Buddhist temple of Borobudur, one of Indonesia’s most important archaeological sites, and watch the sunrise again two days later over the spectacular Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and its smoke-spewing volcanoes. Cross the desert-like sea of sand of the ancient caldera and up a steep staircase to the crater rim of Mt Bromo, and peer into the smoking darkness below – the veritable gates of hell, redolent with sulphur vapors.
Your luxury Bali tour
Transfer to the gorgeous island of Bali for a tour of some of the island’s most iconic Hindu temples, from the jungle to the rice terraces to the sea. The magic continues with a cleansing purification ritual, a guided meditation session conducted by a Hindu priest, and a very special lunch in a blissful setting in the rice fields. You will also get to enjoy a day to yourself. Go exploring, see the art galleries, the museums, and a traditional market where you can shop for handicrafts and souvenirs before a tour of East Bali and the chance to unwind beachside.
The final leg of your Indonesia wildlife holiday is a fabulous sea cruise, which takes you through glorious scenery and a panorama of islands, exploring quiet coastal villages, waterfall-fed river pools, volcanic islands, a boatbuilding community, and a mysterious crater lake. Encounter an amazing variety of wildlife including the legendary Komodo dragons. Snorkel the kaleidoscopic beauty of the underwater world and embrace the chance to swim with gentle whale sharks and giant manta rays. Relax on pink beaches; trek to savannah-clad viewpoints at sunset; and witness the astonishing sight of hundreds of thousands of flying foxes emerging in a steady throng from the forest at dusk.
This luxury adventure tour is perfect for active fun-loving families or groups of friends. This is just a sample itinerary; the featured excursions, cruise vessels, and accommodations can be tailored in accordance with your personal wishes. All excursions and transfers are on a private basis (private transport with private guide), with the exception of the cruise portion, which is typically done on a shared basis with other passengers unless you require a private charter.
Itinerary & Prices
Welcome to the Borneo Rainforest
Upon arrival at Pangkalan Bun Airport in Central Kalimantan, you will be met by our local guide and transferred to the nearby port of Kumai. Here you will board your traditional riverboat called a Klotok and journey for approximately 2 hours along the Sekonyer River into Tanjung Puting National Park. Established as a national park in 1982 and composed of more than 400,000 hectares of mangrove swamp, rainforest, and dense jungle, the park is home to primates, leopards, lizards, and more than 600 species of birds. Tanjung Puting is notable for both its ecological and biological diversity as well as its orangutan conservation.
This afternoon’s excursion with a local guide will have you searching for orangutans and proboscis monkeys as well as other species of animals and birds that all call the surrounding rainforest their home.
Your accommodation during the trip to Tanjung Puting National Park will be on a klotok, a traditional wooden river boat designed to navigate the waters of Indonesia and named after the engine noise – ‘klok tok klok tok’.
Orangutans and crocodiles
After breakfast, boating down to the orangutan feeding station at Pondok Tanggui. A journey of little over an hour, the jungle becomes denser as you slowly make your way north and there are good opportunities for wildlife spotting from the deck of the boat along the way.
The arrival time at Pondok Tanggui is scheduled to coincide with the morning feeding of the orangutans at 9 am. Accompanied by your guide and a local park ranger you will disembark the boat and hike along small tracks deep into the jungle where the feeding area is located. There will be ample time to witness these wonderful apes from close quarters before returning to the dock at approximately 10 am to continue your expedition.
Afterward, stream to the Sekonyer River and travel along a tributary known locally as ‘Crocodile River’ which, as the name suggests, is home to a number of these aquatic reptiles. Enjoying yet more superb scenery and a fresh lunch prepared by the crew en route, you will arrive at Camp Leakey in approximately 2 to 3 hours.
Established in 1971, Camp Leakey is a renowned the orangutan research and rehabilitation center located in the heart of Tanjung Putting National Park. Founded originally as just a research center, over the years the camp has expanded and now also focuses on conservation and rehabilitation as well as continuing to carry out important research about these fascinating primates.
There will be time to look around the center and meet some of the local rangers as well as witness the daily afternoon feeding. Should you desire, there is the option to take a short trek into the jungle surrounding the camp before heading back to your boat for the night.
Transfer to the heart of Java
After breakfast, return directly to Kumai from where you will be transferred to Pangkalan Bun airport to catch your flight to Semarang in the north of Java. There your local guide will meet you at the arrivals hall and you will embark on a 3 hours ride through the heart of Java to Yogyakarta.
Take a good night rest before tomorrow’s exploration!
Sultan's Palace and Market of Yogya
In the morning, take a short tour around the Indonesia-beloved city.
Start with the Sultan’s Palace, designed to represent central aspects of Javanese cosmology and a fine example of Javanese sultanate architecture.
Next, visit the first sultan’s harem – ‘Taman Sari’, a water palace and garden built over 200 years ago.
Continue to Beringharjo Traditional Market, Yogyakarta’s biggest and noisiest market that dates back to the 18th century. Peruse its excellent selection of batiks, sarongs, keris, and antiques as you explore its bustling pathways.
Borobodur and Village Life
Depart in the morning to visit Borobudur, 42km west of Jogjakarta. With your guide on hand, explore this massive Buddhist Temple (the largest in the world) and discover the incredible history behind its construction.
Comprised of thousands of volcanic and river stone blocks, the temple was assembled entirely by human labor and took more than 75 years to complete. The UNESCO Heritage site is still visible in its full glory, with magnificent carvings and its unusual bulky structure.
Take a short trip from Borobudur to visit the nearby Mendut temple. Older than Borobudur, this pyramid-shaped temple houses three impressively carved stone statues. You’ll also visit Pawon temple, a simple yet beautiful monument known for its precise symmetry.
Stop for lunch at a restaurant set amidst verdant rice fields before boarding a horse cart for a rustic ride through Candirejo village. Trundling along narrow lanes lined with traditional houses, catch glimpses of authentic village life such as villagers making cassava crackers, playing the gamelan, and harvesting chili. After the ride, return to Yogya.
Train Ride to Bromo
Begin today with a transfer to Yogyakarta railway station. Here you will board a local train and travel east through the volcano-dotted terrain to Mojokerto station. Disembarking at Mojokerto, you will be met by our local representative and driven to Bromo area. The journey will take in the region of 3,5 – 4 hours if done directly but with yet more classic Javanese scenery to behold, there is the possibility to stop for photographic opportunities along the way. Upon arrival in Bromo, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Sunrise & Bromo Trekking
With its huge crater and almost mystical-like scenery in all directions, Mount Bromo and its surroundings are stunning beyond question. Sunrise is the most magical time to view the entire Bromo landscape but this does involve a very early morning start. Firstly travel by normal vehicle to Wonotoro, a small village 2,000 meters above sea level and the gateway to the region. Then continue by private jeep to the rim of Mount Penanjakan in time for dawn. From this vantage point, you will have the best views not only of Mount Bromo but also of Mount Batok and Mount Semeru.
After witnessing a spectacular sunrise, you will return to your jeep and make the steep descent back down to the bottom of the volcano and then cross the Lautan Pasir (Sand Sea) to the base of Mount Bromo itself. The climb of approximately 250 steps to the rim of the crater is definitely worth the effort and you will be rewarded with yet more incredible vistas. After your visit, return to your hotel.
Transfer to Bali
Your driver will pick you up from your hotel for your drive to the airport – from here you fly to Bali, the Island of Gods.
Upon your arrival you will be met by yet another local guide and escorted by private car to the resort in lush Ubud area. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure – explore the artsy neighbourhood or discover the treasures of the spa!
UNESCO Rice Terraces and Temples
After a leisurely morning journey to Bali’s most photographed temple, Tanah Lot, a 16th-century temple precariously perched upon a craggy, wave-lashed rock. Continue onward to Tabanan to visit Taman Ayun, a Royal Family temple located in Mengwi. Built in 1634, it is part of the Subak (complex rice-field irrigation system), recognized by Unesco in 2012. The huge complex is surrounded by a wide moat to symbolize its status as the mythological home of the gods.
Finish the tour with a visit to Alas Kedaton, a megalithic sacred temple in a forest inhabited by mischievous monkeys and hundreds of big bats.
Spiritual Journey Through Time
Today we journey to Pakerisan Valley, an 8th Century World Heritage site and the birthplace of the Hindu Darma religion, to uncover the historical religious roots of modern-day Bali.
The day starts with a short visit to the very first Hindu temple in Bali, encircled by a small village that grew around this sacred structure. Here we will meet our guide for the day, an experienced researcher of Balinese spiritualism and curator of the Sukarno museum who will lead us to a temple nestled in the jungle; an ancient meeting point for Balinese priests to convene and write the following year’s calendar. Our guide will describe how people connect with God through the temple and demonstrate how to open your mind to the spiritual world.
Leaving the Jungle temple, we will head to Tirtha Mengening, a very small temple located next to Holy Spring-fed pools. Built in 1023, Tirtha Mengening roughly translates into “child waters” and offers a cleansing purification ritual conducted by a Balinese priest. After the ceremony, take a plunge into the cool spring waters of a gentle river, shaded by a large tree. Soak in the serene atmosphere, for this temple is seldom visited by tourists despite being one of the most sacred in the region.
Lunch at a special place, surrounded by lush rice fields still grown from the original species of rice brought by the first Hindu priests in the 8th Century.
After lunch, there is an opportunity to visit the priest’s house where he will guide us in quiet meditation.
Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy your evening at leisure!
Day at Leisure
A day to explore Bali on your own – whether it’s finding more temples, meditating, partaking in yoga class, shopping, or heading to the beach.
Don’t miss out on Balinese cuisine and explore the culinary scene of high-end restaurants as well as street food stalls. Make the best of the day and don’t forget to pack for tomorrow!
Beach Day Under Volcano
Early pick-up and a drive to the Ombak Putih meeting point. From there join the tour of East Bali.
In the late afternoon, you will arrive at your beachside resort in East Bali and have a chance to unwind, swim, or have a snorkeling lesson with your tour guide. In the evening join all your fellow guests for a welcome dinner and drinks in the hotel’s beachside restaurant.
Sleep in the shadow of Bali’s Mt Agung, the mother mountain of all Balinese people, and the most imposing figure on the whole landscape of Bali.
Embark Ombak Putih
Wake up to watch the sunset and your beautiful ship on the horizon. Embark Ombak Putih after breakfast and sail towards Gili Islands, crossing the Wallace Line.
Spend the afternoon snorkelling the magnificent coral gardens of Gili Islands.
Wake up off the coast of Kanawa Island under the gaze of Lombok’s towering Mt Rinjani – the largest volcanic peak in Indonesia.
Enjoy breakfast on the deck and spend the morning swimming, snorkelling and exploring.
Later visit a village of the famous Bajao ‘Sea Gypsies’ of Southeast Asia and discover the secrets of their happy lifestyle.
Start your day by swimming with whale sharks in Saleh Bay.
Later swim, snorkel, and kayak on Satonda Island, where two centuries ago a massive tsunami filled up a caldera with water.
At sunset, sip your cocktail watching thousands of giant fruit bats emerge from their forest lair and fly out directly over the boat.
Boat Building, Beach and Corals
Step ashore on an active, smoking volcanic island, where local villagers are in the process of building a fifty-plus meter, traditional wooden pinisi boat.
Walking around this small village, get a feel for their simple way of life, chat with the locals and maybe buy some handmade textiles as a memento.
Snorkel on a colorful and vibrant coral reef above small geothermal fissures where air bubbles are released from the volcanic chambers below the seabed.
After a few hours under sail, spend the afternoon time on a deserted white sand beach on another volcanic island, this time an extinct one.
Explore the magnificent coral gardens, hike to the crest of the surrounding hills for a view of the surrounding islands, swim, paddle, kayak and laze away the day before enjoying sunset cocktails on the sand.
Wake up in the most northerly part of the Komodo National Park and enjoy a morning of sea-based activities including a fantastic drift snorkel over the reef, kayaking and SUP at Gili Lawa Darat island.
Swim with schools of manta rays as they feed on the current and circle the so-called cleaning stations, where small fish remove parasites from their skin. Hover above these giant and noble beasts for as long as you like.
Spend the late afternoon on a local sandbar, where we will enjoy snorkeling, swimming and relaxing on the sand.
Komodo Dragons and beach BBQ
Visit Rinca Island and go on a trek in search of the ancient Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. See monkeys, dear, pigs, buffalo, and myriad birds as we walk through the forests and savannah of this large island.
Snorkel at Siaba Island, a favorite hangout of sea turtles, where we will have a chance to swim with these gentle creatures as they cruise along the shallow water of the reef.
Enjoy Indonesian hospitality as your crew hosts a beach barbecue in your honor on a deserted island. On offer is plenty of good food, music, cocktails dancing and frivolity as we dance and sing the night away next to a bonfire under a clear tropical night sky.
Local village and disembarkation
Enjoy your breakfast while the ship enters the Labuan Bajo harbour.
After breakfast take a short drive to a traditional local village. Here enjoy the hospitality with coffee, betel nut and a highly potent local ‘arak’ (not for the faint-hearted), before a show of traditional dances.
Back onboard for lunch and disembarkation.
As you leave the ship, your local driver and the guide will pick you up and take you to the stunning resort. Take the rest of a day to relax, but don’t miss the Flores sunset!
Mirror Cave and a Local Market
After an early breakfast you’ll be picked up from your hotel for a trip to the spectacular Batu Cermin – Mirror Cave. Set within an impressive rock formation near Labuan Bajo, rays of light shine through into the cavern to create beautiful reflections that play upon its mirror-like rock surfaces.
Continue on to explore the local market and climb up to an excellent vantage point for panoramic views.
Back to your resort for lunch. Take the rest of the day to admire the beauty of Flores and pack for your journey home.
Time to go!
Your driver will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the airport for your journey home.