From the spellbinding scenery and compelling culture of Tana Toraja, to the history and breath-taking beauty of the Spice Islands, followed by an Indonesia volcano tour in Java, this exciting adventure combines exploration, trekking, cruising, water sports, the ascent of an active volcano, a local train ride, and a tour of the famous Mount Bromo and Ijen Crater.
Discover the culture, funeral traditions, and elaborate death rituals of Indonesia’s Toraja people. Enjoy Tana Toraja trekking, admire the ornately carved and painted houses with boat-shaped roofs, and enter ‘the village of the dead’, where the deceased are as much a part of the community as their living relatives. Visit the Londa burial cave with the tau-tau effigies, and marvel at an impressive burial cliff riddled with tombs at the hauntingly beautiful Lemo. See the baby graves at Kambira and gain an insight into a culture that believes the bodies and spirits of infants can be absorbed into a tree and will continue to grow with it. Trek to the royal family tombs at Suaya and the peaceful rice field setting of Tampangallo, which is squeezed between a maze of cliffs and jagged jungle-clad hills.
Cruise and exploration of the Spice Islands
The fabled Banda Islands are just about as far off the map of the modern world as we can get these days; experience the thrill of approaching by sea from Ambon aboard a luxurious teakwood cruiser. Hike to the crater of the steaming Gunung Api (fire mountain) volcano, snorkel over the lava flow and above a colorful reef, and feast aboard the boat on culinary delights. Explore Banda Neira Island on foot, meander around the bastions of the majestic Fort Belgica − built by the Dutch in 1611 in an attempt to gain a monopoly on the nutmeg trade − and discover the crumbling ruins of Fort Nassau.
Walk past the colonial houses, enter the neoclassical-style church and the evocatively empty governor’s palace. Barter for cloves, tamarind, cinnamon and, of course, nutmeg, at the traditional market, and relish a candlelit dinner and dance performance on the ramparts of Fort Belgica. Spend a day or two at play, participating in watersports, kayaking, snorkeling or scuba diving, visit Hatta Island and the gorgeous Pulau Ai. Finally, wander through the nutmeg plantations on Pulau Run, an island which, during the 17th century, was the subject of one of the most spectacular deals in history, when the English traded it with the Dutch for the island of Manhattan. Yes, that Manhattan!
Bromo, Train to Banyuwangi, Ijen
Your active volcano tour Indonesia continues with a short hike to Argo Wulan from where you can watch the sunrise 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 later catch the sunset from the crater rim. Travel by local train to Banyuwangi and in the early morning follow the well-trod track to Ijen Crater, where a mysterious milky aquamarine lake, located at the core of a reserve that spans the slopes and summits of three volcanoes, is the site of a labor-intensive sulphur mining operation. Every day, an elite class of hardened men hump baskets of yellow rocks, weighing up to 200 pounds, from the lake’s edge up to the crater rim and then back down the side of the mountain. The 660-ft-deep lake is one of the most acidic lakes in the world.
This exciting 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.