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Indonesia: the Sunda Islands

Seafood and sandalwood, dragons and tie-dies! - Trip for singles

Book From   € 1,399,-
GROUP SIZE: 6-18 | 20 DAYS

Indonesia: the Sunda Islands

Here you can find the day-to-day description for Indonesia: the Sunda Islands


There's plenty to do in this beautiful region. Select below or on the map opposite, the highlight you want to read more information about. Read through carefully and then go directly to the tour description.
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Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali and well known for its paintings. The traditional culture of Bali is still honoured here. |Indonesia




Tetebatu is beautifully situated at the foot of the Rinjani volcano (3726 meters).

Sumbawa Besar



Labuhan Bajo






In the centre of Sanur you'll find numerous shops and restaurants. Close by, you can enjoy one of the many water sport possibilities like surfing, water skiing, sailing and fishing. |Indonesia

Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Bali/Ubud Ubud
2 Ubud Ubud
3 Boat, Bus Ubud - Padangbai - Gili Islands Gili Islands
4 Gili Islands Gili Islands
5 Boat, Bus Gili Islands – Lingsar – Narmada – Tetebatu Tetebatu
6 Tetebatu Tetebatu
7 Boat, Bus Tetebatu – Sumbawa Besar Sumbawa Besar
8 Sumbawa Besar Sumbawa Besar
9 Bus Sumbawa Besar – Bima Bima
10 Boat, Bus Bima – Komodo/Rinca Komodo
11 Boat, Bus Komodo/Rinca – Labuhanbajo Labuhanbajo
12 Bus Labuhanbajo – Ruteng Ruteng
13 Bus Ruteng – Bajawa Bajawa
14 Bajawa Bajawa
15 Bus Bajawa – Ende Ende
16 Bus Ende – Kelimutu volcano - Ende Ende
17 Bus, Plane Ende – Denpasar - Sanur Sanur
18 Sanur Sanur
19 Sanur Sanur
20 End of tour in Sanur End of tour


Day 1: Bali/Ubud

Welcome to Indonesia!

Your tour starts in Ubud on the island Bali, where you can use your hotel room from check in time (12.00 hrs at noon) on day 1. Ubud is situated only 46 km (1 hour drive) from Denpasar, the capital of Bali. Your travel companions will also arrive this first day, the exact time will be depending on their flight schedule. You will meet your English speaking tour leader at 16.00 hrs on day 1 in the lobby of your hotel in Ubud.

Enjoy vibrant Ubud and take a stroll into town visiting one of the many art galleries and studios selling exquisite paintings and handicrafts. Traditional Balinese culture is held in very high esteem here. There are frequent religious ceremonies, dance performances and festivals. It is very likely that you will experience at least one of these during your stay.

Day 2: Ubud

As an alternative you may choose to take the opportunity to visit the temple in the Sacred Monkey forest sanctuary. (commonly known as Monkey forest of Padangtegal).

Day 3: Ubud - Padangbai - Gili Islands

Today we’ll take the fast boat from Padangbai to the Gili islands. You will find coral reefs, idyllic beaches and excellent swimming, snorkelling and diving opportunities. You can walk around the island without leaving the sand and dine in the charming restaurants and bars.

Ibu Harnik orphanage and Tolong Flores foundation

The Ibu Harnik orphanage provides for about 42 orphans. Shoestring contributes towards the purchase of school uniforms, school bags and shoes for the children. We also support, in collaboration with our local agent, "Tolong Flores", a foundation set up by a group of our travellers and dedicated to the improvement of teaching in the schools of Flores.

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Day 4: Gili Islands

You may choose to participate in an optional snorkelling excursion. Travel by outrigger canoe to an area where you have a good chance to see sea turtles while snorkelling. After this you will go to a place where you can do some nice snorkelling over a coral garden with many species of colourful fish.

Day 5: Gili Islands – Lingsar – Narmada – Tetebatu

We travel back to Lombok and journey inland to Tetebatu, stopping en-route at Lingsar temple complex with its sacred eels and ancient temples. Later we will stop for lunch at the Narmada temple complex, dating from 1805 and home to the ‘spring of eternal youth’ before we travel on to Tetebatu, situated at the foot of the Rinjani volcano where we will stay for the next two nights.

Day 6: Tetebatu

Why not join a guided walk through the rice and tobacco fields or alternatively through the thick mountain jungle around Tetebatu. The jungle is lush and verdant and is home to many different species of ape. There are also many short walks to explore this storybook location and in the afternoon you can attend a traditional dance performance.

Day 7: Tetebatu – Sumbawa Besar

We travel by ferry from Labuhan Lombok to Poto Tano in the Muslim island of Sumbawa. Our route through Sumbawa will take us past many picturesque Buginese houses before we arrive in the capital of Sumbawa Besar. Home to an old wooden Sultan’s Palace, it is relatively untouched and its surrounding beaches are beautiful.

Sustainable travel

As a responsible company our mission is to increase and improve sustainability in our business. Find out more about the measures that we currently take as well as our further plans to ensure we achieve our green ambitions. Read More

Day 8: Sumbawa Besar

Today is your own to relax on the beach, take an optional snorkelling trip to the Pulau Moyo nature reserve where one coral reef alone is home thousands of different species of life from sea-anemones to butterfly fish. Out on the edge of the reef you can often spot reef sharks and devilfish. Alternatively you can take an optional sightseeing tour, visit the Sultan’s Palace and the lively market and go for a walk to a traditional village, where you can see people weaving and rolling cigarettes from lontar leaves.

Day 9: Sumbawa Besar – Bima

Today we travel past volcanoes, rice fields and fishing villages to arrive in Bima. As it is surrounded by extended salt plains where sea salt is mined, its port is often full of exquisitely decorated freight ships gently bobbing on the waves so a visit to the port is a must. Bima’s lively evening market, the Pasar Malam is also an experience not to be missed.

Day 10: Bima – Komodo/Rinca

After a short bus ride to Sape, where we bid farewell to our bus and driver, we begin our stunning 5 hour boat trip along the Komodo archipelago. You will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel, before we arrive in Komodo, home of the famous Komodo dragon. If you participate in the walking tour of Komodo, make sure you take the guard’s advice and remain in a group. After the walk we will set sail for the island of Rinca where the anchor is dropped and we spend the night on board. The conservation/entrance fees and camera fees for Komodo NP are not included and must be paid on the spot.

Day 11: Komodo/Rinca – Labuhanbajo

After breakfast there is an optional 1-2 hour guided walking tour around the island, through a savannah-like terrain with great views over the fields, sea and island. With a little luck you may spot monitor lizards, wild horses, buffalo, deer and apes. We then set sail once more before arriving in the charming Islamic area of Labuhanbajo with its minaret, mosques and wooden village houses.

Here you can swim and enjoy the colourful marine life, or take a trip to the Batu Cermin Caves. In the caves at the end of a dark corridor we will arrive at the ‘mirror rock’, from which the Batu Cermin Caves derive their name. Through a long, narrow shaft, rays of sunlight shine down (between 09.30 and 10.30) and are reflected by the rock due to its mica content, forming the ‘mirror’. In the evening you can enjoy delicious seafood accompanied by a beautiful sunset or, for the best view of the bay climb the Pramuka, the hill just south of the village.

Day 12: Labuhanbajo – Ruteng

Our 4-5 hour journey takes us through picturesque landscapes, along the winding route to Ruteng. The barren landscape of western Flores becomes increasingly greener as we approach Ruteng, which is full of flowers, flamboyant bamboo rice, smoking volcanoes and due to the altitude, a pleasantly cool climate. We recommend a visit to the local cathedral and Ruteng’s market, where you can buy the fine Manggarai wrap-around shawls, made from black cotton and decorated with colourful embroidery. The town is also home to the Manggarai tribe, renowned for its traditional caci (whip fights).

What can I do?

Sustainable travel means taking into account the people, nature and culture so that travel remains possible in the future. The negative effects of tourism are increasingly palpable. 'So what can I do?', you may ask. Shoestring gives you 10 tips. Read More

Day 13: Ruteng – Bajawa

The first part of our route to Bajawa takes us through the densely vegetated mountain regions of West Flores which becomes more open later on and gives fantastic views of the sea, the volcano peaks and cooled lava flows. In the afternoon we arrive in the small town of Bajawa in the Ngada district. In Ngada, the natives are mostly Catholic, although they mix this faith with many ancient traditional religions, such as Animism and ancestor worship.

Day 14: Bajawa

How green can you go? TIP

Bajawa is the starting point for today’s optional day-trip to traditional Ngada villages including Bena, situated at the foot of the Inarie volcano. With its many plateaus, megalithic stones, sacrifice sites and meeting places where the village elders make important decisions, it feels magical. The traditional houses here have steep, tall roofs thatched with grass and as you walk through Bena, it feels like you’ve made a leap back in time. Another optional excursion from Bajawa is to the hot springs in Soa, where you can bathe and relax in comfort.

Day 15: Bajawa – Ende

Today’s bus journey takes us along the scenic route through the flower-filled island of Flores. The mountains slowly get larger and more rugged as we continue on our journey to Ende, on the south coast of the island.

Day 16: Ende – Kelimutu volcano - Ende

The Kelimutu volcano is nicknamed the ‘Spirit Mountain’, it is situated in a green valley where dozens of mountain streams flow. The mysteriously coloured trio of crater lakes in the Kelimutu volcano are absolutely stunning. They appear to change colour which range through light green, turquoise and black to sea green, chocolate brown, dark blue and even red. The spirits of the tribal ancestors are believed to inhabit the lakes with the old folk in one, the younger people in another and witches in the third. After this spectacular trip, you return to Ende.

Day 17: Ende – Denpasar - Sanur

We fly back to Denpasar on Bali and continue on to Sanur where we have 3 days to relax and enjoy this beautiful beach resort..
Sanur is one of Bali's biggest traditional villages and its new restaurants and modern entertainment venues compliment the traditional village activities like drama and dance. It is a good place to enjoy the delights of a tropical island and still sample Balinese culture and local life.

Day 18: Sanur

Enjoy the quiet and relatively laid back Sanur, which has a certain flair about it that appeals to just about everyone. It has a great stretch of white sand beach, with a variety of water sport activities.

Day 19: Sanur

Your last full day in Sanur.

Day 20: End of tour in Sanur

The last day of your tour. You can use your hotel room in Sanur until check out time (most times at 12.00 hrs noon). Sanur is situated only 20 km (½ hour drive) from Denpasar, the capital of Bali. We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of Indonesia.

Your personal ‘my.shoestring’ page on our website is the perfect way to make contact with other travellers before and after your trip. You can read and create journals from trips and upload your photos onto the photo gallery. Visit my shoestring today.

When booking your tour, please check to see whether you need any post-tour nights, bearing in mind that accommodation for the night of the final day of the tour (day 20) is not included.

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