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Indonesia: Sumatra, Java and Bali

Unique natural, cultural and historical secrets! - Trip for singles

Book From   € 1,399,-
GROUP SIZE: 4-24 | 20 DAYS

Indonesia: Sumatra, Java and Bali

Here you can find the day-to-day description for Indonesia: Sumatra, Java and Bali


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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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



Berastagi is a village that used to already be a popular holiday destination during the colonial age. In the surroundings of Berastagi you'll find two volcanoes that you can easily climb. / |Indonesia



On the Samosir peninsula you can visit several Batak villages. Samosir lays on the shores of the enormous Toba lake. |Indonesia



The way to Sipirok is beautiful. You stop for a short walk along rice field and a visit of traditional markets and villages.



Guided by a professional, you can make a spectacular hiking tour through the Ngarai canyon. You can also visit the ruins of the former Dutch fort de Cock. |Indonesia



Yogyakarta is the cultural heart of Java. Visit the many museums and the famous shopping street Jalan Malioboro. |Indonesia




Visit the tourist centre Malang. The city is known for its worldwide export of apples and its cool climate. Highlights: traditional dances, colonial houses, colourful orchards and shops.



Climbing the top of the crater of the Bromo is without a doubt a highlight of your tour of Java. The view of the Tengger crater and the volcanoes Bromo and Batoken Semeru is phenomenal. |Indonesia



Many plantations and small house factories are situated in Kalibaru. The little factories produce palm sugar, tofu or tempé and you can visit them on a hike. |Indonesia



Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali and well known for its paintings. The traditional culture of Bali is still honoured here. |Indonesia



Bohorok is situated in the mountains and surrounded by amazing scenery. It is a good starting point to visit the orang-utans. |Indonesia

Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Medan Medan
2 Bus Medan - Bohorok (Sumatra) Bohorok
3 Bus Bohorok - Brastagi Brastagi
4 Bus Brastagi - Samosir (Lake Toba) Samosir (Lake Toba)
5 Samosir (Lake Toba) Samosir (Lake Toba)
6 Bus Samosir (Lake Toba) - Sipirok Sipirok
7 Bus Sipirok - Bukittinggi Bukittinggi
8 Bukittinggi Bukittinggi
9 Bus, Plane Bukittinggi - Padang - Yogyakarta Yogyakarta
10 Yogyakarta Yogyakarta
11 Bus Yogyakarta - Prambanan - Solo - Tawangmanggu Tawangmanggu
12 Bus Tawangmanggu - Malang Malang
13 Bus Malang - Bromo Bromo
14 Bus Bromo - Kalibaru Kalibaru
15 Bus, Ferry Kalibaru - Ubud Ubud (Bali)
16 Ubud Ubud
17 Bus Ubud - Sanur Sanur
18 Sanur Sanur
19 Sanur Sanur
20 Sanur End of tour


Day 1: Medan

Welcome to Indonesia!

Your tour will begin in Medan, where your hotel room will be available from 12.00 hrs. The rest of the group will also arrive today. The exact time will depend upon their flight schedule.

Medan is a busy city and one of the larger in Indonesia. You can visit art déco buildings from the Dutch colonial era, such as the Old city hall. There are also examples of Chinese and Buddhist temples to be seen. The grand Maimoon palace, built by the sultan of Deli is well worthy of a visit.

Day 2: Medan - Bohorok (Sumatra)

This morning you will be driven to Bohorok, the home of the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Bukit Lawang and the Gunung Leuser National Park. This is one of the largest national parks in the world, containing over 800.000 ha. of virgin rainforest. The park is home to the Orangutan, gibbons, tigers, elephants and among the last of the Sumatran rhino. You will be in an environment of rubber plantations, small villages and immaculate forest!

How green can you go? TIP

In the afternoon you can participate in an optional excursion in search of wild orangutans. Accompanied by a local guide you go for an energetic walk of about three hours through the dense jungle. The Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre used to be run by the WWF but now this has changed hands. The rangers still maintain the welfare of the orangutans.

Day 3: Bohorok - Brastagi

This trip continues to the picturesque hill town of Brastagi which has a pleasantly cool climate. The backdrop to Brastagi is dominated by the two volcanoes: Sinabung and Sibayak. You can visit the local market with its deliciously exotic fruit and vegetables. Today we travel for about 6 hours.

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: Brastagi - Samosir (Lake Toba)

Travelling via the plantation route you follow your way to the island Samosir situated in the centre of Lake Toba, one of the largest and deepest lakes in Southeast Asia. The lake lies at an altitude of 900 meters, has an area of ​​1700 km ², is about 450 m deep and sits in a crater. On the way to Samosir you stop at a traditional Karo Batak village, Simalungun King’s Palace and the Si Piso Piso waterfall.

In the afternoon you'll cross Lake Toba with the local ferry to Samosir. Your hotel is pleasantly situated along the lake. Today you travel for approximately 6-8 hours.

Day 5: Samosir (Lake Toba)

A day on the island of Samosir. You may choose an optional boat excursion to the Christian villages of Toba-Batak, the colourful and musical inhabitants of this area. 

The clear waters of the lake are ideal for swimming and the island is best explored properly by bicycle or by motorbike. Even walking is a good option. Tomok is the main town on the east coast of Samosir and has several examples of traditional Batak houses, graves and tombs. Tuk Tuk is the place where most tourists congregate, where there are many restaurants, hotels, bars and souvenir shops.

In the village Ambarita you can find a group of 300 year old stone seats, where local affairs by the Raja and village chiefs were discussed and where trials were held. The unfortunate prisoners were beaten to death, beheaded and dismembered! The pieces were then used together with buffalo meat to provide a cooked breakfast for the Raja, who drank blood.

Day 6: Samosir (Lake Toba) - Sipirok

In the early morning you cross the lake to Prapat. It is a beautiful route through Sumatra. There will be some interesting stops on the way at the hot sulphur springs at Sipoholon and at a traditional Adat village where you can see how Ulos has been weaved. You will stay the night in Sipirok. Todays' travel time is approximately 11 hours.

Day 7: Sipirok - Bukittinggi

Today you'll drive through a raw landscape, barely touched by human hands. When passing the equator at Bonjol a memorable stop will be made. It will take about 12 hours to reach Bukittinggi.

Bukittinggi (the name means "high mountain") has a cool and sunny climate and is one of the most beautiful towns on the island. On one side of Bukittinggi stands the 2891 m high Mount Merapi, on the other side sits the Singgalang (2880 m). The city is inhabited by the matriarchal Minangkabau tribe, partly living in traditional beautifully carved wooden houses.

The central landmark of the city is the Clock Tower with its distinctive four-pointed roof, which stands proudly in the town square. Bukittinggi has a historic Dutch fort built in 1825, the old Fort de Kock, the delightful market Pasar Atas and even a zoo. The people are friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed. At night you can sometimes see Minangkabau dance performances.

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: Bukittinggi

How green can you go? TIP

Today you can take an optional excursion to the beautiful ravine at Ngarai Sianok or Karbouwengat. A walk through this gorge brings you to Kota Gadang, a village of silversmiths, truly a joy to behold.

However, you can explore Bukittinggi on your own by walking or by dokar (horse cart). Bukittinggi is located just north of Batang Palapuh and between July and November the giant Rafflesia flower, the largest parasitic flower in the world, in on display. Ngalau Kamanga is a 1500 m long cave with a maze of stalactites and stalagmites. It is difficult to choose from the many opportunities that are on offer in Bukittinggi!

Day 9: Bukittinggi - Padang - Yogyakarta

A travel day. You'll leave Sumatra behind and continue on your Indonesia trip with a flight from Padang airport, via Jakarta, to Yogyakarta on the island of Java.

Day 10: Yogyakarta

Today you are free to discover Yogyakarta and there is much to discover! The optional excursion will take you to the largest Budhist monument , the world famous Borobudur. A local guide will brief you in the early morning to tell you many details that can be seen on the walls of the Borbudur. In the afternoon you will be back in Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta is a great place to explore by yourself. You can use the bicycle rickshaws (becak) to drive yourself around and explore the Sultan's Palace, markets and the batik and puppetry workshops of Yogya. Or wander around, walking through the markets in Malioboro Street. In the evening you can attend a performance of the classic Ramayana concert ballet.

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 11: Yogyakarta - Prambanan - Solo - Tawangmanggu

Starting from Yogyakarta, you will visit the famous Prambanan temples first (entrance fee exclusive) This encompasses 224 temple ruins. The Hindu temple complex is of stunning beauty, and devoted to the gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. In Solo you can visit the Sultan’s palace. Here a local guide will show you around. Passing through tobacco and sugar cane fields you will arrive at the Sukuh temple.

From here you can walk an optional 3- hour trail through the beautiful nature of Central Java to a refreshing waterfall. To get to the hotel from here, you will need to walk many steps on a staircase leading to the official entrance to the park the waterfall stands in. If you don’t want to walk, the bus will bring you to the hotel in Tawangmangu after visiting the Sukuh temple.

Day 12: Tawangmanggu - Malang

You move on today to the cool and former colonial city of Malang (planned travel time: approx. 8 hours). The city lies on a beautiful plateau surrounded by volcanoes, 450 meters above the oppressive heat of the lowlands. You have lovely views of the Lawu volcano in particular. The centre of Malang is best seen on foot.

Day 13: Malang - Bromo

Today you will drive via Probolinggo to the Bromo volcano. Here you will stay overnight in Cemoro Lawang, right on the outside edge of the Tengger crater. Your stay in Bromo, and the ascent to the top of the crater will certainly be a highlight of your trip. (Travel today for approximately 5 hours)

Day 14: Bromo - Kalibaru

This morning you can join an optional jeep ride to see the sunrise from a viewpoint from where the Bromo and the Semeru volcano can also be seen. It will be an early start ,at about 4 a.m!

After the sunrise you will cross the 'sea of sand' by jeep, and continue to Mt. Bromo by horseback. If you want to go to the crater rim you will need to climb 246 steps. It is stunning to see the deep crater and it's made even better when the slowly rising sun reveals an amazing moon-like landscape. After this adventure you head back to your hotel for breakfast and continue to Kalibaru, where you will overnight in beautifully situated bungalows near coffee, cacao and rubber plantations. (From Bromo to Kalibaru takes approximately 6 hours)

Day 15: Kalibaru - Ubud

Our last stretch of the trip in Java. We drive to Banyuwangi where the ferry takes us to Bali. Children and bystanders will see you off on your short boat trip to Bali, "Island of Gods and Demons." In the daily life of the Balinese the struggle of good versus evil is still prevelent. The contrasts are not as black and white as we might sometimes think. The Balinese often realise that evil is necessary in order to present an opportunity for good to be reflected. It is a crowded island, but the majority is much unknown. In Bali, you can visit some of the most beautiful rice fields in the world.

During the afternoon we arrive in Ubud, center of the island. Ubud is the cultural center of Bali, famous for its paintings. The traditional Balinese culture is honoured here. There are also many religious ceremonies, dances and parties. Almost certainly will you find one of these colourful festivities to be an experience. Today will be a total of nine hours on the road.

Day 16: Ubud

A wide range of optional excursions are possible for exploring Ubud and its surroundings. Interesting temples and palaces such as the Elephant Cave, Tampak Siring or the famous Pura Besakih (the mother temple) and Kintamani are only a few of the interesting sights worth a visit. Trekking around Ubud’s rice fields, white water rafting and spa treatments are also available. Spend some time watching intriguing dance performances in former palaces or observing temple ceremonies. And last but not least, the many galleries in and around Ubud offer all types of handicrafts and arts.

How green can you go? TIP

An optional half day bike tour will also be offered whereby you can follow the guide on the bike through small rice field paths, through villages and alongside temples.

Day 17: Ubud - Sanur

South of Ubud, you venture onwards to the seaside resort of Sanur (about 1 ½ hours). In Sanur you experience all the joys of sun, sea and sand. Off the coast lies a large pier, breaking the oceans' waves. On the gently sloping beach of Sanur you may enjoy swimming in the clear blue sea. Enjoy a balmy tropical night, go buy some souvenirs or feast upon one last portion of a satay.

Day 18: Sanur

A free day, so spend it as you wish. Stay poolside at the hotel or on the white beach by the rippling waves, take a refreshing swim or have a relaxing Balinese massage in the shade of an overhanging palm. The centre of Sanur boasts many shops and restaurants. In the immediate vicinity are several water sports like surfing, water skiing, diving, sailing and fishing, all possibilities.

Day 19: Sanur

Free day. Sanur is also a good base for exploring the lesser-visited eastern part of Bali. You can make a day trip to Goa Lawa temple, the village of Tenganan, the Water Palace of Tirtagangga and Ujung with the white sandy beach of Pasir Putih, just perfect for a dip in the sea. This can also be combined with a visit to the largest temple in Bali, Besakih.

Day 20: 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.

Please note that when the group size is between 2 and 7 you will have one guide for Sumatra and another for Java and Bali. When the group is 8 and above, then it will be one guide staying with you throughout.
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