Day 1 – Fly from Denpasar, Bali to Yogyakarta, Java
We include today’s flight from Bali to Java. On arrival at the airport in Yogyakarta, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to where your private car and driver await. Enjoy the scenic drive to Magelang, where you’ll check in to the luxurious Plataran Borobudur Resort & Spa. You’ll have time refresh before dining here at the resort. (D)
Day 2 – Temples of the Dieng Plateau
After breakfast, you’ll set out with your personal vehicle, driver and guide – traveling through the picturesque Sindoro-Sumbing Valley, a pastoral region of timeless tea and tobacco plantations. Ascending to 6,800 feet, you’ll come to the Dieng Plateau. Here in this ancient caldera, amidst ancient volcanic peaks, thermal springs and mineral-rich lakes, you’ll tour a collection of 1,200-year-old Hindu temples that were abandoned long ago and rediscovered in 1856. After sightseeing, you’ll return to your luxury resort. (B+L)
Day 3 – Sunrise at Borobudur + Back to Yogyakarta
Arise early for an unforgettable sunrise experience at Borobudur. Built in the 8th and 9th centuries, this Buddhist temple compound consists of a massive pyramidal base of five square terraces supporting three circular platforms and topped by a monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are embellished with fine relief carvings and the circular platforms are encircled by 72 open-work stupas, each containing a statue of Buddha. The overall effect is breathtaking and made even more astonishing by the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside – a lush patchwork of green paddies and swaying palm trees against a backdrop of volcanic peaks.
After watching the sunrise, you’ll have ample time for guided exploration of the temple complex before returning to the Plataran Borobudur Resort for breakfast and check-out. On the return drive to Yogyakarta, you’ll spend time with a master kris maker, learning about the rich history and spiritual traditions that surround this storied dagger with its finely wrought blade.
After checking in to the 5-star Hyatt Regency in Yogyakarta, you’ll enjoy a privately guided tour of Prambanan. Dating back to the 9th century and distinguished by its sharply pointed towers, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest and most finely preserved Hindu temple complex in the entire Indonesian archipelago. (B+L)
Day 4 – In + Around Yogyakarta
Today’s privately-guided sightseeing begins at the Sultan’s Palace; dating back to the mid 1700’s, its inner sanctum is still the residence of the Sultan! It’s a sprawling complex, more like a walled city, that’s home to nearly 25,000 people with their own market, shops, cottage industries, schools and mosques. The heart of the lavish palace complex is the Golden Pavilion with its gleaming marble floor, teakwood columns and elaborately decorated ceiling. From the Palace, you’ll hop aboard a traditional Javanese rickshaw to visit Taman Sari, a complex of gardens, pavilions and pools built in the 18th century for the pleasure of the Sultan and his harem.
In the afternoon, you’ll leave the city behind to experience a bit of rural life n the village of Bugisan. Sit down with a resident family in their home and enjoy a refreshing beverage and light snacks as you learn about their enduring traditions. Explore the village by ox-cart and then spend time with locals for insight into some of their cottage industries – from the baking of emping, a popular Javanese snack, to the preparation of jamu, an old herbal remedy still used throughout Indonesia.
Then ascend to an 11th-century Hindu temple on the western slopes of Gumuk Ijo Hill. Learn a bit about the ancient Mataram Kingdom that flourished here when the temple was built and delight in the sunset views over the surrounding countryside. Then return to your 5-star hotel where your evening is free to dine and enjoy as you wish. (B+L)
Day 5 – Fly back to Bali
After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Bali. (B)