Hidden Charms of CENTRAL JAVA
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Start Time
11:30 am
April 27, 2019
End Time
2:30 pm
May 4, 2019


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Trip description

Explore spectacular ancient temples, magnificent smoking volcanoes, and be immersed in rich Javanese culture and heritage. Experience Indonesia’s most attractive archaeological wonders in the cultural capital of Yogyakarta, Borobudur and Prambanan. Take a 4x4 jeep-ride along the slopes of an active volcano and venture into the spectacular vertical cave to have a glimpse of the “Heaven’s Light”. Explore the undisturbed and photogenic beaches of Yogya’s southern coastline.
With picturesque landscapes and boundless nature, there’s really no reason to resist. Whether you’re a daredevil adventurer, culture-vulture or a shopaholic, Java doesn’t disappoint you!
Come, join us on this 8 day exploration and discover the Heart and Soul of Java with us!
Arrive at Yogyakarta Adisucipto International Airport (JOG) and head to the home-stay. Yogyakarta or Jogja, as the locals call it is home to some of the island's oldest traditions and blessed with a rich, fertile soil from the volcanic ash. Considered to be the heartland of the Java, Yogyakarta is the cultural capital of Java, with a real mixture of cultural influences, including Hindu and Buddhist temples, dating from the 8th century, Islamic Palaces from the 18th century and Dutch colonial architecture.
After some relaxation in the home-stay, we visit Gumuk Pasir Parangkusumo, a desert formed by the volcanic materials of Mount Merapi. Rocks and sand from the eruption were carried away by the Progo River into the southern sea of Java. The strong currents eroded the volcanic material into grain and carried it to the mainland, forming sand dunes. The wind blows the sand further from the sea, where it gathers in Parangkusumo, which has a flat contour but is surrounded by hills. Here we can do sand-boarding (similar to snow-boarding!). We then visit the nearby beach of Parangtritis during sunset. Return to the home-stay and relax. You can opt for Javanese massage - highly recommended today after the long air travel.
We head out as early as 4 AM to catch the sunrise at Punthuk Setumbu! We can not only witness the perfect view of the orange sun rising, but also a rare sight of Borobudur Temple emerging from behind the morning mist with mountain background, Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu.
We visit the village of Candirejo where we take a horse cart ride through village. Known as adokar, the local horse cart will take us through this peaceful, charming village. We travel along small lanes lined with traditional houses and stop to see village activities such as making cassava crackers, playing the gamelan and harvesting & drying of vanilla and chilli.
Now it’s time to witness the magnificent Borobudur Temple for sunset view. We explore the massive Buddhist Temple - the Largest in the World - and discover the incredible history behind its design and architecture. 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. These days, the UNESCO Heritage site is still visible in its full glory- with magnificent carvings and an unusual, yet surprisingly beautiful bulk structure. Continue with a visit to nearby Mendut Temple.
Take a trip down to Alun Alun & take a ride on an adorably designed, illuminated vehicle, Odong-Odong (Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Pikachu… interesting, isn’t it!) A visit to Jogja is never complete without experiencing Malioboro Street. Rows of shops and outlets sell many kinds of souvenirs you can bring back home.
Today, we head to Gunungkidul Regency which has numerous scenic landmarks that give you new inspirations to visualize a paradise. Gunungkidul's geographical spread is an irresistible charm. It consists of volcanic plateaus, heavy-flowing underground rivers, dark vertical and horizontal caves, and exotic lines of white-sand beaches-they're all here! We take the Gondla ride at Timang Beach which connects the mainland with a rocky outcrop about 30 meters off the coast.
We then head to Pok Tunggal Beach, a beach bordered by two hills – a climb to the top of one of these hills, or even both is the surefire way to enjoy the panoramic views. Next, we visit Siung Beach which has hundreds of spots where we can climb its jagged cliffs to enjoy the breathtaking view of the panorama.
Next to Sinden Beach which has a suspension bridge that connects it to a smaller island known as Kalong Island (the Island of Bats). Here is where you can test your courage walking along a flimsy looking suspension bridge (but is of course actually sturdy), while enjoying the view of the waves crash against the rocks below. Do you have the guts to try?
A trip to Yogyakarta is incomplete without a visit to Goa Jomblang for the lifetime thrill! Enjoy the breathtaking views as you are lowered down into a vertical abyss about 30 meters to the underneath of the cave. While at the bottom, you can view a different kind of vegetation compared to that of above. You might feel like you are in the ancient jungle when you reach the bottom of the cave.
Another thing to enjoy inside the cave is the amazing light, aptly known as Heaven’s Light, where rays of sunlight peep in through the roof and into the tunnel. Goa Jomblang is every fantasy fan’s dream come alive, every caving enthusiast’s wish realized and if you’re neither, rest assured, it will be pretty extraordinary anyway.
After the muddy caving adventure, we move to Goa Pindul for a lazy river adventure. Floating on inflatable tubes down the river in a cave filled with bats, swallows, and stalactites is quite an experience.
We leave our homestay by around 01:00AM and start on our journey to Dieng Plateau which takes about 3 hours. Dieng meaning ‘Abode of the Gods’ is part of a volcanic complex located 2000 meters above sea level. We take a 20-30 minute walk up to Sikunir Hills viewpoint from where we can see up to 8 volcanoes on a clear day.
We then head to Telaga Warna via Batu Pandang Hill after the Dieng Plateau sunrise. Telaga Warna, the color changing lake contains water that can change in fluctuating colors. At times it can be green, purple, yellow or even taking the colors of the rainbow! This phenomenon occurs when the sun hits the water due to its high sulfur content.
Later we visit Sikidang Crater, which is an open sulfur crater with angry bubbling mud and bellowing steam. It’s set among a bumpy and dusty landscape that will make us feel like we arrived in another planet. Not far from the crater, we also visit the Arjuna Candi, the oldest Hindu temple complex in Java which houses eight small Hindu temples that date back to the seventh century.
We then return to Yogyakarta to witness the traditional Ramayana Dance show.
Today we visit some of the iconic Instagram-worthy spots around Yogyakarta. First, we make a visit to Mojo Gumelem Hill where there are several scenic spots to capture your selfie moments. Bird’s Nest, the most attractive spot will cradle you above marvelous scenery of forest and river.
Stroll around to find the giant sunflower platform and the bamboo bridge jutting above the cliff. Next to Jurung Tembelan Kanigoro where you can step in to the ship shaped bamboo deck to enjoy your time above the clouds.
Next, we visit Kebun Buah Mangunan, dubbed as the ‘country above the clouds’. We can witness the natural panorama, the expanse of green plants and river twists from this place - its beauty is indeed extraordinary.
We then visit Puncak Becici which made headlines when Obama and his family visited Yogyakarta during their holiday in Indonesia. On top of its wooden deck at Puncak Becici you can enjoy the view over Mt. Merapi, Mt. Sindoro, Menoreh hills and the Parangtritis beach facing the Indian Ocean, from afar. Situated in a conservation forest named Becici Asri, the peak is a romantic site between the pines for couples to seek the magical colors of sunset.
We complete the day with a visit to Bukit Bintang, a place from where we can see the sparkling lights of the city of Yogyakarta at night. We will also be able to see the expanse of stars that adorn the sky from here. Definitely Instagram-worthy!
Today we head to Mount Merapi (literally means ‘Mountain of Fire’ in Indonesian), an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. Nevertheless, it is still quite safe to visit. The forbidden location, which is considerably dangerous, is at the top crater of the mountain, which is out of bounds to public.
You’ll feel the rush of adrenaline when we take a 4x4 off-road jeep ride to Merapi volcano. We ride through the rain forest, valley, gorge and river en-route to the slopes of Mount Merapi. We pay a visit to the villages that have fallen victim to the fury of Mt Merapi, and paths that once used to be flowing rivers. Here, you will realize for yourself just how powerful and merciless this volcano can be, and why it has attained such a notorious reputation. Arrive at the top of the active volcano for a breath taking experience of looking at Yogyakarta city from the best vantage point.
Then, we visit the most beautiful Hindu temple Prambanan. Built in the 10th century, this is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. Rising above the centre of the last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, dedicated to the three great Hindu divinities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and three temples dedicated to the animals who serve them?
Later, we visit Kraton, the official residence of the Sultan of Yogyakarta – a living museum for the Javanese culture. This walled compound is the heart of the old part of the city and once the palace of Yogyakarta’s sultans. From here we take a becak (the local cyclo) to reach Taman Sari, a beautiful ancient water castle. Taman Sari consists of four distinct zones. First, we visit a large artificial lake with islands and pavilions located in the west, a bathing complex in the centre, a complex of pavilions and pools in the south, then to a smaller lake in the east. We make our way to the underground mosque to explore the chambers once used by the Sultan.
We also drop by to nation’s decades of heritage at Sonobudoyo Museum, if time permits.
The morning is free at leisure until transfer to the airport for the departure flight. We bid good bye to each other & head home with sweet memories!!! Trip concludes.
The itinerary is loosely drafted, and allows you to do as little or as much as you like.
This itinerary is just to give you an idea on the tour structure but in no means final and is subject to change.
Start Date: April 27, 2019 (Saturday)
End Date: May 04, 2019 (Saturday)
Pick-up / Drop-off at Adisucipto International Airport (JOG), Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Pls ensure that you arrive before 12 Noon on the Start Date & book your return ticket after 3:00PM on the End Date.
INR 29,000 per person (Including the Booking Fee)
These rates are for Indian Nationals only.
 The trip will have a maximum of 14 members (13 participants + 01 facilitator). Pls invite your friends to join.
 Minimum of 6 participants required to conduct the trip. Please do check with us before booking your air tickets.
 Suitable for singles / solo travelers / small group of friends / couples
 Suitable for members between the age group of 16-55 years. We do take members above 55 years too based on their physical fitness.
Please confirm your participation by paying INR 5000 (Non-refundable Booking Fee**) to book your seat. Rest to be paid 30 days before the tour start date.
Pls write to us at unusualescapes@gmail.com for our Bank Account Details to transfer the Booking Fee (or) pay via Google Pay at 9052220466. Your spot will be confirmed as soon as we receive your Booking Fee.
**This has been mandated as only those who’re really keen join us & to ensure that we have no last minute surprises!
 Comfy accommodation on double / triple sharing basis in Home-stays / Guesthouses depending on the room size for 7 nights / 8 days. Married couples get a separate room.
 Meal Plan as mentioned in the itinerary (at our place of stay)
 Group airport transfer for arrival and departure in Yogyakarta airport. If your flight arrival is at a different time from the others, extra charges will be applicable.
 Local sightseeing by an exclusive mini-bus depending on the group size. Vehicle not at disposal.
 Entry Fees to the places of interest and the Government Retribution
 Entry ticket to Ramayana Dance Show (Class 1 or 2, depending on the availability)
 Local English Speaking Guide, where required
 Service charges & Taxes
 Permits, Toll Taxes, Parking Charges
 International airfare, Visa arrangements, Overseas Insurance
 Lunch Expense - We’ll be eating at roadside restaurants which are generally inexpensive. A great way to experience the local cuisine.
 Snacks, Beverages, Bottled water, etc.
 Camera charges
 Activities like photo-spot entry, paragliding, biking, caving, cave-tubing, ATV ride, horse cart ride, gondla ride, etc.
 Additional cost arising due to mishaps, political unrest, natural calamities like – landslides, road blockage, etc. In such case extra will have to be paid on the spot by the guests directly.
 Personal expenses such as laundry, room heater charges, soft drinks, incidentals, medicines, porter charges, tips to waiters, driver, guide, etc.
 Any item not specified in the ‘Inclusions’.
For further details & booking your slot, email us at unusualescapes@gmail.com or Call/WhatsApp at 9052220466
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