SMILES & VOLCANOES

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Price: €1,165

Level: Easy

Even if you do not know much about Indonesia, this fabulous archipelago at the edge of the Earth, come and discover that sincere smiles are on all its inhabitants’ lips. The words ‘Java’ and ‘Bali’ excite our imagination and conjure up dreams.

Sweet Java: it looks like nowhere else on Earth. It guards an art and history linked to supernatural legends… Its landscapes are scattered with hundreds of striking volcanoes, beneficent and destructive. Come and discover Mt. Merapi, the most active of Java’s volcanoes, the stunningly picturesque Mt. Bromo, and the Kawah Ijen’s crater, with the world’s largest sulphurous lake.

Bali, the island of gods, its magical scenery and spiritual ambience, lets you discover its genuine culture. Time has not altered its traditions. Spirits live together in harmony: the divine ones in mountains, the more sinister ones hiding in the depths of the sea… Your discovery tour ends with a panoramic view from the top of Bali’s stunning Mt. Batur, followed by enjoyable moments appreciating the beauty of the Indian Ocean.

D/1 – Yogyakarta

Arrival at Yogyakarta. Overnight at hotel.

Meals: Dinner

 

D/2 – Yogyakarta – Mt. Merapi’s sides – Yogyakarta

Morning free to tour this colourful city, the cradle of Javanese culture. Early in the afternoon, we leave for the southwest side of the Merapi volcano to safely observe the 1994 lava flows from the top of a balcony-shaped hill. This viewpoint also allows us enjoy the last light of dusk highlighting the volcano’s active slope. Right at this point, we immediately understand how important legends and myths about Mt. Merapi are for the local people. If we are lucky enough, we may even see trails of glowing red lava blocs tumbling down Mt. Merapi’s slopes. We then head back to Yogyakarta early in the evening. Overnight at hotel.

4 hours of transfer – 3 hours of walk
Uphill / Downhill: 300m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

D/3 – Yogyakarta – Mt. Merapi’s observatory – Prambanan’s temple – Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta city tour: visit the sultan’s palace built in 1756, the colourful bird market. Visit of Mt. Merapi’s observatory, where is recorded the complete data about its volcanic activity, another way to better understand this volcanic island. We also visit Prambanan Hindu temple, in particular the so-called Loro Jonggrang complex, generally considered Java’s most elegant and awe-inspiring candi (temple), noted for the graceful proportions of its 47 m central Siva temple. Overnight at hotel.

1 hour of transfer
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 


The Hamengkubuwono ruling family of Yogyakarta

The rulers of Yogyakarta have always been very concerned by politics and the freedom of its people. Created in the middle of the 18th century, this sultanate reluctantly accepted Dutch authority and kept maintaining a high control over its regency. It actively supported the independence movement. After the proclamation of the Indonesian republic, the former sultan used his personal treasure to support the new government. Yogyakarta also hosted secretly the new capital during the six-month Dutch occupation, in 1949, but the Dutch never dared depose its sultan. Yogyakarta is now one of the two last traditional courts remaining in Java. However, contrary to most Indonesian royal rulers who have retreated to their palaces or plunged into the world of business, the sultans of Yogya have based their new role on public service and deep concern for the common wealth.


 

D/4 – Yogyakarta – Borobudur – Tawangmanggu

We begin our walk in a small daily market hidden away in the Menoreh hills, 25 km west of Yogyakarta. We help you discover the workings of a traditional Javanese market place and test out your bargaining skills. On this walk, up-hill at first, we experience the tranquillity and beauty of local countryside: below us, green fields and rice terraces, and on the horizon the amazing panorama of surrounding volcanoes, including Mt. Sumbing, Mt. Merbabu, and Mt. Merapi… and in the distance, the monumental Borobudur temple. We may join traditional farmers attending to their land. Finally, upon arrival at the astounding Buddhist sanctuary, we visit this huge temple. Later, we transfer to Tawangmanggu, on the slopes of Mt. Lawu, overlooking Surakarta. Overnight at guest-house (losmen).

4 hours of transfer – 2,5 hours of walk
Uphill / Downhill: 500m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 


Buddhism and Hinduism in Java

The appeal of Buddhism in Java was limited compared to that of Hinduism. The two religions seemed to have achieved a sort of synthesis wherein rulers worshipped a deity known as Siva-Buddha. Moreover, there was no hostility between the two religious groups, unlike in India, apparently due to the absence of the caste system seen in Brahmanical Hinduism. Religious tolerance was such in ancient Java that a Hindu king built a Buddhist temple for his wife.


 

D/5 – Tawangmangu – Sukuh temple – Tumpang

We begin our walk to the Sukuh temple, the last bastion of Hinduism to remain in Central Java after the expansion of Islam. Situated in the midst of forests and tea plantations, the temple contains an original Hindu iconography, including phallic symbols and turtle-like tables. These relics reveal the past existence of initiation rites, probably orgiastic. In the afternoon, we move to Tumpang, sub-district of Malang. Overnight at village house.

7 hours of transfer – 4 hours of walk
Uphill: 400m / Download: 300m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

D/6 – Tumpang – Cemorolawang – Mt. Bromo

In the morning, 4WDs take us to Tengger, a region where the famous smoking peak of Mt. Bromo stands, 2329 m above the sea. The surrounding caldera forms an enormous desolate sea of lava sand. We eventually cross the astonishing Tengger-Bromo-Semeru National Park. We go partly along on the caldera’s crest before finally walking down to the sand sea. There, we visit the village of Cemorolawang (on another crest, on the opposite side). In the afternoon, we hike up this active volcano and walk around its crater. Looking into its seething cauldron of bubbling water, ash and sulphur, it is easy to understand why the ancient Javanese regarded this as the entrance to purgatory. Overnight at hotel.

2 hours of transfer – 4 hours of walk
Uphill: 300m – Downhill: 200m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

D/7 – Cemorolawang – Mt. Pananjakan – Ketapang

4WDs take us down to the sea of sand and on a drive to the summit of Mt. Pananjakan (2,775 m). From its top, we enjoy a striking sunrise over the caldera, the Bromo volcano as well as the nearby slopes of Mt. Semeru, both mountains belching out volcanic ashes. As aboard an airplane, we see the Tengger volcanoes lined up before us in a single, sweeping panorama. Mt. Semeru’s presence is so immediate we can almost touch it. This is unique scenery! In the middle of the day, we transfer to Ketapang near from Kawah Ijen. Overnight at hotel.

6 hours of transfer – 2,5 hours of walk
Uphill / Downhill: 375m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

D/8 – Ketapang – Kawah ijen Crater– Pemuteran (Bali)

After a sunrise over the landscapes surrounding Kawah Ijen (the green crater), we proceed to a sulphur-processing site. We observe miners extract sulphur from the largest acid lake in the world, and attend a sulphur weighing. These workers have a difficult job: they carry on their backs 100 kg of sulphur to a plant 15 km away. As for ourselves, we reach the site slowly and carefully, as sulphur is an irritant. Then, we transfer to Pemuteran, Bali’s northwest seaside resort, a nice place to keep away from tourist crowds. Overnight at our hotel.

5 hours of transfer – 4 hours of walk
Uphill / Downhill: 350m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

D/9 – Pemuteran – Munduk

Free morning on Banyupoh’s wonderful beaches to observe the marine wildlife and the island of Menjangan. A boat can be rented for further discovery. Early in the afternoon, we go on a discovery-walk around Munduk. The area of Munduk is a beautifully picturesque region with coffee and clove plantations, nearby forests, waterfalls and some of the most beautiful views of the island. Overnight at homestay.

1,5 hours of transfer – 3 hours of walk
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

D/10 – Munduk – Tamblingan and Buyan Lakes – Ulun Danau Bratan temple – Candi Kuning – Pakistan

The Munduk region is the cradle of primeval Balinese culture. Dutch settlers in the old colonial capital of Singaraja, on the north coast, enjoyed spending holidays in this region. We continue walking to Bedugul, along the volcanic lakes of Tamblingan and Buyan. These lakes were a single body of water until a landslide divided it into two in 1818. We proceed to the placid lake of Bratan, source of life-giving water for the springs, rivers and rice fields below. In delightful scenery and surrounded by spectacular mountains, we make a stop at the marvellous Ulun Danu Bratan Hindu-Buddhist temple. We later on cross the picturesque market of Bedugul, before setting off again to Catur, located halfway between the Bratan lake and Mt. Batur’s caldera. Overnight at a guesthouse.

1 hour of transfer – 5 hours of walk
Uphill: 500m / Downhill: 100m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 


Buddhism and Hinduism in Java

The appeal of Buddhism in Java was limited compared to that of Hinduism. The two religions seemed to have achieved a sort of synthesis wherein rulers worshipped a deity known as Siva-Buddha. Moreover, there was no hostility between the two religious groups, unlike in India, apparently due to the absence of the caste system seen in Brahmanical Hinduism. Religious tolerance was such in ancient Java that a Hindu king built a Buddhist temple for his wife.


 

D/11 – Pakistan – Toyabungkah (Mt. Batur)

Our day starts with a short stroll around Catur, through orange and coffee plantations. Early afternoon, we head back to the slopes of Mt. Batur (1,717 m) and enjoy from Penelokan (literally meaning ‘look-out’) a superb view over the lake lying at its foot. The large size of its crater (14 km across) implies that Mt. Batur used to be a much larger mountain (certainly as tall as Mt. Agung), which blew its top thousands of years ago. Now, this old crater is half-filled with a huge lake, the largest of Bali. Its other half is cultivated and covered with lava fields. The blackened cone of Mt. Batur sits in the middle of this stunning panorama. We carry out our ascent of Mt. Batur through its old lava flows, and skirt around its four craters. Overnight at homestay.

45 minutes of transfer – 4 hours of walk
Downhill: 300m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

D/12 – Toyabungkah – Mt. Batur – Toyabungkah – Kehen temple – Ubud

We start our ascent of the Batur volcano before dawn, reaching the top of the oldest crater before sunrise. We walk down to the youngest and most active crater, keeping at a safe distance. The afternoon, we visit the second temple, Kehen (often considered to be the most attractive temple in Bali), in the vicinity of Bangli. Then, we set off to Ubud, a small town amidst emerald green rice paddies and steep ravines in the stunning Central Balinese foothills. Ubud is known as the cultural centre of the island. Despite tourist expansion, this place has preserved its peacefulness and beauty. Overnight at hotel.

2 hours of transfer – 5 hours of walk
Uphill / Downhill: 600m
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 


The development of Ubud: the city of art

A prince of Gianyar (Cokorda Gede Sukawati) invited artists from all parts of Bali and those seeking refuge from other kingdoms, to settle in this town and develop their art. Ubud slowly gained specialists of various arts and evolved into a cultural center. Palaces and temples are now adorned with the works of Bali’s master artisans as a result. In gratitude for their refuge, high-skilled artisans helped decorate the possessions of the noble family.


 

D/13 – Ubud – Tampaksiring – Sanur

Warm-up walk through the rice fields of Tampaksiring. There, a family of Balinese artists welcomes us, serving a delicious typical lunch in their traditional home. They later perform typical Balinese dances. Free afternoon back in Ubud, followed by transfer to the beaches of Sanur, in the south of the island. Overnight at hotel.

1,5 hours of transfer – 5 hours of walk
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

D/14 – Sanur – Next destination

Free day before transfer to the airport.

15 minutes of transfer
Meals: Breakfast

 

End of our services

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Inclusions:

  • – Services of an Azimuth English speaking (or French speaking) local guide.
  • – Land & sea transfers needed for the circuit
  • – Accommodation
  • – Meals as indicated in the description day by day
  • – Entrance fees for touristic sites and museums
  • – Mineral water and snacks (fruit, biscuits …) during the days of walking

 

* In high season, it could happened that our tour guides would not be available. If you want a guarantee of supervision by one of them, we recommend an early booking of this tour.

 

Exclusions:

  • – International and domestic airfare
  • – Airport taxes & visa fees
  • – Drinks, personal expenses and tips
  • – Travel Insurance & Assistance
  • – Anything that is not listed in “Inclusions”

 

What to bring?:

  • – Good walking shoes
  • – Headlamp
  • – Flask (for water)
  • – Hat or cap, light clothing & replacement clothes
  • – Raincoat (for the rainy season, from October to April)
  • – Small backpack & camera
  • – Mosquito repellent (lotion / cream)
  • – Sunscreen, sunglasses & your good mood!

 

Net rates per person in US$:

  • Based on 1 persons               US$ 5,575
  • Based on 2 persons               US$ 3,170
  • Based on 3-4 persons            US$ 2,715
  • Based on 5-7 persons            US$ 2,170
  • Based on 8-11 persons         US$ 1,930
  • Based on 12-15 persons        US$ 1,755

Additional Information:

The schedules are given as rough guide only. The itineraries are subject to change due to volcanoes or weather conditions.

 

Level – Easy 

Walking an average of 3 to 4 hours per day, mostly on well-beaten paths with moderate differences in altitude. If you are used to regular health walks, you will be satisfied. Otherwise, here is your chance to feel the physical and mental benefits of walking while discovering amazing surroundings.

Training: It would be good to start training yourself at least two months prior to your departure. A ten kilometer walk twice a week is strongly recommended.

For further information concerning the trekking grades, we invite you to visit our page Trekking Grades.

 

Carry-on luggage:

Bring only what you need for the day.

 

For further information concerning Indonesia, we invite you to visit our page Indonesia.