Indonesia will always have a special place in my heart. Back in 2016 in Bali, when I first came to visit this beautiful country, my wanderlust emerged. I’ve never felt so free.. and all that other clichés that come with it. Anyway, after 3 years, I’ve decided to visit it again. This time with my sister and this time, we’d not only see Bali but Flores and Java as well. We divided this itinerary into three parts from Central Java, Flores, to Bali. Let’s go!
Indonesia, like my home country, the Philippines, is a group of islands and each one of them is special. Some are even worldwide class magnificent! It’s mostly known for its most touristy island that is Bali. But of course, there’s more to Indonesia than just Bali.
We planned our itinerary in a way that we can see as much as possible at a more relaxed pace. Therefore we cut some of the sites and cities for it to be more doable since it’s my first time leading a trip with my sister.
DAY 1-3: Yogyakarta, Java
We decided to skip Indonesia’s capital city- Jakarta to lessen our travel time and get to relax after a long connecting flight from Shanghai. But if you want to visit Jakarta, one day is enough to explore it. Yogyakarta or Jogja is known for its traditional arts and cultural heritage. Explore the city center, rent a motorbike or hire a taxi to take you to the mountains and beaches to take a good photo, and don’t miss the infamous Prambanan Complex at sunset and Borobudur at sunrise.
DAY 4-6: hiking adventures at Bromo and Ijen Crater
We traveled from Yogyakarta to Probolinggo by train. The Mount Bromo hike can also be accessible from Malang and Surabaya but since we booked the tour from Yogyakarta, we went directly to Probolinggo. This hike was one of the reasons why I wanted to visit Java the most! There were a lot four by four jeepneys and people everywhere to welcome the sunrise and see Mount Bromo. It was magical and this is a must experience when visiting Java.
The drive from Probolinggo to Banyuwangi alone was worth this trip because of all the beautiful sceneries and views along the way.
From Probolinggo, we rode a van to our next destination where we’d ascend to hike the Ijen Crater. In this tour, you can choose to see the Blue Fire that it’s famous for from 2 AM or take a rest from the commute, hike the crater later in the morning and miss it. My sister and I wanted to see one of only two volcanoes that has blue fire so we went from the 2 AM hike which was exhausting. We had to hike up to the crater then hike down inside the crater. There will be guides if you choose to do it with a tour and thank god we had a guide because the hike down was hard for us. There were no concrete stairs, just piles of rocks of a narrow pathway. It was also very slippery and cold so wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
DAY 7-9: fly to Labuan Bajo, Flores for the Komodo Islands
The tour left us in Banyuwangi where we’d be taking the ferry for 30 minutes to Bali. We flew from Bali to Labuan Bajo and checked in to our hostel. We then booked a 2-day 1-night boat trip to see the famous National Park! On our last day before returning to Bali, we rent a motorbike and drive around Labuan Bajo to see the town, caves, and hills.
DAY 10-14: fly back to BALI <3
Bali is my favorite place in the world second to Hong Kong. There are just so many things to do on this island. So we dedicated half of our itinerary to explore it. Yet we still didn’t cover everything! We stayed in Ubud and from there we rent a motorbike to roam around the center and hunt for waterfalls. We also visited the Northwest that is Munduk and Kintamani in the Northeast.
Ubud: Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Munduk: Twin Waterfalls
Kintamani: Besakih Temple
DAY 15-17: exploring the untouched island of Nusa Penida
If you love hiking and exploring new areas as well as lying down in white sand of gorgeous beaches, then you definitely should add Nusa Penida to your itinerary. Nusa Penida is the largest of the three Nusa Islands off of Bali. We hired a driver to drive us around since I’m too afraid to ride a motorbike with my sister. The roads are narrow and very rocky. Expect a lot of unpaved roads and hiking down to see the beaches and then hiking up again.
DAY 18-20: Canggu, Bali
For your last days in Bali, head to Canggu for more rice paddies, nightlife, shopping, and surfing. This is relatively near the international airport so this is the perfect place to spend your last days in Indonesia. It’s also near Kuta. We did some tours around this area by motorbike.
And there you go. A perfect itinerary for people like us who likes to travel more slowly yet sees as much as you can.
TOP 3 HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TRIP:
Nusa Penida- As much as I enjoyed every place we visited within these three wonderful weeks, the two things that caught my heart was Nusa Penida. Sure we’ve experienced crazy things on this island, but isn’t that what adventures are all about eh?
Ubud- I’ve been to Ubud twice and it’s my favorite place in Bali. I just love the atmosphere with the shops, tourists and locals, and restaurants. It’s also convenient to do tours from here since it’s near the center of Bali. Most of the famous waterfalls are easily accessible from this area.
Bromo and Ijen Crate- I love hiking. Mount Bromo and Ijen Crate didn’t disappoint especially the hike through Ijen. The scenery around the volcano was out of this world! Given that we originally planned to skip this, I was really happy Mount Bromo was so good that we decided to do Ijen as well.
We booked all of our hotels/hostels through booking.com.
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