Experience Yogyakarta and the stunning scenery of Eastern Java, Sulawesi and Bali, and take walking tours of local villages to learn all about ethnic Toraja culture


13 Days, 12 Nights     FROM US$ 2344 PER PERSON

Gain genuine insight into the fascinating regions of Java, Sulawesi and Bali. Take an insider tour of Yogyakarta, the center of old Javanese culture, to see the region’s ancient Hindu temples and visit quiet local villages. Journey to stunning volcanoes traveling by car, horse and ’becak’ (a local form of transport) to add to your authentic experience.

You’ll make your own personalized batik piece from scratch to your own design after visiting a workshop to learn the local tricks of this old-school skill and have the chance to witness a traditional Ramayana dance during one of many wonderfully unique cultural experiences.

Your expert Backyard Travel guide will drive you out to magnificent Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world where you can enjoy a scenic lunch in a restaurant set amidst rolling green fields of rice.

Along the journey of exploration, you’ll take a ride in a local horse cart down the lanes of a quiet, local village and travel to Eastern Java by train taking in the marvelous scenery and enjoy a walk to the summit of Mt. Kelud and a sunrise tour of Mt. Bromo, riding out to the crater rim on horseback.

You’ll visit the capital of the ethnic Toraja area and learn about their authentic culture. Embark upon a trek to remote villages surrounded by cliffs which are known as ’the death at the balconies’, where wooden coffins are suspended over the cliffs using ropes and poles – a cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed.


Each of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,


Visit a batik workshop and design your own piece from scratch
Ride in a local horse cart or ’dokar’, down the lanes of a quiet, local village
Start early for a sunrise tour of Mt. Bromo and ride on horseback to its crater rim
Learn the culture of the ethnic Toraja, famous for dancing, carving and elaborate funerals

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Yogyakarta

    Upon arrival your local Backyard Travel guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel by private car.

    Yogyakarta (or ‘Jogja’ as it is sometimes written) is the center of old Javanese culture, and is the most popular spot for visitors to the island.

    After arrival you’ll enjoy a delicious welcome lunch and take some time to freshen up at your hotel. In the afternoon, you’ll get to see the process of batik production at a local batik workshop and learn the timeless technique. After seeing how it’s done, you can make your own design from scratch, which will then be hand-delivered to your hotel as soon as it has dried.

    In the evening you will be free to enjoy your time as you please. If you’d like an expert recommendation for a delicious dinner, be sure to ask your local Backyard Travel guide who will be happy to share their insider knowledge.

  • Day 2: Yogyakarta - Prambanan - Yogyakarta

    Today you’ll take a city tour around Yogyakarta with your expert Backyard Travel guide, starting at Kraton, the Sultan’s Palace. Built in the 18th century, its grand chambers and rooms are excellent examples of Javanese sultanate architecture. Next door is the water palace and garden of ‘Taman Sari’, built by the first Sultan, with lots of bathing pools for his harem.

    You will then be met by a becak, a local form of transport which will take you through the streets of the city, stopping along the way for a delicious lunch at a local restaurant serving authentic Indonesian cuisine.

    After lunch you’ll head out to the 9th century Hindu Temples at Prambanan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The inner shrines here are dedicated to the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and provide a fascinating insight to the relationship between the locals and religion.

    Next your local Backyard Travel guide will lead you to the elegant domes and intricate carvings of Plaosan which display a mixture of Hindu and Buddhist elements, further expanding your investigation. You’ll then explore the rectangular complex of Sewu with its 257 Buddhist buildings.

    You’ll then head back to your hotel to freshen up and prepare for the evening’s entertainment. Your expert Backyard Travel guide will pick you up and escort you to a delightful local restaurant, where you will be able to enjoy the experience of a traditional Ramayana dance performance.

  • Day 3: Yogyakarta - Borobudur - Candirejo

    After breakfast this morning your expert guide and private driver will take you out of the city to magnificent Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site took more than 75 years to construct, and its thousands of carvings and unique structure are so truly impressive, they could almost be considered awe inspiring.

    As well as Borobudur you’ll also have the chance to pay visit to two other iconic temples, Pawon and Mendut, all perfectly aligned with one-another suggesting a symbolic meaning behind their building.

    First you’ll make a stop at Pawon Buddhist temple, located less than 2km away. Pawon is famous for its perfect symmetry and like the other two nearby was built during the Sailendra dynasty. Next your local Backyard Travel guide will take you to visit the pyramid temple of Mendut, which pre-dates Borobudur and lies a further 1km to the east of Pawon.

    Afterwards you’ll take a delightful lunch in a nearby restaurant which provides scenic views amid picturesque green rice fields and the surrounding plains.

    You’ll then move on to experience the village life of Candirejo next as you enjoy a ride in a dokar, a local horse cart, down the charming lanes of this quaint, quiet village. You’ll make frequent stops along the path to witness everyday village activities such as vanilla and chili harvesting, cassava crackers production and local musicians practicing on their handmade instruments.

    After your dokar ride, you’ll return to Yogyakarta, where the rest of your evening will be spent at your leisure.

  • Day 4: Yogyakarta - Nganjuk - Kediri - Mt. Kelud - Malang

    Today you’ll experience the authentic experience of local train travel to Eastern Java. Travel by train is one of the best ways to see the marvelous scenery of Central and Eastern Java at a leisurely pace. As you trundle past the lush volcanic landscapes, you will also have the chance to meet fellow passengers and locals who will likely be as curious as they are friendly.

    Your guide will ensure you board a train for the journey to Nganjuk, where your next local guide and private driver will meet you on arrival. You’ll then enjoy a relaxing one-hour drive to Kediri where you’ll stop to enjoy a delicious local lunch at a restaurant selected by your expert guide.

    After lunch you’ll drive on to the majestic Mt. Kelud and take a short walk to the summit. This active volcano last erupted in 2007, and a steady plume of steam still rises from its lava dome - a genuine experience giving you a first-hand view of the power of nature.

    Once you’ve soaked up the sublime surroundings and unearthly scenery from the volcano peak you’ll embark upon the two-hour drive to the old colonial town of Malang, the second largest city in the East Java Province, and check-in to your next hand-picked hotel.

    You’ll be free to take some time to freshen up at the hotel before setting out with your knowledgeable Backyard Travel guide to explore the Dutch colonial-style buildings, markets and impressive cathedral of Malang by cyclo - a traditional form of transportation.

    For dinner this evening go to a 1920’s style building and dine at Toko Oen, which has been serving delicious Dutch and Indonesian cuisine since 1936. Everything on the menu is a ‘must-try’ but be sure to sample their devilishly delicious homemade ice cream.

  • Day 5: Malang - Mt Bromo - Surabaya

    Today you will go on a sunrise tour of Mt. Bromo, so we advise an early start to make the most of the experience. At 1am you will set off from the hotel on a drive to the village of Tossari then board a 4 wheel-drive jeep which will take you up to the ideal viewing spot, arriving around 5am.

    From the scenic spot you can witness the stunning spectacle of the sun slowly rising up from behind the majestic Mt. Bromo, giving you a visual feast and postcard-perfect photographs - a moment to truly cherish.

    After the sun has risen you will drive to the lunar-like landscape of the volcano’s caldera, and then ride on horseback to the crater rim to take a close up look at the active volcano.

    Next you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Lava View Inn which offers fantastic views overlooking the crater. Your private driver and expert guide will then take you on to Indonesia’s second-largest city Surabaya, arriving in the afternoon.

    Once you’ve checked in and taken a short rest your local Backyard Guide will take you to the colorful district of Kampung Arab for a delicious seafood dinner. Your evening will then be free to spend as you choose, but be sure to ask your guide their advice about what to see and do in the city.

  • Day 6: Surabaya-Makassar-Rantepao-Toraja

    After breakfast this morning you’ll fly to Makassar on Sulawesi, one of the four Greater Sundra Islands and the 11th largest island in the world. On arrival you’ll be met by a local Backyard Travel guide and private car and driven to Rantepao, the capital of the ethnic Toraja area. This hill tribe group is famous for their dancing, carving and elaborate funerals, and you will learn all about their fascinating culture over the course of the next two days.

    Around midday you’ll make a stop for lunch at Bukit Indah Restaurant. This delightful restaurant is located in Pare-Pare, a quaint port around 155 km north of Makassar.

    Check in to your hotel at Rantepao when you arrive and enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.

  • Day 7: Ranteapo - Toraja

    Drive south of Toraja this morning to the villages of Lemo and Suaya. These dramatic villages are surrounded by cliffs which are known as ‘the death at the balconies’. Graves cover the cliffs, along with hanging effigies of deceased nobility. You will see more graves at the village of Sangala, this time ones which have been dug into the trunks of trees; the traditional Toraja method for burying babies.

    After this moving experience you will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant chosen by your expert Backyard Travel guide who knows the best places.

    Next, you’ll continue your insightful visit with a stop at Londa village; where wooden coffins are suspended over the cliffs using ropes and poles.

    You’ll then pay a visit to Ketekesu village to see its traditional wooden houses. The authentic builds have unique designs and the intricate carvings are fascinating to wander around and discover.

    Once your cultural exploration is complete your local guide will take you back to the hotel. Your evening will be free to spend at your leisure.

  • Day 8: Rantepao - Toraja - Rantepao

    Your expert Backyard Travel guide will take you north after breakfast today, to enjoy a scenic trek through some of the different Toraja hill tribe villages. First you’ll visit Batutumonga on the slopes of Mt. Sesean before continuing on a two-hour walk to the picturesque villages of Bori and Palama. Both of these villages have stone circles, comprising stones which have been laid to represent an important deceased noble.

    During your time at the villages you will meet the locals and have the chance to learn more about their culture, beliefs and lifestyle.

    After lunch at a local restaurant you’ll continue to see the hanging effigies at Marante village.

    You’ll head back to the hotel afterwards, where your evening is free at leisure.

    Note: During the dry season (between July and September) many funerals take place and many Toraja migrants return home for the holidays. If you wish, your program will be tailored to allow you to attend a ceremony during your stay in Toraja.

  • Day 9: Rantepao - Makassar - Sanur or Nusa Dua

    After breakfast at your hotel you will enjoy the scenic drive back to Makassar, stopping at Pare-Pare for a delicious lunch.

    You’ll then head to the airport to make the transfer by plane to your chosen resort in Ubud. After checking in you’ll have the remainder of the day to relax and unwind at your leisure.

  • Day 10: Ubud - Tirta Empul - Pura Gunung Kawi - Ubud

    This morning we advise you to rise early and take breakfast before meeting your local Backyard Travel guide and private vehicle for a tour of the traditional Ubud markets. The markets start early as local vendors come to buy and sell their homegrown food as well as handmade handicrafts and textiles. As you move around the bustling markets you’ll learn all about the local herbs and spices that are used to give Balinese cuisine its unique characteristics.

    After perusing the markets you’ll continue your drive through the stunning rice terraces of Tegalalang to learn about subak - the art of Balinese irrigation. You’ll then have the chance to visit the surrounding temples such as Pura Gunang Kawi - the ‘holy fountain temple’ which is set amidst a lush forested area.

    Next you’ll move on to Pura Tirta Empal - a temple dedicated to Vishnu, where you can bathe in holy water. Along the way your expert Backyard Travel guide will explain the significance of the elements of these temples in Hindu culture. On your return journey to Ubud, you’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant that provides stunning views over the rice terraces in the village of Paku Dui. After lunch you’ll also make a stop at Yeh Pulu where your guide will explain the five episodes of the unique 14th century bas relief carvings.

    After arriving back in Ubud you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Balinese dance performance in a nearby local village before enjoying dinner at your own leisure. If you’d like a restaurant recommendation, be sure to ask your expert local guide for their advice on some excellent options for an authentic experience.

  • Day 11: Ubud - Sanur or Nusa Dua

    After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll be picked up by your private driver who will take you to the center of the island for a fascinating sustainable tourism excursion at Taman Sari Buwana farm. During your excursion you’ll have the chance to experience authentic local Balinese life while supporting a community-based tourism project in the village of Tunjunk.

    As you will be out in the fields a lot today, we recommend bringing plenty of sunscreen, mosquito repellant and wear comfortable flip-flops

    Upon reaching the village, if you arrive on a weekday you can go to visit the elementary school to see the local education system in action. You’ll then head into the village where you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to make a variety of traditional Balinese temple offerings.

    You will then continue through the village learning about the animal and vegetable components that are the basics of any Balinese home from your local Backyard Travel guide along the way. Next you’ll have the chance to meet some elder members of the village who will teach you the tricks of weaving Pandanus leaves and how to make floral temple offerings.

    You’ll then don a traditional farmer’s hat and, armed with a mattock (small hand tool) take a walk with some local farmers who will show you their sawah besar - big rice paddy fields. With translation from your expert Backyard Travel guide, the farmers will demonstrate their techniques for planting, transplanting or harvesting the rice, depending on the season.

    After your stint at trying your hand at farming, your Backyard Travel guide will take you to visit a seasonal vegetable and flower plantation. You’ll also make a stop at a coconut farm where locals will show-off their astounding ability to climb up the trees at super-fast speed and gather young coconuts for you to enjoy.

    You’ll then be taught the technique for making a tasty snack of boiled cassava with freshly grated coconut in a traditional-style kitchen before enjoying a delicious lunch at the farm.

    After lunch you’ll be driven back through the scenic region to your hotel. Along the way you will stop at the serene Taman Ayun temple close to Mengwi. The temple features delightful tropical gardens and a large courtyard as well as traditional layered roofs.

    After visiting the temple you’ll continue your journey to your hand-picked hotel in either Sanur or Nusa Dua, depending on your preference, where you will be treated to a delightful dinner before having the evening to spend at your leisure.

  • Day 12: Sanur or Nusa Dua

    You are free to spend the last full day of your tour exactly as you’d please. Perhaps spend the day relaxing on the idyllic beach nearby, or indulge in some souvenir shopping in the local shops and markets. Again, if you’d like any recommendations for things to do and places to go, feel free to ask your local Backyard Travel guide for some expert ideas.

    In the evening you’re invited to experience the trance-like Kecak dance in a decadent location overlooking Uluwatu temple on a cliff top with Pura Uluwatu in the background. Originating in the 1930’s, the dance is performed only by men and occurs without musical accompaniment as an ode to the Monkey of the Ramayana Ballet.

    After the mesmerizing performance, you’ll dine under the stars on fresh, sublime seafood on one of Bali’s more expansive beaches - Jimbaran in Kuta, home to several world-class beach resorts and restaurants.

    Bali coast at Pura Luhur Temple area, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
  • Day 13: Sanur or Nusa Dua

    Your day is free at leisure until your Backyard Travel guide and driver pick you up at a pre-arranged time for transfer to the airport for your onward flight.


All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

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Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room in luxury accommodation. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.