Apes, Arts, and Dragons

An adventure to Borneo, Java, Flores, Komodo, and beyond
Overview

overview

Orangutans, monkeys, traditional dancers, puppeteers, clown fish, pulsing purple corals, and lots and lots of friendly faces await you on this journey through the Indonesian archipelago. Explore corners of this many-island country that few tourists have visited, in more depth and detail than most trips can offer.  Engage with natural history, living culture, and human origins. Spend time with orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park on Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).  Learn about traditional island arts and folk expression at the cultural heart of Java, and tour the iconic religious monument of Borobudur at sunrise. Search for Komodo Dragons while cruising on a private live-aboard boat around six small volcanic islands. And, return to Bali as a hub of your experience, where you can extend if you'd like to experience more unique Hindu art and culture (or to spend a few days on the beach).

Take a look at photos from 2012's adventures with Apes, Arts, and Dragons on the JOURNEYS Facebook page, and check out a video from the trip on our JOURNEYS YouTube channel.

 

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Denpasar
    Welcome to Sanur (Photo by Audrey Saleh)

    Arrival day into Denpasar, Indonesia. Meet at the airport and transfer to your hotel for overnight. If you have not been to Bali before, you will probably want to extend at the end of this trip to fully explore the island and its culture. After check-in at your hotel the rest of the day is yours for leisure to recover from jet lag or to enjoy the beach.

    Lodging
    Mercure Hotel, Sanur
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  • Day 2: Sanur

    The morning is yours to relax and take in the exotic surroundings. The group will meet for lunch at the hotel for orientation and then the rest of the day is open for exploring.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Mercure Hotel, Sanur
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Arrive Semarang, Java
    Buddhist and Muslim Temple

    Fly today from Bali to Java, and spend a transit night in Semarang. This city has historically been at the crossroads of maritime trade routes, and continues to be a center of commerce. However, while you are here, enjoy visits to Sam Poo Kong Temple Complex, a holy site for both Buddhists and Muslims, and the Chinese Buddhist Temple, where you will have the chance to make traditional offerings. Spend the night at the Ciputra, a 4-star hotel with a fantastic breakfast spread.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Ciputra Hotel
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  • Day 4: Tanjung Puting National Park
    Proboscis monkey (Photo by Dick Seibel)

    After breakfast, fly to Pangkalan Bun in central Kalimantan (Borneo). Transfer to the river port to board your klotok (a traditional motorized wooden boat) to cross Kumai Bay toward the main waterway in the Tanjung Puting National Park, the Sekonyer River. The two-hour float on the Sekonyer passes incredible riverside plant life. The vegetation varies from nipah palms and mangroves, dominating the coastal forest, to the evergreen plants that proliferate in the peat swamps and dry land forest. Tanjung Puting National Park covers more than 1,600 square miles and hosts a diverse population of flora and fauna – most notably, the orangutan. The National Park is in a continuous battle against loggers, gold miners, poachers, and corporate palm oil developers. Tourism in this area offers an economic rationale for preserving the natural habitat. After a stop at Tanjung Harapan to arrange the permits, it’s straight to Rimba Lodge for 3 nights. Begin your search for proboscis monkeys and the many birds of the area during your 3-hour float up the river. If you're lucky, you may even spy an orangutan en route. Your 35-room lodge, built of ironwood and set on stilts,  is quite simple but beautifully sited — and really the only accommodation in this area. A group of long-tailed macaques lives all around the rooms, so be sure to keep your doors closed!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Rimba Lodge
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  • Day 5: Camp Leakey Tour
    En route to Camp Leakey in Borneo.

    Today, visit Camp Leakey, the historic research station in Tanjung Puting National Park. Birute Galdikas set up this research station in 1971. She named it for Louis Leakey, who was both teacher and mentor for three young primatologists who would then go on to international renown: Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, who gained fame for their work with chimpanzees and gorillas, and Birute Galdikas, who studied orangutans here at Camp Leakey and authored the book Reflections of Eden (1995) about her early studies in this area. Take the boat to Camp Leakey right after breakfast. Enjoy a beautiful 2½-hour upstream float with bird- and primate-spotting opportunities along the way. Lunch on the boat. At Camp Leakey, hike into the primary forest and stop at the visitor center where you may come very close to semi-wild orangutans. At the afternoon orangutan feeding, usually starting around 2:30, you'll spot the orangutans as they approach from above or behind you and then watch their mealtime and gymnastics for as long as they stay.  This is a great opportunity to take close-up photographs of the animals. Orangutans are often quite curious about human beings, and they may want to investigate your pockets and your belongings. Keep a safe distance of at least 5 meters, and follow the guide’s instructions carefully. Return to the boat to ride back to the lodge for the evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Rimba Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Pondok Tanggui Orangutan Visit
    Camp Leakey is one of the best places to observe Orangutans.

    After breakfast at the lodge, head out by boat to Pondok Tanggui. After a short walk in the jungle, reach the feeding site for baby and juvenile orangutans who are in the course of rehabilitation and returning to the wild. Lunch aboard the boat, then visit a village in Tanjung Harapan, just outside the border of the National Park, to learn about the Malayan and Semi Dayak people’s settlements and ways of life.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Rimba Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Sightseeing en route to Borobudur
    Borobudur at sunset (Photo by Luann Capozzoli)

    Return downriver to Kumai, and head back to the airport for a return flight to Semarang where you'll be greeted by your Java guide. Drive across the island of Java, sightseeing en route to the Manohara Hotel, housed within the Borobudur monument complex.  We will try to arrive in time for a sunset walk around the grounds. Dinner at the Manohara.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Manohara Hotel
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  • Day 8: Borobudur / Yogyakarta
    Explore the Borobudur complex

    This will be a full and glorious day! Arise before dawn to visit Borobudur, the most spectacular ancient Buddhist archeological site in Indonesia. This gigantic three-dimensional mandala was constructed between the eighth and the ninth centuries by the kingdom of Sailendra, using an estimated 1,600,000 blocks of volcanic stone each dredged out of the river and assembled piece-by-piece by thousands of workers. The architecture and embellishment of the temple depicts the path to the heavens and nirvana through its 1,500 intricately carved figures stretching more than three miles. Modern study of the site began in 1814 by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. The monument was first restored in 1907, but suffered from both passive degradation of neglect and the more active destructions of war. It was then restored in the 1970s under the guidance of UNESCO, which declared the Borobudur temple complex a UNESCO World Heritage site. We climb the incredible pyramidal structure at dawn to witness the sunrise and the very active, steaming volcanic cone of Mount Merapi in the distance. When you're ready, amble back to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, drive for about an hour to Yogyakarta, where you will check in to your hotel. This evening, enjoy dinner at a Ramayana Ballet performance at Purawisata.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Jogjakarta Plaza or Similar
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  • Day 9: Prambanan / Yogyakarta
    Batik is a beautiful art form in Indonesia (Photo by Edith Gralla)

    Early this morning, tour of the highlights of Prambanan, a spectacular example of Hindu temple architecture and another UNESCO World Heritage site. Prambanan is one of the largest and most ornate Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. It was built around 850 CE, during the Sanjaya Dynasty, and then abandoned. Reconstruction began in 1918, and the main building was restored in 1953. An earthquake in Java damaged the temple in 2006, but the complex remains a stunningly ornate relic of a vanished dynasty. Drive to Yogyakarta to visit the Sonobudoyo Museum, which features a vast collection of traditional "keris" or Indonesian daggers, masks, and "wayang" or shadow puppets. Afterward, head to the Sultan's Palace, known for its grand and elegant Javanese architecure. Next, visit Batik home industry, your chance to learn about Jogja’s Batik and directly see how painting and printing Batik are made. Lunch at local restaurant is included. The afternoon is spent at Malioboro market to hunt local souvenirs that abound along this boulevard. Afterwards, drive back to your hotel for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Jogjakarta Plaza or Similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Yogyakarta / Transit Night in Sanur

    After an early breakfast, depart for airport transfer to Denpasar, Bali. Upon arrival, meet your guide and head to your hotel in Sanur. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Mercure Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Fly to Labuhan Bajo, Begin Cruise
    All aboard for more adventure (Photo by Dick Seibel)

    Transfer to Denpasar airport for an early morning flight to the seaport of Labuhan Baho on Flores, where you board your lovely schooner for a 3-night cruise around the islands of Komodo National Park in the Flores Sea. Your ship is completely prepared with modern safety and navigational equipment, small but adequate cabins with bathroom facilities and an experienced, attentive crew. Set sail for Pink Beach for first-rate snorkeling experiences. All gear is provided, and there's ample time to enjoy the beach and its amazing coral and marine life. Next, we sail to Kalong Island for sunset, when tens of thousands of "flying foxes" (bats) take off from the island in search of food. The boat anchors near Kalong Island and Komodo Islands. Dinner on board.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    On board a motorized schooner
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: Komodo and Other Islands
    Komodo Dragons, the largest lizards on earth.

    Today, wake up to the gentle light and breathtaking vistas of the Flores Sea. Enjoy breakfast on board before setting off for a hike on Komodo Island, escorted by park rangers. The landscape is dramatic and you're likely to encounter a number of Komodo Dragons, the world’s largest lizard (Varanus komodoensis), in the wild. You are also likely to encounter a wide variety of other animals in the park, such as wild deer, wild boar, and many species of birds. There may be time to visit Kampung Komodo, the only village on Komodo Island, inhabited mostly by Bugis people, known for their seafaring culture and their woodcraft. Lunch aboard the boat then partake of more opportunities for snorkeling and beachcombing. Later, sail to Rinca Island.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Motorized schooner
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: Rinca Island
    Visiting the islands

    After breakfast, hike again in search of wild Komodo Dragons in their own habitat, escorted by park rangers. Rinca (pronounced "Rin-cha") has even more of these giant lizards than Komodo does. The afternoon brings more opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and coral viewing.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Motorized schooner
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: Labuhan Bajo/Bali

    Enjoy breakfast on board as usual before transferring back to Labuhan Bajo for a return flight to Bali. A final group dinner will be provided this evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mercure Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 15: Extend in Bali or Return Home

    Continue your Indonesia exploration on the beautiful Hindu island of Bali or transfer to the airport for your international departure.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

May 15-29, 2015
Sold Out Jul 26-Aug 9, 2015
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$4,350
- $4,595
2015: 2 person rate: $4775 8-9 person rate $4595 10-14 person rate: $4350 Internal air estimate: $850
Single Supplement:
$995
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
15 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
2
Group Size:
8-14
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
1
JOURNEYS grading system from I to IV will help you choose an experience with physical demands which match your motivation. 1. Active Active exploration with optional day hikes, easy walking, leisurely bicycling or light canoeing. Comfortable travel by vehicle. 2. Vigorous Experience may include regular hiking or physical exercise in varied environments. Travel by vehicle may be long or over rough terrain. 3. Challenging Parts of trip will involve physical challenge. Daily hiking in rough terrain, high altitude, rough road travel and remoteness from modern medical care may be unavoidable circumstances. 4. Demanding Extended foot travel in very remote areas. Previous wilderness travel experience advisable. Doctor's certification may be requested.

Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Beautiful Bali

Duration: 5 days

Based at the cultural center of Bali, celebrate the island’s thousand year history of culture, music, song, drama, beauty and lush abundance. Your Balinese guide provides an intimate view of island life featuring access to villages, interaction wit... read more

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