The real strength Java and Bali is that they are full of endless photographic highlights many of which are included in this tour. However we have also gone out of our way to make sure the itinerary leaves time to meet people and engage with the local way of life as it is lived out in the markets, towns, villages, countryside, homes and temples
Sulphur mines in Java
Ijen Volcano and lake
There are a few places in this world where just the very thought of going there makes ones heart flutter, INDONESIA is certainly one of them. A photographers dream come true, with active volcanoes, a plethora of temples (including the world’s largest Buddhist temple), diverse cultures, unique fauna and flora, jaw dropping landscapes, fabulous beaches and mouth watering food. There are few places on the planet, some say none at all, that offer you such an all round photographic experience.
Java Our tour begins in Borobudur home to Asia's largest Buddhist temple.
We then swap ancient history and culture for nature at its rawest. We go out of our way to photograph two very different volcanoes, a stunning sunrise over the perfectly shaped Mount Bromo and the sulphur mines of Kawa Ijen where it is suggested it’s miners have one of the toughest jobs in the world.
Bali Often referred to as the land of Gods, Bali is steeped in history and bewildering in its traditions. We will photograph dolphins in their natural environment, soak up the culture of Ubud and photograph one of the worlds most picturesque coastal temples at Tanah Lot.
The beauty of Bali lies is in its stunning natural and manmade landscapes. Primarily volcanic, vistas are often draped with legendary rice paddies. The unique terracing and cultural control of the water that feeds them are deemed so beautiful they have been awarded UNESCO world heritage status. Add to that lakes, waterfall and white sand beaches it’s hard to ask for more beauty on one small island.
The intrigue of Bali lies in its culture. The main religion of Bali is the only Hindu culture outside India. Not surprisingly it has taken on many unique forms of expressions. Dotted around the country are endless temples, some famous, some just local, both are so intrinsic to Bali culture it is hard to avoid them. The nature of Balinese people is so creative that it is also very common to see word carvers, silver smiths, Batik dyers, painters and other arts and crafts being practiced as every day village life.
Day 1 - Arrive in Yogjakarta You will be picked up from the airport and taken to your hotel to rest and relax before the start of the tour.
Day 2 - Borobudur AM: Photo workshops, for anyone new to NHP tours, in the morning. Those who have done a tour with NHP before will have free time to rest or explore the city. In the afternoon we will do a city tour visiting a local pottery works and a silk factory, then pay a visit to the local market area.
PM: Visit Borobudur for sunset. Borobudur is Asia’s largest Buddhist monument. We will visit in the late afternoon in time to see the sun sinking behind the temple.
Day 3 - Borobudur AM: Pre-dawn we will have exclusive entrance (we will be staying at the only hotel that can offer this facility to its guests) to Borobudur for the most amazing sunrise experience. With the sounds of all the local Muslim villages chanting and the sun rising over the nearby volcanoes this is a hauntingly beautiful experience. Later we will have breakfast back at the hotel then continue with the day activities.
PM: We then move on for a late afternoon visit to Prambanan an ancient Hindu temple built in the 9th century. It has echoes of the temples found at Angkor in Cambodia.
Day 4- Bromo AM: Fly to Surabaya
PM: Arrive in Surabaya. We will be picked up by our local guide and taken up the mountains to Bromo. Once there we will check into our hillside hotel and grab some fabulous local landscape shots.
Day 5 - Bromo /Ijen AM: Up very early to take 4wd drive vehicle to reach Mount Penanjakan (2770m) for the best vantage point to photograph the sunrise over Mount Bromo crater. The mountain is very high – so the morning will be a chilly one. We advise bringing a fleece and even some gloves! After a short breakfast we visit the crater caldera. It is now a sea of sand. We will take a short horseback ride and then climb the steps to the crater rim where you can see the clouds of smoke bubbling up from the magma below.
PM: After breakfast at the lodge we will take the mountain top route to Banyuwangi and check into a nice hotel to relax after our very early start to the day.
Day 6 - Ijen / Bali AM: The Ijen Plateau is a spectacular area of volcanic activity and Ijen Kawah is the center point of the mountain range which lies on the west side of Banyuwangi. The Crater Lake is a 90 minute hike. When you arrive the color of the water in the lake is scarcely believable being an extraordinary vivid aqua blue. Evidence of volcanic activity is everywhere with steaming water and brilliant yellow crystalline sulphur deposits. Collecting the latter is an industry here and one with extremely harsh working conditions. You will see many workers trudging up and down the mountain carrying baskets of sulphur. The Ijen Crater is certainly one of the great natural wonders of Indonesia, it is also a photographers dream. We spend a few hours here before heading back to the hotel for some well earned breakfast.
PM: After lunch we take the ferry to Bali. Sunset on the beach at Lovina
Day 7 - Mount Agung AM: Shortly before sunrise we will take small fishing boat out into the ocean to photograph Dolphins in their natural environment. These Dolphins are quite playful so getting that “illusive” shot of one completely out of the water is definitely a possibility here. After breakfast at the hotel we will then head to Kintamani a 3 hour drive up the mountain and through some wonderful villages. Lunch in Kintamani gives a whole different meaning to the word “panoramic”. we will also pop down to Lake Batur for some great lake shots. Later we will arrive at our hotel for the evening with spectacular views of Bali’s largest mountain Mount Agung.
PM: Later we will arrive at our hotel for the evening with spectacular views of Bali’s largest mountain Mount Agung.
Day 8 - Tenganan AM: This morning we will photograph sunrise over Mount Agung, on a clear day this is one of the most spectacular sunrise opportunities. We will then drive just 20 minutes to Besakih Temple. Besakih lies on the southern slopes of Mount Agung and is the Mother Temple of Bali, and the most important religious site on the island. The temple consists of 18 separate temples and numerous other shrines. Today we will catch the early morning activities.
PM: We will then move on to the East of Bali and do an afternoon trek which will conclude at the village of Tenganan. Tenganan is a traditional Bali Aga (original) village where the residents live their lives just as they did in times gone by. Photograph them making textiles in a traditional fashion. This will take you back in time and give you some unique photos.
Day 9 - Ubud AM: Our first stop this morning is Tirtagangga Water Palace. Tirtagangga, meaning holy water of the Ganges in Balinese, is one of the world's romantic gardens. The waters of the holy spring have been praised by island healers for their healing and youth giving powers. Next we use a local guide to take us on a 2 hour trek through the villages and rice paddies at the foot of Mount Agung. A well deserved lunch will be served, Balinese style on the terrace overlooking the Water Palace.
PM: We will then drive to Ubud stopping at the most famous of all rice terraces Tegallalang. A huge river valley surrounded by coconut trees it offers spectacular views of the rice fields and the people working them. Tonight’s dinner will be at the Jazz Café. The Jazz Café Ubud opened in December 1996 as the first Live Jazz venue on the island of Bali. Today it has become one of Bali’s premiere live music Venues, hosting Bali’s finest resident musicians, as well as special shows from top quality International acts every month.
Day 10 - Ubud Ok! You have had lots of very early morning starts so today you have a very well earned day off to explore Ubud at your own pace. The town of Ubud, in the uplands of Bali, Indonesia, is known as a center for traditional crafts and dance. The surrounding Ubud District’s rainforest and terraced rice paddies, dotted with Hindu temples and shrines, are among Bali’s most iconic landscapes. Ancient holy sites include the Tirta Empul temple complex, intricately carved Goa Gajah (“Elephant Cave”) and Gunung Kawi with its rock-cut shrines.
Day 11 - Tanah Lot AM: After breakfast you will go to the Bali Bird and Reptile Park to witness the largest and finest collection of Indonesian birds in the world plus fantastic birds from Africa & South America. Encompassing two hectares of botanical landscape, the park provides sanctuary to almost 1000 birds of 250 different species. Next door you can get “up close and personal” with some very interesting reptiles.
PM: We will finish off the day by staying in a beautiful hotel inside the compound of Tanah Lot Temple and getting some unique sunset shots of this temple in the water.
Day 12 - Jimbaran AM: We have all the time in the world to get some amazing sunrise shots of this fascinating temple at Tanah Lot.
PM: Later on we travel to Jimbaran where later in the afternoon we will do sunset shots of the fish market and, the most famous of backdrops, Jimbaran Bay. Our final dinner will be on the beach where they use coconut husks to BBQ your fresh fish and seafood.
Day 13. Depart Bali.
Please Note: Itinerary days may be subject to changes or variations
The accommodation included on the tour is well-researched, safe, clean and comfortable mid-standard hotels.
English speaking local guide
All accommodation (12 nights')
Breakfasts when part of the hotel package
All transport (A/C bus, ferry, airport pickup)
All entrance fees
Domestic flight from Yogjakarta to Surabaya
International air tickets in and out
Any kind of Insurance
Drinks or meals other than hotel breakfast
Tips for local staffs
Flights Please note the following when booking your flights. The tour will start in Yogjakarta in Java and end in Denpasar in Bali.
Visas: Nathan Horton Photography Tours cannot be held responsible for your entry/exit arrangements. Getting the required documentation is solely your responsibility. No refunds will be made in the event of you being refused entry into the country where travel is to take place.
As visa rules can vary according to your country of origin we strongly advise that you research the visa rules for the country before you travel. Please refer to the visa information in Essential Information Sheet given for each country. The PDF can be downloaded below.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory for all Nathan Horton Photography travelers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US $200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on or before the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it.