Across Java by Rail
From Jakarta To Bandung, Yogyakarta, Prambanan, Borobudur, Losari, Ambarawa, Solo, Malang, Bromo, Jember, Kalibaru, Ketapang, Banyuwangi, Gilimanuk, Ubud - 15 Nights
- Departing from:
- Bandung, Yogyakarta, Prambanan, Borobudur, Losari, Ambarawa, Solo, Malang, Bromo, Jember, Kalibaru, Ketapang, Banyuwangi, Gilimanuk, Ubud
- 15 Nights
- Call now for a full brochure.
- Travel Dates:
- 22/06/24 to 07/07/24
- Offer Expires:
- Tour Operator:
- Guidepost Tours,Railway Adventures
- Reference Code:
Price per person
Java is the richest and most scenically majestic of Indonesia's countless islands. Its diverse landscape ranges from towering volcanoes to dense forest, manicured rice paddies and teeming cities. Our train adventure explores this 1000km long island of Java, starting in Jakarta and travelling through Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo and Malang to Jember and Banyuwangi in the east where we take a short ferry ride to Bali.
You will experience a variety of modes of transport from a bullock cart ride to becaks. There are 3 chartered steam train excursions. This tour is an undiscovered gem and great value. Be guided through UNESCO World Heritage sites and experience the warmth and hospitality of the locals.
There is option to extend your stay for a few days at a beautiful resort in Bali or join your tour guide a day early for an excursion to Bogor Botanic Gardens and Presidential Palace.
If travel is about embracing what’s new and different from what we’re used to, then Java is an excellent contender for an eye-opening adventure. Of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands, the world’s largest archipelago, Java is the richest and most scenically majestic. Home to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Borobudur and Prambanan and great cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, and Banyuwangi, it’s Australia’s most populous neighbour, and arguably its most important, for myriad reasons.
Although very close to Australia, Java lies on the other side of an imaginary boundary, known as the ‘Wallace Line’, that separates the biogeographical realms of Asia and Australia, creating vast differences in the biodiversity. To the west, in Asia, species are more closely related to those found in mainland Southeast Asia. To the east, the fauna and flora show stronger affinities with those of Australia and New Guinea such as the prevalence of marsupials and monotremes not seen in Asia at all.
Day 1 • Saturday 22 June:
Selamat datang di Jakarta! Welcome to Jakarta!
After checking in to our hotel there will be time to relax before gathering for the welcome dinner with Bob and your fellow travellers. Our hotel in Central Jakarta has 23 acres of tropical gardens and extensive recreational facilities. Why not arrive a day or two earlier to relax before the tour? Our team can assist you with any pre-accommodation needs you have.
Overnight: Hotel Borobudur, Jakarta (D)
Day 2 • Sunday 23 June:
This morning we have a city tour of the Durian city of Jakarta, which will include a visit to the amazing National Museum of Indonesia, featuring a collection of more than 140,000 items from a wide range of subjects. Our tour will continue with stops at the Batavia Train Station (Jakarta Kota), the Taman Prasasti Museum, and Fatahillah Square, with its unique paved cobblestones. We’ll visit temple-filled Chinatown and a Chinese mansion (Chandra Naya), which will give us an insight into the beautiful Peranakan architecture, and then take a walk along the historical Kali Besar Barat, lined with Dutch architecture and explore the Wayang Kulit, or Shadow Puppet Museum. Our lunch today is served at the Batavia Café, set in a 200-year-old building on the north-western corner of Fatahillah Square.
After lunch we head to Sunda Kelapa Harbour, a working port for Buginese Phinisi Schooners, the largest fleet of commercial sailing ships in the world, which has transported and unloaded goods from across the archipelago for hundreds of years. Thought to be operational since before the 13th century, the port is a fascinating location that preserves the shipping, commercial and architectural history of Jakarta. Finally, we pause at the national monument, MONAS, a soaring 132 meter obelisk in the heart of Jakarta, built to commemorate Indonesia’s struggle for Independence.
We’ll return you to your hotel in the late afternoon for an evening at your leisure. Our tour leader will be more than happy to recommend various restaurants for you to enjoy.
Overnight: Hotel Borobudur, Jakarta (B, L)
Day 3 • Monday 24 June:
JAKARTA – BANDUNG
Leaving just after breakfast we’ll travel on the Ärgo Parahyangan train from Gambir Train Station in Jakarta to Bandung, a gentle journey of just under 3 hours. Upon arrival at Bandung Train Station, we’ll transfer directly to our hotel to check in and enjoy lunch together.
After lunch, we’ll set off to explore Bandung. Our tour includes a visit to the Saung Angklung Udjo workshop, an uniquely Indonesian indoor-outdoor bamboo musical instrument workshop & craft centre, devoted to preserving the rich culture of Java. We’ll see an energizing performance of Angklung (traditional bamboo instruments) and dancing by village students, before getting a chance to try the instruments ourselves!
Return to your hotel where the rest of your afternoon and evening is free.
Overnight: Aryaduta Bandung (B, L)
Day 4 • Tuesday 25 June:
BANDUNG – TANGKUBAN PERAHU – BANDUNG
After breakfast, we’ll be collected by our private coach and drive the 30 kms out to Tangkuban Perahu, a smoldering and still active 2000-metre-wide volcano. The name translates roughly to “upturned boat” in Sundanese, referring to the local legend of its creation, a story that is rather Oedipal in nature and one which your Tour Leader will be happy to share. You’ll start with a walk around the main crater, Kawah Ratu, before experiencing a dip in a natural Ciater (hot springs) if you’d like to.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant serving food from the region after which we’ll return you to your hotel by mid-afternoon. The rest of the day and evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Aryaduta Bandung (B, L)
Day 5 • Wednesday 26 June:
BANDUNG – YOGYAKARTA
This morning is an early start for our transfer to Bandung’s railway station where we’ll board the morning train for the 6-hour journey to Yogyakarta. We’ll be travelling in ‘Executif’ class with lunch served on board, so you’ll only have to think about immersing yourself in the scenery that is rolling by your window.
Yogyakarta (often called “Jogja”) is a smaller city (population less than 500,000) known for its traditional arts and cultural heritage, and its ornate 18th-century royal complex, or kraton, encompassing the still-inhabited Sultan’s Palace.
We’ll get to explore the city tomorrow, so upon our arrival in Yogyakarta, our local guide will meet us and transfer us to our hotel for check-in, after which you are free to rest, explore the local area on foot, or maybe independently take advantage of a local interest tour offered by the hotel.
Overnight: The Phoenix Hotel – MGallery Collection, Yogyakarta (B, L)
Day 6 • Thursday 27 June:
This morning after breakfast we set out to explore the city with our expert local guide. First, we’ll visit the Sultan’s Palace (Kraton). Built between 1756 and 1790, and still considered the centre of monarchical government in Java, it’s a fantastic example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. As you walk through the various rooms and chambers you’ll learn more about this important aspect of Javanese heritage and culture, before a becak (bike taxi) ride to the adjacent Taman Sari water palace and garden. This addition to the royal complex was built over 200 years ago by the first Sultan, who wanted bathing pools for his harem.
Next, we make our way to a small “home-factory” where Java’s iconic Wayang Kulit leather puppets are made . After learning about the entire process, explained by one of the craftspersons, you’ll enjoy a short performance to see the puppets in their acting glory. Afterwards we’ll visit the nearby Batik (home-factory) where we’ll see the local women make these colourful textiles and have an opportunity to purchase something for yourself.
Lunch will be served in a local restaurant, followed by a visit to the Sonobudoyo Museum and a stroll along Jl. Malioboro, the main street of Yogyakarta, full of shops and local street vendors. After being transferred back to the hotel, the remainder of the day and evening is free at leisure.
Overnight: The Phoenix Hotel – MGallery Collection, Yogyakarta (B, L)
Day 7 • Friday 28 June:
YOGYAKARTA – PRAMBANAN – YOGYAKARTA
This morning we’ll explore the most iconic attraction in Jogja, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Prambanan. Built in the 9th century, this ancient Hindu temple compound is one of the largest of its kind in Indonesia. Slightly different in style to Borobudur, the other great temple of Yogyakarta and on our list for tomorrow, Prambanan is made up of several beautifully preserved stone shrines clustered together in the heart of a wide, green park.
From here, we’ll move on to the nearby village of Bugisan where our friendly local hosts will pick us up by ox cart and take us to their village, passing the intriguing Plaosan temple complex on the way. This is a unique local experience – first we’re welcomed into a traditional house for refreshing tea and some traditional snacks before walking through the village to meet the locals. We’ll call in at the house of the Jamu maker to see how the colourful bottles of herbal medicines are concocted and where you’ll be welcome to try a glass of the healing drink to treat your ailments! Watch how the Javanese snack called ‘emping’ is made and together with the ladies of the village, have a go at playing the gamelan, a traditional Indonesian musical instrument.
Lunch will be served in a local restaurant, after which we’ll return to the hotel to freshen up before heading out for the evening to enjoy a special dinner and a spectacular Ramayana Ballet performance in an open-air theatre with the backdrop of Prambanan Temple.
Overnight: The Phoenix Hotel – MGallery Collection, Yogyakarta (B, L, D)
Day 8 • Saturday 29 June:
YOGYAKARTA – BOROBUDUR – MAGELANG
This morning after a leisurely breakfast and check out, you will be picked up by our expert local guide and coach for the drive to Borobudur, a UNESCO world heritage site located on the other side of the city from Prambanan. Built in the 9th century and the largest Buddhist Temple in the world, Borobudur is a massive stone structure that soars up into the sky surrounded on all sides by lush jungle greenery. the largest Buddhist temple in the world and its grandeur rivals Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar.
After being mysteriously abandoned, it lay undiscovered and quietly preserved by a tomb of volcanic ash until it was discovered in the early 19th century by the then British Lt. Gov. of Java,Thomas Stamford Raffles. The discovery was a sensation – an ancient 10-story temple constructed with 2 million stones and housing over 500 stone Buddhas.
With our local guide as our host, we’ll explore this famous landmark at a leisurely pace before enjoying lunch in a local restaurant and then continuing on to visit Candi Mendut and Candi Pawon, two more important temples close to Borobudur.
The opportunity to climb the temple is there if you’d like to do it. However, a guide and special footwear is required, which will incur an additional cost. Please note this regulation could change at any time.
After enjoying some time to explore these unique and culturally significant temples, we’ll drive north through Magelang to our magnificent 5-star “plantation-style” resort, set in the middle of a working coffee plantation in Losari.
After checking in, your evening is free.
Overnight: MesaStila Resort and Spa, Magelang (B, L)
Day 9 • Sunday 30 June:
MAGELANG – AMBARAWA
This morning after breakfast, we embark on a full day tour to the town of Ambarawa, a city that was used for military purposes during the Dutch colonial administration. Our first stop is the historic Ambarawa Railway Museum, formerly called the Willem I station because it was built in 1873 in honor of the then King of the Netherlands, and established as a Museum in 1976. Utilising the original buildings, the Museum is now home to some 21 historic steam locomotives, some being the last of its type.
After visiting the museum we’ll enjoy a special heritage steam train journey from Ambarawa to Tuntang and return, travelling along beautiful Lake Rawa Pening, a source of power, irrigation, and flood control, and is used for fishing and recreational activities.
After lunch together in a local restaurant, we’ll head back to Losari and our hotel, stopping for a guided walking tour of the Mesa Stila coffee plantation. Here, we’ll learn about the organic and delicious Robusta coffee grown on the property and have an up-close look at the traditional techniques of roasting and grinding the beans before enjoying a coffee tasting session. For those who aren’t coffee drinkers, you may like to try jamu, a traditional Javanese herbal drink.
This evening is at leisure.
Overnight: MesaStila Resort and Spa, Magelang (B, L)
Day 10 • Monday 1 July:
MAGELANG – SOLO
This morning after breakfast our coach will take us to Solo city, officially known as Surakarta.
After checking into our magnificent boutique hotel and enjoying lunch together, we’ll embark on a Surakarta city tour by special steam train commencing at Purwosari train station. Here we’ll board our privately chartered special steam train, the Steam Loco Jaladara, built in Germany in 1896 and shipped to Indonesia that same year by the Dutch East Indies Government as a means of short-distance transport.
Trundling through the heart of the city in restored Victorian-style wood carriages, you’ll get a first-hand look at life in Solo. Wave to locals as the train crosses Slamet Riyadi Street, Solo’s main street as we embark on a unique way to see a place. The 2.5 hour excursion makes stops at Loji Gandrung (the Mayor’s official residence, the Danarhadi Batik Museum, and the Kauman Batik Village before pulling into Sangkrah Train Station, also a protected cultural heritage site.
The ancient art of Batik originated in Java and is very culturally important to Indonesians. To the extent that, in 2009, UNESCO officially recognized the batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity from Indonesia, and encouraged the Indonesian people and the Indonesian government to safeguard, transmit, promote, and develop the craftsmanship of Batik.
On our stops today, you’ll get the opportunity to watch up close the process of making hand-drawn batik, and support the local craftspeople in your own way. There will be time to shop for high-quality batik products if you’d like to.
We’ll return to our hotel in time for some relaxation before enjoying a typical Indonesian dinner together.
Overnight: Royal Surakarta Heritage MGallery, Solo (B, L, D)
Day 11 • Tuesday 2 July:
SOLO – MALANG
This morning after an early breakfast we’ll make our way to the Solo train station for the 7:33am Sancaka train to Mojokerto, arriving mid-morning. We’ll be met by our private coach for the scenic 2-hour drive to Malang enjoying views of this rich agricultural region en route. Upon arrival in Malang, we’ll check into our hotel, the Tugu Park, which is listed as one of the world’s 100 most beautiful hotels and enjoy lunch in the grounds of this beautiful place. The public rooms are adorned with priceless works of art and antiques. Tugu Hotels’ founder, Anhar Setjadibrata, a medical student-turned-lawyer and now the owner of the biggest collection of fine Indonesian art and cultural antiquities in Indonesia, designed the range of beautiful boutique museum hotels to house his antiques and to share with the world the romantic stories and legends of ancient kingdoms of Indonesia.
You’ll have the opportunity to join a guided tour of the hotel before having the rest of the day and evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Tugu Malang (B, L)
Day 12 • Wednesday 3 July:
MALANG – MT BROMO
This morning after breakfast we’ll be met by our expert guide for a walking tour of Malang. With a history dating back to the age of the Singhasari Kingdom, Malang was prized by the Dutch colonists for its mild highland climate and became a popular destination for European tourists, sparking a rapid period of development, much of which is still evident today. The city retains much of its colonial architecture and our tour will take us past numerous significant colonial buildings, as well as taking in the local bird and flower markets and the small Brawijaya Museum with displays of the military history of East Java from the mid-20th century, before finishing at the city cathedral. We’ll stop here for lunch together at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we’ll rejoin our coach and drive the scenic route to Mt Bromo in the Bromo-Tengger National Park, with a stop on the way at the Singosari Hindu temple dating from the 13th century. Upon arrival at the hotel, we’ll check-in and enjoy time at leisure, ensuring you’re well rested for the very early start of our excursion tomorrow morning.
Overnight: Jiwa Jawa Bromo (B, L)
Day 13 • Thursday 4 July:
It’s an early departure this morning to experience one of the marvels of this part of the world – the sun rising from behind the Bromo volcano. We’ll make sure you get some coffee before joining our guide and our 4WD jeeps for the journey to our spectacular viewing spot to watch the sun rise at 6am from behind the volcano in Penanjakan as the mist rises from the valleys. We’ll then continue by jeep down to the volcano caldera, often still covered by mist in the early morning. The mist, combined with the grey ashen-covered ground create an unusual atmosphere, often compared to the surface of the moon. For those that wish to do so, we’ll walk to the crater and take the stairs which lead to the rim of the still-active Bromo Volcano.
Our jeep will return us to the hotel for a late breakfast/early lunch where the rest of your day is free to explore.
Options today include exploring local villages by foot, wandering through the hotel’s art gallery which features a permanent photography exhibition displaying Mount Bromo and its majestic surroundings or simply relaxing at your hotel before an early start the following morning. For those wanting to go into town and explore local dinner options, you’ll have access to a vehicle and driver until 9pm tonight.
Overnight: Jiwa Jawa Bromo (B, L)
Day 14 • Friday 5 July:
MT BROMO – BANYUWANGI
After an early breakfast, we say farewell to Mt Bromo and continue our journey through the spectacular East Javanese countryside to Probolinggo to catch a Pandalungan train to Jember, arriving mid-morning.
Our coach will meet us at the station and take us on to Kalibaru, one of the richest agricultural districts on Java. Kalibaru is unique in that the district is crossed by several rivers, namely the Kalibaru Manis River, Sumberbaru River, Tunnel River, Kajarharjo River, Telpom River, Pakem River, so it’s little wonder that agriculture thrives.
Upon arrival in Kalibaru, we’ll enjoy some lunch before taking the Kalibaru Coffee, Cocoa & Rubber Plantation Tour. Coffee, rubber, cocoa, and sugar cane are grown widely here by the local farmers and you’ll see how rubber is processed, how coffee is dried, and, if there’s time, how cocoa is fermented. They’ll be very happy to help you learn about, and participate, in their activities, although you may prefer to just watch them climb the coconut trees to get you a delicious fresh coconut to sip right there, on the spot! Before we leave, we’ll enjoy a cup of fresh coffee or tea and a delicious snack of fried banana.
We’ll then continue by coach to Banyuwangi at the eastern tip of Java, where we’ll check in to our beachside resort and set you free to unwind for a bit before we gather for dinner.
Overnight: Ketapang Indah Hotel, Banyuwangi (B, L, D)
Day 15 • Saturday 6 July:
BANYUWANGI – UBUD, BALI
After breakfast we embark on a journey into another piece of Indonesian paradise – Ubud in Bali for our last bit of time together. Our coach will collect us and take us to Ketapang Harbour for our ferry crossing of the Bali Strait to the remote western side of the island of Bali. Upon disembarking, we’ll continue by road to Lovina, a low-key coastal resort, where we’ll enjoy some lunch.
After lunch in Lovina, it’s on to Ubud with a stop on the way at the Beratan Lake in Bedugul to visit the magnificent Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, the most iconic landmark in Bali and a significant temple complex located on the picturesque shores of Beratan Lake.
It is then on to Ubud, where we’ll arrive in plenty of time to enjoy some ‘downtime’ in our fabulous resort hotel before our farewell dinner.
Overnight: Ubud Village hotel, Ubud (B, L, D)
Day 16: Sunday 7 July:
Enjoy breakfast at the resort and a morning at leisure before transferring to Denpasar Airport for your departure flight. We’re happy to arrange for you to extend your stay in Ubud or elsewhere in Bali. Call us to discuss the many options. (B)
- 15 nights’ accommodation in centrally located 4 to 5-star quality hotels
- All transport mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfast daily, 14 lunches and 5 dinners
- Complimentary drinks with welcome and farewell dinners
- Comprehensive sightseeing with expert local guides
- Excursions / entrance fees to attractions listed in the itinerary
- Services of an Indonesian tour leader throughout the trip
- Services of Australian Railway Adventures tour leader throughout the trip
- Tipping and gratuities
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure (contact our office for options)
- Excursions / entrances listed as optional in the itinerary
- International airfares
- Items of a personal nature e.g. telephone, laundry, mini bar
- Travel insurance or tourist visa