Om Swastiastu! Welcome to Ubud, the arts and cultural centre of Bali. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Afterwards, perhaps head out to for a group meal at one of the delicious local restaurants.
Led by your local guide, you will tour Ubud on foot today (approximately 2.5 total). Take a local bus for 15 minutes to the starting point of your walk. Along the way you'll see the goings-on of daily village life, rice fields, an alang alang valley (wild grass that is used for making the roof on traditional buildings), and visit a local painting and handicraft area. The tour ends in central Ubud where you'll have time to explore the many cafes, galleries and shops on your own. Today you'll also visit Bumi Sehat, a local community-based health clinic whose mission is to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality. In the evening you will sit down to a traditional Kecak dance performance. Driven not by musical instruments but by human chanting, this fascinating theatrical performance is considered a highlight by many travellers.
Set off by bicycle (approximately 2.5 hours) through backstreets, quaint villages and rice fields – a great way to meet the local people and take in the lovely views. About 1.5 hours of the cycling is downhill, so you can save your pedal power. Along the way, you'll make stops for photo opportunities and to rest if you need to. There are plenty of opportunities to visit some of the small and intricately carved temples. Your ride concludes in Ubud. Next, head for the hills and the village of Sidemen, travelling by minivan (approximately 2 hours). Set against a backdrop of Bali's highest peak, Mt Agung, the peaceful and friendly village of Sidemen is proof that Bali has pockets tucked away from the tourism the island is famous for. It's a little cooler up here, thanks to the elevation.
Take a morning walk (approximately 2.5 hours) around Sidemen, visiting the craftspeople of the local songket weaving industry. A traditional 'bungkus' lunch is included. The walk is a great chance to take in the beautiful scenery. Continuing your journey higher into the mountains, drive along the crater rim road to a fishing village on the edge of Lake Batur (approximately 2 hours). Volcanic Mt Batur (1,717 m) sits inside a stark and spectacular caldera, and with Lake Batur below it's a stunning sight. The lake supports the local fishing industry, while many of the villagers work as guides for the volcano climb. Your accommodation at the base of Mt Batur is a basic hotel with a restaurant. This is a great location at which to start tomorrow's early morning trek without extra travelling time.
Get up at 3 am this morning to walk to the summit of Mt Batur (approximately 1.5–2 hours). You'll be glad you made the effort to rise early when you see the gorgeous sunrise over the valleys of Bali. On a clear morning, it's possible to see all the way across the Lombok Strait to the peaks of Lombok's Mt Rinjani. This may well be one of the most memorable parts of your trip. Do keep in mind, however, that the weather can be unpredictable and sometimes the view is obscured by clouds. After descending the volcano, there's an option to soak in hot springs with fantastic views over the lake and caldera. Make the journey from the mountains to the small coastal town of Lovina (approximately 3 hours). Lovina is famous for the dolphins that patrol its coast. It's also a great spot for fine food, traditional massage and yoga.
Enjoy a day of snorkelling on Menjangan Island reef, a short boat ride from the coast (there will approximately 2 hours of travel in total). This island and its coral reefs are part of the Bali Barat National Park. On the way back, stop at Banjar Hot Spring, a small spring popular with the locals. Tonight we head to Ibu Wayan's to learn about Balinese cuisine and have a home cooked meal.
This morning you will head to the tiny hilltop village of Munduk (approximately 1 hour). Walk through clove and coffee plantations to a hidden waterfall. Visit Lake Bratan nearby for delightful views of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a Hindu-Buddhist temple set on a small island in the lake. Continue to Bedugul (approximately 1 hour). This mountain town is nestled in the cool and misty highlands, in a volcanic lake region covered in lush vegetation. Your warm clothes may come in handy for early mornings and evenings here.
Visit the Bali Botanical Gardens in Bedugal. Here, over 2,000 species of plants from all over Indonesia are on display in a tranquil highland setting. Continue by minivan to Sanur and enjoy some free time there in the afternoon. Perhaps enjoy a stroll along Bali's first beachfront walk, chat with the locals as they too enjoy the sea and sun, watch the fishermen in the shallows or kick back and relax at one of the beachside restaurants. Get a feel for the traditions and local customs which are well maintained here. Ancient temples are easily accessible – just a short distance away from the beach.
Today you may need to move to a different hotel in Sanur, for the next section of your trip. If you do need to move your leader will help you with transferring to your next hotel.As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers. Before then enjoy a free day in Sanur. Make the most of the beach front promenade or perhaps opt to relax with a Balinese massage or yoga lesson.
In the afternoon catch a transfer to Denpasar Airport for a flight to Labuan Bajo. Labuan Bajo is a peaceful fishing town better known as the launching point for impressive trips to Komodo Island, home of the famous Komodo dragons. Take a stroll along the waterfront and perhaps enjoy a seafood dinner and watch the sunset.
In the morning you will walk the short distance from the hotel to the jetty to board a speed boat from Labuan Bajo to Komodo National Park. On the way stop off at Panda Island for a hike up to a stunning view point. Then dock at Komodo Island and prepare your camera for a two hour photography safari on the hunt for gigantic Komodo Dragons. Later, return to the boat and travel to Pink Beach, famous for its pristine waters and pink sand, which change hue as it mixes with the sea water. You will enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach and you will have plenty of time to enjoy some swimming and snorkelling. On the way back there will be a stop at Manta Point where if you are lucky there is the chance to snorkel with manta rays. You will arrive back in Labuan Bajo at approx. 5pm.
Leave Labuan Bajo early this morning and travel by private minivan to Denge (approx. 5 hours) Todays journey is a mixture of sealed road and then the last part is on some unsealed local roads that can get very bumpy. On arrival the group will enjoy lunch and stow their larger bags before we drive a further 20 minutes to Dintor. Set out on a trek to Wae Rebo, a tribal village located in the middle of a lush rainforest valley. From the start point, the trek takes about 3 hours and you will need to have good walking shoes and an overnight pack. Porters are available at a cost of 250,000 IDR please let your leader know in advance if you would like to arrange this. Be greeted by the Wae Rebo villagers with a welcome ceremony waiting for us on arrival. Take the chance to enjoy some traditional foods prepared by the villagers and sample some speciality Wae Rebo coffee. If the weather is sunny the group may be treated to a special cultural performance too.
Wake up in the mountains to the sound of birds and spend the morning having breakfast in the village. Afterwards, trek back down through the rainforest to Dintor and drive back to Denge. Here you will collect your big bag and have the opportunity for a refreshing cold shower and time to enjoy lunch. After lunch travel by private minivan to Ruteng (approximately 4-5 hours)
In the morning leave Ruteng and travel towards Aimere in a private minivan (approx 3 hours) On the way, stop for a visit at Cancar to see its unique spider web rice fields - vast circular rice paddies that spiral inwards just like a spider web. Next stop will be Aimere where you can take a swim at the black sand beach and enjoy lunch by the water. Continue on for another 1-2 hours to Bajawa with plenty of photo stops along the way.
In the morning travel in a private mini van (approx 45 minutes) from Bajawa to Bena village, a megalithic village located in Ngada. The architecture here is very traditional, with tall thatched huts and traditional weaving techniques on display. Follow your leader on a guided tour of the village and see the impressive stone formations and ancestral shrines. After spending some time to meet the locals and learn about their customs, travel onwards to Mengeruda Hot Springs (approx 30 minutes) The springs flow from Mount Inelika and the soothing waters are said to hold medicinal properties, such as curing skin conditions. Take the time to unwind surrounded by waterfalls and overhanging trees and let the pebbles massage your knots. Finally we then continue on the Moni (approx. 5 hours) Moni is located at the foot of Mount Kelimutu, famous for its three brightly coloured volcanic lakes. Head to bed early tonight as you will trek to Mount Kelimutu in the morning.
Rise and shine! This morning you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Mt Kelimutu's three brightly coloured lake craters. First it's a matter of a 30 minute drive towards the top of Mt Kelimutu and then a 30-40 minute walk to the viewpoint over the craters. Return back to your guesthouse for breakfast before heading to Maumere in a private minivan (approx. 3 hours ) In contrast to Labuan Bajo, Maumere sees very few tourists and offers a charming laid back atmosphere.
Today enjoy a full day snorkelling trip with first stop at stunning Babi island, complete with white sand beach, crystal clear waters and picture post card palm trees. Next head to Pangabatang Island with an included lunch and plenty of time to swim and relax. After lunch enjoy another snorkelling spot before heading back to your resort in the late afternoon.
Today you will need to say good bye to Flores and catch a flight back to Denpasar. Transfer back to your hotel in Sanur and enjoy an optional final Indonesian feast with the group and reflect on the highlights of the trip.
Your trip comes to an end today and you are free to depart at any time.