We’ll visit palaces and walk the streets, meander through a Monkey Forest, explore ancient temples, swing high above the jungle, party like a local, and learn about arts and spiritual traditions in Java and Bali. This trip will fill your heart with all the beauty, adventure, nature, and friendship it needs.
7d/6n Java/Bali Adventure $1850
Optional 4d/3n Borneo Orangutan Extension $1200
March 15-March 22, 2024 • Borneo extension March 22-March 25, 2024 This trip is full
NEW DATES ADDED:
April 3-April 10, 2024 • Borneo extension April 10-April 13, 2024
$200 deposit holds your spot – Or choose an installment plan starting at $154/month
Includes lodging, all activities, guides, transportation, admissions to museums and attractions, yoga classes, gratuities, and daily breakfast. Excludes airfare to/from the US, travel insurance, lunches, and dinners.
With Lauren Zehara Haas & Ami Amore
I got my travel buddy Ami Amore to team up with me for this trip — so you get twice the adventure and ten times the laughter.
~ Lauren Zehara Haas
Indonesia is a country made up of thousands of islands. We’re going to explore two of the biggest ones. We’ll spend three days on the island of Java, where we’ll visit palaces and ancient temples. Then we’ll fly to Bali (this flight is included), where we’ll spend our time in the cultural center of Ubud. You’ll have guided tours of the waterfall, jungle, Monkey Forest, and so much more.
Wait…what is a Women’s Adventure? Click here to find out!
We’re not looking at the world through bus windows — we’re squishing it between our toes.
I created these small-group trips for women (and femme-identifying folks) who like to experience life in faraway places, get to know local people, and delve deep into the culture.
Nothing wrong with resorts and four-star hotels — but that’s not this trip. My women-only travel groups are a little rough around the edges.
Our water isn’t always hot, and our towels and pillows might not be fluffy sometimes, but we love being as immersed as possible in the local way of life. And the money we save on fancy lodging lets us dive into more activities and adventures!
Meeting the other cool chicks who love to travel this way is half the fun!
Your 7d/6n Java & Bali Adventure
I usually manage to squeeze in a few delightful surprises at the last minute, and sometimes the order of events changes, but these are the activities I definitely plan to include.
Click on each day of the itinerary to see more photos and details.
Day 1: Arrivals in Yogyakarta
Welcome to the island of Java! If you’re arriving today, I’ll have someone meet you at the airport and bring you to our home for the next three days. There you can unpack, relax, meet your fellow travelers, and enjoy a swim if you’d like. We’ll go for a walk around town, try some local delicacies for dinner. and learn more about this beautiful country.
In the evening, we’ll join a giant party in the plaza, where we can pedal Bling Bling cars, sample street foods, and more!
Day 2: Sultan’s Palace & Javanese Arts Tour
A guided tour of the sumptuous Sultan’s Palace is the perfect way to delve into the history of the region as well as local traditions and philosophy. The breathtaking buildings and in-depth museum collections at this palace will astound you, and our guide can answer all your questions about local life.
We’ll explore other areas of the city as well, learning more about the process of creating batik, Javanese shadow puppets, and other local arts. We’ll meet artists and have a chance to browse lots of handcrafted goods. We might even get a chance to try the famous Kopi Luwak coffee.
Accordion item 1
Day 3: Ancient Temples – Borobudur & Prambanan
Yogyakarta is home to two of the most fascinating temples in Asia. We’ll see the sunrise at Borobudur, a the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It was built in the 8th and 9th centuries, but Borodur stillattracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world. You’ll have the chance to climb all over the temple and, if you wish, meditate alongside Buddhist monks. Later in the day, we’ll visit Prambanan, a spectacular 9th century Hindu temple complex, featuring temples to Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva. Both temples are massive and dream-like; this will be a day you’ll never forget.
Optional: If anyone is interested, I’ll see if there’s time to catch a performance of the Ramayana Ballet. This Indian dance performance of a famous Hindu story is staged nightly at an open-air theater against the dramatic backdrop of the Prambanan Temple. (ticket not included, but should be less than $25)
Day 4: Depart for Bali
We’ll fly from Yogyakarta to Bali (flight included), where we’ll settle into our rooms in Ubud. We’ll have time to unpack and relax. Then we’ll stroll around town and check out the vibe — Bali is completely different from Java, because this island is Hindu (Java is Muslim). We’ll have dinner in a local restaurant.
Optional: If anyone wants to see a dance performance, I can take you to a fabulous show after dinner. Ticket is not included, but should be under $20
Day 5: Whirlwind Tour of Ubud & Monkey Forest
On this action-packed day, we’ll visit the Water Temple, rice terraces, artist market, and the Monkey Forest, where monkeys and other wildlife climb over ancient ruins. We’ll have an English-speaking guide all day who can answer our questions and help us understand this complex and beautiful culture.
Day 6: Cultural Classes & Optional Spa Visit
The women of Bali create beautiful floral offerings that are an important part of the spiritual life on Bali. We’ll learn about this sweet tradition and create offerings of our own, and if we’re lucky we might even get to participate in some purification rituals. You’ll also have your choice of a dance or woodcarving class to get more intimate with local arts.
We’ll have lots of free time on this day for exploring the city — by now you’ll know your way around and feel very comfortable on your own or in small groups. Shop local art boutiques, take a cooking class, enjoy some coconut ice cream, or settle into a cafe and catch up on sharing photos. Your choice!
Optional spa visit
Optional: We’ll have time on this day for a spa visit — and you will be ready for one after your active morning! If anyone is interested, I’ll hook you up with my favorite spa, where massage prices start at $11.
Day 7: Adventure in Nature & Pool Restaurant
On this day, you can choose either a volcano hike OR a snorkeling trip!
Mt. Batur Volcano Hike
If you choose this option, you’ll be picked up in the wee hours and driven to the trailhead to climb the Mt. Batur Volcano. The climb begins before dawn (bring a headlamp!) so you can enjoy the sunrise from the peak. The climb is about 2 hours of fast, fairly strenuous uphill hiking. At the top, you’ll need scramble over some rocks to reach the summit. There, your guide will cook an egg for you over the active volcano while you watch the sunrise.
Snorkeling in the Blue Lagoon
If you choose this option, you’ll be picked up at 8am and you’ll travel about 90 minutes to your first snorkeling location. Your guide will provide all your equipment and a quick lesson on snorkeling, and they’ll take you to two different reefs by boat. Your guide will bring you back to the hotel in the afternoon.
For our last evening in Bali, I’ll take you to my favorite restaurant. Bring your swimsuit, because you’ll be dining in a poolside cabana!
Day 8: Free Day or Departures
Those who are going on the Borneo Orangutan extension will have a free day and an extra night in Bali (this is Day One of the extension for you). Maybe you’d like to take a bike tour, sign up for another class, visit the spa, take a yoga class, or just relax at home. It’s entirely up to you!
OPTIONAL extension: Orangutans in Borneo!
Note: The extension can only be offered if we have enough people sign up.
At the end of the week, you can choose to stay for an optional excursion to Indonesian Borneo, where we’ll live on a riverboat for 2 days and one night and see Proboscis monkey, long-tailed macaque, kingfisher bird, hornbill, gibbon and other wildlife — but especially orangutans!
Click here for details & more photos
After our free day in Bali, we’ll head to the remote island of Borneo. We’ll fly to Surabaya where we’ll need to change planes to get to the island (not many carriers make this flight!). At the airport, we’ll be met by a car or van and taken to the riverboat that will be our home for the next three days.
We’ll spend our days lounging at the front of the boat, watching the river slip by. We’ll eat delicious meals on the deck of the boat, and sleep in the open air on mattresses under mosquito nets. You’ll need malaria prevention and mosquito repellent for this trip; this is a true jungle adventure!
This trip is a strange combination of rugged and luxurious. You will be pushed out of your comfort zone, but in the most delicious ways. My previous groups joked that they felt like jungle princesses on the boat!
When we visit the orangutans in the forest, they’re being fed on a platform. You’ll be just 10-15 feet from them while they eat, and the only thing between you and them is a piece of string. It is a spectacular experience. On the last trip, we also saw wild boars, flying foxes, and a baby crocodile!
The price includes an extra day and night in Bali, your flight from Bali to Borneo and back (or pay the difference and I’ll arrange your flight back to Yogyakarta or wherever you need to go!), lodging on the riverboat, all meals, and the guide.
Price: $1200 Includes lodging, activities, all meals in Borneo. Also includes round-trip transportation to/from Bali (or pay the difference and I’ll have you flown to Yogyakarta or wherever you want to go). Excludes gratuities, lunch and dinner in Bali.
Meet your hosts
Hi, I’m Lauren Haas, the founder of Indie Travel Guru.
In May of 2013 I sold everything I owned and started traveling the world with all my possessions in a backpack. It’s been an incredible journey, and in 2017 I started to share the world with small groups of women who want to see it the way I do.
I love to walk, hike, take local transportation, get involved in local life, and learn about cultures from the inside out, through arts, food, music, dance, and culture. Come join me for an unforgettable adventure!
Ami Amore bio coming soon!
Testimonials from past trips
Lauren, our host, was a charming ambassador for Morocco; I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience than she did for our group consisting of eight strangers (soon to become friends).
Thank you, Lauren, for planning such a wonderful trip and sharing so many fabulous experiences. Looking forward to your future retreats. Read more “I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience”
Lauren was a fantastic host —wonderful, full of life, giving, trustworthy and a ton of fun! Even though the stay was only a week long, we got such a beautiful, well-rounded immersion in the culture…
What this is not: your standard trip. We saved money along the way and got a fantastic cultural voyage. I can wholeheartedly recommend this experience and I will most definitely be joining Lauren again in the near future. Read more “A well-rounded immersion in culture”
Lauren made me feel comfortable and safe traveling to a part of the world I had never been to previously. The personal experiences she shares regarding being a smart traveler and her cultural knowledge are valuable.
She is friendly, a good problem solver, respectful of personal space/time, and fun. I would definitely travel with her again. Read more “Safe, comfortable, and fun!”
Payment options if you sign up now:
$200 deposit is nonrefundable. 30 days before the trip begins, the full balance becomes due and nonrefundable
I strongly recommend buying travel insurance well ahead of your trip. Insurance will refund you in the event you need to cancel at the last minute and will also cover lost luggage, medical emergencies, stolen telephone, and so much more.
Other Important Information:
This trip is being offered subject to a minimum number of travelers registering. In the event the trip needs to be canceled by Indie Travel Guru, LLC, you will be notified as early as possible and your deposit and/or payments will be refunded in full.
Not the right trip for you? Check out my other Women's Adventures at this link!
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Questions? E-mail me at Guru@indietravel.guru