CLIMB EV­ERY VOL­CANO

Climb live vol­ca­noes and swim the bluest seas.

The Sunday Telegraph - Travel - - Front Page - By Theodora Sut­cliffe

... swim the bluest seas – 10 great In­done­sian ad­ven­tures

1 PADDY PEDALLING

Cruise the time­less ru­ral land­scapes of Bali and East Java on two wheels – with a sup­port ve­hi­cle on hand for 90 per cent of the jour­ney. High­lights in­clude a thrilling ride down from the crater rim of Bali’s Mount Batur vol­cano, snorkelling the pris­tine reefs of Men­jan­gan Is­land, climb­ing to the sul­phurous crater lake of Mount Ijen and East Java’s se­cret beaches.

A 15-day Cy­cling In­done­sia’s Is­lands hol­i­day costs from £2,349 (with £150 dis­count if you bring your own bike). Price in­cludes flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, many meals and bike rental: bring your own (manda­tory) hel­met. De­par­tures be­tween April and Sept 2018. Ex­o­dus Trav­els (020 3811 4071; ex­o­dus.co.uk).

2 HERE BE DRAGONS

In a na­tion re­plete with bizarre wildlife, the venomous Ko­modo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, still stands out. As you jour­ney from Bali to Ko­modo to meet the dragons, aboard the Mer­maid live­aboard, ex­pect dol­phins, rays, cetaceans and spec­tac­u­lar bird life. Along the way, snorkel pris­tine reefs and cross the Wal­lace Line, where In­done­sia’s fauna shifts from Asian to Aus­tralian forms.

A 13-day Bali to Ko­modo – In Search of the Dragon! trip costs from £5,895, in­clud­ing flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, ac­tiv­i­ties and al­most all meals. De­parts Sept 10 2018. Na­ture­trek (01962 733051; na­ture­trek.co.uk).

3 LUXE LIV­ING

Make your in­tro­duc­tion to In­done­sia the hol­i­day of a life­time as you jour­ney by pri­vate car, plane and float­plane to op­u­lent re­sorts in some of the archipelago’s most iconic lo­ca­tions. Watch the sun rise over the an­cient tem­ple of Borobudur in Java; wake to graz­ing deer or nest­ing tur­tles in a tented camp on pris­tine Moyo Is­land; in Bali, ex­pe­ri­ence Ubud, the Bukit Penin­sula and the serene east coast.

A 17-day Lux­ury Tour of In­done­sia costs from £8,765. Price in­cludes flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, some meals and many ac­tiv­i­ties. It’s best en­joyed be­tween April and Oct to avoid the rainy sea­son. Aud­ley Travel (01993 838000; au­d­ley­travel.com).

4 THE BIG BLUE

The Raja Am­pat is­lands stud the seas off In­done­sia’s half of the is­land of New Guinea, in the heart of the Co­ral Tri­an­gle. Award-win­ning Blue Planet cam­era­man Doug Al­lan is your guide to par­adise. You’ll snorkel with the whale sharks of Cen­der­awasih Bay, dive Sec­ond World War wrecks and ex­pe­ri­ence ex­quis­ite reefs. Pa­puan cul­tures also await.

An 11-day Whale Sharks with Doug Al­lan cruise costs from £6,695. Price in­cludes do­mes­tic flights, full-board cruise with div­ing, and ac­com­mo­da­tion en route. Ex­cludes in­ter­na­tional flights, dive gear rental and park en­try per­mit. Tour de­parts on Nov 21 2018. Steppes Travel (01285 601751; steppes­travel.com).

5 ANIMIST MAGIC

Widely tipped as “the new Bali”, Sumba of­fers clear wa­ters, sweep­ing beaches, epic surf and largely un­spoilt animist tra­di­tions, in­clud­ing an an­nual rit­ual horse­back fight­ing fes­ti­val, Pa­sola, in Fe­bru­ary and March. Ac­cli­ma­tise in the com­fort of Ubud, the home of Eat, Pray, Love…, be­fore fly­ing to Sumba to wit­ness colour­ful cer­e­monies, me­galithic tombs, tra­di­tional vil­lages and glo­ri­ous beaches. Close with three days on Bali.

A 13-day Sumba Ex­plored ad­ven­ture costs from £3,545, in­clud­ing flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, some meals and many ac­tiv­i­ties. Aud­ley Travel (01993 838000; au­d­ley­travel.com).

6 RING OF FIRE

Wrapped around the vol­canic arc known as the Ring of Fire, In­done­sia is home to around 129 ac­tive vol­ca­noes. Take in some of Java’s most stun­ning peaks, in­clud­ing Bromo and Merbabu, be­fore fly­ing to Lom­bok for an epic three-day climb to the gap­ing crater of 12,220ft Rin­jani. Along the way, dis­cover relics of an­cient Java, in­clud­ing the tem­ples of Borobudur, Pram­banan and the Dieng Plateau.

A 17-day In­done­sia Vol­cano Trek costs from £2,469, in­clud­ing flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, ac­tiv­i­ties and some meals. De­par­tures be­tween April and Sept 2018. Ex­o­dus Trav­els (020 3811 4071; ex­o­dus.co.uk).

7 TO­TAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART

Jun­gle, orang-utans, the world’s largest crater lake and the rare spec­ta­cle of an an­nu­lar eclipse make a com­bi­na­tion that’s hard to re­sist. So book ahead for this ad­ven­ture in Su­ma­tra, where you’ll meet orang-utans, ex­plore the Toba su­per-vol­cano, bathe in hot springs, dis­cover tribal cul­tures, and watch from lush rice fields as the moon eclipses the sun, leav­ing only a fiery halo. A 15-day Su­ma­tra and Eclipse tour costs from £3,169. Price in­cludes ac­com­mo­da­tion, trans­port, break­fast and flights. De­parts Dec 17 2019. Ex­plore (01252 883621; ex­plore.co.uk).

8 IS­LANDS AND HIGH­LANDS

See Ko­modo dragons, snorkel with sharks and tur­tles, wit­ness mul­ti­coloured crater lakes and dis­cover unique high­land cul­tures on this ad­ven­ture that takes you be­yond Ko­modo and to Flores, one of In­done­sia’s most up-and-com­ing is­lands. Stay­ing in ac­com­mo­da­tion as di­verse as a con­verted fish­ing boat, a work­ing con­vent and an eco-lodge, you’ll get a taste of In­done­sia’s ad­dic­tive wild east. The trip starts and ends on Bali’s golden sands.

A 15-day Ko­modo & Flores: In­done­sian Is­land Ex­plorer Tour costs from £4,930. Price in­cludes flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion and some meals. Best be­tween April and Oct to avoid rains. Aud­ley Travel (01993 838000; au­d­ley­travel.com).

9 BOR­NEO AND BE­YOND

Get a taste of In­done­sian Bor­neo’s crazy di­ver­sity on an ad­ven­ture that trans­ports you from deep jun­gle to white sand is­lands. Get up close and per­sonal with orang-utans, tur­tles and long-nosed mon­keys, cruise mighty rivers on a tra­di­tional klo­tok house­boat, visit a float­ing market and a di­a­mond mine, meet Dayak tribes­peo­ple, and snorkel with stin­g­less jel­ly­fish. You’ll rough it a lit­tle – but that’s all part of the fun.

A 16-day Kal­i­man­tan Ad­ven­ture costs from £2,885. Price in­cludes flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, some meals and ac­tiv­i­ties. De­par­tures in May and Au­gust 2018. Ex­plore (01252 883621; ex­plore.co.uk).

10 IS­LANDS OF THE GODS

Ex­plore wa­ter­falls, spice farms, cof­fee plan­ta­tions, lush rice fields, stark vol­ca­noes and lake­side tem­ples in beau­ti­ful Bali and its lesser-known neigh­bour, Lom­bok. Scale Mount Batur vol­cano, snorkel amid gi­ant sea fans, and ex­pe­ri­ence tra­di­tional Hindu art, dance and ar­chi­tec­ture in Bali’s cul­tural cap­i­tal Ubud. Af­ter dis­cov­er­ing tra­di­tional arts, crafts and life­styles in Lom­bok’s un­spoilt high­lands, wrap it all up with three sybaritic days on the white sand tear drop known as Gili Air.

A 15-day Bali & Lom­bok Ad­ven­ture costs from £1,295, in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, some meals and a wealth of ac­tiv­i­ties. Flights not in­cluded. De­par­tures through­out 2018. In­trepid Travel (0808 274 5111; in­trepid­travel.com).

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