Volcanoes and Plantations


flying from Bali to East Java

In the morning, we will drive you to the airport of Bali. It is a short but spectacular flight to Surabaya, the sprawling industrial hub in East Java. After landing, you'll immediately continue to the Tengger Highlands, home of the Tenggerese. This particular people are ethnically, culturally and linguistically different from the Javanese. Their traditions are firmly rooted into the Hindu past of Java, effectively going back centuries when large parts of Java and Sumatra were under the cultural influence of India. You will check-in in Bromo Cottages Tosari, on the edges of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.

exploring Mt Bromo area

Early morning, we trek into the Park, with its unique landscapes, rainforests and grasslands. We will focus on the "Sea of Sand", an awesome volcanic crater basin with a sandy floor and surrounded by walls of 300 m high.. A powerful prehistoric eruption formed this magnificent caldera, with a host of picturesque "smaller" mountains and the smoldering cone of Mt Bromo itself, rising up from its centre. With the help of horsemen, it is easier than you think to reach the top and have a peek into the gaping hole, stirring with volcanic activity. At the base of the mountain, the Tengger people built Hindu shrines to contain the powers that stir deep below the earth's surface. Then we head for the main North Java highway to continue the journey eastbound. Once passed Bondowoso, the island of Java reveals its most beautiful landscapes. Tucked between steep mountain rugs, small plots plots of land have been transformed into glimmering rice fields. The pace of traffic slows, the atmosphere becomes more rural. The night will be spend in a hotel on an awesome location. Next lays a tranquil and authentic Javanese village, closed in by the most idyllic rice fields you have ever seen. Spectacular mountain scenery views from the garden and the swimming pool of the hotel. Just a little bit further, coffee plantations churn out a healthy production year after year.

Volcanoes & Plantations of East Java

In this area, you will participate in one of the most inspiring trips you'll ever be able to take on Java. Drive by jeep through rainforests and plantations to the starting point for a moderate hike. It'll take a few hours to reach the peak of Mt Ijen. On the way you will meet tough locals carrying 80 kg heavy loads of mined sulpher in their baskets. In exchange for money at the foot of the mountain, they earn a respectful living. They get "the yellow gold" at the top of the mountain at the shores of a magnificent crater lake. Once you arrive there, the views are stunning. Whatever direction you look, mountain tops peak aloft the clouds. Down at the jade colored lake, steam from deep down below transforms into yellow crystals upon contact with the open air. After an easy descends, we continue our trip to Kalibaru, along a twisting road with dramatic views on the Ijen Plateau and the Meru Betiri National park. We are heading straight into the heartland of plantation country.

old Colonial Estates

Today you will spend on a former colonial plantation. Nowadays the government runs these estates, large areas covered with coffee, cocoa and rubber. Most activities take place between April to October, but rubber is produced all year around. Small kampung, lined with immaculate lanes of small houses belonging to the workers, alternate with huge squeaking factories. Their old but reliable machinery, quite often dating back to the beginning of the last century, process the crops into viable export commodities.

reaching Bali

After driving the last leg of the fabulous East Java stretch, we cross the small Java Strait and reach Bali. From that moment onwards, the mosques are replaced by Hindu temples. The road to South Bali leads along sloping hills, covered with rice fields reaching to the seashores. In the late afternoon, you will reach your hotel in South Bali. This tour ends in your next hotel of choice.