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Travel through remote Flores to take in scenery lush with jungle, paddy fields and dramatic volcanoes. Walk through tribal villages and admire views of picturesque crater lakes and volcanoes, before ending on the beaches of Bali.
Explore Tour Leader
1 nights simple boat
7 nights comfortable hotel
3 nights simple hotel
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Ubud and check-in at the hotel. Located around 200-300 metres above sea level Ubud is surrounded by terraced paddy fields and is well known as the cultural heart of the island of Bali. The village itself is today a busy hive of artistic activity with many shops selling locally made bamboo furniture, wood and stone carvings, paintings and other arts and crafts. Traditional Hindu-Balinese dance performances take place most evenings.
Nick's Pension Hotel Bali (or similar)
This morning we make our way to a local project, where we meet the staff who will help us create Balinese temple offerings, typically made up of small palm leaf baskets filled with flowers and rice, which we take with us to Tirta Empul temple. Here we have the opportunity to experience the ritual of entering a temple as a local Balinese would. We change into traditional dress and ask permission to enter by placing our offerings at the entrance. Here we may also bathe in the holy waters. We advise you dress in a white shirt or blouse for this day - you will be loaned a Balinese sarong for the duration of the visit to the temple.
From here we continue north to Gunung Kawi, where we walk down towards the Pakarisan River, along around 100 steps, to see beautiful 11th century Royal tombs cut into a sheer cliff face. We then make our way back up the steps to re-join our bus and return to the local project where we can enjoy lunch, before returning to Ubud for some for time in the afternoon - an ideal opportunity to explore the shops and market, or simply relax at the hotel.
Today we fly to Ende on eastern Flores Island. On arrival we embark on a scenic 3 hour drive. Our journey takes us through a picturesque landscape of rice fields, coffee plantations and olive trees as well as small villages. We wind our way to Moni, our base from where we climb Kelimutu volcano, we drive alongside a river and see a beautiful gorge as we climb through the mountains to our destination.
Kelimutu Eco Lodge (or similar)
We have early start today as we make our way to the base of Kelimutu volcano. We climb to the summit for an unforgettable sunrise panorama. The walk takes around 30-40 minutes over a series of steps interspersed with flatter sections, the final 10-15 minutes covers 127 relatively steep steps. Our reward at the summit, on a clear day, is the view of three crater lakes; some of the most spectacular in the world. The names of the lakes translate to Lake of Old People, Lake of Young Men and Maidens, and Bewitched or Enchanted Lake.
The latter two lakes are in close proximity and share a crater wall, but the most outstanding feature of these lakes is their differing colours, depending on the changing mineral content of the water at any given time. You may see a turquoise lake next to a black one! It is then no surprise that this area of stunning and unusual natural beauty was once an important place for spiritual rituals. After some time to enjoy this beautiful place we make the journey back down off the volcano and return to Moni. Here we have some free time to see traditional Lionese ethnic minority houses, stone seats and a sacred cemetery in the village, or simply return to the hotel to relax.
Today we leave the mountains behind as we head to the south east coast back to Ende, from where we drive along the coast past a stunning green stone beach, before winding our way back uphill to Bajawa, surrounded by lush jungle covered slopes and volcanoes. Bajawa is the spiritual heartland of the Ngada tribal people, who are made up from five tribal groups living in the surrounding area, each with their own customs, language, beliefs and traditional dress.
Please note that our tonight's hotel is a simple property with twin rooms an en-suite facilities. Both hot water and electricity can be intermittent in this rural part of Flores, as the area is prone to frequent power cuts.
Hotel Virgo (or similar)
This morning we drive to Wolobobo, from where we enjoy magnificent views of Ebulobo and Inerie volcanoes. Continuing on we drive to the foot of Inerie from where we take an easy walk through several small traditional Ngada villages with a local guide. The largest village is Bena, where we find megalithic stones along with offering and meeting places in between rows of stilt houses with steep thatched grass roofs. Walking through the village gives a sense of going back in time.
The Ngada retain their animist beliefs after having been essentially forced to convert to Catholicism by Dutch missionaries in the 1920s, hence images of Jesus and Mary feature amidst pig jaws, buffalo horns and tribal art! From a viewpoint we can overlook the village, the volcano and the blue waters of the Sawu Sea, before we continue on and take a short walk to another traditional village called Luba, before returning to Bajawa.
We spend the day making our way through a stunning landscape, passing dense jungle, active volcanoes and the rice fields of central Flores as we make our way west across the island. Finally we reach our destination of Ruteng in the district of Mangarai. This mainly Catholic city located at an altitude of 1170 metres above sea level and surrounded by paddy fields enjoys a cooler climate. We overnight here before our boat expedition into the Komodo archipelago.
Santa Maria Berduka (or similar)
This morning we make our way to the harbour and board our boat. All our meals for our two day cruise will be prepared and served on board, the first one being a lunch as we head off to our first port of call. We disembark on Rinca Island itself and meet with some of the national park's rangers (one ranger per group of five), who will lead us carefully along a trail into Komodo dragon territory to see if we can spot them. Komodo dragons, known locally as 'ora', are highly dangerous giant lizards reaching up to lengths of over 3.5 metres and weighing up to 150 kilos, more usually though they are around 2.5 metres in length.
Hidden in the undergrowth the Komodo dragons wait patiently for their prey, such as deer and water buffalo - which we are likely to see in the national park - and when the time is right they ambush their victim and bite into them releasing a toxic venom from glands within their lower jaw causing a slow death. We walk for around two hours across a relatively flat terrain covering around 5km. Komodo dragons are likely to be seen in greater numbers after the mating season which takes place between May and August.
We overnight on our private boat in simple shared accommodation, made up of double and single bunk beds in two mixed-sex cabins. Facilities include two toilets and a salt water shower, with a limited amount of fresh water for bathing.
Overnight Boat: Bintang Laut - Komodo National Park (or similar)
This morning we make our way to Komodo Island itself where we take another safari walk with national park rangers to spot the Komodo dragons, and learn a little more about these imposing beasts.
Afterwards we make a short cruise to the beautiful Pink Beach, which take its name from the pink sand created from red coral. The beach itself is small but very picturesque and sees relatively few visitors. There are pockets of shade under some trees to chill out when not taking a dip in the shallow ocean water. Not to be missed, however, is the snorkelling on the spectacularly colourful coral reef a short swim from the beach. For those without their own snorkelling equipment this can be hired in advance from Labuan Bajo.
Komodo National Park was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1986 and includes the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Gili Mota, Nusa Kode and Padar. This diverse marine area boasts over a 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of reef building coral as well as a significant amount of other marine life.
After lunch we return to Labuan Bajo for the night before our return to Bali.
Puri Sari Beach Hotel (or similar)
The morning is free, either to relax at the hotel or perhaps to explore the small town and market of Labuan Bajo. This afternoon we fly back to Bali and drive to the beach at Sanur where we can relax for a day before our tour ends.
Puri Sading (or similar)
The day is free for you to choose how to spend it. You may wish to relax on the golden sand beaches of Sanur or explore the souvenir shops, cozy bars and small restaurants of the village itself. Alternatively, you can take a boat excursion to the nearby island of Lembongan, and spend the day snorkelling, taking a tour of the mangroves by canoe and relaxing on one of the island's many sandy beaches. Another option is a tour of East Bali starting with a cultural Barong dance performance, a visit to the bat cave of Goa Lawa, a walk through the traditional village of Tengagan and a visit to the water palace of Tritagangga.
Our tour ends after breakfast.
Lying on the equator, Indonesia stays hot all year round, with daytime temperatures in the 80's (26°-28°C). Humidity is usually high. The wet seasons are roughly: Java- October to April; Bali- November to May; starting later the further east you travel. Nights are much cooler in the mountains than on the plains. Sea breezes normally keep the coastal strips of the islands from becoming too uncomfortable.
2 Pin Round
Islam, Christian, Hindu
Indonesian (official), numerous regional dialects, Sundanese, Javanese and some English.
Lembongan Island - IDR 1,467,000, East Bali day trip: IDR 738,000, Massage (Labuan Bajo) IDR 300,000
The region is tropical (humid) and days can be very hot. Casual clothes are the most practical, whilst tight fitting garments should be avoided. Please bring long skirts, trousers and shirts to cover yourself fully in order to respect local sensibilities and please bear in mind that short shorts are generally unacceptable. If you have a white shirt or blouse please bring it along for the temple experience, but this is not compulsary. Bring some warmer layers for the time spent at higher altitudes. Light rain gear and/or an umbrella is excellent in sticky, tropical conditions. A sunhat is essential as is swimwear. Long trousers and loose tops in light neutral colours are recommended for the Komodo walking safaris.
Comfortable walking shoes, trainers and sandals.
Binoculars, torch, water bottle, insect repellent, high factor suncream (at least factor 15), good quality sunglasses and a lip salve with sun protection. You may also wish to bring your own snorkel and mask for snorkelling off Pink Beach. A small rucksack/day bag is recommended to carry overnight kit on the boat to Komodo and Rinca.
Bus, Boat, Flight
We overnight on our private boat in simple shared accommodation, made up of double and single bunk beds in two mixed-sex cabins. Facilities include two toilets and a salt water shower, with a limited amount of fresh water for bathing. Please also note that due to the remote nature of Bajawa, the region is prone to frequent power cuts. Water here is pump-driven, so on an occasion there is a power cut there may also be no running water.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
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Indonesia: British nationals travelling to Indonesia for tourism purposes can apply for a visa on arrival at a cost of IDR 500,000. Other nationalities may require a visa or may travel visa free for up to 30 days. Please check your government advice. If travelling on a free visa you must also exit via one of the approved ports - including international airports in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, Medan, Surabaya and Batam, and sea ports in Batam and Bintan. All passports must have at least 6 months validity remaining after departure from Indonesia.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
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Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
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You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, infectious hepatitis, typhoid and polio. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on Malaria and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Although not compulsory, travellers may wish to immunise themselves against Japanese encephalitis. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.