Wild Women Expeditions: Untamed Indonesia
- From $4,995.00 USD per person
This land is so diverse and vast, it can never be tamed. A land of dragons, and spirits, and temples that float… A parade of color and lush landscapes. Of moon orchids and monkeys. And as you will discover, it is all of these things…and more. Indonesia is a place of heartbreaking beauty, and an adventure you will carry with you always.
Here, you will visit a land inhabited by the largest lizards on Earth, the Komodo dragons – trekking on the remote islands where these dinosaur-like creatures make their home. You will sail down a jungle river in a wooden canoe, your eyes widening at the wonder of the Bornean flooded forest. Orangutans frolic in the trees overhead, while the scent of jasmine flowers drifts by in a heady perfume.
Wrap yourself in the rainbow of an Indonesian sari, and admire the quiet majesty of a Dayak spirit house. Watch, as a Balinese healer sits within a temple practicing her medicine with gentle hands, or admire the flawless craftsmanship of a skilled weaver coaxing rattan into an intricate creation.
Here, you will stand at the very edge of a volcano. You will swim alongside the ethereal black wings of a manta ray. You will stroll the soft sands of a beach the color of rose petals. And as you watch a troupe of Balinese dancers glide by with their wild joy, you will feel your own heart dancing alongside them, in this beautiful, untamed land.
DAY ONE: BORNEO BOUND
After arriving in Jakarta in the morning and meeting the WWE representative in the international arrivals section of the airport, you will be escorted to the domestic departures section to board your afternoon flight to Palangkaraya, Borneo. Upon arrival, we’ll meet with our guide and drive 30 minutes to the hotel. Check-in and relax. We’ll take a short nighttime tour around Palangka Raya and have dinner at a traditional Dayak restaurant.
DAY TWO: VILLAGE OF BUKIT RAWI
After breakfast in the hotel, pack your bags and put on your trekking gear for a forest adventure! We’ll travel south of Palangkaraya (approximately 30 minutes on easy roads) to the pure black waters of Lake Sebangau.
After boarding long wooden canoes, we’ll travel across this glistening lake and set off into the real Bornean flooded forest. Here’s your opportunity to track a wild orangutan! You can help paddle the canoe, or simply relax and take in the magnificent scenery. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the simple park center, then climb the lookout tower for a view over the park and lake.
We’ll return across the lake and set off for the picturesque village of Bukit Rawi, where we can visit the homes of rattan weavers and admire their intricate creations. If time permits, we will visit some of the colorful second burial boxes, or “dayak sandungs,” in a nearby village. After, we’ll return to Palangka Raya and check into our charming cabins aboard the Rahai’I Pangun. Our boat will cruise upstream into the sunset, past the stilted and floating houses of the capital city, to a quiet location for evening rest.
DAY THREE: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
In the early morning light, we will continue along the forest-lined river, past unique villages. Arriving at the tiny hamlet of Katimpun, we’ll take a walk along the town boardwalks to visit Ransel Buku, a local foundation that provides books and other cultural activities for the village children. We’ll meet with a representative, and have the opportunity to donate books or money to their program. (A donation will be made on your behalf, but feel free to make an additional donation if you wish!)
We’ll continue the cruise upstream, and in the early evening we’ll slip into our canoes and glide over the shimmering black water lakes. Keep an eye out for some amazing wild-life: proboscis monkeys, hornbills, Brahmini kites and possibly wild orangutans! After, we’ll return to the boat for a quiet dinner in the midst of the peaceful jungle.
DAY FOUR: HANGING WITH THE ORANGUTANS
Enjoy breakfast as we sail up the Rungan River to Palas Island, a pre-release island operated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS). We’ll have the opportunity to take a motorized canoe to observe the playful orangutans. Later, we’ll continue to the BOS Education Centre where orangutans are awaiting release into socialization cages. Learn about the BOS history and their rehabilitation programs.
We’ll return to the boat and enjoy a leisurely lunch while cruising to Sei Gohong village. The boat will continue upstream, passing Kaja and Bangamat islands, which are also orangutan pre-release islands.
Returning to the village of Sei Gohong, you may partake in a sunset hike to the hill, where you can see Dayak spirit houses and learn more about the rich Dayak culture. After, return to the boat for dinner and rest.
DAY FIVE: FLORES ISLAND
Today we say goodbye to Borneo and make our way to Flores Island; gateway to the Komodo dragon! After breakfast, we’ll head to the airport for a flight to Labuhan Bajo Flores via Jakarta. We’ll arrive in the mid-afternoon, meet our guide, and board a local boat for our three-night cruise among the astounding wildlife. Lunch will be onboard as we navigate two hours to Rinca Island.
Rinca is famous for its population of Komodo dragons. But be on the lookout for wild pigs, buffalos and exotic birds as well! We’ll go ashore and meet an island ranger who will lead us on a leisurely walk (1.5 hrs) to see these magnificent lizards skittering around their natural environment.
Come evening, we will anchor in the nearby Warloka, which is a laid-back fishing village. We can enjoy a light trek on its beautiful, secluded shoreline while taking in the Florinese history and its treasures of the distant past. Bask in the mystical energy of this unforgettable place before heading back to the boat for a relaxing dinner.
DAY SIX: KOMODO DRAGONS
Today we’ll disembark the boat in the early morning and visit one of the unique traditional markets of the village. The Warloka market opens every Tuesday, and people here still practice the barter system. Want to take part? Well, you’ll want items to trade, of course. Good bartering tools include clothing (medium-sized t-shirts are popular) and metal accessories, like earrings. If necessary, we can buy things in the supermarket to barter, such as ‘ready’ food like noodles.
Breakfast will be onboard while we navigate to Komodo Island. Here, we’ll take a hike to Banunggulung, a river bed where the dragons used to be fed fresh goats. We’ll split into groups in order to quietly move through the forest. This is a 6-kilometer hike on varying terrain with a gentle elevation of 200m and should take around 4 hours. It leads us through some truly spectacular scenery, all of which is filled with fascinating vegetation and animals.
Komodos are the largest lizards in the world. They can grow up to 3 meters in length, and weigh up to 65 kilograms. It is estimated that there are around 2,000 dragons on the island, as well as a wide variety of other wildlife, like wild boar, deer, and buffalo. The island is also excellent for bird watching, with cockatoos, gosong birds (megapodius reindwardti), and giant pigeons flitting about. The terrain on Komodo Island is flat, and the flora changes with the seasons. In the dry season, it becomes dusty, with thin vegetation, while in the wet season the land is lush and green, and the scent of wild basil hangs in the air.
Continue boating to Padar Island to enjoy a secluded ‘pink’ beach – where the sand takes on a rosy, pastel glow. Relax on the shore or pop into the water for some snorkeling. In the afternoon, we’ll sail to Kalong Island – a small island with a huge mangrove forest. Enjoy the glorious panoramic views, then sit back and watch the dazzling nature show at dusk – when the skies are filled with thousands of bats leaving their nests to forage for fruit on surrounding islands.
DAY SEVEN: MAJESTIC MANTA RAYS
Awaken early this morning for breakfast onboard and a full day boat trip to Manta Point. Here, we’ll enjoy some snorkeling, and may be visited by some giant, majestic Manta Rays! In the afternoon, we’ll sail to Sebayur Island or Kelor Island, depending on the weather.
Here, we’ll head down to the pristine white beach and for a 1 hour guided kayak excursion in the protected bay. Feel free to lounge on the sand, go for a refreshing swim, or snorkel and observe the marvelous sea life. In the late afternoon, we’ll check into our lovely beachfront hotel, where everyone will have a room to themselves.
At sunset, we’ll regroup at the Atlantis restaurant to admire the views and enjoy a sumptuous meal.
DAY EIGHT: SUNRISE DELIGHTS
Around 5.30AM we’ll receive a wake-up call for an adventurous, sunrise breakfast in Flores. We’ll take an easy hike up the hill to a nearby resort, where we’ll enjoy a special picnic, as the sun climbs its way into the sky.
We’ll return to our hotel around 7.00AM, and the rest of the day is yours! The hotel offers many great options for fun, including SUP, canoeing, a spa, and a cooking class. (Note: these à la carte activities will be at your own expense to be booked at the resort) Another, more unique option is to visit a Batu Cermin Cave and do a meditation in the silent darkness for 15-20 minutes. (This activity is free)
Come evening, we’ll regroup on the beach for a private BBQ dinner.
DAY NINE: THE BEAUTY OF BALI
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we’ll check out and transfer to Labuhan Bajo Airport to catch our 1.5-hour flight to Bali. Om Suastiastu, welcome to beautiful Bali! Upon arrival, we’ll settle in at the unique and sustainable lodge of Bambu Indah Resort.
Lunch will be a set menu and will be enjoyed on the bank of the river. Now the time is your own! Go for a swim at the natural pool, unwind in the spa, or simply relax. In the early evening, we’ll head to the heart of Ubud for a first glimpse of the city. We’ll visit a local market, perhaps to buy some Balinese attire (sarong or kebaya) or some other local handicrafts.
In the evening we’ll head out on the town for dinner at a local restaurant and to take in a traditional Balinese dance performance.
DAY TEN: VILLAGES AND VOLCANO TREK
Today we’ll visit a rural village located on the outskirts of Ubud. We will dress in the appropriate attire for a local temple (a sarong) and meet with a traditional Balinese healer called ‘Balian’. She lives at the temple and practices traditional medicine, and many worshippers come to visit with her and to observe her methods. Afterward, we’ll experience a blessing ceremony at the temple which will be led by a local priest.
In the afternoon, we’ll continue to a special lunch venue at Singapadu village. Here, a Balinese family will invite us to join them in sampling some of their traditional food dishes. The head of this family is Eka, our Indonesian Wild Women representative. She will chat with us about the land, and we can share stories of our adventures in her home country.
Our final leg for today is a moderate trek to an active volcano. This walk takes us through the astounding moon-scape of various lava flows and ash-cones, which were created by more than twelve eruptions of Mount Batur from 1963 to 1999. The hike begins on a path formed between mounds of frozen lava rock and newly grown scrubland. We’ll traverse an expanse of volcanic ash that eventually leads up an ash-cone to the rim of the volcano. From this vantage point, you will experience a dazzling view of the caldera, as well as the 270-degree vistas of Lake Batur, Mount Abang, and Mount Agung. On a clear day, the imposing Mount Batukaru and Mangu Peak, part of Bali’s Western Mountain range, are also visible.
Further up the ridge, you can explore various fumaroles, with their billowing steam and mini stalactites formed from multi-colored mineral deposits. While we explore the craters, our guide will prepare a meal heated in one of the “volcano ovens.” These ovens are made from special steam vents that can be used to pressure to cook a meal. After this special lunch, we’ll traverse back down the mountain, where a vehicle will take us to our next hotel, a mere hour away.
DAY ELEVEN: ULUN DANU TEMPLE
Today, drive north to Bedugul regency (district), part of the island’s central highlands region renowned for the stunning beauty of the Beratan Lake and the iconic ‘floating temple’ of Ulun Danu. We’ll visit the temple via canoe, rowing across the water in traditional outriggers. This Hindu Shivaite water temple is truly spectacular to see. Located on a small jut of land within the calm waters of Lake Beratan, and if the water level is high (which is normally only during the rainy season) it gives the illusion that this 17th-century temple is ‘floating’ on the lake.
It will take approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours to reach the shore, where we will then embark on a gentle trek through the tropical rainforest of Bedugul. An expert guide will teach us about the traditional herbal medicine and survival plants. Maybe you’ll taste some begonia flower? The trek ends at a scenic temple and waterfall situated in the lush, ancient forest. We’ll enjoy a bit of refreshment before we rendezvous with our driver and travel to our lunch venue.
After lunch, we’ll directly transfer to the Eco Lodge in the Batukaru jungle, where we’ll enjoy a two-night stay. Tonight’s dinner will be at the lodge, and the menu is predominantly vegetarian.
DAY TWELVE: RELAX AND REJUVENATE
Today is a leisure day! Take in some morning and afternoon yoga classes, plus a soothing Balinese massage, which are included in your stay. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served at the lodge.
DAY THIRTEEN: EAT, PRAY, LOVE
Today we head out for a beautiful morning bike ride where we’ll explore the rice paddies of Ubud. (You might recognize some of the gorgeous scenery from the film Eat, Pray, Love.) We’ll stop for lunch at an organic restaurant in the middle of a rice field.
After the bike tour, we’ll transfer to Jati Village, located on the outskirts of Ubud. This is our last stop on the ‘Island of God’. Feel free to explore the wondrous jungle atmosphere of Bagus Jati Village. Maybe you’ll take a dip in the secluded river pool… In the evening, we’ll regroup for a special farewell dinner that includes BBQ and a vibrant Balinese dance performance.
DAY FOURTEEN: FAREWELL JOURNEY
Breakfast will be served at the hotel and the day is yours to enjoy freely until your 2-hour airport transfer from Bagus Jati to Denpasar Airport (DPS). Drop-offs are timed according to your flight time. Plan your flight to depart anytime after 11 AM. Checkout time at our hotel is noon, but if you’re departing later, we will have a room booked where our group can leave luggage, relax, or shower. If you wish to stay on longer in Bali, you can connect with Bagus Jati to book directly or continue your journey elsewhere.
- Transportation throughout the trip including all domestic flights and vehicles
- 13 nights shared accommodation
- Female Trip Leader
- All meals from Day 1 dinner to Day 14 breakfast
- All equipment for activities – snorkelling, kayaking, biking.
- Tips for drivers, restaurant staff, and local nature guides
- Optional Single Room Upgrade: $1295 USD Subject to availability. For 8 of the 13 nights of the trip only.