Women’s Adventure in Bali & Indonesia

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Ready for a weeklong adventure in Southeast Asia?

$1195 ($200 deposit reserves your space)

Includes lodging, activities, breakfast, and a few other meals. Excluded: Tips, most lunches and dinners

We’ll visit palaces and volcanos, walk through a Monkey Forest, scale magnificent temples, and learn about local dance, cooking, and spiritual traditions.

If you want “insider experiences” that are hard to arrange on your own, but you don’t like traditional group tours, this trip is for you. Each Women’s Adventure is a small group of fascinating women (no more than 8) who share a house & chores and do lots of walking or use local transportation in order to experience a more authentic local life. The money we save goes into creating the memories of a lifetime!

This isn’t the right tour for someone who wants to be pampered in a hotel or have their luggage carried away by a porter. If you’re curious about other cultures and want to walk the streets and get to know local people instead of staring at them through a bus window, these tours are for you!

Day 1: Arrivals in Yogyakarta

If you’re arriving today, someone will meet you at the airport and bring you to our beautiful home — an ancestral Minister’s House within the Sultan’s Palace compound. 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 and try some local delicacies for dinner.

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 Lowak coffee.

Day 3: Temples of Indonesia — Borobudur & Prambanan

Yogyakarta is home to two of the most fascinating temples in Asia. We’ll see the sunrise at Borobudur, a stunning Buddhist temple that attracts 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 ancient Hindu temple. Both temples are massive and dream-like; this will be a day you’ll never forget.

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 $20)

Day 4: Depart for Bali; Stroll, Swim & Relax

We’ll fly from Yogyakarta to Bali (flight included), where we’ll settle into our beautiful eco-cottage in the rice fields near Ubud. We’ll have time to unpack, swim, and relax. We’ll stroll around town and have dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 5: 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: Balinese Offerings & Cooking Class

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. Then we’ll head to a cooking class to learn how to create  the signature flavors of Balinese cuisine.

Day 7: Mt. Batur Volcano Hike & Hot Springs

We’ll be picked up in the wee hours and driven to the trailhead so we can climb the Mt. Batur Volcano. We’ll have breakfast along the way and begin our climb before dawn (bring a headlamp!) so we can enjoy the sunrise from the peak. The climb is about 2 hours of moderately strenuous uphill hiking. After watching the sunrise and exploring the volcano, we’ll climb down and head back to Ubud. We’ll stop at a natural hot spring to soak our aching muscles on the way home. I’ll do my best to arrange for a masseuse or two to meet us at the house later in the day, and we’ll allow time for napping, relaxation, or a leisurely stroll around town.

Day 8: Free Day or Departures

Those who are not staying for Borneo will be departing on this day. The rest will have a free day. Maybe you’d like to take a bike tour, take a snorkeling trip to the beach, sign up for another class, or just relax and enjoy our beautiful Bali home. After yesterday’s hike, you might choose to relax in a flower-bedecked Bali spa today, or stretch out in a local yoga class. It’s entirely up to you!

Those who are choose the Borneo Orangutan extension will stay an extra night in the Bali house.

OPTIONAL add-on trip: Orangutans in Borneo!

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! We’ll sleep on the riverboat. You’ll need malaria prevention and mosquito repellent for this trip; this is a true jungle adventure!

I haven’t personally done this adventure yet, but I’m currently researching the best tour organizers to use. I’ll be with you every step of the way and I’ll act as liaison with the organizer for us.

The price will include an extra day and night at our beautiful home 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: $600

NOTE: The group in May has opted for a 3d2n orangutan tour, increasing the cost to $650. The orangutan tour has also been moved to BEFORE the trip; we’ll meet in Bali on May 22 and go to Borneo together. I can help you plan your flights & find affordable (or shared) lodging in Bali before the trip. We changed it to avoid the travel crush at the end of Ramadan

Indonesia/Bali Details

In Yogyakarta (Island of Java, Indonesia)

We'll be staying in historic family mansion within the walls of the royal Javanese Palace. This is an 'insider' neighborhood shared by courtiers, artisans, ministers and palace officials. The house combines the comfort of a modern home with the richness of traditional Indonesian life and comes complete with a small swimming pool to cool off on hot days. Plenty of spacious pavilions, living areas and historical artifacts adorn this beautiful home.

In Ubud (Island of Bali, Indonesia)

In Bali, we will stay in a wooden eco-cottage just outside the city of Ubud. The house boasts fast wifi, a large yoga floor upstairs, and a beautiful environment. Most of the house is open to nature, but the bedrooms are air conditioned so you can sleep in comfort and be protected from mosquitos at night. 

What dates should I plan to travel?

Week One

Arrival Day: Saturday, May 25, 2019 (before 6pm) * your flight may depart the day before Departure Day (without Borneo): Saturday, June 1, 2019 (any time) Departure Day (with Borneo): Tuesday, June 4  2019 (evening; next day might be better)

Week Two

Arrival Day: Monday, June 10, 2019 (before 6pm) * your flight may depart the day before Departure Day (without Borneo): Monday, June 17, 2019 (any time) Departure Day (with Borneo): Thursday, June 20, 2019 (evening; next day might be better) You may be able to fly into Yogyakarta Airport (JOG) and out of Denpasar (DPS) on an "open jaw" ticket. If not, you'll need to allow extra travel time at one end or the other. A good strategy would be to fly in and out of Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta and then book your interior flights on AirAsia.

What will the weather be like in Indonesia in May/June?

Good news! We'll be missing the hottest months, the wettest months, and the most crowded months. Average temperatures this time of year will be around 80˚F, although we should be prepared for temps closer to 90.

How safe is Indonesia?

Indonesia is a very large and diverse place. The US State Department has issued warnings for Central Sulawesi and Papua, but we will not be visiting those areas at all. 

Do I need a visa?

U.S. citizens can stay up to 30 days in Indonesia without a visa.

Do I need shots? Are there mosquitos?

Mosquito protection is non-negotiable, and you should talk with your doctor about malaria prevention (especially if you'll be visiting Borneo) and other recommended vaccinations.  The CDC recommends that you be up to date on your routine vaccinations, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid vaccines, but nothing is absoluteley required to enter the country. It's up to you and your doctor to decide what's right for you.  I will do my best to help you avoid restaurants and foods that might make you ill in Indonesia. However, traveler's diarrhea is common in third-world countries. You might want to bring some Immodium and perhaps a "just in case" antibiotic from your doctor.

How do payments work?

Once you register, I'll send you a link to a payment page. You'll have several options for payments.
  1. Deposit Pay a $200 deposit to secure your space. I'll send you an invoice for the balance, due 30 days before your trip begins. You'll be able to pay on that invoice in part or in full as you wish.
  2. Installment billing (no extra charge for this) Your bank account or credit card will be billed automatically in even installments every month.

Flight advice

According to industry research, the ideal time to buy an international flight is between 5 1/2 months and 90 days before you fly. The ideal time to buy a domestic flight is much closer to the flight time, between 3 months and 7 weeks before you fly. is my favorite tool for shopping for flight deals, because it will let me assemble flights using unrelated airlines. However, in recent months their customer service hasn't been the best, so I suggest  using the site to find the best flight combinations and then buying the flights directly from the airlines. If you buy through Kiwi, make sure you also connect directly with the airlines to confirm your flight and learn about luggage costs, meal service, etc. before you fly. If you haven't flown recently, you should be aware that luggage -- even a carry on bag -- is often NOT included in flight prices now. It's frustrating, but you really have to research those costs before you buy a ticket. For this trip, I recommend that you look for a round-trip flight to Denpasar and then book a one-way flight from there to Yogyakarta on AirAsia or Garuda, which are two of the better local operators.  If you don't mind spending some time to save a little money, you could also check round-trip flights into Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore and then use AirAsia to book your flight into Yogyakarta and out of Denpasar. 

Any other questions?

Drop me a note at [email protected]
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 now I'm beginning to share my journey with small groups of women who want to see it the way I do. My travel style is rugged but not extreme, adventurous but not dangerous (I am 54 years old, after all). I love to walk, hike, take local transportation, get involved in local life, and learn about cultures from the inside out, through a region's people, arts, food, music, dance, and culture. Come join me for an unforgettable adventure! Message me if you have questions: [email protected]

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Indonesia is a large country made up of multiple islands. We'll be meeting up in Yogyakarta, which is on the island of Java. From there, we'll fly to the island of Bali, and drive to the city of Ubud. Those who want to view the orangutans will also visit the Indonesian side of the island of Borneo (the other side of the island is controlled by Malaysia).

The islands of Indonesia

Our three locations: Yogyakarta (on Java), Ubud (on Bali) and the optional Borneo add-on. (These internal flights are included in your price.)

Zoomed out to get a better sense of location


My registration form has developed a weird bug and keeps disappearing! If you don’t see a registration form above this comment, just send me an e-mail to [email protected] and tell me which week you’re interested in!

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Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer. She has been traveling the world, living out of a backpack, since May of 2013. She loves to travel on a budget, learning about different cultures and cuisines.

1 Comment

  1. Gabriella gaita

    October 29, 2018 at 10:49 am

    First dibs !! Group 1 please

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