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!
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Lauren, our host, was a charming ambassador for Morocco; I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience than she did for our group consisting of eight strangers (soon to become friends).
Thank you, Lauren, for planning such a wonderful trip and sharing so many fabulous experiences. Looking forward to your future retreats. Read more “I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience”
Lauren was a fantastic host —wonderful, full of life, giving, trustworthy and a ton of fun! Even though the stay was only a week long, we got such a beautiful, well-rounded immersion in the culture…
What this is not: your standard trip. We saved money along the way and got a fantastic cultural voyage. I can wholeheartedly recommend this experience and I will most definitely be joining Lauren again in the near future. Read more “A well-rounded immersion in culture”
Lauren made me feel comfortable and safe traveling to a part of the world I had never been to previously. The personal experiences she shares regarding being a smart traveler and her cultural knowledge are valuable.
She is friendly, a good problem solver, respectful of personal space/time, and fun. I would definitely travel with her again. Read more “Safe, comfortable, and fun!”
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!
Questions? E-mail me at [email protected]