Indonesia Tour: Bali & the Spice Islands

Indonesia - Now Accepting Deposits
FromUSD$11,995
Indonesia - Now Accepting Deposits
FromUSD$11,995
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3201
  • June 27 - July 13, 2025
  • 16 Days
  • $11,995.00 + air; EXT: $2495.00
  • Single Supplement: $995.00; EXT SS: $345.00

Travel through Eastern Indonesia and enjoy an in depth look into the maritime history of one of the largest archipelagos in the world.

Indonesia straddles the equator between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean; with thousands of volcanic islands, Indonesia is one of the largest countries in the world, in terms of combined sea and land area, as well as population. The archipelago is home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking many different languages and has been an important center of the long-distance spice trade for more than a thousand years.

Join award-winning Professor Eric Tagliacozzo and just 13 others on a very special 16-day journey that covers several of Indonesia’s eastern islands. On Sulawesi visit Makassar, the center of the Bugis trading diaspora, whose black-flagged ships sailed Indonesia’s seas as one of the country’s most important trading minorities.  Also visit Ambon, the largest city in eastern Indonesia and a jumping-off point for trips to marine ecosystems that have barely been touched by international tourism. Discover Ternate and Tidore, small volcanic islands and the well-spring for the global clove trade, which attracted European ships from half a world away during the Age of Discovery five hundred years ago. Then it’s on to In Bali, to experience their truly unique customs where inhabitants devote most of their waking hours to an endless series of offerings, purifications, processions, and a plethora of other spiritual rites celebrated in elaborate temples. We will observe how this way of life is further proclaimed in their diverse art forms – painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performances.

If you choose, you may join our 5-day post-trip extension to Flores.

Any questions? Please get in touch

Indonesia history tour led by:

Dr Eric Tagliacozzo

Professor of History

Cornell University
Department of History

Why explore Indonesia with Far Horizons?

  • Travel with Indonesia specialist and award-winning lecturer, Professor Eric Tagliacozzo
  • Spend 6 days on the island of Bali
  • Enjoy a deep dive into Balinese culture and explore the Spice Islands, an area often unexplored
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site: Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
  • Enjoy a private dinner aboard a replica phinisi boat
  • Visit the oldest clove tree in the world
  • Maximum 14 participants

Itinerary of your Archaeology Trip in Indonesia

(B) breakfast, (L) lunch, (D) dinner

Day 1Depart for Bali

 Depart on a flight bound for Bali.

Day 2Arrive Bali

Arrive in Bali and immediately immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Central Ubud. Enjoy a welcome dinner, where you’ll have the opportunity to connect with fellow travelers. Overnight for four nights at Komaneka at Rasa Sayang. (D).

Day 3Goa Gajah, Pura Penataran Asih Temple & Tirta Empul Temple

Prepare to be transported through time as you explore Goa Gajah, also known as the Elephant Cave, a mystical sanctuary adorned with intricate stone carvings dating back to the 9th century. Next, visit the serene Pura Penataran Asih Temple, dedicated to the goddess of love and fertility. Finally, explore Tirta Empul Temple, where you can partake in a traditional purification ritual in the sacred spring waters. (B/L)

Day 4Explore Bali's Traditional Arts

Delve into Bali’s rich artistic heritage with a morning visit to Mas Village, where skilled artisans carve intricate designs into wood, preserving age-old traditions passed down through generations. Later, immerse yourself in the mesmerizing rhythms of Gamelan music during a live demonstration. As night falls, witness the hypnotic Kecak Fire Dance, a traditional Balinese performance depicting the epic Ramayana saga, followed by an enlightening lecture by Dr. Lawrence Blair, a renowned expert on Indonesian culture and history. (B/L/D)

Day 5Batur GeoPark Museum, Ulun Danu Temple, Besakih Temple

Explore the geological wonders of Kintamani as you visit the Batur GeoPark Museum, where exhibits showcase the region’s volcanic history and its impact on local communities. Journey to the serene Ulun Danu Temple, nestled on the shores of Lake Batur, before ascending to the sacred Besakih Temple, Bali’s largest and holiest Hindu temple complex, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. (B/L)

Day 6Transfer from Bali to Makassar, La Galigo Museum

Bid farewell to Bali as you board a flight to Makassar, the bustling capital of South Sulawesi. Upon arrival, embark on an evening sightseeing tour, where you’ll explore the historic Fort Rotterdam, a 17th-century Dutch fortress that once served as a hub for trade and commerce in the region. Continue to the La Galigo Museum, dedicated to preserving the maritime history and cultural heritage of Sulawesi. Overnight for two nights at Melia Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 7Leang-Leang Caves & Batimunung waterfall, Dine aboard a Pisini ship

Venture into the rugged landscapes of South Sulawesi as you journey to the ancient Leang-Leang Caves, home to prehistoric cave art dating back over 5,000 years. Marvel at the intricate paintings and handprints left behind by early inhabitants, offering a glimpse into Indonesia’s ancient civilizations. Conclude your day with a memorable dinner aboard a traditional Pisini ship, where you’ll sail along the scenic coastline and savor the flavors of authentic Indonesian cuisine. (B/L/D)

Day 8Fly from Makassar to Ambon, City Tour

Fly from Makassar to Ambon, the bustling capital of Maluku province, known as the “Spice Islands.” Embark on a tour of the city, where you’ll visit iconic landmarks such as the World Peace Gong, a symbol of unity and harmony, and the Martha Christina Tiahahu Monument, honoring the Indonesian national hero who fought against Dutch colonial rule. Immerse yourself in Ambon’s rich cultural heritage as you explore its vibrant markets, bustling streets, and historic sites. Overnight for three nights at the Hotel Santika Premiere. (B/L/D)

Day 9Saparua Island

Set sail for the idyllic island of Saparua, known for its pristine beaches, lush forests, and rich cultural heritage. Explore the island’s historical Duurstede Fort, which once served as strategic outposts during the colonial era. Dive into the local culture at the bustling market, where vendors sell fresh produce, spices, and handmade crafts. Visit the Thomas Mattulessy Museum to learn about the island’s history and traditions before venturing to Kulur village to experience traditional customs and rituals. Conclude your day with a visit to the enchanting Putri Caves and Kulur Beach, where you can relax and unwind amidst breathtaking natural beauty. (B/L)

Day 10Nusa Laut Island

Embark on a full-day adventure to Nusa Laut, a pristine island paradise surrounded by crystal-clear waters and coral reefs teeming with marine life. Explore the historic Fort Buverwijk, a Dutch colonial fortification built in the 17th century to protect the island’s valuable spice trade. Discover the charming village of Ameth, where traditional wooden houses and lush gardens offer a glimpse into local life. Wander through lush clove gardens, learning about the island’s rich agricultural heritage and the importance of spices in Indonesian culture. (B/L/D)

Day 11Transfer to Ternate, City Tour

Fly from Ambon to Ternate, a volcanic island steeped in history and legend. Embark on a city tour, where you’ll explore ancient fortresses, bustling markets, and the grand Sultan’s Palace, which once served as the seat of power for the Sultanate of Ternate. Admire panoramic views of the island from the Coastal Terrace before visiting Benteng Tolukko, a historic fortification that played a crucial role in shaping Ternate’s maritime history. Overnight for two nights at Villa Ma’rasai. (B/L/D)

Day 12Tidore Island

Discover the timeless beauty of Tidore, Ternate’s sister island, known for its lush landscapes, historical landmarks, and vibrant culture. Explore the picturesque Tahula Fort, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and coastline. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the local markets, where vendors sell fresh produce, spices, and handmade crafts. Visit the charming village of Kalaodi, known for its clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg plantations, and learn about the island’s rich agricultural heritage. Conclude your day with a hands-on cooking class, where you’ll learn to prepare traditional Indonesian dishes using locally sourced ingredients. (B/L/D)

Day 13Return to Bali

Return to Bali and retreat to your beachfront hotel. The day is yours to relax and unwind amidst stunning ocean views. Overnight for three nights at Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa. (B/D)

Day 14Taman Ayun, Batukaru Temple, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Explore Bali’s cultural and natural wonders with visits to Taman Ayun, a stunning water temple surrounded by lush gardens and tranquil ponds, and Batukaru Temple, a sacred Hindu shrine nestled amidst the mist-shrouded slopes of Mount Batukaru. Marvel at the breathtaking Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its stunning natural beauty and intricate irrigation system, offering a glimpse into Bali’s rich agricultural traditions. (B/L)

 

Day 15Kertha Gosa Pavilion, Padang Galak, Tenganan

 Embark on a full day of cultural immersion as you visit the historic Kertha Gosa Pavilion, an ancient hall of justice adorned with intricate ceiling paintings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. Relax and unwind at Padang Galak, a serene beach known for its black sand and panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Explore the traditional weaving village of Tenganan, where skilled artisans produce intricate textiles using age-old techniques. Conclude your journey with a heartfelt farewell dinner. (B/L/D)

Day 16Depart Indonesia

Bid farewell to Indonesia as you transfer to the airport for your international departure. (B

Post-trip Extension to Flores

(B) breakfast, (L) lunch, (D) dinner

Day 16Transfer Bali to Flores

Begin  with a flight from Bali to Flores, where you’ll be transported to the picturesque town of Ruteng. En route, marvel at the breathtaking Spider Web Rice Terraces, a stunning display of agricultural ingenuity that stretches across the landscape like intricate tapestries. Overnight for two nights at Ruteng Spring Hill Bungalows (B/L/D)

Day 17Todo Village, Liaang Buang Cave

Delve into the cultural heritage of Flores as you explore Todo Village, a traditional settlement where time seems to stand still. Wander through ancient stone houses adorned with intricate carvings, gaining insight into the island’s rich history and traditions. Then, venture deep into Liaang Buang Cave, a hidden gem filled with awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites. Notably, this cave was the site of a significant archaeological discovery – the remains of Homo floresiensis, a diminutive species of human nicknamed “hobbits,” providing invaluable insights into human evolution and the prehistoric inhabitants of the region. Explore this fascinating cave system, marveling at its geological wonders and pondering the mysteries of our ancient ancestors. (B/L/D)

Day 18Ruteng to Labuan Bajo

Embark on a scenic journey from Ruteng to Labuan Bajo, a charming coastal town nestled on the shores of Flores’ western coast. As you traverse the rugged terrain, soak in the panoramic views of lush forests and crystal-clear waters, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the Indonesian archipelago. Overnight for two nights at Sudamala Komodo Hotel. (B/l/D)

 

Day 19Komodo National Park, Pink Beach

Prepare for an exhilarating encounter with one of the world’s most iconic creatures: the Komodo dragon. Embark on a guided expedition to Komodo National Park, home to these formidable reptiles, as well as a diverse array of wildlife and pristine coral reefs. After observing these ancient creatures in their natural habitat, unwind on the powdery sands of Pink Beach, named for its blush-colored sands and crystalline waters, offering an idyllic setting for relaxation and snorkeling. (B/L/D)

 

Day 20Transfer to Bali

Bid farewell to Flores as you board a flight back to Bali with the afternoon free to unwind. Overnight at Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa. (B/L)

Day 21Depart Bali

Transfer to the airport for your international departure. (B)

Tour Information

Tour Cost & Inclusions

Price is based on double occupancy and includes:

  • Internal flights during the trip (if applicable)
  • The accompaniment of your scholar throughout the entire trip
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Hotel accommodations (3 or 4 stars; or best available based in the area)
  • Ground transportation
  • Airport transfers for arrivals and departures
  • Most meals as noted in the itinerary
  • Entry fees to all included sites and museums
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, and restaurant and hotel staff
  • Coordination for any private presentations or tours

Trip prices are based on a minimum number of participants. If this minimum number is not met, trip prices are subject to change. Should the prices need to change, Far Horizons will reach out to registered guests to discuss directly.

Single Supplement

Should a roommate be requested and one not be available, the single supplement must be charged.

Exclusions

  • International round trip airfare
  • A separate donation check of $150.00 per person to a designated donation project
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Required vaccines or tests
  • Airport or departure taxes
  • Alcoholic drinks, beverages or food not included on set menus
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Personal tips and hotel incidental expenses
  • Laundry or other items of a personal nature

Donation Checks

As a tour company that benefits from the cultural and natural riches of our destinations, we have a policy of donating to the scientific and cultural sites and projects which we visit. This has created a bond between Far Horizons and the academic and local communities that has helped us establish an extensive list of lecturers and contacts in each of our destinations. We ask that each participant donate to the noteworthy project we designate. The donation amount is $150.00 per person. Note that the donation is required as part of your registration for the trip and that it is non-refundable.

Exchange Rate Fluctuations

Prices are based on currency exchange rates keeping below a projected level. While it is unlikely, if the exchange rates should change substantially, Far Horizons reserves the right to charge an additional amount to the trip cost.

Registration

A deposit of $1000 per person is required along with your registration & health forms, which will be linked in the email confirmation you receive once you pay your deposit on our booking platform. Final payment is due 120 days before departure. Prior to departure, you will be sent a reading list and a tour bulletin containing travel information.

Cancellation

Cancellations received in writing at least 120 days before departure will receive a refund less a $500 per person administrative fee. Cancellations received less than 120 days before the departure date will not receive a refund. If for any reason you are unable to complete the trip, Far Horizons will not reimburse any fees. Upon registering for the tour, the purchase of travel protection with both trip cancellation and emergency evacuation is strongly advised. Links to recommended insurance policies will be included in the email you receive confirming receipt of your deposit.

Air Ticketing

International round trip flights are not included in the cost of the trip. If Far Horizons must change the trip dates or cancel the trip for any reason, Far Horizons is not responsible for any air ticket you may have purchased. Please send your complete air schedule as soon as you have it. NOTE: Please contact Far Horizons if you would like for us to handle your air ticketing.

Private Tours and Talks

The private tours of archaeological sites and talks by specialists are scheduled in advance and include a donation to each. Specialists working at these sites are excited about showing their work to interested enthusiasts. However, please be aware that there may be times when the director or a member of the staff may not be on site when our groups arrive due to other commitments.

Walking and Standing

Far Horizons expects all participants to be physically active and able to walk and climb independently throughout the full touring days. This includes walking over uneven terrain (uphill and downhill) for 2 miles or more at each site. You should expect to be on your feet for much of each day, averaging as much as 5 miles of walking per day. As such, each participant should be able to walk unaided at a pace of 3 miles per hour for at least an hour at a time, and to stand unsupported for at least 60 minutes. Bearing this in mind, we suggest that, if you have not already done so, you begin walking several miles every day, ideally including stairs and hills. If you have questions about your ability to keep up with the group or the strenuous nature of this trip, please contact the Far Horizons staff.

Expectations During Travel

This tour is designed for flexible, energetic people who like to be active, have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. We have designed this trip to be as comfortable as possible, while also aiming to visit some remote or unique sites that other companies do not attempt to include in their itineraries. There may be days where we have very long drives and the conditions of the roads may vary. Hotels and transportation in some remote areas may not be up to western standards. There may be times when no bellhops are available; please pack with the understanding that you need to be able to handle your own luggage at times. Sometimes we may be walking over uneven trails for a mile or more; hiking boots are strongly recommended. Not every meal will be haute cuisine and several lunches may be picnics or box lunches. By maintaining a flexible attitude we will soon be captivated by the beauty of the natural scenery, the hospitality of the local people, and the fascinating sites we will see. Your flexibility and patience will be appreciated.

Itinerary Changes

Changes in our itinerary, accommodations, and transportation schedules may occur. While we are committed to keeping as close to the published details as possible, sometimes it is simply not possible. Weather events, government affairs, or other factors out of our control sometimes come into play. A good book to read as well as patience, flexible attitude, and a sense of humor are essential.

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend that you consider purchasing travel insurance. Should illness or an unforeseen event force you to cancel your travel plans after your final payment or during your trip, it would be doubly unfortunate to incur a significant financial loss. Trip cancellation protection will enable you to be reimbursed for the loss of your payment if you are unable to travel for any of the covered reasons in the “Outline of Coverage” section, or should you have an accident or suffer from any medical conditions during the trip.  
Far Horizons offers customized protection plans through Travel Insured International (a Crum & Forster Company) with the following benefits:
 
• Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption for covered reasons
• Trip Delay
• Baggage Loss and Baggage Delay
• Emergency Medical Expenses and Emergency Medical Evacuation
• 24-Hour Accidental Death & Dismemberment
• 24-Hour Travel Assistance & Concierge Services
• Option to upgrade to ‘Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR)’
 
We recommend reviewing the language in detail so you are aware of specific parameters; Depending on the policy, to waive the Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion or to upgrade to CFAR coverage, the plan must be purchased within 14 to 21 days of the initial trip deposit, full trip cost must be insured, and traveler is medically fit at time of plan purchase. Otherwise, coverage may be purchased at any time prior to departure. 
 
To obtain a personalized quote and/or purchase a plan through Far Horizons/Travel Insured International, simply click HERE. For specific questions regarding the Worldwide Protector Plan, please contact Travel Insured International’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-243-3174 or by email at customercare@travelinsured.com, and refer to Far Horizons’ account number: 54070.

Tour Map