An Insider's Indonesia

Get under the skin of these diverse tropical islands on our Insider’s Indonesia holiday. Explore unusual highlights and lesser-known gems, mixing action with comfort and relaxation as you step into Sulawesi and travel to the Moluccas and West Papua, at the archipelago’s eastern edge: put simply, it’s an adventurer’s dream.

At a glance
  • Learn to cook Sulawesi style
  • Cycle around Ambon’s heritage architecture
  • Spot saltwater crocodiles on the Salawai River
  • Marvel at Gunung Sirimau’s ancient megaliths
  • Eat lunch with an Alifuru community
  • Dive over Raja Ampat’s vibrant reefs
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Makassar - 2 nights

Makassar has been the gateway to eastern Indonesia for hundreds of years, and most of the trade that passed between the West and the East during Dutch colonial rule was controlled from this bustling city. At its centre are evocative tales of spice routes and high seas that have sparked enduring legends, and today it is a busy hub connecting the Indonesian islands by air and boat. Through its strikingly modern skyline, Makassar’s colonial history can still be seen at sites such as Fort Rotterdam, one of the best-preserved examples of Dutch architecture in Indonesia.

Day 1 - Arrive Makassar

On arrival in Sulawesi, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel in Makassar.

Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.

The rest of your day will be at leisure to wander through Makassar’s spice-infused streets.

Day 2 - Market tour & cookery class

Includes:

Head out by bacak or bus to visit two of Makassar’s local markets with your guide. Stroll between the stalls as your guide helps you purchase fresh ingredients to use in a cooking class later that morning. Laden with supplies, take a local ferry along the river to the village of La’kkang. Surrounded by rice paddies and agricultural fields, it feels much more remote and rural than nearby Makassar, with many of the 300 inhabitants maintaining traditional farming and fishing lives from Buginese stilt houses. Learn to create local specialities in the kitchen of one of these homes, then settle down to tuck into your culinary efforts. Return to your hotel after lunch, stopping en route at the colourful Paotere Harbour where schooners and fishing boats bob on the water, and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

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Ambon - 2 nights

In the 17th Century, the eastern Indonesian Molucca archipelago - the ‘Spice Islands’ - were an important source of mace, clove and nutmeg, which were traded all over the world. When the clove trade moved to Ambon island, a crucial access point to the other Moluccas, the island’s capital truly flourished. Remnants of its colonial history still exist in Victoria Fortress, Fort Amsterdam, and other evocative sites. In contrast, the island’s volcanic interior is peppered with hot springs, steam jets, stalactite-filled caves and dense rainforest, tempting you to explore.

Day 3 - Fly to The Moluccas, explore Ambon

Includes:

Catch your flight to Ambon, where the remainder of your day will be at leisure to explore the city’s mix of modern and historic, perhaps seeking dinner and drinks in the bustling local streets.

Day 4 - City becak tour, climb Gunung Sirimau, Hukurila walk

Includes:

Tour Ambon city on a bacak (cycle rickshaw) to find hidden corners of colonial architecture, and local highlights. Dismount for the drive out of the city to Soya Atas, a village sitting half way up the 3,000 feet-high slopes of Gunung Sirimau. Pass Soya’s 19th century Catholic church, then leave the car and climb 300 steps to the sacred hilltop, where you can wander between extraordinary ancient megaliths and take a drink from a blessed water container that’s said to never run dry. Drink in the views before descending, and pause in a local house at the bottom for a typical Ambonese meal of sweet potatoes, coconut and vegetable dishes to re-fortify body and soul. Hop back in the car for the last stretch to Soya Atas itself, where you'll take a gentle 2-3 hour walk to the coast near Hukurila, following narrow trails past villages, fruit orchards and fields of crops.

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Seram Island - 4 nights

Seram, a beautiful mountainous island covered in lush tropical rainforest, is the largest of the Central Moluccas. Through its spine runs a series of dramatic peaks, covered with thick vegetation and home to an extraordinary spectrum of birdlife. Australasian marsupials and endemic mammals rustle through over the forest floor, and saltwater crocodiles lurk in the rivers, while under the ground rushes the Sapalewa, one of the largest subterranean rivers in the world. This remote paradise has the rare quality of retaining a little of our planet’s natural raw magic.

Day 5 - Boat to Seram, Sawai stilt homes

Includes:

Board a boat at the port of Tulehu, heading for Amahai harbour on the island of Seram. Head across the island to the coastal fishing village of Sawai, stopping en-route for lunch in a local home. See Sawai’s rows of stilted homes built over the water, and make the last 45 minutes of the journey by longboat, to your secluded, waterside guesthouse, where the rest of your day will be at leisure to relax and soak up the scenic surroundings.

Day 6 - Snorkel at Batu Supun

Includes:

Board a longtail boat to Batu Supun, to spend the morning snorkelling in the crystal waters. Enjoy a BBQ lunch on a nearby island, possibly overlooked by the occasional flying fox, and return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure, relaxing away from the rush of the world. Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, travel further afield by speedboat to Pulau Tujuh’s cluster of uninhabited islands, for white sandy beaches and yet more stunning coral reef.

Day 7 - Salawai River cruise, waterfalls walk

Includes:

Spend the day immersed in pristine natural surroundings. Take a longtail boat along the Salawai River, known for its saltwater crocodiles and home to numerous bird species. See local communities making flour from the bark of the Sago Palm tree, take a walk to one of the island’s many beautiful waterfalls, and - if time permits, and if you wish to - enjoy a little snorkelling before sunset.

Day 8 - Bird sanctuary, village visit, community lunch

Includes:

Travel to Alfuro Haulu village, home to the Alifuru community, stopping at a bird sanctuary along the way. The Alifuru are the oldest known inhabitants of the mountains of Seram, and are known for their animist beliefs and supposed magical skills which include the ability to disappear! Spend the morning preparing lunch with your village hosts, gathering vegetables from the gardens to be cooked in traditional bamboo and helping prepare a (very) fresh chicken. Enjoy lunch together, eating using your hands and bamboo spoons in the traditional custom. Continue your drive south to Masohi, the capital of Seram, to check in to your accommodation and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

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Ambon - 1 night

Return to Ambon and see it from a different angle. The island is split into two distinct areas, connected by a narrow stretch of land: the city of Ambon, where you spent your first visit, on the southern side; and the island’s northern coast, including Natsepa Beach, where your hotel for this visit will be located. Away from the grand structures and history of Ambon City, this secluded promontory displays the island's raw side, and the contrast is as clear as the waters lapping against Natsepa’s unspoilt shore.

Day 9 - Boat to Ambon, coastal tour

Includes:

Catch the fast boat to Ambon, and enjoy a few hours at leisure settling into your hotel next to Natsepa’s gorgeous sands. In the afternoon, join your guide for a tour of some of the northern region’s hidden coves and inland highlights.

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Sorong - 1 night

The sparsely populated region of West Papua is rich with natural beauty and deep-rooted tribal culture. The jungles and forests are home to a highly biodiverse array of flora and fauna, including birdwing butterflies, Australasian marsupials, and several extraordinary varieties of Bird-of-Paradise. Offshore, the islands of Raja Ampat are surrounded by some of the world’s most significant coral reefs. Sorong, Papua’s second largest city, perched on the island’s western tip, is known as a key access point for visiting the Raja Ampat archipelago, and boasts one of the best vantage points for panoramic views across the bay.

Day 10 - Fly to West Papua, sunset from Stone Hil

Includes:

Fly to Sorong in West Papua, where the rest of your day will be at leisure to make the most of your hotel’s facilities or, if you’re feeling a bit more active, head to the top of Stone Hill for sunset views over the city and beaches.

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Kri Island - 4 nights

The alluring Raja Ampat islands boast pristine white sands, jungle-covered interiors, hidden caves and crystal clear lagoons leading to coral reefs that teem with marine life - an unbelievable paradise, perhaps, but we promise it's a real one! Kri Eco Resort’s skilful sustainable design blends seamlessly into the natural environment. Its simple cottages are made from locally sourced natural materials, with chic secluded rooms set on stilts over the shore. The remote location lends itself to the all-inclusive model, and everything from meals, snacks, and coffee, to unlimited dives, are included during your stay, leaving you free to fully relax into Kri’s unspoilt seclusion.

Day 11 - Boat to Raja Ampat

Includes:

Board the shuttle boat to the small Raja Ampat island of Kri. Check in to the Kri Eco Resort and spend the rest of your day at leisure. Snorkel in the shallows, kayak over the reef, or simply lay back on your terrace and listen to the waves lapping against the shore.

Day 12 - Relax on Kri Island

Includes:

Once you’ve settled into Kri’s unhurried pace, the days are yours to spend at leisure. Get active out in the bay with unlimited dives around the reef (including night dives to see the reef in a breathtaking new light), learn about the resort’s dedicated conservation and sustainability projects, kayak or paddle board to remote bays, head to Kri’s sister resort at Sorido Bay to enjoy blissful spa treatments, and wander inland past wild orchids and flocks of tropical birds.

Days 13 & 14 - Relax on & around Kri Island

Includes:

Day 15 - Boat to Sorong, departure

Includes:

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per person (based on total # travelling)
2 persons 3 - 4 5 - 6
First Class £2,699US$3,535 £2,433US$3,187 £2,323US$3,044

Favehotel Daeng Tompo

With an exterior of glass and neon pink, the Favehotel Daeng Tompo is an eye-catching addition to the hotel offerings in central Makassar... See more

Amans Hotel

With views over the bay, the mountains and the city, Amans Hotel is ideally placed for exploring far-flung Ambon Island... See more

Lisar Bahari

Located adjacent to Sawai village, Lisar Bahari comprises of simple wooden cottages on stilts over the water. Each cottage has a common living room with separate bedrooms and private bathrooms (with cold water only and western toilets). It's very simple, but there is a homely atmosphere.

Irene Guesthouse

A friendly but simple guesthouse located just outside the centre of Masohi. Rooms are simple, but tidy. Each room has a private bathroom with a hot water shower and a western toilet (flush with buckets).

The Natsepa

An unbeatable location overlooking Baguala Bay towards the peaks of the Leitimur Peninsula give the Natsepa’s chic simplicity its edge... See more

Swiss Belhotel Sorong

Just a couple of miles from Sorong port, the Swiss Belhotel offers the brand’s signature high standards with idyllic West Papua surroundings... See more

Kri Eco Resort

Kri Eco Resort’s cluster of pared-back bungalows stretches elegantly along the island’s picture-perfect shoreline… See more
Superior £2,985US$3,910 £2,675US$3,504 £2,548US$3,338

Aston Makassar Hotel

The Aston Hotel enjoys a central location in the heart of Makassar, within strolling distance (or short rickshaw ride!) of Fort Rotterdam and Losari beach... See more

Swiss Belhotel Ambon

The Swiss Belhotel is conveniently located in the centre of Ambon city, within strolling distance of the port, the World Peace Gong and Fort Victoria...

See more

Ora Beach Resort

Ora Beach Resort is an isolated property on the north coast of Seram Island, accessible only by longtail boat... See more

Irene Guesthouse

A friendly but simple guesthouse located just outside the centre of Masohi. Rooms are simple, but tidy. Each room has a private bathroom with a hot water shower and a western toilet (flush with buckets).

The Natsepa

An unbeatable location overlooking Baguala Bay towards the peaks of the Leitimur Peninsula give the Natsepa’s chic simplicity its edge... See more

Swiss Belhotel Sorong

Just a couple of miles from Sorong port, the Swiss Belhotel offers the brand’s signature high standards with idyllic West Papua surroundings... See more

Kri Eco Resort

Kri Eco Resort’s cluster of pared-back bungalows stretches elegantly along the island’s picture-perfect shoreline… See more

Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

The important stuff

Please note: During high season periods (such as Idhul Fitri and Christmas) hotels often levy a surcharge, and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Inclusive:

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:

  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note

All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

 

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You will require a visa to enter Indonesia but this is obtained on arrival. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides & drivers

You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.

Book With Confidence

For peace of mind when booking your future holiday to Asia, we have introduced flexible booking conditions & full financial clarity.