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New Pending Guided

East Java with Ben Suttmeier

East Java, Indonesia

Jun 10, 2023 - Jun 16, 2023

Photography Photography

$1,895 USD

25% due at booking

East Java with Ben Suttmeier

Jun 10, 2023 - Jun 16, 2023

$1,895  USD

25% due at booking


Welcome to Indonesia! Join Ben Suttmeier for the adventure of a lifetime exploring some of Indonesia’s most beautiful locations, culture, history and cuisine. Starting in Yogyakarta we’ll explore some of Indonesia’s most iconic temples. Then the real adventure begins as we travel through East Java to capture the natural beauty of the region’s spectacular volcanoes and world-class waterfalls.

“I can’t wait to share this experience and many others with you guys on this trip. East Java is undoubtedly among the most impressive places I’ve ever visited, and I’m sure the landscapes and culture will leave a similar impression on you.” – Ben

7 days, 6 nights

10 - 15 spots

3-5 star accommodation

Breakfast x 6, lunch x 1, dinner x 2

Sat, Jun 10, 2023

Fri, Jun 16, 2023




Airport transfers

Local guide

Meals (as noted)

Urban and street photography at Malioboro Street and Alun-Alun Kidul Square

Jomblang Cave

Prambanan Temple

Riyadi Spot

Puthuk Setumbu Hill

Borobudur Temple

Tumpek Sewu Waterfall

Astrophotography & Bromo Sunrise Jeep Tour

De Djawatan Forest Benculuk



Travel insurance (all travellers must have travel insurance)

Some meals


Airport transfers outside of designated times (contact us for details)

Your host

Ben Suttmeier

My name is Ben Suttmeier, and I’m a travel photographer and filmmaker from the United States. Back in 2013 with virtually no travel experience, I quit my cubicle job and booked a one-way ticket to backpack around South America for what I thought would be one year. That one year turned into eight and eventually took me to places all across the globe. Somewhere along the way, my love of travel evolved into a love of photography, and I’ve devoted my life to trying to capture the beauty of the places I visit ever since. I consider myself extremely lucky to now do what I love for a living.

Several years ago, I visited East Java, Indonesia for the first time to get “the shot.” Mount Bromo had long been a place I’d had on my photography bucket list, and the entire focus of my trip was to capture the full rotation of star trails around the South Pole, which happens to be located directly behind the volcanic range from one of the primary viewpoints.

I traveled alone to the nearest town, set my alarm for 2am, and made the hike up only to be met with cloudy conditions that didn’t bode well for astrophotography. I made the same hike the following night with similar results. On my third night, I arrived at the viewpoint again under clear skies with the Milky Way clearly visible to the naked eye. There was something really special and profound standing there alone as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, able to make out the silhouette of Bromo.

I can’t wait to share this experience and many others with you guys on this trip. East Java is undoubtedly among the most impressive places I’ve ever visited, and I’m sure the landscapes and culture will leave a similar impression on you.


Day 1. Saturday, Jun 10, 2023

Welcome to Indonesia! Upon arrival at Yogyakarta International Airport, you will be picked up by the driver and transferred to your hotel in Yogyakarta directly.

After checking in, you will have a short briefing by the leader, then walk with the group for a dinner of local street food near the hotel (on personal account). Afterwards, we will continue walking to Malioboro for urban and street photography. Along the way, we’ll see several historical buildings. These include the old post office, Supersemar Monument, Vredeburg Fort, and much more. Upon arrival at the “Titik Nol Kilometer” or zero-kilometer point of the city, we will hop on a rickshaw to Alun-alun Kidul square near Kraton Palace of Yogyakarta for another photography session.

Day 2. Sunday, Jun 11, 2023

After breakfast around 7AM, we will drive to the southeast of Yogyakarta for approximately 2 hours to the entrance of Jomblang Cave. This cave has a vertical mouth with a distance between the lips of the cave with varying bases, with a maximum depth of 90m. To enter Jomblang Cave, a single rope rappelling technique (SRT) is required. There will be special equipment that meets the safety standards of caving in a vertical cave and you will be accompanied by an experienced cave explorer to get in. Enjoy the amazing illumination of Jomblang Cave and witness the heavenly beams of light where angels descend in this truly intriguing experience.

We will finish at the cave around 2PM and then drive for approximately 1.5 hours to Prambanan Temple. Prambanan is a magnificent spectacle and an icon of Indonesia’s cultural heritage. The temples at Prambanan were built in the 9th century and are known locally as Roro Jonggrang, coming from the legend of the ‘slender virgin’.

The biggest temple is dedicated to Shiva – the destroyer, and the two smaller ones which sit on its right and left are dedicated to Brahma, the creator, and Wisnhu, the sustainer. The tallest temple of Prambanan is a staggering 47 meters high. Its peak is visible from far away and rises high above the ruins of the other temples.

Around 5:30PM, we will drive up the hill to the Riyadi spot. It is called Spot Riyadi because this place is in front of the courtyard of Pak Riyadi’s house, which is in the hills of Sambirejo, Prambanan. When the weather is clear, you can view Mount Merapi, Mount Lawu and Sumbing.

Day 3. Monday, Jun 12, 2023

At 2:30AM we will depart from the hotel and drive for approximately 1.5 hours to Puthuk Setumbu for sunrise photography, where you will witness the Borobudur temple from a distance. Then we will continue to visit Borobudur Temple around 6:30AM. The temple sits majestically on a hilltop overlooking lush green fields and distant hills. Built between AD 780 and 840 during the reign of Syailendra dynasty, the temple’s design in Gupta architecture reflects India’s influence on the region. However, there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian. It covers a total surface area of around 2,500 m2 of Kedu Valley, the southern part of Central Java. The monument is a marvel of design, decorated with 2,672 relief panels and originally 504 Buddha statues, surrounded by green area. The architecture and stonework of this temple have no equal. It was built without using any cement or mortar. The structure is like a set of massive interlocking Lego blocks held together without any glue. It is no wonder that Borobudur is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Around 8AM, we will drive back to the hotel for check-out and drive to the train station as we will be heading to the east past scenic villages, paddy-fields and of course volcanoes on a train ride for approximately 3 hours to the city of Mojokerto. We will then continue to drive to Malang for approximately 2 hours.

Day 4. Tuesday, Jun 13, 2023

After breakfast, we will have a day tour to visit Tumpek Sewu Waterfall. Tumpak Sewu Waterfall is one of the leading tourist attractions in Lumajang Regency, East Java. We will be treated to the famous view of a row of waterfalls that form a curtain. Upon arriving around 10AM, we will walk for 400m to see the panoramic vista of the waterfall from the viewpoint and then trek down for approximately 800m to the bottom for an amazing experience close to the falls.

Day 5. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2023

Around midnight or early morning, we will drive to the Penanjakan viewpoint of the legendary Mount Bromo by 4WD for astrophotography of the Milky Way and star trails around the volcanic range. This will be followed by a sunrise tour over the sea of sands. If the weather is clear, the sunrise view over this eerie sea of volcanoes is an unforgettable experience as the volcanoes often emerge from the cloud cover below. Afterwards, we will descend by Jeep to the sea of sands and climb up to the volcano crater to take a peek inside. The ascent is not too difficult (approximately 45 minutes), but it can be very cold, so don’t forget to bring extra layers of clothing. It’s also worth bringing a scarf to cover your nose and mouth, as it can get dusty. We will then return to the hotel to freshen up and depart mid-morning to Kalibaru in a private minivan (approximately 5.5 hours). We’ll stop for lunch en route and arrive in the afternoon, with time to relax by the pool or perhaps indulge in a local massage.

Day 6. Thursday, Jun 15, 2023

After breakfast, we’ll check out from the hotel and continue our trip to the far eastern end of Java. Along the way (approximately 1 hour 15 minutes), we will stop at De Djawatan Forest.

This tourist attraction in Benculuk Village has a natural panorama in the form of gigantic shady trembesi trees with tree trunks that are overgrown with moss and creeping plants.  Afterwards, we’ll continue driving for approximately 1 hour to arrive at our hotel in Ketapang.

Day 7. Friday, Jun 16, 2023

At the appropriate time, you will be picked up by the driver and transferred to Ketapang Port for crossing to Bali Island by ferry (approximately 45 minutes). Then you will meet the driver in Gilimanuk Port for the trip to the south of Bali or Airport.
Alternatively, you may wish to spend an additional day in Java to hike to the crater and blue fire of Kawah Ijen, one of the most iconic destinations in East Java. This is not included in the tour, but we can help you arrange round-trip transportation. Happy travels!

Trip photos

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel a Pending trip, your deposit will be fully refundable.

If you cancel your booking for a confirmed trip, some fees may apply.

Cancellation of a confirmed trip 61+ days before the commencement of your trip, your deposit will be transferrable to another trip. If you cancel a confirmed trip 60 days or less before its commencement then payments will not be refundable.

View our Terms & Conditions for more about our Cancellation policy.

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East Java with Ben Suttmeier