Dances, Dragons, and Magical Lakes

Departures: Indonesia

Dances, Dragons, and Colorful Coasts: A Cruise Through Indonesia

Immerse yourself in the Komodo National Park and Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands, cruising through a panorama of islands and encountering new wonders on a daily basis. This adventurous, eight-day inclusive voyage of discovery aboard the 24-passenger Ombak Putih or the 12-passenger Katharina offers a cross-section of remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, jungle-clad mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, tribal rituals, a mysterious lake, and the legendary Komodo Dragons. There will be ample opportunity to snorkel and view the kaleidoscopic beauty of the underwater world. Unlimited use of the stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks onboard will add yet another dimension to your nature explorations.


We believe that to travel responsibly, a portion of our tour cost should benefit communities where it’s most needed. For this trip, we will donate to ROOM TO READ who seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in Indonesia and worldwide by supporting literacy and gender equality in education.


*$3,210 per person

For more information and to get started, contact us at How to Book.


March – September 2018

8 Days, 7 Nights

Day 1

Arrive Bali

Enjoy a coastal drive with a short stop at Goa Lawah bat Cave Temple and the royal water palace of Tirta Gangga on the way to Amed in the eastern regency of Karangasem – an exotic royal Balinese kingdom of forests and mighty mountains, emerald rice terraces, mystical water palaces and pretty beaches. Upon arrival, choose to relax and unwind with a swim or a snorkel, a scuba dive, or even a walk in the surrounding village and hillsides. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner.

Day 2

Lombok’s Northwest Coast

After an early morning swim or snorkel, we’ll head through Lombok Straight. In the afternoon, visit one of the three Gili islands off of Lombok’s northwest coast. Swim, snorkel, paddle board, kayak, or simply enjoying the beautiful white-sand beach for the next few hours.


Day 3

Senaru Village on Lombok

Morning visit to the traditional village of Senaru – birthplace of Lombok’s unique Wektu Telu belief system in which ancient animist practices are combined with Islam. Our Sasak guide will take us on a tour of the simple thatched houses and gardens of fruits and spices of these indigenous people. Our adventure will then lead us through the tropical forest to Sindang Gila, a roaring 40-meter tiered waterfall.

If time permits, we’ll visit Bayan Beleq, a grass-roofed mosque with woven bamboo walls – the oldest in Lombok – and see weavers and spinners demonstrating their age-old skills. Explore one of the coral reefs near Gili Sulat – a marine conservation area.

Day 4

Explore Satonda

Morning visit to Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo followed by a walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall. Our next stop will be Satonda, a mystical volcanic island with a sunken saltwater crater lake at its center. Local people believe Satonda to be magical. Walk to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, surrounded by trees believed to grant wishes. Spend the afternoon swimming and snorkeling the soft and hard corals and colorful tropical fish that surround the island. Look up to see thousands of flying foxes that commute at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland, returning before first light the next day.

Mendoza winery

Day 5

Banta Underwater

Wake up off the coast of Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 meters above sea level. This morning we’ll go ashore to a small hamlet, which, because of the active nature of the volcano, is only inhabited for short periods during the year when the local people come to tend their crops and small herds of buffalo. Snorkel the reefs and see volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals. Then, it’s off to the island of Banta and its white sand beach for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling and hill climbing for those who want a challenge.

Komodo Dragon

Day 6

Komodo Island

Wake up off the coast of Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. We’ll go ashore for an early morning ranger-led trek through the park in search of Komodo dragons. This savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape is home to a variety of lora and fauna. Spot Indonesia’s “dinosaurs” and possibly deer, wild boar, sulfur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids, and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. Back on the boat for a cruise and visit to Komodo Village. There will be several opportunities to snorkel this afternoon, ending the day with a sunset climb at Gili Lawa Darat.


Day 7

Rinca and Kukusan

Today, visit Rinca Island for another ranger-led nature trek in search of Komodo dragons. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife; we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and possibly deer. In the afternoon, snorkelion beautiful Siaba Island before perhaps visiting Kelor Island. There’s also the opportunity to visit the adjacent island of Kukusan where we will meet a settlement of ‘sea-gypsies,’ the Bajao people who build their homes on stilts over the sea. End the day with a beach barbecue. With a raging bonfire, great food, dancing and the crew singing and playing guitars, this end-of-cruise celebration under the stars is the perfect end to an incredible journey!


Day 8

Flores to Bali: Depart Home

Early risers enjoy one last swim and snorkel in the spectacular waters of eastern Indonesia before we cruise into Labuan Bajo harbour. Visit the village of Melo for a traditional dance performance. Here the local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ —a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while moving to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. Enjoy lunch aboard the boat before your transfer to the airport for your flight back to Bali and the end of your cruise.


Extend Your Stay

Enjoy more time exploring the beautiful island of Bali, known for its artisans and gorgeous beaches or book a cruise between April 1 and June 30 and add on a jungle river cruise to see orangutans in their natural environment. Ask us for details.

For pricing and hotel information, contact us at How to Book. The specifics of this itinerary are subject to change based on local conditions at the discretion of Ponte Travels.

• Rates shown are per person, double occupancy. Airfare not included.