Java is an island steeped in history and traditions. It has never lost its image as an island of happy, smiling faces. Although ranking only fifth in all, Java is the principal island of Indonesia containing the capital, Jakarta, the seat of government and around 80 million people, some 65% of the Republic’s population. The climate is sub-equatorial but, apart from the Northern plains and sheltered inland regions, the temperature throughout the year averages 22-29oC (78-85oF). A chain of volcanic mountains – 112 peaks in all – runs West-East across the island, making a massive contribution to the richness in beautiful vistas.
Extends from the Western coast to just East of the city of Cirebon, offers sights like the famous Bogor Botanical Gardens, the Puncak Pass, tea plantations and hot springs, a magnificent Southern coastline around Pelabaun Ratu – and the great educational research and commercial centre of Bandung.
Embraces the historical city of Surakarta (Solo) and contains such breathtaking spectacles as Borobadur and the Prambanan temple complex, the eerie, mist-shrouded volcanic Dieng plateau and the archeological region of Sangiran where you might easily stumble on fossiled bones a hundred thousand years old. Cultural hub of the area is Yogyakarta – but, for administrative purposes, this city, along with the capital, Jakarta, is classed as special territory.
Has a much flatter terrain with mile upon mile of fertile rice growing plain. But it also contains one of the most famous active volcanoes on Java – 7800ft Mount Bromo, in the Tengger Highlands. Regular trips are made, by night and on horseback for most of the way to take small parties of visitors to the very brink of the spitting, smoking crater. Further volcanic peaks exist to the West of Bromo – and there is also the most accessible wildlife park on the island, near Baluran.
From Surabaya, the province’s capital and the country’s second largest city, frequent ferries operate across the narrow straits to the bull-racing island of Madura.