Java is the beating heart of Indonesia. The island, with a population of 141 million people, offers an enchanting mix of culture, history, bustling cities and beautiful landscapes. Historically and linguistically the island is split into two, with the Sundanese kingdoms in the West centred around the capital city of Jakarta and the Javanese kingdoms in the East centred around Surakarta and Yogyakarta.
From East to West the island has a lot to offer tourists. Bursting through the waters of the strait between Java and Sumatra is the rumbling Krakatoa Volcano. Close by, on the western tip of Java there’s the Ujung Kulon National Park, which is one of the last refuges of the Javan rhino. And then there’s the bustling capital of Jakarta, the Big Durian, the economic and political center of the country.
The most popular tourist destination on Java is Yogyakarta. Within a short drive of the city you can visit the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur and the Hindu temple of Prambanan. The region also has its natural wonders with Mount Merapi and Goa Jomblang Caves being two of the obvious highlights.
While Yogyakarta is the cultural heart of Java, East Java is the place to visit for dramatic landscapes. Most visitors to the region take a variation of a 3-Day 2-Night tour from Surabaya or Malang to Bromo and then Ijen Volcano. If you have the time include it in your itinerary.
Transport and Infrastructure
Java is one of the most developed islands in Indonesia. The Dutch built major railroads that cross the island connecting the major cities together offering a comfortable way to take in the countryside as you travel around the island. There’s also a well maintained road system, which is easy to travel around if you plan to rent a car or want to get to places by bus.
Flying is the most convenient and fastest way to get around Java. All of the major cities on the island have international airports and plenty of choices for domestic routes. Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier, operates routes between most cities. If you’re looking for a low cost carrier try either Lion Air or Air Asia.
Java: Local and City Guides
To help you arrange your trip through Java we collected a selection of our most useful resources for exploring the island. You can find a variety of city guides, hotel recommendations and itineraries in the links below. We hope you find them useful for arranging your holiday.