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Day by Day Itinerary

Small Groups: Never more than 10-16 travelers—guaranteed!

Travel to Indonesia’s tropical islands, where sacred ruins rise out of jungles, monkeys frolic in temples, and artists are still revered. Although Java and Bali are neighbors in the archipelago nation of Indonesia, they each have their own religions, histories, and traditions. Java is the country’s political and cultural heart, with a devout Muslim society and lingering reminders of the Buddhist kings and Dutch colonists who shaped its history. Bali is its artistic soul, with a spiritual Hindu population and landscapes that have inspired painters and performers for centuries.

Join OAT on these isles to unravel the mysteries of ancient kingdoms at ornately carved ruins. Experience the serenity of holy water temples. Meet villagers in their homes and farms to learn about their daily lives. And surround yourself with the natural beauty of terraced hills, blossoming orchids, and pristine coastlines.

Jakarta Ubud Expand All
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    Since your overnight flight to Taipei, Taiwan departs Los Angeles very early in the morning, travelers are advised to arrive at LAX the night before.

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    Arrive in Taipei and connect to your flight to Jakarta on the island of Java, Indonesia. Your OAT Trip Leader will greet you at the airport and escort you on the hour-long drive to your hotel. Here, you'll be joined by travelers who took the pre-trip extension to Northern Vietnam: Hanoi & Halong Bay. This evening is yours to rest or venture out into the city.

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    After breakfast, we enjoy a tour of Jakarta, the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Originally a trading port of the Kingdom of Sunda in the fourth century, Jakarta caught the attention of the Dutch and became their colonial capital, known as Batavia, during the 17th and 18th centuries. When Indonesia declared its independence in 1945, Jakarta re-emerged as the symbol of both the nation’s freedom and its diverse cultural heritage.

    We begin our explorations in a morning market, where locals come to buy and sell fresh catch, vegetables, and fruit. As we wander amid the bustling stalls, you’ll get to see a slice of everyday life in Jakarta. From here, we’ll visit the city’s oldest mosque. Indonesia is home to the world’s largest population of Muslims, and during our visit we’ll meet with an imam (Muslim scholar) and local Muslim women for a discussion about the Islamic faith and culture in Java.

    We’ll then take a walking tour of Fatahillah Square, traveling by bajai (three-wheeled scooters) to get there. Once the former administrative and commercial heart of Dutch colonial Indonesia, the cobblestone square still retains vestiges of its past grandeur.
    We’ll pause for lunch at the beautiful Café Batavia, set a in a 200-year old building with colonial-era décor. Back at the hotel, enjoy some free time before we gather for a Welcome Dinner at a Jakarta restaurant.

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    We rise early for breakfast and check out of our hotel before a short ride to Bogor, home to a large Christian community. Here, we meet a local guide for a walking tour of the Bogor Botanical Gardens, a tropical oasis where we can see giant water lilies, a variety of palms, and some of the 3,000 types of orchids.

    We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and continue by motorcoach to Bandung, the capital of West Java with a pleasant highland climate. (Temperatures average around 75 °F year-round.) During Dutch colonization, Bandung was one of the most fashionable cities in the East Indies, and its chic cafés and Art Deco buildings earned it the nickname, the “Paris of Java.” Today, it has developed into modern city with a vibrant culture of the Western Java ethnic group known as the Sunda or Sundanese. After we check in to our hotel, we take an orientation walk around the neighborhood. Dinner is on your own this evening.

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    Following breakfast, we learn about the indigenous music of the Sunda people on a visit to an angklung workshop. An angklung is a musical percussion instrument that consists of bamboo tubes and a frame, with tones somewhat akin to a xylophone. We meet with an artisan who makes these traditional instruments and try our hand at constructing and playing our own.

    We then embark on a walking tour through the narrow alleys of Bandung’s downtown. After lunch a local restaurant, we depart the downtown area and transfer by coach to meet with local veterans, many of whom fought to gain independence from the Dutch after World War II.

    Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening.

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    We depart early this morning for an air-conditioned train ride to Yogyakarta. This journey reveals some of Java’s most iconic rural scenery as we wind along forest-coated hills, through rural towns, and alongside terraced rice paddies cut into the slopes.  We have boxed lunches for the ride. In the afternoon, we arrive in Yogyakarta (pronounced “Jokjakarta” and nicknamed Yogya or “Jogja”) and check in to our hotel.

    Located in the valley below Mount Merapi, Yogya is the epicenter of Javanese arts, where colorful batik cloths, wooden and silver handcrafts, and dance and music performances all abound.  It also displays some classic examples of the island’s architecture and design, defined by low-rise buildings with tall, pyramid-shaped roofs. We get our first glimpse of the city on a brief orientation walk around our hotel. Next, we enjoy a tour by cyclo-rickshaw on our way to dinner at a local restaurant.

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    After breakfast, we visit Sambisari, a Hindu temple constructed in the 9th century. Until its accidental discovery in 1966, Sambisari remained hidden under layers of rock and sand from Mount Merapi’s 1906 volcanic eruption.

    From here, we head to the nearby plains to witness the ninth-century Prambanan Temple complex. Built by the Sanjaya Dynasty, a Hindu group thought to be political rivals to the Buddhist Sailendra rulers in the area, Prambanan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. Many of its 240 structures collapsed during a major earthquake in the 16th century, and they were largely forgotten by the outside world until British statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles stumbled upon the site in 1811. Still in various states of repair, they retain an aura of being lost in time, awaiting discovery.

    We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting a Batik workshop. Here, we’ll learn about the wax-resistant dying technique behind this traditional Javanese cloth and the spiritual significance of the many motifs and patterns.

    This evening we’ll get to experience everyday life as we join a Javanese family for dinner in their home.

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    This morning we set out early for the colossal Borobudur Temple, which UNESCO calls “one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world.”

    Borobudur is the Saliendra’s masterpiece, a massive pyramid that rises up from the green plains like the neighboring volcanoes. From its 150,000-square-foot base, we have a chance to climb up the six tiers to the top. Moving from bottom to top, note how the volcanic-rock carvings progress from depictions of the world of desire, to the world of forms, and reaching the pinnacle in the world of formlessness—the realm of nirvana in Buddhist ideology. The top level is dotted with 72 small, latticework stupas, each with a statue of Buddha inside, which we can see through the grates.

    We leave Boroburdur and visit a rural village, where we’ll take a walking tour and learn how local tofu is made.

    From here, we'll travel by horse-drawn carriage to a nearby restaurant for lunch to refuel after a busy morning. We'll then head back to our hotel and enjoy free time this afternoon. Dinner on your own tonight.

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    We say farewell to Java this morning and fly to the tropical paradise of Bali. A Hindu enclave that stands alone in the middle of the rest of the largely Muslim Indonesia, Bali has fostered a deeply spiritual culture with arts, customs, and social rules unlike any place on Earth. In fact, Balinese Hinduism is a unique mélange of different cultural influences, including traditional Hinduism, brought to the island by a Javanese princess and priests in the 16th century; Buddhism, the island’s state religion in the seventh century; and indigenous animist and ancestor-deifying religions. Throughout our time here, we’ll see how spirituality factors into nearly every aspect of Balinese life.

    Upon arrival in Denpasar, we begin our transfer to Ubud, Bali’s artistic heart. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant, and then set out for the nearby village of Blahbatuh to visit the Sudi Dancing School. Here, we’ll meet students who will teach us some of the moves of traditional Legong dancing. Note the precise footwork and finger movements and the ornate costumes of the dancers Afterward, we’ll be treated to a special performance accompanied by a live band—and perhaps we’ll even join in to dance along at the end.

    We depart for our hotel, check in, and enjoy some free time. This evening we take an orientation walk and have dinner together at a restaurant in Ubud.

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    Following breakfast, we set out for the Kintamani Volcano area to visit the village of Trunyan, crossing Lake Batur by motorboat to get there. Trunyan is home to the Bali Aga ethnic group, known for their ancestral rituals. Contrary to Balinese tradition, the people of Trunyan do not practice cremation, but display their dead in open graves, concealed by bamboo lattices and remarkably preserved by the roots of the fragrant taru menyan tree.

    We take a walking tour around the village and its environs, enjoying striking views of Kintamani and Lake Batur.

    We make our return trip across the lake and pause for lunch nearby. Next, we visit a coffee plantation to learn about the cultivation process of kopi luwak, or civet coffee, and enjoy a tasting of this unique brew that is often called the world's most expensive coffee.

    After we return to the hotel, you’ll have free time to rest or perhaps explore Ubud’s galleries, cafés, and shops. Enjoy dinner tonight on your own.

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    This morning, we set out early to Tjampuhan Hill. After a light hike, we’ll pause for break on Tjampihan’s grassy hill—a favorite spot among locals—taking in the fresh air and surrounding tropical vegetation.

    From here, we’ll explore the sacred Monkey Forest of Ubud, a sanctuary where hundreds of Balinese monkey’s gather in giant nutmeg trees and at a small temple.

    Enjoy lunch on your own today and a free afternoon to discover Ubud’s art scene. In the 1920s, Ubud grew from a sleepy but charming village into a nucleus for the arts. The scenic rice fields, hills, and streams surrounding the town enticed European painters like Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet to settle there. They brought with them an influx of arts funding—which in turn, drew local painters, carvers, woodworkers, and performers.

    This evening, we’ll travel by motorcoach to the workshop of a puppet master, who will treat us to a short Balinese puppet show performance. Tonight, we’ll dine at Café Wayan, the noted bakery and restaurant featured in Elizabeth Gilbert’s popular memoir Eat, Pray, Love.

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    This morning we depart Ubud and head north to Ulun Danu Bratan.

    Balinese Hinduism is sometimes known as the “religion of the holy water” for the important role that water plays in rituals and livelihoods. Keep this in mind as we approach Ulun Danu Bratan, which appears to float over the placid waters of Lake Bratan. Dedicated to the goddess of the lake, Dewi Danu, its 17th-century pagodas actually rest on small islands.

    After a peaceful morning, we eat lunch at a local restaurant and continue on to Gitgit Waterfall, following a trail of paved steps through the forest to get there. Our efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the impressive 35-meter waterfall, surrounded by lush tropical trees.

    We then transfer to our hotel in Lovina, a laid-back coastal town on Bali’s northern shore. Lined with black, volcanic sand beaches and fishing villages, northern Bali maintains a quieter pace than its neighbors to the south. You’ll have some free time before we gather again for a brief ride to the main road for an orientation walk. Dinner will follow at a Lovina restaurant.

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    Today we have a rare opportunity to experience daily life in the rural hills outside of Lovina, heading first to a local market in the bustling morning hours. While the southern half of the island specializes in rice production, citrus fruit orchards and cocoa and sugar plantations thrive here in the north, and we’re likely to find their produce on display in the simple stands here.

    From the market, we travel by minivan to the farming community of Tiga Wasa to visit the Tiga Wasa Village School (when school is in session), where we meet students and their teacher and perhaps witness a typical lesson.

    Next, we see another side of everyday life when we visit with local bamboo weavers, witnessing their craft in action, and then we'll meet a family engaged in the making of palm sugar. Following that, we'll join a local family for a Home-Hosted Lunch; we'll dine on a traditional Balinese meal, seasoned with regional herbs and spices, and we can ask questions about their cultural practices, livelihoods, and any other points of curiosity.

    In the late afternoon, we return to the hotel for leisure time to wander through Lovina or unwind with a drink and views of the Java Sea. Dinner is on your own.

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    Rise early this morning for a boating excursion to watch for dolphins, a familiar sight along Lovina's shores.

    After breakfast, we depart for Jimbaran. Bali’s volcanic soil and tropical climate bless the islanders with year-round crops, and we have a chance to learn about one of them this morning when we visit beautiful rice terraces during our transfer to Jimbaran. Alternately brilliant green and flooded with reflective waters, these rows of paddies have become a symbol of rural Bali—and for good reason. The irrigation system used to feed them, known as subak, is woven into the landscape, as well as the culture of the island, feeding into many religious practices. The entire subak landscape is protected by UNESCO World Heritage.

    From here, we stop for lunch and then continue our drive to Jimbaran, a coastal town overlooking the Indian Ocean. Upon arrival late this afternoon, we'll settle into our hotel. This evening, we'll take an orientation walk along the beach to a fishing village before dispersing for dinner on our own. Perhaps you'll choose to taste the local seafood specialties in one of the village restaurants we pass on our walk.

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    In the morning, we ride southwest to Pura Luhur Uluwatu, or Temple above the Headstone. With origins that date back to the tenth century, it’s one of the most striking examples of a Balinese sea temple, perched on a cliff 330 feet above the water. Two types of creatures greet visitors here: statues of the elephant-headed Hindu god, Ganesha, and a resident colony of mischievous macaque monkeys. We have time to explore the ancient structure and take in the dramatic seascapes along its promenade before lunch together.

    We return to the hotel in the afternoon. Lunch is on your own, and the remainder of the day is yours to explore Jimbaran or enjoy the white-sand beach that fronts our hotel. Tonight, our small group comes together for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

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    After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Taipei, where we’ll spend the night. Lunch and dinner are on your own.

    Travelers on the post-trip extension to Komodo Island & Beyond: Land of Dragons will fly to Labuan Bajo this morning.

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    • Meals included:

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before returning to the Taipei airport for your flight back to the United States.

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Weather & Regional

Before you travel, we encourage you to learn about the region of the world you'll discover on this trip. From weather and currency information to details on population, geography, and local history, you'll find a comprehensive introduction to your destinations below.  Visit our “What to Know” page to find information about the level of activity to expect, vaccination information resources, and visa requirements specific to this vacation.

What to Know

For more detailed information about this trip, download our Travel Handbook below. This document covers a wide range of information on specific areas of your trip, from passport, visa, and medical requirements; to the currencies of the countries you’ll visit and the types of electrical outlets you’ll encounter. This handbook is written expressly for this itinerary. For your convenience, we've highlighted our travelers' most common areas of interest on this page.

Download the Travel Handbook

What to Expect

Pacing

  • 7 locations in 16 days with one 1-night stay
  • International flights from Los Angeles to Taipei depart very early in the morning
  • Airport transfers in Jakarta and Taipei may take more than 1.5 hours

Physical requirements

  • Not appropriate for travelers using wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility aids
  • You must be able to walk 2-3 miles unassisted and participate in 4-6 hours of physical activities each day
  • Agility and balance are required for boarding cyclo-rickshaw

Climate

  • Daytime temperatures range from 75-90°F, often with high humidity

Terrain

  • Travel over some rugged paths by bus and on foot

Transportation

  • Travel by 21-passenger coach, air-conditioned train (no Western toilets), cyclo-rickshaw, and motorboat
  • One 90-minute internal flight, several day-long overland transfers, and a half-day train transfer

Accommodations & Facilities

  • All accommodations feature private baths and Western-style toilets

Travel Documents

Passport

Your passport should meet these requirements for this itinerary:

  • It should be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled return to the U.S.
  • It should have the recommended number of blank pages (refer to the handbook for details).
  • The blank pages must be labeled “Visas” at the top. Pages labeled “Amendments and Endorsements” are not acceptable.

Visas

U.S. citizens will need a visa (or visas) for this trip. In addition, there may be other entry requirements that also need to be met. For your convenience, we’ve included a quick reference list, organized by country:

  • Indonesia (main trip and optional extension): Visa required. We recommend you obtain it in advance. Although this visa may be obtained upon your arrival, we recommend you obtain it in advance. Entry requirements can change at any time; obtaining your visas in advance decreases the likelihood that you will encounter problems at the border and may protect you if entry requirements subsequently change.
  • Vietnam (optional extension): Visa required. Can only be obtained in advance. You must obtain your visa for Vietnam before you leave home; it cannot be obtained on arrival.

Travelers who are booked on this adventure will be sent a complete Visa Packet— with instructions, applications, and a list of visa fees—approximately 100 days prior to their departure. (Because many countries limit the validity of their visa from the date it is issued, or have a specific time window for when you can apply, we do not recommend applying too early.)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, do not travel with a U.S. passport, or will be traveling independently before/after this trip, then your entry requirements may be different. Please check with the appropriate embassy or a visa servicing company. To contact our recommended visa servicing company, PVS International, call toll-free at 1-800-556-9990.

Vaccinations Information

For a detailed and up-to-date list of vaccinations that are recommended for this trip, please visit the CDC’s “Traveler’s Health” website. You can also refer to the handbook for details.

Before Your Trip

Before you leave on your adventure, there are at least four health-related things you should do. Please check the handbook for specifics, but for now, here’s the short list:

Step 1: Check with the CDC for their recommendations for the countries you’ll be visiting.
Step 2: Have a medical checkup with your doctor.
Step 3: Pick up any necessary medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Step 4: Have a dental and/or eye checkup. (Recommended, but less important than steps 1-3.)

What to Bring

In an effort to help you bring less, we have included checklists within the handbook, which have been compiled from suggestions by Trip Leaders and former travelers. The lists are only jumping-off points—they offer recommendations based on experience, but not requirements. You might also want to refer to the climate charts in the handbook or online weather forecasts before you pack. Refer to the handbook for details.

Insider Tips

Accommodations

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Pre-Trip

  • Vietnamese junk

    In the privacy of our OAT small group, we cruise the island-studded waters of Halong Bay on a traditional wooden sailboat known as a junk. We'll appreciate its modern touches, including private baths with showers and air-conditioned cabins. Onboard, we can relax on the sun deck or enjoy a drink from the bar. 

Main Trip

  • Alila Jakarta Hotel

    Jakarta, Indonesia

    Centrally located near Jakarta’s old quarter, Alila Jakarta Hotel overlooks the National Museum and is within walking distance of many historical landmarks. The hotel’s 246 rooms feature comfortable amenities and a modern, sleek design. Each includes Internet access, air conditioning, mini bar, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and hair dryer. Guests may also take advantage of the onsite spa, Indonesian restaurant, fitness center, and outdoor swimming pool.

  • Santika Bandung Hotel

    Bandung, Java

    Just ten minutes from the train station—and across from a variety of restaurants and shopping—the Santika Bandung is a soothing oasis in one of Indonesia’s most exciting cities. Each of the 76 rooms features air-conditioning, cable TV, wi-fi, a safe deposit box, minibar, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and a hair dryer. While here, dine at the Pandan Wangi restaurant, work out at the fitness center, or go for a dip in the swimming pool.

  • Santika Hotel Jogyakarta

    Yogyakarta, Java

    The 148 air-conditioned rooms each include an en suite marble bathroom, a minibar, coffee- and tea-making facilities, flat-screen satellite TV, wireless Internet, and a hair dryer. The hotel is 20 minutes to the airport and train station, and only ten minutes from the popular Malioboro shopping district. It also offers a swimming pool, a fitness center, sauna, spa, and salon.

  • Keraton Jimbaran Resort & Spa

    Jimbaran, Bali

    Set amid tropical gardens along the white sands of Jimbaran Bay, the Keraton Jimbaran is a 20-minute drive from the center of Kuta. Guests can enjoy two on-site restaurants, a pool, a spa, and the beach. The 102 air-conditioned guest rooms all feature a balcony or terrace, TV, hair dryer, refrigerator, and a kimono.

  • Plataran Ubud Hotel & Resort

    Ubud, Bali

    Surrounded by scenic rice paddies, this hotel is a restful retreat in the heart of Ubud, close to artists’ shops and a yoga studio. During your stay, enjoy access to amenities such as a swimming pool, pool bar, spa, and patio restaurant. Each of the air-conditioned rooms features a minibar, cable TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities, Internet access, and hairdryer.

  • The Lovina Bali Hotel

    Lovina, Bali

    Set on a beautiful black sand beach in a sleepy northern Bali town, this peaceful hotel features a beach bar, two swimming pools, spa, on-site restaurant, and views of the sea and nearby Bedugul Mountains. Each of the 66 spacious rooms have a private bath, Internet access, minibar, and hairdryer. In the mornings, keep an eye out for dolphins that swim right off the coast here.

  • Hotel Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport

    Taipei, Taiwan

    Conveniently located just five minutes from the airport, each of the 360 guest rooms at the Hotel Novetel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport feature a satellite TV, Internet access, minibar, iron and ironing board, and hair dryer. The hotel also offers many amenities designed for your comfort and entertainment, including two restaurants, a bar, lounge, and an on-site spa and fitness center. 

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  • May De Ville City Centre II Hotel

    Hanoi, Vietnam

    The May De Ville Grand Hotel is conveniently located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter—within walking distance of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, and many major cultural sites. The hotel’s 57 air-conditioned rooms are outfitted with TV, coffee- and tea-making facilities, safe, Internet, and private bath with hair dryer.

  • Bintang Flores Hotel

    Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia

    Located on a private beach just a very short drive from the harbor and the airport, the Bintang Flores’ 61 air-conditioned rooms each feature a safety deposit box, coffee- and tea-making facilities, mini-refrigerator, and satellite TV. Guests will enjoy the on-site dive shop, fitness center, pool, restaurant, and bar, as well as access to world-class diving sites and Komodo Island, natural home of the Komodo dragon.

  • Bintang Kuta Hotel

    Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

    Situated in Jalan Kartika Plaza, the Bintang Kuta Hotel offers easy access to Tuban Beach and the Discovery Centre shopping mall. Travelers can soak up the sunshine at the hotel’s swimming pool with a swim-up bar. The 158 air-conditioned rooms each have satellite TV, free WiFi access, coffee- and tea-making facilities, refrigerator, hairdryer, and safe deposit boxes. Enjoy Indonesian and international cuisine in the hotel’s coffee shop.

  • Hotel Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport

    Taipei, Taiwan

    Conveniently located just five minutes from the airport, each of the 360 guest rooms at the Hotel Novetel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport feature a satellite TV, Internet access, minibar, iron and ironing board, and hair dryer. The hotel also offers many amenities designed for your comfort and entertainment, including two restaurants, a bar, lounge, and an on-site spa and fitness center. 

Flight Information

Flight Options to Personalize Your Trip

You can choose to stay longer before or after your trip on your own, or combine two adventures to maximize your value. Here are more ways to create the OAT adventure that’s right for you:

  • Extend your adventure and lower your per day cost with our optional pre- and post-trip extensions
  • Choose our standard air routing, or work with us to select the airline and routing you prefer
  • Make your own international flight arrangements directly with the airline, applying frequent flyer miles if available
  • International airport transfers to and from your hotel, including meet and greet service, are available for purchase
  • Stay overnight in a connecting city before or after your trip
  • Request to arrive a few days early to get a fresh start on your adventure
  • Choose to “break away” before or after your trip, spending additional days or weeks on your own
  • Combine your choice of OAT adventures to maximize your value
  • Upgrade to business or premium economy class
  • Extend your Land Tour-only Travel Protection Plan coverage and protect the air arrangements you make on your own—including your frequent traveler miles

The air options listed above may involve additional airfare costs based on your specific choices.

Or, when you make your reservation, you can choose our standard air routing, for which approximate travel times are shown below.