We had a fantastic time traveling in East Java, and with this itinerary, we want to share our experiences and tips. Java is an island in Indonesia, and it has so much to offer from volcano hikes to the most impressive waterfalls. Also, the local people are some of the friendliest we have ever met.

How to get to East Java

We came to Java directly after our trip from the Komodo Islands, and we flew to Surabaya Airport and started our East Java Itinerary from there. If you come from home and want to visit, for example, Java and Bali, you can fly to Yogyakarta and travel the opposite around from us, or you can start in Bali. Either way, from Bali to Java, it is possible to come by ferry what we would have preferred, but since we came from our Komodo trip to Java, it wasn’t possible for us. But the ferry would have been much cheaper than a flight.

Visa to enter Indonesia

To visit Java or other places in Indonesia you can easily get a 30 days single entry at the airport without a visa when you arrive in the country. If you want to extend your stay up to 60 days you have to get a Visa On Arrival (VOA) at the airport which is as well valid for a 30 days stay, but can be extended and costs you 37$.

You have to go to the immigration office to extend your visa, which is a bit time consuming and costs you another 35$. If you come to Indonesia from home and know already that you want to stay in the country for 60 days you can get your 60-day visa back home at the Indonesian Embassy in your country and don’t have to go through the extension process.

East Java Itinerary – 10 Days route guide

Day 1-3 Sunrise at Mount Bromo

You can choose if you want to visit Mount Bromo with a tour or do it by yourself. We decided to do the hike by ourselves, and it was very easy. It was a magical experience to see the sun rising next to the vulcanos and to enjoy the stunning colors.

Read more: Sunrise at Mount Bromo – Everything you need to know

A couple standing in front of the Mount Bromo
smoke in the crater of mount bromo
Mount bromo at sunrise

Day 3-6 Malang and Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

From Bromo, we traveled to Malang, which is about 3 hours ride when you take a jeep who can drive you through the sea of sand. Otherwise, the journey will take you about 5 hours. We mentioned everything you need to know about this here, we recommend you to organize this transport in advance if you want to stay in Bromo Town.

Rainbow Village – Kampung Pelangi Jodipan

This village was the highlight of our stay in Malang. It is a slum area that was already given up by the government. They wanted to relocate the people. But then a few students came up with the idea to paint this village to attract tourists, and their plan worked out.

You will pay a small entrance fee, which is 10K IDR (0.70$), to support the village. After you entered this town, you will be in another world of very positive vibes. All is painted in colors, and there are so many cute decorations, all kinds of paintings on the walls, and much more. But the very best part about this village are to people who live there. They are so friendly and welcoming. Also, we met some school kids who came there to interview tourists for their English classes. We spend an hour with these kids and had so much fun. We highly recommend visiting this village when in Malang.

Couple standing in an alley which is covered with umbrellas
colourful wall painting of a lions head
coloured stairs and houses in rainbow city
Couple sitting on a colorful stair in the rainbow city
Rainbow city
Women crosses yellow bridge in rainbow city
coloured stair in rainbow city
Rainbow city from above
colourful houses in rainbow city

Blue Village

The blue village is located right on the other side of the street from the Rainbow village and should not be missed. When we walked around here we met no other tourists but only very lovely local people who were pleased that we visited their village. Here all the houses are painted in blue and it’s also very lovely to see.

Couple looking at blue houses in blue city

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

This waterfall is one of the places you can’t miss when visiting East Java. It is spectacular and very impressive. We drove to the waterfall by scooter while we stayed in Malang. The ride was about 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can visit the waterfall while staying in the Bromo area, but it’s not much closer from there. That is why tourists often overlook this waterfall because it’s not very close to the main travel route. But we promise you it’s really worth the drive.

When you arrive at the waterfall, you will find a parking and some food stalls. You will first walk about 5 minutes until you get to a viewpoint where you will have a fantastic view of the waterfall. At this place, you can buy food and refreshment, what we did after the hike to hydrate ourselves with a fresh coconut.

After the viewpoint, you can start the hike down, which will take you about 30 minutes. The path is not always easy and will lead through some little waterfalls. Be aware that it can get slippery because of that. To wear the right shoes is very important. We wore some water-sandals that we personally like much better than sneakers when it gets to some wet paths. Also, be aware that you will get quite wet down at this waterfall, so don’t bring anything that could break because of the water. We didn’t have a waterproof case for our camera, but it survived.

Once you get down, you will have to pay to enter the waterfall. The fee is 20K IDR, which is about 1.40$ per person. The waterfall is truly impressive and massive. It’s worth the way to get down. Be careful when climbing the wet rocks that you won’t slip.

Couple standing on top of a waterfall and looking down
Couple standing in front of a waterfall
Women standing in front of a waterfall

Day 6-10 Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta, or “Jogja” how locals call it is the cultural city of Java and can’t be missed on an East Java Itinerary. It is famous for its traditional art and cultural heritage. You can visit here some of the most spectacular temples and also lovely neighborhoods with a lot of street art, cafés and even a bulk-store that we loved. We traveled from Malang to Yogyakarta by train with the Maliboro Express which was very comfortable. You can book a ticket in advance on 12Go.Asia or Bookaway.

Read more: Things to do in Yogyakarta

Couple standing on the stairs of the entrance to a temple
Couple standing in the entrance of a temple
Women walking behind a pagoda
Buddha statue made of stone
Couple walking between pagodas at borobodur temple

Budget for our East Java Itinerary

Traveling in Indonesia is quite affordable. We have listed here an average budget when visiting East Java. Of course, this can vary a lot with the choice of accommodation and transportation.

  • Costs for food per day: 15-20$ for two people (local cuisine)
  • Costs for accommodation: 30$ per night for a guesthouse or standard hotel
  • Costs for train ride from Malang to Yogyakarta: 19$ per person
  • Costs for scooter rental: 5$ per day
  • Costs for taxi: 40$ for 110km

Overall we can say that we enjoyed traveling in Java a lot. The Javanese people are some of the friendliest and warmest we ever met, and we loved all the unforgettable memories we made during this trip.