Java is an island of mega-cities, mesmerizing natural beauty, magical archaeological sites and profound traditions in art, music and dance. Though maybe not by size the biggest, it is definitely the main island of Indonesia, being the central hub for business and also of course travel. The capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta lies in the west of this huge island and from there on towards the east lies much attraction such as temples, lush fields, and hills, volcanic mountains, waterfalls, castles and rainforests.
Yogyakarta, at the center of its own quasi-independent ‘special region’ stretching from the south coast to Gunung Merapi, and Solo, just 65 km to the northeast, are Central Java’s most interesting cities. Most visitors, will find the stupendous Borobudur and Prambanan temples the highlight of any trip to Java’s center. No matter the crowds, it’s at these two spectacular sites where history and spirit are palpable, infusing any morning or afternoon, sunrise or sunset with magic and mystery.
East Java (Jawa Timur) is a wild, rolling region with dizzying peaks, smoking volcanoes and unspoiled panoramas. Malang is a civilized city with a temperate climate ringed by some fascinating Hindu temples. Blitar has more temples and a historic site or two to explore, and Banyuwangi, linked to Bali by a 24-hour ferry service, makes a decent launch pad to two exquisite national parks and one spectacular volcanic plateau.