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Volcanoes of Java

- 17-days walking and trekking tour on Java -

What clients have said:

...a wonderful trip with an excellent guide... (Volcanoes of East Java tour)

"Dear Ingrid,

I'm sitting here in a coffee bar on Kuta beach walk and fill the time
between two espressi to write these few lines about my trip.
I enjoyed it very much. Organisation, accommodation and transfers went
well. Galih was guiding with a lot of passion, competence and patience.
Especially Krakatau was one of the highlights.
Unfortunatly Ijien was closed due to vulcanic activities.
But apart from that, a wonderful trip with an excellent guide.
Thank you!"

Thomas N., from Germany, on his October 2015 Volcanoes of East Java tour - customised with an extension to Krakatau

a marvelous trip that exceeded even my high expectations

now my wife and I are at home after our From Krakatao to Bali trip and I want to thank you for a great experience. It was a marvelous trip that exceeded even my high expectations. Some comments:

a) Galih was an excellent guide both in terms of trekking volcanoes and giving us an insight into Indonesian culture.

b) The drivers, especially the first one (Danny?), was exceptional in smoothly and safely navigating the maze of cars and motorbikes.

c) My initial concerns (based on Internet comments) about the Batavia (now De Rivier) Hotel in Jakarta were misplaced. This hotel is very good for its price, and it provides comfort and a unique atmosphere. I am glad we stayed there.

d) The itinerary was thoughtfully planned and well executed. Emphasis on early morning departures for good light and diminished crowds was very appropriate.

e) Having hammocks on Krakatau was most welcome. It was much better than sleeping in the tent, and to my great surprise, there were no (or very few) mosquitoes or other biting insects.

f) On the first night we were the only tourists on Krakatau, and the morning walk up the volcano was a real pleasure. On the second (weekend) night there were already many people camping there, and the walk on the following day would not have been as pleasant. Keeping away from weekends on Krakatau is indeed very desirable.

g) The Ijen Resort was a highlight of the trip. It is one of the most beautifully located hotels we have ever encountered over many decades of world travel.

h) Although the last hotel on Bali was fine and its location did not affect us, it is not on the beach as the trip outline on the web indicates. Had we expected to have a great beach-experience, we would have been disappointed.

i) We were surprised about the few American volcano tourists. You may use us references, if you wish.

With appreciation and best wishes,

(Peter K., about the Krakatau to Bali tour)

"The tour was excellent, exceeded all expectations." (Krakatau to Bali photo tour)

"Hi Tom,
I am finally home . The tour was excellent, exceeded all expectations. Galih made the trip very interesting and was a pleasure to know. He kept us informed on everything and every where we went. I hope to catch up with him again. Thanks for organising such a great tour, it will have lasting memories .
(from from Bridgetown, Australia about the Krakatau to Bali photo tour)

...all the family is very happy and we will all remember these holidays all our life...

"Hi Tom,
We have just finished our trip in Java : we enjoyed it a lot, all the family is very happy and we will all remember these holidays all our life.
Andi is very professional, very nice and did his best to make the trip interesting for our kids. My husband was very happy to take beautiful pictures. And I was happy to do some trekking on volcanoes.
I hope other families can enjoy this trip in the future.
We look forward to make another trip with Volcano Discovery,
Thank you for all the organization,
Kind regards,
Maud" (Maud S., Singapore, Volcanoes of East Java custom tour"
See also: Frederick's photos from the tour

Feedback for the tour "from Krakatoa to Bali" in August 2013

Hi VolcanoDiscovery-Team,

We have just finished our trip in Java : we enjoyed it a lot, all the family is very happy and we will all remember these holidays all our life.

Andi is very professional, very nice and did his best to make the trip interesting for our kids. My husband was very happy to take beautiful pictures. And I was happy to do some trekking on volcanoes.

I hope other families can enjoy this trip in the future.

We look forward to make another trip with Volcano Discovery,

Thank you for all the organization,

Kind regards,


"... this tour was one of the best in our lives" (Volcanoes of East Java tour)

Group on Bromo
Group on Bromo

We returned from our trip to Bromo and Ijen on Sunday evening. This is the first time now that I can sit to my computer and - believe me - my very first act is to write to you about our trip.
First off the overall opinion of my family is that this tour was one of the best in our lives. We visited many beautiful places in exceptionally good weather and with a very professional and caring tour guide Galih.
I've been living here in Indonesia for one and a half year and I've learned that timing and information handling is a bit strange here for a European. But this time it was quite different. I got immediate responses to my SMSs and emails from Galih, his planning and execution of our days were just flawless. They were very helpful to us, he explained everything in details, always adjusted the pacing of the day to our experience level, supplied us food snacks and drinks in the right time.

Keep up the great operation!!

Best regards:
Gyorgy" (Hungary, Volcanoes of East Java tour)

"The trip was superb..." (Richard H., Krakatau to Bali tour)

"Hello Tom: just got back from Java this morning. The trip was superb and I just wanted to tell you how much we appreciated Andi and Galih who stepped in when Andi became sick. Everyone has an excellent visit and learnt a great deal. Krakatua and Ijen were my personal highlights.
Best wishes Dick" (Richard H., Australia)

"...most amazing tour" (Volcanoes of Java tour)

Just a quick email to say thank you for what was the most amazing tour (Volcanoes of Java) in August. Galih was an informative and helpful guide - he was incredibly knowledgeable and catered to all our needs. We were able to experience every volcano we had time for (sacrificed some sleep to fit in an extra couple!) and it was well worth it.
The highlight was most definitely seeing lava bubbling on the floor of Merapi crater - something to tick off the bucket list! I rarely go on holiday and feel such a sense of achievement at the end of it.
As a Geography teacher, this was a dream come true and would not hesitate to recommend VolcanoDiscovery to anybody - thank you so much. Both of you were incredibly helpful in your email correspondence prior to the tour and I received my gas mask well in time. I hope to travel with your company again in the future."
(Tina P., Coventry, UK)

"thoroughly enjoyed the trip" (Java Volcanoes Trekking tour)

Inside the crater of Krakatau
Inside the crater of Krakatau
Sunrise from Semeru volcano
Sunrise from Semeru volcano
Horse-riding at Bromo
Horse-riding at Bromo

"HI Tom,
I just wanted to give you some feed-back on my recent trip: Volcanoes of Java: 8-24 July 2012.
My son Zakkary & I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We feel that your guide, Andi did a wonderful job and represented your company extremely well. You've got a good guy there!
Little surprises like including some beer with many meals and a T shirt are very appreciated.
I would highly recommend your company and hope, when I can find the time to perhaps use your services in Vanuatu at some stage.
Thanks once again,
David" (Australia)

Wonderful landscapes Volcanoes of Java

Dear VolcanoDiscovery Team,
after returning from Java / Bali, I'd like to send you a a quick report about our trip. Marita and I felt super well on the tour from the very first day until the end. Andi took great care of Marita and could almost read every wish from her lips. Despite her pregnancy, she could enjoy the tour and would not have liked to miss a single day. I got to know Andi as extremely caring and responsible tour guide, one who also has great competence in photography - something rare to find! His enthousiastic way to show us Indonesia and the beauty of volcanoes is contagious from the first moment and makes wanting for MORE!
Marita und I would like to thank you and your team very warmly for the great tour. As a side note, we appreciated a lot that the maximum number of participants was set to only 6, which made for a very pleasant experience of the whole trip.
Many greetings
Dietmar and Marita

"I thank you again for this fantastic trip and the enthusiasm, your service to get up early every day. This is not as a matter of course.
Claus and Anna" (Krakatau to Bali photo tour)

...what a great time we had...

"Hi Tom
We are now back from our holiday in Indonesia. Just wanted to drop you a message to say what a great time we had with Andi. The blue flames of Kawah Ijen were really a special sight to see, I'm amazed its not more nown as a tourist destination. Almost all the people we spoke to at Ijen during the day didn't know what wonders can be seen at night. Bromo was great too. Overall we had a fantastic time, many thanks. Phil H." (Volcanoes of East Java private tour)

Feedback about the Bromo, Semeru, Ijen trekking tour

"Hi Tom,
Just wanted to let you know what a great trip to East Java we had earlier this month. It was a fantastic trip with spectacular sights resulting in some 500+ pictures. We really enjoyed ourselves and had a great guide with Galih. Also the porters and drivers we had did a great job. We were very pleased to see that the porters not only collected our garbage but also others'. It is really quite sad to see that others just drop theirs.
Cheers, Elke and Kai" (Malaysia)

Katharina's feedback (in German) about the Krakatau to Bali tour (July 2009)

"Hallo Tobias, hallo Tom
Ich bereue nichts !!! Eine fantastische, anspruchsvolle Tour wird sich in meiner Erinnerung einprägen, als eine meiner schönsten Reisen überhaupt.
... Ich bedanke mich bei Tobias für die guten Tipps zum noch besser Fotografieren und bei Ihnen beiden für die perfekt organisierte und durch wirklich fähige Leute geführte Tour. Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, dass dies nicht die einzige bleiben wird, die ich bei VulcanoDiscovery gebucht habe. Das Gleichgewicht zwischen Anstrengung und Geniessen entspricht so ziemlich genau meinen Bedürfnissen, damit ich mich gefordert und zufrieden fühle.
Nochmals vielen Dank und die herzliche Grüsse aus der Schweiz

Andy's comment on the Krakatau to Bali tour (July 2009)

Antony on the boat to Rakata island near Anak Krakatau
Antony on the boat to Rakata island near Anak Krakatau

"Dear Volcanodiscovery and my Tour Guide Andy,
I would like to thank you both for the great trip that you provided. I found
the organisation was excellent and the food at many of the restaurants was superb.
I think the highlight was Krakatoa which is really an amazing volcano, and
some of the high climbs which were very exciting. Every volcano we visited
was a bit different.
Andy is a very experienced guide, who can take you as close to any volcano
in the tour as you like as deemed safe by him. Most of all I was very
with Andy's enthusiasm, he loves the volcanoes and it really shows in his own keenness to see them over and over again.
Indonesia I found overall was also very scenic. And I would encourage others
to book this tour before the masses find out about it!!
I hope that one day a tour will be offered to Sumatra and Andy can lead the way once again.

Dr Antony V.E., Melbourne Australia."

Peter from Denmark about the Krakatau special tour:

Hello Tom. My journey home, went without problems. As i told, this visit to krakatau was the fullfilment of a life long dream for me. To see an active volcano and a famous one to. you, Doni, Marco and the others was very fine company. I liked to be together with you, it was a good experience and would like to do it again... My best gretings.

Blick in Teufels Küche" Bromo (Foto: Hanspeter Ulrich)
Blick in Teufels Küche" Bromo (Foto: Hanspeter Ulrich)
"Hallo Tom und Doni,
Herzlichen Dank für die unvergessliche Reise quer durch Java nach Bali! Die Organisation vom Volcanodiscovery-Team vor der Reise und die Leitung von Doni während der Tour haben bestens geklappt. Doni hat uns kompetent und mit viel Gefühl durch ein Land geführt das wir bisher nicht kannten. Er hat uns eine Menge über die wunderbare Natur und das lebensfrohe Volk Javas und Balis mit Begeisterung näher gebracht.
Nachfolgend einige der vielen Highlights: romantisches Campieren in Sichtweite von Anak Krakatau und das Jurassic-Park Feeling der Tengger Caldera mit Bromo und Semeru zu allen Tageszeiten.
Der Besuch des Muddflow-Katastrophengebietes von Porong sowie des Schwefelabbaus im Ijen war sehr eindrücklich und hat uns auch nachdenklich gestimmt.Die langen Fahrten mit den verschiedensten Transportmitteln waren sehr abwechslungsreich. Wir genossen die schmackhaft zubereiteten indonesischen Gerichte vor allem in den kleinen Restaurants. Am langen schwarzen Strand vom weniger touristischen Nordbali hatten wir Zeit die eindrücklichen Erlebnisse der letzten 16 Tage Revue passieren zu lassen.
Das ruhig gelegene Bali Lovina Beach Cottages ist eine sehr gute Wahl. Wir werden euch auf alle Fälle weiterempfehlen und freuen uns jetzt schon auf eine nächste Reise mit Volcanodiscovery.
Eine Auswahl unserer Fotos: http://hanspeter-ulrich.magix.net/
Grüsse aus der Schweiz - Margrit und Hanspeter Ulrich"
(Krakatau to Bali Tour)
Foto mit Kay & Andy. Im Hintergrund der Krakatau
Foto m. Kay & Andy.
[Report by Kay Estler who took part on our tour Java´s volcanoes. ]

Hallo Tom und Tobias,

wir sind wohlbehalten von unserer Trekkingtour zu den Vulkanen Javas zurückgekehrt.
Das waren wirklich unvergessliche Eindrücke! Am meisten haben mich der Krakatau und der Semeru beeindruckt. Nach dem anstrengenden Aufstieg auf dem Plateau des Semeru zu stehen und unmittelbar daneben eine riesige Aschesäule in die Luft gehen zu sehen, war schon ein fantastisches Erlebnis! Aber auch Merapi, Kelud, Bromo und Ijen waren echt klasse. Insgesamt eine richtig super Tour, für die ich mich bei Euch noch einmal herzlich bedanken möchte.
Vor allem die Organisation vor Ort war spitze.
Unser Guide Andi hat wirklich alles im Griff gehabt. In einem Land wie Indonesien ist man eigentlich darauf eingestellt, dass es mal das eine oder andere logistische Problem gibt. Aber nicht die Spur davon, es hat alles wunderbar geklappt. Und Andi war großartig, sowohl was Organisation als auch seine Tätigkeit als Trekkingguide betrifft.
Nochmals danke an Euch und vielleicht bis zum nächsten Mal!
Ich werde auch wieder einen Reisebericht über die Tour schreiben und diesen auf meiner Homepage veröffentlichen. Das dauert aber bestimmt noch eine ganze Weile. Wenn er fertig ist, gebe ich Euch Bescheid.

Viele Grüße aus Berlin
Kay Estler

"MANY THANKS again to TOM for the incredibly wonderful trip to Krak. OK, tell him I will wait to exit Krak photos until next monday or tuesday, I will need many days to edit so many photos............ Hoping Tom is amusing of Indonesia summer, warm greetings from a very cold Trieste!!   m"
(Marco Fulle, a VolcanoDiscovery Europe Team member after his tour in Nov 07 to Krakatau; his photos are now online on www.stromboli.net at:

"Hi Tom
I would like to tell you about my Krakatoa to Bali Tour, June 07 but I dont have enough time. I would like to tell you, I had the most magical tour of my life. To start with Doni is the most lovable, caring, and funny person I have met in many years. He looked after me like a queen making sure that everything was just the best.
Krakatoa was unbelivable, Merapi was Majestic, and Bromo beautiful. The whole beauty of Java and its people was very addictive. May I say thankyou to Doni and everyone that helped along the way, in making my life long dream come true ...the whole trip was a very healing experience and I loved every
moment of it. Thankyou Doni for making it my Magical Java Tour....Cheers Joy Poortier Alice Springs, Australia" (Krakatau to Bali tour, June 07)

Merapi at sunrise
Merapi at sunrise
Majestic Merapi
Majestic Merapi
Me and Doni
Me and Doni
Semeru at sunrise
Semeru at sunrise
Bromo volcano
Bromo volcano
Me on the rim of Ijen volcano
Me on the rim of Ijen volcano

Just a quick line once again to thank you for your assistance , companionship and friendship over the last two weeks. I had a brilliant time." (B. Barker, Isle of Man, Krakatau to Bali April '07)

"I have had a great time in Indonesia, enjoyed almost every minute of the trip. It was a great adventure in good company - a lot of fun. Be sure to look me up when you're next in NZ, I'll show you some local ignimbrite. Hope you like the attached pic. Cheers Jim." (Jim Cummings, NZ)

Hi Doni! "Hey guys! What's up, what's up yo?!"
We're all sorry we have not written to you earlier, guess we've had enough just thinking of all our good Indonesian memories. It was really an exciting and exotic adventure for us, we are often talking about when we'll do our next trip to Indonesia. There sure will be one. And as a gesture of our gratitude, we'd love to show you Scandinavia if you're ever in Europe. ... It's really amazing how different countries and lives can be and Indonesia is probably the most interesting place all the three of us have ever visited. So, of course we've told our Scandinavian friends about the amazing trips to Bromo, Sukamade, Ijen plateau, Bali, all the towns, other places and of course our new Indonesian friends. If any of my friends want tips for Asian trips, I will without any doubts recommend them Indonesia and your guiding.
Sorry, but I don't remember your wife's and older son's name, but I do remember "little Buddha"'s name - Yoni. Anyway, say hello to them all and Manitro (hope I spelled his name correctly) from all of us. And of course Annika and Fredrik send their best wishes to you. Terima kasih for the magnificent tour and wonderful company!
//Arvid E H." (Sweden, Java custom tour)

Group of the Bromo-Semeru-Ijen tour (Sep 2006)
Group of the Bromo-Semeru-Ijen tour (Sep 2006)
"Hallo Tom, seit vergangenem Freitag sind wir wieder zurück in Deutschland. Die Tour durch Java und Bali war ein unvergessliches Erlebnis! Vielen Dank auch für die Vorbereitung dafür. Viele Grüße und alles Gute für VulcanoDiscovery, Florian" (Bromo-Semeru-Ijen, Sep 06)

"Can you pass on my sincere thanks to Tom Pfeiffer for his extraordinary assistance in giving us a very, very good interview on the base of Mt Merapi last week. None of us were to know how significant our interview and programme was to be, until the earthquake hit us on Saturday morning and the whole value of what we were doing increased enormously.
Elliott flew out of Jakarta on Monday morning and the tapes are going straight into editing to be made into an hour programme tentatively called "Fire Mountain" - this will then go to air world wide on Discovery very soon we hope. 
Toms contribution was significant and I for one will keep your contact information in case other networks need similar expertise and talent.
In return, If you can make a note of my company at www.limage.tv in Singapore, Im freelance and available to shoot these programmes to the highest global standards for any client, in any location on earth. ... Thank you gentlemen, it was a genuine pleasure meeting you and working with you. Yours Sincerely
Motion Picture Director of Photography
Film & HD Cinematographer"

"Hello Tom, ... Penelope and Elizabeth left Java last Monday, and are now half way down the coast of Vietnam. I am sure they will email you on their return to the UK in about 2 weeks but I thought I should pass on some very positive comments. They both absolutely loved Java and I am sure they will be wanting to return in the near future. They found the local people particularly friendly in marked contrast to their initial experiences in Hanoi (although things are running much more smoothly now). In one of your emails, you said that Doni was very good. In fact, that is a major understatement. Penelope ranks him EXCELLENT - not only as a volcano guide but also in making sure everything ran smoothly in camps, hotels, restaurants, etc, etc. (Elizabeth also met him on the last day). ... they both had a wonderful day going to Krakatoa with Alain - from the wonderful departure port, to the volcano climb, swim, and restaurant in the evening. In & around Yogya, they admired both temples (getting locked into one because of the time & having to climb the gate), and got to 4kms from Merapi. Also, they particularly liked the hotel at Yogya - very happy with the others, but they felt this one was special. As I say, I hope they will comment further on their return, but I would like to thank you very much for organising this trip and to thank your people on the ground for all their work. Many thanks again. Best regards Robert" (May 2006, Robert, UK)

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