Irsam Soetarto 11 Days Java

  • 11 Days in Java

    The Ring of Fire Tour

October 2016

Right now we are keeping the actual start date flexible so that we can fit in with your own travel intentions. Once we have 4 confirmed participants, we will block the date.

Price to be confirmed

There will be a discount for a companion. To view the terms of booking and to reserve a place, please scroll down to the form at the end of this page.

Group Size

The target group size is from 8 to 12 participants, so that the experience and training is personal. We need a minimum of 4 participants to confirm the tour is a 'go'.

Full Package

Excellent 3-4 star, family run hotel stays, with full amenities for relaxing at the end of the day. Dining in high quality local places with varied menus to suit all palates.

Photo tour led by Irsam Soetarto

Indonesia is part of the continuously active “Ring of Fire”, that long string of active volcanoes that circles the Pacific Ocean. Many of Indonesia's 150+ volcanoes are located in Java. Volcanoes are deadly, but they also nurture life as great fertile soil is created from their rich minerals. In many ways they are fount of civilization, with abundant agriculture and monuments made of lava boulders.  Long ago people learned to live with the rhythm of the volcanoes’ activities, adjusting their way of life and incorporating their fiery hearts into their culture and beliefs.

The volcanoes of Java are a spectacular backdrop to an incredible, signature  tour from Indonesia!


Of course you can bring your companion with you! With our local partners we have created a number of interesting and rewarding activities for them to fully enjoy the time too.


This is the dry season so, though it does rain from time to time. In the plains it is hot, but up high, as we will be, it is very cold at night, even close to freezing, so bring a mix of clothes.


Energetic but not mountain climbing. You do have to be in reasonable health, capable of one hour hikes up hills. Do bring good walking shoes.

Tour Program

Touring Java is absolutely ideal for the photographer, with the light and shadow playing off hills, trees, buildings and the eternally present lakes and sea. The trip features the beautiful landscape angles of mountains and volcanoes in Java, capturing their rugged lines and curves. Although it is a 'mountains trip', this does not mean we will do lots of trekking, as it is still a photo tour. Since time immemorial people have lived under the shadow of these volcanoes; aspects such as agriculture, terraced gardens, great monuments, way of life surroundings people and their culture are part of the highlights in the trip too.

You will learn and practice several photographic techniques: composition, street photography, unusual angles, portraits, film/shutter/aperture combinations, depth of field, using light and many others. Photo skills will be reviewed "as-you-go" and also at the end of the day so you get the best from these opportunities. Almost everyday we will start the trip before dawn, to be in time of sunrise and the sky’s beautiful orange blue color, and ended up after sunset time for the golden and blue hours. At the end of the day you will also have something to see and enjoy, always with photography in mind.

Day One • Arrival Bali

On arrival at Bali airport, meeting service and direct transfer to a hotel for overnight.

Day Two • Bali to Dieng

After a simple Balinese breakfast we take the early morning flight to Yogyakarta, from whence we then travel by road to Mount Dieng, which is 2386 meters high. En route we pass through incredibly beautiful Javanese countryside, with its endless terraced rice fields and vegetable gardens. We overnight in simple accommodation near the summit of Mt. Dieng. If time allows, we can shoot the sunset above Telaga Warna, the “Colored Lake”.

Day Three • Dieng to Borobudur

Pre-dawn start to get to to the top of Mount Sikunir (2653 meters high) for a beautiful sunrise over Dieng landscape, with a line of mountains in the background: Sindoro (3157 meters high) and Sumbing (3346 meters high). Next we hike to a nearby hill for a beautiful view of Telaga Warna. From there we go back to the hotel for breakfast. Then on to Dieng's Hindu temple complex, which dates back to 5th century CE, and then to see Sikidang's sulphur wheel. After that we drive to the small town near Borobudur, where we stay overnight.

Day Four • Borobudur

Another pre-dawn start to get to the top of Setumbu hill for a photo session of beautiful landscape views of the mighty temple of Borobudur and its surroundings, with the fiery volcano Merapi (2938 meters high) looming in the background. Next we walk down through villages to capture the feeling of the countryside and local people's activities at the start of the day. Then its back to the hotel and breakfast. We spend noon time going around villages for iconic landscape photos. We also see Jatilan, a traditional egaliter trance dance.

Day Five • Borobudur to Yogyakarta

@ 04.30 depart to the summit of Borobudur temple for its beautiful sunrise photo session. The temple is noted as the biggest sngle Buddhist monument in the world (and World Heritage) built in the 8th century. Then visit around this temple for its moral Biddhist teachings sculptured in the bas reliefs. Backto hotel and breakfast. Next proceed to Ketep Pass as the center viewing of mount Merapi . See the most active volcano in Java island from a closer look. Then drive down to Yogyakarta for a sunset photo session at Prambanan Hindu temple complex (built in 10thcentury). Overnight in Yogyakarta.

Day Six • Yogyakarta to Banyuwangi

Take a morning domestic flight of Yogyakarta – Surabaya (09.00 – 10.00) and conncet to Surabaya – Banyuwangi (11.00 – 12.00) … Arrive in Banyuwangi, drive to “Pulau Merah” (Red island) for sunset photo session. Then drive to Banyuwangi (2 hours) for overnight.

Day Seven • Ijen Crater Excursion

@ 00.00 am (midnight) depart to mount Ijen (2.368 m/asl) about 1 hour drive and then start hiking about 3 kms to reach the crater and walk further down to the side of the crater to see “Blue Fire” of sulphur before the morning light fade the blue color … see also how the local people dig and carry sulphur stones on the side of the crater. It is very nice photo session on how a volcano is alive and local people make a work on that. Then drive back to hotel and stop at sulphur refinery en route.

Day Eight • Banyuwangi to Bromo

@ 04.45 am, proceed to nearby beach for a sunrise photo session of this fishing village and fisherman acitivites … back to hotel and have breakfast. Next drive long through the northern coast of Java to mount Bromo (2.402 m/asl) … Arrive in Bromo, do sunset photo session and overnight.

Day Nine • Bromo

@ 03.00 am with 4WD jeep do Bromo sunrise photo trip from Penanjakan hill (2.700 m/asl) for whole landscape of mount Bromo and its surrounding ... then down to Bromo crater for another photo session. Back to hotel for breakfast. noon is free. Afternoon is for photo session in the sea of sand till sunset time.

Day Ten • Bromo to Bali

@ 04.30 am with a 4WD jeep, drive to mount Bromo for a sunrise photo session of Bromo and its caldera (horses included) … Then back to hotel and breakfast. Drive further down to Surabaya (about 4 hours) for onward flight to Bali … arriving at Bali, check in to hotel.

Day Eleven • End of Tour in Bali

After b’fast, free program till time transfer to airport for your flight departure.
** or connect with another program ..

Photos from Irsam's tours in Java


We provide shuttle from/to Lombok airports or the port at Lembar, tour transport, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, light refreshments and soft drinks, museum passes and other related tickets. For indoor photography we have reflectors and light boxes. All fees quoted are inclusive of taxes.

Don't forget!

Other than your digital camera (any type will do) you should bring some lenses, a sturdy tripod and ideally a shutter release cable. There is a fair amount of walking, some in rough patches, so wear sensible shoes and casual clothes with lots of pockets. The sun can be strong; light headgear might be good for some.


If you do not have or do not want to bring a PC with you, we can arrange for you to use one locally. If you do not have imaging software on your computer, we can provide you with a free copy that has basic functionality. If you don’t bring a tripod we have some spares. If you are using a Canon DSLR then we also have some extra lenses.

Reserve your place on this tour

Once we receive your request we will call and email you to confirm details.


Bookings are made directly with the photographer. For more details please contact Irsam Soetarto by email to irsam24@gmail.com.


  • Fees are exclusive of your own travel to and from Bali.
  • Fees do not cover international travel and medical insurance.


  • 50% to be paid on confirmed booking.
  • Balance of 50% paid at least 45 days before the tour start date.
  • By credit card or bank wire transfer.


  • 100% refund if made 30+ days before the tour start date.
  • 50% refund if made 15+ days before the tour start date.
  • 25% refund if made 7+ days before the tour start date.

Registration Form

Just to be clear, filling in and sending this form does not commit you to anything or any payment until the booking is confirmed, which will be done with the photographer directly after you both have spoken and agreed everything.

Please fill in all the fields.

Your Name

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Your ideal start date for the Tour

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Irsam Soetarto

Irsam is a long established tour photographer and guide in Indonesia, with more than 25 years experience in the field of tourism. He has been an avid and semi-professional photographer since 2010. Irsam has frequently travelled to many regions of Indonesia and overseas as well. Recipient of the prestigious "Wonderful Indonesia" logo for promoting tourism, Irsam loves to communicate with people and learn new things.

Read more about Irsam and his photo tours
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