There are some stats about Java that are hard to ignore. It is the most populous island in the world, home to 141 million people, which is around 55 percent of Indonesia’s total population. Unsurprisingly, it boasts a handful of ever growing megacities, and both the capital Jakarta and Yogyakarta contain the best and worst of urban life – gridlocked streets, crowds and sprawling malls, mingled with ancient culture, a thriving arts scene and superlative temples.
Humans have shaped much of Java, from its urban hubs to the paddy fields that sculpt its hillsides, but wild pockets and quiet beaches remain, too, far from the madding crowd.
Despite Java’s obvious human history, there is still wild beauty to enjoy, from the steaming volcanoes that rear up in Bromo National Park to the pockets of rainforest that hide endemic species, including rhino, slow loris and gibbons. Tours typically reveal all sides of this dynamic Indonesian island – its future-facing cities peppered with buildings from a colonial past, its beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples, and its beaches, highlands and peaks where you can hike, bike and relax.