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Who we are, what we do and why our visitors are typically delighted

We create safe, high interest tour packages for curious, discerning, and mature travelers who want to experience the REAL Indonesia – premium tours to experience fascinating and wonderful places, cultures and peoples…  beyond Bali.

Hello. I’m Douglas Cole, an Australian transplanted to Indonesia a couple of decades ago, and the founder of Better Tours Indonesia.

Our broad mission is to make Indonesia better known and understood in the wider Western world through people-to-people interactions and by publishing up-to-date, accurate, reliable, and properly researched information online.

We create guided tour packages mainly for curious over 50s because we believe many Western people in this age group have the TIME and DESIRE to explore interesting and different places but are not attracted by typical tour programs.

You probably have arrived at this page because you are thinking of visiting Indonesia. And if you have never been here before, you also may be feeling a little nervous. Some of your friends, neighbors and family may even be hinting that you might be a little unhinged … right?

Everybody knows about beautiful Bali. But sadly, when it comes to the cities, town, villages and regions of Indonesia’s thousands of other islands many people from places like Australasia, North America, the UK and Europe see them as ‘risky’ NO-GO areas.

It’s understandable, because misinformed and sensationalist media reports of terrorism, Muslim extremists, earthquakes, and corrupt officials along with perceptions of inadequate facilities and language challenges appear regularly. They make many people actually feel AFRAID to go near the place.

This is a great pity … because they are missing out on some of the most interesting, absorbing and beautiful experiences to be found anywhere on the planet.

The reality is that for anyone who travels with proper support and follows the simple, prudent precautions that experienced travelers routinely take, such fears are BASELESS.

Better Tours Indonesia is all about removing anxieties, fears and hassles so you can enjoy the unique and diverse cultures and the breathtaking landscapes and attractions of this remarkable and stunning country … all of it worry and hassle free!

You get to see and experience the REAL INDONESIA and meet its warm and welcoming people with the support of expert, informed and attentive guidance.

Two decades of on-the-ground Indonesia experience

I have lived in and traveled Indonesia for the best part of two decades learning about the country, the people, the history, the cultures and what makes today’s Indonesia tick. It has been fascinating! 

I am proud to say Indonesia has become my second home. I have family and many close friends here, and my years living in Indonesia have been among the most interesting, peaceful and happiest of my life.

I want to help others, like you, to discover some of the places and experiences that so broadened my horizons and, literally, changed my life.

We have put together a team of enthusiastic and like-minded Aussies, Indonesians and others to make it happen and to ensure that we and you all have an enjoyable, FUN time while doing so.

Our goal is simple … we want you to have the holiday of a lifetime and to take home new friendships, new cultural appreciation and understanding, and wonderful memories.


Exploring Indonesia

This FREE, 10-part GUIDE tells you all you need to know to enjoy easy, safe independent or group travel in Indonesia with a minimum of fuss. It comes via your inbox every second day in an easy access newsletter format.

Pic – Cisco 1492 Wikimedia

Tours for Discerning Travelers

Why we created Better Tours Indonesia

We HATE wham, Bam, Next Please travel –

Get off the plane, get on the bus with a mixed bag of others, get dropped at the hotel and reminded to be on time tomorrow.

Back on the bus in the morning for a quick look at attraction number one, then race on to the souvenir shop.

Hit attraction two and do it all again.

Then “attraction” three turns out to be a factory outlet or another souvenir shop … suddenly there’s no rush at all. The guides are amazingly content to linger to let you spend!

And that’s about when you start wondering whether you will ever want to join a group tour again!

We wanted to create something WAY BETTER … the kind of  package tour program that we would enjoy for ourselves.

Designed for discerning and thoughtful, mature travelers who enjoy learning about, understanding and appreciating other peoples, places and cultures.

PREMIUM, hassle-free programs in which, most of all, you can be confident of your SAFETY and SECURITY.

Our programs are backed by comprehensive information so you know what to expect from the places and people you will be seeing and meeting BEFORE you even leave home. This way you know what you most want to see and why it is meaningful.

Our packages are fully escorted by congenial and well-informed tour leaders and local guides who know where to go, what to see, how best to get there, and who to talk to. Plus the expertise and knowledge to explain it all so that you have the very best experience.

We see landmark attractions …

We enjoy great performances …

“… so you can avoid being “ripped off”, avoid hassles, avoid unknowingly causing offence and enjoy the most gracious service and help.”

We choose Leaders who speak Indonesian. People who understand and can help you with local traditions and customs. So you don’t have to worry about language barriers and you can avoid being “ripped off”, avoid hassles, avoid unknowingly causing offence and enjoy the most gracious service and help.

The itineraries we have developed include the major recognized attractions, but we also wander off the beaten track so you can have nuanced experiences and adventures that the big, commercial tour operators often cannot provide.

We firmly believe that ADVENTUROUS travel doesn’t have to mean roughing it or taking silly risks!

So we stay in carefully selected quality accommodation, we travel in comfort, and we seek out great food experiences.

We design our packages with the needs of Over 50s in mind – we aren’t into rafting down rapids, climbing mountains, camping in canyons or stalking tigers. 

We do NOT believe in rushing and we ensure there is time for relaxing, mixing and individual exploring. Time is perhaps the most precious aspect of being older – it should be used and enjoyed well.

We travel in comfort  …

We stay in comfort  …

“… we DETEST the practice of tour guides herding you into a never-ending stream of souvenir shops and outlets to get kick-back commissions …”

We earmark time for shopping – for yourself and for gifts for family and friends at home (many things are amazingly cheap in Indonesia) and we will advise you on the best places to go and the best bargains to consider.

But we DETEST the practice of tour guides herding you into a never-ending stream of souvenir shops and outlets so they can get kick-back commissions – and we ensure the members of our team know how we feel about it!

We wander off the beaten track …

“Most of all, we believe that every Better Tours Indonesia package also should always be about HAVING FUN!”

It’s all pretty simple really…

Our tour packages are for people who like to make new friends and enjoy the safety, security and convenience of traveling as part of a like-minded group with informed and capable leaders in charge.

We are for people who want to experience rich and amazing itineraries planned and led by people who have the background and knowledge to ensure a smooth and hassle-free holiday all the way.

Most of all, we believe that every comfortable and premium Better Tours Indonesia package also should always be about HAVING FUN!

We want you to take home such wonderful memories that you will soon be thinking about your next tour … and maybe the one after that – all the new adventures and experiences awaiting you.

Glide through stunning countryside …

We meet ‘real’  and happy people …

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Safe, high interest, premium tours for discerning, mature travellers