Treasures of Borneo
Join our Treasures of Borneo 14 day escape with our exclusive itinerary.
This once-in-a-lifetime Borneo adventure lets you discover all the best bits of the Southeast Asian island and more. Boasting some of the most pristine and biodiverse areas of rainforest in the world, Borneo is perfect for getting back to nature. As well as meeting local communities and learning about the island’s admirable conservation efforts, you’ll go on rainforest boat trips to spot proboscis monkeys, get to know orangutangs at a conservation centre, trek through mountain scenery, explore enormous caves, snorkel with colourful fish and unwind on picture-perfect beaches.
Your holiday includes
- International & domestic flights
- Accommodation on twin share basis at all hotels
- Meals as detailed in itinerary
- Transport (private transfers except shared boat rides to Gaya/Sapi Island)
- English-speaking tour leader
- Activities as detailed in the itinerary
- Entrance fees to places visited on itinerary
Your holiday extras
- Sole occupancy supplement if required
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips & gratuities
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Activities not mentioned in the itinerary
- Malaysia tourist tax
- 3 night extension at Shangri La La Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu
Home to the largest stretch of rainforest left standing in Southeast Asia and the third largest island on the planet, Borneo is one of the world’s most biodiverse places and a truly ‘off the beaten track’ destination. Teeming with over 288 mammal species including the protected proboscis monkey and the majestic orangutans, 600 birds, 100 amphibians and almost 400 fish species, the island offers large areas of untouched rainforest where new plant species are constantly being discovered. The range of habitats is incredible, from mangroves and swamps to beaches and mountains. At an estimated 130 million years old, Borneo has the oldest rainforest in the world, a lot of which is completely untouched. You can also find the world’s biggest caves and the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia: Mount Kinabalu. Borneo has a pristine jungle-fringed coastline where you can relax on white-sand beaches and snorkel with colourful marine life.
Location & Itinerary
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1. Fly overnight to Borneo.
Day 2. Arrive Kota Kinabalu and transfer to hotel. Evening welcome dinner.
Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Have some time to settle in then enjoy a welcome dinner. Your hotel is set in the city centre, within walking distance from the clock tower and museums. There is a swimming pool and a range of dining options.
Three nights at Grandis Hotel Kota Kinabalu. Meals included: Dinner
Day 3. Day trip to Kudat Rugus Longhouse.
Early in the morning, get picked up from your hotel and driven north for about three hours to Kudat. En route, you will stop at Gombizau Village to learn about bee farming and honey harvesting. The next stop for the day is Sumangkap village, known for the local artisans and their Gong-making craft. You then proceed to Bavanggazo Village, where you will visit a typical longhouse and learn about the Rugus people and their handicrafts. After lunch you will proceed with a drive to Tanjung Simpang Mengayau also known as the 'Tip of Borneo', a cliff at the tip of the third largest island in the world, boasting glorious views. Return to your hotel in the late evening.
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 4. Gaya Island trekking and Sapi Island relaxation.
This morning, visit Pulau Gaya, the largest of the islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, an island teeming with flora and fauna, in a beautiful beach setting. Afterwards, take a boat to Sapi Island where you will have some time to relax on the beach, swim, snorkel or go ziplining (not included). Return to Kota Kinabalu in the late afternoon.
Meals included: Breakfast and Packed Lunch
Day 5. Morning visit to Kinabalu National Park. Afternoon visit to tea estate. Continue to Sabah.
Check-out after breakfast and continue your journey to Kinabalu National Park. Set at 1,500 metres above sea level, this is Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring one of the tallest mountains in Southeast Asia as its centrepiece - the 4,095 metre Mount Kinabalu. Along the way, make a brief stop at Nabalu Market, where the local communities gather to sell local produce, fruits, homegrown vegetables, and handicraft souvenirs. Once you arrive at the national park, depart on a guided hike, revealing the incredible biodiversity of the area. After lunch, continue to a tea estate where you will stay the night. Set in the rainforest foothills of Mount Kinabalu, the charming cottage is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunset against a majestic mountain backdrop.
Overnight at Sabah Tea Garden. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6. Cultural visit to Lunati Village. Continue to Sandakan.
The day starts with a guided tour of the Sabah Tea Plantation, the largest tea production site in Sabah. After check-out, you continue to Kampung Luanti Baru, a conservation area on the Tagal Moroli River, where you can dip your toes in the water and have a foot massage from the school of fish that the place is famous for. Continue the journey to Sandakan, driving for around four hours through local villages and picturesque scenery. Check-in to your hotel and have the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Two nights at Sabah Hotel Sandakan. Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 7. Canopy walk at Rainforest Discovery Centre and visit Sepilok Orangutan Rehab Centre. Lunch at English Tea House then afternoon city tour.
Have an early breakfast then drive to the Rainforest Discovery Centre where you walk across 147-metre-long canopy walkway, admiring panoramic views across the treetops as you go. Continue to Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre where you get to observe man’s closest relative, the Orangutan. Walk through the lowland forest then watch them feed and learn about how they are being rehabilitated to become wild in their natural habitat. Visit the Sun Bear Conservation Centre, home to the world’s smallest bear. After lunch, continue to the town of Sandakan for lunch at an English tea house. Enjoy a city tour where sights include the Agnes Keith House, Central Market, Sim-Sim Water Village and Puh Jih Syh Byddhist Temple which offers a panoramic view of Sandakan Bay. Return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 8. Boat ride on Kinabatangan River to rainforest lodge. Afternoon wildlife river cruise.
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and drive to your lodge on the Kinabatangan River. A 2.5 hrs drive will take you to Sukau, from where you will short boat transfer to Borneo Nature Lodge. After you check in, have lunch and get your orientation session you have some time to relax before embarking on a river cruise, exploring the wildlife and birds in the virgin rainforest habitat. Enjoy the serenity of the boat journey as you look out for endemic Proboscis monkeys, a variety and birdlife and other animals along the banks of the river.
Three nights at Borneo Nature Lodge. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9. Explore the Kinabatangan River and the jungle wilderness.
After a restful first night in your lodge, wake up to a rainforest soundtrack with the iconic calls of birds, animals and insects. Early in the morning, take a morning cruise up the Kinabatangan River and onto the Kelenanap oxbow lake in search of birds and monkeys. If the weather permits, you can go for a short morning walk in the jungle, before returning to the lodge for breakfast. You can have a rest and explore the surrounding area until the late afternoon when you will head out for another river cruise and then enjoy a dinner at the lodge.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10. Visit Batu Tuluq cave. Afternoon wildlife river cruise.
After breakfast, head to Batu Tuluq cave, an isolated 40-metre-high limestone hill which forms part of the Labang limestone formation, dating back some 20-25 million years and used as an ancient burial site from about 500 to 900 years ago. There are three main caves here, containing more than 125 ancient log coffins. Return to the lodge and then join another river cruise before dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11. Drive to Lahad Datu and onto Danum Valley. Afternoon rainforest walk. Guided evening walk.
After breakfast, leave the rainforest lodge and continue your overland journey to Lahad Datu. Switch to a four-wheel drive to Danum Valley Conservation Area, where you can take in the scenery of Borneo’s 130 million-year-old tropical rainforest. Have lunch then sit down with your guide to decide how you want to spend your time here. Have some time to settle in then take a mid-afternoon walk around the centre as an introduction to the tropical surroundings, with chances of spotting orangutans, red leaf monkeys, sambar deer, wild boar, hornbills and more. Return to the centre before sunset for dinner, then head back out on a night walk to see the forest come alive with nocturnal activity.
Two nights at Danum Valley Conservation Centre. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12. Early morning rainforest trek then free time. Afternoon further walk option. Guided evening walk.
After early breakfast, you will depart on a guided walk on a trail to Rhino Pool (approx. 4hrs). You will have some time to rest before the next walk in the late afternoon, which will take you to one of the old burial caves of long-gone communities. Return to the centre as the sun sets, then go out for another post-dinner night walk in search of weird and wonderful night time creatures. Return to the centre as the sun sets, then go out for another post-dinner night walk in search of weird and wonderful nocturnal creatures.
Meals included: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner
Day 13/14. Fly from Lahad Airport to Kota Kinabulu & return flight to UK
Wake up early for check-out. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport for your flight to Kota Kinabula and your return flight to the UK.
Meals included: Breakfast
If you have chosen to stay on in Borneo you will be transferred to Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort for 3 nights. Your departure day will be Day 16 and you will be transferred from the resort back to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
At La Rasa Ria Resort you will stay in a Garden Wing deluxe room on a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis.
The Garden Wing Deluxe Rooms offer luxury comforts that blend flawlessly with the inspiring surrounding scenery of a verdant garden in front of the beach, including warm earthy tones and natural wood furnishings.
Each room offers 36 sqm / 388 sqf of luxury.
Captivating views of lush, tropical landscapes.
Bath & Personal Care
- Sofa-bed as extra bed
- Plush bathrobes and slippers
- Shangri-La toiletries
- Extra towels
Media & Entertainment
- Cable television
- Wi-Fi access
- In-room entertainment (Vision 4 system)Television
Office Equipment & Stationery
- Bedside lighting
- Elegant stationery
- In-room safety box
- International Direct Dial telephone
- Coffee / tea-making facilities
Travel & Stay
Accommodation will be reserved for you on a twin share basis in hotels unless you have already requested a single room at a supplementary cost. You will stay in a variety of characterful 3-4* properties including a tea garden, rainforest lodge, field centre and beach resort (see day to day itinerary for further details).
Provisional Flight Information
15/06/2024 London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur Dep: 1100 Arr: 0715(+1)
16/04/2024 Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu Dep: 0915 Arr: 1155
27/06/2024 Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur Dep: 1905 Arr: 2140
27/06/2024 Kuala Lumpur to London Heathrow Dep: 2340 Arr: 0555(+1)
The flights on this trip are indirect.
NB - if you choose the beach extension you departure day will be 30/06/24 arriving back in the UK 01/07/24.
Availability & PricingBuild Your Quote
|Place in a double room
|Place in a female twin share room
|Place in a male twin share room
|Place in a sole occupancy room
|Own flight without transfers
|Shangri La's Rasa Ria Resort - Twin Room
|Shangri La's Rasa Ria Resort - Sole Occupancy Room
Not enough spaces left for you? Click here to join the waitlist
For UK passport holders your passport must be:
- Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
- valid for at least 6months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)
You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.
Please ensure that you have adequate personal travel insurance to suit your requirements in place before you travel. Spice Escapes have arranged a scheme with Staysure who are fully authorised and regulated by the FCA (firm reference number 663617) full details of which can be found on the FCA website www.fca.org.uk. For an instant online quotation please click here.
British nationals do not need a visa to enter Malaysia and will be issued a social visit pass for 30-90 days on arrival.
Make sure you visit your local health centre at least 2 months before departure, to be advised on any vaccinations needed. Your doctor will also have access to the most up to date information on vaccinations and medical precautions for the country you are about to visit. We recommend bringing a personal first-aid kit containing the following: high factor sun cream, lip salve, moisturiser, plasters, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, cold/flu tablets, throat lozenges, electrolyte powder, aspirin or equivalent, muscle rub, nail scissors, 100mm elastic bandage, knee/ankle supports if needed, and wet wipes. For more information we recommend visiting fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk
The currency in Borneo is the Malaysian Ringgit (RM). We recommend that you change some money before your departure or at the airport. Please refer to www.xe.com for up to date rates.
We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:
Host & Everything Else
It is of course impossible to predict exact weather conditions. However, Malaysia has a tropical climate and the weather is warm all year round. June is generally warm season, but, occasionally it may rain as well.
Please find below a non-exhaustive list of what to bring on your trip. Please note that the weight limit on most airlines is 20 kilos.
- Good walking/trekking shoes,
- Sweatshirt/windbreaker/long sleeve shirts (at night can be a bit chilly at Sabah Tea and in Danum)
- Insect repellent,
- personal toiletries,
- Cotton material clothing
- Swimming attire (if plan to snorkel/swimming in Sapi Island),
- A pair of leech socks or thick socks,
- Small day sack
This trip includes 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 7 dinners. Daily breakdown can be found on the itinerary.
The Beach extension is on a breakfast & dinner meal plan.