The small island of Bali is one of the most popular destinations of the nation of Indonesia. Offering pretty beaches, lush forests and terraced rice paddies dramatically spilling down mountainsides, the locals’ love of children make it even more special for families.
Most of Bali’s 3.5 million people are Hindu and there are many festivals and ceremonies to observe at the numerous temples. One of the most famous is Tanah Lot – in a picturesque setting surrounded by the sea, many come to view it in spectacular silhouette at sunset. Colours are a defining theme and most temples and homes showcase brightly-hued flowers throughout their lovingly-tendered gardens.
Bali’s capital Denpasar has the biggest market on the island and, just north of it, located at the base of the mountains lies Ubud, the cultural centre of Bali, as famous for its carvings and handicrafts as its natural wonders. In Ubud older kids will also love whitewater rafting down the Ayung River past isolated villages and amazing jungle scenery.
In the south are the popular areas of Kuta, Tuban, Legian and Seminyak, famous for their beaches. In Kuta and Legian, most nights families can enjoy a choice of cultural performances and interesting night markets. The beaches of Sanur are protected by reefs, making it ideal for watersports. Tuban’s beach is a more tranquil option for the little ones.
Nearby is the area known as Southern Bali comprising Nusa Dua, Sanur and Tanjung Benoa where many of the five-star resorts and restaurants are located. For more reasonably-priced restaurants, go to Tanjung Benoa.
Kids’ clubs are available in major hotels and many also offer family rooms with children’s discounts. However, the growing alternative of holiday villas usually feature two to three bedrooms, a great option for multi-generational as well as family holidays.
The natural wonders and cultural attractions of Bali as well as warm welcoming locals ensure many families become repeat visitors.
For more information visit the Bali Tourism Board.
• At the Bali Safari and Marine Park near Sanur, the safari tram gets you and the kids up close and personal with hundreds of animals. Don’t forget to check out the Funzone and Water Park.
• Bali Bird Park (Taman Burung), 12km from Denpasar, features walk-through avaries with over 1000 birds, some of which will alight on your arms and shoulders.
• Next door is Bali Reptile Park, where kids can pick up scaly reptiles.
• More appealing to some might be the Bali Butterfly Park in Wanasari. Butterflies are collected from all over Indonesia and released here every day.
• Feed and watch elephants perform at the Elephant Safari Park at Taro, or enjoy the bird’s eye view as you ride them through the jungle.
• Mischievous wild monkeys inhabit the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, but be careful: these cheeky animals are avid collectors of sunglasses and cameras.
• For active kids, the Treetop Adventure Park in Bedugul offers five adventure circuits including flying foxes and suspended bridges, spider nets and a Tarzan jump.
• An Island Explorer Cruise can take the family to Lembongan Island off the southern coast for snorkelling, island tours, fishing or lazing in the sun.
• On Sundays, Seminyak restaurant Ku De Ta hosts ‘Family Dayze’ with a tempting children’s menu, kids barbecue and a choice of arts and crafts in the activities tent.
• Waterbom Bali in Tuban offers 15 water slides and a child-friendly spa where the kids can splash about all day.