Bali for Families

13 September 2018, Richard Holmes

A family trip to Bali is always rewarding, offering a whole host of attractions. Just a 4 hour flight from Bangkok, the Island of Gods boasts pristine beaches and a rich culture, including thousands of temples that dot its dramatic coasts and lush highlands — and everything is relatively easy to explore.

Need help planning your next dream trip? Check out our mini-guide to this gem of an island.

Bali_Indo_BKK Kids

Where to Go/Stay

Sanur: Offering a laid-back pace of life and proximity to numerous kid-friendly activities, the seaside town of Sanur on Bali’s southeast coast is a top pick for families. A paved walkway lining the beach is ideal for family strolls and bike rides.

Seminyak: Located on the southwest of the island, Seminyak’s rolling waves are great for surfing and boogie boarding, and there are plenty of large beachside hotels that put you steps from the sand. Families love Seminyak’s relaxed atmosphere, plus it has a great selection of restaurants and upscale shops.

Ubud: Nestled in the heart of Bali, Ubud is especially well-suited to families with older kids. Enjoy walks through luscious rice paddies, explore centuries-old temples, and watch atmospheric nightly cultural performances by firelight. Choose one of Ubud’s boutique hotels and villas for a spot of tucked-away luxury.

Great Beaches to Visit

Nusa Dua: This all-inclusive beach resort has a sugar-white beach that’s safe, secluded, and blessed with calm water. Live the high life and book into one of Nusa Dua’s five-star hotels, many of which offer private beach access.

Jimbaran Beach: This 4-kilometre stretch of sand along Bali’s southwestern coast is a real beauty. A gradual entry to the sea and gentle waves are ideal for little ones to splash safely. After a morning on the sand, grab fresh seafood for lunch from one of the local vendors lining the beach.

Pandawa Beach: Affectionately known as ‘Secret Beach’, Pandawa Beach is tucked away at the end of a winding country lane on the island’s southernmost tip. The vibe is rustic and laid-back, with soft white sands for lazing on, and shallow waves that are ideal for the kids to swim and canoe.

Bali_Beach_Suardiana

Fun Family Attractions

Splash WaterparkJust 10 minutes from Seminyak, this aquatic playground has it all, including big slides (kids will love the 90-metre long Giant Racer!), a splash area for little ones, a lazy river, and lifeguards on duty at all times. Grown-ups can lie on a sun lounger and pretty much keep their eye on the kids across the whole waterpark.

Bali Bird ParkOver 1,000 birds from over 250 species inhabit this lush 2-hectare tropical park — located halfway between Ubud and Denpasar. Along with bird shows and feedings, a 4D theatre and adjoining Reptile Park with resident Komodo dragon are child-pleasing highlights.

Bali Treetop Adventure ParkKids can make like monkeys as they climb and glide through the trees in Bali’s largest botanical garden, located in Bedugul. A series of 72 challenges include thrilling zip lines, spider nets, Tarzan jumps, and rope bridges. Each challenge is age-appropriate and kids aged 4 and up can enjoy the fun.

Intriguing Cultural Sites

Besakih:  Built on the slopes of Mount Agung, Besakih is a huge Hindu complex about 2 hours from Seminyak. While it won’t be possible to explore all of its 80-something temples and shrines, most people visit the main complex, Pura Penataran Agung, on six levels. If you have the energy and are okay with the steep stairs, head even higher to explore other structures while taking in amazing views.

Tanah Lot: Located on the west coast of the island, this 16th century Hindu temple serves as one of its most popular and picture-perfect destinations, with a structure sitting atop a rock formation and waves crashing in the background.

Goa Gajah: Also known as Elephant Cave, this ancient and vast complex in Ubud is worth visiting. It houses meditation spaces, a meeting hall, a courtyard, a bathing pool and large stone relics and idols. The entire complex harbours a mysterious air that will fascinate the children.

Tirta Empul: Worshippers come to this sacred spring, located in Tampaksiring, to make offerings, bathe and meditate. Kids will be interested in seeing the devout immerse themselves in the water performing these acts. You can also visit the nearby Gunung Kawi, an 11th century temple with 10 shrines carved right into the cliff face.

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