Indonesia family holidays

Family holidays to Indonesia are as diverse and distinct as every family. There are thousands of ways to discover this incredible island nation - the hardest part is narrowing down where to go!

Find Bali’s boho beach bliss, and surf in the archipelago’s world-famous waves. Discover Kalimantan’s rainforest wilderness and Komodo’s extraordinary dragons. The adventures Indonesia offers up are straight out of a kid’s wildest dreams.

Whether you’re excited to explore Java’s astonishing temples, or eager to head off piste to Raja Ampat’s remote paradise, Indonesia’s array of possibilities will keep your family smiling for years.

With a UK based team of Destination Specialists with offices and partners across Asia, ensuring we focus on staying really local in our approach.  Our specialists have travelled extensively in India and throughout Asia, many having also lived in the region.

Along with enjoying great travels, the team regularly inspect the best hotels, seek out new activities and design new routes – for inspiration we’d suggest taking a look through some of their Favourite Journeys. The weather during any of the kids' holidays is always an important consideration and we have that covered with our best time to visit Indonesia section.

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Highlights of an Indonesia family holiday

  • Spot orang-utans and other wondrous wildlife from the wooden deck of a rainforest riverboat

  • Cast yourselves away on Komodo’s pink sands, and snorkel offshore to spy seahorses in the coral

  • Trundle by rail through the lush landscape towards Mount Bromo’s volcanic peak

  • Sail between hundreds of rocky islands in the Flores Sea in search of real dragons!

  • Scramble barefoot across Bali’s beautiful beaches to splash in the crystal shallows

...and where to rest your head...

Three of our favourite family-friendly hotels in Indonesia

Indonesia with kids: what to expect?

When it comes to outstanding family travel, Indonesia is your proverbial oyster. There’s a wealth of dynamic experiences to choose from, and it offers fantastic value for money to boot.

Indonesia Specialist, Ed, suggests making an off-piste start to your family holiday with a klotok boat journey through Kalimantan’s lush rainforest. Enjoy a few days cruising through Tanjung Puting National Park, unwinding into the holiday rhythm, while your eager young naturalists scan the banks for orang-utans, macaques and gibbons. 

For an alternative taste of adventure, think about heading for the stunning surroundings of West Bali National Park. You can trek through forests full of rainbow-hued birds, and snorkel over an otherworldly underwater landscape, before heading back to your forest-hugged hotel for a splash in the pool.

 When choosing between Bali’s beaches, Kuta’s southern surfer haven immediately springs to mind, but it can get pretty hectic. Families who want the best of the Kuta beach life, with a more peaceful vibe, often head down the coast to Jimbaran Bay. Enjoy top-quality barefoot chic, secluded villas and plenty of opportunities to body-board in those world-class waves.

Ubud really lives up to its ‘so chilled it’s horizontal’ reputation, with a laid-back, family-friendly bustle. Creative kids can craft their own souvenirs in artisan-led workshops, and you can experience a real-life Jungle Book vibe watching macaques roam through Monkey Forest’s atmospheric temple ruins.

A family visit to Java delivers plenty of big city impact. You can rise early to watch a stunning Borobudur sunrise, then spend a leisurely day wandering between Yogyakarta’s fascinating temples and filling hungry tums with streetfood treats. For a stand-out adventure, take the train through the misty, Tolkien-like landscape towards Mount Bromo’s legendary slopes.

The islands around Komodoevoke a particular kind of storybook fantasy, and not just from extraordinary resident ‘dragons’! Sailing between dozens of uninhabited islands in the Flores Sea, as manta rays, sharks and turtles swim beneath the bow, can give kids a castaway adventure to send their imaginations into overdrive.

Family adventures off the beaten track...

Step back in time in Sulawesi…

For families keen on exploring a bit further afield, Sulawesi is extraordinary. Inquisitive kids can can soak up the island’s rich history, explore Fort Rotterdam, get involved with vibrant festivals and even witness unique burial rituals. Travel further south, and families can enjoy some of the most breathtaking snorkelling and diving in Indonesia. It’s a great option for a second visit, or families who love doing something really different.

Raja Ampat’s hidden wonderland…

For truly adventurous families, Raja Ampat in West Papua is pretty much as remote as you can get, and one of Indonesia’s most incredible destinations. Think ultimate tropical island paradise, boat trips between untouched shores, and crystal waters teeming with sea life. One to consider if your family is serious about going off the trail.

Things you’ll all love in Indonesia

What to do in Indonesia: Discover more with our hand-picked experiences & highlights

Go wild with snorkelling and trekking in West Bali National Park

Go wild with snorkelling and trekking in West Bali National Park

Experience natural Bali at its very best. The lush rainforest and rolling savannah are alive with rare birdsong, a colourful coral reef thrives offshore, and the wild beaches perfect to be explored by little ones. Expect peaceful shores, superb panoramic scenery, and plenty of adventure for all (with the option for incredible diving and snorkelling), look no further.

Catch exhilarating glimpses of orang-utans in Sumatra

Catch exhilarating glimpses of orang-utans in Sumatra

Sumatra is one of the top places in Indonesia to see orang-utan, and this experience will get you as close as we can take you to these elusive, endangered creatures. These red-haired ‘people of the forest’ may be the main reason to visit Bukit Lawang, but they are far from the only reason - it’s an enchanting area in its own right, with dense forest, clean rushing rivers, and the whole place chattering with forest wildlife.

Sketch the sunrise over Java’s Borobudur temple

Sketch the sunrise over Java’s Borobudur temple

The early wake up call is definitely worth it when you witness the sun rising at Borobudur - Indonesia's most famous Buddhist temple (and the largest Buddhist temple complex in the world!). It’s glorious at any time of day, but at daybreak there’s an especially ethereal, other-worldly quality to the place. There are more mundane benefits, too, like fewer people (than at popular sunset), and the gentle morning climate.

Learn to dive on a Robinson Crusoe-style desert island

Learn to dive on a Robinson Crusoe-style desert island

Escape from it all with a diving experiences on one of several private atolls and islets, with stylish accommodation and a pick-up boat just a call away. Ideal for those looking to spend their quality family time snorkelling through rainbow-coloured coral gardens, enjoy sunset dinners, or simply relaxing in Indonesia's tropical bliss.


Responsible Travel in Indonesia

Our own team's travels in Indonesia have generated some very positive feedback on the efforts being taken by many  Indonesian island's to cut single-use plastics out of day-to-day use. Hotels and resorts have certainly taken up the fight, with the vast majority providing alternatives and refills helping to minimise their own footprint. However, plastics are of course not just a tourism problem, the Indonesian people themselves have a considerable contribution to make and evidence suggests that they are doing so.

Small projects have popped up all over Indonesia helping to combat the issues. Some islands are gearing up to complete ban on single use plastic (Bali has already implemented the ban), and whilst travelling on Sulawesi recently Nick was impressed by rural villages that have weekend clean-ups organised by the Sulawesi-wide PKK group. 

19,000 islands makes for a lot of coastline meaning that the sea, and its well-being, is central to many Indonesian people's lives. Away from plastics, innovation is playing its part - projects such as the Biorock at Pemuteran is both restoring reef damaged by fishing and growing new reef with electric current . We support this and many other worthwhile projects by introducing them to clients and ensuring that part of their holiday spend is supporting responsible initiatives.

Find out more about Selective Asia's Responsible Travel policy and our innovative One Bottle at a Time initiative.

Our Indonesia Specialists' top tips for families

With quite a few parents among our well-travelled Destination Specialists, we know how important it is to get the finer details sorted before travelling with kids, and we always go the extra mile to make sure they are. We want everyone to enjoy each moment without sweating the small stuff.

If you have any questions, or want to have a chat about planning your family holiday to Indonesia, we'd love to have a chat. In the meantime, here are a few FAQs to help you get started…

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