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What to expect when visiting Indonesia with kids

Family holidays to Indonesia are as diverse and distinctive as every family, with thousands of different ways to discover this island nation and more regions welcoming visitors every year. Whether you're after a laid-back Bali discovery, or a once-in-a-lifetime island-hopping adventure that’s perfect for intrepid teens, the hardest part is narrowing down where to go! 

Lay back on the boho beaches of Bali and beyond, surf in the archipelago’s world-famous waves, and hop between remote islands. Discover Kalimantan’s rainforest wilderness. Komodo’s infamous Dragons and the Java’s volcanic wilderness. Venture even further off piste with expeditions to Sulawesi and Raja Ampat

The adventures Indonesia offers come straight out of a kid’s wildest dreams. Whether you’re excited to explore intriguing temples, or eager to head off piste to a remote paradise, Indonesia’s endless array of possibilities will keep your family smiling.

Indonesia weather & when to go

Pick a month below

West and Central Islands

Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java, Bali, Komodo, Flores, Lombok & the Gilis, Sumba

Eastern Islands

Sulawesi, the Moluccas, West Papua & Raja Ampat

Indonesia is your proverbial family-holiday oyster - feed what sparks your interest, and take your pick!

Kate - Indonesia specialist
Komodo island
Mount Bromo

Indonesia with kids: what to expect?

As tempting as it is to try and squeeze in as much as possible, we’d recommend picking a region and taking the time to delve deep.

Into the rainforest

Start your family holiday to Indonesia on a high note with a klotok boat journey through Kalimantan’s rainforest, cruising through Tanjung Puting National Park. Young naturalists can experience Indonesia’s conservation in action, scanning the banks for orang-utans, macaques and gibbons as you make your way through the protected jungle. Further south, in the stunning surroundings of West Bali National Park, trek through forests full of rainbow-hued birds, and snorkel over otherworldly underwater landscapes, before heading back to your forest-hugged hotel for a splash in the pool.

family in Kalimantan

Amongst the waves…

Komodo National Park evokes storybook-style imagery, and not just for its extraordinary resident Dragons. Sail between chains of islands in the Flores Sea as manta rays, sharks and turtles swim nearby. Snorkel and dive to discover underwater worlds, and pause at remote shoreline hideaways for castaway downtime. If surfing is more your family’s style, look down Bali’s south western coast to Jimbaran Bay for beach life with a peaceful vibe, and fantastic value for money. Discover barefoot chic, secluded villas and body-boarding in calmer waters. Get even further from the crowds in Lombok - spend quality time together in sublime private pool villas overlooking the unspoilt coastline.

Komodo National Park

Volcanic landscapes & cultural connections

A family visit to Java delivers a big impact. Rise early to watch a Borobudur sunrise, spend a day wandering between Yogyakarta’s temples, and fill up on an array of street food treats. Take the train through the island’s misty landscape towards Mount Bromo’s legendary slopes and hike towards the top. In Bali, cultural connections abound in Ubud, which lives up to its ‘so chilled it’s horizontal’ reputation with a laid-back, family-friendly bustle throughout the town. Creative kids can craft their own souvenirs in artisan-led workshops, and watch macaques roam through Monkey Forest’s sacred temple ruins. 


Off the beaten track

Raja Ampat in West Papua is truly remarkable, and pretty much as remote as you can get. Think ultimate tropical island paradise, untouched shores and crystal waters teeming with life. It takes a little more effort to get to, but is one to consider if your family is serious about going off the trail. If you’re exploring even further afield, Sulawesi is one for the list. Inquisitive kids can soak up the island’s rich history, explore Fort Rotterdam, get involved with vibrant festivals and even learn about the region’s unique burial rituals, while the island’s south offers top quality snorkelling and diving. 

Our Indonesia Specialists’ top tips for families

As Indonesia’s dry season falls between May and September, it is a natural choice for a family summer holiday. This time of year is by far the most popular time to visit Indonesia, so if you’re planning to head there in summer, make sure you book as early as possible. That said, although the rainfall from October to April makes for some definite wet days, the temperatures are lovely and warm at this time, and the rainfall comes in short bursts with clear skies in between. In these respects, it can make a great destination for escaping the winter chill too!

Having an experienced, knowledgeable and welcoming local guide on hand during your trip is absolutely invaluable. They’ll be able to meet you upon arrival, act as translator, transfer you between locations, and generally make everything go as smoothly as possible. They’ll leave you to your own devices as much or as little as you wish, but we think a good guide is essential for a successful family holiday. We pride ourselves on using only the best guides in a given region. All our guides are trained to the highest level, and fully certified and licensed. The feedback we get from our clients is that the guides make a great trip into an outstanding one.

Indonesia is such a popular destination for family travel, and it’s easy to see why! Everything is made as stress-free as possible, from smooth transport links to plenty of family-friendly accommodation, and it’s somewhere that families return to again and again. The feedback we get is that it’s a safe, reassuring and supportive destination, the people you meet are friendly and helpful, and the infrastructure is easy to navigate. As with all unfamiliar places, some things will definitely differ from what you’re used to, but most places feel totally secure and safe. If you need anything, or have any queries once you’re there, our guides are always on hand to help.

When planning a trip to Asia, it’s important to consider the possible requirement for vaccinations and immunisations. Most importantly, we stress that you should contact your doctor or medical practitioner well before you depart to get their advice on any vaccinations you may need for your trip. If you’ve travelled recently and believe that you are already up-to-date, it is still worth checking as vaccinations have a varying life span. The NHS Fit for Travel map The NHS Travel Vaccinations site has lots of up-to-date information on vaccinations and other travel health.

169 nationalities, including citizens of the UK, EU countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, can now enjoy visa free access into Indonesia when arriving into any of Indonesia's international airports and over 80 seaports. The maximum period of stay is 30 days, and the visa cannot be extended or converted into another class of visa. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months at the day of exit, and should contain at least one empty page on the day of arrival. The standard tourist visa is a single entry visa that allows you to travel in Indonesia for 30 days from the date of your proposed entry. Travellers visiting for over 30 days will need to pre-purchase a Visa-On-Arrival, which is available for 35 USD payable in cash or apply for a visa at the nearest Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.

Though you can pick up quite a lot of stuff you might need in the major hubs, we’d recommend taking supplies of any essentials, such as favourite nappies, formula etc., as well as your preferred brand of sunscreen and insect repellent. Light, long sleeved shirts, a light scarf or two, and long trousers or skirts will mean that you’re prepared for any eventuality, including modest dress codes at sites of religious significance. They’ll also help provide valuable protection against strong sunlight and mosquitoes. If you’re travelling with tinies, consider taking a really good baby carrier, as push-chairs might be a pain to get around with.

Many people visit Indonesia to participate in its world-famous wellness culture, including yoga, and there are plenty of ways for families to get involved. If you’re in Bali, the question should probably be ‘where can’t we do yoga?!’ Yoga and meditation are offered at many resorts, and it’s so ubiquitous that many don’t make a big thing of it on their websites, so it’s always worth asking if you’re keen. Some resorts offer private yoga classes which can be adapted for kids, and there’s often childcare available if you want to participate without the littlies in tow!

ATM machines are widely available throughout Indonesia, including most airports, so there’s no need to obtain Rupiah in advance of your arrival, although it is possible to do so. It is essential to arrive with some US $ to obtain your visa upon arrival, which must be paid in US$ cash. ATM’s usually offer good rates of exchange, often better than you will find in many currency exchange bureaus or hotels. In most shops and restaurants only Rupiah cash and card payments are accepted.

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