Take your family to Indonesia for the vacation of a lifetime. The Indonesian archipelago consists of over 17,000 islands, each with unique character and opportunities for fun and adventure. Indonesia is an equatorial country, so the weather is warm all year long. Therefore, timing your trip depends on whether to go during the more budget friendly rainy season or during the dryer but more expensive months. Either way, your family might never want to leave this island paradise. Here are several family friendly activities to do on your Indonesian vacation.
Fly into Java
Java is the location of Indonesia’s political and cultural capitals, Jakarta and Yogyakarta. Here you can experience life in the big cities before moving on to beach resorts of jungle treks. In Jakarta, take your family to visit the historical old town to see the European influenced architecture. Housed in one of these magnificent buildings is the Museum Bank, where you can learn about the history of money and banking in Indonesia—a destination perfect for any child who might become an economist! For adults, the neighborhood is also known for great coffee shops. At your hotel you will need to decide between a full vs queen mattress.
Yogyakarta, while not as massive as Jakarta, has destinations that will delight your whole family. Nearby are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First, visit the 9th century Hindu temple complex of Prambanan, which is dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. The site’s intricate carvings tell stories from Hindu mythology. Second, go to the Buddhist temple of Borobudur. This Buddhist temple is the largest in the world and is composed of two million carved volcanic blocks. The structure slopes upwards like a pyramid, but seen from above, the temple is built in the shape of a mandala.
Dive Into Bali
Any trip to Indonesia would be incomplete without going to Bali. Your family will love the postcard worthy sunrises over the beach and the laid back vibe. Obvious activities that are sure to please are swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. However, you can get more adventurous in the water with a walk on the seafloor mingling with tropical fish thanks to a specially designed diving helmet. You can also charter a boat and get some time in out on the water; fish or just relax and enjoy the ride.
Although the beach may have the most allure, there are other family friendly activities in Bali. In Ubud, spend the afternoon at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Here you can visit with more than 1000 Balinese long-tailed macaques. These monkeys are also known as crab-eating monkeys even though they’re omnivores and eat a varied diet. They are matrilineal, a fact that may inspire an interesting conversation with your kids. Before moving on from Bali, take in a traditional dance performance and eat at one of the treehouse restaurants.
Trek Through Borneo
Borneo evokes thoughts of a green, wild place that hasn’t kept up with history or technology. While that is true to some extent, your family can enjoy this island and still have all the comforts of home, or not. Take an excursion to Turtle Island to watch the turtles lay eggs and the hatchlings run for the water. Animal enthusiasts should also check out Sepilok Rehabilitation Center where you can see orangutans in their natural habitat. For some almost unbearable cuteness, you can also see baby orangutans in the nursery.
For the best view on Borneo, climb Mt Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia. Mt Kinabalu rises to over 12,000 feet and has been designated a World Heritage Site. The trek is no small feat. It takes two days and one overnight on the mountain, so only embark on the climb if everyone in your family is fit and feels well. This expedition requires advance planning in the form of getting climbing permits, paying for climbing insurance and hiring a guide. If you can handle the paperwork, taking your family to the peak of Mt Kinabalu is an adventure they will never forget.
Choose Indonesia for your next family vacation. Prepare to be amazed!