Think you can’t enjoy epic adventures in Bali because you’ve got small kids? Think again. We’ve been exploring, hiking, climbing and adventuring all over this stunning island for 2 years with 2 kids under 4. So here’s some of our favourite awesome bucket list adventures for you and your family for your next trip to Bali.
Camp above the clouds
One of my Balinese surfer friends introduced us to this campsite. Check them out on Instagram here – camping Alengkong. The views over the volcanos and valleys are EPIC! The showers are baltic though. Chin up, charge that mountain. Its totally worth it, trust me. The road in is adventurous in places, shall we say. Again, totally worth it. Tip – you’ll wanna reverse up the hill to get out of the “car park”. Trust me.
Ride a natural waterslide
Little people can slide down the mini waterfall between Kroya and Kembar waterfalls in Buleleng. I did it with Arlo (3) and Eia (2) and they were literally vibrating with excitement. Marley (dog) also went down – don’t ask 🙂
And big people can test their metal sliding down 10m high Kroya waterfall. Spoiler alert – its AWESOME! My biggest challenge was trying to explain to the 3 year old why he couldn’t do it.
Go 4×4 off roading on a lava field
Probably one of the coolest things I’ve done with Arlo on the island. This got me serious rock star mum points. We went with a group of friends while glamping in Kintamani with just our older kids.
At one point my friend in one of the other jeeps wanted to swap with us cause it was super bumpy in their jeep and her kid wasn’t very happy in the back. Wasn’t sure how ours would be any better but hey ho, we swapped with them anyway cause I’m nice that way 😀 anyway, 8 seconds after we started driving the reason for the extreme bumpiness became clear. Our chair wasn’t bolted to the effing floor of the jeep! Hahahaha! Don’t worry, they fixed it there and then. You’ll be grand!
PS: tip for mamas – don’t forget to go to the bathroom first ;-P your pelvic floor will thank you.
Watch the sunrise over FOUR volcanos
The top of Mount Batur is probably the best known spot on the island for watching the sunrise but if you’re not a hiker, we found you a spot where not only can you see the sunrise behind Rinjani (on neighbouring Lombok), Abang, Agung AND Batur, but you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to hike to it!
We found this spot by accident while staying in a cabin at the recently opened Lingga Bali. We DID have to wake up well before the arse crack of dawn and hike up the hill to see the sunrise since we were staying down in the valley but you can park on Jl Kayupadi and walk 5 minutes down the trail to the viewpoint marked on the map to watch the sunrise. It starts to get light half an hour before sunrise so make sure you take that into account if you wanna be there to see the sky turn from night to day.
Snorkelling in Lembongan
There are sooooooo many sweet snorkelling spots on the island, its hard to choose just one. But I love Lembongan because (a) you get to experience another island only a 30 minute crossing from Bali and (b) not only is the snorkelling STUNNING, it was easy with little people. We took a boat out from Mangrove Point and even though the current was strong (keep a tight hold of little people), the skipper found us a nice mellow spot to hang off the back of the boat with the kids in the water while holding on to what I can only describe as a square of joined together grey toilet pipes! But hey, it worked and the experience was magical.
Trek to Bali’s tallest waterfall, Sekumpul
Being in the presence of this giant will blow. your. mind. I think my exact words were “holy fcking shirt balls!” Its like Jurassic World. You don’t have to hike down to the base of the falls if you don’t fancy the steep trail and steps because theres a view point about 20 minutes from the village. BUT if you do hike down into the valley you’ll get to see them up close and take in 2 other stunning waterfalls, so theres that 🙂
Sip coconuts on a secret beach
Ok call a spade a spade, theres not many truly secret beaches left in Bali but there are lesser known beaches that sort of qualify and you should 100% check out. The Virgin Beaches in Karangasem are absolutely stunning but my favourite is Bias Tugel, just around the corner from Padang Bai in its own hidden little cove. Little warungs line the beach under coconut palm trees, the sand is fine and super white and the water is turquoise.
The kids can scream and wave desperately at the ferry boats as they go into the nearby port while you sip on a bintang and there are also little rock pools to explore on either side of the beach. Be sure to wear mosquito repellent for the short hike down through the forest though cause if you’re kids are anything like mine you’ll get eaten alive while they piss fart around on the trail looking for walking sticks!
Hike a volcano
Batur is the obvious choice for volcano summiting but if you want more adventure, hike Abang, opposite it. Full disclaimer – we attempted it with the kids (age 3 and 2) but the trail is too sketchy. I include it here though because if you’re kids are too small you can hike to the first view point instead and still enjoy an amazing view and the beginnings of the cloud forest! Older, more experienced hiker kids could manage the summit trail – I did it with my friend and her badass 11 year old. But heads up – don’t try it in the rainy season. The trail is dodgy AF when its wet!
But for those of you who do make the summit in the dry season, the views are insane. Agung, Bali’s biggest volcano, sits to the south and Batur is to the north. Plus on a clear day you can see as far as Amed on the east coast and down to Candidasa in the south. Definitely one of my favourite Bali hikes, even though I had to bench the sprogs!
Explore the UNESCO Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Tegalalang is home to some of Bali’s most famous rice terrace landscapes and while they are an ABSOLUTELY stunning must see, make sure you don’t miss Jatiluwih. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site. Nuff said. We’ve visited several times throughout the year but hands down the best time to visit is February – April when the rice is growing and the landscape becomes this insane sea of bright green. If you go too early in the year, the rice has just been planted so you can see a lot of dirt and too late in the season, its being harvested and everything is brown. March is the sweet spot 🙂
There are several different trekking routes around the terraces depending on how energetic you’re feeling. Oh and go early! Theres almost no shade and if the sun is out – its hotter than a glassblowers arse!