The island of Bali is utmost diverse with endless things to do ranging from clubbing, shopping and dining to outdoor adventures, spa journeys, cruises, watersports, wildlife and underwater exploration.
The best news is, Bali isn’t that big at all, so no matter where on the island you are staying, you don’t have to miss out on anything.
Go on several day trips and you can do and see it all.
Here are the best family-friendly tours in Bali where mum and dad can take the kids or you and you’re mates can experience the very best of what the island has to offer. Get up early and have a fantastic day! If you are keen to book a Bali Tour we do offer that service at Bali Villa Escapes. Just let us know what you want and we’ll arrange everything; including pick up at your villa.
1. Mount Batur Sunrise Trek
One of the most magical moments happens at the dusk of dawn from the top of Bali’s active volcano Mount Batur. This nightly tour doesn’t come effortlessly, you need to leave around midnight and hike up a volcano in the dark to get to the summit before sunrise kicks in. Don’t worry, it’s all worth it and the hike is not too challenging.
2. Rafting on the Ayung River
In for some water fun? Go for a rafting adventure on the Ayung River near Ubud. A great escape from the beach, spending time on a raft in a deep river valley, surrounded by tropical jungle and splashing around in cool, clean river water. The tour takes around 3-4 hours from start to end and it is fun, thrilling and relaxing all at the same time. Families don’t need to worry – you can bring the kids along – it’s safe!
3. Snorkelling & diving at Menjangan Island
Menjangan Island is part of West Bali National Park and it is probably the best spot to go diving and snorkelling in all of Bali. West Bali is still rather unspoiled, untamed and free from mass tourism. To the backdrop of rugged mountains and the volcanic black sand shore, you can have a magnificent underwater adventure. Day tours will take you to Pemuteran where you will catch the boat the Menjangan Island which translates to ‘deer island’. While snorkelling or diving, you can spot hawksbill turtles, garden eels and manta rays. Pemuteran is a wonderful place to stay if you are seeking tranquillity and unspoiled natural beauty but day tours are possible from the south and north of Bali.
4. Dolphin watching tour Lovina
In the north of Bali, in a little charming tourist town called Lovina, you can spot dolphins in their natural habitat. Every morning around sunset time, you can see hundreds of them swimming in the sea and playfully jumping up in the air. It’s a magical experience for the entire family. Usually, the boat trips start a 6 am, taking approximately 2.5 hours. However, we highly recommend leaving a bit later around 8 am as you will avoid the peak hour of fisherman’s boats at sea chasing the dolphins. Around 8 am, it is quiet and there is still an incredible amount of dolphins to spot.
5. Down-hill cycling tour
There is no better way to see the stunning countryside of Bali than on a bicycle. You can take roads you otherwise wouldn’t be able to take, see the local village life and get struck by the island’s natural beauty. Now Bali is quite hilly which might make you think you have to be a professional cyclist to be able to go on a cycling trip but there are some wonderful down-hill cycling tours available suitable even for families with young kids. Both around Ubud and in the east of Bali, there are breathtaking trails.
6. Beach hopping in Uluwatu
There’s no doubt about it, Uluwatu has the best beaches in Bali. Gorgeous white sandy beaches that are hidden away at the bottom of high limestone cliffs, the bluest waters and awesome surfing waves, you’ll find it all in Uluwatu and the pristine Bukit Peninsula. You’ll stumble upon beaches like Balangan, Dreamland, Bingin, Padang Padang, Green Bowl, Pandawa, Nyang Nyang and many more. More than enough beaches to go beach hopping. Even better, you can rent a scooter and go drive along the coastline.
We recommend booking a Uluwatu villa in the area and taking a couple of days to explore the entire area and all of the beaches. Any beach lover would prefer to stay in Uluwatu over anyplace else. Even if you’re not a surfer, the beaches in Uluwatu are also great for swimming, sunset drinks and parties.
7. Waterfall tour in North Bali
As much as you love the salty sea breeze, the valleys, rivers and waterfalls on the mainland show a different side of Bali with a cooler climate, cooler water and breathtaking sceneries. Most waterfalls are in the north of Bali and there are some waterfalls where you can go swimming or even, cliff jumping and waterfall sliding. Exciting!
8. Shopping, dining and clubbing in Seminyak
Seminyak is cosmopolitan, trendy and chic. It’s the place to be for high-end shopping, dining clubbing and luxury spa experiences. Seminyak’s Eat Street in Oberoi is home to refined restaurants led by world-famous chefs. Exquisite food, great wines, outstanding services, if you are up for some wining and dining, Seminyak is your best option. Not to forget all the boutique shops where you can find gorgeous handmade dresses, jewellery, homeware and handicrafts. You can sip sunset cocktails at KU DE TA or Potato Head and go to Mrs Sippy and chill out by the lagoon-shaped pool. There are loads of places where you can shop for the kids. Head to Seminyak Village and Seminyak Square which both have shops for the kids. We recommend staying in a family-friendly Seminyak holiday villa so you’re super close to everything.
9. Catamaran cruise to Nusa Lembongan
Surely, you will want to see the beautiful island of Nusa Lembongan. Why not take a sneak peek on a Catamaran day cruise? You can sail the ocean, do some snorkelling, jump off the boat, have drinks, food and spend a wonderful day out at sea with friends and/or family? Going on a Catamaran Cruise is a unique experience that everyone is bound to love! You can always go back to Lembongan Island to spend a couple of nights there and see the stunning beaches.
10. Off-the-beaten-track in Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is part of Bali but it is a separate island, located just a 30-45 minute boat ride away from Sanur on the mainland. Explorers, adventurers and Instagrammers flock to Penida Island for the unspoiled, raw landscape, the wild beaches, amazing viewpoints and snorkelling and diving spots around the island. How about soaking in a natural jacuzzi overlooking the ocean, Swimming with mana rays, visiting a Balinese temple inside a cave and driving on winding roads to get to secret beaches? Nusa Penida has a lot to offer!
11. See the exotic and sacred Balinese temples
Bali is also known as ‘the island of a thousand temples and you can’t say you’ve been to Bali if you haven’t seen at least a couple of them. They are beautiful sacred buildings at special places all around the island and the Balinese people still bring offerings daily and gather at temples for prayer and special occasions. In fact, every village has a temple and almost every house in Bali has a shrine to put offerings and pray multiple times a day. Some must-visit temples are the iconic sea temple Pura Tanah Lot, the clifftop temple Pura Uluwatu, the water temple Pura Tirta Empul, the lake temple Pura Ulun Danu Batur and the mother temple Pura Besakih. If you’re interested in staying in a villa near Tanah Lot please browse our Tabanan holiday villas which are super-close.
12. Shipwreck diving in Amed
Amed is a beautiful and peaceful village in the East of Bali captured in between the sea and Bali’s tallest and holiest volcano, Mount Agung. Amed is a great place to unwind, relax and do nothing. At the same time, there are some great dive sites to explore such as the USS Liberty Shipwreck in Tulamben and another Japanese Shipwreck in Banyungin Bay in Amed.
13. Museums in Ubud
Ubud is the cultural epicentre of Bali located just a 1-hour drive up north from Seminyak by car. The town is surrounded by a crafts village, Rice terraces and deep river valleys. In town, you can visit several museums such as ARMA (Agung Rai Museum of Art), Neka Art Museum, Puri Lukisan and Rudana Art Museum. Also, you can do all kinds of workshops ranging from woodcarving to Batik painting, silversmithing, perfume making, pottery, cooking classes and more. There are drawing classes with local artists and Ubud is also home to great (vegan) restaurants, quirky shops and yoga studios. For more information see what Trip Advisor has to say.
14. Hot springs
Being a volcanic island, natural hot springs are found in several areas in Bali. The most famous ones are Banjar Hot Springs in the north of Bali and Toya Devasya Hot Springs in Kintamani. Soaking in these warm waters has many health benefits as the water is full of minerals and hot springs are a rich source of sulphur. Relax your body, mind and soul and make your way to Bali’s healing hot springs!
15. Learn to surf
Last but not least – Bali is a surfers’ paradise. Whether you are a pro or a complete beginner, there are great surfing spots in the south and west of Bali and around Nusa Lembongan. Beginners can best start in Legian, Seminyak and Old Man’s Beach in Canggu. More experienced surfers will love the beaches in Uluwatu (Dreamland, Balangan, Suluban and Bingin Beach). West Bali is mostly visited by surfers staying around Medewi and Balian Beach and Nusa Cenigan and Lembongan are also popular surfer destinations. One note of warning, surfing a very addictive!
This article was posted by Steven who is one of the marketing team at Bali Villa Escapes. He’s been living in Bali for over a decade and knows all the best family-friendly tours and places of interest to visit. There are loads more things to see and do in Bali so if you’d like to know more before heading off on you’re holiday contact Steven here.