- Say hello to curious monkeys in Ubud's Sacred Monkey Forest
- Immerse your family in Indonesian culture with a traditional Balinese cooking class
- Spend a week cruising around the Komodo archipelago by luxury yacht
- Walk with ancient Komodo dragons on Rinca Island
- Snorkel with colorful fish among the quick currents of Linta Strait
|Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Ubud
|Guided Family Tour of Ubud
|Cycling Adventure & Chocolate-Making Class
|Traditional Balinese Cooking Class for Families
|Bali Zoo Elephant Mud Fun
|Free Day in Ubud, River Rafting Expedition
|Fly to Labuan Bajo, Board Aqua Blu Cruise to Komodo National Park
|Aqua Blu Cruise: Gili Lawa Laut, Rinca's Komodo Dragons
|Aqua Blu Cruise: Belgica Fort Tour, Horseshoe Bay
|Aqua Blu Cruise: Linta Strait Snorkel Fun, Hiking at Padar Island
|Aqua Blu Cruise: Gili Banta Beaches, West Komodo
|Aqua Blu Cruise: Saleh Bay, Pink Beaches of Sumbawa
|Aqua Blu Cruise: Moyo Island, Angel Island Reef Snorkeling
|Return to Bali, Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Ubud
Welcome to Bali! You'll arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport, where a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Ubud. Located in the uplands of Bali, Ubud is renowned for its arts and culture, incredible greenery, and welcoming people. During the scenic 1.5-hour drive, you'll enjoy views of the island's twisting roads, quaint villages, and terraced rice fields. Once you and your family have checked in at your accommodations, head out to see more of this charming city.
You can take the kids out to explore some of the town's boutiques and cafés or visit the Agung Rai Museum of Art, which has exhibits dedicated to the preservation of Balinese art and culture. Stroll through the lively Ubud Market while vendors hawk their wares, and see Ubud Palace, which was once the home of the royal family and features intricately carved walls and doorways. Finish the day by sampling a traditional Indonesian meal—dishes to try include bebek goreng (crispy duck) and satays of grilled beef, chicken, or shrimp.
Day 2: Guided Family Tour of Ubud
See more of Ubud with a full-day guided tour, meeting with your local guide, and starting with a visit to the village of Mas, which is known for its incredible wood carvings. The kids will love watching the talented artisans create different shapes and creatures from the wood and will learn all about the carving process. If you didn't make it there when you first arrived in the city, you can also visit Pengosekan and the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA), one of the best collections of Balinese and Indonesian paintings.
Next up is a delightful visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary—sure to be a hit with the little ones! Also known as the Ubud Monkey Forest, this protected reserve is home to more than 1,200 long-tailed macaques, considered sacred by the Balinese people. Watch the monkeys play, and don't be surprised if these curious creatures approach you. While the monkeys are used to visitors and not aggressive, do hold onto your belongings because they're known to be intrigued by interesting objects!
Continue to central Ubud for lunch, then spend some time at the Royal Palace and the Ubud Art Market, which has all kinds of Balinese handicrafts and textiles, as well as fun souvenirs that the kids might like to purchase. Tonight, relax at your hotel, have dinner at a local restaurant, or explore more of the city on your own.
Day 3: Cycling Adventure & Chocolate-Making Class
Explore Ubud's picturesque countryside via bicycle tour. Your guides will meet you at your hotel, and after getting set up with your bikes and helmets (bike seats provided for younger children), you'll set out. Ride out of the city, pedaling along quiet roads that have minimal traffic and are safe for families with kids of all ages. Visit the famous rice fields and nearby villages as your knowledgeable guides share insight into the Balinese way of life and traditions. Be sure the kids wave hello to the friendly rice farmers as you pass by the fields!
After your bike ride, it's time for a sweet treat with a visit to a chocolate factory. Learn about the region's organic farming practices and see the process of Balinese cocoa pods going from flower to harvest to become delicious chocolate. Your family will also get to participate in a chocolate-making workshop, where you and the kids can make chocolate, topping it with different ingredients and tasting your creations.
Day 4: Traditional Balinese Cooking Class for Families
Today, your family will learn all about the art of Balinese cooking and how food plays such an important role in their traditions and culture. Your guide will meet you in the morning and transport you to Ubud Market, where they'll help you and the kids select fresh herbs, spices, vegetables, and meats for the dishes you'll prepare. From here, you'll transfer to nearby Laplapan village, stopping along the way to take a guided trek through the rice fields as your guide explains how Balinese farmers grow and harvest their rice.
Upon your arrival in the village, meet with your local expert chef in a community kitchen. Your instructor will help you and the kids prepare a traditional Balinese meal, which may include dishes such as satay (skewered grilled meats), nasi ayam (chicken with rice), or pepes ikan (fish cooked in banana leaves). There might even be some delicious kelepon (coconut rice cake) desserts for the kids! As your family works alongside your host, they'll explain the significance of the ingredients and the history behind each dish. Afterward, sit down together and enjoy the lunch you created.
Day 5: Bali Zoo Elephant Mud Fun
Get ready for an entertaining and educational day as you join the Sumatran elephants of the Bali Zoo for some down-and-dirty fun! Make your way to the zoo in the morning and meet the elephant's knowledgeable mahout handlers, who will educate you and the kids on these gentle giants, sharing fascinating stories about their habits and why they love to play in the mud. After a briefing on how to safely interact, you and the kids will get the experience of a lifetime as you get to join the elephants in their mud baths.
The kids will have a blast meeting the elephants and playing in the mud alongside them, and the whole family will remember this day for years to come. Afterward (and after clean up!), have lunch at one of the zoo's restaurants before returning to your hotel. Parents should note that there are height restrictions for the mud fun experience, and children under 4 feet tall (120 cm) are not permitted into the mud zone area.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Free Day in Ubud, River Rafting Expedition
Your last full day in Ubud is yours to do as you please. You and the family can relax at the resort, enjoy the pool and other amenities, or take the kids out to see more sights around town. If you're interested in archaeology, you can visit the Elephant Cave or Goa Gajah. Originally thought to have been built as a sanctuary for spiritual meditation, the site has incredible carvings and several ancient statues worth seeing.
If the kids would like a break from the heat, you can also visit the lovely waters of Tegunungan Waterfall. Located just 20 minutes from town, this popular destination features gorgeous falls with steps that take you down to the water. While the falls area isn't really swimmable, there's a smaller waterfall nearby with a pool the kids can cool off in. There are also several restaurants and food stands at the main entrance, so this would be a great place to grab lunch before heading back to your hotel.
Families looking for a little more excitement can take a rafting tour, with options to visit the rivers of the Ayung Valley, perfect for less experienced rafters, or the Telaga Raja, which is more challenging. Meet your guides and make the drive to your chosen shoreline. After a safety briefing and equipment overview, you'll hop into an inflatable raft for a thrilling river ride! Zoom along rapids, cruise through rainforests, and splash over stunning waterfalls, all while surrounded by the incredible scenery and wildlife of the river. Afterward, you'll be treated to a hearty Indonesian lunch buffet.
Day 7: Fly to Labuan Bajo, Board Aqua Blu Cruise to Komodo National Park
After breakfast, take a private transfer to the airport and catch your flight to Labuan Bajo and the island of Flores, the gateway to the incredible Komodo National Park. Established in the 1980s, this UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses 669 square miles (1,733 sq km) and includes the islands of Komodo, Padar, and Rinca, as well as 26 smaller islands. The archipelago and its surrounding ocean waters are home to a wide variety of marine life and wildlife, including the more than 2,500 prehistoric-looking Komodo dragons that reside in the park.
Upon your arrival at the airport, you'll be met by your driver and transported to the boarding dock for the Aqua Blu Cruise ship—your family's home base for the next week. This one-of-a-kind long-range explorer yacht features five decks and luxurious accommodations, including both indoor and outdoor social areas and a sundeck. Once you've gotten settled in your cabin, take the kids up to the main deck to watch the sunset as the ship heads toward Gili Lawa Daut island. Relax on board tonight in anticipation of tomorrow's adventures.
Day 8: Aqua Blu Cruise: Gili Lawa Laut Island, Rinca's Komodo Dragons
Explore the natural paradise of Gili Lawa Laut today. This island features pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, and your family can swim, snorkel, or cruise the waves via kayak and paddleboard. The kids should keep their eyes out for colorful fish, and don't be surprised if you spot some friendly turtles swimming nearby!
Later this afternoon, your cruise will take you to the island of Rinca, where your family will witness the mighty Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. These ancient reptiles are the largest lizards on earth, and they'll definitely awe you with their size and strength. Disembark with your guides and take a hike around the island (parents can choose a shorter or longer duration depending on their children's ages and abilities), where you'll see Komodos going about their day. You're also likely to see wild pigs, buffalo, and even saltwater crocodiles that hide in the nearby mangrove forests.
Day 9: Aqua Blu Cruise: Belgica Fort Tour, Horseshoe Bay
Today's adventure starts with the breathtaking Banda Islands. Once the epicenter of the spice trade, the islands offer a rare immersion into the history of the nutmeg and clove wars. The excitement starts as you're met by traditional Kora Kora war canoes, greeting your family with drums and chants. Disembark on Banda Neira, where you'll tour Fort Belgica, a 17th-century Dutch fort that once worked to fortify the islands during a time in which they were the only place in the world where nutmeg was produced.
If the kids want to see more local wildlife, visit Horseshoe Bay. Located at the far southern end of Rinca, the bay is actually the remains of an ancient volcanic caldera, with protected waters that are calm and tranquil. You can take a guided family hike of the area, where you'll see Komodo dragons strolling the black-sand beaches, not to mention monkeys, deer, and wild pigs. Families with dive experience can also tour the region's underwater world, visiting dive sites such as Cannibal Rock and the Yellow Wall of Texas.
Day 10: Aqua Blu Cruise: Linta Strait Snorkel Fun, Hiking at Padar Island
Get ready for an active morning at Linta Strait, where you and your family can snorkel or dive in the currents and see the amazing marine life. Aptly nicknamed "Current City," this small channel is a huge haven for marine life, with the convergence of the Indian Ocean and the Flores Sea creating a nutrient-rich environment. Come face to face with manta rays, giant trevallies, barracudas, and other big fish as you and the kids swim and snorkel through the fast-moving waters.
This afternoon, visit the island of Padar, a volcanic landform with some of the most spectacular views on Earth. Take an easy hike across the island's distinctive terrain, enjoying views of the curved bays, white, black, and pink sand beaches, and the cobalt blue sea. End the day with a relaxing beverage on the beach here, watching the sunset across the ocean waves, then return to the ship for the night.
Day 11: Aqua Blu Cruise: Gili Banta Beaches, West Komodo
Make it a beach day at Gili Banta, a hidden gem you and your family will love. You'll have options to snorkel in the clear, calm waters or take a dive trip to sites such as Star Wars, an underwater slope that goes down nearly 100 feet (30 m) with beautiful coral and lots of small fish, or K2, where it's not uncommon to see manta rays hiding behind the coral. Parents should keep in mind that these dive areas are not for beginners, so you may prefer to stick with snorkeling if you have very little ones. Before departing, be sure to hike the island's eastern ridge for panoramic views of the countryside.
Afterward, you'll set sail to West Komodo, where you'll do a meet and greet with a large colony of Komodo dragons. These powerful lizards take ownership of the island, and together with your guide, your family will have a chance to observe them from a safe distance. The islands here are the only place in the world where you'll find these incredible creatures, and they remain of great interest to scientists, naturalists, and researchers.
Day 12: Aqua Blu Cruise: Saleh Bay, Pink Beaches of Sumbawa
Swim with the gentle whale sharks of Saleh Bay, located off the coast of the island of Sumbawa. Local squid boats attract the sharks with their bulging hauls, and explorers who visit Saleh Bay might just catch these marine "thieves" in action as they try to suck squid out of the boats' fishing nets! The bay is home to an estimated 50 or more of these curious creatures, and swimming and snorkeling while they cruise by is a memorable experience. Your family can also take a tour around the bay via the ship's skiffs, watching eagles and other birds soar overhead as your guides share stories about the history of the region.
Later today, experience the visual wonders of Pink Beach. Located on Komodo Island and one of only seven pink beaches on the planet, the beach gets its color from microscopic creatures called foraminifera. They produce a red pigment which leaves a residue on the coral reef. Over time, fragments of the red coral wash up on shore and mingle with the beach's white sands to produce a soft pink shade. The ship will anchor here at sunset, the best time of day to appreciate the colors and tranquility. Families wanting to get out and about can also do a guided trek or visit a local village and learn more about daily life here.
Day 13: Aqua Blu Cruise: Moyo Island, Angel Island Reef Snorkeling
Make the most of your last day in the park with a visit to the secluded island of Moyo. This unspoiled paradise sits at the mouth of Saleh Bay, just off the northern coast of Sumbawa. See sparkling coastlines and aquamarine waters, and hike to a gorgeous cascading waterfall that is hidden in the nearby forests. Birders in the family will be overwhelmed by the more than 120 bird species that live here, which include the rare yellow-headed parrot and megapodes, a chicken-like bird that builds large, debris-filled nests that are a sight to see!
If the kids are clamoring for more snorkeling adventures, you can also visit the reefs at Angel Island, where you'll swim in the calm ocean waters and get treated to brilliantly colored coral and schools of friendly tropical fish. Have dinner back on the ship and savor your final evening at sea before tomorrow's departure.
Day 14: Return to Bali, Depart
Your epic land and sea Indonesia family adventure ends today. After breakfast and disembarking at the harbor in Bali, your driver will transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!
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