Hiking trails and young children does not always go together. But there are exciting trails in Indonesia that would prove otherwise. As the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia calls on its visitors to embark on an exciting outdoor conquest. And one of the top outdoor activities among visitors is to go on a hike. You will be spoiled for options when it comes to family-friendly hikes in Indonesia.
The amazing wealth of landscape in Indonesia is one of the most diverse in the world – only Brazil’s is more bio diverse. There is no question that this is the premier destination for those who are into nature exploration in whatever shape or form – hiking, camping, or road tripping. But if there is one place that you would dare to embark on a hike with young children, there is no better choice than this. Strap on your hiking boots and create an unforgettable hiking trip with the family in the wild outdoors of Indonesia!
These are the most exciting trails in Indonesia to conquer with your young children, and if you’re lucky, you could be treated with stunning views, too!
1. Padar Island, Komodo National Park
Does exploring real-life Jurassic World sound exciting enough for your kids? If it does, then they will surely be thrilled to conquer this particular trail at Komodo National Park in Indonesia! This trail in Padar Island is home to the park’s namesake – the famous komodo dragons. Tourists from all over the globe come to Indonesia to witness this spectacle unique to this part of Asia.
The best part about taking your kids to hike in Padar Island is that it is a lesser-known destination. This means that you get to soak in the gorgeous views on the island without the crowd!
Your hike will embark from a pink sandy beach that will lead you a trail towards the tallest peak on the island. This hiking trail is replete with views of blue, white, and green, as the peak is surrounded by bodies of water. The entire hike to reach the summit of the tallest peak in the park will take about 2-3 hours, depending on how many stops you take along the way (or how many photos you snap!).
The bonus of this hike is the opportunity to snorkel among the island’s reefs. This reef system is known to be a home to over 1,000 fish species!
2. Gunung Tujuh in Sumatra
One of the best places to go to for an easy hike with your young children is Gunung Tujuh. This is the quintessential trail for beginners and kids because it is straightforward without a lot of elevation changes. This trail sits opposite to the tallest volcano in Indonesia – Gunung Kerinci. It will take up to 3 hours to complete the entire trail.
Since the trail is located on an upland lake, you will be rewarded with a picturesque view of the volcano from across the lake. The summit itself is rarely visited – probably only by avid or experienced hikers. But making it to the upland lake would be worthwhile, especially for your kids. The shores of the lake offer a relaxing spot for camping or picnic.
3. Mount Kelimutu, Flores
Does a chance to marvel at spectacular views excite your kids? If yes, they will be in for a treat as Mount Kelimutu is one of the exciting trails you will find in Indonesia. The highlight of this hiking trail would be the multi-colored volcanic lakes in the region. It is known as the crown jewel of Flores and it is easy to see why.
The three volcanic lakes found near the trail to Mount Kelimutu each feature different colors. These colors can range from vibrant blue to a muddy brown – the colors change depending on the season or time of year. Thus, visiting this trail can offer something different to see with each visit.
The hike itself is a bit more challenging compared to other trails listed here. But it isn’t something that your young children cannot handle without proper planning, especially timing your hike well. The summit of this trail is often covered by impenetrable fog. To make your hike easier, come early so you can get to the summit by sunrise. Once you reach the Kelimutu National Park, it will only take 30 minutes to climb this trail. The trails are also well-marked so it should be easy to navigate your way to the top.
The trail can also be extended to up to 4 hours, but it might be best suited for advanced hikers (or those without kids). The view of the three multi-colored lakes should be enough to excite your young ones to embark on this exciting trail.
4. Mount Batur
Mount Batur is another exciting trail in Indonesia, which is located on the island of Bali. If you are spending your vacation with the family in Bali, conquering this hiking trail is a good alternative to a lazy day by the beach.
If you’re after spectacular views, you won’t be disappointed as that is exactly what will greet you once you get up this trail. It is also a great chance to see the views of Bali from another perspective. This trail has elevation changes, but it is not too difficult that young children won’t be able to take it on. In fact, the trail is pretty short, so it won’t be too long until you and your kids are rewarded with the view you braved the climb for!
Kakaban Island (Image by The Classic Wanderer)
5. Kakaban Island, East Kalimantan
How does swimming with jellyfish sound to you? Don’t worry – the jellyfish that can be found swimming at the lake in Kakaban Island are stingless so you can safely swim with them. For this reason, the hike to Kakaban Island is one that is a must for families going on a hiking conquest in Indonesia.
For the adventurous kids, the idea of swimming with jellyfish should be enough to get them to go with you on this hiking trip! The hike will embark on the 120-meter dock that comes with a path you need to follow to reach the opposite side of the island. As you navigate this trail, don’t forget to stop to take in the view!
Aside from the crystal-clear lake, you will also pass by a dense mangrove forest. From there, you will be able to reach the jellyfish lake. If you and your kids are tired and sweaty from all that hiking, the cool lake water should be able to soothe your body. Don’t forget to pack your snorkeling gear so you can get up-close with the stingless jellyfish. This one-of-a-kind experience is something that you simply cannot pass up!
Mount Kaba (Image by TRAVLR Indonesia)
6. Bukit Kaba in Sumatra
Volcano hiking trails are not uncommon in Indonesia. Another one that offers an exciting trail for families is Bukit Kaba in Sumatra. Rising to an elevation of 1,952 meters, Bukit Kaba last erupted in 2000. Another reason why it would be a great choice for family-friendly hike is its accessibility. This explains why Bukit Kaba is one of the most visited and popular natural tourist spots in Indonesia.
Little effort is required to reap the reward of enjoying the panoramic views at the top. Even your kids will find this hike easy and enjoyable – such that the views you enjoy as you make your way to the top is equally worthwhile. The volcanic scenery that awaits you once you reach the crater rim is the kind of view that avid hikers would travel half-way across the world for!
For the best views at the crater rim, schedule your hike in the afternoon. The finest views are to be enjoyed during sunset – your kids will enjoy the marvel of the sun setting from behind the horizon. Or, you can even spend the night camping there at the summit. The view from the summit of this hiking trail during sunrise is spell-binding!
View of Lake Toba from the trail
7. Pusuk Buhit in North Sumatra
Another exciting trail to add to your itinerary when you visit Indonesia with your kids is Pusuk Buhit. Located in North Sumatra, this hiking trail is rather easy, so it is perfect for your kids to join you in. At the same time, if spectacular views are what you are after, you’ll be in for a treat!
The summit of Pusuk Buhit measures at 1,982 meters in height. This mountain is located west of Lake Toba, which is another must-visit if you are in the area. There are hot springs that can be found on your way to the summit, but most of them are concentrated on the lower slopes. The mountain is also considered sacred by the Batak people who were the original inhabitants of the mountain and its surrounding areas.
To make it easy for your children to scale this mountain, start your hike at Sarimarrihit. This trail is clear and wide for majority of the way. Another important thing to note about this hike is that the summit had been deforested. Make sure you are prepared for this when hiking with your kids as there will be little spot left to find a shade on top.
8. Mount Bromo
No list of best hiking trails in Indonesia would be complete without Mount Bromo. Not only is it the most well-known volcano in the country, it is also noted for its otherworldly landscape! The volcano rises over 2,200 meters and scaling is makes the journey worthwhile.
When taking your kids to hike Mount Bromo, though, it is important to be aware of certain dangers. This is an active volcano – one of the most active in the world – so always check the forecast before embarking on your hiking trip. It also constantly spews white sulphurous smoke in the air. If your child has any respiratory conditions, make sure you plan ahead or avoid it altogether.
For the most spectacular hiking experience, it is recommended that you rise early. Mount Bromo is a great spot to watch the sunrise! The entire hike can be completed in one day – make sure you have packed all of your essentials for the trip, such as food and water. Or else, your child can get cranky on the way up!
Hiking with kids is always a tall order. Every parent knows the stress that goes with traveling with kids, but that shouldn’t stop you from allowing your child to see the wonders of the world. Indonesia is teeming with options when it comes to natural scenery and landscapes that are waiting to be discovered.
To make the entire hiking experience a memorable and seamless one for the entire family, always do an extensive research of the trail that you have in mind. The more you know about the trail, the more you can plan for the trip. It also pays to know your child tendencies and preferences. Are they of the adventurous type? Or are they quite timid? Don’t force them into doing something they are not comfortable with. In fact, you can get them involved in planning your hiking trip. It can help to heighten their enthusiasm for the journey ahead.
Have you hiked in Indonesia with your kids? What was the most memorable trail that you conquered?