Teenagers are the perfect age to appreciate beautiful Bali. Even just watching a sunset with the cheering crowds on Kuta Beach is awesome. The sneaky monkeys at Ulawatu Temple can crack any teen cool. And we defy anyone not to love the snaking rock-bound staircase down to Padang-Padang Beach.
Time to make some memories? Here are just 10 teen-size Bali adventures to astonish your favourite travelling companions. And maybe even convince them you’re still fun after all.
1/10 Surf the breaks at Legian Beach in Bali
Pick just about any beach on Bali’s south coast and you’ll find a surf school. Of course, famous and famously crowded Kuta has the motherlode. But for teen first-timers, Legian Beach – just a little further west – is the one to beat.
Surf schools do beginner lessons here and all supply equipment. Plus, some even take kids along the coast to Canggu to brave the big breaks at Batu Bolong and Tugu – only if they’re ready.
2/10 Eco-cycle round the countryside in Ubud
Quit colourful and bustling Ubud for a few hours and hop on an eco-cycle for a guided tour of eastern Bali’s lush, green countryside.
Off the beaten track, but mostly easy going, this isn’t a head-down ride. So enjoy the view of everything from rice paddies and terraced fields to peaceful local villages and plenty of jungle and wildlife too.
3/10 Go Sunday shopping at La Brisa in Bali
Sadly the lovely Gypsy Market in La Laguna is no more, but La Brisa in Canggu is almost as much fun for teens. Plus, it’s a bit of compensation for being a little too young for La Brisa Beach Club.
The market’s good for handmade jewellery, clothes, piles of fresh fruit and weirdly wonderful organic soaps. It’s a Sunday morning regular, so skip breakfast and snack on cakes, yoghurt and just baked bread. Or go hungry until lunch, La Brisa is the place for one of the best curries in Canggu.
4/10 Go wild for the best waterpark in Asia
Not just the best waterpark in Bali, Waterbom is #1 in Asia. But how good can it be? Think 3.8 hectares of lushly tropical gardens and white-knuckle rides by the dozen. There are miles of lazy rivers and lagoons, as well as the steepest waterslide in Asia. And if all that’s just too exciting, drop in at the soothing on-site Balinese spa.
Go in good conscience too. Waterbom also holds an Earth Check Gold Medal for sustainability, and over 50% of its grounds are green space and indigenous planting.
5/10 Trek Gunung Rinjani National Park in Lombok
Mount Rinjani is the second highest active volcano in Indonesia, and right at the heart of Gunung Rinjani National Park.
A guided two-day trek up to the phenomenal crater lake could turn out to be the adventure of a lifetime for your teens. Truly intrepid types can scale the entire mountain, a definite bonding experience for parents. Or you can take it easier, hike some of the park and gaze on lively Rinjani from a distance.
6/10 Discover diving round tropical Gili Air
If teens have already earned their scuba stripes, the clear waters round Gili Air are packed with marine-life, living coral, and more than a few challenging dive sites.
The second largest of the Gili Islands, Gili Air is still tiny and great for starter scuba lesson. Progress is surprisingly quick for older kids at the island’s excellent schools. And since most instructors have been diving these waters for as long as they can remember, even nervous first timers are in very safe hands.
7/10 Soar over the jungle on a Bali Swing
This one lies between unforgettable experience and a teen rite-of-passage. Although almost anyone, of any age, with a hint of daring and a few hours to spare, heads to the Bali jungle for a swing.
Bali Swing are happy to collect you in Ubud, and if you want to make a day of it, they have tubing, river rafting, forest quad bike tours, and guided elephant rides too.
8/10 Meet macaques in Bali at Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest
Ubud Monkey Forest is just outside the small village of Padangtegal, and home to about 700 grey macaques. They’re about as far from shy and elusive as wildlife gets, and highly entertaining, as long as you don’t feed them.
Apart from the boisterous residents, all is peace in this 12.5ha forest. But it’s also sacred to the local villagers so there’s a chance of running into colourful ceremonies too, if you’re lucky.
9/10 Snorkel with Manta Ray on Nusa Lembongan
Tucked between Bali and Lombok, the little Lembongan Islands are occasionally overlooked. Make that mistake, and teens miss out on the incredible experience of snorkelling with ghostly, gliding manta ray through some of the world’s clearest waters.
If you chose Bali for making remarkable memories, this underwater adventure should be high on your wish-list.
10/10 Catch the traditional dancers in Bali at Ubud
You can’t miss Ubud Royal Palace, it’s right in the heart of the ancient town, and a few minutes walk from Ubud Art Market. Spend some time exploring the palace buildings, and wandering round the gardens, then buy tickets for an evening performance of traditional Barong dance and theatre.
Even the least culture-loving teens will be captivated by this spectacle, and don’t worry about following the story, everyone’s given a guide leaflet in their own language.
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