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A Mind Blowing 17 Day Adventure In Indonesia With Teens (2024)

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nicole

Whenever people hear “Indonesia”, they immediately think of “Bali”. However, that is only one of approximately 15,000 islands that make up Indonesia. Indonesia is packed with culture, natural and authentic wild animal encounters, history, spectacular natural beauty, adventure, unbelievable snorkeling and of course, lots and lots of unbelievable beaches. My family spent 17 days exploring as much of Indonesia as we could and spent countless days thinking to myself – “I can’t believe I’m seeing this”! Here is our itinerary so you can create your own magical experience.

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At A Glance

I know you are busy. If you only have a couple minutes to spare, here are the key takeaways from this article.

  • Bali is central hub for most domestic flights in Indonesia. Most likely, your international flight will take you to Bali. From there, you can choose any of the destinations described below for your own vacation.
  • You only need 17 days if you wish to replicate our whole holiday in Indonesia. If you have less time, then you can pick and choose the various destinations and the activities that we did to fit your schedule.
  • It is up to you whether you want natural wildlife encounters, beaches and water activities, outdoor nature pursuits, or cultural interactions. All are available in Indonesia.

If you can find more time, try to read my full article. It explains my suggestions, gives you examples of experiences that you will have, and provides travel tips.


Indonesia is made up of approximately 15,000 islands. Pretty much every single island has their own gorgeous beaches and incredible nature.

Most of these islands have their own cultures, traditions and languages as well because they developed separate from each other. The ocean, dense jungle and hundreds of volcanoes ensured that travel between islands, and even within islands, was very difficult. Accordingly, your experiences on one island will likely be completely different from your experiences on another

orangutans, Indonesian adventure
People living on the river in Borneo.

For us, that is exactly what happened on our Indonesian adventure. Over 17 days, my husband and four kids (13, 14, 16, and 20 years old) spent a few days on each of the islands of Bali, Flores, Borneo and Java. We also explored many other smaller islands on day trips. Every day was unique and filled with sights that often left us speechless.

Background To Our Indonesian Adventure Itinerary

When I created our Indonesian itinerary, I wanted to get a taste of everything that Indonesia had to offer. Of course, that is almost impossible to do in 17 days. But boy, did I try!

I wanted to find gorgeous beaches and thankfully, those were everywhere! We spent time on beaches in Bali and Komodo National Park off of the island of Flores.

I love wildlife and we had UNBELIEVABLE authentic animal viewing and interaction in Komodo National Park where we hiked with Komodo dragons, watched flying foxes at sunset, and swam with turtles and ginormous manta rays. Also, in Borneo, we trekked for orangutans in the jungle.

I hoped to hike up a volcano and watch the sunrise. We did that on Kelimutu on Flores Island.

Finally, I wanted to explore Indonesian’s culture and history. So, we visited small remote villages on Flores and learned about their life. In Yogyakarta, we visited stunning Buddhist and Hindu temples and learned about their history. In Yogyakarta, we also spent time trying different Indonesian foods and treats.

Padar Island in Komodo National Park, Indonesian Adventure
At the top of Padar Island in Komodo National Park with three different colour beaches below – white, black and pink!
Kelimutu, Indonesia, Indonesian Adventure
Homes near Kelimutu.
proboscis monkey on borneo ecotour, Indonesian adventure
Proboscis monkey and her baby in Borneo.

Best Indonesia Itinerary With Teens

In the following article, I set out our 17 day Indonesia itinerary. I break it down into the different destinations that we visited, the number of days spent there, and the activities that we did.

In most cases, I have also written in depth about our experiences in those distinct locations in a separate article and those are supplied as well.

To assist with planning, I describe our flight routes and provide travel tips. In addition, I highlight our accommodation to help you figure out what might work for you or your family.

Bali – 3 Nights/2 Days

We flew from Vancouver, British Columbia to Bali. This was a 22 hour travel day with a 14 hour time change.

Our goals in Bali were very simple – recover from our flight and become acclimatized to the time change.  We stayed at the Westin Resort in Nusa Dua and enjoyed the beautiful resort.

The rooms were large and beautiful. The pool was huge and gorgeous, and the beach only steps away. Food, cocktails, and service were excellent. It was the perfect place to catch up on our sleep and get ready for our vacation in Indonesia.

Indonesian adventure
Olivia enjoying the pool at the Westin in Bali.

Komodo National Park On Flores Island- 3 Nights/3 Days

This was the first of many unbelievable experiences that we had on our holiday in Indonesia.

We flew direct from Bali to Flores. Our hotel collected us from the airport and then, transported us by private boat to Komodo Resort on the deserted island of Sebayur.

Over three days, we explored Komodo National Park, a World Unesco Site, on our own private boat. We hiked with Komodo dragons, swam with turtles and giant manta rays, swam at and lounged on deserted pink beaches, and witnessed thousands of flying foxes (the largest bats in the world) migrate mere feet over our head while watching the sunset. It was three days of absolute jaw dropping moments.

Komodo dragon, Indonesian Adventure
An enormous Komodo dragon in Komodo National Park.
A pink beach in Komodo National Park, Indonesian adventure
Alone on the deserted pink beach.

For more information about our time in Komodo National Park, please see Best 3 Day Adventure In Komodo National Park With Teens.

Kelimutu Volcano On Flores Island – 2 Nights/3 Days

Two of my wishes on our getaway to Indonesia were to spend some time visiting remote villages and learning about Indonesian culture and tradition. In addition, I wanted to explore one of the hundreds of volcanos found in Indonesia. With our 3 day stay near Kelimutu volcano on Flores, I was able to accomplish all of this and more.

We flew direct from one side of Flores Island to the other. Then, we drove over two hours into the mountains and countryside to Moni, a village close to Kelimutu Volcano.

We stayed at Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge, which offered comfortable western accommodation in this very remote part of Indonesia.

We had a fascinating stay. With our own guide and driver, we visited three small villages and learned about their way of life and traditions. We were even invited by Chiefs into important ceremonial buildings to understand more about their customs.

In another village, we watched the local women weave using traditional techniques passed on for hundreds of years.

Kelimutu, Indonesia, Indonesian Adventure
One of the remote villages that we visited.
Kelimutu, Indonesia, Indonesian Adventure
A local woman weaving.

A highlight was hiking up to the top of Kelimutu Volcano to watch the sunrise. On top, we saw three different coloured lakes that sat in massive craters.

I loved watching the sunrise and seeing each lake slowly unveil itself as the sun rose higher.

Kelimutu, Indonesia, Indonesian Adventure
Waiting for the sunrise on Kelimutu.
Kelimutu, Indonesia, Indonesian Adventure
The blue lake at sunrise on top of Kelimutu.

For more information about our time in and around Kelimutu Volcano, please see Best 3 Day Itinerary Exploring Kelimutu And Its Villages With Teens.

Download my personally crafted 17 day Indonesia travel guide with my hotel and restaurant recommendations, tours and activities that I enjoyed.

Back To Bali For One Night On Our Indonesian Vacation

Our next destination was Borneo to trek for orangutans in the wild.

Unfortunately, we could not fly direct from Kelimutu Volcano on Flores to Pangkalan Bun on Borneo. Instead, we had to break up our flights and spend a night back at the Westin Resort in Nusa Dua on Bali.

Bali is a major hub in Indonesia and you often end up flying back to Bali in order to fly to another island in Indonesia.

The next morning, we left and flew to Borneo.

Borneo For Trekking Orangutans For 3 Nights/3 Days

One of our most extraordinary experiences on our Indonesian holiday was spending time in Borneo trekking for orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park .

We stayed at Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge.  During the day, we explored the rivers of the National Park and spotted all kinds of incredible wildlife, like Probiscus monkeys and crocodiles, with our own private boat and crew. 

We hiked daily into the jungle and watched orangutans feed and interact with each other. Remarkably, we ended up mere steps from an alpha male (he crept up silently behind us) who at 250 pounds of pure muscle was an incredible sight to behold.

orangutans, Indonesian adventure
A happy orangutan.
orangutans, Indonesian Adventure
The spectacular face of the alpha male.

We planted trees in an area devastated by fire, learned about the plants and trees in the rainforest that have important ingredients for western medicine, and visited locals in a village along the river. A highlight was a dinner on the boat completely in the dark surrounded by lightning bugs. It was magical.

For more information about our time in Borneo, please see 4 Day Adventure Trekking For Orangutans In Borneo With Teens.

Yogyakarta For Borobudur And Other Cultural Sites – 4 Nights/4 Days

Our final four days on our Indonesian adventure were spent exploring the city of Yogyakarta on the Island of Java and the cultural wonders that surround it.

I loved Yogyakarta. It is a young and vibrant university city with an exciting art scene.

We took an amazing food tour that enabled us to try different foods and see interesting parts of the city that we wouldn’t have normally seen.

One day, we explored Borobudur, the oldest Buddhist Temple in the world, and Prambanan, the oldest Hindu temple in Indonesia. They were both extraordinary places.

We also did a jeep tour of Mount Merapi, the most active volcano in Indonesia. This tour was fun in that we were traveling over crazy terrain in a jeep seeing spectacular natural beauty, including the volcano. However, it also included more serious sites. We visited a museum filled with remnants from a village destroyed in the 2010 eruption.

Indonesian adventure
The top of Borobudur.
Indonesian adventure

For the rest of our time, we shopped and explored Yogyakarta on our own. It was a wonderful way to finish our Indonesian adventure.

For more information about our time in Yogyakarta, please see my article 5 Day Itinerary Of Yogyakarta With Teens (+Planning Guide).

Last Word

Indonesia has it all. Beautiful beaches, breathtaking nature and authentic wildlife encounters, and culture. Even better is that so much of Indonesia feels undiscovered. There aren’t too many places left in this world where you, as a visitor, feel like you are one of the first people to see or experience something unique and remarkable.

Our itinerary in Indonesia was absolutely extraordinary. If you craze an amazing holiday where everyday is filled with wonder and adventure, then Indonesia would be an extraordinary choice.

Download my personally crafted 17 day Indonesia travel guide with my hotel and restaurant recommendations, tours and activities that I enjoyed.

If you would like to save this article, please click on the “Save” button on the photo below. Please feel free to share this article on your social media channels! Thanks!

We took our three teenagers on an incredible 17 day adventure in Indonesia. We hiked with Komodo dragons, swam with giant manta rays, watched the sunrise on top of a volcano, trekked for orangutans, hung out at pink beaches, and explored ancient temples. What are you going to do first? #travel #familytravel #travelwithkids #travelwithteens #Indonesia #Bali #Asia |Borneo, Borobudur, Flores, Java, Kelimutu, Komodo National Park, Mount Merapi, Padar, Prambanan, Unesco, Yogyakarta
We went on an incredible 17 day Indonesian adventure. Read about our 5 mini adventures that took us hiking with Komodo dragons, swimming with giant manta rays, watching the sunrise on top of a volcano, trekking for orangutans, and exploring pink beaches and ancient temples.| #travel #familytravel #travelwithkids #travelwithteens #Indonesia #Bali #Asia |Bali, Borneo, Borobudur, Flores, Java, Kelimutu, Komodo National Park, Mount Merapi,  Padar, pink beaches, Prambanan, Unesco, Yogyakarta

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  1. Thanks! This really inspires me to take my family to Bali. The links to the hotels and other travels are a nice touch!

    1. I picked the area Nusa Dua because I wanted a hotel relatively close to the airport. We would be arriving very late at night and on two occasions, we had very early morning flights. Then, I researched the hotels in the area to find the best one for our needs for the best price. So, large rooms, large pool, right on the beach, restaurants near by not only inside the hotel, good reviews on TripAdvisor and Trivago. The Westin fit. Normally, I stay away from big international hotels in favour of local boutique type of hotels. But, I also knew that the rest of the places we would be staying at would be local, small, in some cases very simple, relatively unknown, and I wanted to make sure the first one, and the one in the middle of our trip, were going to give us a very comfortable stay with guaranteed standards.

  2. I hate to admit how geographically illiterate I was but I didn’t know much about Indonesia or where it was for a long time. It looks like a beautiful tropical nation. What a fantastic itinerary. #weekendwanderlust

    1. Don’t worry. I felt a little the same when I first started hearing about Indonesia. Once I started to research it, I couldn’t believe what it offered. But, this is one of the best things about travel, right? Research and then discovering all that the world has to offer! I hope I can find a few more countries like this!

  3. Now this is an awesome bucket list adventure! I could cross off several things off my list by exploring Indonesia. I love your 17 day intinerary but I think I would love the Komodo National Park off of Flores the most! You had me at Komodo dragons, swimming with turtles and giant manta rays, watching the Bats, & PINK BEACHES!! How cool is all of that!
    I do think that seeing the temples in Yogyakarta would be really amazing too!

    1. Thanks Eric. You are right. It is a country that can fill so many life long dreams of seeing and doing. And to think – there are still another 14,950 islands that we still didn’t explore!

  4. What an amazing trip this was! I have never looked closely into Indonesia, but I can now see that it has a ton to offer travelers. The pink beach and the orangutan trekking must have been so incredible! I’d also love to see a volcano as well. So glad you and your family got to share in this memorable experience.

    1. Thanks Kristie. Indonesia is filled with so many interesting things to see and do, much of which is still authentic because lots of tourists haven’t discovered it. I don’t know how long it will last, but hopefully, it will retain this amazing feeling of adventure and wonder while the locals benefit from the dollars that tourism brings.

  5. It’s very nice that you took teens with you. Many now are just stuck with their noses on their phones, tablets, and computers. Letting them join a trip gives them a great insight into the world. They learn and appreciate a lot of things that are NOT in their gadgets.

    1. You are right. Picking destinations that don’t have wifi and are filled with adventure are the best ways to get your teens full engaged with the world. I love travelling with my children precisely for this reason.

  6. This is the type of trip I would love to go on! Have visited Bali and the Gilis but would love to explore more of Indonesia. Flores and Komodo are high on my list. I heard that the lakes actually change colour over time -is this true? Beautiful sunsets, spotting orangutans, komodo dragons and culture – take me there now! And the pink beach is stunning! An unforgettable adventure!

    1. Yes, you are correct. The lakes change colour depending on water fall and the changing minerals in the volcanic crater in which the water sits. It sounds like you already know how beautiful Indonesia is from your time in Bali and Gilis, so time to book your next trip!

  7. I truly enjoyed reading your post and discovering more locations besides Bali. Do you think would be safe travel there with small kids? Is there an area that you would suggest?

    1. I saw little children everywhere we went. However, I wouldn’t take little ones to hike with the Komodo dragons or to trek for the orangutans. The komodo dragons are very dangerous. I was scared walking around even with my teenagers. The orangutans are also wild animals and who knows what they might do. Beyond that, you need to be very quiet which is often difficult for little ones. I think everything else we did would be safe for little kids. Komodo National Park, other than the komodo dragons, would be amazing for little kids.

  8. 17 days, that’s long! I wonder what I would do if I had that much time free in Indonesia! I love the ancient ruins and nature… but I think I would be party party party.

  9. This is spectacular! I would love to take my 19-year old on an adventure like this. I especially love the pink beach and the orangutan Ecolodge.

  10. That’s an amazing trip! Hiking with the Komodo dragons must be a fantastic experience! And that pink beach looks stunning.

    1. Hi there, I didn’t separately write about our food. Unfortunately, we did not find it very remarkable. It was plentiful and healthy, but overall, it didn’t have a lot of flavour or flair. If you have any specific questions about certain places we stayed at and the food they offered, I’d be happy to answer them. We did do a really amazing food tour in Yogyakarta. I did write about that in this blog – https://gofargrowclose.com/phoenix-hotel-yogyakarta-indonesia/ – but not sure if that is what you are looking for.

  11. I am wondering what the local fare in Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge was. You said it was healthy but not very good. Because it appears so remote, but lush, I am interested in what it was that they served you. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Karen, I will need to ask my family the dishes they remember because I can only remember general impressions at this point in time. Could I email you after? Or do you want to email me at gofargrowclose@gmail.com? I can then answer your questions faster and more directly with you.

      1. Sorry for the delay. I have asked everyone in my family about our food at Kelimutu and no one really remembers much about the food. But, here is what we do remember.The main protein was fish. When we had chicken, there was very little. I think chicken is a treat there. We had chow mein and sticky rice and that was good. As for vegetables, notwithstanding the ground is so fertile because of the volcano, they don’t grow a lot of different kinds of vegetables. I can’t remember what we had but I do remember that the same vegetables were offered at every meal. If you are interested in staying there and want more information about their meals, you could email them for a copy of their menu. People not staying at the hotel did come to the restaurant for lunch or dinner so they did have a menu.

  12. Thank you so much for this post. I have been looking for itineraries that included as much wildlife as possible, and this fits the bill. I am a solo traveler, however. Do you think I would have any restrictions following this itinerary? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I found Indonesia to be safe and the people to be kind and easy going. Even though it is considered a conservative Muslim country, I didn’t feel like I was being judged for wearing shorts or anything like that. I was also travelling with my 20 year old and 13 year old daughters who also didn’t feel overwhelmed by unwanted male attention (unlike our experience in India). I would say that in Bali and Komodo National Park, they expect bathing suits and female travellers. In Kelimutu, it is more secluded but we also met very welcoming people. We did go to small villages where females are not allowed to go into certain huts, but again, I felt respected and our guides explained everything very well. The only exception was Borneo when we arrived at the airport. This is a tiny airport not used to lots of tourists. They stared a lot. My daughters wore shorts (it wasn’t a problem anywhere else). However, we were picked up by the staff at the Ecolodge and taken to our own boat. After that, everything felt normal again. Yogyakarta felt very urban and modern. However, most women are covered up. Not with a burka or anything but in jeans and with a head covering. This is a student town so again I felt it was pretty good spot for our girls. I hope this helps. I am happy to answer more questions.

  13. WOW, your piece is thrilling! Never been to Indonesia, but after reading this, it’s definitely going on my bucket list of travel destinations.
    There’s so much to see, it can be overwhelming, I imagine, but I mean, who wouldn’t want to go there! 🙂

    1. I love your enthusiasm. I had no idea how much Indonesia had to offer until I started to research and then, I was so excited. Definitely one of the best trips that I have ever taken!

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