A country made up of over 17,000 islands, 273 million people, 300,000 wildlife species, 700 languages, and 130 active volcanoes; the diversity and experiences of Indonesia is vast. Every island has a unique combination of natural beauty and cultural richness! With so much to offer, it is no surprise that over 5 million tourists travel to Indonesia yearly.
Known for its picturesque tropical beaches, world-renowned surfing, stunning temples, and lush greenery, Bali is Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination. Known as “The Land of the Gods,” this most visited island in Indonesia and not without some challenges from overtourism and disrespectful visitor behavior.
Bali: Sustainable Tax to Address Overtourism Challenges
While tourism in Bali accounts for 80 percent of the economy, making it one of Indonesia’s richest islands, there have been negative repercussions on water usage and injustices towards local Balinese people. In fact, since Bali reopened its borders after the pandemic, Bali has experienced an increase in tourists who have behaved badly, participating in activities that have been disrespectful to Balinese residents and damaging structures, sacred sites, and landscapes.
Balinese people are fed up with this bad behavior and government officials have been working on guidelines to support local respect and encourage better visitor behavior. In fact, these challenges have resulted in an impending tourist tax, which will be charged electronically beginning in 2024 and will be used to protect Balinese culture and the natural environment, as well as to help build better infrastructure. (See guidelines of sustainable Tax)
“By protecting the island’s environment and shifting the mentality from accepting tourism at any cost to debating its role on the island, Bali may be able to both maintain its unique culture and remain a place that future tourists and generations will want to visit and experience.” – The Stranger’s Guide on How Tourism Changed Bali
Learn-Serve & Immerse in Bali: Sustainable Travel Pillars
As responsible tourists it is important that we take the desires of local populations into consideration when planning our travels. And certainly, responsible tourism extends beyond Bali's crowded beaches. Global Family Travels has always encouraged travel to Bali with our Learn, Serve, and Immerse pillars in mind, partnering with non-profits and offering community tourism experiences to ensure that our visitors to the island are not only being responsible tourists, but that they are also enjoying more well-rounded experiences, filled with Bali's captivating culture and mystical traditions, as well as Tri Hita Karana, the central philosophy of the Balinese people. Learn more about the lessons you can learn from the beautifully rich culture that Bali has to offer: 6 Lessons from Bali to Help Create a Better World.
We offer multiple adventures in Bali, from a Regenerative Wellness Retreat, filled with cultural immersion and daily chakra-themed mindfulness practices, to our Bali Global Classroom adventure, which offers opportunities for global citizens to learn about the negative effects of plastics on Life Below Water and the island's looming water crisis, all while exploring the island's magical culture and beauty.
Regenerative Travel in Indonesia Beyond Bali
Global Family Travels believes strongly in regenerative travel, which encourages you to go beyond sustainable travel, and immerse yourself in Indonesia's diverse culture, respecting the desires of local communities and help preserve both nature and cultural heritage. So, while Bali's magic and beauty beckons, consider spreading your wings across this diverse archipelago, where rich cultures, captivating cities, and natural wonders await your discovery on Indonesia's other islands.
Below, we have highlighted some of Indonesia’s lesser-known islands that provide opportunities to have a remarkable dream vacation, destinations where you can be swept away by the culture, land, and people of a country so unique. From the lush jungles of Borneo, where the Orangutan is King, to beautiful Lombok Island, filled immersive visits to traditional weaving villages and the Gili islands, we invite you to explore some of Indonesia’s gems with us:
Java - The Vibrant Heart of Indonesia
Java, Indonesia's most populous island, hosts the bustling capital city of Jakarta. While infamous for traffic, Java holds treasures like Jakarta's vibrant city life, the awe-inspiring Borobudur temples, and sunrise vistas from Mount Bromo. Jakarta, or the “Big Durian,” as locals call it, has an abundance of culture and history, and incredible family-friendly activities to offer.
Embrace the island's energy and diverse culture with Global Family Travels’ to Explore the Heart of diversity in Java and Borneo! Your time on this island will be spent connecting with the Javanese locals while learning about their food, culture, and agriculture, exploring the bustling capital city of Jakarta, and visiting the world’s largest Buddhist temple, the Borobudur, an ancient site widely considered to be one of the world’s seven wonders.
Borneo – The Wild Heart of Southeast Asia
A visit to Borneo, shared by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, invites you to reconnect with nature and explore its wild heart. Encounter unique wildlife, including orangutans and pygmy elephants, in lush rainforests. Traverse winding rivers and immerse yourself in indigenous cultures. Borneo promises an adventurous escape into the heart of Southeast Asia’s wilderness.
Continuing from the previous section about Java, your trip wouldn’t end there! After exploring Java, Global Family Travels takes you to Borneo where you will learn about biodiversity while exploring the Tanjung Puting National Park. You will also spend two nights sleeping on a houseboat while you take the days to explore wildlife and nature!
Komodo, Indonesia – A World of Dragons and Diving
Komodo Island beckons with its legendary dragons and underwater wonders. Observe the famous Komodo dragons in their natural habitat, a truly captivating experience. Dive into the surrounding waters, renowned for their rich marine biodiversity. Komodo is an island of extraordinary encounters both above and below the surface.
Komodo National Park, where Park authorities say that there are 2,762 Komodo dragons living, is a growing tourist destination in Indonesia. Fortunately, the Tourism Authority is now established to help manage both the accelerating numbers of tourists visiting, while preserving the National Park’s most prized natural environment.
Just like all the other great Indonesian destinations, Global Family Travels can take you to Komodo too! Our Bali & Komodo: A Sustainable Journey to Komodo and Bali is filled with Tropical Tranquility. In Komodo, you will explore the great Komodo National Park, famous for being the home to the Komodo Dragon; you will also enjoy a boat cruise to uninhabited islands where you can explore the stunning white sand beaches.
Lombok, Indonesia: Bali's Tranquil Neighbor
Lombok, Bali's serene neighbor, offers opportunities to immerse with the locals in weaving villages; and enjoy, verdant forests, and is a gateway to the enchanting Gili Islands, where you will find pristine white sand beaches. Here, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, witness breathtaking sunsets, and learn to surf. Lombok is Bali's quieter counterpart, promising a more peaceful escape.
We invite you to Learn, Serve, and Immerse in Lombok with Global Family Travels on a journey where you will spend time on the beautiful Gili beaches, explore one of Indonesia’s highest volcanoes Mount Rinjani, and even try your hand at surfing!
Travel Responsibly to Indonesia: Embrace Regenerative Travel in Bali and Beyond!
Aside from these locations shared above, Indonesia boasts many others, offering stunning adventures and exciting opportunities. We encourage travelers to explore beyond the beaten path of Bali, supporting lesser-known destinations and ensuring a well-rounded, enriching experience for yourself and the places you visit.
Global Family Travels is here to help create the most exciting and rewarding journey around Indonesia for you! We want you to depart as a changemaker, leaving with more than just memories. You will learn, serve, and immerse yourself in the fabric of these regions, and the spirit of Indonesia will continue to inspire you. This journey will transform you into a true changemaker. Visit our website pages to explore all of our Learn, Serve & Immerse experiences to Indonesia and Bali!