Famous for early-morning dolphin trips, Lovina is the quiet, coastal town of North Bali, stretching along 8 km of black sandy beach. This resort town came into existence in the 1950s as a vision of Anak Agung Panji Tisna, the king of Buleleng Regency, who wanted this region to develop as a famous tourist center in Bali. He built a small lodge on his land, and named it “Lovina.” The resort had to go through many struggles before it was accepted by the people and the government as a tourist resort. Today, Lovina serves as a prime tourist destination in North Bali, drawing a large number of tourists from different parts of the word.
Lovina is less frantic compared to southern Kuta-Legian-Seminyak conurbation and is visited by tourists to have a quiet and relaxing time in Bali. It starts 6 km west of Singaraja, encompassing seven traditional villages, namely, Tukad Mungga, Permaron, Kaliasem, Anturan, Kalibukbuk, Banyualit and Temukus. Kalibukbuk is the main center of tourist activities in Lovina, offering a wide array of facilities including bars, pubs, restaurants, shopping centers, and various accommodation options to visitors.
Lovina beach, Bali
Where is it
Lovina is located about 6 km west of Singaraja in North Bali.
To enjoy dolphin watching, diving, snorkelling and fishing activities with family or friends at a coastal town which also allows you to take in the traditional pace of life and feel completely rejuvenated.
Black sand beach at Lovina, Bali
When is the best time to go
The period from May to August is the best time to visit Lovina due to perfect weather conditions. July–August and December make the peak tourist season in Lovina, and during these months, the town remains heavily crowded with people coming from different parts of Indonesia as well as other countries. Excluding these months, Lovina is a quiet part of the Bali Island. October to March is the rainy season in Bali but traveling is still possible around this time.
What to see
Black sandy beaches
Dolphin Statue, Lovina
– picturesque Lovina beaches offer themselves to tourists for a leisurely walk. The calm sea and tranquil ambience of this place are just perfect to keep you refreshed for many days.
Dolphin Statue – the dolphin statue stands near the beach at the end of Jalan Bina Ria in the Kalibukbuk area. The figure, exhibiting one-jawed dolphins, reminds one of the reasons behind the Anak Agung Panji Tisna’s desire for tourist development in Lovina area. You can find many shops in the area selling stone and wooden replicas of the dolphin statue.
Singaraja – explore this old Dutch port of Bali, with fascinating dilapidated buildings, the Independence monument and the Chinese Temple.
What to do
Enjoy a Dolphin Watching Trip – Lovina is famous for the dolphin sighting trips that leave the beaches at dawn, visitors goes off the coast just to catch the school of dancing dolphins that welcome the rising sun daily. Although, boats (thirty or more) outnumber the dolphins, for most visitors it is a unique and highly enjoyable experience. The price is fixed, around Rp 65,000 per person.
Water sports activities
Dolphin watching at Lovina
– Lovina is a perfect place to base yourself to enjoy diving, snorkelling, and canyoning trips. Plenty of operators at Lovina offer diving trips for experienced divers. Many tours arrange for diving and snorkelling trips to Menjangan Island, Tulamben and Amed.
Swim in Gitgit Waterfalls, one of the best waterfalls in Bali.
Enjoy hotsprings in Banjar just west from here.
Watch cockfights – Cockfights make a popular and entertaining activity in Lovina. For many tourists, it is a unique experience to watch people training cocks for fights, and putting their money on these fights.
What and where to eat
Lovina offers plenty of quality restaurants serving healthy, delicious seafood and local specialities to visitors. After enjoying your day on the beach, you would surely prefer to have a leisurely dinner in a restaurant before going to bed for a refreshing sleep. Many restaurants organise regular Balinese dance shows for their visitors. Barakuda at Jalan Mawar, Kalibukuk is an excellent place to enjoy Indonesian style seafood. Global Village Kafe offers a wide selection of Indonesian and Balinese classics as well as Australian cuisines.
Where to stay
Lovina offers plenty of up-market hotels, in addition to moderately-priced and inexpensive accommodation options to visitors. In Kalibukbuk area, Taman Homestay, Angsoka Hotel, and Elsa II on Jalan Bina Ria are some of the good budget choices. In Anturan area, Gede Homestay Bungalow, Mari and Sri Homestay offer good quality budget accommodation to visitors. The Samara Villas Hotel is a nice option for luxury travellers.
How to get there
Fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport located in southern part of the Bali. From the airport, pre-paid and metered taxis are available which take around 3 hours to get to Lovina.
Perama shuttle bus service to Lovina is available from all major tourist destinations in Bali including Kuta, Ubud, Sanur, Candidasa, Denpasar, Singaraja, and Padang Bai. The shuttle service is costlier than public bemos, which are not available for long distance routes. So if you are coming from a town in southern Bali, chances are you’ll have to change bemos at two or three places to get to Lovina. Public buses for Lovina are however available along the coastal road such as from Tulamben in the eastern Bali or Gilimanuk in the western region.
Boats to watch Dolphin at Lovina
How to get around
The long, quiet beaches make Lovina a good area to be explored on foot. Bicycle is a popular option among tourists to get around Lovina. You can easily find outlets offering bikes on rent to tourists. Many hotels also provide this facility to their guests. Rented motorbikes are available at several roadside outlets for Rp 55,000-95,000 a day. You can also hire a taxi to explore all the nearby tourist attractions.
Where to go nearby
Singaraja, the former capital of Bali, featuring impressive monuments, and colonial bungalows.
Sunset at Lovina Beach
Brahma Vihara Arama (Banjar Buddhist Monastery) – Located 10 km southwest of Lovina in the hills of Banjar, Brahma Vihara Arama is a large, impressive Buddhist monastery. The beautiful hillside setting and tranquil ambience make it a wonderful place to explore. A visit to this monastery is usually combined with a visit to enchanting Banjar hot springs featuring sulphur water in a beautiful setting.
If you take a motorbike on rent from a road-side outlet, just ensure that the bike is not substandard. Never give your passport as a security to any person. If you are asked to sign an agreement, read papers properly before signing the papers.
Photo credits from top: Jumilla, Juan Segal, Ken Marshall, Vladimir E, Aleksandr Zykov and Arian Zwegers
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