Lovina is a quiet coastal town on the North Bali coastline west of the city of Singaraja.
The Dolphin Statue, Kalibukuk, Lovina
Lovina is a relatively new name coined in the 1950s by a local Buleleng Regency official with a good eye for future tourism-based development. It essentially consists of seven traditional villages, which all slightly merge into one on a ten kilometre stretch of the main road which hugs the north coast to the west of Singaraja: Temukus, Kalibukbuk, Anturan, Pemaron, Tukad Mungga, Banyualit and Kaliasem. Kalibukuk is the main hub of this area and is often thought of "Lovina town centre".
The whole stretch of coast here is fringed by quite narrow black sand beaches, which are accessed by a multitude of small lanes which run perpendicular to the east-west coast road. The beaches are generally safe for swimming, and the waters of Bali's north coast, in direct contrast to the crashing surf of the south, are relatively calm.
Diving, snorkelling and dolphin watching are the main activities, but perhaps above all else, this is an area in which to relax and take in a very slow, traditional pace of life. It can get a little crowded in July and August, but outside that peak season, this is a quiet part of the island.
Lovina also has a large number of cafés. Some of these establishments are not selling tea and sandwiches. They often provide loud music and an expensive and often boring assortment of alcohol. Many of the girls working there keeping the patrons company during the evening may be of questionable or negotiable virtue having little issue in following the patrons home after closing time.
It is also not unusual to see older white men in the company of much younger local girls, with the girls acting as short-term girlfriends during the weeks or months the men stay in Indonesia.
Perama  offers transportation from major tourist destinations in Bali and has a local Lovina office in Anturan. Perama shuttle buses to Lovina leave from Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, Candidasa and Padang Bai. They use mini buses without air-conditioning and the prices are more than reasonable.
Long distance bemos are a bit of challenge for all but the most experienced of budget traveller, but you can get to Lovina from most major towns in Bali, almost always via Singaraja.
Most visitors arrive in Lovina from the south in a self-drive hire car or with a car and driver. A journey from Kuta takes about 3 hrs and from Sanur slightly less. Ubud is a 2 hour car journey over the central highland range. Many visitors from the south choose though to break their journey at Bedugul or Kintamani.
A pre-paid coupon taxi direct from the airport will cost you Rp 450,000 and takes about 3 hours.
This is a good area for walking as the roads are relatively quiet and the beaches long and easily passable.
Renting a bicycle is popular and again, easy to find. Many hotels have their own. You should be aware though that away from the coast road, there are a lot of steep hills.
The easiest way to visit the surroundings of Lovina is by renting a motorbike. There are many roadside outlets and expect to pay between Rp 50,000-90,000 per day. The roads are quite good here and nothing like as crowded as in south Bali.
Local bemos ply the north coast road between Singaraja and West Bali, stopping at all points on the Lovina stretch. You will need some patience and they can be very crowded indeed. As there is only one main road it is though hard to get lost.
Lovina’s black sand beaches are quite lovely and lend themselves well to exploration on foot at a leisurely pace. The sea is very calm here and is safe for swimming. The feeling on the beaches is one of laid-back tranquility with small, colourfully decorated traditional outriggers called perahu dotted along the shoreline. These are a reminder that you are in a traditional fishing community. There are a few hawkers, but nothing like as many as on the southern beaches, and this is as good a place as any in Bali to explore quiet beaches at your own pace. At the highest of tides the beaches can get a little difficult to traverse in places, so it is best to time your walks for a falling tide.
The small road that runs down to the beach-front from the main east-west coast route at Kalibukuk is called Jalan Bina Ria. At the beach end of this road is a rather wonderful dolphin statue. Apart from being a notable piece of kitsch, this is a reminder of the reason for the initial drive beind tourist development at Lovina (dolphins, obviously). Mini wooden and stone replicas of this statue are for sale widely in the area.
- Brahma Vihara Arama, Dencarik. Bali's largest Buddhist monastery located near the village of Dencarik. The monastery is absolutely charming and commands lovely views. Whilst obviously Buddhist with its orange roof, numerous gold Buddhas and stupas recalling those at Borobudur, the carvings and ornamentation are very Balinese. The combination works well and if it were in a location easier to reach, this attraction would recieve far more visitors than it does. A visit here combines well with Banjar Hot Springs. Donation.
Your hotel can (and will offer repeatedly to) arrange day tours to the nearby sights including the beautiful highland scenery of Munduk to the south, the beaches of Pemuteran to the west, and the city of Singaraja to the east. All are within easy reach.
You can arrange a half day trip to the Les village waterfall, bat cave and coral protection project, which is around 40 km to the East.
A dolphin trip at dawn at Lovina
You will be offered dolphin sighting trips every other minute. These leave the main beaches each morning at dawn, and have mixed reviews as the boats tend to outnumber the dolphins. It can though still be an enjoyable ride, and if you do find a pod of dolphins it is of course very worthwhile. The price is fixed by the local boatmen's association, and is currently Rp 60,000 per person. If you are in a group, ask about chartering your own private boat.
Cockfights are popular around around Lovina, perhaps more so than anywhere else in Bali. This is taken very seriously, and you will see many older men training the cocks at the roadside throughout the area. At the fights, huge sums of money change hands as illegal gambling on the outcome is rife. If you are interested, ask at your hotel or approach one of the local men and ask to tag along to the next fight.
- Banjar Hot Springs (Air Panas), Dencarik (about 10 km west by road to Dencarik, then an ojek ride on rough paths). 7AM-6PM. Located west of Lovina, this is an enchanting hot springs with stone carved mouths gushing water in a lush garden setting. The waters are naturally a very pleasing temperature and have a high sulphur content. The whole experience here is extremely therapeutic and cleansing. Changing rooms and lockers are provided on site. This is not a straightforward place to get to, and for that reason it is often way less crowded than you would expect for such a lovely spot. Rp 3,000.
There are several dive operators based out of Lovina that operate daily dive and snorkeling trips to Menjangan Island, Tulamben and Amed, as well as dives from the local beaches. Be sensible and careful as some hotels and counters try to sell unlicensed diving trips that may look official on paper. Do not pay before you have seen the dive centre, and check that you will dive with certified divemasters/instructors.
- Bali Spice Dive, ☎ +62 362 41305 ([email protected]), . PADI centre based in Lovina offering day trips to all of the dive spots on the northern coast of Bali. Guides are available in a variety of languages and multi-day discounts are available. Long-established and the largest dive operator in the area. Has a handy booking office in Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk, and the main centre is on the beach at Kaliasem close to the Aditya Beach Resort. US$55-75.
- Lovina Dive, Jalan Banyualit, Kalibukuk (just east of Kalibukuk), ☎ +62 812 3842415 ([email protected]), . PADI dive centre with a full range of courses and fun dives to the major dive sites in north Bali. US$55-75.
- Sunrise Dive Centre, Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk, ☎ +62 362 411820.
Lovina has several spa facilities. Whilst more low key than the spas in south Bali, the service is excellent and the prices are much lower than at the opulent spas in the south.
Also, do not under-rate or overlook the traditional massage women who work on the beaches at Lovina. Most of these women come from families where massage skills have been passed down through many generations, and they really know what they are doing. A beach massage will also cost you less.
- Agung's Spa, (close to Damai Lovina Villas, in the hills 4 km inland from Kalibukuk), ☎ +62 362 42018, . 9AM-9PM. Offers body scrubs, facials, massage, etc. The nicest spa facility in Lovina, though it is much smaller and basic than what you would find elsewhere on the island.
- Bali Samdahi Spa, Tejakula (east of Singaraja), ☎ +62 813 38275206, . 9AM-10PM. Offers a variety of massages. The rebalancing massage is the signature treatment and a very nice mixture between therapeutic and well-being massage. Mandi Lulur scrubs are available also Thai Massage, Thai foot reflexology and more.
- Adjani, Enjungsangiang, Lovina, ☎ +62 812 36232019, +62 857 37642844 ([email protected]), . Daily 10AM-1PM Book at least 1 day ahead. Small family-run cooking school near the post office on the main road at Kaliasem. Classes include a trip to see the growing of medicine herbs and a spice garden. In 2-3 hr students learn 5 Balinese recipes such as; Balinese curry, sambal goreng tempe, verkedel kentang, gado-gado, black rice pudding. Non Vegetarian, sate ayam, sate lilit, urab, ikan pepes, kolak pisang.
Kalibukuk has a number of shops both on the main coast road and on Jalan Bina Ria selling the usual selection of Bali goods. You will find everything from arts and crafts to T-shirts at prices very marginally higher than you would pay in south Bali.
A Lovina speciality though are dolphin statues, usually carved from wood (don't believe those trying to convince they are from ebony!). This is due to the strong association of Lovina with dolphins, and if you want to take home just one souvenir from Lovina, then this is the most appropriate.
- Barakuda, Jl Mawar, Kalibukuk, ☎ +62 362 41405 ([email protected]), . 9AM-9PM. Popular restaurant specialising in Indonesian style seafood. Have a good value set menu options.
- Kakatua, Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk, ☎ +62 362 41344. Popular with tourists and not without reason. The menu is varied, the staff friendly and you can see the food being prepared and cooked from fresh ingredients. 11AM-10PM.
- Kopi Bali, Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk (near the dolphin statue). 11AM-9PM. . Cheap and cheerful Indonesian food. Extremely popular with budget travellers and a good place to hang out to talk travel.
- Kubu Lalang, Tukad Mungga, . 8AM-9PM. A quality restaurant with some excellent takes on local food here and a good value set menu. Located at the bungalows of the same name at the beach end of a quiet lane in Tukad Mungga.
- Sea Breeze, Kalibukuk (on the beach just west of the dolphin statue). 8AM-9PM. Very well known eatery on the beach in Kalibukuk. Been around for many years serving good value meals. Fish is especially recommended here.
- Warung Bambu Pemoran, on the entrance road to the Puri Bagus resort, ☎ +62 362 27080. 11AM-9PM. Balinese and other Indonesian food at excellent value prices. Often has live dance performances and also offer cookery courses.
- Pasha Nightclub, Jalan Raya, ☎ 0362 700 5272, . Bar and nightclub with DJs and live music.
- Volcano Club, Banyualit (on the main road, can't miss it), ☎ +62 362 412222. 6PM-late. The only disco in town. If you are around on Saturday and want to make some moves with local hot pussies, you should go here. A rather bizarre rustic building which resembles a concrete cave. Rp 25,000.
- Waru Bali, Jl Mawar, Kalibukuk. 11AM-late. Cool place to get get a beer and watch the sun go down. One of the oldest warungs in Kalibukbuk and still very popular. Stay late and you might enjoy a singalong with some of the locals.
- ZiGiZ Bar, Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk, ([email protected]), . 4PM-midnight. Acoustic music with 2 guitar players and DJ every night, starts around 8PM. Large cocktail selection. Satellite TV sports broadcasts on 4 screens.
- Apple Warung, Jl. Mawar (close to the beach). 11AM-11PM.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| Under Rp 200,000
|| Rp 200,000-1,000,000
|| Over Rp 1,000,000
There is a huge amount of budget and mid-range accommodation in Lovina and many visitors turn up without reservations. Options at the higher end are more limited but this is changing.
- Angsoka Hotel, Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk, ☎ +62 362 41841 ([email protected]), . 44 room hotel, has been around a long time and it will win no design awards. The cheapest rooms are very cheap indeed though and it is a popular choice with backpackers for that reason. Also have more expensive and grander accommodation options. From Rp 100,000.
- Elsa II, Kalibukuk (near The Angsoka off Jl Bina Ria). A small but excellent new budget option in Kalibukbuk. Opened in June 2008. Clean rooms, hot water, with fan or A/C and breakfast is included. From Rp 100,000.
- Gede Homestay Bungalow, Anturan, ☎ +62 362 41526 ([email protected]), . The rooms are clean with A/C and hot water. A small family run homestay with a good restaurant and nice seats in front of the bungalows. From about Rp 120,000.
- Happy Beach Inn, Happy Beach, Tukad Mungga, ☎ +62 362 41017. Just 4 basic rooms with no hot water arranged in a nice little garden. 2 min walk to Happy Beach. Rp 100,000.
- Harris Homestay, Kalibukuk (between The Angsoka and Elsa II, off Jl Bina Ria). Nice homestay owned by a German-Indonesian aged couple. Cheap, but well maintained and unusually (for budget Indonesian homestays) clean rooms with new furniture. Fan-cooled and without hot water, but price speaks for itself. Good choice for extremely tight budgeted travellers. Breakfast is included. From Rp 70,000.
- Mas Bungalows, Jl Laviana, Banyualit, ☎ +62 362 41773 ([email protected]), . checkout: 12-00. Quiet bungalow complex offering a range of accommodation options. The cheaper rooms have no A/C but all have hot water. Rooms are good furnitured (have fridge, cable TV). Free wifi but connection is not stable sometimes. Large pool and simple cafe. It has a green garden with blooming trees inside. Surprisingly for budget hotel. Very nice staff. From Rp 150,000 with breakfast.
- Mega Ayu Homestay, Jl Raya Singaraja-Seririt, Kaliasem in Central Lovina (Near the Dolphin statue and next to the beach), ☎ +62 813 3803 0275 ([email protected]), . Has a very central location at the beach in central Lovina, but is normally not noisy. Some quiet music may be heard in the night. The cheapest you can get in the area with good rooms and ambience, situated nearby to the shops, cafes and bars of central Lovina. Electricity, but no electrical socket for electronic devices. In high season it is often full. All rooms are provided with a fan. From Rp 50,000.
- Mumbul Guesthouse (Pondok Wisata Mumbul), Jl Raya Singaraja-Seririt, Anturan, ☎ +62 858 5743-8882 ([email protected]), . Located in the fishing village of Anturan and just a short walk to the beach. 4 rooms with hot water and A/C, all look out onto the adjacent rice field. Large pool and separate kids pool. Free WiFi, breakfast and taxes are included in the price. Rp 200,000. (-8.146439,115.04669)
- Puri Bali Lovina, Jl Mawar, Kalibukuk, ☎ +62 362 41485 ([email protected]), . 30 room hotel with traditional style rooms around a large pool. Standard restaurant, a secondhand book store/exchange and an internet cafe. 5 minute walk to the beach. The cheaper rooms have no A/C. Also has a nice two bedroom family unit for those travelling in a group or with children. From Rp 130,000.
- Rini Hotel, Jl Mawar, Kalibukuk, ☎ +62 362 41386 ([email protected]), . A good budget option and they actually take credit cards. The cheaper rooms do not have A/C. Good sized salt-water swimming pool. From Rp 150,000.
- Sanders, Kalibukuk. Situated beach-side. Rooms are clean with no hot water. One of the better backpacker places in town. Rp 100,000.
- Villa Agung Beach Inn, Anturan (close to the petrol station), ☎ +62 362 41527 ([email protected]), . A splendid little family run hotel right by the beach. Very quiet location. Offers a range of accommodation, some rooms have A/C. From Rp 300,000.
- Perama Bungalow, Anturan, ☎ +62 362 41161 ([email protected], fax: +62 362 41992). Clean with A/C and hot water (Bungalow). Family with a good restaurant, the bungalow is 800 m from the beach. Friendly staff will provide assistance boking nature & culture tours, city tours, dolphin & snorkelling tours, shuttle bus, cruise to Komodo island, or a fast boat to Gili island. From ~Rp 60,000-75.000 for economy room and Rp 100,000-150,000 for bungalow.
- Aditya Beach Resort, Kaliasem/Temukus, ☎ +62 361 8528521 ([email protected]), . Variety of accommodation available in this large beach front resort. Cafe, bar, in house massage treatment and large swimming pool. From US$35.
- Bali Paradise Hotel, Kalibukbuk-Lovina Beach (set back about 200 m from the beach), ☎ +62 362 41432 ([email protected], fax: 62 362 41432), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12 midday. Ocean and mountain views, huge swimming pool and large rooms. This is a good option for any visitor who wants to stay away from the from the beach but still close to all the facilities. SatTV and WiFi available throughout hotel. Incorporates the Le Gong restaurant, poolside or inside with A/C, open from 9AM-10.30PM. From US$79.
- Bali Taman Lovina Resort and Spa, Anturan, ☎ +62 362 41126 ([email protected]), . Good value beachfront resort with large pool, restaurant, and a notably good in-house spa facility called Arjuna Spa. From US$35.
- Banjar Hills Retreat, Tegehe, ☎ +62 815 58083880 ([email protected]), . Beautiful laid back hill resort close to the Banjar Hot Springs, about 10 km west of Lovina proper Rp 250,000.
- Chonos Hotel, JL Singaraja Seririt, ☎ +62 362 41569 ([email protected]), . 12 renovated rooms, all with A/C, hot and cold water, minibar. Swimming-pool in the garden. Free WiFi available. Also a nice restaurant with western and Indonesian food, very good breakfast. Rp 550,000.
- Nugraha Lovina Seaview Resort & Spa, Kaliasem/Temukus, ☎ +62 361 8070181 ([email protected]), . 17 rooms in large pleasant gardens, all room type have ocean views. Hotel is in a coconut grove along Lovina Beach waterfront. Small romantic resort with large waterfront swimming pool. From US$75.
- Puri Saron Baruna Beach Hotel (formerly Baruna Beach Cottages), Tukad Mungga, ☎ +62 362 41252 ([email protected]), . 35 rooms in large pleasant gardens close to the beach. The cheaper rooms are inward looking while the more expensive options have great ocean views. Large swimming pool located right on the waterfront. From US$65.
- Rambutan Beach Cottages, Jl Mawar, Kalibukuk, ☎ +62 362 41388 ([email protected]), . A lovely little family hotel near the beach. It has two pools and a pleasant restaurant with a mix of excellent local and western food. This hotel has good rooms and gardens and many amenities for children. The owners and staff are extremely helpful and friendly. US$25-155.
- Starlight Restaurant and Villas, Jl Starlight (between Aneka and Sunari), ☎ +62 362 7005271 ([email protected]), . On the beach near the centre of Lovina, opened in 2011. Cottages with double bed, large wardrobe with shelves, tea and coffee making ingredients, a small refrigerator and flatscreen TV with sat channels. Cottages have safes, A/C, fan and a mosquito net, high-quality modern sanitary facilities and walk-in showers with extra large shower heads. 4 person cottages have a second, twin-bedded room. The restaurant has an open kitchen, beachside dining and life acoustic music. Depending on the weather you may be able to sit on the beach with a bonfire or at one of the outdoor areas. Sometimes it is possible to spot dolphins from the beach or the restaurant. Free internet for guests.
- Sunari Villa and Spa Resort (formerly the Sol Lovina), Kalibukuk, ☎ +62 813 37536464 ([email protected]), . Large resort by Lovina standards with 129 rooms and eight individual villas. A variety of different room standards, large communal pool and bar/restaurant. From US$60.
- Damai Lovina Villas, Jl Damai, Kayuputih, ☎ +62 362 41008 ([email protected]), . 14 very charming high-end villas in the hills 4 km inland from Lovina. US$160-699.
- Frangipani Beach Villa and Hotel Bali, Jl. Kartika, Kalibukbuk-Lovina, ☎ + 62 81 353 077 095 ([email protected]), . Two villas, each with two independent deluxe rooms. Located on the Lovina beachfront with views of the Bali Sea, mountains and surrounding rice fields. A short walk from the heart of Lovina in a quiet area. From €75.
- Lilin Lovina Beach Hotel (ex Karina), Jl Singaraja-Seririt (on beachfront 1 km from dolphin statue), ☎ +62 36241670, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12noon. Beachfront villas with private plunge pools, garden courtyards, and beachfront lounges. A/C and fan cooling, TVs/DVDs on request, free WiFi and a full gourmet breakfast served in your room or at your private beachfront lounge. From Rp 1,100,000. (8.1656551361084,115.014434814453)
- Puri Bagus Lovina, Tukad Mungga, ([email protected]), . Pleasant beach front setting in a very quiet part of Lovina. Mature gardens and a decent restaurant. Some of the individual cottages are much nicer than others. US$100-280.
- Zen Resort Bali, Seririt, ☎ +62 365 93578 ([email protected]), . A small boutique resort offering integrated ayurveda, yoga, pranayama & meditation. Very quiet and beautiful location close to Seririt on the coast road between Lovina and Pemuteran. From €75.
Visitors to Lovina are often offered magic mushrooms. Although the Indonesian legal position on mushrooms is unclear, this is very much at your own risk and frankly, best avoided.
The telephone area code for Lovina is 0362.
Free WiFi in cafes not as common here as in the main South Bali tourist destinations, so specialist internet cafes are still quite numerous.
- Bits and Bytes, Jl Raya Singaraja, ☎ +62 817 522511, . 8AM-8PM, later in the peak season. Decent 256 kbps connection and good range of facilities. Rp 25,000 per hour.
- Inet, Jl Pantai Bayualit, ☎ +62 817 522511, . 8AM-midnight. Close to the beahc at Banyualit. Check your email in the open air while hearing the the waves. Rp 30,000 per hour.
- Spicelink Internet Cafe (not to be confused with Spice Dive) in Lovina, Jalan Binaria (street w/ dolphin statue at the end of it). +62 81362 41509, open daily 08:00-22:00, Rp 2,000/min, minimum 10 min. It has A/C and some drinks. They also have landline phones (though not cheap), a scanner and can email you the scanned document, and fax (though fax is not always reliable). Internet is relatively fast and they also sell wireless cards so you can use the internet in and around Lovina w/ your laptop if the signal is sufficient. If you plan to stay in Lovina long-term, they can arrange internet services at your own premises.
- Mitsuya Cafe has very slow internet. It is just east of Malibu Dive on Jalan Raya Singaraja.
- Restaurants, cafes, bars and convenient stores are now offering free WiFi if you patronise their venues.
- From Lovina you can continue your Bali trip westwards to Pemuteran and West Bali National Park for more diving, trekking and birdwatching.
- The old administrative capital of Bali at Singaraja is just 20 minutes to the east.
- Bedugul for lakes, mountains and the botanical gardens.
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