Lovina is a quiet coastal town on the North Bali coastline 5 km west of the city of Singaraja, though the main street, Jalan Raya Singaraja, which crosses the town parallel to the coast, is noisy and congested with sidewalks to walk but as many other parts of Bali not well maintained.
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 consists of seven traditional villages, which all 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 as the "Lovina town centre".
The whole stretch of coast here is fringed by 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, 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, but the most experienced of budget traveller. It is always possible to 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 hours 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 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. Be aware that many of the 'black sand' beaches (particularly in the central area) are an unappealing dirty brown with significant amounts of plastic rubbish
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 dolphin statue (complete with one-jawed rusting dolphins). 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.
Your hotel can (and will repeatedly) offer 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, 40 km to the east.
- 1 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 receive far more visitors than it does. A visit here combines well with Banjar Hot Springs. Donation.
- 2 Coba Baca Public Library (In the center of Lovina.), ☎ . A collection of Indonesian, English and Dutch books. Courses in Indonesian language are offered for tourists and expats. The main activity of the organization is to increase the knowledge level of the local inhabitants. This is done with help of English courses, books and other activities. The NGO was founded in 2009 and the amount of members is growing. A visit to the library combines well with nearly all the activities in the area.
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 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. Given the cruelty, and deaths of the birds, think twice about attending.
- 3 Banjar Hot Springs (Air Panas), Dencarik (about 10 km west by road to Dencarik, then an ojek ride on rough paths), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- Morning Dolphin Watching, Lovina Beach, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the morning dancing dolphins in their natural habitat accompanied by beautiful sunrise, it's really unforgettable experience lifetimes.
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, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Offers 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), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ☎ .
Lovina has several spa facilities. While they are more low key than the spas in south Bali, the service is excellent and the prices are much lower than in the south. 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.
- 1 Agung's Spa, Jl. Damai Kalibukbuk (In the hills 4 km inland from Kalibukuk, close to Damai Lovina Villas), ☎ . 11AM-7PM. Offers body scrubs, facials, and massages. The nicest spa facility in Lovina, though it is much smaller and basic than what you would find elsewhere on the island.
- 3 Adjani, Enjungsangiang, ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 10AM-1PM, book a day in advance. Small family-run cooking school near the post office on the main road at Kaliasem. Classes include a trip to see the growing of medicinal herbs and a spice garden. In 2-3 hours, students learn five Balinese recipes. Vegetarian class US$30; non-vegetarian $35; mixed program $40; Balinese cooking $45.
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.
- 1 Barakuda, Jl Mawar, Kalibukuk, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM-9PM. Popular restaurant specializing in Indonesian style seafood. A good value for the set menu.
- 2 Kakatua, Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk, ☎ . 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 travelers and a good place to hang out to talk travel.
- 3 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.
- 4 Warung Bambu Pemaron, on the entrance road to the Puri Bagus resort, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11AM-9PM. Balinese and other Indonesian food at excellent value prices. Often has live dance performances and also offer cookery courses.
- 5 Warung Jegeg, Jalan Raya Singaraja-Seririt, Kalibukbuk (Next to Library Coba Baca, under Hotel 'Bali Jegeg'.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The really nice lady Wayan offers authentic and delicious Balinese/Indonesian cuisine as well as cooking classes. Great value for money!
- Pasha Nightclub, Jalan Raya, ☎ . Bar and nightclub with DJs and live music.
- Volcano Club, Banyualit (on the main road, can't miss it), ☎ . 6PM-late. The only disco in town. A rather bizarre rustic building which resembles a concrete cave. Rp 25,000.
- 1 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.
- 2 ZiGiZ Bar, Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk, e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- 3 Triple 9, Jl. Mawar, ☎ . Bar and restaurant operated by Dutch owner. Good food, live music and great cocktails. Happy hour: Heineken only Rp. 15.000.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Under Rp 200,000|
|Splurge||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 tend to be more limited in availability.
- Lovina Beach Hotel, Kalisem, Lovina Beach (Located on the road with parking lot and the hotel area extends to the beach, swimming pool, restaurant), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 02.00-12PM, check-out: before 12.00 Noon. Standard @Rp.150,000.-& DeLuxe Bungalow @Rp.200,000.- ask for special prices.
- Angsoka Hotel, Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukuk, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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 air-con and breakfast is included. From Rp 100,000.
- Gede Homestay Bungalow, Anturan, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The rooms are clean with air-con 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, ☎ . 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.
- 1 Mumbul Guesthouse (Pondok Wisata Mumbul), Jl Raya Singaraja-Seririt, Anturan, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Located in the fishing village of Anturan and just a short walk to the beach. 4 rooms with hot water and air-con, 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.
- Puri Bali Lovina, Jl Mawar, Kalibukuk, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 30 room hotel with traditional style rooms around a large pool. Standard restaurant, a secondhand book store/exchange and an internet cafe. Free wifi. 5 minute walk to the beach. The cheaper rooms have no air-con. 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, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A good budget option and they take credit cards. The cheaper rooms do not have air-con. 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.
- Puri Manik Sari, Kalibukuk (In a little side street of jalan binaria, in front of Elsa II), ☎ . Check-out: noon. Hotel located in the absolute center of Lovina. Close to all the bars, restaurants and the beach. A budget option. Located in a Balinese garden. Tours can be booked at the reception Starting from Rp 100,000 for a economy room. Prices of the bungalows and air-con rooms are higher..
- Villa Agung Beach Inn, Anturan (close to the petrol station), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A splendid little family run hotel right by the beach. Very quiet location. Offers a range of accommodation, some rooms have air-con. From Rp 300,000.
- Perama Bungalow, Anturan, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: Perama_lov@yahoo.com. Check-out: 11:30PM. Clean room with air-con or fan, hot & cold water, and a bath in the bungalow. Cold shower with fan for economy room. The bungalow is 200 m from the beach. Restaurant onsite. Bookings for daily tours (1 day or half day tours), dolphin & snorkelling (lovina area or menjangan island), daily shuttle bus, travel bookings and arrangements. From ~Rp 100,000 for economy room and Rp 150,000-250,000 for bungalow.
- Aditya Beach Resort, Kaliasem/Temukus, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 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 air-con, open from 9AM-10:30PM. From US$79.
- Bali Taman Lovina Resort and Spa, Anturan, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Good value beachfront resort with large pool, restaurant, and a notably good in-house spa facility called Arjuna Spa. From US$35.
- Chonos Hotel, JL Singaraja Seririt, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 12 renovated rooms, all are air-con, 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, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Small resort with large waterfront swimming pool. 17 rooms in large, pleasant gardens, include 1-bedroom villa & 2-bedroom villas, all with ocean views. Hotel is in a coconut grove along Lovina Beach waterfront. From US$75.
- Puri Saron Baruna Beach Hotel (formerly Baruna Beach Cottages), Tukad Mungga, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- 2 Starlight Restaurant and Villas, Jl Starlight (between Aneka and Sunari), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, air-con, 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, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
As of December 2016, there are several 4-star hotels.
- 3 Damai Lovina Villas, Jl Damai, Kayuputih (4 km inland from Lovina.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fourteen charming high-end villas in the hills. US$160-699.
- 4 Frangipani Beach Villa and Hotel Bali, Jl. Kartika, Kalibukbuk-Lovina, ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. Two villas, each with two independent deluxe rooms. Located on the Lovina beach-front with views of the Bali Sea, mountains and surrounding rice fields. A short walk from the heart of Lovina in a quiet area.
- 5 Lilin Lovina Beach Hotel (ex Karina), Jl Singaraja-Seririt (on beach-front 1 km from dolphin statue), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12noon. Beach-front villas with private plunge pools, garden courtyards, and beach-front lounges. Air-con and fan cooling, TVs/DVDs on request, free WiFi and a breakfast served in your room or at your private beach-front lounge. From Rp 1,100,000.
- 6 Puri Bagus Lovina, Tukad Mungga, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. From Rp 2,000,000.
- 7 Zen Resort Bali, Seririt (Close to Seririt on the coast road between Lovina and Pemuteran.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A small boutique resort offering integrated ayurveda, yoga, pranayama & meditation. Very quiet and beautiful location. From €90.
- 8 Villa Insulinde, Jl. Lotus M9 (On the beach near Lovina.), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Private villa for 10-12 persons with large pool and own staff.
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 best avoided.
The telephone area code for Lovina is 0362.
You can use some free wifi sharing password such as Instabridge or 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, ☎ . 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, ☎ . 8AM-midnight. Close to the beach at Banyualit. Check your email in the open air while hearing 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 with 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 50 km 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 area for lakes, mountains and the botanical gardens, 20 km south, approximately 40 minutes by car.