Lovina’s main claim to fame is the dolphins that can be frequently spotted off the shores of this northern city. But, as tourism in Bali increases more and more people are coming to use Lovina as a base to explore parts of North Bali both on land and in the water. Scuba diving, waterfall chasing, beach-bumming, and more all add to the draw of this town.
Also check out our guide to scuba diving Bali.
Scuba Diving Sites in Lovina
Scuba diving off of Lovina’s beach is possible, but it’s not really too exciting. So dive operators in Lovina tend to visit the same dive sites as they do in Pemuteran which are:
- Pura Tembok/ Close Encounter/ Napolean Reef: Three reefs all within about 15 minutes from the dive resorts in Pemuteran. Soft corals, sponges, and tons of fish make these small reefs relaxing and picturesque dive areas. If you are lucky, you may also spot manta rays.
- Pemuteran House Reef: The best time to dive here is the late afternoon when the mandarin dragonets come out. If you are lucky, you may also catch them doing their mating dance. Also a good spot for night dives.
- Menjangan Island: Menjangan is part of the West Bali National Park and a well-known scuba diving destination. It’s mainly wall dives with depths up to about 30m. Great visibility, plenty of marine life, and the fact that it is suitable for divers of all levels make it a favourite.
It is also possible to visit Puri Jati (PJ), one of the newest dive areas in Bali and only a twenty-minute drive from Lovina.
- PJ: a favourite for muck diving and macro photography. The black volcanic sand here provides a beautiful contrast against the colorful critters that inhabit this area. Look for seahorse, nudibranch, dragonets, frogfish, and more.
How to Get to Lovina
Getting to Lovina will take a few hours from southern Bali, but there are a few options. A private car is the easiest but most expensive. However, if you are a group it might be your best bet.
Perama shuttles offers transport to Lovina from other major cities in Bali (Ubud, Kuta, Sanur etc.). Most of these shuttles are not air conditioned and there have been comments that they require a minimum of two passengers headed to the same destination.
If you are up for an uncomfortable adventure you may be able to find a bemo (cramped but cheap local transport), however it will take a long time and likely require some transfers.
Tip: There seems to be a bit of a ‘scam’ where the shuttle will drop you off in what looks to be the middle of nowhere. Drivers will be waiting offering to take you the rest of the way, but if you walk a bit further you will find yourself in the town.
Things to do in Lovina
Lovina is probably the most popular area in Northern Bali. Its proximity to great dive sites as well as some gorgeous natural attractions makes it a popular pick for traveler looking to experience the north part of the island. Here are some of the best things to do in Lovina and the surrounding area:
- Lovina Beach: The most popular beach in the area for sunbathing and watersports. This beach is also unique in that you can see both sunrise and sunset here.
- Art Patio Lovina Gallery: Located at Lovina Beach, this art space features paintings, sculptures, photography, and even movie screenings. There are also some on-site workshops available for those who are creatively inclined.
- Banjar Hot Springs: These centuries old hot springs are one of the main draws for travelers visiting Lovina. They are about a 20-minute drive away and are the perfect place to relax and also enjoy a local ritual.
- Brahmavihara – Arama: The largest Buddhist monastery in Bali. Only 20 minutes from Lovina.
- Bali Bike Park: A variety of trails for avid mountain bikers. There are different routes suitable for all ages and all levels.
- Dolphin Watching: Lovina is known for its dolphin sightings and there are many tour operators offering dolphin watching tours. However, as it becomes more popular there are reports of the boats chasing the dolphins so we recommend doing some research before you consider this activity.
- Gitgit Waterfalls: Just 30 minutes from Lovina, this 40m high waterfall is one of the most picturesque waterfalls on the island.
- Munduk: Munduk is about a 30-minute scooter ride from Lovina and home to some stunning rice terraces as well as a beautiful waterfall.
If you plan to stay in the area for a few days, consider renting a scooter or hiring a driver to take you to some of the further attractions, temples, and sites in the area.
Where to Stay in Lovina
Thanks to its popularity, Lovina has plenty of options when it comes to finding accommodation. Budget accommodation makes up the majority of the choices, making it easy to just show up and find some place to stay. Higher end options aren’t as common (though this is changing) so it’s recommended to book any upscale properties in advance.
If you are looking for a good base to do some diving and explore northern Bali, then Lovina just may be the perfect pick for you!