A mellow, family-centered resort on the north coast of Bali, Lovina offers gray-black beaches and more affordable prices than you’ll find at the buzzing resorts to the south. The main attraction is a sunrise dolphin-watching trip. Guests also enjoy diving and snorkeling on the coral reef, and hiking in the hills beyond town.
Lovina is a worthwhile destination itself, to chill on the dark sand beaches, hike in the hills, watch dolphins, and explore other coastal attractions. However, many will visit as part of a larger north Bali day tour, combining a sunrise dolphin trip with stops at the Gitgit or Sekumpul waterfalls and in Bedugul. A handful of Lovina dolphin tours also include snorkeling around the spectacular coral near Menjangan Island, a couple of hours west.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Lovina is a popular choice for families with children, thanks to its calm waters and affordable accommodations.
- Dolphin-watching boats usually depart at 6am, which requires leaving South Bali at 3am, or even earlier.
- Don’t miss Lovina’s delicious grilled fish called ikan bakar.
- Lovina dolphin tours use small outrigger boats. Boarding requires reasonable balance, mobility, and strength.
How to Get There
Lovina sits on Bali’s north coast, around 6 miles (9 kilometers) east of the city of Singaraja. Perama shuttle buses connect Lovina to the major tourist hubs of Kuta, Ubud, and Sanur, as well as northerly destinations such as Padangbai, Candidasa, and Bedugul. North Bali is generally kinder to self-drivers than south Bali, but many will still find it easier to hire a driver.
When to Get There
If you’re visiting Lovina to enjoy the narrow beach, the weather is most cooperative during the dry months of May to September. Most visitors come for the dolphins, which can be spotted leaping and frolicking in the bay at sunrise. You’ll find smaller crowds if you visit during the low season months of October, November, February, and March.
Where to See Dolphins in Bali
Lovina is famous for its wild dolphins, although many believe that all the noisy dolphin-watching boats may be detrimental to their well-being. Dolphins in captivity in Bali are mainly kept in unpleasant conditions, usually in cramped, and sometimes even chlorinated, pools. Though you can see dolphins in the wild in Lovina, please don’t plan to swim with dolphins on Bali.