Located a few kilometres from Singaraja, Bali’s historic capital, Lovina is an increasingly popular destination for people on vacation looking to escape Bali’s highly commercialized tourist oriented south. A lovely stretch of pristine black sand beach overlooking the Bali Sea, Lovina Beach is a much more laid-back and relaxed place than its counterparts in the south. Don’t let this slow pace of life deceive you into thinking Lovina is a sleepy backwater – the area is home to several world class resorts, hotels and guest houses. Not only does Lovina boast a great and varied selection of tourist accommodation and amenities, but prices in north Bali are also lower than what one may find in the tourist hubs of Kuta, Ubud or Nusa Dua in the south.
There is more to Lovina than the ever-present black-sand beach and Dolphin sightseeing tours. While by no means an exhaustive list, here are some popular places to visit when in Lovina:
1. Diving and snorkeling are two of the more popular activities most people engage in during their stay at Lovina. While many people prefer to take the shuttle to Tulamben in the east to explore the famous wreck of the USS Liberty, Lovina itself is home to a highly underrated diving site: the Lovina Reef. Not as well known as the other coral reefs or shipwrecks in north Bali, the Lovina reef dive offers interesting newly formed corals to explore.
2. Easily accessible from Lovina, the Banjar Hor Springs is a natural hot spring set in a lush garden environment. Believed by the locals to heal diseases, a soak in the high sulphur waters at the Banjar Hot Springs is guaranteed to be relaxing and therapeutic.
3. While Bali is known as the land of a thousand temples, a Buddhist temple is something of an anomaly in the overwhelmingly Hindu island. The Brahma Vihara Arama, one of only two Buddhist temples in Bali, is a charming monastery with stunning views of the surrounding forest canopy and the distant sea. Located 11 kilometres west near the village of Dencarik, the Brahma Vihara Arama is easily accessible from any hotel or holiday residence in Lovina.
4. While not a part of Lovina, the neighbouring city of Singaraja is a must visit for anyone staying in Lovina. As the seat of Dutch colonial power in Bali and its surrounding islands, this port city has long played an important part in Bali’s history. A major stop for seafaring nations throughout the centuries, Singaraja bears the influence of various cultures that have landed on its shores; a stroll down Singaraja’s old docks will show Arab, Dutch and Chinese influences.