Discover Bali | The North

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” Susan Heller

The other half wanted to visit the north of the island so we squeezed in a two-day/one night trip to Lovina (meaning Love Mother Earth) in the Northwest, venturing away from the more popular and touristy south. North Bali is much quieter but popular with tourists for diving, snorkelling and dolphin spotting. Although sunrise dolphin spotting sounded marvellous, in reality it was a bloody long drive to Lovina to get up before dawn to bob about on the ocean with hoards of other boats to eventually spot a dolphin or two. On the plus side our hotel, The Lovina was beautiful and located right on the beach with a stunning backdrop of rice fields and mountains. Our new driver Dewa, recruited from a chance meeting in Ubud, collected us from the Bidadari resort and we set off through traditional towns and rural villages, breaking up the trip with a couple of sightseeing stops en route.north bali 2

What we did……

Travelling through the central mountains it was decidedly chilly and even rained for a bit as we arrived at the multi tiered Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, a water temple compound located on the shores of Lake Beratan. Set against a mountainous background this sacred temple has eleven tiers and is regarded as the second most important temple in Bali, dedicated to the Goddess of the Lake, Dewi Danu. Damaged by two earthquakes in 1917 and 1926, the temple has been renovated and it is a major tourist attraction for those heading north.

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Next stop was to the Gitgit waterfall, the highest waterfall in Bali. We made our way down a slopping narrow rainforest path with a guide to visit the three separate waterfalls surrounded by clove trees and coffee plants. The Gitgit waterfall has waterfalls of different heights and you experience a change in temperature as you get closer and a fine mist engulfs you. Twin Falls (adjoining waterfalls) is the first, the second waterfall was higher than the Twin Falls and there is also a third called Waterfall Story, viewed from a bridge.

Up before the sun the following day we went on a two-hour dolphin watching trip aboard a traditional outrigger fishing boat along with hoards of other vessels, all racing off in different directions to spot the elusive mammals. The sunrise was spectacular and some dolphins were seen although the massive circle of chugging boats definitely scared them off way too quickly. The other half went back on one of the boats after breakfast for a quick snorkel in the clear waters around the coral reef located off the beach.north baliOn our way back through the wild monkey lined mountain roads to the south we stopped to admire the views across Buyan and Tamblingan Lakes known as the Twin Lakes. Great scenery and the other half even (reluctantly) got to hold a fruit bat, like you do!

Where we stayed……

The Lovina is a beautiful hotel nestled in lush tropical gardens along a stretch of unspoilt black volcanic sand adjacent to the calm Bali sea. We were upgraded to a Beach suite which was both massive and immaculately decorated complete with lounge, kitchen and dining areas and probably the biggest bed I have ever seen, shame we were only there for one night!

The suite was directly in front of the impressive pool and beach where we dined by candlelight on the first night (arrived at Happy Hour, perfect timing) and was the perfect place for the incredibly early start the following morning.Back from the Dolphin spotting in time for breakfast, we dined on the buffet style offering in the Heliconia restaurant which had the most fantastic views from the second floor across the rice fields and the Bedugul mountain range beyond. This hotel had a relaxed vibe and is a perfect spot for a spot of peace and quiet while the excellent staff take care of your every need.

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The Nitty Gritty

The Lovina, Lovina Beach, Bali

Telephone: +62 362 3435 800

Email: reservation@thelovinabali.com

Website: www.thelovinabali.com

The Good ……

Contemporary and comfortable accommodation

Stunning location

Cheaper than hotels in the south of Bali

The Not so Good……

A fair distance from the airport and southern resorts

Food was distinctly average at the beach restaurant

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For the trip to Lovina we used Dewa Ketut Putrawan as our driver. Contact Dewa on 081 7470 3555 if you require a reliable and knowledgable driver.

Read previous Bali posts In Pictures – A Postcard From Bali, Discover Bali – JimbaranBeachside Beauty: Intercontinental Bali Resort ReviewRumah Desa: A Balinese Home and Cooking Studio, Discover Bali – Ubud, Boutique Style: Ayala Resort Ubud ReviewRainforest Retreat: Bidadari Private Villas and Retreat Ubud Review, Discover Bali – The Mountains and In Pictures: Faces of Bali

Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved.