Lovina Beach is a combination of smaller beaches spanning several local villages between two districts in the North Bali regency of Buleleng. The beach is a great alternative to the highly popular (and often crowded beaches of Bali's south, the likes of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. Calmer waves, serene black-sand shores, thrills in the offing, and a nightlife scene, are just a few things that sum up this quaint north Bali coast.
Lovina Beach spans two kilometers east to west, with a small area in the Kalibukbuk village as its main focal point. Sunsets are quite the highlight here, with rather subdued nightlife after dusk. A large parking space borders the beach with rows of cafés and trendy seafood restaurants at its sides. Near the sand, a single towering dolphin statue stands as an official landmark. Walk to the east and you will encounter further rows of art shops and small warung traditional stalls offering snacks and refreshments beside an airy boardwalk.
Lovina Beach’s sunrises are as ‘gently exciting’ as its sunsets, and are when participants of dolphin watching tours board colourful traditional motorised jukung outriggers to catch a glimpse of the several different species in these waters. Keep your camera gear ready as these flippers breach the smooth water surface in a blink of an eye. The most frequently sighted species are the dark-skinned spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) that are present all year round, except during the Chinese Lunar New Year period, when wind and rains are heavy and irregular (roughly from February to April).
Many hotels dot the area; among the notable include The Lovina, The Melka Excelsior Hotel, the Adirama Beach Hotel & Restaurant, Aneka Lovina Villas & Spa, the Puri Bagus Lovina, and the Puri Saron Baruna Beach Cottage. Each offer unique experiences and amenities. The Melka Excelsior, for instance, has trained dolphins in one of its special pools that guests can swim with! So there you have it, a better option than chasing them down on boats... Damai Lovina Villas with its luxurious units perched high on the hills, offers a vantage point over the beautiful bay and a different angle on its crimson sunsets.
‘Lovina’ doesn’t sound Balinese, as there is no such thing as the ‘v’ in the local alphabet. Actually it was originally the name of the first resort in the area that had only three guestrooms. Its founder, the late Balinese author and Buleleng noble, Anak Agung Panji Tisna (1908-1978), built the pioneering resort in 1953. It currently still operates with a new name, as the Lovina Beach Hotel. ‘Lovina’ was the author’s play on the words, ‘love’ and ‘Indonesia’. The name outgrew the establishment and subsequently applied to the whole coastline, which in turn continues to win heart.