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Joop van Pruijssen
Near the northern tip of the island of Bali lies a stretch of villages by the Bali Sea. Lovina Beach is the name. Lovina is really a string of coastal villages to the west of Singaraja. Escape from the hustle and bustle of Kuta to Lovina Beach located in north Bali, about 100 kilometers from southern tourist hotspots. It is well known as an excellent site for sunset watching, snorkeling, and diving. Darkly beautiful, Lovina offers quiet and calm, and is popular Asian tourists and those avoiding the hustle and bustle of the southern beaches. A number of coves offer tranquil, protected waters and Lovina is one of them. Although the sand is grey, it is quiet and peaceful, and popular among those who shun the glitzier beach resorts of the south. It is a popular place for dolphin watching; dolphins play in the water off Lovina. Famous for its early morning dolphin-watching boat trips, Lovina also offers good snorkeling and diving, and trekking in the nearby mountains. Diving off Menjangan Island, part of the Bali Barat National Park, is generally regarded as the best in Bali. Boats are readily available to take divers over to the island, where there are no residents or hotels.
Nightlife activities are also abound, as well as chartered boats to go out into the sea. If we like what Kuta offers but do not like the crowd. With a wonderful variety of hotels, restaurants and bars located on or very near the calm beach, Lovina offers something for everyone. It is also a good base to take day trips to the nearby attractions of north and west Bali.
The beaches of Lovina are characterized by its rural nature and its unique, dark colored sand which is of volcanic origin. The childfriendly, shallow water of Lovina's reef protected beaches is free of dangerous undercurrents and is of an agreeable warm temperature throughout the year, which makes it very suitable for unconcerned family holidays with safe swimming and snorkeling.
Central Lovina, Kalibukbuk - The beach area of the village of Kalibukbuk is general regarded as the 'center' of Lovina as it was here that the first accommodations were built. Traditionally, you will therefore find the highest concentration of restaurants and bars in this area, in particular the area of Jalan Binaria (Dolphin Street), Jalan Pantai (a boulevard) and Jalan Rambutan.
The very first accommodation, a losmen with a restaurant named Lovina, was built in 1953 by the last Raja of Buleleng, Anak Agung Pandji Tisna. This accommodation was located just west of Kalibukbuk near the outlet of a small river at the beach of Kampung Baru of the village of Tukad Cebol, which name was later changed into Kaliasem. Nowadays this losmen does not exist anymore, but it used to be located in the area where now Villa Swara Segara stands (just west of Sea Breeze restaurant).
Located at the end of Jalan Binaria in Kalibukbuk, and landmarked by a Dolphin Statue at Binaria Square, Binaria Beach is one of the most popular beaches to watch Lovina's famous, romantic sunsets. The best spots to watch the sun set, apart from the beach itself, are Sea Breeze restaurant (located west of the Dolphin Statue) and Santhi Bar (located east of the Dolphin Statue ). A beachside boulevard runs through a treed area and connects Binaria Beach via Binaria Square with Jalan Rambutan and Rambutan Beach.
Food stalls at Binaria - Every day as from ca. 4 pm several kaki lima(foodstalls) can be found along the edges of Binaria Square selling food and drinks. These foodstalls stay open until late at night and are frequented by both local people and westerners. The food that is sold is good and ranges from gado-gado, lumpia's and satays to bakso and nasi campur to fruits, cakes and sweets. Drinks: cool Bintang beers, lemonades, tea, coffee, mixed iced fruit and local sweet drinks. Food prices here range from Rp. 4000 - 8000 per portion.