If you wish to get into the underwater kingdom which is ruled by the Coral Goddess accompanied by statues of Elephant-god, Buddha, and Temple, than Pemuteran and Lovina is the right place for you. This is a district stretching for 50km (31miles) between the small villages of Pemuteran and Lovina on the northern coast of Bali.
Their dive sites are famous for one of the best man-made artificial reef as well as natural reefs and their inhabitants, muck and night diving.
A trip to Lovina from the Bali’s airport or southern destinations usually takes about 3-4 hours. The most popular way of getting around on the Island of Thousand Temples is to hire a car or minivan with a driver. You can also take a taxi or a shuttle bus. Bus services are provided by the local company Perama. They have routes to Lovina from Sanur, Candidasa, Padang Bai and Kuta.
Pemuteran is located close to Lovina and it will take you one more hour to get there from Lovina Beach.
ATMs are located in Lovina, but none of them is in Pemuteran.
There are many dive spots located close to Lovina and Pemuteran. However, the latter offers more interesting diving. There are about 15 dive sites in Pemuteran including the world’s famous Biorock.
These places are superb for the beginners, macro photography and night diving as the waters are shallow; there is no current, and the reef is located close to the shore. Many dive sites have beach entry. Others can be reached on typical Indonesian wooden canoes called Jukung.
If you are an advanced diver and would like to see some other spots close to Pemuteran and Lovina area, then you can head to Menjangan Island National Park, Puri Jati, and Gilimanuk Bay.
Best dive sites overview
Biorock Dive Site
Biorock is a unique project for coral reef conservation which was started in 2000 by Karang Lestari, the Indonesian non-profit organization. It has already received much recognition and won 7 world’s awards. It is based on “electrical mineral accretion” technology, which stimulates the growth of corals on specially prepared objects made of wrought iron. It uses the energy of waves or wind generators.
This dive site is recommended for all levels of divers and it can be accessed from the shore. The underwater museum is about 300m (984ft.) long and it consists of more than 50 sculptures including a sculpture of the Coral Goddess. The average depth is 15m (49ft.).
The place is great for underwater photography and macro life studies. It is full of Sea Fans, Sponges, and Fire Corals. Several times Turtles and even Dugong were spotted in this area. The place is famous for the night dives during which you might be able to enjoy the marvelous Mandarinfish.
You can reach the place by boat. The landscape consists of reefs covered by soft corals and artificial objects including Temple Wall. The maximum depth is about 35m (114ft.). Among the underwater statues, there are an underwater Temple, Elephant-god, Stone Turtles, and Big Buddha. The place is full of crustaceans, Ghost Pipefish, Lobster, Lionfish, Napoleon, Batfish, and Grouper. Often Rays are spotted around as well as there is a chance of seeing Manta Ray. Red Electric Flame Scallops can be found as well.
This is a large reef within 15 minutes boat transfer which starts at 3m (9ft.) and goes down to 30m (98ft.). You can try to find Nudibranch, Leaf Scorpionfish, Frogfish, Octopus, Crocodilefish, and Pipefish on the reef. The place is full of Sweetlips, Snappers, Batfish, and Angelfish. From time to time divers see large Stingrays, Whitetip and Blacktip Reef Sharks, Tuna and Bumphead Parrotfish.
Napoleon Reef starts from about 5m (16ft.) with the maximum depth of 30m (98ft.). There is a wall on one of its sides. This location is good for spotting Stingrays, Eagle Rays, Cuttlefish, and elegant Catshark.
Gede Reef and Deep Reef
These are 2 nearby dive spots on the reef which start from 13m (42ft.) going down to 50m (164ft.). That is why this site is recommended for advanced divers. The place is famous for very large Gorgonias which can be found below 20m (65ft). There are many reef fish and pelagic fish around this area. Reef Sharks are often spotted here.
Secret Bay (Gilimanuk Bay)
If you are a fan of muck diving then you’d better try diving in a Secret Bay located to the west from Pemuteran. This is a heaven for macro photography at the depth of 3-5m (9-16ft.) so you can spend under the water as long as the air in the tank allows you. The usual inhabitants are Nudibranch, Frogfish, Seahorse, Ghost Pipefish, Banded Sea Snake, Octopus, and Cuttlefish.
Menjangan National Park is located within a 30-minute trip to the northwest from Pemuteran. There are many fantastic dive sites in this area which is famous for an exceptional visibility sometimes reaching more than 50m (164ft.).
Puri Jati is a beach entry dive site which you can reach either from Pemuteran or from Lovina. The place is famous for muck diving and it is full of Coconut Octopuses, Eels, Scorpionfish, Nudibranch,and Ghost Pipefish.
Best dive season
It is possible to dive in Pemuteran and Lovina all the year round. But the best season is September-November. You will have a chance to enjoy the best visibility.
Usually, the water temperature stays between 27-30°C (80-86°F). There are no strong currents. The visibility ranges between 15-40m (49-131ft.). However, there are some close to the shore dive sites where the visibility might get as low as 5-10m (16-32ft.).
Coral reefs, especially in the most shallow areas of Pemuteran and Lovina, suffered greatly during El Niño in 1998. However, now they are in a very good condition because of the unique marine conditions and conservation actions. You can enjoy really huge Gorgonias, Fire Coral, Sponges, Broccoli Coral and many other corals.
Crustaceans are represented by a large variety of Lobsters, Shrimps, and Crabs. Among the most interesting small creatures, there are Nudibranch, Seahorse, Ghost Pipefish, Leaf Scorpionfish, Mandarinfish, and Frogfish. It is common to see Octopus, Cuttlefish, Banded Sea Snake, and Rays. From time to time, you can face Turtles, Whitetip and Blacktip Reef Shark, Manta Ray, and Catshark.
There is a wide choice of accommodations in Lovina and Pemuteran. Many of them have beachfront locations. You can choose between hotels, diving resorts, and individual villas.
Hotel Puri Bangus Lovina
This 4-star hotel is integrated with Orca Dive Club in Lovina. There are 40 individual Bungalows built in Balinese style and 3 Villas with individual pool. There are Spa, a restaurant and a library on the territory of the Hotel.
Taman Sari Resort & Spa
The owner of the Resort is a founder of Karang Lestari Pemuteran organization which created the famous Biorock. The Resort is located near the beach in Pemuteran. You can choose between different types of Rooms, Suites, and Villas with a pool and an outdoor shower. There are a Spa, a restaurant, and a beach bar on site.
This is a private Villa located at the beach of Pemuteran. It can accommodate a maximum of 11 guests. There are 4 bedrooms with king-size beds and 3 extra beds in the accommodation. The Villa is serviced by the cook, household staff, pool attendant, and security. There are massage and beach pavilions, garden, Jacuzzi, swimming pool, and petanque court on Villa’s territory. Kayaks and 8 mountain bikes are included into the price of the accommodation.
Reef Seen Divers’ Resort
This specialized diving Resort is located right on the beach of Pemuteran. There are 8 rooms for double occupancy; each of them has an open veranda. There is a restaurant and a bar onsite.
Reef Seen Diver’s Resort operates in close cooperation with Turtle Hatchery of Pemuteran.
If you wish to see different dive sites around Bali within one trip, then it might be a good idea to join a dive safari. Many local dive clubs offer such type of packages which include diving with a guide, transportation, and accommodation at some hotel or dive resort in the most interesting diving destinations of Bali.
There are different types of safaris offered so you can concentrate on some specific marine inhabitants or type of diving, like wreck or wall diving. You can travel as long as you wish in case you take a personalized safari or you might follow one of the programs between 2-14 days.
You can find safari options covering Pemuteran dive sites with such dive clubs as Sea Rovers, Nautilus Diving Bali, Atlantis Scuba Bali Diving, Bali Scuba Masters, Nico Dives Cool, and others.
Other activities for non-divers
Snorkeling is possible at most of the dive sites at Pemuteran as the reef starts in shallow waters. Dive operators also organize snorkeling trips to Menjangan Island.
Turtle Hatchery of Pemuteran
If you fancy Turtles then you can organize a trip to the Turtle Hatchery. It was started by an Australian diver in 1994. A sea turtle was caught in the nets and in order to save the reptile Chris Brown bought it. Then he got another turtle starting his conservation project. Now there are rare Olive Ridley Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles, and Green Turtles in the sanctuary.
West Bali National Park (also known as Bali Barat National Park)
Just within a 30-minute drive from Pemuteran, there is one of the biggest National Parks of Bali. It occupies 10% of the Island. The Park consists of mangroves, Rainforest, Savanna and even coral islands, Secret Bay and Menjangan Island being part of it. There is a permit fee of 40000 Indonesian Rupias (~3 USD) to enter the Park. You will have a chance to explore a great variety of Birds, Snakes, Iguanas, Wild Pigs, Macaques, and many others.