Bali used to be THAT destination. The one you dreamed about, highest on your bucket list, but in recent years the desire to visit Bali is shifting to more of a right of passage, similar to that of Thailand. It’s not to say that Bali isn’t exceptionally beautiful, just make sure you don’t follow the itinerary of every other traveller.
Due to the earthquakes that struck the Gili Islands, I ended up changing my trip last minute and was lucky enough to spend a week exploring the peaceful area of Pemuteran.
Pemuteran is located in the North West of Bali. It is the ideal spot to escape the crowds in Ubud and travel somewhere lesser trodden. A small fishing village with aqua blues on one side and towering mountains on the other. Find out why Pemuteran should be added to your Balinese trip!
THINGS TO DO IN PEMUTERAN
Pemuteran has one of the first local projects I’ve heard of that is trying to conserve the coral. Just off the beach are several underwater coral gardens that have been planted by the locals in an attempt to rejuvenate the previously destroyed reef. We explored these underwater coral gardens and marvelled at the craftsmanship needed to create these structures.
Whilst they still have many years of growth ahead of them, there is enough underwater wildlife to keep your occupied every morning. Be sure to swim out to the pontoon!
Dotted along the beach and off the main road are small dive centres. Each morning we would see the divers waddle along to their boat and head into the open water. If you have your PADI or are thinking about getting one, diving here should most definitely be on the agenda.
THE NATIONAL PARK
West Bali National Park hosts Mejangan Island with clear waters that rival Bora Bora. Another hotspot for underwater adventures, or day trips can be easily arranged from Pemuteran and will take care of transport, food and boat tours.
In West Bali National Park, you can spend your morning hiking through forests and crossing rivers. Watching out for monkeys as you ascend and earn views across the park.
In between all of the activities above, try to fit in some time to relax. Pemuteran is a beach destination first and foremost, so spend a few sleepy days on a sun lounger admiring the view of the mountains sipping on a coconut. And, unlike the rest of Bali, the sand is (almost) white!
DOLPHIN BOAT TRIP
Whilst dolphin spotting is an activity in the area, I would highly advise NOT going. We didn’t give it much thought and booked onto a tour with a sunrise pick up.
The next morning, we set sail on the look-out for wild dolphins, only to be met by hundreds of other tourist boats. Whilst we never expected to be the only ones in the water, we didn’t imagine that a dolphin sighting would create mayhem amongst the boats and send them all hurtling full speed at the poor dolphin pod. Needless to say, we ended our boat tour early and warned other travellers.
HOW TO GET THERE
Being so peaceful comes at a cost – getting to Pemuteran should be planned at least a day in advance. Unlike the rest of Bali where you can jump in any taxi, hail an Uber or rent a bike, Pemuteran is out the way.
The journey takes at least 3 hours from Ubud and even longer if you are travelling from the Canguu region. If you don’t have a long-term bike rental, you are looking at £40 one-way for a driver to take you (which split between a group isn’t the absolute worst). You can also negotiate with a local driver for the entire day, with pricing around 600,000 Rupiah for 8 hours.
If you have the option, take the scenic route up into the mountains. With unmissable views, plenty of Bali-photo-swing spots and the Bali Gates, this route has plenty of stops to break up your journey.
WHERE TO STAY
With one main paved road running through Pemuteran, it’s easy to find accommodation. Several dirt tracks lead you towards the beach where you will find the fancy resorts but if your budget doesn’t stretch to include a spa, instead opt for one of the local homestays dotted around.
Tiara Homestay – We stayed here for a week and absolutely loved our experience. The family who hosted us were so kind, catering to our funny dietary needs and letting us hang out with their gorgeous kids! The rooms themselves were slightly fancier than basic, air conditioning, outdoor shower and prime location with a semi-private beach.
Taman Sari Bali Resort & Spa – whilst we couldn’t afford to stay here we spent most of our days at their pool! For the price of a coconut, you can park up poolside for a day and enjoy all the facilities the resort offers. With water fountains and sculpted gardens, this resort is definitely considered to be a luxury spot.
WHERE TO EAT
Eating in Pemuteran is about as local as it can get (without officially moving in with a Balinese family!). Restaurants tend to be part of the family house, with an array of furniture but incredible food. This is real Balinese food and not a Western interpretation of it in Seminyak.
A few of our favourite dinner spots were; Warung Kadek Merry, Warung Prapat Sari and Warung Sekar Sari. However, good luck finding a website to stalk the menu for these very local family-run restaurants!
There are of course burgers on offer if you choose to eat at one of the beachfront hotels. Prices will be much higher but you can enjoy your fries with a view of the sunset. We splashed out at Pondok Sari for our last night girls night together.
With views that rival Hawaii, it’s easy to see why Pemuteran makes the cut – so make sure you visit before the crowds of Ubud hear about it!
Have you ever been to Pemuteran? If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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Our Top Places To Stay In Pemuteran, Indonesia
- Pondok Sari
- Taman Sari Bali Resort & Spa
- Tiara Homestay
- Find the best price on hotels in Pemuteran, Indonesia
- Sign up to AirBnB with this link and receive a US $35 off your first booking
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