When we started planning our vacation in Bali, we knew we wanted a small quiet beach where we could do some diving. Pemuteran was a perfect fit. The small village of Pemuteran, Bali is a laid-back and beautiful black sand beach dotted with a few small resorts, restaurants and dive shops. Enough restaurants to keep you interested, but few enough to feel like you’re in a small village (which you are). Most days, we had the beach in Pemuteran almost to ourselves. We would occasionally see another snorkeler or two near our resort.
Pemuteran is located in the northwest corner of the island of Bali in Indonesia. It took about 5-6 hours by car from the Denpasar airport. Note: this timeframe will largely depend on traffic. We had an excellent driver, Mr. “Tu-dae” (not tomorrow! He would tell us). He was a very spiritual man who would pass on the wisdom taught to him by his guru in India. My favorite teaching is that all people are the same, all brothers and sisters… and that religion is in your head, but spirit is in your heart. He made the long trek insightful!
There is one main road that goes through Pemuteran, and much of the restaurants are on or close to it.
The view everywhere in the village is incredible. The lush, green mountains blend right into the black sand beaches.
Resorts and houses seem to take turns along the beach. Just a five minute walk away from our resort, a bunch of local houses popped up between the hotels.
There is nowhere else in the world where you can see cows on the beach, and then walk 10 minutes to get affogato. Yes, I realize affogato has nothing to do with Bali, but it’s where I discovered my new favorite dessert. Why has no one ever told me about this? It’s a steaming shot of strong espresso poured over vanilla ice-cream.
As if affogato and cows aren’t enough, the sunrise over the still water in Pemuteran was spectacular.
Just under the clear, calm waters is the most spectacular snorkeling I’ve ever seen. Although we spent a lot of time diving, we just couldn’t get enough of the underwater life this area has to offer. After or in between dives, we’d often throw our masks back on for just a few more minutes of underwater action. And it was just steps away from our room.
Tip: Remember to use the safe entrance and exit areas when snorkeling to avoid destructing the beautiful reefs.
There are no touts, no hawkers and no taxis. Just you, the sun, the soft sand and a beautiful underwater world to explore.
After the chaos of Jakarta, Pemuteran was a welcome break. It was easily the highlight of our trip to Bali, and maybe our favorite beach town yet. It was absolutely perfect for us: low key, good food, great atmosphere and plenty of amazing underwater life.
Must do: DIVING! Also, grab a massage, just make sure to tell them not to massage your boobs (unless you like that sorta thing) – it made me pretty uncomfortable. Try Ikaan Bakar, grilled fish in Balinese spices.
Getting there: You can take a ferry from Java, but it’s definitely far out of the way. We flew in from Jakarta to Denpasar on Bali, and hired a car directly from the dive shop at about $50.
Accommodations near Pemuteran Bali
There aren’t many to choose from in Pemuteran, which is partly the beauty of this little sleepy beach village. Here were some of our favorites:
- Reef Seen – if you’re a diver, this place is perfect. Right on a beautiful stretch of beach, close to fabulous restaurants and budget friendly. They’re small, with only a few rooms, which is exactly what we were looking for.
- Taman Sari Beach Resort – this place is gorgeous, and right next to Reef Seen. We had several meals at their beautiful beach front restaurant that were fantastic.
- Taruna Homestay – small but plenty of amenities, and a swimming pool. Even though it’s not directly on the beach, the family atmosphere and price might make up for it.
- Matahari Beach Resort & Spa – a gorgeous luxury option with a restaurant, spa and pool that’s right on the beach.
- The Menjangan Resort – this resort is a little more off the beaten path for guests who might want more seclusion and relaxation. This beachfront resort has many amenities and an on site restaurant.
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