How to Plan a Trip to Pemuteran, Bali

The coastline at Pemuteran, Bali

@ Didier Marti / Getty Images

 

Pemuteran, on the northwest coast of Bali, is a quiet area far removed from the hustle of Kuta, Ubud, and Canggu. Divers visit Pemuteran for the excellent visibility and variety of marine life. Snorkelers appreciate the calm water in the bay and artificial reef just offshore.

For now, Pemuteran remains peaceful. Lovina and Amed get far more attention from travelers who visit the northern part of Bali—but tourism in Pemuteran is destined to grow, particularly once Bali’s new airport opens in the north.

Planning Your Trip

  • Best Time to Visit: Bali’s driest and busiest months are in summer and fall from May to October.
  • Language: Bahasa Indonesia is the official language; however, nearly everyone who works with tourists will speak some level of English.
  • Currency: The currency of Indonesia is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR).
  • Getting Around: Pemuteran is small enough to get around by walking. Renting a scooter or bicycle is an option for expanding your range.
  • Travel Tip: Safe entry points for swimming are marked with signs on the beach. Enter the water in these soft-sand areas to avoid injuring your feet on coral, urchins, or even worse—venomous stonefish.

Things to Do

The reason most people make the journey to Pemuteran is to enjoy snorkeling and diving. A biorock reef restoration project sits just offshore (hence, the solar panels and strange floating huts that can be seen in the water).

Pura Sakti and Pura Pulaki are nearby Hindu temples not inundated with tourists. Pura Pabean is a seaside temple perfect for sunset. Beware of the bold macaque monkeys there!

  • Snorkeling: Although paying to join a dive boat as a snorkeler is an option, Pemuteran is a place where you can just grab gear and snorkel from the beach! Many guesthouses provide equipment for guests, or you can rent from one of the many dive shops.
  • Diving: Pemuteran is the jump-off point for enjoying diving in West Bali National Park. Abyss Ocean World operates the nicest boat in the area and brings divers ashore on Menjangan Island in the national park where tame deer greet visitors. An ancient Hindu temple constructed of coral can be seen on the island.
  • Visit the National Park: Bali’s only national park is on the very northeast tip of the island close to Java. The park is home to many rare species of birds along with other flora and fauna. A permit is required; plan on 20 minutes by car from Pemuteran.

What to Eat and Drink

Unsurprising for a fishing village, the seafood is excellent in Pemuteran. You should also take advantage of the fresh fruit grown in fertile, volcanic soil.

Warung D’Bucu is one of the many simple restaurants that stays busy for a reason: The food is fantastic! If you need a break from rice and Bintang, La Casa Kita is an Italian restaurant with pizza, fish, and wine on the menu.

Where to Stay

Guesthouses and budget hotels seem to give a little more effort in Pemuteran. With far less tourism than Kuta, Ubud, and other top destinations in Bali, accommodation choices (and staff energy levels) come across as a lot less beaten up than elsewhere on the island. Guesthouses, for the most part, are inviting and helpful.

Breakfast is often included with accommodation in Pemuteran. You can arrange drivers, motorbike rentals, activities, and whatever else you need by speaking with your reception. The Mango Tree Inn is one of many friendly guesthouses with a beautiful garden, just a short walk from the beach.

If you prefer to splurge, a handful of luxury resorts are strung along the beach. Prices range from $100 to $500 per night.

Getting There

Unfortunately, there aren’t public buses direct to Pemuteran. Getting to Pemuteran by car (virtually the only option for now) from Kuta takes around four hours. Leaving from Ubud saves approximately 30 minutes. The average cost of a one-way trip is 750,000 rupiah (around $53), but you may be able to negotiate.

If you’ve already got a dive shop selected in Pemuteran, consider asking them about arranging transportation. They may be able to consolidate guests into one van to cut costs. Otherwise, you can ask at your hotel about private drivers (everyone seems to know someone willing to make the drive).

Money Saving Tips

  • Almost every traveler you see in Pemuteran came there by car / private driver. There’s a good chance many of them are planning to head south at the end of their visit. Ask at your guesthouse and dive shop if they know of anyone leaving the same day as you. Travelers are usually happy to share the car and split the expense if there’s room.
  • No need to tip while in Indonesia; doing so isn’t customary. Your good intentions can inadvertently encourage cultural mutation and increase the cost of living for locals.

After Pemuteran

Java’s otherworldly “blue fire” volcano (Gunung Ijen) is around three hours west of Pemuteran.

Lovina Beach is a little over an hour by car to the east.

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