The North of Bali is pristine and beautiful. Much less visited than the beaches in the south, the 2km stretch of Lovina beach has stunning, volcanic black sand.
It is a prime destination for watching a captivating sunrise. Surrounded by traditional villages, it still has a more classic Bali feel.
The real attraction to the quaint Northern village lies in the water. Hundreds of dolphins call the waters home and draw in thousands of tourists a year.
Here is everything you need to know about dolphin watching in Bali.
Tips for Dolphin Watching in Bali
How to See Dolphins in Lovina
Lovina is a whopping 2 hours from Canggu, and a heck of a drive over varying landscapes. It could be exciting for an experienced motorbike driver, but for those just trying it out a private driver is the better option.
Hopping on a guided tour is ideal for first timers to Bali. You can even add on some extra stops to your trip, including Gitgit waterfall.
If you want to make it more of an adventure, you can head up to the North and spend the night at a local guesthouse or small hotel who offer a dolphin tour package.
Personally, I much prefer staying overnight to avoid the outrageously early wake up call.
Best Time for Dolphin Spotting
The prime time to get out on the waves and see the dolphins is in the early morning.
Tours most commonly start around 6am to catch a beautiful sunrise as well as the jumping dolphins.
Best Time of Year for Dolphin Spotting
The best month to see dolphins in Lovina is from May to January.
It is Bali’s low-season, but with comfortable weather conditions (not rainy season).
Between February and April the sea is often more turbulent and unfavorable.
July t0 August, and December are the peak tourist seasons in Lovina and can get crowded, sometimes scaring off the dolphins.
Personal Clothing and Equipment
Be sure you wrap up warm as the crack of dawn can be pretty chilly.
You might also want to consider taking a sea-sickness tablet if you are prone to motion sickness. You will be bouncing over waves in a tiny little boat, don’t ruin the trip of a lifetime with a dodgy stomach!
When you’re packing for your Bali trip, make sure you have a few warmer items – just in case.
Getting to Lovina Beach
More than 2 hours from Canggu, getting to Lovina is the first thing to plan for your dolphin spotting trip.
Rent a Motorbike
You’ve probably already hired a bike by this point in your trip.
Be sure to map out the journey on your Google maps and have your headset ready to take you around the twists and turns.
It’s gonna be a long trip and you’re likely to get a sore butt. Plan some stop offs along the way to grab refreshments and stretch your legs.
Driving in Bali is a skill, and not for the faint hearted.
Rent a Car
For families, larger groups or those who want comfort, renting a car and private driver is the way to go.
You may have to set off earlier, but at least you can nap along the way.
Is Dolphin Watching Ethical?
In 2020, the Indonesian Government officially banned dolphin shows, leaving a grey area for dolphin watching.
Technically, the dolphins are still wild and not in captivity. However, during high season the boats can get pretty rambunctious and competitive chasing the creatures.
You can sometimes have hundreds of boats waiting for a glimpse of one poor dolphin.
Be sure to pick the perfect time and tour company for your trip. Keep your distance, and often the dolphins will come to you.
Dolphin watching is an incredible activity to add to your Bali itinerary.
Away from the usual tourist hotspots, in a more rural and scenic area of the island, it gives you the chance to experience the real Bali.