Whether you live or are planning a holiday in Bali I can’t recommend enough making the trip to the North of Bali. Away from the hustle and bustle of Seminyak and Canggu, Pemuteran is aesthetically stunning with enough activities to keep the whole family wanting more.
The day after Nyepi, the Balinese day of silence and subsequently the first Day of the Balinese New Year, the kids and I set off on a little adventure. I had booked 2 nights in a 4 star hotel called Adi Assri Beach Resort. It takes approximately 3 hours to get to Pemuteran but let me tell you its sure worth the drive. To be honest it didn’t feel like a long drive and my kids aged 4 and 7 were quite content playing in the back of the car. So much so that when we arrived they both said “that was a quick ride”. There are different ways to get to Pemuteran. We went through Pupuan area which has beautiful rice terrace views a lot of the way. You can also stop at one of the larger terraces and break up the drive if you wish and perhaps have a spot of lunch or a drink. In the area is also Sing Sing waterfall which if you have older kids or someone else to assist you with the kids, would be fabulous to see. Being on my own as my partner was working I didn’t want to brave the trek on my own with 2 kids.
Pemuteran is where the sea meets the mountains. The mornings are beautiful and the afternoons tend to get a little bit of cloud cover. Personally I loved that combo as it wasn’t to hot in the afternoons and a bit of cloud cover to break up the day of sunshine isn’t a bad thing either. Our first afternoon was spent swimming in all the 3 hotel pools that were available, a walk along the beach and organizing our first adventure for the very next morning.
I was totally surprised at the wonderful activities available for kids to do. We were in search of finding Nemo and deer (magical moments for my kids thinking it was Santa’s rein deer) which was first on our agenda. Just off the coast of Pemuteran is an island called Mejangan Island. Menjangan Island is a small island, located 5 miles to the north-west of Bali island and is part of the Indonesian archipelago. “Menjangan” in Indonesian means “Deer”. It is part of the National Park in the area and it is known for its amazing diving and snorkeling. I made arrangements with the hotel as it had a dive centre attached to it. Costs for the half day outing including snorkeling and all equipment a light brunch, visit to the island was 700,000 for adults and half price for kids. There are other places as well that either have a dive centre attached to the hotel or you can easily book via the dive shops that are situated in the main street. (Contact details below)
We set off on our trip after breakfast at around 8.30am. I had booked a half day trip to Menjangan Island which included snorkeling and a brunch meal included. It takes around 30-40 minutes to arrive to the outer snorkeling point of the island. There are many spots to dive and snorkel from so make sure you discuss this with your captain or when you are making the booking. Equipment for snorkeling was provided as was a life jacket for my 4 year old. It was a precaution as indeed he can swim however safety always comes first. There are no waves in the area and it is rather safe and calm to swim. Ideal first adventure and introduction for my 2 kids to snorkeling. The staff were so helpful and cautious and were keen make my kids wishes come true. To see my kids faces when they indeed see Nemo, ok not Nemo but a clown fish, was priceless. Lucky indeed they were!
After snorkeling for about 45 minutes we went back onto the boat and had a meal of prepared nasi goreng (fried rice), bananas and water. I had also brought some of our own snacks as I knew my kids would get peckish after all the swimming being done. Letting the food settle for a good 20 minutes, as its never a good thing to swim on a full stomach, we feed the fish from the deck of the boat and watched as they swam to the top of the water. Rather mesmerizing seeing all different tropical colored fish.
Later we proceeded to the jetty at Menjangan Island in search of the rein deer. Lucky indeed we were to see one as we were arriving close to the shore of the water. “See Mummy, its’s true, it’s true, there are rein deer on the island” shouted my daughter in pure delight and excitement. Sightings can be rare however we were blessed in seeing 3 within our first 15 minutes on the island. Due to blessings and prayers being done on this particular day in preparation for the up coming Balinese Ceremonies we didn’t venture around the island much. However I can share that there is a 5 star resort on the island itself where you can stay if you wish.
Although we didn’t spend a lot of time as I would have liked to see more of the island we were content with what we had seen and hopped backed onto the boat back out at sea for some more snorkeling and then returned to land and our hotel.
After a morning out on the water we all wanted a rather chilled and relaxing afternoon so we headed to a cafe for lunch and a little treat. Bali Balance Cafe is situated on the main strip and caters for all dietary needs including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. A quaint little cafe with an out door seating area and decent enough coffee for all you coffee lovers.
Across the road from the Bali Balance Cafe is the Reef Seen Divers Resort. Providing accommodation, water sports and having a dive centre attached, there was another reason we were drawn to visit this place. Reef Seen has a turtle rescue project where you can get a 7 day pass for 25k to see the baby turtles and for 100k donation the kids can release a baby turtle into the ocean. The release program is only available in the mornings between 8am-10am and its best to book ahead and also check if there are any turtles ready to be released. My kids enjoyed seeing the different sizes of the turtle from being a baby to fully grown and of course wanted to release a turtle into the ocean. We booked a session for the following morning.
Leisurely afternoons in Pemuteran are spent by the pool, walking along the beach, cafes or if you have a car head to the area where the Mimpis Hotel is and enjoy a cocktail at one of the more luxurious hotels if you are not already staying there. There are some lovely 5 star resorts with stunning accommodation and great restaurants in the area. We took a drive and had a juice at the Kinaara Resort and Spa and took a quick dip in the infinity pool and natural hot spring pool overlooking the port. Whilst there the kids kept requesting we go snorkeling again. As a good sunset is difficult to come by at times in the area due to afternoon clod cover we decided to head out early the very next morning to catch the sunrise and snorkel in the rays of the rising sun.
Getting up at 5 wasn’t a struggle as we were all so tired from the previous days activities that we were in bed by 8. Excitement was in the air for another snorkel session and I was looking forward to experience a sunrise with my children as it something we haven’t done together before. Darkness was upon us as we walked to the dive centre and hopped onto the boat. My kids were a bit confused being up so early and thought it was night rather than morning! Within 10 minutes of being out in the water we started to see the appearance of light. What a magical experience seeing the skies light up before our eyes and shower us with hues of pinks and reds. A beautiful time shared with my loved ones which I strongly recommend you do too.
Once it was light and the sun was so bright we headed to the Bio-Rockjust of the coast off Pemuteran. I had absolutely no idea we heading there to snorkel and was totally surprised with the beautiful coral reefs and colored fish on show. The Bio-Reef project is a coral restoration project that began in 2000. There are over 70 separate Biorock reefs in Pemuteran, with a total length well over half a kilometer, creating the world’s largest and most successful coral reef restoration project. Pemuteran’s corals had nearly all died from bleaching, high temperatures, sedimentation, and from reef bombing and use of poisons by fishermen, many from the outside. It was wonderful to see the color and life beneath the ocean and the amazing works of those in the restoration project.
Spending the morning in the ocean and being blessed by a wonderful sunrise both the kids and I were wanting to head on an adventure around the surrounding area and see what else was waiting to be explored. After breakfast we packed up our belongings and checked out of the hotel. It was kinda sad to leave as we all thoroughly enjoyed our stay. On the other hand I thought best to pack up incase we ended up some where else and then again if not we could always return for another night or 2. Where to next I asked the kids? As if swimming in the ocean all morning wasn’t enough they requested we head to a water park. Water Park in North Bali??!!! Off we went on our adventure along the coast.
To be continued Part 2
Dolphins, water park, snorkeling, waterfalls, amusement parks and much more
Adi assure Beach Resort
Address: Jl. Singaraja-Gilimanuk, Desa Pemuteran, Gerokgak, Pemuteran, Gerokgak, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81155, Indonesia
Bali Balance Cafe
Address: Jalan Singaraja – Gilimanuk, Desa Pemuteran, Kec. Gerokgak, Pemuteran, Gerokgak, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81155, Indonesia
Kinaara Resort and Spa