Away from the vivacious (and occasionally blinding) bling of Southern Bali, Singaraja city of the island’s Northern district able to preserve all of its vintage glory so well. Little known for most of generic tourists, the area around its precinct contains a very potential holiday haven—albeit underdeveloped one; such as the coastal village of Lovina, also known as the ‘home of dolphins’. Located on the West side of Singaraja, Lovina is one of the most underrated spot Bali. What its black sand beach lacks in features compared to the glorified shores around the Southern patch, it makes up with frequent sightings of dolphin pods that regularly patrols its calm waters. Back in the days, local fishermen in traditional outriggers set out for their daily catches in the bay every sunrise; and so did the dolphins. Nowadays, the extraterrestrially-smart marine mammals has considered as mascot of Lovina, they even built a gallant statue of the cetacean in Kalibukuk area as their monumental homage. Several hotels in Lovina are known to arrange dolphin watching tours as one of their guest activities option. If you wish to participate, it is essential to wake up very early (around 5.30 am, mind you).
The fishermen that will act as your driver/guide are obviously on-time, since it is about the same period as the beginning of their daily regime. They will be ready and waiting with their slightly- modified traditional outriggers on the corresponding hotel’s beach. Life vests included, you (and other four passengers excluding the fishermen), will embark and sail out in the bay just before the sun rises. Once you get to the middle of the sea, the engine will be stopped and then the waiting game begins. At times, breaching dolphins would be seen immediately as your boat quaintly drift on the open waters. If you are a dolphin enthusiast, you may recognize the glimpse of several different species at Lovina’s offshore, but just for your information, the most frequent sighting here are the dark-skinned spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) which visit Lovina’s bay all year round. One trip of dolphin tour usually last around 30 minutes.
Due to the increasing fame of this activity, At one point in the recent past, the dolphin watching tours at Lovina Beach led to somewhat crazy chasing scenes by many boat operators, as they all sped from one point to another at the most slightest sighting of a pod. This sparked concern over the aquatic mammals’ welfare, which then led the local government to set rules and coastal conservation in place, establishing proper conduct among the local fishermen, for the environment and their own good.