Beautiful sunrise and dolphin watching at Lovina Beach of Northern Bali, Indonesia

Schools of dolphins surfacing to catch their "morning breakfast"! So beautiful! Wish I had better close-up camera!

Flash back to Feb 2010 when I first got a chance to watch schools of dolphins in their natural habitat - the sea! Prior to that, I believe I only managed to see real dolphins in San Diego Sea World during my study years in the United States of America.  So I thought of recapturing the beautiful experience here - seeing dolphins in their own habitat (open sea) for the first time! 

And since I love sun, sea, sand, island so much - you can imagine my excitement!

Travel from Kuta to Lovina Beach, Northern Bali

I have been to Bali several times, but only around Kuta, Seminyak, Legian and Ubud. So this round we thought of exploring Northern Bali since we heard from a friend that we could watch dolphins in open sea there.

Lovina is located at nortern part of Bali, 4 hours bus ride,
and about 3 hours taxi ride from Kuta.

We decided to take the bus from Kuta thinking that it would be a comfortable 4-hour comfortable ride. Little did we know that the bus was not the usual travel bus but more of a school bus - with compact space, hard seat and no head rest. Furthermore, there was no air conditioning in the bus. 

So the whole journey was quite torturing - going through the bumpy roads up and down the hills. My neck and butt got very sore from the long journey. Thankfully, the journey passed through river valleys with tropical landscapes, traditional towns and villages in rural areas, rice terraces and mountains. However, by the time we reached Lovina beach, we were sweaty, tired with neck and butt sore!! haha!

Lovina Beach

Lovina Beach is one of the spectacular beaches with dolphin habitat. Most tourists going to Bali would skip Lovina Beach though. Reason: It's rather far from the tourist spot in Kuta, Nusa Dua, Ubud. And besides watching the Dolphins, there isn't much to do at this laid back beach. However, I found the trip to be very worthwhile because I managed to see the "unseen" part of Bali to enrich my travel and life experiences!

The local resort we stayed in was very relaxing. And it was right at the door step to where the dolphin tour would take off! So convenient! 

Nice relaxing resort!

Dolphin statue at resort!

As I walked long Lovina beach, I saw many traditional outrigger boats. The boat design is so unique - unlike any boat I had seen. It looked more like a flying boat with wings! I love it!

We were approached by several boatman with traditional outrigger boats about the dolphin tour. I guess I couldn't run away from being spotted as a tourist with my camera. We found a local boatman who seemed to be very friendly to discuss about the tour. Due to the low season, we managed to negotiate a good price for a dolphin tour the following morning. 

Traditional outrigger boats at Lovina Beach

Such a unique design! Wings that can fly!

Capturing the moment with the traditional outrigger boat!

Sunrise and searching for dolphins in open sea

We woke up very early to meet up with the fisherman at the beach around 5 am. We were told that dolphins would look for their food early in the morning. That's when dolphins would surface from the water. 

Hopping onto the beautiful traditional outrigger boat, off we went out to the sea. We saw many tourists also coming out early in the morning on the traditional outrigger boats. 

The water was cold but not very deep. I could see many sea weeds in the water. I think the sea weeds help to breed many fishes - food for dolphins. I have never seen a beach or sea with so many sea weeds before. So the experience was refreshing!

As we left the seashore to the open sea, we could see the run rising behind us. 

The sea was calm, everyone was quiet, and what we could hear was the sound of the running motor from the boat and the water hitting on the boat. 

I love the serenity and peace of the moments! In the open sea - with wind brushing on my cheek, and seeing the sun rise! Simply amazing!

Beautiful sunrise!

Sunrise with the traditional outrigger boat - which was unique

We saw many boats around us - all with same purpose - to circle around in the hope of seeing the dolphins surfacing from sea water to search for their "morning breakfast". 

Our boat man told us that the dolphins here appear year round. But it depends on our luck whether we could see them or not. 

So we all really prayed that our trip wouldn't be wasted without any sights of dolphins!
Boat with flying wings... beautiful!
All were looking around to spot any sights of dolphins!
All are in the search for dolphins to surface!

Beautiful dolphins

As the day became brighter, we were told the the chance to see dolphin would be less. But we heard almost thunderous shout from so many tourists when we first spotted dolphins finally!

I quickly took up my cameras to snap as many as possible. 

Do you know how I felt when I first saw the real dolphins at their own habitat? I was truly overwhelmed by emotions - excited and full of joy! I also admired them - seeing them swimming freely in the sea, living a worry-free life. So wonderful!

I believe my mouth was wide open with the sightings of the dolphins. :) I was smiling from ear to ear! :)

Fist sightings of dolphins - everyone got so excited!
jump jump jump - please jump, my beautiful dolphins!
Yohoo! Still around and searching for their food!
Finally I see more of you!! Dolphins - you are so beautiful! 
Always with a smiling face! ;)

Back to sea shore of Lovina Beach

The whole trip took about 2 hours or so. We didn't manage to see many dolphins this round - may be around 20? I read in the internet that sometimes hundreds of them would surface. 

But I was already a happy man!! Seeing dolphins for the first time at their own habitat - open sea! Hopefully I could swim with them one day and have a closer encounter!
The pink color traditional outrigger boat that we took! :)

Dolphins at Lovina beach, Bali, I  hope to see you again soon!

We took taxi from Lovina beach back to Kuta - faster and more convenient even though more expensive! I guess the best way to travel in Bali would be to get a taxi or hire a car if you are good in driving in a "more chaotic" traffic situation. :)

I would strongly recommend to those who love nature and dolphins to visit Lovina beach one day. 1 night stay is sufficient - meaning you would travel for hours just to be close to Dolphins.  

Let me assure you that watching dolphins in traditional outrigger boat is a worth-while experience! I miss dolphins already..... :)

Travel Date 2010.02.06

Written on 2015.10.24


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