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Northwest Bali Escapade with Kids
By Laetitia Knight
Visiting the northeast coast of Bali is an excellent opportunity to discover unique scenery and the best underwater world in Bali. If you and your family want a break from the hustle and bustle of the South, this is the place to go and soak up the tranquility of the North. To explore the area you will need your own transport.
The northern coast is also ideal for small children because the sea is always calm and swimming is easy and safe. In the fishing village of Pemuteran, it is possible to snorkel and even take part in activities at the coral rehabilitation and sea turtle conservation centre. Trips to Menjangan Island, where lie some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling sites in Bali are easily arranged from many dive and boat operations along the coast.
A visit to the Atlas pearl farm is a must. From Pemuteran drive about 10km east towards Lovina and you will see the farm signposted. In its pristine setting the secrets of South sea pearls are revealed. Visitors can do a tour and learn about the oyster-breeding program, the cultivation cycle and see a demonstration of pearl seeding and harvesting. Pearls are the only precious gems created by living creatures and they are often referred to as “nature’s most precious gift”. The café at the farm has a gorgeous panoramic view. Parents can have a coffee and they will make sandwiches for hungry children.
Atlas Pearl Farm Jalan Nelayan, Penyabangan Village
Tel. +62 81 238 77012, +62 361 284455
Not far from Pemuteran, heading West, is the large Barat National Park, home to many protected animals that can be seen roaming free. Dedicated park rangers can take visitors on treks, showing them the gracious Menjangan deers and explaining their rehabilitation program for the Bali starling. An encounter with them is truly instructive and gives a sense and understanding of the threats and also the richness of the Balinese ecosystem. In the park you’ll find a tall wooden tower to enjoy great view of the park and of the eastern tip of Java and its volcanoes. If the weather is clear, the climb is definitely worth it and you can have a drink there. The Bali Tower is part of The Menjangan Resort, a recently renovated hotel offering many options for families. See entry for The Menjangan in the Kid Friendly Hotels chapter.
For the visitors in quest of peace and spirituality, the Melanting temple is worth a trip and feels far from the tourist crowds. The area is also home to natural hot springs, believed to have medicinal virtues, and the sunset over East Java’s towering volcanoes is magical.
There are several options for accommodation in or around Pemuteran and although they are more expensive than in nearby Lovina, you might find that the tranquility and beauty of the landscape and seascape make it worth spending a bit more.
Adi Asri is a good value recent hotel with a pool and individual bungalows. It is on the beach with fishing boats around and the mountainous backdrop is stunning. Adi Asri Hotel, Desa Pemuteran, Gerokgak, Singaraja. Tel. +62 362 94838 Web: www.adiassri.com
Mimpi Resort Menjangan is West of Pemuteran, on the way to the National Park. This place is at the edge of the park and mangroves and it has hot pools with water from the neighboring hot springs. The gardens are beautifully maintained and spacious. Kids can run around freely. The resort restaurant is facing Menjangan Island and, if it’s not cloudy, the views on Ijen volcano in East Java are spectacular, especially at sunset. Mimpi Resort Menjangan. Banyuwedang, Northwest Bali Tel. +62 362 94497 Web: www.mimpi.com
Our thanks to Laetitia Chanéac-Knight, Language teacher and author of Bali with Kids.
© Laetitia Knight, 2011