There are few points on Bali further from the airport than Pemuteran. Set towards the far northwestern point of the island and very close to the Bali Barat National Park, Pemuteran is a gently curving dark sand beach that is best known for its diving and snorkelling, and also for use as a base to visit the stunning Menjangan Island.
As with all the north coast beaches, there are no waves, but there is snorkelling and diving straight off the beach. Pemuteran is known for an unusual reef restoration project that relies on pumping low amounts of electricity into artificial frameworks that have been set on the sandy base. The results, in a fairly short period of time, are impressive. While it doesn’t go close to rivaling the scenery at Menjangan Island, there are still bucketloads of fish. One blight both here and at Menjangan though are the plastic bags. When the currents and win run a certain way, the plastic refuse is a major issue. Collect a few handfuls if this is the case while you are there: You might encourage other people to do so as well and make a bit of a difference.
Underwater activities aside, you can use here as a base to go trekking in the National Park or visit some nearby temples. The beach is long and ideal for ambling walks — lots of shells for the kids to pick up (though be sure to “forget to pack them” when you leave!).
Towards the eastern end of the beach is a small fishing village and the fishing boats, especially the very broad squid boats, are both interesting and photogenic. If you like walking, continue past the village all the way around the point, by another village and to the last large hotel in the area.
Pemuteran has just about zero nightlife, so with its smooth waters and low key atmosphere it tends to attract families and people looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of South Bali. Keep that in mind when deciding if you want to make the 4+ hour drive from Kuta to reach here. There is plenty of accommodation and while it tends towards the mid- to upper-range, there are good cheap rooms in Pemuteran as well.
Many first-time visitors to Bali find themselves a little underwhelmed by the beaches. It’s a response easy to imagine considering all the beautiful beaches featured on Bali brochures and the reality of crowded Kuta. Luckily, Bali is a big island with pretty beaches enough for everyone, and over the next seven days we’ll show you one a day to help you fill out a week’s beach holiday in Bali.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 14th April, 2015.