Nestled on Bali’s northwest coast, hours away from the bustling south, is a peaceful, hidden paradise called Pemuteran.
If you’ve never heard of Pemuteran before, then I wouldn’t be surprised. This quaint and stunning fishing village is a very well-kept secret. Those who know Pemuteran don’t want it spoiled by hoards of tourists. And I really don’t blame them!
But how could I possibly keep a place like this all to myself? I loved everything about Pemuteran, and I want you to experience it, too.
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination in Bali that offers plenty of adventure, pure relaxation, lots of countryside charm, and abundant nature, then Pemuteran is your place.
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Pemuteran, Bali
My first trip to Bali looked so similar to everyone else’s travels to the island, consisting of Ubud and the busy South. And like so many others, I fell in love with Bali — its people, its nature, and its beautiful culture.
But I always had this feeling that I had only just scratched the surface.
And I sure was right.
Before my second trip to Bali, where I planned to dig a lot deeper, a well-traveled friend of mine told me about one of the island’s last hidden gems. She told me of a rural place on the northwest coast where I’d find peace and quiet, stunning black-sand beaches, incredible snorkeling, and many more roosters than people.
And so, based on her recommendation alone, I set out for Pemuteran, hoping to find the tranquil and rustic secret paradise she described.
And after spending four nights in Pemuteran, I can confirm that it is exactly that.
In this Pemuteran travel guide, we’ll detail where to stay, things to do, where to eat, and other helpful tips for a great time in Pemuteran, Bali!
Where to Stay in Pemuteran, Bali
Global Royal Pemuteran
While in Pemuteran, we stayed at the Global Royal Pemuteran, and we cannot recommend this adorable little place enough. Hands down, it’s one of the best places we’ve ever stayed.
We loved the Global Royal Pemuteran because it’s exactly the kind of place you want to stay at while in Bali. With only six villas, surrounding one pool, there’s no place more tranquil in the world.
I have never felt more relaxed than I did out on our patio, drinking water from a coconut, or as I laid out on a lounge chair, taking the occasional dip in the refreshing pool. As we enjoyed the peace and quiet of the hotel’s outdoor area, I kept finding myself whispering, as it was so serene that speaking in a normal tone seemed like too much of a disturbance. It was the best.
The six villas at the Global Royal Pemuteran are equipped with only the essentials: a bed, a closet, mosquito nets, air conditioning (this is key in Pemuteran where it gets very hot), decent wifi, and an outdoor bathroom so you can look up at the stars as you shower.
Certainly, there’s nothing fancy or exciting about these villas, but that’s precisely why they’re special.
When in Pemuteran — so far away from the noise and hustle of the rest of the world — you need a place to just be. A place to enjoy nature, the people you’re with, and the raw beauty of Bali, and to simply relax. In my opinion, these villas embody the entire Pemuteran experience: quiet, charming, welcoming, and so very rustic.
In addition, the hotel’s location is absolutely perfect, tucked down a sleepy dirt road, just one block away from the beach.
Breakfast is also served each morning on your patio by the kindest, friendliest hotel staff you may ever meet.
For such an all-around lovely place, the $74 per night we paid was a steal. This place is the best ever, and it’s not just us who think so. Its 9.6 out of 10 ratings online don’t lie! You will love the Global Royal Pemuteran.
Other Accommodation Options
These two properties are definitely more luxurious than the Global Royal Pemuteran. While their ratings aren’t quite as high, they’re still exceptional, with 9.2 and 9.4 out of 10 ratings, respectively.
What to Do in Pemuteran, Bali
One of the main draws to Pemuteran is its fantastic snorkeling and diving. In fact, many people say it’s the best Bali has to offer.
Just off the coast of Pemuteran, you’ll find Menjangan Island, which is where the best snorkeling and diving areas are.
While the coral isn’t particularly colorful, we saw lots of beautiful fish, starfish, and even a sea snake! And we found Nemo, too! The water is also ridiculously clear at Menjangan Island — in fact, it’s some of the most beautiful water we’ve seen.
If you’re certified to dive, then I would recommend diving at Menjangan Island since the two divers on our boat said they saw sea turtles and a pretty big shark — among lots of other interesting creatures!
When you snorkel at Menjangan Island, you will see a lot of awe-inspiring creatures, but not quite as many as the divers do, since you don’t have enough oxygen to swim down past the drop-off.
There are many different companies offering half-day trips to Menjangan Island, but we decided to go with Ocean Dreams Pemuteran because of their high ratings.
We paid roughly $40 per person for our snorkeling trip, which included transport to/from our hotel (the amazing Global Royal Pemuteran), the “speed” boat to Menjangan Island (which is really quite slow), all of our snorkeling gear, a delicious helping of mie goreng for lunch, lots of water bottles, and an awesome guide. Plus, the best part about the tour was that it was an intimate experience — there were only six other guests aboard!
When it’s time to book your snorkeling and diving tours in Pemuteran, we recommend choosing Ocean Dreams Pemuteran. There’s also no need to book way ahead of time; one day in advance is perfect. When you arrive in Pemuteran, simply walk into the dive shop to book all the tours you want!
While in Pemuteran, another thing you must do is snorkel at the Biorock Project.
Over the years, Bali’s reefs have become severely damaged due to irresponsible fishing practices and rising temperatures. The Biorock Project is the local peoples’ way of reversing that destruction.
With a total length of 300 metres, Pemuteran’s Biorock Project is the largest Biorock coral reef nursery and restoration project in the entire world!
Through the installation of many coral nurseries built with Electrolytic Mineral Accretion Technology, bright coral reefs are growing back on Bali’s Northwest Coast, and dense populations of marine life are thriving again.
When in Pemuteran, make sure to stop by the Biorock Information Center (next to the Taman Sari Resort) to learn more about the project and to sponsor your own baby coral! This organization does very important work for our environment and their beautiful home, so please consider helping in any way you can.
Explore the town
The town of Pemuteran lines the busy main road that runs across Bali’s North Coast. Unlike most other places in Bali, you will not find tons of markets and boutique shops selling all kinds of colorful tourist souvenirs.
Pemuteran is just not that kind of place.
Instead, what you’ll find are plenty of roadside warungs and cafés, dive shops, spas, and many other family-run shops.
As you roam around Pemuteran, you won’t see many tourists either, because again, Pemuteran is just not that kind of place. Other than the constant hums of scooter and truck engines whooshing by, Pemuteran is a quiet village.
Throughout the town, there are so many peaceful lanes and undiscovered areas to explore, where you won’t see anyone but the occasional cow or rooster.
There’s not much to specifically see or do in town. Instead, you should plan to just relax, explore, and enjoy. And if you can get your hands on a rental bike, then that would also be a fun adventure!
Relax at the beach
You don’t have to try very hard to find a stretch of beach that’s completely your own in Pemuteran.
As we walked through the town, we simply turned right down a dirt road which led us to an empty beach with the perfect shady tree to lay under. For two hours, we stayed there, swimming and exploring, and never saw another soul (unless you count transparent crabs and a few birds).
When you stroll down the beach in Pemuteran, you will see a drastic difference in sand colors and textures as you go. Some areas have sand that’s black as night and extremely soft and fine, while other areas offer yellow sand and lots of pretty shells, as well as rocks and pebbles.
Generally speaking, the areas with yellow sand have very rocky shores which are sprinkled with sea giant urchins. The first time we found our own yellow-sand beach, I waded out into the water to cool off and swim for a bit. Since the water in Pemuteran is clear with very little waves, I was able to see my feet the entire way in and out to avoid any jagged rocks. But on my way back in, I nearly stepped on a huge sea urchin, which really would’ve put a damper on the trip.
Because of that, I highly recommend only swimming in the black-sand areas where there are no rocks! When you head toward the more populated areas of Pemuteran’s beaches (in front of the resorts), signs will dictate which zones are safe for swimming and which aren’t!
Hang by the pool
It gets very hot in Pemuteran, so when it comes to accommodations, we highly recommend choosing one with a pool! (Hint, hint: Choose the Global Royal Pemuteran!)
In addition to the heat, Pemuteran is a place to kick back and relax, read a book, and sip an ice-cold beer.
We spent much of our time in Pemuteran out by our pool, and we loved every moment of it. Usually, I want more than to sit around and do nothing all day. But not in Pemuteran.
And that’s because there’s nothing like spending time in Pemuteran, in complete relaxation, staring up at the sky, listening to nothing but the palm trees rustling in the wind and the roosters crowing. It’s times like these where you find appreciation for the beautiful world we live in, and all of the small details, experiences, and people that you’ve come across.
Pamper yourself at the spa
While in Pemuteran, you should keep the theme of relaxation going and get a spa treatment or two! There are a few spas in town that offer all types of treatments for insanely good prices.
Though we never got around to getting a massage in Pemuteran, we stopped into one of the spas to check prices. At the place we checked, a 60-minute Balinese massage was 150,000 IDR (or roughly $11 USD) and a 90-minute Balinese massage and body scrub combo was 200,000 IDR (or about $15 USD).
If you walk through the town, you will find a few different spas to choose from. More than likely, your hotel will also offer treatments, but they may cost a few dollars extra!
West Bali National Park
Another draw to Pemuteran is the West Bali National Park, which covers roughly 19,000 hectares of protected lands and waters.
If you’re ready for a bit of adventure, then head to this national park. There, you’ll find lush jungles, soaring mountains, crystal clear sea waters, beautiful beaches, mangroves, and rainforests. Trekking, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and bird watching are a few of the activities you can enjoy there.
And speaking of bird watching, you will hopefully get the opportunity to see a rare, nearly extinct species of bird called the Bali Starling. These white birds with blue faces and black tips on their wings and tails are absolutely beautiful, and you won’t find more of them anywhere else than in this park.
Other animals you may see in the park include crested serpent eagles, hawksbill sea turtles, leopard cats, Javan macaques, wild deer, wild boar, and water monitors.
Where to Eat in Pemuteran, Bali
Since Pemuteran is just a small fishing village, there aren’t too many dining options. But luckily, the few options there are, are indeed, fantastic. Since we’re huge on food, this came as a very welcome surprise.
During our five days and four nights in Pemuteran, we found plenty of fantastic roadside warungs and restaurants we know you’ll enjoy.
We had an absolute feast at Warung Setia and we scarfed down every last delicious morsel.
Between the mie goreng, fried fish, spring rolls, gado gado, rice, plenty of sambal sauce, and some large, ice-cold Bintangs, this was a meal to remember!
Plus, since we were the only people there, the service was absolutely fantastic.
Warung Kadek Merry
Warung Kadek Merry was the first restaurant we tried in Pemuteran, and it set the bar so very high!
There, we tried pepes ikan, which is grilled fish in a banana leaf with vegetable curry and rice, as well as laksa lemak, a dish of rice noodles, chicken, curry soup, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
We loved everything about Warung Kadek Merry — the cute outdoor setup, the service, the food, and the great wifi — and we know you will, too!
Warung Prapat Sari
We waited until our very last night in Pemuteran to try Warung Prapat Sari, and my only complaint is that we should’ve tried it sooner. We would have come back again and again!
This tiny warung sits on the side of the main road and has no more than 20 seats. The family that cooks the food could not be friendlier and they really couldn’t work any harder, either. They made our entire meal from scratch. Our table was closest to the tiny kitchen, so we could see just how hard they worked to make us the most delicious meal we had in Pemuteran.
We ordered mie goreng with chicken and “Balinese pad thai” with chicken. And two large Bintangs.
I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing their food was. Because if I start, I won’t stop. Just do yourself a favor and go here!
La Casa Kita
You know when you’ve been in Asia for a few weeks and literally all you want is a cheesy, doughy, delicious pizza? Well, when that happens, I thank goodness for places like La Casa Kita.
Believe it or not, your Italian food cravings will be satisfied at La Casa Kita. I’m not saying their pizza and pasta made me feel as though we were in Naples, but it definitely decent. As far as Italian food goes in Indonesia, this place will not disappointment. Well done!
Frangipani Bar & Restaurant
Frangipani Bar & Restaurant is the “fanciest” restaurant in Pemuteran, but don’t worry, you don’t need to dress up.
The service, food, and atmosphere here are all fantastic, which is why this is one of the most popular places to eat in Pemuteran.
While there, we enjoyed a typical rijsttafel (a Dutch word for rice table), which is essentially a feast with all of the Balinese classics like chicken, fish, and beef satays, yellow curry with chicken, gado gado, and more.
How to Get to Pemuteran, Bali
The best way to get to Pemuteran is to hire a driver to take you there.
If you’re coming straight from the airport, then it’s roughly a 4-hour drive. From Ubud, it’s about a 3.5-hour drive. However, keep in mind that there is always traffic in Bali, so the journey may take (a lot) longer than you expect.
There are also many interesting sites and beautiful scenes along the way, which will make your journey even longer.
We drove to Pemuteran from Ubud, and we decided to stop at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces along the way. We also planned to visit Gitgit Waterfall, but it was raining and therefore too dangerous.
Tips for visiting Pemuteran, Bali
- Bring earplugs! You won’t be able to sleep without them due to the roosters crowing and dogs howling all night long.
- Book a hotel with a pool and air conditioning because it can get very hot.
- Bring lots of sunscreen, hats, and bathing suits to shield yourself from the strong equatorial sun.
- Take out plenty of cash before you arrive because you will have a hard time finding an ATM.
- Don’t expect great wifi.
- Pack bug spray! There are less bugs than in other parts of Bali, but they will bite you nonetheless.
- Pack some good conditioner because you’ll need it to remove the knots from your hair after snorkeling all day.
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Pemuteran, Bali
If you’re ready to get off the beaten path in Bali, then Pemuteran is the perfect place to go.
Just four hours away from the bust south, it’s far enough away to get back to nature, to relax, go on a few adventures, and enjoy the beaches all for yourself, but it’s also close enough to fit into the rest of your itinerary.
After spending five days and four nights in Pemuteran, I can’t imagine taking another trip to Bali without visiting this perfect paradise. Between the incredible snorkeling and diving, friendly locals, gorgeous black-sand beaches, fantastic restaurants, and the cutest hotel ever, Pemuteran is a must on any Bali itinerary.
Have you been to Pemuteran, Bali before? What would you add to our Pemuteran travel guide? What are your favorite things to do there? Which are your favorite restaurants and places to stay? Let us know in the comments below!