5 Ways to be a Responsible Traveller in North West Bali

5 Ways to be a Responsible Traveller in North West Bali

North West Bali is a region that is blessed with natural beauty. From dense jungles to cascading waterfalls to diverse wildlife, our corner of Bali is a spectacle to behold! The people here are close to their traditional lifestyles and not a month goes by without a ceremony sweeping the whole village into a joyous frenzy. We encourage tourists to come to our part of the world and immerse themselves in the true spirit of Bali. 

However, as guardians of our land and our ways, we wish to inspire a more wholesome kind of travel than what we typically find in the south of Bali. We hope that you will see our home as your home and travel responsibly. Just to be sure, we have prepared a small guide to responsible travel in North West Bali! 

1. Support local businesses

This is the easiest place to start! When you are planning your stay, we encourage you to search for accommodation and experiences that support the local economy. Whether a hotel is locally owned or employs locals, the community benefits from it. When you are here, dine at our homely warungs as often as possible and allow us to feed you our delicious, traditional food. Bali is full of gorgeous souvenirs, from Batik fabric to wood carved decor, please ensure that the mementos of your travels are indeed made in Bali! When you support our handicrafts or businesses, you help us continue our traditional lifestyles in our homes – something to keep in mind. 

2. Visit Turtle Hatcheries

There are several spectacular local initiatives to protect endangered species in their natural habitat. The Pemuteran area has two wonderful organisations, one at Reef Seen and the other in the Bay of Sumberkima, both of which protect several species of turtles. These initiatives involve the village folk in the process of locating nests and thus mobilise the whole community. The initiatives look after the young hatchlings until they are ready to be released into the open waters. For a small fee, you can release a baby turtle into the sea and gain a Certificate of Recognition for your contribution. 

3. Visit Reef Restoration Projects

The marine beauty in the waters of North West Bali is incomparable. Both in Pemuteran and in Sumberkima, there are successful reef restoration projects that have revived the reef and seek to bring it back to its former glory. Pemuteran has the largest Bio Rock Nursery in the world, which surely warrants an underwater visit! Metamorfosa in Sumberkima has an underwater art gallery and also offers scenic explorations of the Bay through boat and canoe trips. By enjoying the experiences offered by sustainable operators like these, you help to sustain the projects they have undertaken, and contribute greatly to the whole region. 

4. Plant a tree 

We hope that visiting Barat National Park is on your list already, it is lush green during and after the wet season! It is in stark contrast to the semi-arid hillsides of the rest of the region, which see forest fires in the dry months. There is an ongoing reforestation drive organised by Sumberkima Hill Retreat, where you can sponsor the planting of a tree! You even get a what 3 words code which helps you pin the exact location of your tree and follow its growth. 

5. Sponsor a baby coral

Metamorfosa also offers you the chance to sponsor a baby coral, along with a positive wish for change for the underwater wish tree, so that your wish and the coral can grow together! The reef over here has been damaged greatly over the years but its recovery has been promising, thanks to the efforts of the organisation. 

6. Participate in the cultural fabric of the region

Last but not least, we invite you to learn more about our history and culture and participate in our ceremonies. As the Island of Thousand Gods, we have several ancient temples which are visited on different occasions. We have temples in jungles that you can combine with a trek, as well as temples in villages that are known for grape harvesting. There are frequent ceremonies that involve the whole village – just ask your accommodation owner about this and they will guide you so that you can immerse yourself in Balinese culture in the best way. 

FAQ for Responsible Travelling in North West Bali

Why is it important to support local businesses?

Supporting local businesses ensures that the money you spend directly benefits the local community. This helps sustain the traditional ways of life, preserve cultural heritage, and ensures that the local economy thrives.

What exactly is a Turtle Hatchery and how does it help?

A turtle hatchery is a conservation initiative aimed at protecting and increasing the turtle population. They safeguard eggs from predators, raise the hatchlings in a protected environment, and release them into the sea. This boosts their survival rates, ensuring a better future for these endangered species.

Can I scuba dive or snorkel at the reef restoration projects?

Absolutely! In fact, diving or snorkeling at these projects lets you witness the underwater wonders while also supporting the restoration activities. Just ensure you follow guidelines to not harm the fragile marine life.

How does the tree planting initiative help the environment?

Tree planting helps combat deforestation, mitigates climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide, restores habitats for wildlife, and prevents soil erosion. Moreover, in the semi-arid regions of North West Bali, it prevents forest fires during dry months.

How can I make sure the souvenirs I buy are locally made?

Ask the sellers about the origin of the products. They often are proud to share if it’s locally made. Look for products that reflect the local culture and craftsmanship. Avoid items that seem mass-produced or are commonly found elsewhere.

What does sponsoring a baby coral mean?

Sponsoring a baby coral involves financially supporting the plantation and care of a coral fragment in reef restoration projects. Your sponsorship helps in the growth and rehabilitation of the damaged reefs.

Is it appropriate for tourists to participate in local ceremonies?

Yes, but always with respect and after seeking permission. Locals usually appreciate genuine interest in their culture. Ensure you’re dressed appropriately, follow local customs, and avoid interrupting or disturbing the ceremonies.

Are there guidelines for visiting temples?

Yes. Always dress modestly (cover your shoulders and knees), and in some temples, you may need to wear a sarong. Show respect, avoid public displays of affection, and always follow the temple’s specific customs or rituals. If unsure, ask a local or your guide.

How can I stay updated about local ceremonies or events?

The best way is to communicate with your accommodation owner or locals. They’re often well-informed about upcoming events and can guide you on participation etiquette.

Is there a best time of year to visit North West Bali?

North West Bali is beautiful year-round. However, each season offers a unique experience. The wet season is lush and green, especially in Barat National Park, while the dry season might be more suitable for beach activities and trekking.

Explore the region on the map

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