We enjoyed a 2 week beach holiday in AlamAnda, Bali,
in Jan/Feb 2001, and returned to Alamnada on our Singapore-Java-Bali
trip in February 2002. We stayed mainly in Kura Kura, a private
villa on the North-Eastern coast of Bali near Sambirenteng, and in
villa Nyumpene, Legian. Both belong to the AlamAnda property.
Please check out my gallery of this holiday, as well as the page of our 2002 trip to Singapore, Java and Bali.
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AlamAnda - Kura Kura - Diving and other activities - Nyumpene
We were looking for a getaway location in Bali, to unwind from work and
our cold Swiss winter, and to decently spoil ourselves. And we found AlamAnda.de.
AlamAnda is a venture of Pike, a German traveller/architect who fell in
love with Bali. He created AlamAnda, a small and very romantic holiday
resort at the black-beach North-Eastern Coast of Bali. AlamAnda first
consisted only of a few simple but ingenious bungalows, but over the
years, a dive center and villas were added, including an "outpost"
villa in Legian. Today even more accommodation opportunities are
available, check out the alamanda.de webpage.
The atmosphere at AlamAnda is very laid back, and it is easy to get in
contact with the other guests, be it while diving or during dinner. The
service - mostly local staff - is very attentive, kind and unobtrusive.
Most guests were youngish couples, honeymooners, and divers - with many
We wanted a relaxed atmosphere, privacy, solitude and some good diving
- no big beach life! AlamAnda is the perfect spot for this. We rented
the Villa Kura Kura for most of our stay, but also spent a night in
Villa Nyumpene in Legian.
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Kura Kura is a stand-alone house at the borders of the AlamAnda
property, separated from the main house by a coconut palm plantation.
Kura Kura is situated in a big and well-tended garden with a private
pool, a private stretch of beach (with black sand and pebbles of
volcanic origin, as typical for that region), and is walled to ensure
Kura Kura's architecture is balinese style, with many open rooms,
balinese artifacts and furniture, and a thatched roof. It can host 6
people, though the two of us felt perfect there, alone. Downstairs is a
large open-front sitting and dining area, where our host Nyoman
prepared breakfast for us. Also the kitchen, one bedroom and the big
openfront bathroom with sunken tub and openair shower in a walled
garden are on ground floor. The upper floor is dominated by a bedroom,
which in turn is dominated by a huge round bed with mosquito net. A
separate little bungalow offers another outdoor sitting area with cosy
sofas and cushions, and two more beds.
The big pool features two fountains in the form of turtles ("Kura
Kuras"), and an underwater bench to soak and tan and dream the
afternoon away. Parts of the pool, and the pool area, are shaded by
The kitchen is fully stocked with cold drinks and breakfast things; our
breakfast table was always set by Nyoman when we got up, with freshest
fruit, tea and coffee, cheese and ham, toast and jam, but we had agreed
to prepare eggs ourselves. Nyoman was also in charge of cleaning the
house while we were out diving, but otherwise we enjoyed absolute
privacy. It would be possible to cook on your own in Kura Kura, but we
usually went to the AlamAnda restaurant for a great dinner, like
freshly caught fish, balinese chicken, satay, black rice pudding with
fresh coconut icecream or other balinese dishes.
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Diving and other activities in Alam Anda
One of the reasons we came here was to dive. Dive sites include the
house reef, the Liberty wreck in Tulamben, Angels Canyon and Ulami. The
sites were very diverse, with visibility between 10 and 25 m. The
AlamAnda dive center is very well stocked and has always a resident
dive master, so you can also do dive certifications there. In 2001 we
dived with Sevry, in 2002 with Bea.
House Reef: Alam
Anda has a beautiful house reef which is accessible from the beach and
easy to dive, down to ca. 29 m - without much current. We did several
dives there, including a full moon dive. The house reef consists of
several blocks of colourful coral with little drop-offs, and feels like
an aquarium. My log book notes the big number of rays and murray eels,
a kind of sepia with lilac-yellow eyes, many firefish, angler fish,
sand eels, frog fish.
|Diving at Tulamben
||The Alam Anda Beach
Liberty wreck near Tulamben at the Northeast Coast is well known among
divers in Bali and easily accessible form AlamAnda within 60-90 min.
The Liberty was an US transporter from WW2 hit by a Japanese torpedo,
unloaded and stranded, but it was only sunken in 1963 after an eruption
of Mt. Agung volcano. Its depht is 5-35 m, and it is located ca. 30m
from the shore. It is densely overgrown and has become the home of
uncountable fish and other marine life. You can swim through the hull
and still see old equipment. The marine life is spectacular, and I
specially noted the considerably bigger size of fish here - don't know
Apart from the Liberty wreck, we also dove two other sites. Tulamben
also offers a drop-off (22 m) and a coral garden (14 m) which seems to
be kind of a marine nursery, with many baby fish, octopus, nudibranchs
and ghost murray eels. More info on Tulamben dive sites here.
Angel's Canyon: Angel's
Canyon is a small but beautiful dive site near Sambirenteng, and can be
reached within a few minutes from AlamAnda. It consists of several
coral terraces accessible from the beach, with max. depht of ca. 28 m.
This site offered very relaxed diving with many small fish and
nudibranchs - so the highlight was the overall picture... Unfortunately
we also met a commercial diver there, who "harvested" aquarium fish
Ulami: Ulami is a
drop-off accessible from the beach (max. depth ca. 32 m), after a 30
min drive from AlamAnda, and we went there because Bea mentioned that
there might be big fish - but also current. So Ulami is where I saw my
first shark, on my 52nd dive!
The first dive was very relaxed, on the plateau above the drop-off,
with beautifully overgrown terraces with many acropora, tree corals and
christmas tree worms. In the afternoon, we did want to do a current
dive, but the current changed its direction under water, so instead of
a lazy dive we had to fight against the current. But we were
accompanied by 2 blacktip reef sharks for several minutes, and we also
saw a giant grouper and big morray eels.
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Our main other activity apart from diving was doing nothing. But some
alternatives are available locally: a four-hand Ayurveda massage with
warm coconut oil in the massage pavillon; walks along the beach (where
you'll meet kids and fishermen, but no salesmen); visit one of the
highly forbidden cockfights somewhere in a small village; attend one of
the frequent festivities in the nearby village (we once attended a
prayer ceremony just behind Kura Kura, and another time a local
festival with shadow puppet theatre and Gamelan music - and both times
it was not a tourist thing, but a local event to which the AlamAnda
staff invited us)...
On our transfer from Legian to Alam Anda and back (ca. 4 hrs, organised
by AlamAnda), we also visited Penelokan with splendid views of Mt.
Batur and the lake, and the Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple nearby.
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Villa Nyumpene, Legian
Nyumpene is a private villa in the city of Legian (next to Kuta near Denpasar) - close to the Bali office of AlamAnda/Piketravel.
Nyumpene is 400 m from the beach, i.e. downtown in the middle of the
hustle and bustle of this spot famous for inexpensive beach holidays -
but you absolutely don't notice that once you entered the walled
We used Nyumpene on our first trip as our overnight location after
arrival in Bali in 2001, but decided to stay there longer on our 2002
trip to use it as a base for trips to the Southern sights. Furthermore,
it is well located to buy provisions, curios, clothes and other
souvenirs, or to choose from one of the many Legian restaurants.
Nyumpene is an open-plan house with 4 bedrooms for 8 guests arranged
around a central living/dinner room. It is set in a lush and
well-maintained tropical garden, featuring a idyllic pool. Breakfast is
catered for, but we were always out for dinner and lunch. On our first
trip, we had Nyumpene to ourselves, on the second trip we shared it
with nice guests on their way to Alam Anda.
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|Nyumpene main room