Volunteering in Bali: Ubud vs Lovina
With friendly locals, a rich culture, soaring volcanoes and jaw-dropping landscapes, it is no wonder that the Island of Gods is a dream destination for volunteer travelers! Since 2013, IVHQers have contributed over 200,000 hours to our projects in Ubud, Bali. Now we are are extending this support to an additional program location in Bali - Lovina! Volunteers in both Ubud and Lovina can enjoy a mix of work and play. With a similar mix of project opportunities in both locations, volunteers should expect to knuckle down for 3 to 5 hours per day and have the remainder of their time free to enjoy the local sights and activities. Keep reading to discover if you are more suited to the lifestyle of Ubud or Lovina and decide which destination is the best fit for you!
A bustling little city
Ubud is far removed from the beach-party scene in Kuta and travelers are attracted to the general feeling of well-being that the spiritual center of Bali is renowned for. If you are looking for eventful markets, cultural shows, and an abundance of cafes and restaurants, all while being in a modest tourist hub, then Ubud is definitely the destination for you. To gain a first-hand insight into what it’s like to volunteer in Ubud, read this ultimate guide which has been written by a former IVHQer.
A dream destination for first-time travelers
Thanks to the large number of shops and traveler-friendly amenities, volunteers traveling abroad for the first time will not experience the confronting culture shock typically associated with many Asian destinations, but they will still be able to discover a completely different way of life. Ubud is one of our most popular program destinations so we guarantee that you will never be alone. The orientation week is a perfect way for volunteers to get to know everyone, making the Bali - Ubud program an ideal program for solo travelers. If you want to be part of a large group of volunteers and are looking to make new friends from all over the world, then Ubud could be the perfect match for you!
- Watch cheeky monkeys climbing over tourists in the Sacred Monkey Forest
- Bath and purify yourself amongst the locals at Pura Tirta Empul, one of the holiest temples in Bali
- Be amazed by the incredible view looking over Tegalalang Rice Terraces
- Improve your strength and flexibility by participating in the many yoga classes held in Ubud
- Attend one of the cultural performances that happen every night at Ubud Palace and Pura Taman Saraswati
A down to earth destination
According to Panji Tisna who was one of the pioneers of tourism in Bali, “Lovina” is the combination of the words “Love” and “Ina”, which is a Balinese word meaning “Mother”. The meaning of “Lovina” is therefore symbolically “Love Mother Earth”. Lovina is the perfect place for volunteers looking for a destination to unwind while making a positive impact in the local community. If you are looking for a more off the beaten track location, then Lovina is made for you.
A slow paced coastal town
While being located on the coast, Lovina is the polar opposite of Kuta in the south west of Bali. A tranquil and relaxing place is definitely what comes to mind when thinking of this peaceful location. The sea is very calm here and is safe for swimming. Lovina is well suited to young travelers, as well as families with young children or older adventurers who want to kick back and quickly become part of the local community.
A shorter orientation
With only one day of orientation compared to a whole week in Ubud, the Lovina program is ideal for volunteers who have already been to Bali, or want to get stuck into work right away. In Lovina, there is also the option for more volunteer hours and we recommend you discuss this with your IVHQ Program Manager prior to your arrival in Bali.
- Join a dolphin-spotting cruise at dawn
- Enjoy long walks along the calm black sand beaches at sunset
- Dive or snorkel on the shipwreck sites of Tulamben and Amed
- Walk around Brahma Vihara Arama, Bali largest Buddhist monastery
- Immerse yourself in therapeutic and cleansing water at Banjar Hot Springs
If you still can’t make your mind up this quiz will help you on your way.