The Ultimate Guide to Canggu, Bali
June 4, 2019
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Call me cliche, but my relationship with Bali was love at first sight. From the first time that I visited Canggu, Bali in 2015, I just couldn’t get enough. No wonder I’ve been back three times, falling more in love with this sleepy (and now quite busy) surf town each time. If I could pack up and move to Bali, I would do it in a heartbeat. When I first visited Canggu in 2015 it is was relatively under the radar. Now it is gaining popularity every year, considered to be one of the most up-and-coming areas in Southeast Asia. It is only fair that I compile an ultimate Canggu, Bali guide for you all on the best things to do in Canggu, Bali!
The Ultimate Guide to Canggu, Bali
Where is Canggu, Bali?
Canggu is located on the island of Bali in Indonesia. Located approximately 10km North of Kuta, this seaside sound offers a calming escape from the hectic nature of Seminyak and Kuta.
How to get to Canggu
The easiest way to get to Canggu from Denpasar airport (DPS) is by private car. It is only a 12 km drive, but there is often traffic. The drive typically takes about 45 minutes, depending on the time of day.
Getting around Canggu
The main Canggu streets are Jalan Batu Bolong, Jalan Padang Linjong, Jalan Batu Mejan and Jalan Tanah Barak. The most common way to get around Canggu is by scooter. You can rent a scooter either on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The longer you rent for, the cheaper it is. I found that for short term rentals, I paid an average of 60,000 IDR/day (~$4 USD). However, if you are not comfortable driving a scooter you can also walk or ride a bicycle. If you plan on walking, I recommend staying in the heart of town, either on the main road or on one of the side streets that branch off from the main road. There are limited sidewalks in Canggu, so walking along some of the roads isn’t the safest.
If you plan on riding a scooter, please do so responsibly. Always wear a helmet and do not drink and drive.
Money in Canggu
Many of the bars and restaurants in Canggu are cash only. There are a number of ATMs and cash exchange shops in Canggu, but I always recommend taking out money from an ATM at the airport if possible. It is important to watch your account carefully, as I have been a victim of fraud a number of times while traveling in Bali. I recommend always traveling with at least 2 debit cards, and setting up text notifications for any withdrawals.
The Best Things to do in Canggu
Explore the Green Rice Fields (at Sunrise)
Exploring the rice fields in Canggu is one of my favorite things to do at any hour, but they are even more beautiful in the golden light of the early morning. Even better when they are captured by drone by @solarpoweredblonde. Despite a happening night life, the people of Canggu are early risers.
You can quite literally find rice fields everywhere in Canggu – surrounding the famous short cut, behind the main roads, and just about everywhere else you look.
Take a Surf Lesson
Canggu is first and foremost a surf town, so what better thing to do than to take a surf lesson? If you head down to Old Man’s, a popular restaurant and bar, you’ll want to check out the beach right in front, Batu Bolong Beach. This is one of the best Canggu, Bali beaches for surfing. Here you’ll find plenty of guys waiting on the beach who are willing to take you out for a surf lesson, for an affordable price. My instructor was super patient, despite my obvious lack of coordination. Beginner lessons are typically offered in the afternoon, when the waves aren’t quite as big.
If you already know how to surf, both Batu Bolong Beach and Echo Beach are great options to hit some waves.
Get a Massage
There are tons of great places in Canggu, Bali to get a great massage. You can get a massage in Bali for as cheap as $6 USD/hour, however admittedly the ambiance is usually subpar at that rate. If price isn’t an issue, and you’re looking for a truly luxe experience, both a massage at COMO Uma Canggu. Golddust is another great option, with their 90 min Signature massage priced at under $30 USD.
I am also a big fan of Anjani Bali Spa. This spa is much simpler, with none of the frills of the other studios, but you can get a great 60 min back massage for only $13 US.
Stretch it out at a Yoga Class
One of the best things to do in Canggu, Bali is to take a yoga class. There a ton of great options, however my personal favorite is Samadi Yoga. The open studio offers the perfect jungle vibes, with a delicious cafe to sample something sweet after class. The studio hosts workshops, retreats, and teacher training courses as well! If you are in Canggu on a weekend, consider stopping by their farmer’s market. You’ll find tons of local fruits and veggies, as well as my favorite kombucha by the glass.
The Practice also comes highly recommended, but I have yet to take a class their myself.
Enjoy a Beachfront Sunset
No Canggu guide is complete without a sunset. Drinking a local bintang on the beach, or with a view of it, during sunset is one of the best things to do in Canggu, Bali! Canggu has a number of great sunset options, my favorites including the following:
- The Lawn for fancy cocktails and a more upscale ambiance
- Old Man’s for a funny surf-crowd happy hour
- The beach bar (the Sand Bar) just in front of Old Man’s, on Batu Bolong Beach, for a cheap drink with your toes in the sand
Visit the Local Markets in Canggu, Bali
If shopping is what you’re into then you’ll be sure to get your fix in Canggu. There are two weekly markets in Canggu: Love Anchor and the Sunday Market at Samadi. The main area of Love Anchor is open daily, however the local stands just pop up on the weekends. This is a great spot of souvenirs and home goods, but be sure to bargain. Samadi, however, is only open on Sunday mornings. Here you’ll find the expat community loading up on fresh produce, baked goods, and my favorite, kombucha on tap!
Visiting during the week? There a plenty of shops scattered around town to keep you busy. My favorite shop in town is Wanderlust Swim, which sells the cutest bikinis. I always buy a new suit (or two) when I visit.
Best Restaurants in Canggu, Bali
If for some reason you’re still not convinced to visit Canggu, do it for the food! Canggu’s cafes have gained quite the reputation over the years, flaunting vegan menus, matcha lattes, and freshly brewed kombucha. A few of my favorite cafes in Canggu, Bali include Crate Cafe, Milk & Madu, Shady Shack, and Betelnut. I have a more extensive list on my Canggu Restaurant Guide blog post.
Crate Cafe is a staple brunch restaurant in Canggu, offering two different locations. I recommend checking out their rice field location, located on Jl. Canggu Padang Linjong. If you’re looking for a cheap, delicious brunch, then Crate Cafe is your spot. They serve an assortment of egg dishes, smoothie bowls, and smoothies. All entrees are 55K IDR, which is just under $4 USD.
Betelnut Cafe is a great Canggu, Bali restaurant for any meal. It is centrally located on Jalan Batu Balong, so it is perfect if you are staying in the heart of Canggu. I love their salads, which are huge! However, even if you don’t make it here for a meal, make sure to stop by Betelnut for a slice of their famous cheesecake. The Oreo Cheesecake is my absolute favorite.
Milk & Madu
I dined at Milk & Madu quite a bit while in Canggu, as they were one of the few cafes with tons of outlets. This sounds like a stupid restaurant requirement, but as I was working on my online business at the time with a laptop with terrible battery life, outlets were crucial.
They serve the best chai tea that I have ever tasted. The chai tea might be a reason to visit all on its own. However, their egg dishes and pizzas are pretty great as well. They offer a 2 for 1 pizza happy hour on select evenings at both their Canggu and Ubud locations.
Shady Shack is a vegetarian restaurant that appeals to any type of eater. The Shack Attack burger is my personal favorite, made with beetroot and vegan feta. It is a great spot for a laid back dinner or lunch.
Eating at a warung is the perfect way to experience the local cuisine in Bali. Canggu is obviously known for it’s expat cafe culture, but the local food is so so delicious. Load up your plate with rice and a selection of samplers. My favorite warung in Canggu for local food is Bu Mi.A hearty portion usually totals under $2 USD, and the food never disappoints! Be sure to try the fried tempe!
Warung Varung is another great option for cheap local food in the heart of Canggu.
Where to Stay in Canggu, Bali
There are so many fantastic accommodations options in Canggu, but I’ve listed just a few of my favorites by budget.
Luxury – Villa Kula – With three bedrooms, this stylish Airbnb is the perfect option for a group. The decor (and private pool) are exactly what you need for a perfect stay in Canggu.
Luxury: The Slow – The Slow is one of the trendiest hotels in Canggu. The hotel emanates chic vibes, with classy hotel rooms and excellent decor. I recommend stopping by for a drink or bite to eat at a minimum.
Mid-Range – Lemon Guesthouse – Lemon Guesthouse is an excellent option if you’re traveling in a pair! The price is super reasonable, and includes breakfast at a local cafe.
Mid-Range – Alternative Beach – This spot is a great option for many as they offer both private rooms and dorm rooms, all surrounding their gorgeous pool. The private rooms are truly lush, with some offering a balcony and rice field views. Not to mention the avocado toast for breakfast is divine!
Budget – The Farm Hostel – This is quite possibly the nicest hostel that I’ve ever stayed at. Boasting two pools and a beautiful cafe, you’ll quickly forget every hesitation you ever felt towards hostel life.
Explore the rest of Bali
Luckily Bali is quite a small island, so it is easy to visit the nearby areas. Seminyak is an easy day trip from Canggu. You may always want to consider visiting Uluwatu or Ubud. If you’re looking to explore some of the famous Bali waterfalls, you’ll want to head up to Ubud or visit the famous Munduk waterfalls.
Traveling to Bali? Here are some other articles that you’ll want to check out:
- Munduk Bali Waterfalls
- Bali on a Budget
- North Bali Waterfalls
- Canggu Restaurant Guide
- Mt Batur Sunrise Hike
- Ubud Travel Guide
- Two Day Guide to Nusa Penida
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