Canggu, Bali was an unintentional stop in our travel plans, but we are so glad we did. We were meant to start off our 6+ month travel journey on Nusa Lembongan off Bali, but Mother Nature had a different plan for us. The swells were too big for us to cross the sea from Bali to Nusa Lembongan, so we decided to spend the 6 days in Canggu instead.
Many people describe Canggu as an up-and-coming hot spot on Bali. With great surf, organic healthy cafes, cute markets and easy-to-navigate streets, it’s become a haven for digital nomads, surfers, yogis and tourists. I wouldn’t say it’s so much “up-and-coming”, rather “already there.” It was very crowded when we were there, so I think the secret is definitely out. To highlight this, our friends who live there met us on the beach one day and were amazed at the pop up bars on the beach. They weren’t there just a week before. Showing us how quickly the Canggu area is building up.
Despite the crowds, we loved Canggu. Healthy food, affordable accommodation, great beaches, lush rice paddies, yoga, surfing and more. What more could a bunch of beach lovers want!
To get around, you can either rent a motorbike for around 60k-70k IDR per day or you can jump in the blue taxis. Both are great options, and if you aren’t comfortable on a bike, I highly recommend opting out. It’s not worth getting hurt. We rented from our guesthouse for 60k IDR per day, and got around just fine 🙂
Here’s a run down of where we ate, what we did, where we stayed and more:
What to do in Canggu, Bali
Of course you head to Canggu to hang by the beaches and sip on coconuts until the sun goes down. There are plenty of options to choose from. From setting up camp in the sand, paying for a day bed (~ $5 AUD) or heading to the notoriously luxe beach clubs, you will be spoiled for choice.
We spent most of our time between Batu Bolong & Echo Beach. Batu Bolong is the main beach in the area, just off the main street. Echo Beach is one beach up, also close to a main street. Both have plenty of beach bars, clubs, restaurants & markets nearby. We preferred to spend our time on a day bed at one of the pop up bars. It was much cheaper to spend the day there, then at the more famously known beach clubs like Finns, La Brisa, The Lawn and others. We could also just chill out near the ocean, sip on coconuts for me & beers for Sam, without feeling like we had to party hard. We spent a few nights down there watching the sunset and local surfers paddle out. Coconuts cost around $2 AUD. Beers around $3 AUD. Food around $3 – 6 AUD per plate, depending on where you settle in for the day.
Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s most famous temples, and it’s easy to see why. Perched up on a rock formation it’s a photographer’s dream. We did a half day trip on the motorbike over to Tanah Lot (about a 30 min drive from Canggu). It was 60k IDR entrance fee per person. It’s very touristy with hundreds of stores selling the classic backpacker items (elephant pants, tshirts, headbands, etc.) But once you get to the temple it’s pretty special. We walked down to the base of the rock formation, where they were offering blessings with the holy water by donation. Make sure to go during low tide.
Canggu Sunday Markets
This was one of my favourite mornings spent in Canggu. At Old Man’s Bar & Restaurant at the very end of Jalan Batu Bolong, there is a huge market with local stores and crafts on sale. Canggu Sunday Markets is, as you can guess, on Sunday from 8 – 3 pm. You can find great clothes, bikinis, hats, jewelry, home decor and more. Best to go in the morning to avoid crowds and also to get the best deals. The Indonesian vendors all consider their first sale to be good luck so will typically give you a cheaper deal.
Yoga in Canggu, Bali
This was one of the most special parts of our stay in Canggu, at least for me 😉 I have heard of the magic that is The Practice in Canggu from many friends who have done trainings and classes there. I was stoked to be able to get the chance to go. I attended the Advanced Yoga Class on Friday and on Monday, a 90 min class led by Founder Octavio Salvado. I was immediately impressed by all of the staff at security & the front desk. They are the front line of the business and set such a friendly and inviting tone when walking into the impressively beautiful space.
Words can’t really describe the space they’ve built there. I found it hard to peel myself out of there after class. If it weren’t for a hungry Sam waiting to go get brekkie with me, I probably would have stayed all day. Classes are a flat 100,000 IDR and range from 1hr gentle to 1.5hr Advanced practice. Don’t be mistaken that the Advanced Class will be all inversions & arm balances. The Practice makes it clear that the more advanced a yogi becomes in his practice, the more internal the work becomes. Be prepared for some asana (movement) combined with bandha & mantra, pranayama & kriya meditation. If you’re a beginner or a few years into your more physical-based practice, they have lots of classes for you as well 🙂 They also host lots of workshops, teacher trainings and community events.
It wouldn’t a trip to Canggu without a little paddle out. We are by no means surfers, but we do enjoy a regular paddle and maybe catch a few waves. Canggu has a lot of great spots for beginners, but be aware there are a lot of rocks below. So be careful getting in and out, and also if you happen to fall off your board (which we do often). The best time to go is in between the surf lessons as there’s less people. You can rent a board from any of the vendors for around 50,000 IDR for half day, 100,000 IDR for a full 24hrs.
Where We Ate in Canggu, Bali
I’ll just list our favorite places to eat with a short snippet of each. I’ve bolded our faves 🙂
- Ruko Cafe – great healthy eats (salads, smoothie bowls, sandwiches) 50k-100k per plate
- Bali Bowls – smoothie bowls, healthy food (We reckon Ruko was better) 60k – 120k per plate
- District Co-Working Space – traditional Indonesian food in a lovely setting over the rice paddies, Gado Gado was amazing, 30k-60k per plate
- Green Guru – Delicious Smoothie Bowls, 70k per smoothie bowl
- Warung Kono – Our FAVE warung in Canggu, off the main road overlooking the rice paddies, delicious traditional Indonesian food, SOOOO cheap, 10k – 30k per plate
- Warung Nonni – Another great warung on the main road, traditional Indonesian & Western Food, 30k – 70k per plate
- Ithaka – Healthy Western food, smoothie bowls & Indonesian food, 50k – 100k per plate
- Motion Cafe – Massive portions, delicious healthy food, lots of options, great space for dinner or to work during the day, 70k – 120k per plate
- Give Cafe – LOVE this place, 100% of profits go to either humanitarian, environmental & animal support charities running locally. You choose where your money goes. And the food is really good. It’s a win/win really! Around 50k – 80k per plate
We didn’t spend much time in any of the big day clubs or bars, opting to sleep early to wake up early. We hear Finns, La Brisa, Mrs Sippy & The Lawn are all a great time, but expect to pay what you would pay at a bar in your hometown… Or maybe even more.
Where We Stayed in Canggu, Bali
We stayed at Dabumito Guest House, just in between the 2 main roads. There were loads of restaurant options around, but you’d definitely want a bike to get to the beaches & other sites. About 10 min drive to Batu Bolong and 15 min to Echo Beach. The Guest House itself was clean, great AC, refreshing pool and relatively quiet. We paid around $30 AUD/night during high season (July).
We can’t wait to get back to Canggu and explore even more 🙂 Have you been? Where is your favourite spot?