Canggu is fast becoming the hottest place to stay in Bali. Situated north of Seminyak, it’s affectionately known as a ‘hipster paradise’ thanks to the digital nomads, surfers and yoga enthusiasts who have made it their home.
But it’s also stunningly beautiful and not yet completely over-run with tourists or ruined by development.
It’s a great place to visit if you want to stay alongside real Balinese communities, gaze at rice paddies and just generally zen out. Or if you’re keen for some surfing adventure action then Canggu’s the best spot in Bali to be.
There are things to do in Canggu for all budgets – from high-end spa treatments and luxury clubs, to great value local street food and amazing Balinese massages for just a few dollars.
Best Things to do in Canggu
Watch the Sunset from Echo Beach
Canggu is known for its amazing surf and black sand beaches, but it’s also one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset.
The best place to watch the sunset is at Echo Beach, the famous Echo Beach House. It’s the perfect sea front spot to grab a cool beer or cocktail and watch the last surfers of the day. At dusk, the barbecue is fired up and you can choose from beautiful seafood, fish or meat which is freshly cooked to order.
Before you sink back into a beanbag with a drink, check out the beautiful Pantai Batu Mejan Hindu temple next door that serenely overlooks the sea.
Have a Massage
You can’t visit Bali without trying a Balinese massage – in my opinion, it is one of the world’s most relaxing past times!
Canggu has a plethora of spas and massage places along the main strip on Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, but our favorite was Anjani Bali Spa. The ladies here do a wonderful deep tissue massage with divinely scented oils for incredibly reasonable prices.
Editor’s Note: Check out our Indonesia Travel Tips page which has tons of info on how to plan an epic trip to Indonesia.
If you’ve always wanted to learn to surf then Canggu is a great place because of the variety of waves for all levels. There’s a number of surf schools out at Echo Beach and most offer a combination of theory followed by practical lessons in the water.
If you’re already a surfer you can even hire a coach to fine-tune your technique or join in a surf safari where locals take you to the best and hidden local breaks. You can either bring your own board or there are plenty to rent at the beach in reasonable condition. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a bit longer, you can also look into taking surf & yoga camps during your time in Canggu.
Listed here are a few breaks that are worth checking out if you’re a beginner:
- Batu Bolong
- Old Man’s
Visit Finns Recreation Club
Formerly known as the Canggu Club, Finns is a great place to spend a day. The huge venue has facilities including a lap pool, Splash water park, ten-pin bowling, a trampoline center, tennis courts, a spa, a sports bar, and multiple restaurants all in one place.
For families, the space around the club is large enough for you to bring your own inflatable water slides, floaters and more.
You can either buy a day pass for the specific facilities you want to use or if you’re staying for longer you can buy a club membership. Finns also holds regular movie nights and screens most big sports events.
Treat Yourself to a 24k Gold Facial at Goldust Beauty Lounge
For the luxe end of the spectrum and something completely different to your average spa, visit Goldust Beauty Lounge for a 24k gold facial. After cleansing your face to remove impurities, pure gold is applied to lift, firm and hydrate your skin. You’ll come out literally glowing!
Goldust has all the usual spa treatments on offer as well, and a gorgeous selection of resort wear for sale that’s typical Canggu boho-chic style.
Rent a Scooter or Bike and Explore the Local Area
Canggu’s not overly car-friendly and is reasonably spread out so a great way to get around is to hire a scooter or bike. Scooters can be rented for as little as 4 euros per day and some even come with surfboard racks. You can even rent a bike and have it delivered using this link!
The roads and driving can be a bit crazy at times so think about getting a helmet as well. Be sure to journey down the ‘Canggu shortcut’ – an elevated path that connects Berawa to Batu Bolong through stunning rice paddy fields.
Take it easy though, at least once every couple of weeks a car falls off the path and the local community’s busy making a photo book of all these epic traffic fails!
Editor’s Note: Looking for places to stay in Bali? Check out our best Bali Villas guide for tips on where to stay!
Bali is a yoga enthusiast heaven, and there are loads of places to take classes or retreats. In Canggu alone, there are heaps of yoga centers which offer a wide variety of classes from acro yoga, Vinyasa, to Surfer’s Yoga Classes. Schools like Serenity Yoga, the Practice, Samadi, and Desa Seni are all pretty popular places to go.
Desa Seni, in particular, offers both individual classes and longer-term yoga retreats or teaching courses where you can stay on-site in one of their gorgeous original antique wooden homes.
There’s a variety of classes all offering different styles of yoga from highly experienced teachers. All props are provided along with a glass of delicious lemongrass tea.
You’ll even find some yoga classes on the beach, so it doesn’t hurt to have your own travel yoga mat to join in on the fun.
Eat at a Traditional Local Roadside Warung
Throughout Canggu, you’ll notice little roadside warungs or restaurants with a variety of dishes that you can buy to either take away or eat at the plastic tables and chairs.
For just a couple of dollars you can buy delicious nasi goreng (rice with vegetables) and nasi campur which is a selection of vegetables, chicken, fish all topped with a divine peanut sauce. We found them to be clean and hygienic – just pick one with lots of locals eating there and you’ll be fine!
On the other hand, if you want to have a go at taking cooking classes to learn how to cook traditional Indonesian food, you can take cooking classes in Canggu, showing you how to cook all the local Indonesian goodness.
Two favorite local warungs near Batu Bolong are:
- Cafe Varuna
Enjoy Tapas at La Laguna or La Finca
La Laguna is an amazing beachside restaurant that serves fabulous tapas style food and has a great drinks menu. Decked out in Spanish gypsy style decor you can either eat in the restaurant and balcony or sit out picnic-style on the grassy lawn (a rarity in Bali).
It’s open for lunch but sunset is the best time to visit – it’s best to make a reservation however if you don’t want to queue especially on the weekend. They also hold special events, host DJs and have themed nights where you can party the night away.
Otherwise, La Finca is also a good alternative if you’re craving for Spanish food. Their tapas there are divine and worth visiting. For a full list of our favorite restaurants, check out our articlce on the Must Try Restaurants in Canggu.
Visit Tanah Lot Temple Complex
Just up the road from Canggu is Bali’s most famous temple Tanah Lot. It’s a sea temple that is perched on a small rocky outcrop and gets cut off at high tide.
On the shore side are a series of further shrines and temples, all stunningly beautiful. Sunset is the best time to visit, but it does get very busy with tour buses all arriving at the same time.
We recommend this UNESCO heritage site tour as it takes you through the best parts, without having to worry about logistics!
Get your Caffeine Fix at Milk and Madu
Coffee aficionados listen up! The BEST place for coffee in Canggu is at Milk and Madu. This fantastic cafe overlooking beautiful rice paddy fields takes coffee extremely seriously. They serve Revolver Espresso in perfectly sized imported latte glasses.
Their milk comes from expat Australian cows living in Java (true story!) and they always serve a double ristretto. As well as on point coffee, they have fast reliable Wi-Fi, a fabulous all day breakfast menu, cabinet food and open for dinner as well. It is really one of my top picks on where to eat in Bali.
Last but not least, apart from Yoga, Canggu has heaps of other fitness options. If you’re not a person who enjoys the gym, you can also try attending Beach Boot Camp classes.
A group called 2BeFitBali holds boot camp classes right by the beach, mixing it some circuit training, functional fitness, and body weight exercises. It is heaps of fun and worth joining in for.
To sum up, Canggu really is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a relaxing atmosphere, fantastic food, divine sunsets and a glimpse into more of an authentic Bali than some of the tourist hotspots further south.
Where to Stay in Canggu
Regardless if you plan to stay in Canggu for a few days (or for months at a time), here are a few options on where to stay in Canggu.