On the south-east coast of Bali, nestled amongst lush green rice fields lies Canggu. Once a sleepy fishing village, Canggu is now one of Bali’s coolest neighbourhoods. Although it’s just a short drive from bustling Seminyak and Legian, Canggu has managed to hold on to a more laidback vibe, making it the destination of choice for surfers, health fanatics, digital nomads and those with a little bit of a bohemian spirit.
A Local’s Canggu Guide
Canggu, or the Gu, as it is informally known, may not be as sophisticated as some of the neighbouring areas. But, there are plenty of things to do in Canggu. That, coupled with some amazing Canggu accommodation choices, makes this the perfect destination for a fantastic tropical Bali holiday.
First of all, you need to know a bit about the different areas that make up Canggu; it may not be very big, but there is quite a a lot of diversity in terms of areas. So, depending on what type of holiday you want, you need to pick the right place. There are six different regions: Batu Bolong, Berawa Beach, Echo Beach, Pererenan, Umalas, and Kerobokan
The first three make up the busiest parts of Canggu, and are definitely the places to go if you prefer to be at the centre of the action. They are all right on the coast and full of bars, restaurants and clubs. Batu Bolong is also the main shopping area.
By contrast, Pererenan is the quietist part of town, full of sleepy streets, ancient temples and some amazing views of the rice fields. It’s great for anyone who just wants to escape the world and enjoy life at a slower pace for a little while.
You may have heard of Kerobokan as it is home to Bali’s famous prison of the same name, but don’t let this put you off, as both it, and neighbouring Umalas have some lovely places to stay as well as plenty of restaurants and shops.
Related: The Ultimate Ubud Travel Guide
Where to Stay in Canggu
Once you have worked out where to go, you need to decide where to stay in Canggu. There are plenty of Canggu accommodation options to suit all budgets, ranging from 5*resorts to some less expensive resorts and Canggu villas. Although the thought of booking a villa may have you clutching your wallet in pain, things are a little different in Bali. You can find some incredible properties for a really good price.
If you are on a tight budget, but don’t want to compromise on quality, then try looking into some of the area’s boutique hotels, there are several in central locations that have all the benefits you would expect to find in a high-end hotel, for a fraction of the cost.
Related: What to do in Seminyak Bali
Where to Eat in Canggu
Canggu is well known for its cafe scene, so to start any day in the Gu, you will want to find a good place for breakfast. You won’t have to look far as there are plenty of places to choose from.
Head to Betelnut Cafe, a traditionally built, two-story building right on one of the main streets. Try to get a seat upstairs and you will be able to enjoy some breathtaking views over the rice fields. Breakfast here is a real treat with some tasty smoothie bowls and avocado toast available, as well as a few more substantial options.
From Betelnut, its just a short walk (10- 15 mins), along Batu Bolong, past shops, cafes and spas down to the beach. The coast in this part of the island is made up of black sand beaches, making it a little different from what you get in most other parts of Bali. You will find the shores lined with surf schools and beach clubs, such as Old Mans (which you will have to walk past if you have just come from Betelnut).
When the sun starts to get too high in the sky, its a good idea to head back inland and find and find somewhere for lunch. There are enough places to choose from that you could probably spend the entire holiday cafe hopping from one to the other and still not go everywhere.
Try the Shady Shack. This is a vegetarian restaurant, but meat-eaters should not be put off, everything is so tasty that you will not notice the difference. They do one of the best veggie burgers and also some tasty savoury bowls. You also get to enjoy a lively atmosphere – if you sit inside you will be surrounded by funky decorations, and outside you will be in tropical gardens. Additionally, this is a good place to come and hang out for an hour or two, with a latte and delicious slice of homemade cake.
Related: Where to Eat in Bali
Things to do in Canggu
When it comes to things to do in Canggu, the area generously caters to families, couples and surfers alike. With plenty of amazing Canggu restaurants, outdoor activities and signature Bali spas to help you unwind during your stay.
Relax at a Canggu Spa
As far as afternoon activities go, there is a lot on offer. If you feel like going down the relaxing route, then why not treat yourself at one of the local spas? The Goldust Beauty Lounge and AMO Spa are two of the most popular and both of them have plenty of luxurious treatments to choose from. Besides, you can’t come to Bali and not get a massage.
Go Rock Climbing or Learn to Surf
If you’d rather do something a bit more action packed you could try out rock climbing at the Bali Climbing Centre (they even have classes for kids). Then, head back down to the beach to watch the surfers or walk the sand. There are also plenty of surf schools on Canggu’s beaches, where you can book a private surf lesson or book the kids into a Bali surf camp during your stay too.
Related: Bali’s Best Coworking Spaces
Visit Tanah Lot
Another option is to go to nearby Tanah Lot. This is one of Bali’s most famous, not to mention beautiful, temples and is usually considered to be a ‘Bali must see’ site whilst on the island. It’s usually better to go later in the day so you can enjoy the sun setting over the ocean and silhouetting the temple. Be warned, it can a get busy though.
Settle in for Sunset
Canggu is lucky to be on the right side of Bali to make the most of the sunset. Set yourself up with a good viewing spot. There are loads of good bars and beach clubs. Try getting yourself a beanbag at The Lawn, or heading to a local favourite, Ji Terrace by the Sea. It is a 3rd floor roof terrace restaurant and bar with a panoramic view of the coastline, that happens to serve some delicious cocktails. You also won’t have to go far for dinner as they serve a delicious pan-Asian menu and some of the best sushi you will find outside of Japan.
Once darkness falls, the Canggu nightlife scene comes to life. It may not be quite so hectic as Seminyak, and is definitely nothing like Kuta, but there is plenty going on. Deus Ex Machina is always a good place to go, especially for ‘Tacos and Tattuesdays’, as is the dance floor at Old Mans. Finish the evening off at the Sand Bar, which stays open into the early hours and is known for its bonfires on the beach.
Once you have finished dancing the night away, make your way back home for a few hours sleep before the start of another glorious day in Canggu.
This guest post was contributed by Bali Villas. With extensive experience in servicing Australian clients, Bali Villas know exactly what families are looking for in terms of location, style and pricing. Each of their family friendly villas situated on the beautiful island of Bali have been hand-picked by their ‘family expert’. Someone with children who knows exactly what families are looking for.
This is a sponsored article. Thank you for supporting the partners who help to bring you informative and inspiring content on The Fit Traveller. Read more about our editorial policy and paid partnerships here.