Bali, Indonesia has long been the creme de la creme for paradise seekers and avid surfers, drawing travelers with its tropical weather, vibrant nightlife, loads of sparkling beaches and local Balinese charm. Indeed, Bali is small, with this post describing the ease in which you can make your way around the entire island in a day or two. Kuta, Ubud, Amed and Nusa Lembongan have always been the popular destinations, but there is one hidden beach town that is quickly gaining recognition among beach lovers, backpackers and families.
Canggu, located on the south coast of Bali, lies approximately 10 kilometers north of bustling Kuta. Remarkably, it has managed to escape heavy tourism and development…for now at least. Those seeking less party scene, nice accommodations and fast pace living find their heart in Canggu’s classic beach town vibes, tasty waves and intact local culture. Though less developed, there are plenty of things to do in Canggu, Bali. A budding nightlife scene exists and there is a smattering of trendy shopping boutiques and eateries that will keep your mind tranquil and happily lost in holiday mode.
What to do in Canggu: Surf, sunsets and a sacred island temple
There are a handful of things to do in Canggu, Bali, but most of these activities revolve around relaxing, enjoying the beach and never letting that cold Bintang in your hand run dry. When it comes to waves, Canggu has a reputation for some of the most consistent spots on the island. Old Man’s Beach offers longboarders a nice break while Echo Beach is known for its big waves and nice tubes.
You can’t end the day without witnessing the sunset in Bali, and Canggu boasts some of the most romantic beach digs to do so. Old Man’s Bar and Echo Beach House offer a chilled atmosphere on the sand so you can enjoy some fresh seafood after a surf-filled day while the sun goes down.
If you want to take a break from the beach and sun, Tanah Lot is a unique temple that sits along the coast just 30 mins North of Canggu. Rent a scooter and pass lime green rice paddies and one-road beach towns until you arrive at the temple, which has been constructed upon a curious island just offshore. This is also a nice place to watch the sunset and find colorful sea glass along the black sand coast.
Canggu shopping and eateries: Bohemian and beachy styling; fresh and healthy feasting
Oh Bali boutiques, how you wipe my bank account clean, but I forgive you, because your bohemian, beachy fashion and adorable bikinis are worth every penny. Ladies, if you’re looking for what to do in Canggu and where to go for some indulgent browsing- the shopping is divine, and I don’t mean the typical tourist souvenirs. You’ll find unique, hip retail and houseware that you won’t find anywhere else, exposing a trendy, artistic hub that is quickly shaping the town’s persona. I bought my favorite backless romper at Moon Rocks, a haven for street- beach wear. Milk the Goat offers apparel described as “pin up- hippie,” bringing California flair to Canggu. The Offering is a treasure trove, displaying everything from clothes to jewelry and home decor to kids merchandise.
There is a fine selection of dining options, all close by and easily accessible by scooter or by walking. Whether you are looking for frosty margaritas made right at La Mexicana, or vegan and vegetarian options at Betelnut Cafe- Canggu is a foodie’s dream come true. Canteen is locally run and perfect for a tropical breakfast and varied menu, while my all-time favorite, Warung Bu Mi, offers an all day buffet-style selection of authentic Balinese food, serving large portions at cheap cheap prices.
Canggu Nightlife: Dance by the beach or dream on a giant bean bag
The Canggu nightlife is always popping, but just the right amount so you don’t feel overwhelmed like in Kuta. The bars and pubs offer less of a dance club party atmosphere and more of a chill, hipster vibe. Deus Cafe is well-known for tacos and free tats Tuesdays, where if you go early enough, you could score a free tattoo. Even if you aren’t up for ink, Deus serves scrumptious food to nom and enjoy conversation or you can kick it on a giant bean bag with a beer outside in the slaty night air. Old Man’s Bar has a popular Friday happy hour that can’t be missed, because Bintangs are less than $2 and Le Pirate is where everyone heads on Thursday to mingle and sway those hips to some R&B and hip hop.
Written by Courtney Lambert
I dislike bios. I get anxiety every time I try to write one. Starts with a sentence, three words in, no no….delete, and again. “I like cats”, yeaaa that’s cool, everyone will read my shit if they know I adore cats….no they won’t. Ok, lemme google some bio examples…so many formats for bio success, I haven’t followed any of the formats. Blank. Heart racing. Trembling fingers. Fuck it. I like to travel and write about it. And, I like cats.