Northwest of Kuta and Seminyak you will find the small village Canggu. But the term “Canggu” also is used to refer to a large coastal stretch of land comprising several small villages and beaches. This beach and rice field area is famous for its awesome surf, a vivid bar, club and restaurant scene, amazing rice field views and some fancy private villa rentals. The beaches have dark grey or black sand and are not particularly good for swimming, but do offer some renowned and challenging surfing spots.
How to get there?
From Denpasar International Airport you can either rent a car or scooter, hire a private driver or take a taxi. You can also try to book accommodation with airport pickup. This would be the easiest way.
In Canggu the focus definitely lies on surfing and for us this was one of our personal highlights. We really enjoyed Eco Beach and Batu Bolong Beach. The atmosphere is very relaxed and both beaches are the perfect place to enjoy a cold beer (do not worry, there are plenty of bars, shops or beach vendors) and watch one of the amazing sunsets. Furthermore an additional highlight is Canggu’s food scene – this place is a foodies paradise! The culinary diversity in Canggu is absolutely insane. We had the most amazing local food, good burgers or pizza, crazy delicious ice-cream, healthy vegan and vegetarian dishes and much more. And most of the bars and restaurants are super cute and stylish.
How long to stay?
It is hard to say how long you should stay in Canggu. Some people only come for a few nights to enjoy the surf, others stay here for weeks or months. We decided to stay for 5 nights. This left us enough time to explore the different surf spots and some of the awesome bars, restaurants and shops. You could probably also do this with only 2-3 nights, but the atmosphere in Canggu is so laid-back that you should not force yourself to rush through the area too much. Canggu is not a small town but rather a long stretch of coastal land comprising several small villages – so renting some wheels is a must (especially if you do not have a lot of time to explore the area). We figured out that the area between Eco Beach and Batu Bolong (Canggu) Beach comes closest to a proper “city center”. In this area you will find the most shops, bars and restaurants. Just head north or south at the junction of Pantai Batu Bolong and Batu Mejan (close to Deus Ex Machina) to explore what Canggu has to offer.
Where to stay?
There is plenty of accommodation to choose from in Canggu. From budget places, to hostels, a nice homestay, guest houses, hotels and resorts up to the most amazing private villas – you will definitely find what you are looking for. We stayed at the Matra Bali Guest House for 25 EUR per night/double room. The rooms are very generous and come with an outside bathroom including an amazing hot shower (best treat after a long surfing session!). The wifi is pretty good and the breakfast is quite nice. The hotel has some scooters and bicycles to rent and the super friendly staff also arranges transport to other destinations (Ubud, airport etc.). A yoga class is super close and although the guest house is located at the main road, it is still quiet. Some nice restaurants, smaller shops, pharmacies and mini marts are within easy reach. Furthermore the so-called “shortcut”, which is the easiest and fastest way to Batu Bolong and Exo Beach starts just around the corner.
Surfing Spots There are six main surfing spots located in the Canggu area: Stairs, Rivermouth, Sandbanks, Echo Beach, Old Man and Batu Bolong.
Stairs You will find this spot close to Pererenan main road. If you walk down the road, you will bump right into it. Stairs features a fast lefthander and a slower righthander. The surf is good for intermediates and beginners at smaller swell sizes.
Rivermouth About 50 m towards south from Stairs you will find this spot. It features a fast to tuby righthander, which breaks close to the beach. It offers a long ride. Almost down to the next spot in the line.
Sandbanks This punchy and sometime hollow peak is often used by bodyboarders – especially when the conditions are challenging. Take care at this spot: There are strong currents.
Echo Beach Next and right in front of Echo Beach’s promenade you can enjoy one of the nicest tubes of Bali’s westcoast. At high tide it works as a lefthander. Swell sizes around 5 feet and above.
Old Man’s This spot features a very nice break for longboarders and it can easily hold swells above 10 feet. The righthander can reward you with long rides on a big open face. The lefthander has just the same power, but closes a little earlier when it hits the reef in front of the Echo Beach temple.
Batu Bolong This probably is the most famous (and thereofre often crowded) spot in Canggu. It also breaks over a mix of reef and rocky, sometimes sandy, bottom. As long as there is decent swell and not too much wind this spot can be considered to break consistent through all tides.
Click here for a map showing the location of the different spots.
Restaurants As already mentioned Canggu is bursting with amazing restaurants and bars. You will not only find a lot of the traditional (and typical) Warung’s in the area, but also the cutest, trendiest and most modern food places. We immediately fell in love with the choices Canggu gave us and here are our favorites:
Old Man’s (probably one of the must-see attractions in Canggu, do not forget to take a picture in front of the blue Old Man’s mural)
Ithaka Warung (Indonesian and Western Fusion)
Green Ginger (Noodle House with Vietnamese and Thai dishes including vegan and vegetarian choices)
Cloud 9 (enjoy gourmet burger and healthy food with a great rice field view)
Deus Ex Machina – Temple of Enthusiasm (restaurant, board shop, tattoo studio, custom motorbike manufacturer and shaper in one place – good food and they give away free small tattoos every Tuesday at their “Taco and Tattuesday”)
Dandelion (fancy looking Warung which offers good food at fair prices – AND if you eat in the garden you might eat together with some super cute and cuddly bunny rabbits)
Betelnut Cafe (proves that healthy food does not have to be boring, Indonesian flavors with a personal touch as well as burgers and Mexican food)
Paletas Wey (super delicious ice-cream with a lot of nice and unusual flavors)
Tanah Lot This rock formation is home to the pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot or Tanah Lot Temple. The temple is a popular tourist and cultural attraction, as well as a famous spot for photography. Tanah Lot means “Land (in the) Sea” and also refers to a part of the temple which sits on a big rock in the ocean. At low tide you can walk all the way to the rock, but at high tide the area is closed due to security reasons. The ocean tide continuously shapes the large offshore rock. Entrance fee is about 4 EUR per person and the place can get very crowded. It also is a good spot for watching the sunset. Additionally the road to Tanah Lot takes you through some pretty rice field areas. Hang out at Pererenan Beach At this beach a lot of locals meet every Sunday to enjoy some family time and the beautiful sunset. Small stands sell street food for crazy cheap prices, so make sure to dig in! And if you are super friendly and nice a Balinese family might even invite you to enjoy some food with them. Markets You can experience and exlore a couple of nice markets in Canggu. Make sure to check out the Samadi Sunday Organic Market (Sundays from 9 am – 2 pm; organic fruits, vegetables, hand-made accessoires, clothes and plenty of healthy and slow cooked food), the Canggu Market (located in Raya Batu Bolong Street; see and experience local life, most active in the early morning, fresh fruit from local farmers and other produce) and the Sunday Bazaar at the Love Anchor Shop (DJs, food, drink and a range of traders). The Shortcut You soon will find out that going from one beach to the other can be complicated in Canggu. There are plenty of dead end roads and before you even notice you end up riding ridiculously long ways from one beach to the other, although the beaches are right next to each other. That is why most people like to take the so-called “shortcut”. A tiny road connecting Batu Bolong Beach with Berawa Beach. The road offers unexpected and beautiful rice field views, showing you how Canggu looked before tourism started to grow. You will also find some nice cafes along the road (Cloud 9 is located here). The road can get quite crowded, especially when cars take it. Just make sure to drive careful. It is not unusual that people fall into the rice fields.