Years ago I came to Canggu for the first time and fell in love with its laid-back atmosphere, variety of surf spots and yoga studios. Always smiling, super friendly locals and community of creative expats. Since then, this once small village has become the hippest place in Bali and it definitely has its pros and cons.
All places that are featured here have been in Canggu for a while now and we love them. There are also many new places opening on daily basis and it would be impossible to keep up with them. You will be able to choose from wide variety of awesome food spots and find lots of options for accommodation. From cheaper hostels and home stays to luxury villas.
It is a magical place, known also as the Island of Gods. The predominant religion on this island is Balinese Hinduism and people here really live their religion! Besides beautiful smaller and bigger temples, first thing you will witness are offerings. Prepared daily and placed around temples, houses, shops and other public places. You will probably see at least one ceremony. And if you stay at home stay with a local family, they will be happy to let you join them and tell you more about their traditions.
Balinese are friendly, welcoming, always smiling and happy to chat with you. Most locals speak English.
Health care system is well established.
Free WiFi is available pretty much everywhere.
Best waves in Canggu and the West Coast in general, are in dry season April – September. But really you can surf here all year round. The only time that might not be the best for surfing the West Coast is wet season. Especially December – February, when the water can be quite dirty.
Water is always warm; you can comfortably surf in bikini or board shorts.
There are waves for all levels of surfing in Canggu.
Best time to avoid crowds is really early morning (jump on your scooter when it’s still dark and get in the water with first light before sunrise). If dawn patrol is not your thing, you will have to accept the crowds or hire a surf guide that will take you to less busy breaks.
You can hire surfboards from many little shacks down the beach, if you don’t bring your own. If you plan on surfing every day, it’s best to hire one for your whole stay, you will pay less. If you’re staying in Bali longer, consider buying a surfboard. You can choose from cheaper second hand (Facebook group Bali Surfboards buy and sell) or buy a brand new board.
Learning to surf – all of surf rental places also offer lessons. Usually it’s a 2 hr session with max 3 people for 1 teacher. Often if you’re by yourself, you will have 1 on 1 lesson. If you want to book in advance, check one of our favourite instructors Ayok.
Berawa – level intermediate to advanced. Beach break with long right and some left-hand peaks.
Batu Bolong – all levels, perfect for long boarders. Reef, very mellow, long wave. Left and right-hand peaks. Super crowded.
Echo – experienced intermediate to advanced. Fast and fun wave for experienced surfers, few right and left peaks along the beach all way to Perenenan Beach.
Perenenan – experienced intermediate to advanced. Right and left-hand peak.
All listed studios offer drop in classes. But if you plan on doing more yoga, it’s wise to buy a few classes pass to save some money. All of the places run workshops regularly (always announced in advance), so if you want to dive deeper into your practice, check their websites to see what’s on offer.
The Practice – based on Traditional Tantric Hatha yoga. With classes running throughout the day, there is something for all levels of practitioners. Despite being located in the centre of Canggu this studio has great tranquil atmosphere.
Samadi – specialising in Ashtanga yoga, offers daily Mysore practice as well as led classes. If that’s not your style, you can join Vinyasa or Yin classes. In addition, Samadi has 100% vegetarian kitchen open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with lots of space to chill after your practice. Every Sunday – morning market with products from local Organic Farmers and Artisans.
Desa Seni – our favourite! Desa Seni’s yoga shala is set up in unique village resort complex, that besides yoga offers organic food and accommodation. It is definitely magical and worth visiting. Yoga is oh-so-good and a variety of classes caters to all levels of practitioners.
Serenity – yoga shala, guest house and vegan restaurant. Offers classes for all levels of practitioners and it’s walking distance from the beach.
Options for accommodation are countless. If you’re not concerned about budget and travelling with family, group of friends or just want to have more privacy, check out the beautiful villas on Airbnb. There are lots to choose from. If you’re traveling on a budget or want to meet new people check our selection of places below.
Ayok Stay and Surf – homestay with great vibe, run by a local surf legend, always smiling Ayok. Besides having a place to sleep, you can book surf lessons or guiding as well as rent boards… And it’s walking distance to the beach.
The Hideout hostel – As they call themselves Surf & Yoga Hostel – Hideout is a place with a great vibe, very budget friendly and offers daily free yoga. Located in a super chilled Perenenan where you can still feel the relaxed “old Canggu” vibe.
Food in Canggu’s cafes and restaurants is amazing, always super fresh and so tasty. Local meals are usually spicy but not extremely, you can add additional “sambal” spicy sauce to make it hotter. You have to try Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice), Mie Goreng (fried noodles), Gado Gado salad, Nasi Campur. Taste as many different options as you can to find what you like the best.
Cooking at home is an option if you rent an Airbnb villa. But very often the price will be similar to what you pay eating out. You should definitely eat as much local fruit as you can. Buy it from the market – check Samadi Yoga Sunday market.
Betelnut Cafe – one of Canggu’s iconic places. It’s quite busy so sometimes you may have to wait for a table but it’s worth it. Our favourites are brekkie burrito in the morning and Baja burrito for dinner. And of course all smoothie bowls and drinks!
Canteen Cafe – yummy food and super friendly atmosphere, ideal stop for brekkie after surfing Echo. You have to try their Gado Gado salad for lunch.
Front cafe – carefully created menu and delicious coffee. It’s a must while in Perenenan also good if you want to escape the crowds.
Milk & Madu – great food, very spacious with chilled out atmosphere.
Taco Casa – quick and delicious Mexican food.
Warung Varuna – local food. Nasi Campur style – rice with your choice of dishes that were previously cooked and are displayed behind glass window. If you’ve never tried it before, it might be kinda hit and miss to find what you like, but most of the dishes are really tasty. The only thing we would avoid are little sardine-like looking fish.
Sunset BBQ at Echo beach – selection of meat and seafood with wide variety of sides. Grab your meal, drink and enjoy the sunset.
The Piring Daun – super tasty Indian food.
Roti Canai – delicious Roti inspired by India’s street food, order it with peanut sauce – yum!
Poke Poke – best poke bowls in Canggu.
During the day and in the evening the best place to be is the beach of course! Grab your sarong, coconut from warung (local restaurant) and watch surfers during the day. Have a Bintang, watch the sunset and listen to live music in the evening.
If you’re after party, here are few places that won’t disappoint you.
Old Man’s – chill here during the day, grab a beer after surf, watch the sunset and if you are keen, stay to party. One of our favourite spots to hang out.
Deus ex Machina – come for a Sunday Session with live music, or just to check out all awesome surfboards and custom bikes.
Pretty Poison – skate bowl, loud music and crowds – that’s where the party happens.
Scooters are the most popular form of getting around. You can rent one on every corner or ask at the place where you’re staying to organise one for you. Ask for the one with a surf rack. If you don’t feel confident riding a scooter, (I didn’t for couple months when I first came to Bali, lol) look for accomodation close to the beach. Walking long distances in Bali isn’t the most pleasant experience. There aren’t many walkways and it’s hot and busy on the roads.
Airport pickup, if you have accommodation booked ask them to organise pick up for you. If you’re travelling with surfboards it’s wise to bring straps with you to attach them to the roof of the car.
Public transport in Bali doesn’t exist.
Money & Visa
Currency is Indonesian Rupiah IDR. Exchange rates at the airport are the worst so don’t exchange more money than you need for the first day. Once you are in Canggu there are lots of places where you can exchange your money. Always double check what you are given and if the place doesn’t have additional fees.
Buying anything at the markets you can always negotiate the price. Very often the first offer is double the price you can pay at the end. But it’s up to you. If you like negotiating go for it, if you don’t mind paying more and supporting locals – perfect!
At most shops, restaurants and cafes you can pay with card.
Visa regulation change very often so check before your travel. As of now, 140 countries are eligible for Free Visa Stamp. It is best for those, who plan to stay no longer than 30 days.
If you want to stay between 30-60 days then best choice is paid Visa on Arrival. You can extend it after 30 days for another 30 days.
Always carry a reusable bottle with you. Download a free app – RefillMyBottle to find all places, where you can refill your bottle for free or a price of bottled water.
If you’re planning on staying locally, consider renting a push bike instead of a scooter. You will not only help the planet but also experience the place in a different way.