For a laid-back tropical escape, Canggu is the place to be. With its boho vibe, café culture, and surfer style, this is one of the coolest spots in Bali. Located twenty minutes north of Seminyak, Canggu spans from just north of Seminyak to south of Tanah Lot. Canggu is one of the most up-and-coming areas and features an eight-kilometer-long beach and sweeping rice fields. Here's my ultimate Canggu travel guide!
What to Expect in Canggu
Language: The official language in Bali is Indonesian, but you’ll also hear Balinese with a smattering of Indonesian mixed in. English is the “third” language of Bali and is in wide use thanks to tourism and a large Australian expat population!
Currency: Bali uses the Indonesian rupiah as the local currency.
Credit Cards and Banks: Cash is king in Bali. Always carry a handful of 10,000 to 100,000 notes (100,000 IDR is about $7.50 USD) for daily expenses and purchases. As of 2015, businesses are not allowed to charge in dollars, so make sure you always have some rupiah on hand. You can easily withdraw from ATMs, which are easy to find all over Bali. Most large hotels and restaurants accept credit cards.
Climate: In general, Bali enjoys warm weather year-round—but be mindful of the rainy season, January to April and October to November!
Water: Be sure not to drink the tap water in Bali. Many tourists experience “Bali Belly” (severe stomach issues and indigestion) when traveling to this country so it’s best to avoid any unclean food or water.
Getting Around Canguu
Rent a Scooter: My recommendation is to avoid the traffic of Bali by renting a scooter—a fast way to zip through the streets and countryside. Traffic is a BIG problem in the Seminyak and Canggu areas. Expect about an hours drive from the airport to Canggu (without traffic).
The driving in Bali is very chaotic and aggressive so it will take some getting used to. That being said, it’s very important to always wear a helmet and never drive after a big night out.
Renting a motorbike is the “way” of Bali and very cheap. If you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, you can use the GO-JEK app for an Uber-type service but on the back of a motorbike.
Taxi: Taxis are the most expensive, and Uber is somewhat banned by a monopoly on taxi service. You can still use Uber, but you need to be very discreet about it and can’t use them to get to and from populated areas.
You can also use the Blue Bird app for easy cab rentals!
An impressive luxury pick, these villas are only a three-minute walk from Batu Bolong Beach. With a woodsy-chic style, every room here is dreamy.
Location: Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong
Hotel Tugu Bali
Another luxe site located minutes away from the beach, this posh, vintage spot has soaking tubs and private plunge pools. Tugu is one of my favorite hotels to stay at and to hang at whenever I’m in Bali. The location can’t be beat!
Location: Batu Bolong
The Oshan Villas
Each of these luxurious villas, has its own private pool and sun loungers set within a landscaped garden. The spacious rooms are beautifully decorated and fitted with ample living space.
Location: Batu Bolong
The Kirana Hotel Resto and Spa
This wellness resort is a mid-range option with first-class Balinese hospitality, an infinity pool, a yoga deck, and so much more.
Location: Batu Bolong
Koa d’Surfer Hotel
With free Wi-Fi, 24/7 room service, and a rooftop pool, this hotel is a top budget pick.
A ten-minute walk from the beach, this budget hotel has powerful AC, free Wi-Fi, bike rentals, and other great features.
For fresh foods and all things healthy, Nude Canggu is the place for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking for a light meal.
For some of the best coffee on the island, as well as tasty vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free noshes, get to Satu.
When To Go: A perfect quiet place to get some work done.
Full of unique and healthy picks, this café is a foodie’s heaven.
What to Order: You can’t go wrong any of the dishes here, but I can never decide sweet and savory. Since it’s so inexpensive it’s the perfect place to go for a savory nourish bowl and a sweet smoothie!
Milk & Madu
For a European-style breakfast and lunch, this is a great café. It’s got outdoor seating and good Wi-Fi, so it’s also a nice place to unwind for a bit.
This cafe serves amazing breakfast and lunch all day, as well as fresh smoothies. They have a location in Seminyak and just opened a new place in Canggu!
What to Order: Try their Acai bowls!
This combo vegan café and bicycle shop is all about eco-friendly living. It’s also got tasty grub!
Deus Ex Machina
This café is located between the Temple of Enthusiasm and the rice paddies of Canggu and is a wonderful fusion of Indonesian culture and Western cuisine.
When to Go: They have live music at night and it is a fun place to go out with friends!
This gypsy-inspired “rustic chic” spot has a beachfront bar and a restaurant you will definitely want to try.
When to Go: La Laguna is a beautiful spot to watch the sunset!
Ready for a fancy dinner out? Travel back to ancient Indonesia for a romantic adventure through the history of the country as you explore the artifacts and artwork at Hotel Tugu, and then sample authentic Balinese fare.
Old Man’s for Nightlife
For a fun night out, check out the drink, food, and music at this local hot spot.
Canggu is a beach lover’s dream. Spend a lazy afternoon enjoying the beauty of Batu Balong or Echo Beach.
Hang at The Lawn
This beachfront restaurant is a must-see. It’s an idyllic locale to hang out on a sunny afternoon or sip coconut mojitos at night.
Finn’s Beach Club
This beach club offers beachfront daybeds, 2 pools with live DJs daily, 6 bars, a restaurant and spa, all in one location!
Go to the Spa
Check out the Goldust Beauty Lounge. I HIGHLY recommend everything it’s got! I’m also a big fan of the Tugu Spa. These two are more “premium” spas but most of the spas around the area are very inexpensive (I’m talking it’s reasonable to get one massage per day) so take advantage!
There is world-class surfing all over Bali, but it is one of the most popular activities in Canggu. Berawa is good for surfers of all levels. A bit more advanced? Head to Old Mans or Batu Bolong Beach.
Bali is a yoga mecca. There are yoga retreats going on all the time as well as resident yogis who offer daily classes. Check out The Practice if you’re interested!
Canggu Sunday Market
With an eclectic mashup of arts, crafts, and tasty homemade treats, this is the place to be on a sunny Sunday morning.
Tugu Cultural Evening
The local culture of Canggu is fascinating. Be sure to check out the local music and dancers at Tugu Cultural Evening while sampling the fantastic Balinese food.
Day Trip to Monkey Forest in Ubud
Just a short ride away from Canggu you can visit the monkey forest in Ubud. Just be careful! The monkeys can be super aggressive. Don’t make contact or interact with them unless you have bananas. I found them most friendly at the beginning of the forest where they probably get the most food. For the best photos, walk a bit farther into the forest—when you pass a long trail, you’ll get to a stunningly beautiful temple area where guides will help you to get a monkey up on your shoulder if you want.
Make sure to hold on to any loose clothing items such as sunglasses and hats as the monkeys will try to steal them off of you!