What to do in Canggu

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Bali:

10 Things to do in Canggu

Dates Visited: December 2018

There are plenty of things to do in Canggu (pronounced Chang-Goo) since it's a pretty busy tourist area. It's a resort village with several surf beaches near the larger city of North Kuta.

If you're looking for a nice clean place to surf then it's worth driving a bit further south to Balangan Beach. In our opinion Balangan is cleaner and quieter than the closer ones; Batu Belig Beach and Berawa Beach.

While you're down near the south end of Bali, it's worth checking out Karang Boma cliff at sunset. The sky is absolutely mind blowing overlooking this stunning cliff and clear blue water.

On your way back to Canggu after sunset you could check out Strawberry Fields, a rustic Beatles themed restaurant. Though it's a bit pricier than the local Warung food, the unique dining experience and atmosphere is worth a look.

Bum around Balangan Beach

Balangan Beach has a great vibe and was the cleanest beach we came across in Bali. That alone made it one of our favorite things to do in Canggu and Bali. The beach wasn't crowded and had a nice laid back vibe. We rented two chairs and an umbrella for 50,000 IDR (~$3 USD) so we stayed for a few hours.

If you're keen on having some lunch there are a few restaurants along the beach. When we went there was also a guy selling fresh grilled corn the cob. It's was a delicious snack for less than $1 USD and it didn't use any plastic wrappers. After Balangan Beach we decided to head to Karang Boma Cliff for sunset.

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10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Balangang Beach
10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Balangang Beach
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10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Balangang Beach
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10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Balangang Beach
10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Balangang Beach
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10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Balangang Beach

Sunset at Karang Boma Cliff

Located roughly 33 km (20 miles) south of Canggu is Karang Boma Cliff. The photos are a bit deceiving because the cliff looks like a far hike from where the photos were taken. In reality, it takes less than 2 minutes to make the quick walk.

Since this spot has gained popularity from being one of the best instagram spots in Bali, there is a small entrance fee of roughly 10,000 IDR. Nonetheless, it was one of our favorite evenings as we watched another colorful sunset paint the sky. From the edge of the cliff, it's actually possible to see Uluwatu Temple, one of the several sea temples in Bali.

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10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Karang Boma Cliff
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10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Karang Boma Cliff
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Dinner at Strawberry Fields

On our way home to our Airbnb, Molly spotted this restaurant and we decided to make a stop inside because she is a huge Beatles fan. The entire restaurant has a rustic retro feel with a big Beatles influence. The lighting and décor create a unique atmosphere, plus the food was delicious.

10 Best Instagram Spots in Bali: Strawberry Fields Forever
10 Best Instagram Spots in Bali: Strawberry Fields Forever
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10 Best Instagram Spots in Bali: Strawberry Fields Forever
10 Best Instagram Spots in Bali: Strawberry Fields Forever
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Grab a beer at Berawa Beach

Another one of the great things to do in Canggu is grab a beer at Berawa Beach. We went just before sunset and and ended up staying for happy hour. We found a comfy seat and spent some time watching a kite surfer practicing on the beach. Later on we met a lovely local lady, Marelisa, who moved to Bali from Switzerland. We shared a few drinks and swapped stories, it was quite a relaxing evening and was a great way to spend one of our first few days in Bali.

Things to do in Canggu: Grab a beer at Berawa Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Grab a beer at Berawa Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Grab a beer at Berawa Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Grab a beer at Berawa Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Grab a beer at Berawa Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Grab a beer at Berawa Beach

Brunch at Balibola

Balibola is definitely one of the must dos of Canggu. It is a up and coming insta-famous spot that just opened in July 2018. Though the food is a bit pricier than local food, it's still relatively cheap compared to western food back home. We got two entrees, three coffees, and locally brewed kombucha for $25 USD.

This café's claim to fame is by introducing the flexitarian movement in Bali. We got the chance to sit down and ask the owner a few questions asking her about what drove her to open Balibola. Read more about our experience at Balibola here.

Sunbathe at Batu Belig Beach

Batu Belig is another surf beach near Canggu and North Kuta. We ended up taking a 10 minute Grab taxi to Batu Belig from Canggu for about 30,000 IDR ($2 USD). There are several bars and restaurants that line the beach and have bean bag chairs out on the sand to relax on...if you're willing to buy a drink.

Unfortunately we tried to get in the water but ended up getting covered in plastic bags 🙁 It was here that we decided we needed to get involved with cleaning up the beaches in Bali. Luckily we got connected with Trash Heros on Gili Air island and did a couple clean ups with them.

Things to do in Canggu: Sunbathe at Batu Balig Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Sunbathe at Batu Balig Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Sunbathe at Batu Balig Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Sunbathe at Batu Balig Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Sunbathe at Batu Balig Beach
Things to do in Canggu: Sunbathe at Batu Balig Beach

Hit the Night Markets

Hitting the night markets is one of the best things to do in Canggu. There are quite a few around Canggu like the Sunday Market, or the Love Anchor Canggu Bali Market. From our lodging at Riviera House, both markets are about a 20 minute drive. We decided to venture a bit outside the busy Canggu/North Kuta area into the quieter neighborhood of Sanur.

Here you can find the Sanur Night Market open daily from 4:00-10:00PM. There are loads of carts that serve cheap local food. You can easily stuff your face for under 50,000 IDR ($3.50 USD). I (Josh) would usually get two entrees from one guy for about 20,000 IDR each and feel very satisfied. There are also tons of small shops and stalls in and around the Night Market if you're looking to buy some souvenirs. Along Jl. Pungutan we came across the cheapest massages we had seen in Bali. A traditional hour long Balinese massage for only 70,000 IDR ($5 USD)!

Things to do in Canggu: Night Markets
Things to do in Canggu: Night Markets
Things to do in Canggu: Night Markets
Things to do in Canggu: Night Markets
Things to do in Canggu: Night Markets
Things to do in Canggu: Night Markets

Visit Pantai Tegal Wangi

Pantai Tegal Wangi features a cliff overlooking teal blue waters with a narrow path that leads down to a small secluded beach. This was actually one of the cleaner beaches we found, but not quite as clean as Balangan Beach. However, there was a pile of the trash on the path leading up from the beach. As any place gains popularity, there is always the risk of increased trash so please pack out your trash and be respectful of the environment.

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10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Pantai Tegal Wangi
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10 Best Places to Instagram in Bali: Pantai Tegal Wangi
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Take a Yoga Class

Another one of the great things to do in Canggu is take a yoga class. After a long day on the beach, you'll need a good stretch 😉 We found a cool outdoor studio, Pranava Yoga, which normally has classes for foreigners at 100,000 IDR ($7 USD). However, on Fridays they have a donation based class if you're on a budget but still want to practice. The class is from 5:30-7PM so it's possible to watch the sunset while you're doing yoga.

Things to do in Canggu
Things to do in Canggu

Visit Tanah Lot Temple

Visiting Tanah Lot temple is definitely one of the more touristy things to do in Canggu. It's only about a 15-20 minute drive which isn't too bad but the vehicle entrance fee is 125,000 IDR ($9 USD). Between the entrance and the temple there are plenty of small shops and stalls. You can easily get some inexpensive clothes here or grab a bite to eat if you're hungry.

Once you make it past all the tourist traps you will see the temple, which requires walking through the water to get through. The water level is below your knees so it's easy enough to do in flip flops. Unfortunately, there's a lot of trash and plastic in the water washing up to shore. It's not a pleasant feeling having plastic rub up against your legs.

The temple itself is not actually open to the public. You're able to walk up the two staircases on the outside of the temple, but there is a gate blocking the entrance. However, if you want to walk up the stairs you'll need to wash yourself with holy water. Monks are also there giving blessings and have a bowl out for small donations. All-in-all it was a bit of an underwhelming experience going to Tanah Lot during the day, though we heard it is a great spot for sunsets.

Things to do in Canggu: Tanah Lot Temple
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Things to do in Canggu: Tanah Lot Temple
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Things to do in Canggu: Tanah Lot Temple
Things to do in Canggu: Tanah Lot Temple
Things to do in Canggu: Tanah Lot Temple
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Things to do in Canggu: Tanah Lot Temple
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Things to do in Canggu: Tanah Lot Temple
Things to do in Canggu: Tanah Lot Temple
See how this fits into our Eco Friendly Bali Itinerary
See how this fits into our Eco Friendly Bali Itinerary

Best ways to get around Canggu

Even though Bali is a relatively small island so it can be difficult to get around via typical transportation methods. Walking is pretty dangerous in some spots because roads are very narrow with no sidewalks. Since walking is out of the question for most places, this leaves taking either a Grab taxi or renting a scooter and driving yourself.

Renting a Scooter

If you've never driven a scooter, then we would not recommend driving one for the first time in Canggu. To be completely honest, this is exactly what we did and we were pretty nervous. We ended up getting one free of charge for a few hours from our amazing host just to get the hang of it. After that experience we decided it wasn't a good place for us to learn. Rentals are roughly 60,000 IDR/day ($4.25 USD) with petrol generally costing between 15,000-20,000 IDR (~$1.25 USD).

However, if you feel comfortable driving a scooter or motorbike then it is definitely the most cost efficient way to get around. There are so many great things to do in Canggu and around the surrounding areas so scootering around is the cheapest way to do it. Nonetheless, if you're newbies like us then we would recommend paying the extra cash to be safe and take either Grab taxis or hire a private driver.

Best way to get around Canggu: Rent a scooter/Grab Taxi

However, if you feel comfortable driving a scooter or motorbike then it is definitely the most cost efficient way to get around. There are so many great things to do in Canggu and around the surrounding areas so scootering around is the cheapest way to do it. Nonetheless, if you're newbies like us then we would recommend paying the extra cash to be safe and take either Grab taxis or hire a private driver.

Grab | Private Driver

If you're looking for a private ride, but cheaper than a taxi, then you might want to try Grab. This app is Asia's version of Uber which can be used with/without your credit card. But in our experience, most drivers prefer to be paid in cash. In Bali it's usually around $2-5 USD for a 10-20 minute drive. However, if you're looking to get a ride from the airport to Canggu, the driver will ask you to pay the 50,000 IDR ($3.50 USD) airport fee. The best deal we could find for the hour drive from the airport to Canggu was 200,000 IDR ($14.25 USD). A Grab was listed 164,000 IDR and a taxi driver offered us 200K so we took it.

Private drivers are usually about 250,000 IDR ($17.75 USD) for a 1-1.5 hour drive. We ended up hiring a private driver to hit Tanah Lot Temple, Pantai Tegal Wangi, Balangan BeachKarang Boma Cliff and Strawberry Fields all in one day. He picked us up at 10:00AM and we finished around 9:00PM for a total of 700,000 IDR ($50 USD) which was pretty pricey. Since we didn't feel comfortable driving ourselves on the scooter we opted for hiring a driver to take us around and wait at each place.

We calculated the average grab costs to be roughly 650,000 IDR ($46 USD), but knew they wouldn't be guaranteed at any specific time. Thus, we ended up going with the private driver. In retrospect, we are much more experienced driving scooters and feel like we could handle taking ourselves for 10% of the cost. Oh well. You live and you learn, but we've come to accept that our health and safety come first.

Where to stay in Canggu

From our experience, we like to use Hostel World to check out potential hostels, then check other booking websites like Booking.com to make our reservations. Sometimes we also message hostels directly to get a better price. We also like to use Airbnb to book accommodations if its a better deal than hostels. Clicking on either of the icons will give you a deal with either of the sites, but are affiliate links so we earn a small commission.

Bungalows: $16+ USD

Private Rooms: $10-$60 USD

Amenities: Free Water Refills, Mini Bar, Pool, Balinese/English, 15-20 minute walk from the beach, Scooter Rentals, Kitchen

Riviera House and Riviera Home are a combination of several different Airbnb properties located in North Kuta/Canggu. They have two main 'houses' that are about 10 minutes apart. The property we stayed at is Riviera House which has 3 private rooms with ensuites and A/C for roughly $27 USD/night. They also have a handful of private bungalows with fans and shared bathroom for about $17 USD/night. Above the private rooms is a private apartment with two bedrooms available for rent.

The property has a pool, shared kitchen, and lounge area out front with a very relaxed vibe plus amazing host, Trisna. Riviera House offers scooter rentals for 60,000 IDR/day ($4.25 USD) and they have a minibar with beers/coconuts for 25,000 IDR ($1.75 USD). Additionally they have water refills and kombucha bottles for free!

Dorms: $10.21+ USD

Private Rooms: $30.23+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, Bar, 24/7 Reception, 5 min the beach, Pool, Coffee/Tea

Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com
Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com

Dorms: $10.21+ USD

Private Rooms: $27.67 USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, Coffee/Tea, Pool, 24/7 Security, Parking, 10-15 min from the beach

Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com

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