So you’re going to Canggu, Bali! Exceptional choice. You’ll have a blast!!
Canggu is one of my fave spots on the entire island. Located north of Seminyak and Kuta, it has grown rapidly in popularity and has become THE place to visit and explore in Bali. Though it is popular with the young crowd, there are still loads of things to do in Canggu for the more mature traveller.
With its boho vibe and many cafés, Canggu has a relaxed ambiance. While lush rice fields, cultural venues and abundant temples make Ubud the elegant dame of Bali, Canggu is the cool kid on the block with its surfer scene, beach clubs and bursting healthy food scene.
Canggu remains a budget-friendly destination for the thrifty traveller, offering many activities to enjoy without breaking the bank. Let’s look at some fun and affordable things to do in Canggu, shall we?
Here’s what you will get from this post
Table of contents
– Massages & Beauty Treatments
– Chill at the Beach
– Lounge at the Aston’s Rooftop Pool
– Spend Time at a Beach Club
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What to Do in Canggu: Eat Your Heart Out
There is no lack of fantastic venues in Canggu to satisfy the most discerning of taste buds. The place is truly heaven on earth for any foodie or health enthusiast, hosting a plethora of options from local eateries to upscale venues.
#1 Feast on Healthy Food
Eating healthy can be an expensive choice back home — it certainly is in Canada, anyway — but here in Canggu, you can have affordable, delicious and nutritious meals three times a day. From devouring colourful smoothie bowls for breakfast, which are the region’s flagship, to scoffing down mouth-watering dishes for lunch at Crate or having supper at Echo Beach Club indulging on a grilled catch of the day, you’re in for a delectable treat in Canggu.
#2 Discover Balinese Delicacies at Warung Bu Mi
Photo Credit ~ TripAdvisor LLC
What is a Warung, you may ask? Simply, a Warung is a small family-owned restaurant or café in Bali. For visitors, they are especially notable for being modest Indonesian eateries. You can usually identify them by a glass cabinet at their entrance with shelves adorning homemade dishes luring you in. Offering delectable Balinese recipes from succulent vegetarian dishes to fish and chicken options, Warungs come in all shape and sizes.
While some adapt their menus to tourists’ tastes and expectations by offering Western fare, others have a very limited local dishes selection. Warung Bu Mi, a local institution in Canggu, preserves its roots with traditional meal offerings.
Choose a rice type (the yellow coconut rice gets my vote), go down the line and pick from any of the delicious platters to build a meal of your liking. Pricing is according to the number of scoops you’ll choose. A plate with a mound of food — and by a mound, I mean heaps of food — will cost you less than the cost of a local beer.
#3 Take a Cooking Class
Now here’s a tasty activity! What better way to delve into a destination’s heritage than by learning to cook some of its staple dishes? You can find all kinds of different cooking classes in Canggu. Although some of the cooking classes that include market shopping or rice field visits can be somewhat pricey, you can find some that are reasonably priced, such as the one offered by Tapa Tepi Kali near Echo Beach.
The small group class is offered at 12 pm or 4 pm, ideal for eating the results of your efforts, and is set in a beautiful open and airy dining/kitchen area. My class only had two other people in it, so we enjoyed an intimate experience with the chef, learning tricks of the trade while making chicken satay on lemongrass sticks, soup and an Indonesian dessert. Well worth the price, especially since it includes a meal.
What to Do in Canggu: Get Moving
After eating your way around town, another fun and affordable thing to do in Canggu that keeps in with the healthy lifestyle is to move that booty. Here are a few ways you can do that — plus at these prices, you’ll have no reason to pass on trying them out.
#4 Learn to Surf
Learning how to surf is undeniably a top thing to do in Canggu and there are many reasons why.
First, the Batu Balong beach waves are ideal for learning with little to no rip tides. In addition, Bali is considered one of the safest places in the world to surf when it comes to shark attacks. There is no shortage of surf camps and lessons offered along the Batu Balong beach in Canggu. You can get private or small group lessons and though pricing varies, many are within reasonable rates. A 2hr lesson from the Old Man’s surfboard rental shop, located right in the scooter parking lot, goes for 350K IDR and includes a board and rash shirt.
#5 Catch Your Breath at a Yoga Class
For many, yoga in Bali means Ubud. While this was true a decade ago, Canggu now has fabulous yoga studios for all levels of students. If you’ve never practiced yoga before, there’s no reason to be intimidated. All the yoga classes I’ve attended in Canggu had loads of beginners, in addition to friendly teachers gently correcting your postures and alignment, if need be. The Practice, accessible on Batu Balong road, and Serenity Eco-Lodge, close to the beach on Jalan Nelayan, are two of the most popular studios in the Canggu area.
#6 Dance the Night Away
Need to move some more? Well, you’re in luck: a fun thing to do in Canggu is to party after sundown. Once the happy hour vibes have passed at Old Man’s, the chillout bar turns into a raving night club with a live DJ mixing up the tunes. You’ll find a wide range of party-goers, from backpackers to insta-girls rubbing elbows.
Get in the mood to sweat it off and dance the night away at one of the many after parties. The Sandbar is a popular choice — yes right on the beach, no sandals required! — along with the Xbar and Pretty Poison.
Shaking it at Old Man’s
What to Do in Canggu: Indulge and Relax
When it comes time to unwind, Canggu is the place to be with many relaxing things to do, from getting pampered at a day spa to chillin’ the day away by the pool or at the beach.
#7 Massages & Beauty Treatments
Canggu has no lack of day spas offering a wide range of massages, nail and beauty treatments. You can literally find one at every corner.
Most of them have very affordable prices where you can indulge in a full 60-minute body massage or pedicure for as little as the price of a lunch meal. At these incredible rates, why hold back? Go ahead and treat yourself to a daily treatment!
#8 Chill at the Beach
Photo Credit ~ Flying Sardines
Want to simply relax while listening to the sound of crashing waves? Canggu has 3 beaches for you to do so: Berawa, Batu Balong and Echo Beach.
While the most popular is Batu Balong, and therefore the most crowded, it remains relatively quiet in contrast to Kuta and Seminyak. Lounge chairs can be rented for 50K IDR and beanbags are always free with a purchase from one of the many Warungs lining the shore. So get a coconut or a Bintang and enjoy a lazy afternoon soaking in the sea air.
#9 Lounge at the Aston’s Beach Resort Rooftop Pool
It seems the best-kept secret in town; you won’t find many visitors using the pool facility at this prime hotel. Not restricted to patrons, you can enjoy the beautiful views of the beach down below, sand-free. Spot surfers catching the waves while sipping on a delightful cocktail, soaking in the pool, lounging in a comfortable daybed or on one of the swings. No purchase required.
#10 Spend Time at a Beach Club
The Lawn Beach Club
Ranging from casual to chic, beach clubs come in all shapes, sizes and styles in Bali and there are some fabulous ones to visit in Canggu. Find a beach club that suits your style and go spend the day or simply stop by for happy hour — the choice is yours. Just walk in and in exchange for ordering a beverage or food you can grab a beanbag, a day bed or a lounge chair. It’s easy to oblige, as these beach clubs are exceptional venues that invite anyone to lounge the day away.
What to Do in Canggu: Sunsets, Rice Fields and Waterfalls
The Island of the Gods is well-known for having lush green rice fields, glorious golden sunsets and loads of waterfalls. While most will be at your doorstep and others may require a scooter run, you’ll be able to catch any of these nature scenes with Canggu as your base.
#11 Catch a Sunset Every Day
Bali is notorious for its breathtaking sunsets and catching one daily is clearly a top thing to do in Canggu. The best place to do so is definitely the beach. There’s nothing quite like the deep pink and orange hues of the sun shimmering in the water and their reflection radiates across the sand. A popular spot to see the sun setting down is the Sandbar on Batu Balong beach, where live music is played each day (for free!) to celebrate the occasion.
#12 Views of Rice Fields
Photo Credit ~ Flying Sardines
Canggu may not boast as many rice fields as Ubud but there are still many to admire within the vicinity. Explore along Jalan Subak Canggu, around Jalan Pantai Pererenan to Jalan Raya Seseh — Jalan means “road” — or head to the “Shortcut” if you wish to enjoy breathtaking vistas of rice fields.
#13 Go Chasing Waterfalls
Bali has over 18 waterfalls to discover and while none are within the region per se, a fun and affordable thing to do in Canggu is rent a scooter and hunt one down. Although the infamous Nung Nung waterfall may be too far to reach on two wheels, there are a few, such as Tegenunan, that are within an hour’s reach on a scooter. Renting a scooter will only set you back a mere 70k IDR for the day, or you can always choose to join a waterfall excursion tour departing from Canggu.
What to Do in Canggu: Balinese Culture and Souvenirs
#14 Have Fun Shopping
Canggu is filled with cute boutiques and shops to please any shopaholic. From boho chic, beach bum to yogi wear, you’re sure to find something to add to your wardrobe. The selection is impressive considering the size of the town. If you’re looking for Bali souvenirs or fun trinkets to bring home, Love Anchor bazaar market across from Deus Ex Machina on Batu Balong is the place to go. Don’t forget to haggle the price of your purchase; it’s par for the course in these parts of the world.
#15 Catch a Free Balinese Dance show
Every Thursday night at 7:30 pm, the posh Tugu Hotel Bali has a cultural evening presenting a traditional Balinese Barong dance show for free. Relax in the romantic setting and enjoy the dance presentation — you can choose to wine and dine, enjoy a refreshment, or simply sit at the back and take in the show there is no cover charge or purchased required, so you can enjoy the experience any way you wish.
#16 Visit Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot temple remains one of the most iconic temples in Bali and is probably the only tourist attraction in the Canggu region. You can reach it by motorbike in about 30 minutes. Sitting on top of a rock formation eroded by crashing waves, the temple’s placement makes it particularly striking to photograph at sunrise, and even more memorable at sunset. Although the sought-after temple attracts heaps of tourists, which means it’s always crowded, locals still go there to pray and worship their Gods. The entrance fee is 60K IDR.
Day Trips Around Canggu
Want to see more of Bali and get away from Canggu? You’re in luck! There are some fantastic day trip options from Canggu. Here are some of the ones I recommend:
Purification at Tirta Empul Water Temple
Visiting this temple was the highlight of my last visit to Bali. Dedicated to Vishnu, the site has a bath fed by a Holy spring where people can be cleansed and pray at several fountains while donning a traditional sarong. It’s worth having a guide to explain the ritual, plus they can help capture your experience partaking in the ritual and take pictures for you.
Best of Nusa Penida Full Day Tour by Fast Boat
There is no doubt Nusa Penida is a sight to see. Coming from first-hand experience, this tour covers a lot in one day, however, be warned that the bad state of the roads makes getting around the island a serious challenge.
Mt Batur Sunrise Trekking
Okay so I admittedly have not done this excursion myself, however, all the fellow travellers I met who did do it raved about it! They came back victorious with great memories, incredible pictures and good souvenirs.