Bali is such a beautiful paradise filled island and an amazing holiday destination but the island is so big it can be hard deciding the best area to stay in Bali. Amiright?
Especially if you’re visiting Bali for the first time, research can be totally overwhelming.
You may have heard of Canggu (pronounced Changgu. Note- the C makes a CH sound in the Indonesian language) but aren’t sure if this is the best area to stay in Bali for your an amazing vacation.
It totally is!!
If you love a mix of new and old Bali, western style amenities and local charm, a never ending list of things to do like surfing beach fitness yoga nightlife and a foodies paradise for every type of dietary requirement…
Then Canggu is definitely the best area to stay in Bali for your upcoming trip.
So here’s the run down on why this boho chic beach town that is quickly becoming the place to go in Bali…
Where is Canggu?
Located on the West Coast of Bali about 25-30 minutes North of Seminyak, you’ll find Canggu, the less built up beach town with a chilled boho-vibe.
Canggu has a main “town centre” but generally when people talk about Canggu they refer to the area spread out across Umalas, Berawa, Canggu (main area on Batu Bolong), Echo Beach and Pererenan.
How To Get To Canggu
Depending on traffic and mode of transportation, Canggu is about 45mins to 2 hours from the airport. There are plenty of options for taxis when you arrive at the airport – in fact it can pretty overwhelming- so I suggest you book a driver ahead of time. You can often book a driver either with your accommodation or feel free to use my highly recommended, trusted and vetted drivers – just follow me @CaffeinatedExpat and send me a DM.
Use apps like Gojek or Grab (similar to Uber)
You can also use Grab and Gojek (similar to Uber but for Indonesia/Asia) they have both cars and scooter taxis available and are usually the cheapest option. You do have to walk out of the airport via the parking lot and go towards the “scooter parking” area. Alternatively if you’re confident- get a scooter and drive yourself!
Approx Transport Costs: These vary with drivers but the norm for Airport to Canggu is between 200k-350k rupiah ($14-$27 USD/$20-$30CAD/AUD) depending on the time of day.
From the middle of Canggu (Batu Bolong) a Gojek/Grab BIKE is approx 40k rupiah, Gojek/Grab CAR 160k rupiah
**Download these apps to your phone before you arrive as they send an SMS verification code so it’s easier to set up while you’re home and have access to receiving SMS.
What’s The Overall Vibe in Canggu?
If you’re thinking about choosing Canggu as the place to stay in Bali, rest assured the vibe here is second to none.
It was once a quiet little surfer’s paradise in Bali and still maintains that super chilled beach town feel to it.
This area of Bali is lot less built up than it’s neighbour to the south, Seminyak.
You can still find beautiful lush, green rice fields, relax on the beach with warm ocean waters (without the beach hawkers constantly trying to sell you souvenirs) and an amazing and affordable foodie scene.
Canggu has definitely become a go-to spot on the island for those seeking a healthy lifestyle with a lot of options to stay active and fit.
The Canggu area is also a hub for digital nomads and it won’t take long for anyone coming here to work from their laptops to get involved in the creative and collaborative coworking community.
As this area of Bali has gained in popularity and the tourist crowd grows, so do the options for fun nightlife in Canggu.
Things to Do In Canggu
If you’ve decide that this is the best area to stay in Bali for your holiday you will be spoilt for choice deciding what to do in Canggu. And don’t be fooled- it’s not just surf and yoga!! Aside from the usual amazing food and cocktails by the pool, there are limitless things to do in Canggu.
→ Beach Lovers – the coast lines feels never ending and there’s a lot of choice when it comes to cute local beach warungs serving up cold beer and delicious local food. It’s easy to spend the day, watching the world go bye, lounging on a bean bag at the beach.
→ Health +Fitness – think CrossFit, MMA, Functional Fitness, Spin class, Yoga, Barre, Pilates, Beyonce style dance classes, personal training…. The list is endless. This is a great place to sculpt that summer bod.
→ Yoga & Spiritual Wellness – there are endless options of yoga classes for both beginners and advanced and a friendly welcoming yoga community
→ Foodies – if you love all the foods, then this is the spot for you. New cafes are opening all the time, I promise you will never run out of options. EVER.
→ Vegan Heaven – The vegan community is well served in Canggu with entire cafe dedicated to serving only vegan food. It’s easy to maintain your morals and have a full tummy in this town
→ Be A Digital Nomad – Internet is great and readily available EVERYWHERE (even at the little beach shacks). Not to mention the options for co-working spaces and pop up co-working events, you can easily live your Laptop Lifestyle and work from absolutely anywhere in Canggu.
→ Be A Part Of The Expat Community – it’s an easy transition to move here on your own as an expat or with your family as there are a lot of amazing international schools in the area and a welcoming expat community.
→ Explore The Rest Of Bali – it’s really easy to either get on a scooter or hire a private driver for the day and explore the rest of the island. Day trips to Ubud, Uluwatu, Tanah Lot, Sanur can easily be done from Canggu.
→ Get Pampered – Canggu is home to come of the most amazing spas all with their own unique twist. From massages with a rice field views to pedicures overlooking the ocean to little local spots tucked down a quiet gang (alley) you will easily find a place to suit your pampering needs.
Photo Credit: Jared Rice
How To Get Around Canggu
Because Canggu is quite spread out, the best way to get around Canggu is by scooter. The heat and humidity can be killer so walking around between the areas can be difficult.
Having a scooter is so handy if you want to go further outside Canggu to explore or drive yourself for day trips to Ubud or Seminyak.
Organize your scooter rental with delivery and pick up.
Walking or Riding a bicycle
If you’re staying along Batu Bolong- the main street in Canggu then walking is quite easy. There are sidewalks.
Anywhere else in Canggu doesn’t have sidewalks and often you can see parts of the road crumbling away so walking and riding a bicycle can be challenging at times.
**Be mindful of scooters and cars when walking on the roadside. You’ll be walking on streets, so be courteous and don’t walk 3-4 people side by side. It’s annoying for drivers and it’s dangerous for you!
Using Gojek or Grab in Canggu
You can order either a scooter taxi or a car for a pretty minimal price. But beware of the “Transportation Mafia” who have warnings all over Canggu advising against using these online transportation services to get around town.
While they do still operate, you may find some gojek drivers will ask you to meet in a more discreet location or some may ask for more money than the app shows.
The last option is to hire a private driver for a half day or full day. This is best for doing day tours to different parts of the island.
Approx Costs: Scooter rental per day will start around 70-100Krupiah ($5-10USD/ $7CAD/AUD) for a basic scooter and depending on how long you’re staying renting monthly will be around 700K-1mil depending on the bike you choose. ** note pricing is average for a Vario or Scoopy. Nmax or Custom motorcycles are much more expensive.
Private Driver costs are between 500k-700k ($35-$50 USD/ $50-$70 AUD/CAD) depending on where you’re going and how long you’ll have the driver. This price is usually for a full 8-10 hour day.
Photo Credit: Artem Beliaikin
The Downside of Staying or Living in Canggu Bali
Canggu is an amazing place to stay in Bali for your holiday or to settle for a longer stay….
But I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t highlight some of the negatives to staying in Canggu:
→ Traffic can be pretty bad on the main road leading into Canggu (Jalan Raya Canggu) and over the famous shortcut.
→ It is quite spread out and apart from the main strip in Canggu, there aren’t any sidewalks so this can be a challenge for families with strollers or those who plan to walk everywhere (stay in central Canggu and you’ll be fine).
→ Canggu is trending hard so it’s getting pretty busy and is starting to transition from chilled beach town and is becoming known for having a bit more lively nightlife scene.
Batu Bolong can be a bit hectic!
Photo Credit: Nick Mattia
The Pros To Staying or Living in Canggu Bali
Ok so we’ve touched on some of the bad…
The good FAR outweighs the few negative points.
→ If you stay on Batu Bolong, the main street in central Canggu which leads down to Batu Bolong Beach and Old Man’s, you can easily walk to everything you’ll need.
→ If you do get a scooter, apart from the road leading into Canggu traffic is fairly quiet so it’s easy to get out a bit and explore.
→ The food scene in Canggu is incredible. There are so many fresh, healthy options to choose from and they cater to so many different dietary requirements. Vegans rejoice – this place is your heaven!! And don’t even get me started on the local food – it is so delicious and so affordable.
→ Definitely caters to people visiting long term with lots of events from business and co-working events to beach club events there are so many ways to meet friends and network.
→ Canggu offers something for everyone -whether you’re looking for a fun family holiday, a romantic couples getaway, a mix of relaxation and nightlife, a chilled surf trip or expats settling in town for a minute… and everything in between.
Now I know I said it’s getting pretty busy in Canggu… BUT because it is spread out across a few areas, you can always find a peaceful spot with a gorgeous view – the hardest part? Deciding if the view should be beach or rice fields.
Is Canggu calling you as the best place to stay in Bali?
Planning a trip to Canggu?
Comment below or ask a question to help plan your trip!
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