What to Do Around Canggu, Bali

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Posted June 12, 2017

Sun-wizened surfers have been riding the waves off Bali’s southwestern coast for decades. But with a crop of Australia-inflected, eclectic establishments designed to appeal to a relaxed crowd, Canggu has recently become favored for more than just its breaks, with a number of businesses established around Batu Balong Beach. The hip Frii Bali Echo Beach provides a welcome antidote to the island’s mainstream resorts with its simple rooms and Balinese accents. Guests can try stand-up paddleboarding, water yoga, or Muay Thai—if they’re not too busy lounging on beanbags around the two pools. There’s also a group of expat-run restaurants geared to the active, like the concrete-clad Crate café, which does hearty smoothies and feta-tempeh wraps. And if the (sometimes) intimidating thought of riding around town while dodging traffic in a little scooter is too much to deal with, base yourself around Batu Balong Beach and walk everywhere—you’ll be able to easily access all six spots listed here.

Crate Cafe

Keeping with Canggu’s reputation for wellness, this is where health-conscious beach bums and surfers head for big bowls of fresh tropical fruit mixed with organic goodies (cacao, chia seeds, quinoa)—along with more traditional breakfast staples like omelettes stuffed with feta and mushrooms, avocado toast, and french toast with scrambled eggs and bacon.

Old Man’s

At this surf spot with the same name, you’ll find a beachside, casual open air bar. It’s the best place to watch the sunset and have an ice-cold Bintang beer after a day of frolicking in the waves. It also acts as a venue for surf-inspired rock bands and dj dance parties under the stars.

Deus

After dark, a line of surfboard-laden motorbikes leads to Deus, a restaurant, bar, music venue, and art gallery that’s the cultural heart of Canggu. For the most action, go in May or October, when Deus hosts two major surf competitions, with pros Harrison Roach and Zye Norris scheduled to compete.

Hotel Tugu Bali

For those who want more of a peek into traditional Indonesian culture than that at Frii Bali Echo Beach can provide, book a room at the 21-cottage Hotel Tugu. In reference to the hotel name (Tugu translates to monument), a mythical statue of Garuda greets guests as they enter the pitched-roof hotel lobby; throughout the colorful hotel, more than 1,000 antiques are on display. It’s a Javanese immersion experience: guests learn the intricacies of traditional Balinese flower arranging, whip up traditional Indonesian dishes at the onsite cooking school, and unwind with a mantra massage and spiritual blessing in the open-air thatched roof spa casita.

Surf School at the Chillhouse

Canggu is the best place in Bali to catch some waves, which has some of the best breaks on the island. Beginners should start with a surf lesson at one of the gentler surf breaks along the beachfront, which a trained surf teacher will be able to locate. The Chillhouse is one of the most professional schools along the beach. A beginner lesson with the company starts from $50. Along the beachfront, smaller shacks offer board rental and lessons priced from $30 for 2 hours.

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