Canggu is fast becoming the hottest destination in Bali. This once sleepy coastal district – where swathes of unbelievably green paddy fields sweep down to meet beaches of black volcanic sand and the swell of the Indian Ocean – has seen seismic change in recent years. The rice fields are still there, and still just as beautiful, but they are now punctuated with hot bars, cool cafés, classy restaurants, transcendent yoga barns and a liberal sprinkling of gorgeous private villas.
Canggu has something for everyone. Surfing, horse riding, and the many sports facilities of the Canggu Club will appeal to kids and those who like an active holiday; beach temples, traditional fishing villages and the glorious rural and coastal scenery provide plenty of fodder for culture vultures and photographers, and a laid-back beach vibe and exciting choice of places to eat and drink should satisfy even the most demanding gourmand.
Situated just along the coast from Seminyak, and still within easy access of the airport, Canggu makes a great holiday destination. Things are moving fast, with exciting new venues opening on an almost daily basis, but here’s a snapshot of some of the best places to go and hottest things to do in Canggu right now.
Stunning Echo and Batu Bolong Beaches are perfect for beach bums and offer one of the best surfs in Bali. If you’re a pro, just bring your board or rent one at an attractive price from a local stall right on the beach. If you are looking to learn or practice your skills, there are also a bunch of great surf schools in the area. We love The Chillhouse and IndoSurfLife.
Without question the go-to company for horseback riding in Canggu is Bali Equestrian Centre. The professional team leads small groups for privileged tours through rural village areas as well as sunrise and sunset tours at Berawa Beach. Small children cannot go on tours, but they can enjoy a pony ride at the beautiful B.E.C. facilities. It is best to arrange activities in advance, as availability can be limited. Also be sure to check the website for promotions and discounts which may appeal to you.
Samadi Bali is a great place for daily yoga classes, healthy organic food & holistic wellness retreats. Come Sunday, Samadi also hosts a Sunday market where local organic farmers and artisans sell fresh produce in a vibrant environment filled with music and laughter. Still a leader for all-around yoga hipness and fantastic asana classes for all levels is Desa Seni. Drop-ins are welcome and yoga mats are provided but get there early to stake your place on the mat.
The Canggu Club is excellent for people of all ages seeking a place to work out, play sport, have some water fun, relax in the sun and pamper themselves. There are three undercover floodlit tennis courts, a state-of-the-art gym, 25-metre lap swimming pool; as well as some fabulous food outlets to grab a bite.
House of Alaia by Nea and Christy brings people together to explore their creativity through jewelry making and art. Workshops and classes are available for any age and level.
There’s no better place to stay in Canggu than at a private villa with butlers serving cool drinks poolside. Elite Havens Canggu villas are an inspired collection. Any of these villas is perfect for relaxation between outings. For honeymooners and small families, we recommend the one and two-bedroom tropical hideaways at Saba Villas, while larger groups can take advantage of breathtaking holiday estates.
Where do we even begin? The pretty narrow roads of Canggu are lined with cafes and restaurants of all shapes and sizes, offering everything from healthy organic eats to hearty burgers and local Indonesian delights.
Avocado Café is excellent for, well, everything avocado while Milk & Madu is a great place offering both healthy as well as a bit naughtier hearty bites. Try their skillet eggs with charred sourdough or poached eggs over smashed peas, feta, mint, lemon & olive oil on grilled sourdough. Yum! At Betelnut try their Naga Bowl (pink dragon fruit, banana, and yoghurt puree topped with granola, shredded coconut, cashews and fruit – think Balinese acai bowl).
For a French pastry and coffee flair drop by Monsieur Spoon for the hands down best croissants on the island. Crate Café is always bustling with surfers, artists and yogis offering a hustle free, what you see written on the wall is what you get atmosphere.
If you are looking for a local cuisine in a traditional Balinese setting, make your way to Dandelion, one of the best warungs in Bali.
Head to Old Man’s at Batu Bolong Beach to mingle with resident expats. Attractive happy hour offers, delicious seafood grills and sunset gigs make Old Man’s a place to be.
Another favourite is Deus Ex Machina. Motorcycles, surfboards, excellent coffee, Thai fusion food and delicious cocktails all enjoyed at this cozy establishment dotted with art pieces. The well-known Sunday parties here never disappoint.
Itching to bring some of Bali home? Pay a visit to Bungalow Living. Here you can browse through island inspired homewares, furniture, decorations, cushion covers, leather clutches, jewellery, music and even toys for the little ones. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the store’s resident furry friend, BB King – a dog with big personality. Selfie time.
Cutting-edge ultra-modern brands such as Skingraft, Enki, Eleven 44, Vintage Century, Egrbyegr, Black Dove Dyg and Parts of Four are all housed at Limited Edition, an edgy concept store with a penchant for a dark and monochrome aesthetic. Completely opposite is the colourful, delightful party supplies store Bermain that we just love. Here you can stock up on awesome kid’s toys, party supplies, homewares and craft goods.
About The Author: Milda Ratkelyte is a resident travel and lifestyle writer for Elite Havens luxury villa rentals. Established in 1998, Elite Havens is the market leader of luxury villa rentals in Asia. www.elitehavens.com
Photo Source: Google Commons