Canggu is a vibrant yet laid back coastal surfer village in Bali. Or it used to be. In the last few years, it has gained immense popularity as a hotspot for travelers, digital nomads and expats. While it is not as calm as it used to be, Canggu is a place where Nightlife, surfing, great food, gyms and yoga studios, cafes are all there.
This article explores the history, attractions, surfing culture, dining scene, and wellness offerings in Canggu, providing valuable insights for those looking to explore this trendy destination during their Bali journey.
The beginnings of the Canggu Hype
Canggu was once primarily a rural area characterized by rice paddies and traditional Balinese villages. Its transformation into a bustling destination is relatively recent. In the early 2000s, Canggu began to attract expatriates who settled in the area, drawn by its peaceful surroundings and proximity to the coast. Until the mid 2010s, the village was mostly known for its amazing surf spots. Beaches like Batu Bolong, Echo Beach and Pererenan offer great and steady waves especially for beginners and intermediate surfers, making it an ideal place to get started with this amazing sports.
With the surfers, the first bars popped up, and the cafes and restaurants followed, always inspired by the surfers chill vibes.
In the last 5-7 years the village has become one of the worlds most popular places to go for travel influencers, digital nomads and expats.
Attractions and Activities
- Surfing: Canggu’s coastline boasts excellent surf breaks that cater to surfers of all levels. Echo Beach, Batu Bolong, and Berawa Beach are renowned spots for riding the waves. Espacially for long boarders there are great options.
- Beaches: Beyond surfing, Canggu offers sandy beaches where visitors can relax, sunbathe, or take leisurely walks while enjoying beautiful sunsets.
- Yoga and Wellness: The village has a thriving wellness scene with numerous yoga studios, holistic retreat centers and spas. It’s a hub for those seeking mindfulness and relaxation.
- other sports: There is also a great selection of gyms, paddle clubs, and even a boulder studio in canggu.
- Shopping: The area is dotted with plenty of boutiques, art galleries, and markets, making it an ideal destination for shopping for unique souvenirs and local crafts.
- Dining and Nightlife: Canggu’s culinary scene is diverse, offering everything from traditional Balinese cuisine to international fare. It’s also known for its vibrant nightlife with beachfront bars and live music venues. Just in 2021 the worlds largest beach club opened in Berawa: Atlas Club.
- Tattoo studios are big in Canggu. there are literally dozens of them in the area.
Cultural and Eclectic Vibes
Canggu is known for its vibrant street art, with murals and graffiti decorating many walls, adding to the area’s artistic and eclectic ambiance. Amidst the modern developments, Canggu has also preserved its cultural heritage, with several Balinese temples and shrines gracing the landscape.
Luxury Villas: Canggu offers plenty of luxurious villa accommodations with private pools and stunning views, ideal for those seeking a more exclusive stay.
Boutique Hotels: There are also boutique hotels that cater to travelers looking for a cozy and personalized experience.
Guesthouses: If you are seeking a more authentic stay, just book a room in one of the local guesthouses.
Hostels: Also a great hostel selection is available in this area, for those who travel on a budget.
Canggu has embraced sustainability and eco-conscious practices, with many establishments implementing eco-friendly measures like waste reduction, sustainable sourcing, and plastic-free initiatives.
Due to its popularity, Canggu can get crowded during peak tourist seasons. To fully enjoy its relaxed charm, consider visiting during the quieter months, which typically fall between April to October.
12 lesser-known a facts about Canggu:
- The famous “Short cut” is a small road that connects Berawa with Batu Bolong. It used to lead through empty rice fields just until 2021, and was known for many cars and scooters dropping off the road, falling into them.
- The Canggu Pole is a legendary pole, that was installed at the Canggu Short cut, to restrain cars from taking this road. Legendarily, it was removed less than 48 hours after installation by unknown. The pole even has a popular instagram account.
- Some Expatriates call this area just “gu”
- It grows bigger: while until the Covid years, Canggu was considered the areas Batu Bolong, Berawa and Echo Beach, the fast growth of the area combined with balinese marketing finesse, also surrounding districts of Pererenan, Batu Belig, Dalung and Mengwi are considered “part of Canggu”.
- Batu Bolong, the heart of Canggu, means “Rock Hole”, and refers to the large rock at the areas beach.
- Rice Field Transformation: Canggu’s modern transformation is remarkable, considering it was once primarily a rural area dominated by rice paddies and traditional Balinese villages.
- Expatriate Haven: In the early 2000s, Canggu began attracting expatriates who were drawn to its peaceful ambiance and proximity to the coast. This expatriate influence has contributed to its cosmopolitan atmosphere.
- Surfing Paradise: It’s coastline is renowned for its excellent surf breaks catering to surfers of all levels. Popular spots like Echo Beach, Batu Bolong, and Berawa Beach provide ideal conditions for riding the waves.
- Diverse Culinary Scene: the dining scene is diverse, offering a wide range of cuisines from traditional Balinese dishes to international favorites. It’s a haven for food enthusiasts.
- Street Art Gem: It is known for its vibrant street art. Murals and graffiti decorate many walls, contributing to the village’s artistic and eclectic ambiance.
- Digital Nomad Hub: It has become a hub for digital nomads and remote workers. It offers a blend of work-friendly environments and a relaxed beach vibe, making it ideal for those who combine work and travel.
- Dog-Friendly Destination: It is known for its dog-friendly establishments. Many cafes, restaurants, and accommodations welcome guests with furry companions, enhancing the village’s inclusive atmosphere.
FAQ about Canggu
What is Canggu?
Canggu is a trendy coastal village located on the southwestern coast of Bali, Indonesia. It’s known for its vibrant atmosphere, thriving surf scene, and burgeoning wellness and dining options.
What is the history of Canggu?
Canggu was once primarily a rural area characterized by rice paddies and traditional Balinese villages. Its transformation into a bustling destination is relatively recent, with expatriates settling in the area in the early 2000s.
What are the main attractions and activities in Canggu?
It offers a range of attractions and activities, including surfing at renowned spots like Echo Beach and Batu Bolong, relaxing on sandy beaches, practicing yoga at various studios, shopping at boutiques and markets, and enjoying a diverse dining scene and vibrant nightlife.
Is there a cultural side to Canggu?
Yes, it has preserved its cultural heritage with several Balinese temples and shrines amidst modern developments. Additionally, the village is known for its vibrant street art, contributing to its eclectic ambiance.
When is the best time to visit Canggu?
The quieter months in Canggu typically fall between April to October. Visiting during these months can help you fully enjoy its relaxed charm without the crowds commonly seen during peak tourist seasons.
This village offers a unique blend of surf culture, wellness pursuits, vibrant dining options, and cultural charm. Whether you’re looking for adventure on the waves, relaxation by the beach, or a cultural immersion, Canggu has something to offer every traveler in search of Bali’s captivating diversity.