So you heard about Bali. About the Yoga, the rice fields, the beaches, the sunsets, the food, the culture and the people. When you come to Bali there is no way around Canggu these days. Canggu is rapidly turning into one of Bali`s most progressive and controversial, yet culturally fascinating beachside villages. Canggu made its way into the mind of the international travelers only a few years back. The sleepy village used to be a secret spot for dedicated surfers and holiday makers that wanted to escape the hustle of Kuta and Seminyak. These days Canggu captivates the attention of young hip backpackers as well as surfers, families and yogis. Come and let us take you for a walk around the village!
“Canggu where?” Canggu is roughly situated somewhere between Seminyak and Tanah Lot. Canggu developed the last years from a sleepy fishing village to a vibrant surf, yoga and resort area with plenty of healthy restaurants, boutiques, cafes and a handful of beautiful yoga studios. If you love surfing and yoga, this is the place to combine both of your passions! Canggu is right HERE.
Canggu has its own two main beaches, Echo Beach to the North and Batu Bolong on the Southern end with Berawa Beach following further South. You can stay in one of the many local homestays, or rent a private villa with friends, depending on your budget. You can easily rent a scooter on every corner or hire a bicycle to cycle around. Depending on where you stay, you can even get to most studios, cafes and boutiques by foot. We love Canggu and we want to share our favourite cafes, studios and restaurants with you!
Ok, let’s start with the essentials! Yoga shalas! Here are our three favorite yoga studios in Canggu.
We love Desa Seni! Featuring 2 Yoga Shalas set in a beautiful garden, Desa Seni offers stunning Joglo style accommodation, a tropical pool as well as a spa and restaurant.
Once you enter Desa Seni you feel like you entered a traditional oldschool Balinese village. The owners are passionate about delivering the true Bali experience. The vegetables for the restaurant are grown in their own gardens and sourced from local farmers. Desa Seni has a zero plastic waste policy, not allowing any form of plastic packaging. Oh, and did we mention their beaitiful little boutique? They sell carefully sourced products from all over Indonesia, including MAHI Malas. Desa Seni can be found right HERE. More info: www.desaseni.com
The Practice is serious about Yoga! Once you enter the amazing bamboo construction that the owners built in 2016, you realize you have entered a stylish Yoga parallel universe, just a few hundred meters off the main street in Canggu. The Practice offers regular teacher trainings, free community events and invites incredible guest teachers from all over the world. The architecture is so amazing that yogis love to stay much longer than just for the class, enjoy a fresh juice, mingle with friends in the garden or chill in one of the bean bags. The practice has a small cozy boutique for your yogi`s needs including MAHI yoga wear and malas. The Practice can be found HERE. www.thepracticebali.com
Samadi offers a lot more than just Yoga: movie nights under the stars, dance parties and an amazing Sundays organic market where local farmers sell their fresh produce. Go for a Yoga lesson, have a juice at their café and stroll around the market. Samadi can be easily reached by bike or scooter and can be found HERE. www.samadibali.com
After you powered through your Yoga class you might feel like having some healthy snacks or freshly squeezed juice. Canggu has an abundance of amazing eateries, cafés and restaurants. These are some of our favorite hang outs:
We were so stoked when our friends opened this tiny beach house style vegetarian restaurant in Canggu with stunning rice field views just far away from the hustle and bustle of the main road. Enjoy their amazing bowls and creative dishes in a beautiful garden setting. There are plenty of vegan and raw food options! Shady Shack can be found right HERE. And some mouthwatering teasers at www.instagram.com/theshadyshack
Another alltime favourite of ours is Crate Cafe in Jalan Batu Bolong right where the action is. The owner is a hard working true Bali expat legend serving killer coffee, fresh breakfast and lunch with her great team. Expect pumping music, an energetic busy vibe and lots of fun and laugther. Insider Tip: Crate opens super early around 7am so if you are craving a fresh coffee after your sunrise practice head over to Crate. www.instagram.com/cratecafe
Motion café is another favourite among local health foodies. You will find Matcha lattes, nut milk drinks and super tasty, refreshing dishes on the menu. It is located just opposite of Cafe Organic, right HERE.
Take a ride over the infamous `shortcut´through the rice fields and start exploring Berawa, technically not Canggu, but just a quick scooter ride away. Here you find a bunch of beautiful restaurants and cafes such as:
The food engineers at Peleton put plenty of time and energy into their fantastic menu. 100% vegan, fresh and super creative. Try the pancakes or the Mrs Jackson, marinated BBQ Jackfruit Tacos served in Chipotle pepper tortillas, filled with cabbage, avo, tropical salsa and coriander and have one of their coconut milk cappuccinos. You will find them HERE. www.peletonsupershop.com
MILK AND MADU
If you take your coffee seriously, head on over to Milk & Madu. They serve mean piccolos and cappuccinos made from Revolver coffee, Bali’s favourite. The staff is incredible and goes out of their way to make you feel at home and this place is extremely child friendly. They collaborate with NaluBowls if you feel like fresh fruit bowls. Milk & Madu is a great spot to hang out, work from your laptop or bring your kids, that will love the little garden. Live music on weekends and Saturday’s market make this place a local favourite. Smell the coffee HERE.
$-$$ THE APARTMENTS CANGGU
Here you will find a big selection of various apartments for all budgets. The apartments are clean and well located, you can walk to Samadi Yoga and to Echo Beach. www.theapartmentscanggu.com
$ SERENITY ECO GUESTHOUSE
Serenity Guesthouse is located slightly outside the hustle and bustle of the main street of Canggu and sits quietly in walking distance to the beach. Rooms are basic and affordable. There is a swimming pool, a nice warung and they offer yoga. www.serenityecoguesthouse.com
$$$ RED DOOR
This stunning villa overlooks the Pancaran River and the lush Ricefields of Prererenan and is situated only minutes away from all the action in Canggu while its direct surroundings are quite and peaceful. The interior is very tasteful and ist design contemporary and stylish. The living space connects to the outdoor woodedn decks and the infitity pool.
This villa sleeps up to 10, so grab your best friends for an ultimate getaway! www.reddoorbali.com
Keep an eye on the current exhibtions at DEUS EX MACHINA and The Slow. Both venues bring in international artists, DJs and music gigs on a regular basis. Desa Seni is known for presenting amazing Indonesian artists, so make sure to wander around after your yoga class and check out the inspiring art they showcase.
Another two places for great live music are Old Mans and The Lawn. Both spots are situated right on the beach and you can sip a drink, watch the sunset and listen to some great tunes.
Befriend some local Balinese and ask them if they would take you to a ceremony. Right on the beach there is a temple, another one is located further up the road into the village. Make sure to get the dress code right, men buy a sarong and udeng (a kind of headband) and women a beautiful kebaya. Your new friends will gladly show you how to dress up for a temple visit or ceremony.
For your personal meditation practice you will find some beautiful spots around Canggu. If you stay at a private villa you will most definetely have a nice small piece of garden or pool area that creates a great setting for your practice. Or wake up early and meditate to the sound of the breaking waves at Batu Bolong beach. Simply walk right or left of the Old Mans parking lot and you will be alone (with some sleepy beach dogs) for half an hour just around sunrise before people start their morning beach walks around 6:30am.
For guided meditations , workshops and international meditation teachers keep an eye on the events calender of Desa Seni and The Practice. Both studios have highly skilled, great meditation teachers and coaches.
If the Canggu beaches feel too crowded and you want to take your scooter for a beautiful ride just a bit north, then Seseh is the spot where you can find a space on your own and watch the sunset or watch local fishermen do their thing. The whole ride to get there is stunning and gives you a sense of how Canggu was just a few years back without the influx of tourists. We love to come here to unwind and listen to the waves and take the journey inwards.
Pak Sirkus is one of the local Balinese healers and well known with the local community for helping with all sorts of sicknesses and problems. He treats patients mostly on a donation base in his house which is close tot he Canggu Club but takes no appointments. Ask some of the locals to point you in the right direction, sit and wait until it’s your turn to see him.
Another fantastic local healer is Pak Samiratha (Sami). He partnered up with our German friend to create Bali Chy Healing. Call Sami at +62 812-3625-323 to make an appointment. He did magic on us when we had back and neck problems and intense stomach pains.
SILENT RETREAT & AYURVEDA
If you seek to unwind and relax completely, a silent retreat or an Ayurvedic program might be right for you. Sukhavati Retreat and Spa is only a 20min drive from Canggu. After an initial consultation, each guest is prescribed a variety of daily treatments. You can choose to stay only for the day or book one of the stunning villas. www.sukhavatibali.com
Practice the `Art of Nothing´at a silent retreat. Located a good 2 hour drive from Canguu you will stay in simple yet beautiful rooms or bungalows. Spending a few days in absolute silence without worldly distraction you will get in touch with yourself on a much deeper level and deal with a variety of emotions that are stirred up. www.balisilentretreat.com
Canggu is one of the best places on Bali to surf. If you know what you are doing, take your shortboard and head to Echo Beach or Berawa beach, if you are into longboarding and cruising on a single fin, Batu Bolong is your wave. If you have never tried surfing rent a board and a surf guide on the Old Mans parking lot. The surf teachers will slowly introduce you to the waves and stay by your side in the water.
If you are serious about food and want to learn how to cook those tasty Indonesian meals by yourself, then head down to Tugu Hotel and join one of the cooking classes. After visiting the local markets for the best and freshest produce you are heading back to the hotel to cook up a storm. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org www.tuguhotels.com
Every Thursday evening from 7:30 pm until 9pm it’s time to shake, move, breathe and DANCE! Ecstatic Dance at Samadi. No experience needed, simply dance like nobody is watching. Live out your primal energy, unleash, stop thinking and follow that inner rhythm. You will be surprised! www.samadibali.com
Many great books have been written about Bali. Here is a small selection:
The Paradise Guesthouse
by Ellen Sussmann
The Paradise Guesthouse is a pretty easy read, perfect for a beach day. A novel in the style of Eat, Love and Pray, this book paints a beautiful picture of Bali full of romance, mystery and self-discovery.
Bali Sekala & Niskala
by Fred B. Eisemann JR.
This book is great for those seeking more insight into Balinese tradition and the cultural life. Sekala (the visible) and Niskala (the occult) are both elements in Bali’s cultural life. While travelling through rural Bali you will see and experience many things that you won´t understand, this book might help you to find some answers.
by Vivienne Kruger
If you love Balinese and Indonesian food this might be a good read for you. It gives you a bunch of receipts but it is not just a normal cookbook. The book covers the history and plenty of details involving food preparation.
Yes, we know getting lost can be exciting but sometimes finding the places can be quiet a full filling experience as well. We created this map with all mentioned spots that you can take with you on your phone. Enjoy the flow!
Best times to travel
Bali is located very close to the equator and therefore you can expect warm, tropical and humid weather all year round. Bali has two distinctive seasons, dry season and wet season. Rainy season starts normally in November and stops early April. July, August and December are the busiest months. We love the in between months of April, May, June and September, October and November.
Temperatures and humidity can be intense in November, December, January and February, especially if you are not used to hot and humid tropical climate.
What to fuel with
Tahu and Tempe
Dragon Fruits, Mangos, Papayas
Corn with Chilli Sauce on the beach
Festivals & Ceremonies
Nyepi is the highest Hindu ceremony on Bali mostly celebrated in the second half of March. The Day of Silence brings the whole island to a standstill, even the airport is closed and nobody is allowed to walk the streets, work or create noise.
Canggu Community Facebook Group
To help you out with just about anything including finding roommates or social initiatives.
text and photography
Rik is a fashion designer, ex professional windsurfer and co-founder of Mahi. After stop-overs in Amsterdam and Cape Town he semi settled in Canggu / Bali. With a passion for surfing, traveling, yoga and design Bali is the perfect playground for him.
Ole is a multidisciplinary German artist, photographer and filmmaker and an avid traveller. He lives in between Bali, Berlin and Brazil and is one of the makers behind Mahi. Ole has been exhibiting his work in galleries and museums around the globe and you can follow his work on Instagram: @oleukena or @oleukenastudio
Ole believes in the magic of slow travelling, conversations with strangers, early morning coffee, late afternoon waves, learning new languages and the ability to laugh at yourself and is absolutely okay with not always updating his website.
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