When you think of Bali, a few areas will probably stand out in your mind. Denpasar, Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud are the most visited areas of the Island and are on everyone’s to-do list, for sure. But out of all the beautiful & scenic places we visited when travelling throughout Bali, Canggu was by far the most pleasant *surprise* that we had on the whole trip. Why visit Canggu, Bali? I’ma give you 6 reasons to make Canggu a ~ must visit ~ for your Bali checklist.
WHY VISIT CANGGU, BALI?
Canggu (pronounced ch-an-goo) is *the* place to go if you want to see under-the-radar Bali. Unlike it’s coastal sisters, Kuta & Seminyak, Canggu is far more up and coming and gives you those laid back island vibes you’ve been craving. Yet to be hit by the tourist boom, Canggu is a gem to be discovered.
1. IT’S NOT TOURISTY
In my opinion, this is the best time to visit Canggu, Bali, as the region has yet to gain popularity with the masses of tourists arriving in Bali every year. Canggu was the much needed coastal restbite we needed after the craziness of the busier areas such as Kuta and Seminyak. Unlike the former, Canggu has a really chilled out vibe and is most popular with surfers (the breaks are insane). Even at prime time for food & drinks (around 6-8pm) the main road isn’t really that busy, especially if you’ve just come from more popular areas.
The area itself is also not nearly as built up as Kuta and Seminyak, and you’ll find a lot of lower-lying buildings, rice paddies, and even local houses. Plus, there are local businesses everywhere, including locally produced surfing gear & everyday apparel to take home with you. Weirdly enough, I saw a lot of gals buying jeans from one store whilst it was 28 degrees, so they must have been a great pair!
2. IT’S ONE FOR THE FOODIES
This area is fantastic for foodies & cocktail bar cruisers. All you need to do is get out there and have a stroll in the evening and you’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of options on offer for dinner or drinks. One of our fave places to grab a quick and cheap bite is called Burgerz and is located on the main road that winds through Canggu. The portions are very generous and Alix had to eat my chips, I *just* about managed my cheeseburger!
If burgers aren’t your thing then there are so many other options like fresh Poke bowls, fresh roti to dunk in curry, and even traditional Italian food. Oh, and I just have to mention a bar called Peekaboo which serves up the best 2-4-1 Mojitos around! They also serve food, and I’m so gutted we never made it back for nibbles. If you have a sweet tooth but looking to make better diet choices, then stop by Mad Pops Canggu for some of the best locally sourced, guilt-free ice cream you’ll ever have.
3. SURF’S UP / BEACH CLUBS
Canggu is top of the list for surfing enthusiasts and you’ll find plenty of surfers out in the sea catching waves on the daily. We didn’t have enough time to try surfing, but there are plenty of schools ready to teach if you’re a beginner or not very confident in surfing. The waves here get *big* so unless you’re pretty confident in the sport I’d speak to a local surfing school about surfing on Canggu beach.
One thing me and Al did in Canggu was sit and watch the surfers on the break, a great alternative if you’re an avid people watcher. You can grab a spot on the beach at any time of the day, but if you want to nab a front row seat at a beach club like The Lawn you’ll have to turn up early to get a good spot to watch the sunset. Even then, it’s hit or miss and you need to commit to spending 500K RP (£28.00) to sit. If ypu are getting nibbles to share here, order the Prawn Tacos (110 K / £6), you wont regret it.
It may seem spendy, but when in Canggu ey? You’ll also get use of the pool, table service to your beach chair, and the service is also impeccable. Oh, and don’t worry when your server asks to keep your credit/debit card behind the bar – it’s totally normal.
4. THERE’S A CAT SANCTUARY
I know, I know, this one is probably too high on the list but with a blog name like The *KITTY* Luxe, can you really blame me? If you’re looking to visit Canggu, Bali, and love love love animals as much as I do… The Canggu Cat Gardens & Villa will be heaven. Not a cat cafe, not a cattery, not a shelter. The Canggu Cat Gardens & Villa is home to around 90 cats and kittens who were found dumped around the island, donated after being seized due to criminal activity, and homeless cats who need medical treatment and care.
Despite my pre-conceptions, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Gardens & Villa and found all the cats to be of such a fantastic temperament and in great health. We arrived in the early morning (I dragged Alix there the moment it opened) and the staff were at work already, clipping their claws, and cleaning their eyes and ears. The cats were so, so friendly and were definitely not drugged. I hate having to state that, but some “cat shelters” are known to do this. However, this certainly isn’t the case at Canggu Cat Gardens & Villa.
There is no fee to enter the Garden & Villa, but all donations go to food for the cats so donate as you feel adequate. Definitely a fiiiine way to spend a morning in Canggu.
5. BEAUTIFUL BEACH SUNSETS
One thing I can certainly say is that if you choose to visit Canggu Bali, you will experience the most beautiful sunsets of the whole island. This coastline faced directly West, so you’ll experience a full sunset with streaming warmth across the sky. Plus, this was the cleanest beach we visited on the island of Bali – Don’t let your experiences of Kuta or Seminyak beach put you off, Canggu beach is on a whole other level!
Check local websites for the current sunset times, you don’t want to miss it! We arrived 1 hour early for the sunset for all three days we were in Canggu and each sunset was unique. Trust me, this is when the beach really comes to life. It definitely gets busier, but in a good way (not a Kuta or Seminyak way). The beaches are full of local people and tourists alike to witness the majesty that is the Canggu sunset.
The best thing to do at sunset is to cruise the rockpools that are exposed as the tide goes out. What beautiful timing! We managed to spot some sea urchins, and some very odd looking crab-like things (never did find out what they were) – But if you do go searching in the rockpools, don’t pick anything up!
6. GIVE CAFE
Yep, a cafe is in my top 6 reasons to visit Canggu Bali, and you’ll be surprised as to why. Give Cafe is the most unique cafe that I’ve ever been to. They work on a not-for-profit basis, so the full profit (minus the costs to run and pay the employees) goes to local charities to help improve quality of life in the area and also focuses of various environmental causes also. The charities are changed up every month, so a variety of local issues can benefit.
Oh, and it’s a vegan plant-based cafe too – Even if you’re a meat eater, you’ll *love* the food, guys. I went for the classic Indonesian Vegetable Curry which was perfection, and Alix went for Bakso, which is a traditional Indonesian broth with noodles. Even though this place is NFP, the prices are very reasonable for a Bali “insta cafe” at around 45-55K RP (equivalent to £2.50-£3.00) per main meal.
So there we have it, my top six reasons to visit Canggu Bali. Hopefully I’ve inspired you to visit Canggu on your next trip to Bali, as it’s certainly not an area to be overlooked, but embraced. Go for delicious prawn tacos on the beach, order 2-4-1 mojitos and let your hair down, join a surf school and finally stand on your board. Canggu has so much to offer you!