If Bali was New York, Canggu would be its Brooklyn – such is the charm of this hipster favourite destination, for those seeking the promised sun and sand, but with an edge. Verdant rice paddies and volcanic black-sand beaches set the scene for Bali’s hippest town. This is where the expatriates have made their home, and brought in a cool, alternative lifestyle with them, which has given way to health cafes, skate parks, street art and, of course, many surf breaks. Remote, quiet and laid back, Canggu provides the perfect solution to those looking to skip the commercial vibe of Kuta, but are not quite ready for the flashy Seminyak scene.

The coastal community 10km north of Kuta is abuzz with smart new villas, city-slick restaurants and delicious little shops that seem to have sprung up overnight. Canggu proper is a small village on the beach about 20 minutes north of Seminyak, halfway to Tanah Lot.

On approach from Seminyak, three key beaches demand your attention, starting with Berawa, Batu Bolong (or Old Man’s, largely considered the main, buzzy hub) and finally, Echo Beach. Even though they have different names, they’re really just a continuation of the same stretch of sand. Here are the best beaches in Canggu.

1. Berawa Beach

Berawa Beach is well known for its surfing waves. The bottom is part sand, part flat rocks. Depending on how big the waves are at the time of the year, it may be suitable for swimming and wading. There are not many bars and restaurants directly on the beach, but there are many restaurants as you approach the beach.

If you walk a hundred yards or so from the road in either direction you can have a pretty big stretch of beach to yourself on most days. Finn’s, an iconic recreational club in the area, is just down the beach.

Well frequented by backpacking surfers, this beach is the perfect place for beginners, because the swell doesn’t get too challenging. Nearby, One Eyed Jack is a Japanese restaurant worth checking out. The Naked Coconut is a hidden gem along the sands, and a perfect place to catch the sunset.

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How To Reach Berawa Beach: Take the namesake Jalan Pantai Berawa, ending right at the Legong Keraton Beach Hotel.

2. Batu Bolong

A very popular beach, Batu Bolong has a big parking lot with several good, cheap warungs (local-style restaurants), serving a mix of Indonesian and Western food. The beach has also become synonymous with Old Man’s, a beachfront beer garden, which got its name from the surf break out front, and is the perfect place to chill out after a day in the sun and surf.

Sourced via IG: cafeorganicbali

Old Man’s also hosts a bazaar on the last Saturday of the month, where you can find some cool local souvenirs. The best secret in Batu Bolong is the temple behind the warungs. It is small, but filled with intricate details. Café Organic, a little way inland, is a great place to sample the latest health trend of juice bars – and perfect to nurse a hangover!

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How To Reach Batu Bolong: Walk along the Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, which ends at the Old Man’s blue wall.

3. Echo Beach

Canggu’s most upscale beach has it all – great restaurants, many activities, and super sunsets. Echo Beach is one of Bali’s most recently christened surf spots. The nickname overshadows its local name ‘Pantai Batu Mejan’, after a significant Balinese Hindu sea temple on site. The surf here is huge, and for more experienced surfers, but the view from the top of the rocks is perfect to catch the sunset. The beach is clean and well-kept, the result of the joint efforts among various surf schools and clubs along Canggu’s coast, which carry out routine beach clean-ups.

The Echo Beach House, situated right on the beach, is perfect for some fresh seafood and affordable drinks. For the digital nomads, a 4-minute walk inland from the beach is where you’ll find Bali’s first co-working space, called Dojo Bali.

Sample their acai infused Nalu bowl (coconut shells filled with blended local fruit) for a healthy twist on sweet indulgences. Close to this beach is Deus Ex Machina – a famous motorcycle and clothing store, an artists’ workshop and a café, all rolled into one. The biggest and best night at Deus is on Sundays,when the live band gets everyone in the courtyard to dance.

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How To Reach Echo Beach: Walk along Jalan Pura Batu Mejan.

Tips To Keep In Mind

  • Canggu beach is largely used to refer to a large coastal stretch of about 8 kms, running north from the village of Berawa (just north of Seminyak) to the village of Cemagi (just south of Tanah Lot).
  • The beaches in Canggu have dark grey or black sand and are not prized by tourists for swimming and sunbathing, but offer some renowned and challenging surfing spots. The breaks are inviting, the water is clean and the beaches are not as littered with plastic as Kuta and Seminyak.
  • Much like the rest of Bali, taxis can be hard to find in this area and most travel tends to be by private car or scooter. Consider booking accommodation with a complimentary airport pickup, as this is the easiest way to get to Canggu. You can zig-zag your way around via scooter, learning the shortcuts (the path connecting Berawa to Batu Bolong is hugely convenient) and the general lay of the land.
  • There’s a lot to do in Canggu at any time of the day – catch breaks among the many spots on the beaches – the swell here is consistent through the year, regardless of tide. Or after sunset, settle down with the laid-back vibe at one of the many bars and restaurants that are coming up in the area.

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