Historically, Canggu was on the outskirts of Kuta, only accessible via a ballsy dirtbike road through soft sand. Now? You’d be chastised for speeding down the beach – instead, travelling to Canggu means a leisurely jaunt through rice fields. As access has increased over the past few years, Canggu has become one of the more popular stomping grounds for a global community of ex-pats, digital nomads, hipsters and surfers. From soft peeling lines for longboarders and beginners to shallow barreling beach breaks, Canggu has everything you’re looking for – even readily available kombucha.
What kind of wave is Pererenan?
Tucked between Echo Beach and Seseh Beach is Pererenan, an exposed beach and reef break with dependable surf. The wave offers rights and lefts in a mellow, scenic setting. Pererenan is amidst a traditional Balinese community that has deep ties to spiritual practices – so you won’t see too many people, disrespect, or foreign buildings. Waves are exposed, which means that they can be fast and challenging. This wave is best surfed at mid to high tide to avoid any reef-related injuries. Be aware of sea urchins.
What kind of wave is Canggu River Mouth?
Canggu River Mouth is one of the more famous waves in Bali. A hollow right that breaks in barreling and open shouldered sections, Canggu can be a great spot to catch your local pro surfer. While it’s not necessarily known as a territorial spot, you will probably be paddle battling through a few mean mugs every few sets. It’s easy to access from the river mouth but you’ll need to get deep into position on the peak if you want a set wave. There’s typically less of a crowd here, but you’ll need to earn your spot.
What kind of wave is The Sandbar?
The Sandbar is a peaky A-frame breaking left and right. Situated adjacent to Echo Beach Left, The Sandbar is considered an advanced to expert wave on its day. It quickly turns over into a heavy thick-lipped barrel. This is one of three high-performance waves that break along Echo Beach. It’s considered the best performance wave in Bali for practising airs because of the perfect ramps that form from the wedgy peaks and sandy bottom.
What kind of wave is Echo Beach Left?
Echo Beach Left breaks hard and often heavy over a shallow reef with a good swell. It tends to jack up as the wave hits the reef and is known to barrel. This certainly isn’t for the inexperienced surfer. On its day you will find surfers slotting in for a quick but nuggety barrel. On a higher tide when it’s not barrelling Echo Beach Left gives you a grunty wall to rip some turns and a lip to smack. This wave is a real favourite for natural footers on their backhand and goofy footers on their forehand.
What kind of wave is Batu Bolong?
On the other side of the channel from Old Man’s is Batu Bolong, a reef break that is loved by loggers. It’s also visited by surf schools because of the long, slow and forgiving rides. On bigger days, this wave offers a gentle wall to carve – for beginners and experts. Our recommendation? Dawn patrol to avoid the crowds.
What kind of wave is Old Man’s?
Old Man’s is a classic reef break that with a peeling long and fat wave. It’s gentle and predictable, which is why beginners and longboards love it. As one of the mellower waves in Canggu, you can expect a crowd. There are board rentals and surf lessons on the beach. Be warned, Old Man’s is a great wave for a dancing logger, but there are plenty of flying foamies. On a bigger swell, this wave is dreamy for beginners to advanced surfers.
Pererenan: Reef break
Canggu: River mouth reef break
The Sandbar: Sandbank
Echo Beach Left: Reef break
Batu Bolong: Reef break
Old Man’s: Reef break
The Sandbar: Intermediate
Echo Beach Left: Intermediate
Batu Bolong: Beginner
Old Man’s: Beginner
Pererenan: Left and right
The Sandbar: Left and right
Echo Beach Left: Left
Batu Bolong: Left
Old Man’s: Left and right
The Sandbar: Sand
Echo Beach Left: Reef
Batu Bolong: Deep reef
Old Man’s: Deep reef
Pererenan: Not necessary
Canggu: Personal preference
The Sandbar: Not necessary
Echo Beach Left: Personal preference
Batu Bolong: Not necessary
Old Man’s: Not necessary
Pererenan: Shortboard or fish
The Sandbar: Shortboard
Echo Beach Left: Shortboard
Batu Bolong: Longboard or fish
Old Man’s: Longboard or fish.
Pererenan: Expect crowds
The Sandbar: Crowded
Echo Beach left: Crowded
Batu Bolong: Crowded
Old Man’s: Ultra-crowded
Pererenan: See below
Canggu: See below
The Sandbar: See below
Echo Beach left: See below
Batu Bolong: See below
Old Man’s: See below
The Sandbar: SW
Echo Beach Left: S
Batu Bolong: SW
Old Man’s: S
The Sandbar: N
Echo Beach Left: N
Batu Bolong: N
Old Man’s: N
Pererenan: High tide
Canggu: High tide
The Sandbar: Low tide
Echo Beach Left: Mid tide
Batu Bolong: Low tide
Old Man’s: Mid tide
Pererenan: Building tide
Canggu: Building tide
The Sandbar: Lowering tide
Echo Beach Left: Building tide
Batu Bolong: Dead low tide
Old Man’s: Building tide
The Sandbar: Very consistent
Echo Beach Left: Inconsistent
Batu Bolong: Consistent
Old Man’s: Very consistent
The Sandbar: Year-round
Echo Beach Left: Year-round
Batu Bolong: Year-round
Old Man’s: Year-round
The Sandbar: Ultra-competitive
Echo Beach Left: Lots of hassling
Batu Bolong: Fun crowd
Old Man’s: Can be full-on
Canggu: The Right/River Mouth
The Sandbar: Echo Beach
Echo Beach Left: Echo Beach
Batu Bolong: None
Old Man’s: None
Pererenan has an exposed section of reef on the end section when you go left. Sometimes it pops out of nowhere.
Canggu tends to break shallow over the reef making it easy to hit the uneven bottom if you don’t make the drop. Although you will see many local pros throwing epic airs on the inside there are uneven chunks of reef here that you should be cautious of, so if you are a long way off fine-tuning your aerials you may want to save them for somewhere else.
The Sandbar gets really hollow and square when its on producing a very heavy lip and shallow sand bottom.
Echo Beach Left has plenty of exposed, uneven and sharp reef. Take a good look at the reef on a super low tide and you will get the idea. The take-off zone is tight and always crowded, meaning it is very difficult to get a wave when it’s good.
Batu Bolong can produce a bit of current in the channel once the surf reaches head-high. It can be strong enough to challenge when getting back to shore if you struggle with paddle fitness.
Old Man’s will throw a few rouge beginner boards and longboards your way so keep your eyes peeled on the paddle back out and be patient in the lineup.
If you’re planning on surfing The Sandbar or the reefs at Echo Beach Left or Canggu, use the channels to keep yourself from getting washed up on the inside. As you’re paddling, keep your eye out for boils on lower tides. This typically indicates rocks under the water that can easily ding your board or fins. At Old Man’s you can paddle out anywhere – through the breakers on small days or out through the channel to the right if the swell is up.
There’s a reason that surf camps flock to Canggu: predictable waves, a variety of spots, and easy access. Canggu is an excellent place to test out surfing – either by yourself or through a surf camp. We recommend staying around the Echo Beach and Batu Bolong area when the swell is mellow. Respect locals and try to stay in your lane.
If you’re looking for a holistic experience, we recommend taking surf lessons or booking into a surf camp. Many beginners aren’t taught the appropriate etiquette in the lineup, which is crucial when you’re in a respected surf destination like Bali. You’ll also want to make sure your pop-ups and wave positioning are correct. Choose from classic surf camps like LaPoint or local camps like Wave House Bali.
Canggu, not unlike some of the other beaches in the area and is characterised by a long stretch of beautiful black sand. At dusk, you will find plenty of people soaking in the sunset and bintangs at the various beach bars spread along the Echo Beach and Batu Bolong Beach right down to Berawa. During high season, expect a crowded beach and some trash. Pictured above is The Sandbar on Batu Bolong Beach in the heart of Canggu.
With waves on tap, tropical weather, cheap housing, and high quality of life, Canggu is a hub for the new type of traveller – a digital nomad. Digital nomads, people who can work from anywhere with just a laptop, make up a big part of Canggu’s ex-pat community. From web developers to designers to writers, the digital nomad scene is booming. A majority of this new wave of workers come to Bali to surf, practice yoga, and enjoy a slower pace of life – all while making a steady income that goes a long way.
You’ll find dedicated workspaces tailored for those eager to make some coin and then catch a sunset surf before a few bintangs. If you’re eager to catch up on some work or have the next great idea for a startup, we recommend heading to Dojo Bali Coworking or Outpost Canggu.
Due to its growing popularity in recent years, there is a wide range of accommodations for surfers visiting Bali. Canggu surf accommodations range from luxurious surf lodges overlooking the ocean to more simplistic surf hostels. Check out our recommendations below for some ideas on where to stay in Canggu. where to stay in Canggu.
The Canggu Beach Hostel is your typical gorgeous, cheap, and fun hostel located a short jaunt from some of Canggu’s best breaks. Many report they plan to stay for a night or two and are sucked in for upwards of a month. While the accommodations aren’t expensive, this might be the only thing you’ll find cheap as food, yoga, and surf instruction/board rental tends to run a bit steep. You can find cheaper food at local hideaways in town and I’d recommend bringing your own board in tow anyway. There are however plenty of fun activities you can get involved in including a ping pong table and pool table. Great for the young and energetic.
Trendy, tidy and all the essential amenities. The Surf Lodge Canggu is a popular spot with many visitors staying multiple times when returning to Canggu. Choose from dorm rooms or private rooms. Both options are more than comfortable and affordable. Surf Lodge Canggu is located in central Canggu and just a short scooter ride to the surf. All in all the staff are super friendly, the rooms are large, well equipped and always immaculate.
Premier Surf Camp Canggu is surprisingly a bit of a distance away from the surf. With cheap scooters for rent (a must-have for anywhere in Indo) Premier Surf Camp Canggu can promise you a clean and comfortable place to stay for singles, couples, and families. The food on sight gets some notoriety from local billboards but receives mixed reviews. You’ll no doubt love the pool, traditional Balinese architecture, and surf guiding services. They can also offer you reduced weekly and monthly accommodation rates if you plan on staying in Canggu for a while.
For a step up in surfside accommodation and privacy, it’s worth taking a look at Pondok Nyoman Bagus. A short skip from the beach nestled in on the north side of Pererenan’s river mouth, you’ll be enjoying an ocean view from the infinity pool while sipping a fruity cocktail. Characterised by peace, quiet and great food, Pondok Nyoman Bagus is definitely worth some research. Great for couples and families, this Canggu surf accommodation provides a stay away from the shenanigans you’re sure to find in local surf hostels.
Eat sleep surf. Kima Bali Surfcamp Canggu is located only 2 minutes from the beach. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced, Kima makes sure that you surf the best waves twice a day, seven days a week including video analysis and theory lessons. Their spacious facility also includes a fully equipped sports centre with various workout options, such as Muay Thai, Karate & Pilates, yoga for surfers, 15m climbing wall, 4m diving pool and a countercurrent system to improve your paddling technique. Your stress level is reduced in their in-house spa. Our Poke bowl, Juice bar and Restaurant will delight your taste buds. Whether healthy, Indonesian, Western, vegetarian or vegan – they got you!
The Surf Motel is a great accommodation conveniently located in the heart of Echo Beach, Canggu, Bali. Positioned at the end of a side street this accommodation enables you to get enough peace while in walking distance from the surf, shopping, great food and much more. If you’re working remotely, Dojo Bali Coworking space is just a short distance or if you want to watch some sport and drink a few beers the number one sports bar in Canggu ‘Faraway Sportsbar and Grill’ is just as close also. If a few quiet drinks are more your thing, then the Surf Motel has a rooftop bar open from 9 am to 11 pm.
A short walk from the beach, Frii Hotel in Canggu offers rooftop ocean views and a boutique surf hotel experience. Enjoy your early morning surf check from the rooftop bar or take a moment to relax poolside while munching healthy food. Ranked a bit higher on the luxuriousness scale than some of the other Canggu surf accommodations on this list, Frii hotel is great for the couple looking for seclusion, or the family looking for a quiet place to stay. Another added treat is the free shuttle to and from Seminyak if you want to mix things up.
Set on beautiful grounds with stunning Balinese art and architecture throughout. The Tugu Hotel provides a peaceful and serene ambience beside the ocean in Canggu to help you escape the hustle and bustle on the outside. While it is well out of most surfers accommodation budget it can be a nice place to spend a couple of days if you want to splurge out and relax in the comforts of a top hotel with fantastic staff. From its hundreds of raving reviews on Tripadvisor, it is difficult to find a disappointed traveller.
Not unlike the wide variety of accommodations to choose from, the food in Canggu ranges from your local street food grinds to hipsterific five-star cuisine. There are many good restaurants and cafes along Jalan Batu Bolong and plenty of places to find legitimately good coffee. Some favourites for food are:
Betelnut for healthy breakfast and lunches.
Veda Café is for nourishing and delicious eats.
Warung Bu Mi is a fantastic local restaurant that is very cheap and extremely popular.
Bali Buda Canggu has amazing smoothies and a lot of great meals to choose from. Our favourite is the grilled chicken, potato wedges and salad. The ingredients are top of the line and value for money is exceptional. While you’re there you can stock up on a large range of health foods and homemade superfoods too. Check them out online at Bali Buda.
Machinery Cafe Bali is an enclosed air-conditioned cafe with good coffee and premium wifi making it a favourite co-working space for those remote warriors.
Crate Cafe is hugely popular with a lively atmosphere. Be sure to get there super early to try to beat the huge crowds! True to their word “Crate is a space where good music, good food, good coffee and good people meet and create good vibes”.
Pretty Poison combines partying and skating with a Californian style pool skate bowl and backyard inspired bar. Located on the Canggu one way the crowds usually kick in at around 10 pm. Head down to watch some serious skating, sink a few Bintangs, and soak in the atmosphere.
Old Man’s for sunsets, beers, and pub food on the beach. Happy hour is 5-6 pm every day. Right at 5 pm, expect a flood of patrons rolling up to the bar to take advantage of the 2 for 1 hour as the sun heads to the horizon.
The Lawn Canggu offers a great place to party, great food and drinks, and an amazing pool. A quick look through their online photo gallery is sure to give you an idea of the type of crowd that the Lawn tends to pull. A great place for singles and your average surf traveller, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Taman Segara Madu Olympic Size 50m Pool is a great place for families, kids, and an afternoon by the pool, or it is the best spot for your swim training while in Bali with its 50m Olympic size swimming pool. If it’s flat, you’re sure to have a great afternoon jumping in the pool and sipping a few drinks.
Surfboard Rentals and Lessons
Many of the accommodations or surf hotels on this list offer surfboard rentals and lessons in-house. If you’re looking for something outside your general hostel, the best place to rent a surfboard is in the beach parking lot at the end of Jalan Batu Bolong in front of Old Man’s. There is a local setup here that has many different boards to hire and friendly locals to give a surfing lesson.
Located about a half an hour drive north of Kuta, Canggu is about half-way between Seminyak and Tanah Lot. The region is well known for pristine rice fields, black sand beaches, and world class surf breaks.
It’s easy to stroll around the neighbouring Canggu community by foot. If you’re looking to roam farther than your local corner store or surf spot, consider hiring a scooter, moped, or dirt bike for greater access to the surrounding Canggu area.
Parking fees in the Canggu area are consistent from parking area to parking area. Payment will cover you for the entire day even if you come and go. Be aware that during high season, scooter theft is possible.
Oldman’s parking is 2.000Rp per scooter and 5.000Rp per car.
Canggu (Batu Mejan) parking is 2.000Rp per scooter and 5.000Rp per car.
Central Canggu in front of Deus (Banjar Adat) parking is 2.000Rp per scooter and 5.000Rp per car.
Step 1. To get to the surf in Canggu from the airport drive 45 minutes north of Kuta along Jalan Sunset Road.
Step 2. Turn left at Kerobokan traffic lights onto Jalan Raya Canggu.
Step 3. To go to Old Man’s surf break drive for approximately 1km and turn left onto Jalan Batu Bolong. Stay on Batu Bolong until you reach the beach. Parking is 2.000Rp per scooter and 5.000Rp per car.
Step 4. To go to Echo Beach Left, The Sand Bar and Canggu surf breaks you have two options.
Step 4A. Stay on Jalan Raya Canggu and go past the turnoff to Jalan Batu Bolong and take the next left onto Jalan Batu Mejan. Keep going straight until you reach parking. Parking is 2.000Rp per scooter and 5.000Rp per car and is usually fairly busy.
Step 4B. Stay on Jalan Raya Canggu and go past the turnoff to Jalan Batu Mejan, about another kilometre up the road turn left onto Jalan Pantai Pererena. Then about 1.7km along Jalan Pantai Pererena you can take another left onto Jalan Munduk Kedungu and this road will take you to a car park situated right in front of Canggu.
Canggu Short-Cut Road: If travelling by scooter from the Kuta end of the island you can take a quicker route through Berawa then take the narrow shortcut road Jalan Echo Beach which is supposed to be a one way. However, some daring locals take this shortcut in their car both ways, managing to maneuver past each other with millimetres to spare. But be warned there has been a lot of vehicles go over the edge rolling into the rice paddies below. Just Google “shortcut road Canggu” and check out the images.