Canggu has now become a must-stop for holidaymakers and local residents. This coastal village is an alternative destination if you are into Bohemian vibes. Still heavily flocked by tourist as one of the hottest ‘must-visit’ places, Canggu is attracting a huge crowd looking to escape from the cluster of neighbouring Kuta – Seminyak area.
Unlike the typical white-sand southern beaches, Canggu beaches are sexier with its sparkling black sand from Bali’s volcanos. Weekends usually get very crowded here, and most of the streets in Canggu area transform into the island’s coolest hangout spots. Some say Canggu is the old version of Kuta – Legian before it’s getting too touristy.
No trip to Canggu would be complete without surfing, or at least a visit to the beaches. For surfers, Canggu is a new heaven to be explored. That explains a lot of scooters with surfer boards around the area. It is indeed a good place to surf for either beginners or advanced surfers. Take a cheap lesson or rent surfboards in various sizes right by the beach. There are 3 popular beaches among the surfers; Berawa beach, Batu Bolong Beach and Echo Beach – all lie on the same stretch of sand.
Berawa Beach is suitable for seasoned riders. Consisting of one long beach break with a couple of small scattered reefs, this beach is the famous one, not just by the surfers but also leisure travellers. The best time to surf is during the dry season when the seawater looks clean and the wind flows from the east to the west, creating ideal waves for a surfing adventure. With right and left wave direction, the wave can sometimes be relatively powerful and reaches up to 6 feet, making it quite a challenge for the intermediate surfers. Best to surf is at mid tide.
A 10-minute ride on a scooter via the shortcut will take you to Batu Bolong Beach. For beginner surfers, this greyish black sand beach is the perfect beach to practice some positions. To be considered as ‘an easy ride wave’ from most surfers, the wave is very fat with little power, thus making it easier to handle for surfers with a longboard. The water is not as crowded as Berawa Beach, so you have plenty of time to get in the right position, paddle a little to get it and then to get up on your board. However, whenever the swell isn’t huge, you will see dozens of surfers out there waiting to hone their surfing skills.
Here, leisure travellers can also enjoy the natural beauty of the sea during a long stroll on the beach. The crowds normally start popping up at the beach after 8AM, and then the beach stays quiet in midday leaving surfers dancing on the waves. The volcanic black sand gets incredibly hot in the daytime, unless you want to tan on your body. On the other hand, an afternoon visit offers a more beautiful scenery as the sun slowly fades between the horizon and the sea. This is marked by a huge number of visitors coming back to the beach for sunset.
Just next to Batu Bolong, you will easily find Echo Beach, or locally known as Pantai Batu Mejan. Here, the waves are extremely powerful, and surfing becomes a daunting task, even for advanced surfers. You can surf either the reefs to the right or those to the left, or even at the beach break just in the middle of the beach. Similar to the previous beaches, the dry season is the best time to surf at Echo Beach, with left wave direction at high tides. The fullest tide occurs around midday with exposed reefs, which means early morning with incoming tides and late afternoon on the outgoing. Before you start to paddle out for wave hunting, it’s a good idea to spend a few extra minutes on dry land to Keep an eye on the waves – how they break and whether or not they are coming in patterns of sets.
Before you let loose your energy at the beach, make sure you follow these basic guidelines:
- Bring enough cash
- Make sure you swim sober as there will be no lifeguards in the area
- Keep a lookout for aquatic life, such as water plants and animals. They may be dangerous.
- For surfers, do not surf alone at night!