Just 20 minutes north of fashionable Seminyak in Bali is a more secluded paradise known as Canggu. Although the area is being developed fast, Canggu is a little slice of heaven consisting of an eight-kilometer strip of surfer beaches and emerald green rice paddies all around. Vacationers and expatriates have favored Canggu more for the feeling of peaceful seclusion it provides. Just imagine walking out of your bedroom door right into a fairy tale scene where the seawater crashes continuously against the shore and nature herself is your front yard garden.
The beaches of Canggu are not as world-renowned as other coastal areas in this well-known tropical island, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the simple pleasure of being away from all the noise of urban life. When in Canggu, take some time to get out of your luxurious villa and tread your feet on the soft, fine sands of the following beaches.
Batu Bolong Beach
Surfers visit Batu Bolong Beach for the fat and powerful waves that make this relatively quiet spot one of the best places to surf in the entire island of Bali. Batu Bolong is peaceful and undisturbed by civilization, except for one beachfront hotel and a luxurious seaside restaurant serving Balinese specialty dishes. If you're not willing to shell out less than your budget for lunch, you can also walk a little farther away from the beach for a cheaper surfer's restaurant surrounded by a number of makeshift huts selling drinks and refreshments. Batu Bolong is one of the best places in the world to watch the sunset, when the sun dips behind majestic Mount Agung and lights up the mountain's silhouette with a warm, orange glow.
Batu Mejan Beach
If you're looking for a beach party vibe that still retains the relaxed and laidback atmosphere of an out-of-the-way beach town, look no further than Batu Mejan Beach. More popular with the tourists as Echo Beach, this is the perfect place to enjoy beach barbecues with your friends and down ice-cold tropical juices while watching surfers come in and out of the water. The waves are a little rougher in Echo Beach, but there are a few spots north and south of the area that are better for swimmers.
Also known as Brawa Beach, Berawa is another place for surfers who love the thrill of riding powerful waves. The place is also safe enough for people just wanting to have a swim. Because of the recent efforts at developing Canggu for tourism, there is not much of the idyllic secluded beach that Berawa once was, but if you stroll down the seashore southwards, you will reach a lagoon with a bamboo bridge hanging right over it. Cross the bridge into Warung Agung Kayu Putih, a little known haven for sunset-lovers in Canggu. There is a low-key restaurant serving simple Balinese food and the service might be a little too relaxed for those used to lavish accommodations, but it is an excellent place to watch the sun go down.
On the way from the Raya Canggu, you will be amazed at the resplendent greenery that flanks both sides of the road to Pererenan Beach. Undoubtedly, this area is yet to be touched by modernization, although there is a smattering of private residences here and there. The beach itself is not ideal for surfing and swimming, as the shore is lined by rocks that have been shaped and smoothed by the tide over the years. You can sit on the rocks to take in a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean or you can climb over them to land on a small strip of hidden sand ideal for sunbathing or just playing in the sand. If the water permits, you might also be able to go in for a swim.