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Our goal is to build the most comprehensive Canggu digital nomad guide – if we’re missing something please leave us feedback at the bottom of this page!
Canggu is a surf/beach town in Bali, Indonesia that has rapidly become one of the most popular digital nomad hubs in the world!
Editor’s note: After living in 20+ cities around the world over the last few years, I’ve concluded that this is my favorite place and I plan to live here indefinitely. If you visit, please reach out to me – I’d love to grab a drink!
Why You Might Love Canggu:
-Fast, generally reliable wifi and you can live next to the beach with a pool for around $1,500 USD / month total
-It’s warm (mid to high 80s year-round), there’s good surfing, great nightlife, and lots of beautiful people from all over the world
-It has one of the largest and most active nomad communities in the world & it’s one of the most popular destinations for female digital nomads
-It has almost every Western amenity that you could want (which is good or bad depending on what you want)
-Very friendly locals
-Tons of healthy and delicious restaurants that span every cuisine you can imagine
-Most people use motorbikes/scooters to ride around the town: makes life more of an adventure
-Many nearby places around the island and on nearby islands to visit
-Fantastic health and wellness community with a vibrant yoga scene
-The visa situation makes it easy to stay indefinitely while doing a “visa run” (leaving the country) every 60 days
Why You Might Not Love Canggu:
-Because this is such a large digital nomad hub, you’ll be surrounded by lots of other digital nomads. This is either great or terrible depending on what you’re optimizing for.
-The town is overrun by tourism which means this isn’t a very authentic experience, it’s a very busy place, and the pollution isn’t great due to the tourism and business
-Has become exponentially more crowded in the last couple of years
-The beaches are frequently dirty and aren’t great for swimming
-Not very walkable, almost everyone who lives here rides a moped and if you aren’t comfortable riding then you’ll live a much more limited life and will probably have to rely on Go-Jek or Grab (local Uber)
-Riding on mopeds/motorbikes is fairly dangerous as the roads are crowded, small and there are lots of inexperienced riders
-Climate is too warm for some people
Everything You Need To Know:
Overall Rating: 5/5
Cost of Living: ~$1,500/mo total, ~$400-650/mo in rent
Wifi Speed: 15 mbps average
Wifi Reliability: Wifi is generally solid and fast enough to do any type of work. Some housing and cafes will have bad wifi so make sure to speed test your accommodation. You can find wifi as fast as 60-80mbps. The power in Canggu sometimes cuts out but most of the coworking spaces have backup generators so there will always be a solid connection nearby.
Crime & Safety: Generally safe – a big reason why it’s a popular place for female expats to settle down. You do sometimes hear about bags being snatched or villas being broken into. Try not to use outdoor, unprotected ATMs as card skimming is very common here and scooter accidents are fairly common. (more info here)
English? English is widely spoken in Canggu!
Drink Tap Water? No. Do not drink tap water.
Exchange Rate: $1 USD = ~13,700 Indonesian Rupiah (exact rate here)
Air Quality: Pretty good. (more info here)
Most Popular Nomad Neighborhoods: Batu Balong and Echo Beach are technically the “city center”, Berawa to the south is also popular, Perenenan to the north is quieter, and some people choose cheaper options further from the ocean (detailed housing/neighborhood guide)
Coworking Spaces: 5/5 – Dojo is the original coworking space and has a fantastic community. Tropical Nomads is newer and is also very popular. Endless cafes to work from as well. (detailed and thorough guide)
Tipping? Not necessary, but appreciated (more info here).
Visa Details: Most tier 1 passports enable you to visit for 30 days visa-free. If you’d like to do a 60-day stay, you must pay ~$35 USD for a 30-day visa on arrival at the airport (before going through customs). You can extend the 30-day VOA by 30 days by paying a visa service in Bali (we recommend BaliViza). You’ll be required to visit an immigration office in Bali once.
You can stay in Bali indefinitely by doing a “visa run” every 30-60 days. This entails leaving the country and coming back. When you come back, the 30 or 60-day process starts over. (full visa details here)
Best Months To Visit: April-October is the dry and less humid season. November-March is rainy season and the hotter time of the year. Many nomads live here year-round though. (more info here)
Things To Do: 5/5 – Canggu has lots of activities (surfing, yoga, gyms, cafes, nightlife, etc.) plus you can plan excursions and weekend trips all around Bali and nearby islands. (15 Things In Canggu, 55 Things in Bali, TripAdvisor)
Nomad Community: 5/5 – One of the most active communities in the world. Coworking space events at Dojo or Tropical Nomads tend to be the easiest way to meet other nomads. We also recommend joining all of the Canggu Facebook groups (Bali DNs, Canggu Community, Canggu Nomad Girls, and a full list of other Canggu groups)
Nightlife: 5/5. Traditionally a quiet surf-town, Canggu is now home to a significant number of bars and clubs that offer vibrant nightlife 7 nights per week, year-round. Here’s an extremely detailed guide.
SIM Card: Easiest to get a SIM card at the airport but you’ll pay 2-3x more than you would from a roadside SIM card shop. Telkomsel is our recommended provider. Data is cheap in Bali and you can expect to pay around $1-1.50 USD per GB.
To buy a sim card or add data to your existing card, search “sim card” on Google Maps or ask someone locally where the nearest store is.
Transportation: Most people rent a moped (expect to pay $4 USD per day or around $50-75 USD per month – scooter rental guide) but please be careful as it’s undoubtedly dangerous. Canggu isn’t very walkable but you could use Go-Jek or Grab (local Ubers).
Transport From The Airport: The airport is 45-60 minutes from Canggu and the easiest transportation option is to have your hotel/homestay schedule a pickup for you (should cost you ~350k IDR = ~$26 USD). You can alternatively take an airport taxi for about the same price, or you can now request a Go-Jek or Grab.
Best 1+ Month Housing Strategy: To get the cheapest rates, book a few days in a hotel and then visit housing options in person so that you can test the wifi, the bed, and get a feel for everything.
If you want to rent your own villa or a room in a villa then post in the Canggu housing Facebook groups and search for any available listings (Canggu Community Housing, Bali Canggu Housing, Canggu Housing).
If you want to rent a room in a homestay/hotel then your best bet is to find places with availability on Airbnb or Booking.com and then visit them in person to negotiate a cheaper, cash rate.
Recommended Hotel Booking Website: Booking.com
Best Restaurants/Dishes: Nasi Goreng (fried rice) is the most famous dish here. In Canggu, you can find incredible Western and international food along will lots of local dishes (here’s the best food/restaurant guide & we recommend using Google Maps to find restaurants)
Recommended Travel Insurance: SafetyWing
Order Things Online: Lazada, Shopee, and Tokopedia are all easy and reliable. They’re the local “Amazons.” After you order online, you can expect to pay for your purchase with cash in a convenience store.
Must Download Apps: Go-Jek or Grab (local Ubers, they also offer fast and cheap food delivery) and WhatsApp (most popular texting/communication app)
Healthcare: Okay, not great. More info here.
Guide For Nomadic Families: Read here.
Key Yearly Events: Nyepi, March 25 is a silent day of meditation and fasting where no one in Bali is allowed to leave their residence for a full day. More info here.
Avoiding ATM & Credit Card Fees: To avoid paying ATM & credit card fees abroad, we recommend a fee-free card.
Great Breakdown of Canggu: