Candidasa is a relaxed seaside village located in East Bali. This off-the-beaten path destination offers a relaxing break away from the crowds. Candidasa maintains the feel of Bali back in the day, with a handful of restaurants and shops mingled in with local Balinese culture. Another great reason to head to Candidasa? Amazing waterfront villas available at unbeatable prices.
In many ways, it feels as if time has stood still in Candidasa – and we mean this is in the best possible way. The coastal village has been spared from the rapid development which has taken over much of southern Bali and though there are some great restaurants, villas and resorts in the area, the overall feeling is still very much that of the “real” Bali.
While there is no main beach in Candidasa, many villas and hotels offer private beach access or steps leading down to the water. There are also a few beautiful beaches a short drive from the village, most notably White Sand Beach and Virgin Beach. The area is also a popular destination for diving and snorkelling trips and provides easy access to the port town of Padang Bai for travellers heading out to Lombok and the Gili Islands.
The quaint centre of Candidasa centres along the main thoroughfare road lined with shops and restaurants. A serene lily pond in the centre of town provides a scenic backdrop for some holiday snaps. Though much of the dining and entertainment in town is very lowkey and relaxed, a handful of luxury resorts and exclusive private villas have introduced a high end twist to the area.
Planning Your Trip to Candidasa
Candidasa remains a relaxed destination all year round. Even during high season (July-August and late December-early January) the crowds are minimal and you get to enjoy a peaceful coastal escape surrounded by sounds of the ocean and a feel of the real Bali. Our Candidasa travel guide aims to give you the essential information, list the most popular things to do in Candidasa, provide more information on locations you want to visit and finish with some inspiration from our travel writers. For more information on events and festivals taking place throughout the year, check out our comprehensive Bali guide.
Bali is pleasant all year round! May through September has the best weather (drier, less humid) and is the best time for many activities including diving and surfing. November though March is rainy season – though rainfall is never excessive so you can do most activities except volcano treks.
The temperature ranges from 24 degrees to 31 degrees all year round.
Rainfall ranges from 0cm to 140cm during the wet season.
Things to See & Do in Candidasa
Candidasa is the perfect destination for ultimate relaxation. The soft lapping of the waves and the unhurried pace of life in the village makes for a very soothing setting, away from everyday hustle and bustle. You could easily spend several days simply relaxing by your villa’s pool, staring into the blue hues of the ocean. The area also offers a prime opportunity for getting familiar with the local culture and exploring Bali’s underwater wonders.
Candidasa is the perfect place to get immersed in the local Balinese culture. Simply staying in Candidasa will get you well acquainted with the relaxed pace of Bali. The village of Tenganan, which is located just a stone’s throw from Candidasa, is home to the Bali Aga – original Balinese community. Though the village has grown a lot more commercialised and is now mainly geared towards tourist, it still offers an interesting look at a well-preserved village layout.
There are also a few interesting temples you can visit in the area. Pura Goa Lawah, located just outside the centre of Candidasa, is home to countless bats residing in the temple’s cave. The temple itself is quite small but just witnessing such great numbers of bats is makes it worth the visit. Another impressive site to visit is the Tirta Gangga water palace which is located about 30 minutes from Candidasa.
Tours & Activities
Though the setting is sublimely relaxing, you shouldn’t write Candidasa off as a complete snoozeville. Some of the most popular activities in the area include snorkelling and diving. Many of the waterfront villas allow you to snorkel right in front of the villa. You can also hire a boat for the day to take you further out on the water. There are also a few dive schools in the area for those who really want to experience the world, under the sea.
There is no swimmable main beach in Candidasa, but there are some beautiful white sand beaches within a reasonable drive from the village. The most famous ones (which still remain relaxed and uncrowded) include Pantai Pasir Putih (literally “white sand beach”), Virgin Beach, Blue Lagoon and Bias Tugal Beach
Eating & Drinking in Candidasa
Candidasa’s dining scene is just like the rest of the area – low key and relaxed. While the area is by no means a fully-fledged dining destination, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your hunger. You might even discover a few hidden gems hidden in between!
Most of the “restaurants” in the area are relaxed local warungs serving Balinese and Indonesian food, with a few laidback establishments offering tried and tested western favourites. Most restaurants are focused along the main street of Jalan Raya Candidasa, though you’ll also find a few good options along the smaller Jalan Mendira. There are a handful of more upscale venues dotted along the shoreline. For more refined dining, it’s best to visit one of the five-star resorts scattered in the area.
Candidasa is a relaxed village with little to offer for night owls – in fact, this relaxed atmosphere is an important part of the area’s charm. A night out in Candidasa might mean enjoying a relaxed family dinner in your villa or grabbing a round of cold Bintang beers at one of the restaurants lining the main street. A few restaurants in town offer live music a couple of nights a week, ranging from laidback reggae to sophisticated jazz. Don’t be surprised if you find a band drawing in a full house!
Candidasa centres around the main street of Jalan Raya Candidasa, a thoroughfare which works as a gateway to East Bali. When it comes to accommodation, the centre of the village is mainly dominated by homestays and more lowkey hotels. If you’re staying in close proximity to the main drag, you can usually reach restaurants and shops on foot. Most higher end villas are located a bit outside the main village to the west. This peaceful area is still within easy reach of the main village but offers a more serene setting and usually better water views.
Candidasa & Surrounds
Candidasa sits on the southeast coast of Bali, located in the Karangasem regency. Travelling further east, you’ll arrive in Amed, a quaint fishing village known for offering great snorkelling and diving. Down the coastline, Padang Bai is framed by picturesque beaches with a harbour connecting travellers to Lombok and the popular Gili Islands. A short drive from Padang Bai, Klungkung is a bustling town with deep historical and cultural roots. Travelling further west, Gianyar is a verdant regency offering a mix of rice fields and deserted beaches, with the cultural hub of Ubud attracting yogis, art lovers and all around culture vultures. Finally, the rugged beaches of Gianyar give way to Sanur which is a family friendly resort town hugged by a calm beach.
There are over a dozen Ministry Approved villas in Candidasa. As the area is more remote and lowkey than more touristic areas in Bali, villas in Candidasa tent to have lower pricing and offer fantastic value for money. This means you can secure a luxurious waterfront villa for a fraction of the cost you would spend in other areas.
Candidasa villas range from around USD $200 per night for a two-bedroom villa to around USD $1,500 per night for a six-bedroom beachfront villa. All of our villas come with professionally trained staff. Many villas offer personalised services including: butlers, chefs, nannies, 24-hour security personnel, drivers and other services you won’t find in a hotel.
Ngurah Rai International Airport (a.k.a. Denpasar Airport) is located in Tuban in South Bali. Serving over 20 million passengers a year, the busy airport is well connected to numerous international destinations. Direct flights to Bali are offered from destinations including Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Melbourne and Sydney. Airlines offering direct flights to Bali include Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Air Asia, Jetstar and more. There are some early plans to build a second airport in North Bali.
You can also reach Bali by boat. This would usually entail landing at an international airport on the neighbouring islands of Java or Lombok and then crossing over to Bali by boat or ferry. From Candidasa, the closest ports are in Padang Bai and Amed with boats arriving from Lombok and the Gili Islands. From Java, ferries arrive in Gilimanuk which is located about 170 kilometres northwest from Candidasa.
Nationalities from over 160 countries are eligible for visa free entry into Indonesia. This means your passport will be stamped on arrival at the airport, allowing you to stay in the country for 30 days. For stays longer than 30 days, you will need to obtain a visa which will require further arrangements. Please note your passport must be valid for six months after your date of arrival in Indonesia.
There is no public transport to get you from the airport to your accommodation, so the only option is to use a private driver or a taxi. Ministry of Villas can arrange a chauffeur to greet you upon arrival at the airport and escort you to your villa. To avoid queuing at the immigration counter, we can also arrange a VIP airport service for guests. This service includes lounge access, allowing you to relax while waiting for your luggage.
If you haven’t organised your transfers before landing in Bali, you can also get a taxi directly at the airport. There is an official taxi stand next to the information desk at the international arrivals hall. The taxi stand offers fixed price and metered fares across Bali. Though a price list is present, you might be asked for a higher fare, especially when travelling to more remote destinations like Candidasa. Besides the official taxi stand, the arrivals hall is filled with independent drivers offering their services at varying rates. To save yourself the hassle, we strongly recommend arranging your airport transfers prior to landing in Bali, especially when travelling to more far off destinations like Candidasa.
There are plenty of options for getting around Canidasa, so we’ve ranked them according to our recommendations for first-time travellers.
Hiring a private car and driver is a great way to explore the area surrounding Candidasa. This allows you to visit the nearby beaches and temples – you can even make a day trip out to Amed. Ministry of Villas can arrange a private car and chauffeur for you. Our team can also help you plan the itinerary, whether that includes temple visits, shopping at local markets or visiting a local cooking school.
Candidasa centres around the main street of Jalan Raya Candidasa which runs through the village. When staying in the very centre of the village, the street is lined by a narrow sidewalk, meaning you can hop from restaurant to restaurant and from shop to shop on foot. If you’re staying a bit further out, the small village roads are usually suitable for walking (just remember to keep an eye out for passing motorbikes and cars) though can get very dark after nightfall.
Hopping on a scooter is perhaps the most popular way of getting around Bali. Scooter rentals are very affordable – the prices start at around IDR 50,000 (USD $4) per day – and offer an easy way to explore Candidasa and its surroundings. However, you should only hire a scooter if you have previous experience driving as the roads and traffic conditions can be very unpredictable. You should also always wear a proper helmet and carry a valid international driver’s licence – driving without either will result in a fine should you get pulled over by the police.
This being a smaller rural village, there are no official metered taxis in Candidasa. Uber-type ride hailing apps are also not available. But not to worry – you can easily hire a car and driver to take you around the area or to the airport when it’s time to head home.
The Balinese are among the friendliest and most welcoming people on the planet. This is all the more reason to return the favour and be respectful towards the local culture. Like anywhere else in the world, common sense and basic human decency goes a long way. For more detailed information about local culture, language and safety in Bali, check out our comprehensive Bali guide.
SHOPPING & BARGAINING
Candidasa is hardly a shopping mecca but the area does offer quaint souvenir shops and local markets for picking up keepsakes to bring home with you. There is no large supermarket in Candidasa but you can pick up snacks and cold drinks in convenience stores, while fruit and vegetables are available in local stalls and markets.
Bargaining can be an enjoyable part of shopping in Bali… or it can be frustrating! To ensure a smooth exchange first decide what the item is worth to you, then ask the seller for their price – your first offer can be from one-third to two-thirds of that price. They are likely to respond with a counteroffer, which you can either accept or negotiate further. If you don’t like the price and you walk away there is a good chance the vendor will call out to you with a better (usually final) price. Keep in mind, if an agreement is reached, you’re committed – you should buy if your offer is accepted.
In late 2018, the governor of Bali banned single use plastic on the island, meaning shops, boutiques and supermarkets no longer give out plastic bags. When out and about, it’s best to carry a reusable bag with you.
Most restaurants and villas include a service component already so tipping is not expected, but if service is good, an additional cash tip is appreciated.
Health & Safety
It’s important to note that compared to many places in the world, Bali is fairly safe. There have been some high-profile cases of visitors being injured or killed on Bali, but in many cases these tragedies have been inflamed by media sensationalism.
Many of Bali’s beaches are subject to heavy surf and strong currents. The beaches in Candidasa and its surroundings don’t have lifeguards on duty so do take extra care when swimming. Be careful when swimming over coral and never walk on it. It can be very sharp and coral cuts are easily infected. In addition, you are damaging a fragile environment. Avoid swimming near open streams flowing into the sea as they are often contaminated by run-off from built-up areas.
Violent crime is uncommon in Bali, however bag-snatching from motorbikes and petty theft does occur. Take extra care with your phone if riding pillion on a motorbike as phones regularly get snatched from unsuspecting tourists using a navigation app. Otherwise, take the same precautions you would when travelling anywhere in the world and secure your money before leaving an ATM (and don’t forget your card!), don’t leave valuables on a beach while swimming, and use in-villa safes to store your valuables.
Tap water in Bali is not safe to drink. Bottled water is widely available and cheap, however Ministry of Villas encourages visitors to keep a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic consumption.
Travel insurance is absolutely essential for every traveller. A typical travel insurance policy will have coverage for a traveller’s main concerns, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and lost luggage. Most policies are built to be comprehensive to protect travellers from a variety of events that may cause financial loss before or during their trip. Some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’ which can include scuba diving, renting a local motorcycle and even trekking. Always make sure you check the terms and conditions (including what’s covered and what isn’t) of your policy.
Worldwide travel insurance is available at World Nomads and you can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.
Picturesque Canidadasa is one of our favourite areas in Bali and one that our team keeps returning to. Each time we visit, we’re on the lookout for new restaurants, the best beaches and most interesting sights to visit. Check out our latest Candidasa blog posts written by experienced Ministry of Villas travel writers.