Insiders Guide to Candidasa: Relax & Enjoy Beautiful Seascapes

Insiders Guide to Candidasa: Things to do, see & eat in Candidasa. The coolest activities and most interesting cultural sites and ceremonies in town?

What is Candidasa known for?

Candidasa is best known for it's breathtaking scenery and epic diving opportunities.
Candidasa is best known for its breathtaking scenery and epic diving opportunities.

Located on the east coast of Bali is Candidasa, a small seaside fishing town with a secluded, laid-back atmosphere. The town is easily accessible from Sanur and Ubud and is the perfect place to unwind and relax during your trip to Bali.

The chilled-out atmosphere and beautiful seascapes of Candidasa make this spot a favourite among honeymooners and romantic couples. There are also several incredible dive sites in the area, most notably around the islands of Gili Mimpang and Tepekong. If you’re hoping to learn more about Bali’s culture, the traditional villages and temples in this region are sure to spark your interest!

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Who should go to Candidasa?

Candidasa is popular among romantic couples, who visit the town for its beauty, romance and serenity. Divers and snorkelers choose Candidasa for the thriving marine ecosystem and optimal dive conditions around its coast.

When should you go to Candidasa?

For the best weather

Candidasa’s climate is a little cooler than the south of Bali and temperatures average between 25 – 27 C (78 – 81 F). November, December, January and February are the warmest months; however, this is also when the region sees its highest levels of rainfall. For your best shot at sunshine, visit during the dry season months of June, July, August and September.

The dry season months of June, July, August, and September are the best time to visit Candidasa.
The dry season months of June, July, August and September are the best time to visit Candidasa.
To beat the crowds

This chilled-out region of Bali rarely sees the kind of traffic that characterizes the south of the island during high season, but tourism in this area does pick up slightly in July and August. If perfect serenity is what you’re looking for, head to Candidasa in June or September. If you really want the place to yourself, the wet season months from November to March are the best time to visit!

For the coolest events

Makare-Kare Festival

Where? Tenganan Village

When? June

The Makare-Kare Festival of Tenganan Village is truly unique to the region and is a must-see if you happen to be in Candidasa in June. This extraordinary festival (also known as Perang Pandan) features a series of theatrical fights among the men of the village, performed to honour the God of War. Armed with straw shields and Pandan leaves, the men of the village gather to fight two at a time on a central stage in this vigorous traditional ceremony. The purpose of the match is to draw blood from your opponent and the Padang leaves are surprisingly sharp!

Makare-Kare is a one-of-a-kind experience and the best place to witness the traditional customs of Tenganan Village.

Things to see and do in Candidasa

Check out the local marine life with a diving trip

Candidasa is one of the best places in Bali for diving and has sites to suit all ability levels. The coral reefs off Bali’s east coast are healthy and vibrant and play host to an abundance of incredible marine species. A trip to Gili Mimpang, Tepekong, or Biaha is sure to be a highlight of your trip, whether you’re an experienced diver or a complete beginner.

Diving and snorkeling around Candidasa allow you to explore flourishing marine habitats off the coast of Bali. Trips to the coral reefs and wrecks in this area can include sightings of mantas,  mora mora, sunfish, reef sharks, sea turtles and hundreds of tropical fish.

Diving expeditions from Candidasa also include excursions to world-famous dive sites such as the USAT liberty wreck; an unmissable experience for scuba enthusiasts!

Diving expeditions from Candidasa allow visitors to swim among incredible marine species.
Diving expeditions from Candidasa allow visitors to swim among incredible marine species.
Go for a stroll around the Lotus Lagoon

The Lotus Lagoon is one of Candidasa’s best-known attractions and is a beautiful place to take a stroll and a few pictures. This huge lotus pond is scenic, serene and breathtakingly colorful when the fuschia flowers are in bloom. For the prettiest views, arrive early in the morning when the lotus blossoms will be open and the air is pleasantly cool.

The Lotus Lagoon in Candidasa is a beautiful place for a morning stroll.
The Lotus Lagoon in Candidasa is a beautiful place for a morning stroll.
Visit Taman Ujung water palace

Taman Ujung is a 30-minute drive up the coast from Candidasa and is a spectacular location for a day trip from the town. This spectacular water palace was built in 1909 by the King of Karangasem and features three magnificent ponds. The picturesque pathways and gardens are perfectly tranquil; ideal for walking, relaxing and meditating.

Take your time to wander through the grounds and take in the beautiful architecture and scenery at this stunning historic and holy site.

The Taman Ujung water palace near Candidasa is the perfect place for a day trip.
The Taman Ujung water palace near Candidasa is the perfect place for a day trip.
Take a trip to Tenganan Bali Aga Village

Tenganan Village lies just a few miles inland from Candidasa and is home to the Bali Aga, a group of indigenous Balinese people. The Bali Aga are socially separate from the rest of Bali’s population and, as such, have strongly preserved customs and beliefs that you won’t witness elsewhere.

Tenganan Village is a fascinating place to explore and learn more about the ancient traditions of the Balinese people. Their unique crafts, architecture and ceremonies are unlike those found anywhere else on earth. The best time to visit in June, when the village hosts the Makare-Kare festival. This traditional ceremony of theatrical fighting is held in honour of the God of War and is incredible to see!

Tenganan Village is the best place to learn more about traditional Balinese culture.
Tenganan Village is the best place to learn more about traditional Balinese culture.
Go see the bats at the Goa Lawah Temple

The Goa Lawah ‘Bat Cave’ temple is a must-visit in Candidasa and is reachable from the town by taxi or motorbike. This ancient temple is one of the most significant in Bali and is said to protect the island from the evil spirits of the ocean. Founded in the 11th century, Goa Lawah features a complex of temple buildings surrounding the entrance to a cave. Inside the cave live thousands of fruit bats, which can be seen hanging from the rocky ceiling during the day.

Goa Lawah is an unmissable chance to visit one of the most important (and most unique) temples in Bali. The best time of day to visit Goa Lawah is in the morning when the locals congregate for morning prayer.

The Goa Lawah 'Bat Cave' Temple is a must-visit near Candidasa.
The Goa Lawah ‘Bat Cave’ Temple is a must-visit near Candidasa.

Off the beaten path…

Pay a visit to Charly’s Chocolate Factory

Dive straight into your favourite childhood storybook with a visit to Charly’s Chocolate Factory, just a 15-minute drive from Candidasa. The unique bamboo structures of the factory have a fairytale feel and the site is perched right on the beachside. Wander around the beautifully designed buildings, take in the magnificent seascape out front, or talk to Charly to find out more about the chocolate-making process.

Charly’s chocolate products are made from raw, organic cocoa and are both delicious and indulgent. This is a great place to treat yourself to something tasty and a healthy dose of nature during your trip to Candidasa!

 

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Where to eat in Candidasa

Lezat Beach Restaurant

Situated in a prime, beachfront location, Lezat Beach Restaurant is the ideal setting for dinner in Candidasa. Their menu features a range of delicious Western and Indonesia dishes, all prepared using the finest of ingredients. Their freshly caught, locally sourced seafood is especially good and all can be enjoyed in the most stunning scenery.

Vincent’s

With outstanding food, an incredible atmosphere and stunning surroundings, Vincent’s is definitely worth a visit. Their international menu has so many delicious options you won’t know what to order, but the variety means there’s something to suit everyone.

Drop in on a Thursday night for live jazz as you dine and order a drink (or two) from their cocktail menu!

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Warung Lu Putu & Coffee Bar

For tasty and traditional Indonesian cuisine, head to Warung Lu Putu in Candidasa. This cozy restaurant has a relaxed, intimate atmosphere and their homemade gelato is to die for! Lu Putu also offers Balinese cooking classes, so you can bring some delicious Balinese dishes home with you.

Where should you stay in Candidasa?

For convenience

The town of Candidasa is small, compact and easy to get around. For the easiest access to shops, bars and restaurants in the area, stay on or near Jalan Raya Candidasa.

Rent a private villa for peace and quiet

Candidasa is a quiet, chilled-out spot and you don’t have to go far to find perfect serenity. Booke a stay at the Asada Villa that is just 10 minutes outside of the town’s center will guarantee you perfect peace and quiet during your stay!

holiday villas in Candidasa
Villa Asada

More places to stay in Candidasa: