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Ah, Bali. A digital nomad paradise. Who hasn’t dreamed of sipping coconuts and working from the beach? Canggu is the place to make all your digital nomad dreams come true. From hip bars to brunch cafes and surfing lessons, there’s something for everyone.
Canggu (pronounced “Chan-goo”) is a small beach town with a hipster vibe, located on the western coast of Bali, Indonesia. Less well known than the nearby party town of Kuta, Canggu has been rising in popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why.
The cliffside ocean vistas, tropical climate and affordable villas attract digital nomads from around the world. Whether you’re looking for peaceful rice paddie views, thriving nightlife, or want to work poolside in a private villa, there’s something to suit every tropical dream “laptop lifestyle.”
Read on to hear more about what life is like in Canggu, cost of living, our favorite cafes and restaurants, as well as all the details you need to know in this full digital nomad guide.
Still exploring the idea of a digital nomad lifestyle? Grab an acai bowl and download the Laptop Lifestyle Blueprint, a 30 day step-by-step guide to setting up an online business so you can travel the world and work wherever you want (even sipping coconuts on the beach).
Canggu is one of the most popular destinations in Bali for digital nomads. Picture gorgeous sunsets over the ocean, fantastic food (including lots of gluten free and vegan options), and a thriving community of globetrotting entrepreneurs.
Work life balance is huge in Canggu. There are plenty of great coworking spaces to work from, but you can also break up the day with a trip to the beach, a Balinese massage, or yoga class. You can read more about my typical work day in this post.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect as a Canggu digital nomad:
Wondering how Canggu stacks up to other digital nomad destinations? Check out our other destination guides:
Note that these were MY typical monthly expenses however some of these expenses (like the gym and coffee) could be cut or reduced to save money. Life in Canggu is what you make it! With careful budgeting, you can live on a fraction of what you’d spend back home–or you can choose to live like a queen in a private oceanside villa.
Bali is home to a rich and colourful culture, gorgeous landscapes and some of the friendliest locals I’ve ever encountered. The dry season runs from April to October, which is also the busiest tourist season, and the weather hovers around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (26-32 Celsius) year round.
The currency in Bali is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). $1 USD currently equals about 14,000 IDR, which is great news for western visitors. Expect to make frequent ATM trips and pay cash for almost everything.
The local language is Bahasa Indonesian. English is widely spoken in Canggu due to the huge expat community, but it never hurts to learn a few words so you can be friendly with locals!
The majority of Bali’s population is Balinese Hindu, and you will see daily offerings left on doorsteps for the gods. There are many, many temples to visit (remember to dress respectfully). If you’re able to catch a local ceremony or Balinese dance, don’t pass up the opportunity!
Most Canggu digital nomads live in guest houses or villas. A guest house is basically a hotel room, normally with a shared outdoor kitchen and pool area. These run from $300-700 USD monthly. We typically paid between $400-600 USD.
Villas are the more expensive option. You can either rent a room in a villa with other people or get a private villa for yourself. Although this is the most expensive option, it’s a great opportunity to live in luxury for a fraction of the price you’d pay at home.
Almost every villa has a private pool and housekeeping and gardening are often included as well. Expect to pay between $500-1000 for a room or $1000-3000+ for an entire villa. There is a huge range in the options available, so you can really live as cheaply or lavishly as you want.
There are three main neighbourhoods in Canggu: Batu Balong, Berawa and Echo Beach. Batu Balong is a great spot for Canggu digital nomads, full of trendy shops, cafes and bars. Keep in mind that also means it gets quite loud. If you want to live in Batu Balong in the heart of the action, then try to find a place away from the main road. Echo Beach is located nearby, with a similar vibe and ocean views.
I would personally choose the Berawa area instead, which is nestled in the rice fields. It is still super near cafes and restaurants, but is typically a little quieter.
I recommend booking an AirBNB for your first couple of nights so you can tour apartments in person–don’t trust the pictures online! Going to see a place in person is always your best bet. That way you can also check the wifi speed, since that can sometimes be an issue in Canggu.
You can also check out expat Facebook groups for housing tips or to see if anyone has a room to fill.
Your guest house or villa will most likely not have laundry facilities therefore almost all Canggu digital nomads use laundromats. You can do it yourself or just drop it off and have it done for you, which is what we do (they’ll fold it for you and everything!). For two people, laundry costs us about $7 USD a week. Our favourite place is Canggu Laundry Club.
There are endless options for coworking spaces in Canggu, since the entire town was basically constructed for digital nomads. They are also hands down the nicest coworking places I’ve visited worldwide (check out some of my favorites here!)
All the coworking spaces in Canggu have onsite cafes with food and coffee. There are AC rooms available, but open air seating is the standard in Bali (which is something to keep in mind if you hate the heat). Coworking spaces cost around $180 USD/month, but there are cheaper packages available if you want to work less hours.
Here are the top places to check out:
This place has been around forever and is the one you’ve probably seen on Instagram. It has the best social scene and tons of networking events. Unfortunately with its popularity it’s become overcrowded and (in my opinion) overpriced. It’s still worth checking out if you want to experience one of the most happening digital nomad working spaces in the world.
Outpost is nice, but a bit small. It’s geared more towards “serious” entrepreneurs who have been in Bali for a while, whereas Dojo is often a first stop for new business owners. There’s nothing wrong with either, it’s just a different crowd. Find where you fit in best!
Tropical Nomad is a bit newer to the Canggu digital nomad scene (it opened in late 2018), and is without a doubt my favorite place to work. The building and grounds are beautiful, with tons of palm trees, an open yard and cabanas. The indoor space is great as well, with delicious drink and food options.
Like most countries, it’s best to purchase a local SIM card on arrival. We go to Happy Cell and buy 8GB of data, which normally lasts us a month and costs about $15 USD. You can easily go back and purchase more data if you need it. Happy Cell also sells cheap adapters if you need them!
If you want to get around easily in Canggu, renting a scooter is your best option (just remember to drive on the left side of the road!). Scooters aren’t as cheap as Thailand or Vietnam, but they’re pretty much essential. GoJek and Uber are available, but be warned that they’re not always reliable and Canggu is not walkable.
NOTE: Please do not ride a scooter if you don’t know how. Canggu is not a good place to learn, as the roads are very narrow and there’s tons of traffic. And if you do rent a scooter, WEAR YOUR HELMET! I see people every week crash their scooters and get seriously hurt.
Our scooter costs about $40 USD a month, and we each have our own so we can get around independently. Gas is available on the side of the road in liter bottles of clear or blue liquid. There are no gas pumps. Most scooters hold about two bottles, and each bottle should cost no more than 10,000-20,000 IDR (about $1-2 USD).
Food in Canggu is super affordable, not to mention delicious. There are SOOOO many places to eat out that we rarely cook. You also likely won’t have access to a kitchen unless you live in a villa. There are grocery stores if you choose to do your own cooking. We often go to Pepito, usually just for water and snacks.
We normally eat out three meals a day. Canggu has every kind of cuisine you can imagine, from Italian to Mexican to sushi and Thai–and it’s all amazing! Look out for special BOGO deals certain nights of the week, which can be a great way to save money.
Most meals will cost between 50,000-100,000 IDR ($3-7 USD), sometimes more at an upscale place. Our budget is usually 250,000 IDR ($18 USD) a day per person, but you can live off a much lower budget if you choose to eat at local warungs (food stalls). You could also spend more than that if you choose really nice places.
We also buy a lot of coffee because there are so many amazing cafes, and we often spend all day working in the same place. Coffee costs around 30,000-55,000 IDR ($2-4 USD). On average, we normally buy one coffee a day and spend $85 USD a month, but this expense could easily be reduced if you were looking to save money.
Canggu is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset over the ocean. There is something going on every night of the week, because (in addition to the local digital nomads) Canggu is a huge vacation spot for Australians and surfers from around the world.
Every Canggu digital nomad’s favourite place is the legendary Old Man’s. If you’re not a heavy partier, this probably isn’t the place for you, as it can get pretty crazy some nights.
We don’t drink much, but if you do you can expect to pay 50,000-150,000 IDR ($3-11 USD) for a cocktail. This is one area you can easily go over budget. If you’re a beer drinker, though, you’re in luck–a beer will cost less than 20,000 IDR ($1.50 USD).
Canggu seriously has the nicest gyms I’ve ever seen–you’ll be spoiled for options! You can join everything from yoga to dance classes to F45 and the whole nine yards. The downside is that Canggu gyms are also the most expensive I’ve ever joined.
My favourite is Odyssey Fitness, which only offers HIIT and yoga classes, and costs about $150 USD a month. My boyfriend likes Avenue Fitness, which is a more standard gym with free weights, machines, treadmills, etc. Some other popular options for Canggu digital nomads include: Body Factory, Samadi and Canggu Studio (yoga and boxing).
Getting your haircut and colored in Canggu is super easy. My favourite salon (and one of the most popular in Canggu) is Amo Spa. They also do massages, manicures and a range of spa options. Another popular choice is Jet Black Ginger. A typical haircut and colour (blonde) costs about $150 USD for me.
Watch the sunset over the Indian ocean and take in the volcanic black sand beach.
One of the major tourist attractions in the area (and all of Bali), this magnificent temple complex sits right on the edge of the Indian ocean. Visit early in the day if you want to avoid crowds!
Bali is bigger than most people initially expect, but you can still see a fair amount of the island if you plan to stay long term. If you rent a scooter, it’s easy to take a day or weekend trip to Ubud or Uluwatu. The waterfalls in the north of Bali are also spectacular.
For a longer trip away, visit the Gili islands, a tropical paradise between Bali and Lombok with amazing snorkelling and diving.
If you plan on staying in Bali for longer than 30 days, you MUST get a visa on arrival as soon as you land and before going through customs. It costs $35 USD and you must have the exact amount in cash (either USD or IDR).
This visa gives you the option of extending for another 30 days (to 60 days total), but it does not extend automatically. If you want to stay for more than 30 days, you must contact a visa agent as soon as you get into town and give them your passport so they can process the extension. You’ll have to drive to Denpasar (where the airport is located) and go to immigration to officially receive the extension.
Your max stay in Bali is 60 days unless you have another type of long term visa. When your 60 days are up, you will need to leave the country. Many people fly to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur for the day and then reenter with no problems. Be aware that the Indonesian government has been getting more strict about this, so you may want to plan a weekend trip or longer out of the country before returning.
Canggu is very safe, which is part of what makes it so attractive to digital nomads. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind:
The public health system in Bali is basic, and if you need serious medical attention it’s best to fly to Singapore or check into one of the international hospitals on the island. Always travel with medical insurance (I recommend Safety Wing) and make sure your vaccinations are up to date! The last thing you want is to interrupt your stay in paradise because you were bitten by a monkey and don’t have a rabies vaccine.
Like anywhere else, stay aware of your surroundings, especially at night and especially as a solo female traveler. Keep your phone and purse inside your scooter or underneath your seat while driving to avoid them being snatched. Watch for red flags on the beach, which means the current is too strong for swimming.
Also note that Indonesia is located within the ring of fire. While volcano eruptions usually don’t pose a serious threat, it’s best to monitor the alerts before/during your stay. If you’re in the all clear, then Mt. Batur makes a great sunrise hike!
This surfer town turned digital nomad hot spot is a great place to base yourself while growing your business or easing into the nomad lifestyle. The cafe culture and laidback lifestyle will draw you in and not let go and to be honest, you won’t find anywhere else in the world with this many amazing cafes to work from all in one place.
For more on life as a digital nomad in Southeast Asia, check out this post.
Ready to move to paradise? All that’s left is to book your ticket and sign up for Laptop Lifestyle Bootcamp–the program that will take you from daydreaming about escaping your 9-to-5, to sipping coconuts on the beach and building your online empire.
Have questions about life in Canggu or becoming a digital nomad? Join your fellow girl bosses in the Laptop Lifestyle Entrepreneur group to connect with other globetrotting entrepreneurs.
Not sure where to start? Take the free quiz to find out what’s keeping you stuck, and the exact action steps you need to take to move forward ASAP!
Something tells me you belong here and desire something more.
Three years ago, I chose to quit my corporate 9-to-5, sold all my belongings, and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand. I had no real plan—just a burning desire to see the world and a bone-deep certainty that there was more to life than my mind-numbing day job.
Since then I have started multiple business ventures including LLCo. which has scaled to over $1 million dollars in 2 years, and has helped hundreds of women from all over the world build profitable online businesses, defy expectations, and create a freedom lifestyle on their terms—no one else’s.
7-figure international business coach, online educator, and founder of Laptop Lifestyle Co.
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