Our trip to Canggu was just four days long, but we managed to visit rice terraces, the water slide park, the butterfly park, release baby turtles at sunset (!) as well as spend loads of time swimming and relaxing at our villa and trying out a few restaurants besides. It was probably our favourite family holiday to date, and felt like something of an achievement — Mark and I came out of this trip thinking we might be getting the hang of this ‘holidays with kids’ thing.
Mark and I came out of this trip thinking we might be getting the hang of this ‘holidays with kids’ thing
The factors we considered when choosing where to stay in Bali were: proximity to surfing beaches, proximity to eateries, kid safety, number of rooms (for us plus three kids) and quality of facilities. Apart from one misguided trip to Finn’s for dinner (it’s more of a nightclub than family friendly), we had an amazing trip. Here are few of the things we tried and loved in and around Canggu:
Staying in a Villa
You can expect:
There’s a variety of villas available through Airbnb and we chose to stay at Villa Namaste which is a self-contained villa completely surrounded by walls with a fully-equiped kitchen, in-ground pool, small manicured garden and outdoor living area.
This villa has three bedrooms each with their own ensuite and air-conditioning. At home we were used to one bathroom between five, and do not have a pool, so it felt very luxurious to have all of this to ourselves. The kids spent so much time in the pool that their swimming improved in a really short time. Cleaners came periodically and you can organise a variety of services through the host, such as organising a driver for day outings or a chef to cook for you at the villa.
Hire a safety fence. The open in-ground pools in the villas are so pretty but they don’t usually have fences so are not safe for small children. You can hire a fence to be put up around your pool through Bali Baby Hire. You may also need to hire child and baby capsules.
Mark drove as he has spent quite a bit of time in Indonesia, but if you haven’t been before, or are not used to driving in challenging conditions I would definitely recommend hiring a car and driver. Airbnb hosts in Bali are used to this request and you can organise a driver though them.
More info at: Airbnb.
The outdoor open kitchen and living area in the villa
We hired the safety fence from Bali Baby Hire and told the little kids that they always had to wait for an adult to be out there before going into the pool area
You can expect:
Sprout cafe in Canggu is about a 10 minute walk from Villa Namaste. It has delicious and healthy options for grown-ups and kids, great coffee and chai, and gluten-free options for Max (who has coeliac disease). Rose tried spaghetti and a side of fruit, Max tried the buckwheat pancakes, and I tried the nourishment bowl on one day and the chorizo and black beans with eggs on another. We found everything to be satisfyingly tasty.
Order sides of fruit for kids as they are inexpensive and delicious. I enjoyed ordering my chai to takeaway so I could drink it back at the villa while the kids played in the pool. So relaxing.
More info at: Sprout Bali. Other places to eat breakfast in Canggu include Milk and Madu and Canggu Cave.
The entrance to Sprout Cafe, Canggu
Sprout cafe in Canggu has delicious and healthy options for grown-ups and kids, great coffee and chai, and gluten-free options
Back at the villa with a chai from Sprout
Hotcakes at Milk and Madu
Bali Butterfly Park
You can expect:
To get to hold bugs, beetles and butterflies! We went in the middle of August and it was mostly deserted so we had all the beautiful butterflies mostly to ourselves. There’s an informative talk about the life cycle of butterflies in a centre where you can see the babies hanging in the cocoons, and you will be able to have newly hatched butterflies land on you. Pretty magical and definitely worth the trip out there as it’s a drive out from Canggu. Basically I felt like a kid again.
You’ll probably spend a maximum of couple of hours here, so you may want to add in other destinations while you’re out and about (we visited on the way to the rice terraces that are coming up in Part II). There’s an admission fee but the centre is also a place of local research and development so I felt it was definitely worth it.
More info at: Dewa Bali Tours, Kemenuh Butterfly Park or Bali Travel Hub.
Coming up in Part II: visiting the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Splash Water Park Bali, releasing baby turtles at sunset at the Intercontinental Bali Resort, and family dining at La Laguna.
If you have any questions about staying in Canggu with kids, or if you’ve stayed in Canggu and have anything you’d love to add, please tell me in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photographs: Bron Bates and Mark