Echo Beach in Canggu, Bali
Over the past few years, Canggu has become one of Bali’s best neighbourhoods to spend time in. From going to photogenic cafes like Penny Lane to shopping at the open-air market Love Anchor Bazaar, there’s plenty to do. But a vacation on this holiday island isn’t complete without heading to the beach.
If lounging by the sea, people-watching, and admiring the sunset are all you want, head to Echo Beach. Also known as Pantai Batu Mejan, it’s a black sand beach in Canggu that’s a lesser-known alternative to popular beaches like Seminyak, Kuta, or Jimbaran Beach.
One of Bali’s black sand beaches
Bali is known for its black sand beaches, formed by the gradual erosion of lava and other volcanic minerals. This is because the island is home to 3 active volcanoes: Batur, Agung, and Buyan-Bratan.
Echo Beach is one of the places on the island where you can see this phenomenon. As you stroll along the beach, your toes will be digging into sand that’s as dark as your daily cup of kopi.
Famous surfing spot, with lessons from S$30
Besides the black sand, the waves here are also super dramatic. Perhaps that’s how the beach got its reputation as one of the best surfing spots in Bali. There are even surf instructors hanging out by the beach who can teach you how to surf here for about Rp 350,000/session (~S$30.29), inclusive of board rental.
However, do note that the breaks here are more challenging, as the swell can go as high as 8ft, or 243cm. The shallow reefs on this beach result in stronger waves, with long rides breaking to the left and right – so it’s best for more experienced surfers.
If this is your first time learning to surf, we’d recommend heading to Old Man’s Beach, which is about a 7-minute drive away. Otherwise, there are plenty of other surf schools in Bali.
Eateries along the beach
If you’d prefer watching people surf instead of being in the water, there are plenty of eateries along the beach where you can sit and chill at.
Head to Othree Beach Bar for one of the best spots for people- and dog-watching.
We stopped by Othree Beach Bar, which served refreshing smoothies such as Pitaya Hit (Rp 35,000, ~S$3.03), made of dragon fruit, pineapple, banana, and coconut milk, and the wittily-named Bali Belly (Rp 40,000, ~S$3.46). The latter has banana, papaya, orange, and passion fruit, the perfect antidote for when you get hit by a serious case of food poisoning.
Image credit: @papichulo.beachfront via Instagram
Another spot along the same stretch is Papi Chulo, which serves mains such as burgers and pasta, as well as smaller bites like fried calamari.
Head to La Brisa beach club for sunset
But hold up, we’ve saved the best for last. One of our favourite spots at Echo Beach is La Brisa, a beach club with some of the most gorgeous sunset views we’ve seen. It has direct access to and from the beach, so simply head up the flight of steps to get there from Echo Beach.
Unlike most other beach clubs in Bali, La Brisa has super rustic vibes. The beach club has a shipwreck theme, and the structure of the entire place is made up of natural materials sourced from the area including bamboo, driftwood, and repurposed fishing nets.
Choose from various seating spots, in the shade of the palm trees at the swimming pool area or on the daybeds overlooking the ocean. Should you wish to seek shelter from the sun or rain, there are also private cabanas available.
If you’d prefer swimming in a pool instead of the ocean, there are 2 swimming pools, including one that’s shallow enough for the kids.
Entry to the beach club is free, but there’s a minimum spend which ranges from Rp 300,000 (~S$25.97) to Rp 1,600,000 (~S$138.50) depending on where you’re seated.
Spend a day at Echo Beach the next time you’re in Bali
The next time you’re in Bali and trying to get away from crowded spots, head to Echo Beach instead. Whether you’re there to surf, have brunch, or watch the sunset, we’re sure you can comfortably spend a full day there. The fact that it’s located in one of Bali’s coolest neighbourhoods is also a bonus.
More things to do when vacationing in Bali:
Photography by Hui Wen Chan & Doreen Fan.