Last updated on February 17th, 2020
Candidasa is a town located in east Bali on the coast. It is a place where fewer tourists go to. It takes about 2 hours from Bali Airport to get here depending on traffic.
This place is a great place to get away from the busy and party areas near and around Seminyak. In Candidasa and nearby you can do a lot. It’s a great vacation spot for solo travelers, couples, families, adventure-seekers and those seeking peace and quiet in Bali. If you are looking for a place to stay in Candidasa, I’ve got you covered for every budget.
It’s pronounced as TjandiDasa (not candy)
The activities in this article are divided into what is actually inside Candidasa and nearby. Some of the activities require a drive to the destination (by car or scooter). If it is outside I will also note the estimated travel time.
Things to see and do in Candidasa
Candidasa is relatively small when you compare it to other places in Bali. But there is plenty of things to do here. Before listing any of the things to do in Candidasa I checked them for red flags. If there are any reasons not to visit I won’t put them here. So here are my recommendations.
Tip: To go around either use a scooter or car (with private driver). Do a day tour with a private driver to bring you to multiple locations. This way you can see more of Bali. Use sunscreen on sunny days.
This (former) royal palace was built in 1946. By 1963 with the eruption of Mount Agung this was destroyed. It is named after the Ganges and can now be enjoyed by visitors.
Most tourists come here to take pictures of the gardens, fountains and sculptures. Outside of the royal palace, you can see the rice paddies surrounding this place. All in all a great place for sightseeing.
This place is very popular to visit. During high seasons it can be very busy. You can buy fish food for the fishes in the ponds. The entrance fee is 40k IDR per person.
Besakih Temple (far from Candidasa)
It’s a bit far from Candidasa but I am including it. You can take this tour and visit multiple temples.
Besakih Temple is thé holy Hindu temple in Bali. It is located near the southern slope of Mount Agung. The biggest temple is surrounded by multiple smaller ones. It is a sight to see and be amazed by.
The entrance fee is 60k, which you will pay 1km away from the temple. Because it’s a holy place, you will need to wear a sarong to cover your knees. If you already have proper attire you won’t need a sarong. The sarong is already included in the entrance fee.
You can choose to have a guide during your visit.
- Entrance fee: 60k IDR (excluding parking cost)
- Location: Jl. Gunung Mas No.Ds, Besakih, Rendang, Kabupaten Karangasem
Penataran Lempuyang (known for Gates to Heaven)
This place became popular because of social media. It spread fast and everyone wanted to see this amazing place to take a picture. If you come late here (late morning/early afternoon) you can expect a line of 1-4 hours!
Because of the huge lines, there will be the only time for 4 poses at the gate. They work with a queue number system over there. The reflection is done with a mirror below the lens of the camera (phone/camera)
This is not the only thing there. there are also other gates to take a picture off. I can imagine in high season that you would spend the whole day in the line. Bring some water. Staying in Candidasa makes it easy and faster to visit here.
- Website: lempuyangtemple.com
- Entrance fee: 10k IDR (some fee for the photographer is not included)
- Location: Bunutan, Abang, Seraya Bar., Kec. Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem
Tukad Cepung Waterfall
A beautiful waterfall that attracts many tourists (especially during high season). The water is very shallow and you can’t swim here. Be early in the morning (7-8 am) here to avoid a long line and you can still enjoy the environment as well.
Because of the shallow water, bring slippers or water shoes. There is a changing room available. It is about a 15-20 minutes hike going down the stairs to reach this place. Going back up can be hard.
- Entrance fee: 15k IDR
- Location: Jl. Tembuku, Dusun Penida Kelod, Tembuku, Kabupaten Bangli
Taman Sukusada Ujung / Balai Gili
This water palace started building in 1909 and was finished by 1926 for the royal family of Karangasem. A Dutch and Chinese architect implemented the undagi (Balinese architectural style) to make this beautiful sight.
Unfortunately during the Mount Agung eruption, and an Earthquake if 1975 this place was destroyed. It’s restored and renovated as much as possible. This place is rich in history and still a beautiful place to visit.
Taman Sukusada Ujung / Balai Gili is a great place for taking pictures. Enjoy the scenery. If you are looking for a romantic or pre-wedding spot for taking pictures than this is very much a suitable place.
- Entrance fee: 40k IDR
- Location: Ujung Water Palace, Br. Dinas, Tumbu, Kec. Karangasem
Pura Goa Lawah
Goa Lawah means bat cave. Here you can visit the temple, see a gold statue of a giant bat and thousands of bats screeching. During the day the bats are inactive and you are not allowed to enter the cave.
But from the outside, you can still see a lot of bats sleeping. Since it’s a holy place you would need to wear appropriate wear or cover the knees. You can rent a sarong from the place.
The following movie shows a short impression of what to expect. What is not in the movie is that there is a black sand beach nearby. Do check it out if you plan to go to this temple.
- Entrance fee: 25k IDR (+ 5k IDR for renting sarong)
- Location: Jl. Raya Goa Lawah, Pesinggahan, Kec. Dawan
Blue Lagoon beach at Padang Bai
It is not very far from Candidasa and definitely worth it if you are with the scooter. You can go snorkeling here which costs around 250k IDR per person. You go with a boat to 3 places and there you will see a lot of marine life and if you are lucky a turtle.
A cheaper alternative without the view would be Warung Blue Lagoon which is directly on the beach. Instead from looking at the very top you will look at the beach which is also very nice!
- Parking fee: 10k IDR for cars, 2k IDR for scooters
- Location: Blue Lagoon Beach
Virgin Beach Candidasa
This beach located in Candidasa and is described as one of the better beaches of East Bali. Great for swimming and snorkeling or just hanging out. Renting chairs would be 100k IDR (8$ rounded up), and snacks would also be costly.
There is an opportunity that sellers of small handicrafts might come to present their products. So take a piece of memory with you if you’d like.
- Entrance Fee: 20k IDR
- Location: Virgin Beach Candidasa
Different from the virgin beach, this place is bigger and longer. There are local warung selling some authentic foods you should try. The food is a lot cheaper around 20k for a dish. Great for your street food adventure!
This beach is not for swimming, if you want to do this you would need to rent a boat and go out to sea for snorkeling.
Location: Pantai Candidasa
House Tree Hill Lemped
Climbing tree houses for fun and every one. Walk the bridge and climb several (high) tree houses. Just keep in mind how many you are up there.
The surroundings are also great for photography. The highest treehouse is 40 meters high! An adventure to climb and overcome your fear of height.
This place is not far from Candidasa and suitable for children, families and those who are in it for the adventure. It’s a great alternative to Bali Treetop Adventure.
For those who can get up early, this place has a breathtaking 20 minutes. This is when early in the morning all the lotus flower bloom. So only recommended if you stay in Candidasa and can come early.
Other than this there is not much to do except to enjoy a view and take a picture. When it becomes too warm/hot the flowers will close again.
- Entrance fee: Free
- Location: Candidasa Lotus Lagoon
Sunset at Jemeluk viewpoint (Amed 1hr from Candidasa)
Looking for one of the better sunsets in Bali? Jemeluk viewpoint offers an amazing view. There are some restaurants being built here because of the view so they can offer food, drinks, and view. During the day it’s still a sight to experience, but it’s recommended for a sunset.
Location: Jemeluk Viewpoint
Agrowisata Abian Salak
I love Salak (Snakefruit)! I wrote about why you should eat salak, and added it to the list of Must try Indonesian Fruits. At this salak garden, you can get a tour, try some Salak for free and go to their restaurant and try some more.
These Salak Experts can tell you all about Salak! So get your fruit on and try this place!
Location: Agrowisata Abian Salak
If you love hiking but also the spiritual scenery then this place is a must-visit. It’s about a 30 minute to 1-hour hike to the top. During the hike, you will see plenty of curious monkeys.
Enjoy the view and remember to wear appropriate wear. Tip: Still an undiscovered place in Candidasa Bali. Not a lot of tourists.
Location: Pura Gumang
You can do a village tour and see how they produce cloths, handicrafts and a typical Balinese house. Great for enrichening yourself with Balinese culture. The village will benefit greatly from your arrival.
The village tour lasts about 2-3 hours but is less than 1km. You will be guided and told stories and anecdotes about the village. Food and water are included in this tour.
The main attraction here is the water dam. It is used as a photo-op/instagrammable place. You can also do this without the tour. This is a bit far from Candidasa but well worth a visit if you are nearby.
- Website: paksebalivillage.com
- Entrance Fee: Fee for the village tour is 200k
- Location: Paksebali Village
Hike for about 2 hours and discover so much more of Candidasa. Choose between Rice Paddy Trekking or Mountain Trekking. Your guide, Somat, is from Candidasa and will tell you all about the daily life, customs of the locals.
Next to getting to know Bali, you will also see many breathtaking views. Bring your camera, sunscreen, small money, some water and some walking shoes.
Diving in Candidasa
Candidasa has some amazing diving sites. There are many opportunities but it is not meant for beginners. If you are a beginner you can go to Amed which is 1 hour from Candidasa, where you can do a discovery scuba at the Liberty shipwreck.
Candidasa itself offers the following diving sites: Mimpang, Gili Biaha and Gili Tepekong. Maybe I am missing some, but it’s great for the bigger marine life of Bali.
Recommended read: Where and when to Dive in Bali
Puri Agung Karangasem
For those interested in History and architecture this place will interest you. It’s not a long tour but worth a visit if you stay in Candidasa. There are some photo opportunities and different architectural styles, from the West and East.
- Entrance Fee: 10k IDR
- Location: Puri Agung Karangasem
Drone video in Candidasa
There are more things to do in Candidasa
I had initially 30 things to do in Candidasa Bali, but removed 12 because eventually. Some of the activities had some red flags. If you think I should list any, then add it in the comments. I might add it to the list.
If you are with the scooter, go around and get a bit lost in this place. It’s amazing. Do have your phone and a map with you just in case you want to go back to your hotel/resort.