THINGS TO DO
Candidasa is a charming resort town with a laid-back atmosphere of old Bali which is becoming harder and harder to find due to the extensive development taking place on Southern beaches of the island. Apart from the surrounding traditional villages, natural and historical sights you will find plenty in the area, the town itself has some pleasant traditional warungs (eateries), a few nice restaurants and some local crafts shops, which will provide enough entertainment for a nice evening out of your villa.
Pantai Pasir Putih (that is literally means White Sand Beach) is famous and popular among expats and locals. It is untouched by tourists and has traditional warungs (village shops) offering simple local food, grilled fish, ice cold beer, fresh coconuts and ice-creams. Here you will experience local traders who offer local wares for sale.
There is another beach, which is even more secluded. It is simply called Secret Temple Beach. You may access the beach from the Hindu temple. Beyond the carpark there are many steps down to the beach. It is located around the seacliff from Padang Bai sea port. Cold drinks and Indonesian food are available in this very secluded beach.
On a calm day you may rent snorkeling equipment and discover the underwater life. Bali is surrounded by the ocean waters, always use caution when swimming in any areas that are not patrolled, and never swim alone.
Visiting Traditional Villages and Temples. Ceremonies.
Those that come to Bali for the first time are shocked by the number of temples of all shapes and sizes that can be found in each village. Hindu religion is an important part of Balinese culture, and every Balinese Hindu will spend a big part of his/her life participating in frequent religious ceremonies along with the rest of the village community. Visitors are more than welcome to walk around the villages and even enter temples (excluding sacred inner temples usually locked) provided they wear sarongs – ceremonial cloth. It is easy to buy a sarong anywhere in town or just rent one at the entrance of any temple.
You can easily witness or even participate in any the ceremonies they hold in every village almost every few days. Among major ceremonies, there are Full Moon ceremonies, Nyepi, Balinese New Year celebrated in March, and the ceremony of cremation that is held from time to time in every village. Unlike in many European cultures where death is about mourning, in Bali death is a celebration of re-birth where a soul gets a chance to come back in a better incarnation.
There are two important temples not far from Candidasa. First is Goa Lawah, Temple of the Bats, a truly mysterious place. Balinese believe that Goa Lawah has an underground tunnel connecting it with Besakih, the Mother temple. Both temples are located on the slopes of Agung, Bali’s biggest active volcano, they believe a giant dragon is living there. He protects Bali from the power of volcano, and the people from all over the island regularly come here to pray and bring offerings.
The Mother Temple of Besakih is one of Bali’s most significant Hindu temples. The temple is actually a complex made of twenty-two temples that sit on parallel ridges. A series of eruptions of Agung Volcano in 1963, which killed approximately 1,700 people, also threatened Pura Besakih, yet the lava missed the temple complex by mere meters. The saving of the temple is regarded by the Balinese people as miraculous, and a signal from the gods that they wished to demonstrate their power but not to destroy the monument the Balinese faithful had erected.
Bali Aga Villages
Not far from Candidasa there are villages of Bali’s original inhabitants called Bali Aga (Originally Balinese). Their way of life has hardly changed since they were established centuries ago. Bali Aga still today weave baskets from the natural ratang and bamboo. Examples of some of the most intricate ikat fabrics can also be found there.
Water palaces of Balinese rajas
is a palace built in 1946 by the late King of Karangsem. This one hectare complex is a maze of pools and fountains surrounded by a lush garden full of stone carvings and statues.
Ujung Water Palace
was built in 1919 as a private retreat of I Gusti Bagus Jelantik, Karengasem’s last Raja. This water Palace was built to welcome and to serve important guests and Kings from neighboring countries, as well for the pleasure of the Raja and his royal family. The complex consists of three large ponds at the base of a steep hill that is surmounted by the ruins of a small gazebo. In the middle of the largest pond is the royal residence, connected to the shore by two bridges. The second largest pool holds a pavilion for musical performances. From the top of the hill you can get a great view of the ocean and the beach lined with fishing boats.
Candidasa is among the main scuba diving destinations in Bali, as it’s located between the famous Tulamben, Amed and Padang Bai dive spots. Tulamben and Amed are famous because of their coral gardens and the two ship wrecks from the WW II. People say that fishing in Amed is also one of the best in Bali. From the port of Padang Bai you will get easy access to the two islands neighboring Bali, Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan that are also great dive spots. Two of the most famous spots are Crystal Bay with its beautiful coral gardens and a nice virgin beach, and Manta point – the place where divers can watch giant manta rays at their “cleaning station”.
Guests that come within period between August and October can be lucky enough to spot the massive Sun Fish or Mola-Mola – the heaviest known bony fish in the world, it has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg and fin-to-fin length of 2.5 metres.
We will be happy to help you arrange a diving trip, or even a dive course, with a trusted dive operator.
Parks and Outdoor Activities
Bali is the home to many beautiful tropical parks that will make for a great day trip. Bird Park, a perfect place to go bird-watching, Elephant Park where you can take a ride through the jungle aback of a large elephant like a real Raja or Safari Park where tigers, lions, hippos, zebras and other animals are living in conditions very close to their natural habitat.
Bali Safari and Marine Park is home to the Bali Theatre, the largest theatre in South East Asia, holding the weekly Bali Agung Show – a musical inspired by the Balinese fables, which is staged using state-of –the-art technologies and involving nearly 170 actors.
Bali’s mountain rivers, surrounded by the abundant flora and fauna of the jungle are a great place for rafting. There are a few companies that offer different levels, from beginner – safe even for children 7 years and older – to advanced for extreme sports fans. Regardless of the level, you can be sure the international safety standards will be followed.
Another option for outdoor lovers are the quadricycles and buggy-cars rides along the rice terraces and through the jungle.