The stretch of coastline from Manggis through Candidasa town itself and east to Bugbug, is normally just referred to as Candidasa.
This is a laid back area of Bali with a wide range of accommodation options. Heavy traffic runs through the town, so you'd need to head to the beach facing resorts/hotels if you want to escape the traffic. The black sand beaches are very narrow and often disappear altogether at high tide.
Tourist Information Office, Jl Raya Candidasa (close to the lotus lagoon), ☎ 62 363 41204. Irregular hours. edit
Candidasa is 60 to 80 minutes from Sanur along the recently opened east coast road, and is also easily reached from Ubud. A direct trip from the airport will take about 90 minutes. Candidasa is about 15 to 20 minutes further east from Padang Bai where public ferries from Lombok arrive.
Candidasa is well served by the national Perama bus company . Perama shuttle buses to Candidasa leave from Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, Padang Bai and Lovina. Reserve one day in advance. The Perama office in Candidasa is located on the main road next to the police station.
In the hills just four km inland from Candidasa at Tenganan, is the most famous Bali Aga (original Balinese) village. There is another (distinct) Bali Aga community in the village of Trunyan on the shores of Lake Batur near Kintamani, but visitors are advised that Tenganan is much easier to reach and far more welcoming of outsiders.
The Bali Aga people have retained an ancient pre-Majapahit Balinese culture, and this is apparent in the many obvious differences from the rest of Bali which you will find in Tenganan. The villagers maintain a strict adherence to ancestor worship, cosmology and other animist beliefs, as well as a rigid social organisation. Villagers must live inside the village and marry from within. Tenganan is closed to outsiders after dark. The dialect of Balinese spoken here is heard nowhere else, and differs substantially from even the other Bali Aga community in Trunyan. It is also extremely touristy, and you are expected to pay a fee to enter the village.
This is an isolated community in almost every way. The village is separated from the rest of the world by a solid stone wall that entirely encompasses the village. There are four gates in the wall, one for each point of the compass. All houses are exactly alike and aligned either side of natural stone pathways. Each house is accessed by a flight of steps and then a simple gate which opens into a courtyard, around which are arranged the bedrooms, the kitchen and a longhouse which serves as a store. Each house has its own empty shrine where it is believed ancestor spirits reside when they visit their descendants.
The focal point of the village is the 70 foot long Bali Agung pavilion, where the village elders meet to discuss matters of concern. This structure is clearly very old but nobody seems to know just how old. The major communal village temple is the Pura Puseh (the temple of origin), and this actually lies outside the village walls just to the north.
Tenganan produces some of the finest woven basket-ware, and a fabled double weave ikat fabric, called Geringsing. This fabric is extraordinarily complex and fine pieces fetch enormous prices in the international markets. Collectors of Geringsing have very deep pockets.
A local custom that has been become a popular tourist spectacle involves ritual blood sacrifice whereby combatants fight using wickedly thorned pandanus leaves. The aim of each participant is to draw blood from their opponent. This ritual combat is known as mekare kare and is scheduled whenever there is an important temple ceremony in Tenganan. An elaborate feast follows.
In Candidasa there is not much beach, especially at high tide. Concrete breakwaters run parallel to the shore for the length of the town.
There is a quiet and little visited black sand beach west of Candidasa proper called Pantai Labuan Amok. Although it has an unsightly Pertamina oil terminal at one end, this is a clean beach in a pretty bay, and the offshore waters offer good snorkeling with live coral in shallow waters. There are many other small coves and bays to explore in this area and all visitors are encouraged to do so.
Five kilometres north east of Candidasa is Pasir Putih (White Sand Beach), one of East Bali's well-kept secrets. It's a five hundred metre long, isolated, beautiful, white sand beach fringed with coconut palms. There are a few warungs (small shops) who rent sunbeds and umbrellas. Massage ladies make it into a tourist place.
Goa Lawah temple and bat cave is one of Bali's key nine directional temples and serves as a guardian against dark spirits from the ocean. The cave here is a well known bat roost. On the north side of the coast road about 10 km west of Candidasa, close to Padang Bai. Rp 6,000, daily 8AM-6PM.
The lotus lagoon in the middle of town can be a spectacular sight if you are lucky with timing. The main town temple is right opposite and its origins are thought to go back to the 11th century.
The beautiful water palace at Tirta Gangga owned by the Karangasem Royal Family, is about 20 minutes northeast of Candidasa proper just to the north of Karangasem town. There are stunning rice paddy terraces in this area as well.
Visit the nearby village of Tenganan where a strong community which retains ancient pre-Majapahit Balinese culture and known as the Bali Aga (literally, the original Balinese) resides. The village is signposted from the main coast road in Candidasa. All drivers will know the way here. Alternatively grab a lift from Candidasa on a motorbike or stroll the 4 km track. A small admission charge to the village will be charged. It's also possible to hike from this village to Tirta Gangga, but it's advisable to get GPS or a local guide for doing this as trail is not marked.
Candidasa is a good starting point for arranging a climb of Mount Agung. Your hotel will be able to help with arranging a guide. There are also numerous less arduous trekking options in the nearby hills.
Candidasa is situated at the center of all the famous dive sites of Bali. Within one hour of Candidasa you will find the famous shipwreck USAT Liberty (Tulamben), Amed, Seraya (especially for muck-diving) and the nearby Padang Bai area. Along the front coast of Candidasa are located the small islands of Biaha, Tepekong and Mimpang, with beautiful coral gardens and the chance of seeing pelagics. They offer superb but demanding diving which is only really suitable for more experienced divers. Currents here can sometimes be surprising. From Padang Bai harbour (20 minutes by car from Candidasa) you can reach the Islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan (30 minute boat trip). Here you will find amazing coral gardens and challenging drift dives. At Manta point Bali has Giant Mantas all year around, and in the season from August until October you could see the famous Mola Mola at Crystal Bay and at Mimpang/Tepekong
Bali Bubbles Dive Center, Jl Raya Candidasa, ☎ +62 363 42196 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The only Instructor Training Center in Candidasa (SSI, PADI and DAN). Offers full range of fun dives, dive courses and professional training including Divers Alert Network courses. Training in English, German, Dutch and Bahasa Indonesia. Dutch-owned and managed. Daily trips to Tulamben USS Liberty, Seraya Secrets, Amed, Gili Mimpang, Gili Tepekong, Padang Bai area and Nusa Penida North. Dive trips included as standard diveleader, tanks, weights, towel, (soft)drinks, lunch and free transport.edit
Divelite, Jl Raya, Candidasa, ☎ +62 363 41660 (email@example.com), . Dive operator serving Japanese visitors. Website and instruction is in Japanese.edit
Shangrila Scuba Divers, ☎ +62 813 37335081 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . PADI dive centre offering full range of courses and fun dives. Dive shops are located at Bali Palms resort & Bali Shangrila Beach Club. British owned and managed.edit
Sub Ocean Bali Divers, Jl Sengkidu (on the beach lane to hotel Rama Candi Dasa), ☎ +62 363 41411 (email@example.com), . PADI dive centre offering a fullrange of courses and fun dives. English and Dutch speaking instructors. Local dive trips cost EUR 60 that includes two dives without lunch (Dec 2012).edit
Yes Dive, Jl Raya, Candidasa,, ☎ +62 363 41982 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . PADI dive centre. Also offer nitrox dives. Appears to be out of business (Dec 2012).edit
Gedong Gandhi Ashram, Jl Raya Candidasa (next to the lagoon), ☎ +62 363 41108 (email@example.com), . Holds yoga classes in English every Tues, Thurs and Sat at 4:30pm. The Ashram is located between the lagoon and the ocean but the entrance is next to the ATM. Classes are by donation and it is also possible to stay there from IDR 250,000 per night incl all meals. edit
There are a host of waterside or ocean view cafes along the main coastal road in Candidasa.
A local speciality food is satay lilit, a minced fish satay. Look for streetside vendors.
Aquaria Bali, Jl Puri Bagus, ☎ +62 363 41127 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 8AM-10PM. A small beachside restaurant specialising in light, healthy food.edit
Kubu Bali, Jl Raya, Candidasa, ☎ +62 363 41532 (email@example.com), . 8AM-10PM. Large beachfront restaurant specialising in seafood. Located at the Kubu Bali Hotel. Guests can use the swimming pool.edit
Legong Restaurant, Jl Raya, Candidasa, ☎ +62 363 41052. 11AM-9PM. Good quality local food and a nightly Legong dance performance to accompany dinner.edit
Lotus Sea View, Candidasa, ☎ +62 363 41257 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 8AM-10PM. Part of a well known chain in Bali. Superb waterfront location just to the west of Candidasa proper. Local Balinese specialities and western staples at mid-range prices.edit
Raja's, ☎ +62 363 42034. 11AM-10PM. Right by the lagoon and is a very popular tourist restaurant for the nightly movies as much as the food.edit
Vincent's Restaurant, Jl Raya, Candidasa (close to the lagoon, next to Raja's), ☎ +62 363 41368, . 10.30AM-late. Pleasant restaurant and bar serving international and local cuisine. Good vegetarian options. Expect to hear lots of laid back jazz music.edit
La Rouge Bar-Restaurant, Jl Raya, Candidasa, ☎ +62 363 41991, . 10:30AM-late. Specializing in Indian, Balinese & international cuisine. A great choice of international cocktails and wines from France, Australia, South Africa and Bali.edit
Puri Oka Beach Bungalows, Jl Puri Bagus, ☎ +62 363 41092 (email@example.com), . Extremely good value hotel in a great location right on the beach close to the Puri Bagus Resort. Should note that the cheapest rooms are not air-conditioned and have no hot water. However, this is a really good value option for the budget traveller.From US$25. edit
Temple Cafe & Seaside Cottages, ☎ +62 363 41629, . Good location on waterfront, but no beach access. Clean AC and fan-cooled bungalows. No pool on premises.From Rp 150,000 without breakfast. edit
Sindhu Brata Inn, ☎ +62 0363 41825. Fantastic location right on the beach, just to the east of the lotus lagoon. Airconditioned and fan-cooled bungalows wih a simple restaurant attachedAbout Rp 200,000. edit
Rama Candidasa Resort & Spa (Rama Candidasa), Jl Raya Sengkidu,, ☎ +62 363 41974 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Rama Candidasa Resort & Spa is a lovely beach front resort. Located amidst the beaches of eastern Bali with lush tropical gardens and cooled by fresh sea breezes. The resort is a perfect haven for those who want to experience different moods of Bali. Ultimate peace and tranquility… a complete sanctuary for the restless ones.From USD 60. edit
Alam Asmara Dive Resort (formerly Pandawa), Jl Raya Candidasa, Karangasem, ☎ +62 361 8528521, . .Beachfront dive resort with swimming pool, spa and a good restaurant. All twelve bungalows have air-conditioning, semi open-air private bath and shower, bathtub, TV, hairdryer, mini-bar, in-room safety deposit box and individual terrace. Friendly and helpful staff.Deluxe bungalow US$115. edit
Amarta Beach Inn Bungalows, Jl Sengkidu, Candidasa, ☎ +62 361 3610840 (email@example.com), . Situated on Sengkidu Beach. The bungalows have a big garden with beach chairs and the beachside ones have full ocean views.From US$30. edit
Ashyana Candidasa, ☎ +62 363 41538, 41539,, . Simple and pleasant bungalows in an excellent waterfront location.from US$75. edit
Bali Santi Bungalows, ☎ +62 363 41611, . Individual waterfront bungalows. A charming established hotel with a decent oceanfront restaurant.From US$60. edit
Balina Beach Bungalows, Balina Beach, Mangis, ☎ +62 363 42164 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . This was a run down property but has a new lease of life with new management and a sparkling renovation. Individual bungalows and restaurant very close to the beach with a bar right on the beach. Lovely quiet spot and a good choice in this price bracket.From €46. edit
Dewa Bharata Candidasa Bungalows, Jalan Candidasa Karangasem Bali, ☎ +62-363-41090 (email@example.com, fax: +62-363-41091), . Dewa Bharata Candidasa Bungalows located in front of Candidasa Beach,equipped with swimming pool, sundeck and free wifi access.From US$40. edit
Lotus Bungalows, ☎ +62 363 41104, . Small resort aimed especially at divers with an in-house dive operation called Gangga Divers. On the main coast road in Candidasa.From US$65. edit
Nirwana Resort and Spa, ☎ +62 363 41136, . Charming small resort with 18 bungalows and an in-house spa.From US$80. edit
Nusa Indah, Jl. Pura Segara, ☎ +62 363 41062, . Small, friendly resort for a maximum of 12 guests. Run by a German couple with a Balinese manager (www.nusaindah.de).From €50. edit
Puri Bagus Candidasa (puri bagus candidasa), Jl. Raya Candidasa, ☎ +6236341131, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Three star beachfront resort in the eastern-most part of Candidasa beach, consisting of 47 elegant bungalows designed in traditional Balinese style with all the modern amenities. Woven among beautiful tropical gardens we offer both sea view and garden view villas. From US$95. (-8.513544,115.579247)edit
Alila Manggis (formerly The Serai), Buitan, Manggis, ☎ +62 363 41011 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +62 363 41015), . Five star resort property with 55 rooms on the waterfront at Manggis, but without a beach. Superb ambience and a great restaurant. With swimming pool, spa and cooking school.From US$155, discounts for early booking and for long-term stay. edit
Amankila, Manggis, ☎ +62 363 41333 (email@example.com, fax: +62 363 41555), . Resort in the village of Manggis, just west of Candidasa proper.From US$750. edit
Villa Gils, Mendira Beach, ☎ +62 812 3879961 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 3-bedroom private villa (all with ensuites), stunning 25m private lap pool. Snorkelling over coral gardens right off the beach only 50m from the Villa. Lovely staff.From US$255. edit
Jasri Beach Villas, Karangasem.  From US$200, on the beach with swimming pool, kitchen and clubhouse. Superb staff..