On the southeastern shores of Bali, Candidasa offers tourists a quiet escape with plenty of plush amenities. Five-star hotels in Candidasa are among some of the highest-ranked on the island, and they’re backed by an outstanding bloc of ocean-view restaurants and up-market boutiques.
Before tourism set in, Candidasa was a quiet fishing village that went by the name of Teluk Kehen. Fresh, local seafood was the leading attraction in those days, and it came without the trappings of the modern resort. Exceptional Balinese cuisine is still widely available, but it’s served in swanky cafés with plenty of 21st-century ambiance.
Away from the beach, the main sightseeing attraction in Candidasa is a cave. It’s filled with bats and doubles as a thousand-year-old Hindu temple. It’s still an active place of worship, but tourists are welcome to have a look as long as they demonstrate proper respect. A local legend says the cave connects to another grotto some 30kms away. The same legend also says a naga (giant snake) guards the path, which holds back would-be explorers.
The main street running through Candidasa (Jalan Raya Candidasa) follows the waterfront and plays host to most of the accommodation in Candidasa. Most hotels here are in the four-star range and include ample on-site facilities. Many of the handicrafts sold in local boutiques were made here in Candidasa or in neighboring villages.
The after-hours scene is subdued and limited to quiet beach bars. There are no noisy dance clubs in Candidasa, but visitors can take in Balinese traditional dance at Pandan Harum stage. Performances are only held on certain nights, so it’s best to check with the hotel information desk before making any plans.