Candi Dasa is a popular tourist focal point in East Bali. A relaxing — some would say sleepy — beach resort with a wide range of accommodation options. Many visitors, especially Europeans, combine a stay in the hotspots of south Bali with a more relaxed break here. The black sand beaches are very narrow and often disappear altogether at high tide. Candi Dasa is a strategic place from where to explore the east of the island, which boasts exotic cultural highlights and a range of historical sites and exciting tours to enjoy.
Candidasa is located in East Bali in the Samuh neigborhood of the Bugbug Village, 12 kilometres southwest of Amlapura, the main town and capital of the Karangasem regency. It was formerly known as Teluk Kehen (Kehen Bay), but since the tourism industry was introduced the name was changed to Candidasa.
Candi Dasa offers excellent diving and snorkelling, interesting historical villages, some great trekking opportunities — and beautiful beaches within easy reach.
Only one thing is for sure, Candidasa is a tranquil coast offering varying accommodation, from basic to five-star resorts and few good restaurants in between.
Until the 1970s, Candidasa was just a quiet little fishing village, then beachside losmen (small Balinese hotels) and restaurants sprang up and suddenly it was the new beach sensation in Bali. As the facilities developed, the beach eroded – unthinkingly, offshore barrier-reef corals were harvested to produce lime for cement in the orgy of construction that took place – and by the late 1980s Candidasa was a beach resort with no beach.
Mining stopped in 1991, and concrete sea walls and breakwaters have limited the erosion and now provide some tiny pockets of sand. The relaxed seaside ambience and sweeping views from the hotels built right on the water appeal to a more mature crowd of visitors. Candidasa is a good base from which to explore the interior of east Bali on a walk; it’s also a place to spend some quiet time.
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.
5 km north east of Candidasa is Pasir Putih (White Sand Beach), one of East Bali’s well-kept secrets. It’s a 500 m 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.
Candi Dasa is a strategic place from where to explore the east of the island, which boasts exotic cultural highlights and a range of historical sites and exciting tours to enjoy.
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