Candi Dasa is situated on Amuk Bay in southeast Bali, just beyond the port of Padang Bai. The main east-west coastal road runs through the resort and mini buses (bemos) serve the area direct from Denpasar’s Batubulan terminal. Journey time from the capital is around two hours and drivers will drop you off at the most convenient point along the road if requested.
Throughout the day there are regular bemos to Denpasar, Klungkung and further east to the regional capital of Amlapura for connections to the beaches of Amed. Expect a frequency of around every 15 minutes which gradually grinds to a halt as nightfall approaches. After dark you will need to take taxis although some hotels do provide free transport in town.
Candi Dasa started out as a small seaside village around its lagoon but now encompasses the villages of Senkidu, Mendira, Buitan and Manggis which stretches for around three miles of beachfront. The main tourist infrastructure is in the east around the lagoon and Forest Road and it is easy to explore on foot. If staying in Mendira, Buitan or Manggis, transport will be required to ferry you to and from the restaurants and bars at night as this area is rather spread out.
A popular way to get around is by bicycle and there are dozens of outlets offering cycle hire for around rp150,000 per day. Roads are not too congested but be prepared for some steep hills and uneven road surfaces. Temple Cottages in central Candi Dasa (website: www.balibeachfront-cottages.com) is a safe bet with modern well maintained cycles available for rent by the hour.
There are many tourist shuttle bus services to and from all of Bali’s main tourist areas daily and this offers a more convenient service for long distance travel. Perama (website: www.peramatour.com) is the main operator in town and has direct services to Amed, Padang Bai, Lovina, Kuta, Sanur and Ubud.
There are several professional car and motorcycle rental places in town offering pretty much identical prices for vehicle hire with or without a driver for the day. Expect to pay around rp400,000 for a whole day’s rental. Candi Dasa Rent Car is a long established company with a good reputation. The ubiquitous transport touts are to be found throughout central Candi Dasa and these may be your only option at night as metered taxis are in short supply.
Candi Dasa is an excellent base for day trips out into the countryside and the beaches of Amed, Mount Agung or the spectacular rice terraces of Iseh are all easily reached in an hour or less. It is also well located for the port of Padang Bai, just 15 minutes away by car which is the access point for boats direct to Lombok and the Gili Islands.