Indonesia

The Best Waterfalls in Bali

October 13, 2017
Where to Find the Best Waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia | Tibumana Waterfall

I don’t know what it is about waterfalls, but I feel an almost gravitational pull to find them. Bursting out into a few lines of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is a bit dramatic, but not that much of a stretch. I’d climb a tall mountain and cross a wide river (and I have) for the promise of a waterfall at the end of the trail, especially for the best waterfalls in Bali.

Bali’s lush jungle that covers almost every ridge and ravine makes for some extra magic when you find yourself swimming at the foot of a waterfall. We decided to spend two days chasing the best waterfalls in Bali while we were based in Ubud.  After endless Google searches, we narrowed down our Bali waterfall route. I wasn’t looking for the biggest waterfalls, but ones with the best swimming spots, nestled away in the less-visited and prettiest parts of Bali. Keep reading for our picks for the best waterfalls in Bali.  

Day 1 – Waterfalls in Northern Bali 

We headed out of Ubud before 5 am to make it to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan for sunrise, one of the five famous water temples of Bali. It was still pitch black and the stars were shining brightly as we drove through the winding ravines. We passed by the morning markets at their peak, when all of the local shop owners and restaurants were out buying produce for the day. After a quiet morning on Lake Bratan, we were ready to find the best waterfalls in Bali. 

Where to Find the Best Waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia | Banyumala Twin Waterfall

1 BANYUMALA TWIN WATERFALL – BEST SWIMMING SPOT

This set of waterfalls is absolutely picturesque and gets my vote for the best swimming spot. The water is surprisingly warm, and the pool gets the morning sun, making it a refreshing dip. Straight from Ubud, Banyumala Twin Waterfall is about 57 km, or a 1 hour and 45-minute drive. Once we turned off the main road, we were going down a one-way, mostly dirt and very bumpy road for a few kilometers. Luckily, it was still early in the morning, so we didn’t have to find out what happens when another car is coming in the opposite direction. From the parking lot, it’s about a 15-minute hike down a steep set of stairs to the twin waterfalls. Entrance is 15,000Rp (or a little over $1USD), which is a typical fee for most waterfalls in Bali. We spent almost two hours here, and only one other tourist stopped by.

Where to Find the Best Waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia | Aling Aling Waterfall

2 ALING ALING WATERFALL – Nature’s Water Park

Aling Aling Waterfall in Bali needs a little asterisk to say that this is not just a waterfall, but a natural water park. Aling Aling Waterfall is the largest waterfall in the area, but not the main attraction. We hiked about 15 minutes through the beautiful jungle before we reached the first waterfall. A few minutes more, and we found an area with two more waterfalls that form natural water slides, along with three spots for cliff jumping at 5, 10 and 15 meters. In order to slide, jump and swim, you’re supposed to pay the local guides at the waterfall IDR 125,000 (around $9). They’ll take you around to each of the spots, and usually slide or jump first if you have any worries about it being safe. They even have life jackets if you want a little extra comfort about popping up after the plunge. I’m not sure if this is official, but they had a space set up with gear down by the waterfalls and were pretty adamant that we couldn’t jump if we didn’t pay. If you only want to look at the falls, the entrance fee is IDR 10,000.  

3 SEKUMPUL WATERFALL  – BALI’S MOST BEAUTIFUL WATERFALL

Sekumpul Waterfall seems to be an easy win for Bali’s most beautiful waterfall. It also takes the longest to get to with a 45-minute hike down to the waterfall, but that’s a small price to pay for such a big reward. The entrance fee to Sekumpul Waterfall is IDR 15,000, and IDR 5,000 to Fuji Waterfall which is just another few minutes down the way. The path is clearly marked and easy to follow, but the locals that you met before you get to the official entrance may tell you a guide is necessary. They typically charge anywhere between 100k and 400k per person for a guide to Sekumpul Waterfall. I am sure they can provide some helpful commentary about the area and offer tips about swimming in the waterfalls, but just know that you do not have to hire a guide. If you’re not looking forward to the hike back up, there’s a lot at the mid-way point with moped drivers that will give you a ride to the parking lot for about 25k. Or, it’s a 20-minute walk back from there.  

These waterfalls are enough to fill one day, but if you’re staying in the area and have more time, check out Munduk Waterfall and NungNung Waterfall. 

Day 2 – Waterfalls Near Ubud 

Where to Find the Best Waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia | Tibumana Waterfall

4 TIBUMANA WATERFALL – UNDERSTATED BEAUTY

Tibumana Waterfall doesn’t seem to gets very many visitors. It’s not the biggest or tallest waterfall in Bali by far, but its beauty is simple and understated. We parked near the rice paddies and walked along one of the lushest and most colorful jungle paths I’ve ever been through. It really feels like a hidden gem, tucked down into the jungle. Tibumana Waterfall is a 30-minute drive from central Ubud, and it’s only a 10-minute walk down to the falls. Entrance costs IDR 10,000.  

5 TUKAD CEPUNG WATERFALL – THE CAVE WATERFALL

Getting to Tukad Cepung Waterfall feels like your own little adventure trekking into the jungle, into a cave, and through a stream. Once you get to the end of the of the cave, the top opens up and sun streams through like a natural spotlight on the waterfall. Entrance to Tukad Cepung Waterfall is IDR 10,000. 

A Few Tips for Chasing Waterfalls in Bali

Getting around. If you’re flying solo or as a couple (or just without a kid), it is super cheap to rent a scooter or motorbike in Bali. The going rate is about $5 a day, and many hotels and homestays offer rentals. Most of the waterfalls in Bali we visited had signage on the main road to point visitors in the right direction. Since we made our toddler tag-along, we hired a driver. It was more time in the car than I initially thought (and hoped), which was a little tough given an active kid who doesn’t love sitting down. The roads are windy and slow, but our driver knew the areas really well, so we never got lost. The going rate for a full day (10 hours) is about IDR 700k – 800k, which works out to around $5 per hour.

Bring appropriate footwear. I went back and forth for a while debating on buying a pair of real water sneakers but ended up wearing my Rainbow flip-flops (shorter hikes) or my old Sperry boat shoes (longer hikes), both which worked fine. Aaron opted for this rubber shoe to wear in the water.  

Stay up north in the Buleleng Regency of Bali. Looking back, it probably would’ve been worth staying one night in the Buleleng regency of Bali as many of the island’s waterfalls are in this area. The waterfalls we visited like Banyumala Twin Waterfall and Aling Aling Waterfall are a solid two hours out of Ubud, so that meant we had to get out really early.  

Waterfalls to skip. Two of the most popular Balinese waterfalls are Gitgit Waterfall and Tegenungan Waterfall. However, I found these the least impressive and don’t think they belong on a list of the best waterfalls in Bali. Gitgit Waterfall is located in Buleleng Regency, and the trail to the waterfall is easily located right off the main road. The walk to Gitgit is lined with vendors so it felt pretty commercial. It’s a tall waterfall, but there wasn’t anything spectacular about it. Anywhere else it would probably be the best waterfall ever, but it’s Bali, so the standards are pretty high.  

We hadn’t initially planned on visiting Tegenungan Waterfall since we already knew it was a very touristy spot, but it was on our way to the airport when we were heading down from Ubud to catch our flight to Lombok. We had some extra time, so figured why not. Since it’s the closest to the Denpasar/Kuta area, it is by far the busiest waterfall. We only saw a handful of people at all of the other waterfalls, but with Tegenungan Waterfall, there’s a traffic jam just to get to the trailhead. The area is packed with restaurants and vendors, good if you’re hungry or need a hat, but bad if you’re going for more of a commune with nature vibe. The base of the waterfall has been trashed with kitschy tourist additions like cement heart stands and other props for selfies. It’s actually an impressive waterfall; the flow is huge! But it’s also brown and surrounded by tons of people. If that’s your bag, cool, it just isn’t ours. I’m sure it’s less of a party scene earlier in the morning, so perhaps we would’ve liked it more before 9 am. My favorite thing about Tegenungan is a little waterfall that’s tucked away a few steps off the stairs; you’ll see it when you reach the mid-point on the stairs.  

We hope you have fun exploring Bali’s beautiful waterfalls. If you want to see more of our adventures in Bali, check us out on Instagram. After your trip, let us know your picks for the best waterfalls in Bali!


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Where to Find the Best Waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia
Where to Find the Best Waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a waterfall-chasers paradise. We trekked through lush jungle and down steep ravines in search of the most magical waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia. Check out this guide to discover the best waterfalls in Bali.
#bali #ubud #indonesia #travel #waterfall

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27 Comments

  • Reply Eva October 13, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    For some reason I’m not crazy about Bali, but sometimes I stumble upon pictures or posts that make me want to go there. Thiswas oneof them. Gorgeous photography!

    • Reply Kelly Barcus October 13, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      Thanks so much, Eva! It seems like there are two sides to Bali; the overcrowded parts that have been ruined by too many tourists, and these magical places that are still relatively untouched. We tried to find less popular spots and completely avoided Kuta and Seminyak. We really loved it!

  • Reply Nicola | suitcase and wanderlust October 13, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Wow! Thanks for sharing this article. I simply love waterfalls and wherever I go I watch out for them. Tibuma waterfall is amazing, I wish I had know it when I was in Ubud. Another reason to go back to Bali 😉

    • Reply Kelly Barcus October 14, 2017 at 12:04 am

      Thanks Nicola! We just got home a few weeks ago, and my list of reasons to go back is already piling up. 🙂

  • Reply Lindsey October 14, 2017 at 3:48 am

    This is very helpful for when I go to Bali one day! It has been on my list for a while so I better hop to it haha!

  • Reply Gabrielle Grow October 14, 2017 at 10:25 am

    beautiful pictures! somehow we didn’t do any waterfalls when we visited Bali… guess that means I need to go back, right ;)?

    • Reply Kelly Barcus October 14, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      What?! Haha, we may have gone a little overboard. But there’s so much to do in Bali, we already want to go back too!

  • Reply Ashley Hill October 14, 2017 at 11:07 am

    These waterfalls are stunning, but your photos make them even more marvelous. You’re truly gifted with a camera.

    • Reply Kelly Barcus October 14, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply Irene Ferri October 15, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Beautiful, dear! Just beautiful. I’m heading there in one week and can’t wait to explore around. You gave me some wonderful ideas!

  • Reply Birthe October 17, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Wow, these waterfalls are all gorgeous! Can you believe we haven’t visited one waterfall during our month in Bali?! I can’t either. All the more reason to go back. 😉

    • Reply Kelly Barcus October 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Hey Birthe! Looks like you guys got to do some other awesome things though! I wish we would’ve had time to do more surfing and diving. We already have a long list of reasons to go back too. 🙂

  • Reply Reasons to Visit Lombok, Indonesia | 20 Photos of Lombok October 20, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    […] spent a decent amount of time in Bali chasing waterfalls, so we at least had to see how a few of the waterfalls on Lombok compared. The waterfalls Tiu Kelep […]

  • Reply Agness of a Tuk Tuk November 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    All of these waterfalls seem so charming an picturesque, Kelli. Bali is an ultimate travel destination. Which is these waterfalls is also a great hiking place?

    • Reply Kelly Barcus November 19, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Hi Agness, almost all of the waterfalls have at least little 15 minute hikes down and up. The hike to Sekumpul is definitely the longest. But if you’re really looking for a good hike, trekking up Mount Batur or Mount Agung might be more of what you’re looking for.

  • Reply Nadine January 27, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Hi! My friends and I are going to Bali and are planning to go on a chasing waterfall adventure. May I know where did you get/who’s your guide with this waterfall tour? I would very much appreciate your reply!

    • Reply nomanbefore January 28, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      Hey Nadine, we created our own itinerary and then hired a private driver. If we hadn’t been with our young son, we probably would’ve just rented scooters which is super cheap! If you still want to get a driver so you can ride as a group and split the costs, you can find all of the private drivers on TripAdvisor. We ended up going with Ketut from Happy Bali Tours (link below). We had a great experience, and I’d totally recommend him. Have a great time in Bali! 🙂

      https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g297701-d8008537-Reviews-or10-Happy_Bali_Tours-Ubud_Bali.html

      • Reply Nadine February 4, 2018 at 1:14 am

        Hi! Thank you for responding and I appreciate that very helpful information. I’m following your family in Instagram and I love your feed!!! I also saw that you went to the Philippines for Coron and El Nido, glad you have a wonderful time! 🙂

  • Reply mrinalini January 29, 2018 at 12:37 am

    so useful ! i plan to take my parents to TIBUMANA WATERFALL , i understand from your description that it is just a 10 min walk to the falls. My parents are not very fit…is it easily walkable?

    • Reply Kelly Barcus January 29, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Hey guys! It’s a short walk to the falls, but there are a set of stairs. It’s a beautiful area though, so it’s enjoyable even if you need to take it slowly. Have a great trip!

  • Reply ZZ February 19, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Hi Kelly,

    I’m planning a trip to Bali in the upcoming months and Sekumpul/Banyumala waterfalls are on my list. Are the two easy to get to once you arrive? Are the paths clearly marked and easy to follow – we’re concerned about getting lost in there once start trekking through it. Also, do you remember the daily rate for your private driver Ketut?

    • Reply Kelly Barcus February 21, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Hi! The path to Banyumala is pretty short, only about 15 minutes, so I’d say it’s hard to get lost. Sekumpul is a little longer but the path is marked. The daily rate for our driver Ketut was in the $50 – $60 range per day. I messaged quite a few companies off of TripAdvisor, and that seems to be the going rate for an 8 – 10 hour day (about $5 an hour). This covers gas but doesn’t include entrance or parking fees, which most of the waterfalls have. Ketut did an awesome job, and walked down with us to most of the waterfalls, though it was a first time for him on a few of them!

      • Reply ZZ April 4, 2018 at 7:12 pm

        Thanks so much Kelly! I sent an email out to Ketut, so hopefully he’s still available that day and responds soon. Were you able to swim in both Banyumala and Sekumpul? From your description, it looks like you were.

        On Day 1, you mentioned setting out at 5am, about what time did you get back?

        • Reply Kelly Barcus April 8, 2018 at 6:42 pm

          It was a long day, probably 12 to 14 hours. We also stopped by Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and the gate at the Handara golf resort, so it wasn’t just the waterfalls. Afterwards, we thought it might’ve been worth it to stay up in that area overnight to have more time. And you should be able to swim at both waterfalls!

  • Reply vicky March 21, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Hi kelly,
    great info, headign to bali for my frist time with my husband and toddler wanted to know did you guys go to Tukad waterfall with your son? i have been reading reviews and sounds like the access to it might be a bit hard with a little one. just wanted your feedback on this.
    Thanks
    Vicky

    • Reply Kelly Barcus March 24, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Hi Vicky, that waterfall was last on our list and we ended up not making it there. I know for sure you shouldn’t go if it’s rainy season, but I think it depends on what you’re comfortable with the other times. It sounds like there’s a set of stairs and you walk through a cave. Most of the waterfalls we visited there was a set of somewhat slippery stairs, so you just have to be careful!

  • Reply Anand August 3, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Sekumpul waterfall is just out of the world. I went here few years back & it was something.

    http://www.markmyadventure.com/sekumpul-watefall-bali/

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