Tukad Cepung Waterfall is one of these places that you might want to consider putting on your travel checklist.

This still remains as the best virgin waterfall of Bali. The sunlight falls on the glistening waterfall creating a rainbow, which feels as though it is projected right up to you.

Well hidden between rocks, Tukad Cepung Waterfall is definitely one of the most unique spots in Bali. This place is comparatively cooler and offers an immense sense of peace and tranquillity.

Tukad Cepung is a rising star among Bali waterfalls. Tourists flock here to take that perfect Instagram shot. The waterfall can be seen between the rock formations and if you are lucky enough, the sun rays will create an amazing show just for you.

The Stunning Sipiso-piso Waterfall

Set in the beautiful highlands of North Sumatra, the stunning Sipiso-piso waterfall is located on the North side of Lake Toba, 24 km from Kabanjahe. This long but narrow waterfall drops 120 meters into an impressive gorge below. This thundering waterfall is popular with visitors who come to photograph this magnificent natural wonder. Surrounded by a lush green mountainscape and with a rainbow forming at the base of the waterfall, it’s hard to imagine a more impressive subject for a photograph. The waterfall can be viewed from gazebos near the food and souvenir stands. From Berastagi it is a 45 minute to Sipiso-Piso waterfal.

Get There

Use a ferry or boat to view this waterfall.

The Surreal Madakaripura Waterfall, Vestige of The Great Majapahit Kingdom

Leaving misty Mount Bromo behind and descending into the Probolinggo Regency, one will find a spectacular sight secluded within the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park: this is the enchanting Madakaripura Waterfall. Believed to be the final meditation place of military Commander-in-Chief, Gajah Mada, of the great Javanese kingdom of Majapahit in East Java, the towering waterfall is fondly dubbed the eternal waterfall, since its waters never cease to pour down an endless rain of blessings on those fortunate enough to walk underneath it.

Located not too far from Mount Bromo near the village of Sapih, in the Lombang district, Madakaripura Waterfall is about three hours’ drive from the capital of East Java, Surabaya. The spectacular waterfall lies hidden at the end of a deep valley in the foothills of the Tengger mountain range. To reach this, visitors must trek about 20 minutes crossing rivers and a rocky path, set amongst beautiful sceneries along the way, before reaching the entrance. Here a statue of Majapahit‘s great Commander, Gajah Mada, in the seated position of deep meditation greets visitors before they continue further on foot.

An atmosphere of natural grandeur radiates around as the waterfall comes into view. As the rumbling sounds of water grows louder, a spellbinding feature of water curtains cover the path, that will not only please the eyes but also freshen body and soul. Here, nature gracefully pours her endless refreshing gifts, making getting wet quite inevitable. While it may be best to be ready with raincoats or umbrellas, stalls along the trekking path will offer umbrella rentals and plastic bags to protect valuables, such as cameras.

The path ends in a surreal tube-like valley where the staggering 200 meters gallant waterfall highlights the scene. Decorated with a cave on the wall which was believed to be the exact location where Commander in Chief Gajah Mada performed his last meditation, Madakaripura Waterfall is even dubbed as the tallest waterfall in Java and the second tallest waterfall in Indonesia after Sigura-gura Waterfall near Lake Toba, North Sumatra. While the waterfall’s sheer height is by itself already a wonder, the ambience around the area is truly something that needs to be experienced first-hand to be believed.

Surrounded by outstandingly high walls, the Fall flows down into an almost mystical natural chamber. Inside the 200 meters “chamber”, the reflected sunlight shining through onto the wet green moss on the rocky wall accompanied by the ever rumbling sounds of water creates a spectacle unlikely found elsewhere. Decorated with huge boulders, endlessly falling water, and sparkling moss, one only needs to gaze up to the distant sky and immerse oneself in the spellbinding beauty of nature. While the fascinating scene can be captured on camera, the true sensation of being in one of the most outstanding places on earth can only be felt by being there.

According to ancient Javanese 14th century epic poem, Negarakretagama, Madakaripura was a piece of land given to Commander Gajah Mada by the Majapahit King Hayam Wuruk. Gajah Mada himself is the most celebrated military commander in the history of the great Javanese Majapahit Kingdom that thrived between 1293 to 1500AD. Its commander is recognized as the main figure who succeeded in unifying the entire Indonesian Archipelago then under the huge Majapahit empire (that at the time was said to stretch until Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Southern Thailand , the Philippines and East Timor) under his famous oath the “Sumpah Palapa”.

It is said that the source of his overwhelming power and abilities lie within the cave of the Madakaripura Waterfall, where Gajah Mada frequently came to meditate. The great commander eventually chose the place as his last place for mediation before he was believed to have been –what ancient Javanese believed- “Muksha” - or vanished spiritually and physically from the face of the earth, rather than just dying physically. To honor this legacy, many people still visit the Falls to meditate or perform rituals, especially on the eve of 1 Suro, the Javanese New Year. As a place that is historically significant, culturally sacred, and naturally spellbinding, Madakaripura is simply a must, when you visit East Java.

Get There

The best way to get to Madakaripura Waterfall is to rent a car from Surabaya or Malang, or include it in the tour package along with Mount Bromo. From Surabaya, capital of East Java, the trip will take a little over three hours, by taking the intercity route to Sidoarjo-Porong-Pasuruan-Probolinggo. Upon reaching Tongas, there will be a sign directing to both Mount Bromo and Madakaripura Waterfall to the right.

The intersection is marked by a small monument in the center of the road. Follow the road for about 20-30 minutes until you reach another sign pointing to Madakaripura Waterfall to the right. From there the road is a bit narrow, but the view will be most pleasing. Follow the road until you reach the entrance to the Madakaripura Waterfall.

Loksado, the Place where Culture Meets the Stunning Natural Landscape

Loksado is a sub-district of the Hulu Sungai Selatan Regency where the well preserved indigenous Dayak culture meets the stunning natural landscape. It is a lush landscape decorated with wonderful waterfalls, rushing rivers, and the enchanting culture of its indigenous people. This particular part of Kalimantan is home to the indigenous Dayak Meratus tribes–a sub ethnic group of the Dayak in Kalimantan that occupy traditional houses called Balai. Today, there are at least 43 of these Balai that can be found in 9 villages across Loksado. A Balai is a traditional wooden long house with tens of rooms measuring 3x4 meters and are occupied by tens of families.

Living closely with nature, the Dayak Meratus practice the Aruh Ganal Rituals that revolve around agriculture. Equally fascinating as the exotic Dayak culture are the Meratus Mountains themselves that are filled with natural splendors. The lush landscape is decorated with fascinating waterfalls, among which are the Haratai Waterfall, Riam Hanai Waterfall, Kilat Api Waterfall, Rampah Menjangan Waterfall, Pemandian Anggang Waterfall, and Tinggiran Hayam Waterfall.

There is also the Tanuhi Hot Spring where one can enjoy refreshing hot water. Its tropical forest moreover, holds other treasures where the exotic pitcher plant (Nepenthes distillatoria) and the endemic Meratus Orchid (Dendrobium hepaticum) grow.

The most exceptional feature of Loksado’s natural treasures is the Amandit River that runs through some of the most fascinating sceneries of the area. The winding river of fresh clear water decorated with rocks and creeks and unique traditional bridges that look to the lush green hills of Meratus are surely a sight rarely found elsewhere. To top it all, you should enjoy the magnificent scenery and exceptional sensation from a bamboo raft on the river.

 

Get There

The highway is paved all the way from Banjarmasin to Kandangan, but from Kandangan capital of Hulu Sungai Selatan Regency) the road narrows considerably. There is no public transportation from Banjarmasin or elsewhere, except from Kandangan but even this is not frequent. If your starting point is Banjarmasin, your best bet to reach Loksado is by renting car with driver. The trip itself will take approximately 4-5 hours.

Alas River, Rapid Flows for the Adventurous

Alas River flows directly into the Indian Ocean; it has exceptional rapids that attract whitewater rafting enthusiasts for all over the world. Situated at 165 km southeast from Takengon, Alas River cuts through Mount Leuser National Park. This area is especially popular among the young and adventurous. The sharp bends and many rapids are challenging to white-water rafters.

Rafting and kayaking is possible on the Alas river from the village of Angasan down to the city of Gelombang, close to the Indian ocean. In the upper areas of the Alas several rapids are demanding a good performance. The boat is passing pristine rainforest and many wildlife can be seen, especially monkeys and a big variety of beautiful rich coloured birds.

From Kutacane to Gelombang the water is rather quite and we call this part of the trip jungle-Safari. Nevertheless also great scenery is shown. On rafting-trips longer than one day we sleep in tents on the shore of Alas river, having BBQ and playing guitar in the evenings.

When people travel to Lombok Island, they expect a more peaceful version of its more well-known neighbor Bali. Vivid colorful sunsets, soft sandy beaches, clear crystal waters, or even a hike to the top of the mighty Mount Rinjani are just a few activities that pop in your mind when you think of Lombok.

However, this glorious island still has few other secrets just waiting to be uncovered. Many who come to the island fail to realize that Lombok hides some of the best tranquil waterfalls in the archipelago. Exploring waterfalls is the next best thing – not to mention safer – to exploring a jungle. The journey to a waterfall usually consists of a trek in the forest, best led by an experienced guide, that ends in a sight and sensation so fantastic the exhausting trip would be totally worth it.

So the next time you're in Lombok, take time to explore the island further and visit one, if not all, of these incredible waterfalls during your stay.

 

1 | Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls

Lombok’s Wonderfully Refreshing Waterfalls

Tucked away in the village of Senaru in the island's northern Lombok Utara regency are two of Lombok's finest and most popular cascades, Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep, located on the foot of the majestic Mount Rinjani. The village is located about a 2 ½ hour drive from Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province.

According to local people, the name Tiu Kelep is taken from the Sasak language. “Tiu” meaning pool, and “Kelep” means flying. Meanwhile, Sendang Gile’s name is taken from a legend which tells the story of a prince who was chased by a crazy lion. He ran into the woods and hid behind a waterfall, hence the name Sendang Gile.

It only takes 15 minutes on  foot from the entrance to view the marvelous Sendang Gile waterfall, which is a continuation of the Tiu Kelep waterfall. The clear path to the waterfall passes through a lush protected rain forest filled with towering tropical trees. Once you get there, you can enjoy the sight of the water crushing the rocks or swim in its cool crisp pool.

If you crave a more adventurous trek in the woods that will lead to a more satisfying endgame, then venture further to Tiu Kelep waterfall. The journey to the second waterfall in the area takes around 45 minutes trekking through a lush forest. The bridge used to cross the river could also seem quite intimidating for those who are scared of heights.

But the trip would be totally worth it as you come upon the majestic rush of water rushing around 45 meters down the cliff before crashing against the rocks on the bottom.

2 | Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu Waterfalls

Lombok’s Wonderfully Refreshing Waterfalls

This is another cascade pair you must see when you visit Lombok. Situated in Central Lombok regency, just a one and a half hour’s drive from Senggigi beach, Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu are waterfalls located only around one kilometer apart from each other. The unique must-see quality of these falls is that instead of being greeted by a sight of water pouring from a cliff passing through jagged rocks, you will see fascinating views of water flowing down among lush plants.

The road is paved so this would be a fairly comfortable trek though still exhausting. You can also find some stalls on the sides of the road where you can buy small towels, drinks, snacks or even kaput rice.

The name Benang Setokel means a bundle of thread. This waterfall consists of two levels and each  isas high as 20 meters. The water comes from a river upstream on Mount Rinjani. Here, you can play and frolic in the pond that unites the downpour.

Afterwards,  journey to the stunning Benang Kelambu waterfall that consists of around two to three levels. The word “Kelambu” means curtain, named after the plants that frame the waterfall just like a window and curtain. Since the water flows directly from a water spring on Mount Rinjani, the water is clean and said to be safe to drink.

3 | Mayang Putek Waterfall

Lombok’s Wonderfully Refreshing Waterfalls

Although Lombok has tens of amazing waterfalls, the Mayang Putek waterfall is the most unique one of them all. Why? Because its waters contain sulfur that locals believe to have healing properties because the water comes directly from Mount Rinjani. The 60 meter high waterfall is located in Bilok Petung village in the Sembalun district of Lombok Timur regency.

Like many names of Indonesia's waterfalls, the name Mayung Putek is tied to a local legend. Long ago at this location, a white stag was often seen bathing or drinking, hence the name Mayung Putek, which literally translates to meaning “White Stag”.

The journey to the waterfall, however, is a trek of around 30 minutes of going down steps, passing through a hill and then across a river. Although the journey heading towards the waterfall seems simpler, the journey back is a bit more difficult. However, it would be totally worth it to feel the benefits of a nice sulfur bath that could supposedly heal your aches and pains and various other illnesses. Not to mention the unique sight of the “white stag”.

 

4 | Jukut / Jeruk Manis (Sweet Orange) Waterfall

Lombok’s Wonderfully Refreshing Waterfalls

Here is another one of Lombok's waterfalls believed to have special magical properties. Locals believe the cascade located on the foot of Mount Rinjani to the south of the Mount Rinjani National Park can heal various types of diseases and nourish the hair. Yes, locals believe that washing your hair in its waters will cure you from baldness or help you maintain your full lustrous locks.

A haven for nature lovers, the waterfall stands some 30 meters tall and flows down to a narrow river and rocky place. After buying a ticket to enter the waterfall at the entrance gate, you will need to walk around 15 minutes for some 1.5 kilometers in order to get to the location.

On the way to the waterfall, you will pass a path made from flat stones and about 180 stairs. Along the way you will come across many types of interesting plants and an animal or two, like a monkey or a deer.

If you feel tired of walking, you can take a rest at one of the three berugak / gazebos sprawled along the path. However, it's best if you push through your exhaustion a little longer and rest at the gazebo located nearest to the waterfall. Here, you will be able to see a magnificent view of the protected forest spread across in front of you like a huge green golf course.

 

5 | Tiu Tedja Waterfall

Lombok’s Wonderfully Refreshing Waterfalls

If you're not thrilled of long treks and adventures through forests, than the journey towards the waterfalls above may seem unappealing. However, we do have a treat for those who crave the wonderful experience of venturing to a waterfall without the tiresome treks. Tiu Tedja is the perfect destination for lazers, the not-so-fit and people who want a simple trip to a glorious cascading waterfall.

Unlike many of Lombok's other waterfalls, the journey to Tiu Tedja only takes around 15 minutes from the entrance through a soft trek of semi-permanent steps. Located in Lombok Utara (Northern Lombok) regency, this is basically a waterfall with the most friendly pathway in Lombok.

“Tiu” means water while “Teja” means rainbow in the local language of Sasak. Therefore, this waterfall is guaranteed to give a sight like no other and the added perk of a rainbow if you're lucky. Another bonus? The pool is relatively shallow and perfect for swimming or splish- splashing  around.

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Useful Tips:

But wait, before you go off exploring Lombok island's waterfalls, take note that no matter how “light” or “easy” the experience is described to be, you should prepare the following before your journey:

Adequate footwear

Trekking shoes or sandals seem to be the perfect choice. Some survive in sneakers and regular sandals, but they end up completely wet and uncomfortable to wear after. Some sandals may even get lost down the stream! Yes, it has happened a few times. You may be required to walk through streams with jagged rocks and stones.

Don't be fooled by the locals or tour guides who seem to walk easily using regular sandals, or even barefoot, across the streams. The rocks do hurt and the rush of the streams could be quite strong sometimes so take heed.

A change of clothes

When visiting a location that has water rushing down a cliff, you will surely get wet. Yes, you will. That does not mean you should visit waterfalls wearing a only a bikini or spandex shorts – because that would be just a tad embarrassing compared to the fully dressed and mostly conservative locals. Remember, you might have to venture through a forest first before you get to your destination.

Just prepare some fresh dry clothes and if you can, wear your swimsuit underneath your regular clothes. Some waterfall sites actually do give you the opportunity to strip down and swim around.

Be Aware of local customs and beliefs

Some areas have particular customs and beliefs. It is best to respect this and abide by any rules given by locals.

Be Physically Fit

Depending on which waterfall you plan to visit, make sure you are physically fit for the journey. Some waterfalls require an arduous hike through the woods and/or streams. Not to mention a climb up and down hundreds of stairs. Although there are usually resting areas in between, make sure your physique is up for the task.

Bring Necessary Items

Remember, you will probably be trekking in the woods and end up getting wet so bring the necessary items you usually need to face these conditions. Some useful items are: insect repellent, a raincoat, backpack/ bag and eucalyptus oil or other oils/ balms to warm the body.

Respect Nature!

Don't litter. Keep all trash in your backpack or bag until you find a trash bin. Respect nature and don't do anything harmful to plants or trees to come across along the way. Also respect the animals you see during your journey. Refrain from taunting or playing with them.

One click and you will find more soothing magic from Lombok.

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