"Waterfalls are exciting because they have power (...), they have boldness and craziness" - Mehmet Ildan
Forget everything you learnt in that TLC song about not chasing waterfalls, waterfalls are Bali’s 'thing' and you just have to go. Set in the middle of lush forests and rolling hills, Bali has tonnes of waterfalls, each more impressive than the last. But what if you’re looking for only the best or most instagrammable waterfalls in Bali? Not to worry, we got you covered.
As with pretty much anything though, the most ‘photogenic’ falls aren’t quite as empty of tourists as you’d want them to be, but with a little bit more prep/ getting up super early, yo can still get most of them all to yourself - i mean early bird gets the worm and that, right? For example, we were at Sekumpul by 9am on the day we went and were lucky to get it all to ourselves, something not too many got judging by the rate the car park was filling up as we grabbed a coffee (of course) after our climb back. So yeah, if you want these to yourself, it may be worth getting up that much earlier.
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Anywho, here are the 5 waterfalls you’re not going to want to miss in Bali!
Technically the ‘Secret Garden of Sambangan’, the Aling-Aling waterfalls have been set up by the locals as more of a natural adrenaline junkies playground than an isolated waterfall you're supposed to admire from a distance and we are all for that vibe! With multiple waterfalls all within a short walking distance of each other, the locals have various different ‘tour packages’ you can choose from but don’t worry, all of them include the main three and the water sports stuff. Aling-Aling has three natural water slides going down the falls, and then three jumping spots – 5m, 10m, and 16m high, as well as the standard pretty waterfalls for you to stare at, so there’s a little something for everyone, no matter your level of dare-devilishness!
Probably one of the coolest, most instagrammable waterfalls in Bali, Tekud Cepung looks like something out of a nature documentary. A 10 minute walk down to the valley, the waterfall itself is surrounded on all sides by looming rock faces, meaning you’ll have to climb over/ walk under/ take photos on myore than a couple of boulders to see it up close and personal! Light-wise, getting here in the morning before 11/11.30 will also mean you get those light rays streaming in from above that will make those photos pop just a little bit more! That said, our driver did say that last year this place was empty and that Instagram had made it busier than It should be, so you my want to arrive earlier if you want it to be crowd-free – otherwise, just wait your turn to get your shots, everyone is more than happy to share the space!
Another one way up in the north of Bali, GitGit is arguably one of Bali's most impressive waterfalls. Wander down the jungle-lined steps, past the multiple small markets, coffee and cocoa plants (talk about a stairway through heaven!) and you can't miss it. With a sheer drop of around 40 metres, GitGit is one of Bali’s tallest, and one you should 100% take the time to visit. Like most of the others in this list, it's probably one to visit early morning (especially during the high season) to see it before the buses of tourists start turning up and killing that serene vibe, so it may be easier to be based in Lovina to make it a 30-40 minute drive rather than the nearly 3 hours it would take from Kuta and Denpasar! Unfortunately, our trip to GitGit got interrupted by some of the heaviest rain I've never wanted to be in so we didn't get a chance to fully explore and swim in the falls as we would have liked so let us know what you think!
I debated for a fair bit of my flight home about whether to include Tegenungan in this list and eventually relented. Possibly Bali’s busiest waterfall, Tegenungan’s location in between Denpasar and Ubud makes it a nice spot to stop off when moving between the two, with the water being exactly what the doctor ordered when it’s just far too hot outside! The only problem with this place is just how busy it gets! By being so easy to get to, Tegenungan is full of stalls, restaurants, bars, etc and isn’t exactly the most peaceful place to retreat into nature. Either way though, if you’re only real plan for the day is to move up to Ubud or something, then it’s well worth the slight detour.
Sekumpul, in the Singaraja part of Bali (don’t say we didn’t warn you about wanting to stay up north!), is a group of waterfalls you are not going to want to miss. True, you can’t really get as close and personal with Sekumpul as you can others in Bali due to the rocks and that, but even from afar they are mighty impressive. Combine your stop with either the twin falls or the hidden falls along the same track and there’s a good couple of hours of hikes in a really impressive landscape
It should be noted, though, that the Sekumpul falls can be seen from two different points – one from above and one from below, and which one you choose kind of depends more on you. We did the walk down on a dry day during the rainy season when the waterfalls were empty and were glad of that; the prospect of walking down in the rain and avoiding other groups does not sound fun in the slightest on what was a fairly slippery path already does not sound fun. On the other hand, arriving from the top is apparently a nice, leisurely stroll so, if that sounds more appropriate then that’s the one to choose to see Sekumpul.
(EDIT: Just got reminded that in the café afterwards we met a couple who had slipped on the rocks and were cut fairly badly so yeah, be careful! Don’t do anything stupid for the gram and that.)
‘Til next time!