Five Wonderful Waterfalls in Bali

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Posted 2023-09-09 by Karen Rossfollow
The island of Bali has so much to offer, not least of all stunning scenery. You may have to get right out of the main tourist towns to appreciate natural scenery but it is well worth the drive. One of my favourite things to do here is visit waterfalls. There are many dotted around the island but I'm going to share my top five, current favourites.

Jagasatru Waterfall is not well known and it's entirely possible you could be the only people here if you visit. It is around two hours from tourist areas such as Seminyak or a little less from Sanur.

It’s located in Pateh, Duda Timur village, Karangasem where the air is fresh and cool and local culture is authentic, traditional and strong. You'll start your visit to this waterfall by walking down a steep hill. You'll be greeted, initially, by a huge golden Brahma statue.

It's important to be respectful here and you will be reminded by information boards asking you to be dressed appropriately. You will also be reminded to have taken a bath, have positive thoughts, maintain sobriety and be generally fine and upstanding.

After admiring the Brahma statue you will need to walk down five thousand steps to reach the waterfall. I'm exaggerating, of course, but there are a lot of steps. Rest assured that there are bamboo walking poles in a basket at the top of the steps (near a donation box) and this helps ease pressure on your knees.

The walk down, and back up, is worth it. The 40-metre high column of water is majestic and the surrounding foliage is beautiful. You will be greeted by the loud songs of crickets, frogs and birds.

When we visited Jagasatru we encountered two entrepreneurial young people who offered lifts on their scooters, back up the hill, for just Rp10.000 per person. We gave them extra. Such was our huge gratitude.

Leke Leke Waterfall is in Tabanan Regency, around 1.5 hours from Sanur, Seminyak and Canggu and just one hour away from Ubud. It's more well-known than Jagasatru so you may encounter more visitors.

When we visited this waterfall we passed a man selling fruit, renting bamboo poles and offering photos with his pet baby owl. I'm not a fan of birds in captivity but I have to admit this owl was super-cute.

There's an entrance fee of Rp50.000 and this helps the local authorities to maintain the trail down to the falls. The trail is mostly unpaved but easy to follow and you will cross a small bamboo bridge just before you reach the falls.

There's a small pool at the base of this stunning waterfall and you can swim if you choose to. There's even a makeshift, bamboo change room nearby.

We visited my next three favourite waterfalls all on the same day and if you stay in or near the small village of Munduk, in the regency of Buleleng, you can do this too. Munduk is around 2.5 hours away from the main tourist areas so why not book a couple of nights at one of the hotels in Munduk and plan a comprehensive 'waterfall walk'. We stayed at Puri Lumbung Cottages which I can't recommend highly enough.

The cottages are nestled among rice fields, on the side of a hill, with stunning views to the north coast of Bali. There are lotus ponds and small streams with bridges to cross and statues to admire. David Bowie stayed here in January 1996 and I bet he didn't want to leave. You won't either due to the tranquil ambience and welcoming staff who can't help you enough. Breakfasts are included in the tariff at Puri Lumbung and should not be missed.

In amongst the lotus ponds, little streams and bridges are winding paths dotted with signs showing directions to nearby waterfalls.

You could quite easily navigate your own way between waterfalls here by following the signs and information boards, however, we chose to engage a local guide named Febri. The cost was small but the benefits were great as we learned from this young, enthusiastic local.

We followed Febri through lush greenery and colourful tropical flowers, along a (mostly) flat paved road to Red Coral Waterfall where we paid an entrance fee of Rp20.000. There are no tricky steps here, just a winding track to the beautiful falls and pool below.

The path between Red Coral and the next two waterfalls is more challenging but also, potentially, more interesting. There are a series of small warungs along the way selling spices, coffee and chocolate. I was fascinated to hear Febri describe the context and use of these products which all grow locally. You can taste and purchase any of these local treasures but be mindful of whether you can take them on your ongoing journey.

Labuhan Kebo waterfall is ten minutes or so downhill along dirt paths and paved stairs.
Once you reach the bottom you will see the waterfall and a couple of bamboo bridges crossing the river.

There are small temples along the path that serve to remind visitors of the local religion and culture. You may choose to pause for a while and say a prayer or make a wish at one of the temples since the next part of the walk is quite challenging.

From Labuhan Kebo to Melanting Waterfall you will encounter many steps. First, they go down, then they go back up again. This journey will test your mettle but is truly worth the effort. Trust me.

A day chasing waterfalls is a day well spent. Not only will you enjoy stunning, unspoilt scenery but you'll undoubtedly learn a little about local customs and culture. Take your time, stop for a swim or to paddle your feet, and maybe have lunch or a cup of delicious coffee made from locally grown and roasted beans. Cold beer is also available to quench thirst. The experience is a far cry from the tourism madness that is prevalent in many areas of Bali and is well worth the effort.

262299 - 2023-09-02 04:13:55


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