I'm a travelling mother of one, from the UK but now living in Indonesia. Looking forward to sharing day out ideas with you.
Published July 13th 2019
This beautiful waterfall should be on your sightseeing list
If you're looking for a cheap way to enjoy nature, Tegenungan Waterfall is a great option. It's close to both Ubud and Sanur and makes for a wonderful half-day out. And I would say as long as you're good on your feet, it's suitable for the whole family. If you do find steps difficult, you can still make the most of your time from one of the viewpoints while the rest of your group explore.
The first thing to mention is that there are two entrances to this waterfall. We normally aim for the west side. Here there are plenty of parking spaces and as you walk down the hill you'll find the small ticket booth. Once past the ticket checkpoint, you'll walk through a row of shops and restaurants. At the top of the steps be sure to make the most of the view of the falls from the top, it's stunning. From here, make your way down the many steps; there are about 100.
Halfway down there's a small sign pointing you to either the waterfall or temple. It really doesn't matter which one you take as they both end up at the same lower level. If you go the temple route then take a look and once finished continue past the temple, washroom, small rest area and fresh springs that children sometimes like to swim in. This is also the area that the 'waterfall option' would have taken you to, so like I say, not much difference.
You'll see the waterfall to your left, so you'll need to continue past the small café/local warung and along the dirt path. Once there, we normally take a few pictures and have a small dip. The water level does vary but is normally highest between October and April. There's a safety rope you shouldn't swim past, so please adhere to these rules.
After that the choice is yours. If you fancy taking some pictures using the pre-made signs or sitting on the swing a donation or payment will be expected. After that you can, of course, travel back to your transport the same way and enjoy some time in one of the cafes at the top. Or the other option is to climb up the steps on the other/east side. You'll need to cross around two bamboo bridges to do this and pay for a new ticket per person at the same price again. This other side is managed by a different authority, so one ticket serves one side and the other ticket the other side. The top of this side is very different.
Firstly, we like to enjoy some time looking at the rock pools, but the main attraction on this side is the D'Tukad River Club. It's an ultra-hip and cool hangout. You'll find a giant swing, DJ and two good size pools. Personally, I find it very expensive here, but they're the prices you would expect for this type of venue. The menu is good but I do struggle to find meat-free options. They also hold lots of special events like a Kecak Dance on Thursdays and during the full moon.
When we enter from the waterfall side, we may just have a drink and then leave. If you enter from the roadside and need to pass through the reception area, you need to pay around 100,000 IDR per person which goes towards your food and drink bill. After a swim, we leave via the normal exit to the road, not waterfall area. The reason for this is across from the River Club is a fantastic souvenir shop called Krisna. It's huge and had an extensive range of gifts at amazingly low prices.
Again, you now have another choice. You can either walk back the way you came, through the River Club, down the steps, across the waterfall and back up the other side to your car or moped. Or if you have been dropped off arrange with the driver to be collected on this new side. The final option is to get a taxi to take you back around to the other side parking area. I normally only visit the River Club side if we have friends or family visiting as my toddler isn't really bothered about the expensive pool option or the shopping.
A little tip, I've always found it best to visit the waterfall as early as possible to avoid the crowds and heat. Also, consider your footwear due to the number of steps, the dirt path you need to walk and also the fact that you may wish to paddle.
I hope you like visiting this waterfall as much as we do. We've been a few times and it never grows old. Let me know what you think when you visit.