If you’re in Bali for a few days (or a few weeks) you’re eventually going to want to put down the poolside cocktails and actually get out and do something. If not for the enjoyment, at least so you’ll have something interesting to put on your Instagram feed. Luckily there are heaps of options, and one of the best is getting out into nature and visiting a waterfall. But which is the best Bali waterfall? I visited a few during my last trip and Sekumpul Falls was by the far the best. It kind of has an unfair advantage though – the area known as Sekumpul Waterfall is actually a collection of seven (apparently – I couldn’t see that many) waterfalls. Keep reading and see if you agree that Sekumpul Waterfall is the best Bali waterfall – leave me a comment if you don’t (the angrier the better!).
Hiking to Sekumpul Waterfall
As is the case with most waterfalls, you can’t expect to see Sekumpul Falls without at least a little effort. Your driver (if you’re lazy / paranoid about dying on a scooter like me) will likely drop you off at a little office where they’ll try and sell you an overpriced tour to the falls. It includes a motorbike ride to the start of the forest trail, which really isn’t needed. I declined the tour (which was met with some resistance until my driver helped me out) and started the short walk to the falls. The first part takes you down a narrow road and soon you’ll get a great view of some rice terraces and the surrounding hills. It’s downhill (which obviously means you’ll have to walk back up) but it shouldn’t trouble most people. That is until you get closer to the falls! As we got closer to the final descent my driver and I were joined by a little kid whose parents ran one of the small drink / snack shops.
The first set of falls
From the road it’s a steep downhill hike to the waterfalls. Throw in some oppressively humid conditions and you have a fairly uncomfortable experience (at least on the way back up). The first falls we visited required walking over a dodgy bamboo bridge, over heaps of slippery rocks and then across a small section of river. Definitely not the easiest or safest place to get to! It also gets really wet, so you’d better keep your camera safely secured in your bag. I eventually made it to the base of the falls, got some terrible photos (I didn’t have my Gopro with me, which I instantly regretted) and gingerly walked back the way I came.
The second set of falls
The second set of falls (turn right at the bottom of the track) are a lot easier to access and, thankfully, a lot easier to photograph. I’ve been to quite a few waterfalls in Bali and this was easily the most impressive – it all looks so pristine with the exotic forest surrounds and narrow cascades crashing down from a great height. Of course, this being Bali, I didn’t have it all to myself. There were probably a couple of dozen other people there, which is nothing compared to what you’ll see at some of Bali’s more popular waterfalls.
I hung out for a while at the second set of falls and then headed back up the hill. I can’t recall if anyone was swimming in the pool below the falls, but it seems like something people would do if my quick Google search of the falls is any indication. I say swimming, but it’s seems to pretty much just be people posing for photos in shallow water.
The Way Back
Have you seen the movie The Way Back? It tells the story of some Russian prisoners in Siberia who try to walk all the way to India to escape their fate. I’m not saying my journey was as demanding, but it was still pretty tough. At the top of the track / start of the “road” we arrived at our little child guide’s parents’ shop where I thought I’d be guilt tripped into giving them money. I even offered some, but they wouldn’t take it. I did buy a couple of drinks though — I was in the midst of a sugary drink addiction and an ice-cold Sprite in those conditions is a wonderful thing.
Getting to Sekumpul Falls
After reading that this is the best Bali Waterfall (according to some travel blogger you’d probably never heard of until five minutes ago) I’m sure you want to visit it yourself. As I said earlier, I don’t ride scooters / motorbikes. It seems like an unnecessary risk, especially as I’ve never ridden one before and the wild roads of Bali / Thailand / wherever never seem to be the ideal places to learn. I hired a driver for the day from Munduk (which is a cool town – a quieter alternative to Ubud) for 500,000 IDR (around $30 USD) and visited a couple of waterfalls, a temple and the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. So yeah, I can’t help you much with how to get there on a motorbike but it’s in the north of Bali – Google Maps will help you out!
Have you been to Bali before? Which do you think is the best Bali waterfall? What else would you recommend people do on their first visit to Bali? Let me know in the comments below!
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