5 MOST BEAUTIFUL WATERFALLS IN BALI

CHASING WATERFALLS. WANT TO ESCAPE FROM YOUR BUSY DAILY LIFE? YOU CAN EXPLORES THE HIDDEN PARADISE OF NORTH BALI.

most beautiful waterfalls in baliSome of Bali’s best treasures are its waterfalls, often tucked away in the most beautiful parts of the island. Many of them are in North Bali, where steep ravines head seaward from the main volcano mountain areas of Bedugul and Kintamani. While most waterfalls can be explored on a long day trip from Seminyak, it is more rewarding to stay overnight and spend a couple of days so you can discover them at your leisure, and cherish the sights and sounds of Bali that are so magical. Excellent accommodations are available in Bedugul, Singaraja, and Munduk.

These five waterfalls are located in the same area in North Bali, and they take at least two days to explore. I’ve chosen these falls based upon their beauty, safety for access, swimming and cleanliness.

NUNGNUNG FALLS, SOUTH OF BEDUGUL

Location: ‘-8.331773,115.227174’
These falls are 45-meters high and most spectacular during wet season. The drive to the falls is a treasure on its own, as you will pass jungle ravines and ridge top terraced rice paddies.

The locals will tell you that it takes around 45 minutes to descend to the falls proper, and over an hour to get back up – including the 400 steps. And they are right! This is a very vigorous but rewarding trek. The pathway, stairs and handrails are in good condition so it is safe, even for kids. The base of the falls is easily accessible once you’ve descended, but spots for swimming are a little NungNung Falls limited.

Overall, allow about two and a half hours to go down, explore the waterfall base proper, gather energy for the return climb, and make it back to the carpark.

COLEK PAMOR FALLS, GITGIT, BEDUGUL-SINGARAJA ROAD

Location: ‘-8.191950,115.138030’
Continuing north and going down the Bedugul Singaraja Road you’ll find the Colek Pamor Falls, which are located just before you enter the small township of Gitgit. There is a sign on the left with a Frangipani flower emblem directing you to the carpark, around 100 meters from the main road. However, it is still best to use the GPS coordinates and Google Maps to find it. These falls are not included in any of the well-known guidebooks, so are still very pristine with few tourists. They are exceptional and my favorite in Bali. The trek from the carpark to the falls takes around 35 minutes along a well-maintained and signposted path.

The Colek Pamor Falls are 35-meters high and ‘guarded’ by a local Balinese family who run the carpark. They are very hospitable (ask for Made) and sell coffee from their plantation, which surrounds the falls. There are numerous spots for swimming but the best is the pool directly below the falls. Spare around two and a half hours for the round trip from the carpark including time for a good swim. A wetsuit may be desirable since the water is ‘cold’ by Balinese standards.

TWIN FALLS, GITGIT, BEDUGUL-SINGARAJA ROAD

Location: ‘-8.202161,115.140516 ‘
The Twin Falls at Gitgit are easily found by seeing the large clear signpost and carpark as you head down the steeply winding route from Bedugul to Singaraja. The falls are about 18-meters high and nestled within a rock cavern, making it quite a unique sight. Access from the carpark requires a 20-minute walk along a well-constructed walkway. There are a number of small warungs along the way for snacks and other interesting stuff, such as locally grown herbs and spices of all varieties.

A swimming pond is just downstream from the falls, suitable for children too. If you continue walking pass the Twin Falls you will find some other falls as well, all part of the same Gitgit Gorge heading north.

It takes around an hour and a half to do the round trip from the carpark. These falls are quite popular, so try to get there early in the morning and relish the paradise all to yourself.

ALINGALING FALLS, SINGARAJA

Location: ‘-8.175569,115.104566’
It takes less than 20 minutes from central Singaraja to get to AlingAling Falls. From the carpark it takes around 30 minutes – the last part being a steep 150 stairs down to the river gorge and to the waterfall proper. Children will require some help.

These falls are 50 meter high and are in a spectacular gorge setting. The jungle and rice fi elds around are wowing, and there’s a trek further down along the gorge to more falls and swimming spots – do ask for a guide to take you there.

The area is kept quite clean from rubbish, which is a credit to the staff who run the carpark and act as guides should you need assistance.

SEKUMPUL FALLS, SINGARAJA

Location: ‘-8.172090,115.183142’
These falls are often cited as the most beautiful in Bali and are a spectacular 80 meters in height. They are located around 30 minutes from Singaraja, and quite difficult to find. So it’s best to use Google Maps and the coordinate system and you will have no problems.

There are seven waterfalls in this gorge – the lower sections are accessible via a series of steep stairs, all in good condition. However, you will need to cross a creek at the bottom to get to the main falls splash pool, so be prepared to get a little wet.

The walk from the carpark to the breath-taking view of the falls takes approximately 30 minutes, and another 30 to 40 minutes to get to the gorge below. So for a full-round trip including exploring the gorge below, allow around three and a half hours.

On a final note, please take care when visiting these falls particularly with young children. A wetsuit is desirable for swimming and protection from the rocks. Take your time and enjoy, and don’t litter these superb natural resources of Bali!

Notes :
One of the main challenges of chasing waterfalls in Bali is actually finding them! Nearly all guidebooks and online advice refer to villages and turnoffs that can be confusing and time-consuming. That’s why I’ve included the GPS coordinates to help you. All you have to do is enter these two numbers into the ‘Search’ box of Google Maps – including the minus sign before the first number – on your mobile. A ‘Location Pin’ will drop on the carpark adjacent to the falls, and ‘Find Route’ will help you with a detailed route from your present location to the carpark. It works beautifully!

6 BEST PLACES TO RUN IN BALI

SECLUDED BEACHES, BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAINS, AND EXOTIC TERRACED LANDSCAPES HAVE TURNED BALI INTO A MAGICAL SPOT FOR RUNNING ENTHUSIASTS.

best places to run in baliAs one of the largest communities in Indonesia, IndoRunners has appealed to many people since it was first established in 2011 in Jakarta. With its aim of spreading the running virus throughout the nation, IndoRunners is the first to socialize the importance of a healthy lifestyle through social media, which then attracted many health-conscious patrons.

Expanding to the island in 2012, IndoRunners Bali has been persistently striving to educate the local audience to have a better understanding about proper training without forgetting to have fun with it. The community has become a family that is motivated to give Bali a new term, not only as a surfer’s paradise but also as a haven for runners. Want to join up? The following areas are most recommended for a fun run.

KUTA, LEGIAN AND SEMINYAK

If you like running on the beach while enjoying the view of the ocean, Kuta and Legian are worth considering. Wake up early and start running at 6 a.m. – you will see how Kuta and Legian are so peaceful, not to mention you get to treasure the rose-pink dawn. Park your vehicle somewhere nearby and start from the beach in front of Beachwalk Kuta up to W Retreat & Spa in Seminyak, then go back again. Voila! You’ve done a 10K run already! Don’t be in a rush since running on the beach is definitely heavier. Do jog on the side where the sand is wet to give you a more steady pace. Want to make it more fun? Run barefoot – but do watch out for small coral. Chasing the sunset is also worth it as long as you don’t mind the crowds on the sand.

JIMBARAN AND ULUWATU

Jimbaran and Uluwatu have plenty of tropical jungle tracks where the scenery of secluded beaches awaits you towards the end. Fresh oxygen and fun dirt tracks are only a few of the many reasons why Jimbaran and Uluwatu spoil runners with an adventurous spirit – these areas have also hosted the annual Bali International Triathlon. Try Tegalwangi Hills and the GWK Cultural Park that our #jimbaRUN team usually chooses for an easy Sunday morning run – both offer lush surroundings with a proper track. If you go further, you might discover a magical surprise, like the #jimbaRUN troops always do. Feel the adrenaline rush when finding secret beaches and picturesque ravines in which to take a group photo.

DENPASAR

The IndoRunners Bali team always makes use of city centers to attract more locals for a fun run. The jerseys are colorful, the faces are cheerful, and the smiles are always friendly. Join in every Thursday at 5.30 p.m. or every Sunday morning at 6 a.m. during the Car Free Day, where we take over the streets to
spread the joy of running together. The gathering point is at the front entrance gate of the legendary Bajra Sandhi Monument inside the Niti Mandala Park in Renon prior to the run. Look for the red tee or green Barong jersey and don’t be shy to say hello! The local government has provided fantastic well-maintained pedestrian walkways and tracks for running. So, no more excuses!

SANUR AND SERANGAN ISLAND

Sanur has the exotic atmosphere that always entices you to come back and explore its tranquility. The community has erected a flag in Sanur and set the spot to be one of the must-try running tracks every Saturday morning, where you can relish the mesmerizing sunrise. For casual runners who crave great scenery, Sanur is an absolute paradise. If you come early, start running from the main parking space of Segara Ayu Beach and then go back and revive your energy with breakfast at the Men Weti Chicken Rice. However, if you are up for a different adventure, join us in the wilderness every Tuesday at noon at Serangan Island, not far from Sanur. We’ll wait for you on the bridge at the end of the boulevard. On a Sunday morning, escape to Serangan Island and join our fellow 3V running club.

CANGGU AND UBUD

Canggu and Ubud are considered to be pivotal spiritual healing areas where you can renew your mind, body, and soul. Incredible views of the pristine rice terraces are a feast to the eyes, not to mention you can cherish the amazing countryside atmosphere and find some off beat tracks. In Ubud you can join Bali Hash House Harriers – an open membership activity club where tourists, expats and locals gather every Monday and Thursday afternoon to enjoy the scenery while running along the track. IndoRunners Bali always goes to Canggu and Ubud whenever we feel like getting closer to nature. One of the natural tracks is the Abuan Village – located at an approximate 1,100 meters above the sea level – that takes us through some of the unspoiled parts of Bali and ends with a view of the rice paddies.

NUSA DUA

Home to many luxury hotels and resorts managed by the Bali Tourism Development Center (BTDC), it is no longer a surprise that Nusa Dua is well maintained. The neat pedestrian paths and ocean-front jogging track is definitely a must for runners who stay in the south. Get ready to be immersed in a serene setting along the peninsula, which is the ultimate stress relief.

Safety Tips!

  • Always do stretching and warming up prior to a run.
  • Wear suitable running shoes.
  • No heavy running gears for a more comfortable run.
  • Have an energizing meal two hours prior to the run.
  • Never push yourself to run if you are not well.
  • Always stretch and cool down after the run.
  • Be familiar with your running route. When you are running on the side of a road, run in the opposite direction of traffic to minimize accidents.
  • Always wear light straps for safety when you run on the road at night.
  • Be very careful when running with headphones. Try to keep the volume down.
  • Keep yourself hydrated to avoid heat strokes and severe fluid loss.

READ BETWEEN THE COLORS : DECODING COLORS THROUGH THE EYES OF BALINESE CULTURE

A BLINK OF AN EYE

color tradition in bali

300 BC is claimed to be the first year of the study of optical phenomenon. Ever since then, scientists have been trying to analyze all the illusions that come to our brain from our eyes as the open gates. Until now, color is one of the most joyful subjects in scientific discussions, and it has been a fantastic mystery not only to the scientists but also to most of us – thanks to Sir Isaac Newton who invented color wheel in the year 1666, now recognized as one of the greatest discoveries for its ability to help us comprehend the colors that we see.

COLOR AND CULTURE

Colors are decoded differently by each culture. In the Renaissance era, green was the symbol of fertility. A masterpiece by Jan Van Eyck in the year 1434 titled ‘Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride’ shows a beautiful bride wearing an immaculate green dress to mark her fertility. But to most Westerners white is the perfect color for a bridal gown, while to some of the Chinese a white gown is inappropriate for a bride because they believe that white represents mourning. Black to many cultures represents evil and sadness, while to urban modernists, black is chic. It is rather interesting more than complicating to know how cultures have different perceptions towards color.

BALI’S ANGELS

The Balinese color concept is strongly influenced by the Hindu religion. The Balinese believe in nine guardian angels – God’s manifestations that guard the island from the points of the compass – known as Dewata Nawa Sanga. Each guardian angel has its own color to represent its purpose as follows :

  • Black (North, guarded by Wisnu) represents purity, holiness, and simplicity.
  • Blue (Northeast, guarded by Sambhu) represents revival, the balance of nature, and unity.
  • White (East, guarded by Iswara) represents peace, loyalty, and trust.
  • The dice or black-and-white (Southeast, guarded by Maheswara) represents emotion, softness, and in between.
  • Red (South, guarded by Brahma) represents dignity, power, strength, and the seeds of life.
  • Purple (Southwest, guarded by Rudra) represents anger, grudges, and sacrifice.
  • Yellow (West, guarded by Mahadewa) represents envy and jealousy.
  • Green (Northwest, guarded by Sangkara) represents freedom, vitality, and youth.
  • Brumbun, or the combination of white, yellow, black, and red (the center of the compass, guarded by Siva) represents the source of life, holiness, and extinction.

 

THE TRI DATU COLOR

The tri datu color is the combination of white, black and red. You may find some Balinese wearing a tri datu bracelet, as they believe that the bracelet will help them find strength in living their lives. The idea of strength here is not physical but more to self-awareness and control – to help one in avoiding doing bad things in life. The tri datu colors are also used in many of the traditional Balinese ceremonies, such as the house-blessing ceremony. It is believed that by having the tri datu colors on every pillar of the house, the house will be protected from negative energy. And that’s why every time a Balinese holds a house-blessing ceremony, they draw three lines in black, white, and red on every pillar.

COLOR GALORE

These interesting interpretations of color have proven that culture plays a significant role in how people see colors. Even though there is lots of research available that regresses color with certain situations, it is our belief that matters the most. And if you find yourself trapped in a long argument about color, just agree to disagree. Because colors are only debris of a huge amount of information that comes to our brain translated by our eyes.