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