How to find the secret waterfalls in Bali
Sekumpul Waterfall(s) was the most amazing place we explored in Bali. I don’t even want to tell you about it because I want it to stay clean and clear of tourists forever. I felt like I was walking through a real life version of Rivendell (cc: LOTR fans).
We only had time for one full day excursion from Ubud, with a choice between the popular Mount Batur sunrise hike or the absolutely stunning Sekumpul Waterfall. I doubt you can go wrong with either, but I am absolutely happy with our choice.
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The waterfalls are located about two hours north of Ubud in a very small village. Once you get there via a driver, you are strongly encouraged to pay for a guide. At first we were annoyed by this and felt like it was a scam, but in the end I couldn’t be more grateful.
Our guide had a broken arm in a sling and we were really worried about whether he was up for the trip since we are really fast hikers. He ended up being the sweetest guy who was thrilled to meet Americans, pester us about our politics, and offer detailed information about the waterfalls and the surrounding foilage which included mangos, guava, and aromatic plants like cloves and ginger.
He was also helpful in guiding us across rivers and taking our pictures– one handed! The path begins with a steep stairway down into the jungle with several vista points of the many waterfalls. At the bottom, there is a bridge to cross the river which forks between the two waterfall areas.
To the left is the most powerful waterfall I have ever seen, I can’t believe I was allowed to swim under it. We had to cross a pretty strong current to get there. The mist was so strong that I had to put my camera away and use my iPhone instead.
To the right is another set of waterfalls and the trail is pretty nonexistent. We navigated across rocks and streams to get there. It was such an unbelievable experience swimming in these wild waterfalls, especially since it felt like we had them all to ourselves
We had already had a full day visiting the Tegalalang Rice Terraces (read here), but if you leave early and head straight to Sekumpul, there are also several other waterfalls in the area and a famous water temple that you have probably already seen the gates of all over Instagram. A good guide will know how to get you there.
I highly recommend Made from Hire Bali Driver (+62 819 3311 6036). If he is unavailable, he will arrange another reputable guide for you. I emphasize this point because our original driver that came with our Airbnb (read here) left us with a really poor impression. He charged outrageous prices (for Bali), got lost on the way to each destination, and never offered any information or tips about any destination.
We probably would have seen a lot more if we had been with our first driver from Villa Campuhan (read here) who we absolutely loved or our third driver (via Made) who took us to Seminyak and was so sweet. Both of these drivers were so eager to teach us about Bali and offered several times to stop so we could take pictures. Please, learn from my mistake and make sure you hire a reputable driver because it can change your whole experience.
In any case, these waterfalls will leave you speechless. I hope you get to experience them in person, but shhhhh, remember it's our secret!