Closest waterfall to Ubud
Published/Last edited or updated: 29th January, 2017
Steamy weather getting to you? Tegenungan Waterfall offers the perfect place to cool off and is the closest waterfall to (beach deprived) Ubud.
Hidden in lush jungle surrounds near Tegenungan village, ten kilometres south of Ubud, the impressive falls cascade about 25 metres into Petanu River. Photos near the entry booth show the waterfall with a “normal” amount of water and during rainy season “some like brown sugar” says the caption—probably not the best time for a swim. However it was the rainy season when we visited and the falls were perfectly swimmable, just like in the “normal” photo.
Passing a row of surprisingly neat and clean looking food stalls all with “good toilets—free if you buy something”, a lookout allows you to peer into the gorge, and judge if it’s worth climbing the steep steps for a swim (you’ll still have to pay the entry fee to get that far). The cement stairs are wide and well made, there’s just a lot of them (about 50 our driver said, but we didn’t count). The path splits near the bottom, but both trails end up near the river.
At the bottom of the stairs, in a small enclosed grotto a pretty spring is a lovely spot for a dip if the waterfall is in “brown sugar” mode, although a sign requests “For: Ladies. DO NOT shower during menstruation”. Holy water. Next to the spring, Warung Beji offers lockers to rent for 10,000 rupiah, and toilets for 3,000 rupiah. Don’t loose your key, or it’s 150,000 rupiah. From the warung, the friendly owner has built a set of stairs that lead to a small waterfall behind, not really for swimming, but pretty for a look.
The path continues to the river, but narrows and is a little steep, slippery and muddy, and trekking sandals would be a better bet than flip flops for the less sure footed. Down to the rocky shoreline, the sign says “don’t worry be sexy, but no naked”. Jump in and have fun, but do be aware of currents and the power of that wall of water. Bamboo sun lounges can be rented for 25,000 rupiah and occasionally drink sellers ply for business.
Cross the river via a low bamboo bridge, to climb to the top of the cliff where the waterfall suddenly changes name—and you have to buy another ticket. Entry to Blangsinga Waterfall (yes, it’s the same cascade) is 10,000 rupiah for adults and 5,000 rupiah for kids. We were informed that you can avoid paying twice if you enter the falls from Blangsinga village (about two kilometres longer if coming from Ubud).
As you climb, guys (yes, we’re taking to you males of the species) please take note of the warning signs asking you not to jump off the cliffs into the pools below. Indonesia is not a nanny state as you may be used to in your home country where the area would be fenced, and if they go as far as putting up a sign, they mean it: it’s dangerous. Don’t let the testosterone kick in just because some other idiot is attempting to leap into the abyss. Overseas funerals are expensive, particularly if you don’t have travel insurance. If your intentions are not to jump, do be careful attempting that other dangerous sport: taking a selfie.
Tegenungan Waterfall is indeed an appealing setting, and notably, remarkably clean—we didn’t see any of the usual plastic rubbish laying about. We think it’s an excellent stop to add to a tour when visiting the sights around Ubud. The only negative of the place is that you have to climb back up the steep stairs to leave—be prepared for a good leg workout. Warning to parents: small kids may need to be carried. Go early to avoid the crowds. On the way to the waterfall, Kemenuh Butterfly Park is a worthwhile detour, particularly if you have kids in tow.
From the car park, an entry fee of 10,000 rupiah gives access to the popular spot. Parking is 5,000 rupiah for cars and free for motorbikes.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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