Photo: Lush and beautiful.

Goa Rang Reng

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East of Ubud, near Gianyar, a handful of attractive waterfalls punctuate the rivers, the most delightful being at at Goa Rang Reng near the small village of Gitgit.

Goa Rang Reng translates to “multicoloured cave” and here at the confluence of Bangunlemah and Betiting Rivers (river confluences are considered sacred in Bali), an ancient cave mixes the waters spilling them in a wide and gentle cascade to become the Cangkir River.

Watch your step. Photo taken in or around Goa Rang Reng, Ubud, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Watch your step. Photo: Sally Arnold

From the carpark it’s an easy walk down a stepped jungle path where the track divides into three. Take the higher path to the right to reach the waterfall (marked by a sign), but for a more interesting trip it’s worth hiring the services of a local guide to explore the other paths. Much of this neck of the woods is regarded as holy, and locals request you don’t venture alone without a guide (except to the waterfall) and it’s best to bring your own sarong and sash, although you may be able to borrow one from the ticket booth.

The trail to the left leads to Pura Taman Manik Mas, a small holy spring temple you wade across the river to reach. Bring a water bottle, the spring water is pure and sweet. Local guides offer trekking in the hill above where you’ll find another ancient temple, several hectares of long pampas grass used in roofing, jungles and a river canyon. Treks last about three hours and guides charge around 100,000 rupiah. If you are curious, guides can take you to the holy cave. Don’t endeavour to go in alone and be mindful that it’s considered consecrated grounds and locals are rather guarded about allowing hordes of tourists to enter.

A true jungle setting. Photo taken in or around Goa Rang Reng, Ubud, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

A true jungle setting. Photo: Sally Arnold

The path to the waterfall is steep, muddy and slippery. Bamboo platforms offer a good lookout point, and a small warung here sells snack and drinks. Climb down the muddy embankment to the river from where you can easily climb to the top of the waterfall with the help of a rope and peer into the holy cave. The appealing falls are not high and are more like a web of steep rapids than a single torrent. Surrounding rocks are mossy and slippery, so be cautious with your footing. Shallow pools form in a couple of spots, perfect for a cooling dip. Most visitors are local and swim in shorts and T-shirts, which would be more appropriate attire than swimwear.

We think Goa Rang Reng is a lovely relaxing spot, the peaceful natural surrounds make it an ideal escape from busy traffic-clogged Ubud. Local guide Nyoman Jaya T: (0877) 6111 0386 can help arrange trekking. Stop on your way out at the warung in the carpark for some rujak: spicy fruit salad made from underripe fruit and a sauce of palm sugar, chilli, tamarind, salt and shrimp past.

The waterfall is signposted from Jalan Gunug Agung, the main road through the village. If waterfall hopping is on your agenda, Tibumana Waterfall is two-and-a-half kilometres north along the Bangunlemah River, and Kanto Lampo Waterfall is two-and-a-half kilometres south along the Cangkir River.

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Goa Rang Reng
12.5 kilometres east of Ubud
Admission: 15,000 rupiah

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