Popular local swimming spot
Published/Last edited or updated: 22nd November, 2016
To be honest, when we first arrived at Waikelo Sawah Waterfall, we were a bit disappointed. We heard “waterfall” and thought, some natural falling water kind of thing. Well there’s water, but it’s basically a built environment — a small irrigation dam/hydro power plant. Now if someone had said, “dam” or even “hydro power plant”, we wouldn’t have been so disappointed.
A popular local swimming spot, Waikelo Sawah Waterfall is actually a lovely small local irrigation hydroelectricity thingy, surrounded by stunning rice fields. Yep, the views are worth the trip. And there is some nature: The water source is inside a limestone cave with stalactites and it’s very pretty.
A small bridge takes you across the dam, and you can climb a short staircase and walk along a high, narrow, unfenced, slippery path close to the cave entrance. We weren’t brave enough to try— the path is about 20 centimetres wide and the drop is a good few metres.
In dry season, when the water isn’t gushing out in megalitres, you can swim inside the cave, which we imagine would be rather special. Surrounded by luscious green jungle and rice paddies interspersed with a zigzag of irrigation channels, Waikelo Sawah Waterfall is a pleasant spot to spend a couple of hours cooling off. You’ll get to meet locals too — even on a rainy day there were more people here than any other tourist attraction we visited in Sumba.
Waikelo Sawah is 10 kilometres west of Waitabubak. Follow the main east-west road towards Waitabula for 8.5 kilometres. At an intersection surrounded by fruit stalls (stop and buy some local fruit to eat at the waterfall), head south and continue for another 1.5 kilometres. A bemo can drop you at the turnoff, then you’ll have to walk the last one and a half kilometres.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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