It is my 3rd trip back to Tiu Kelep Waterfall Senaru – Lombok… and for a pretty obvious reason! (I mean just look at this thing!)
I arrived by boat from Bali to the harbour or Bangsal, North Lombok, where I met some new friends Jackson, Jorden, Warren and Eloise. After some haggling to score a good price for a taxi, we were on our way to Senaru. This hillside village is a popular spot for people to stay before and after trekking Mt. Rinjani, (click the link below to see my most popular post on trekking Mt. Rinjani) and the taxi cost us around 400,000 rupiah – equivalent to $40 AUS for a 2 hour drive to our homestay. We didn’t let this long travel time debilitate us though – as we admired the serene rice terraces and beautiful coastline on either side of the road, we laughed and shared our individual travel adventures. Although this may seem like the boring part of the trip, the time spent getting to know each other and having a good time definitely made it a highlight! It’s important to remember that – make the most of every minute you are travelling, and every moment you have with your friends.
Blue Mountain Cottage is a small homestay in Senaru village within walking distance to the waterfalls. The a/c rooms are only 100,000 rupiah per night. With 2 to a room that’s cheaper than a coffee where I am from! The owner of the homestay was rather humorous, and was tremendously helpful in organizing our trek to Mt. Rinjani. At this point, I was super excited for our incoming adventure!
It is best to visit the waterfalls early morning before the crowds and you can also avoid the entrance fee. Although, the entrance fee is only around 20,000 rupiah ($2)… so its not a big bite out of the wallet if you have to pay. We decided to watch the sunrise over the rice field valley before taking the path down towards the falls.
There is a smaller waterfall along the way to Tiu Kelep which is called Sendang Gile, a 2 tier cascading falls. We were so early here that we only had to share this waterfall with the local monkeys! From here head back up the track and to the left to continue on to Tiu Kelep waterfall. It is a moderate 30 minute walk through the jungle and manageable without the use of a guide. There is a couple of river crossings no more than knee deep and a muddy trail that leads through the jungle to the jaw dropping sight of Tiu Kelep. There is no waterfall that I have seen that can compare to this. And even though this isn’t my first time here, Tiu Kelep never ceases to amaze me.
The water flows out of the walls and in to a crystal clear pool below. There is a strong vortex like current directly beneath the main water flow so be careful not to get sucked in! The rocks are also super slippery, so if you are excited as I was when visiting these falls, watch your step!
To get the best shots of this waterfall you will need to stand a good 30m away from the pool due to the constant clouds of mist that will instantly wet your lens. The weather patterns around the base of Mt. Rinjani are very unpredictable so be prepared for a sudden downpour of rain. As soon as we got back to the homestay a storm rolled in for the good part of the afternoon.
There is not much in the way of snacks and water once you hit the trail to Tiu Kelep so be sure to pack something before you take the trek in.
This waterfall is hands down mother nature at its finest! Happy Adventuring!