About Sekumpul Waterfall (and Hidden Waterfall)
The Sekumpul Waterfall (also called Gerombong Waterfall) is widely regarded in the internet literature as the best waterfall in Bali so naturally we had to see for ourselves if it lives up to the hype.
Well, after having experienced it, I can say that there’s certainly a lot of merit to the hype, and here’s a brief summary why.
First, the waterfall is big; featuring multiple segments where the Tukad Daya plunged 80m (though I’ve seen some claim it’s 100m tall) with a width spanning possibly 50m or so.
Given these dimensions, I’ve seen claims that it’s Bali’s tallest waterfall though that’s something hard to substantiate, but it’s certainly one of the largest waterfalls that we’ve been to on the island.
On top of that, there are also a couple of neighboring waterfalls such as the Hidden Waterfall as well as the Fiji Waterfall, which you can experience depending on the excursion you book (more on this later).
How To Get To The Sekumpul Waterfall
Prior to our visit to the Sekumpul Waterfall, I noticed that there was quite a bit of conflicting information about where the hike starts and how much it costs.
We weren’t sure if there was some scam being propagated where some of the villagers have set up roadblocks or gates insisting that you hire a local guide for an amount that is much greater than what other waterfalls in Bali have costed us.
Heck, there’s even trip reports advocating for starting the visit from Lemukih Village instead of nearby the Sekumpul Village.
We’ll go into more detail about the drive to the trailhead in the directions part of this write-up.
But for what it’s worth, we had a hired driver who took us to what I believe to be the official starting point on our mid-June 2022 visit.
Upon arriving at the car park, there was a ticket counter where we could choose one of three guided hikes that all take in the Sekumpul Waterfall.
According to the registration kiosk we were at, the excursion options were the following:
- Option 1: View Only – IDR 20k (or about $2.33 USD) per person
- Option 2: Medium Trekking – IDR 125k (or about $8.33 USD) per person
- Option 3: Long Trekking – IDR 200k (or about $16.33 USD) per person
Option 1 (View Only) only allows you to view the Sekumpul Waterfall from the lookouts at the top of the cliffs opposte the falls.
There are manned stations at the top to deter unguided visitors from going down into the gorge.
Option 2 (Medium Trekking) encompasses Option 1 while also letting you go down into the gorge to get to the bottom of the Sekumpul Waterfall as well as the Hidden Waterfall.
Option 3 (Long Trekking) encompasses Options 1 and 2 while also letting you go further to explore the Fiji Waterfall.
Mom and I decided to go for gusto and do option 3, which apparently also included a bottled water (which we just gave to the local guide and our driver) as well as a scooter ride back.
I can’t say for sure whether the other options included the scooter ride to help speed things up on the return hike though I thought I heard our local guide say the ride costed on the order of IDR 60k (so apparently, they’re typically not included).
Nevertheless, for the purposes of this write-up, we’ll just focus on Option 2 and punt the details for Option 3 on another write-up.
By the way, the cost of options 2 and 3 certainly made this one of the more expensive waterfall visits we’ve done in Bali.
But when you consider the exchange rates and the cost of living disparities between tourists and locals, it’s actually not that bad.
I understand that in the past, they used to charge much less for an unguided walk, but recently the authorities instituted that a local guide for any excursions going into the gorge is required.
Considering that this helps the local villagers and helps to pay for the inevitable trail maintenance, it seems like a pretty reasonable way to make this excursion a win-win for everybody.
Finally, for just the Hidden Waterfall and Sekumpul Waterfall, the hike was about 5km round trip, and it would probably take us between 2-3 hours.
Sekumpul Waterfall Trail Description – Hike To Hidden Waterfall
From the car park, we followed a road past some residences for about 400m before descending a local road down past more residences and warungs before getting into plantations and irrigation ditches.
This “precursor” stretch of getting through a rural farm and residences mildly descended for about 800m before reaching the first views of the Sekumpul Waterfall, which also showed part of the Fiji Waterfall looking smaller by comparison.
I believe this is the extent of the viewing experience for Option 1.
After getting past a handful of lookouts offering slightly different angles of the main waterfall’s context (even revealing what appeared to be a railing and alternative lookout at the brink of the falls), the trail then made its steep descent on steps.
By the way, the railings and people that we saw near the brink of the falls were not part of this excursion as apparently that’s from a different property.
From what I could tell, you can’t see the Sekumpul Waterfall from up there (unless you’re looking through a drone), and it’s definitely not accessible on the excursion we were on.
So the steps descended towards a switchback that veered away from what appeared to be a landslide, which the local guide told us happened some time around the 2020 time frame.
The descending trail would continue down a combination of steps and slopes before reaching flights of metal steps, where at one joint we got a nice in-your-face view of the Sekumpul Waterfall looking even more imposing than before.
Continuing down the metal steps, the trail then bottomed out in the lush jungle at the bottom of the gorge, where the path went past some outdoor shrine before reaching a trail fork.
We first went left at the fork, which continued on a bush-lined path before the vegetation opened up at the mouth of the Hidden Gorge.
It was apparent how this gorge got its name because we didn’t know it was there, especially those cliffside views that would have been option 1.
After crossing the stream and listening to frog sounds, we then did a slippery rock scramble the rest of the way towards the head of the Hidden Gorge where we finally saw the Hidden Waterfall along with a handful of intermediate waterfalls along the way.
At the foot of the Hidden Falls, there was also a misty plunge pool that some people definitely took advantage of to go for a swim.
Sekumpul Waterfall Trail Description – The Main Waterfall
After having our fill of the Hidden Waterfall and its companion waterfalls, we then went back the way we came to arrive the familiar trail fork.
This time, we took the path descending right to the unbridged stream crossing, and just a few paces later, the vegetation opened up again as the mist sprayed our faces right at the bottom of the Sekumpul Waterfall.
Unfortunately, the lighting was such that it was kind of against the morning sun making picture-taking tricky (especially since it’s so misty down here).
We were pretty content to stay a bit back from the intensity of the mist zone, but we did see some people go even deeper amongst the giant fallen boulders and into the hidden plunge pool there.
This would be the extent of a visit to the Sekumpul Waterfall, and we’d head back up from here.
However, it’s worth noting that another trail continued further along downstream, and that one goes to the Fiji Waterfall, which is also discussed in a separate post.
On the way back, there was the option to ride hitch a ride on a scooter from the local warungs between the street and the first lookout of the falls, which I believe would cost IDR 60k per person.
That might cut off at least 1km to the overall round-trip hiking distance so it might save 15-20 minutes or so.
The Sekumpul Waterfall and Hidden Waterfall reside in the Buleleng Regency near Singaraja or Bedugul in Bali Province, Indonesia. It may be administered by the Buleleng Regency Government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting this website.
The Sekumpul Waterfall and Hidden Waterfall are located about 18km southeast of the city of Singaraja.
Since we were driven to the trailhead for this waterfall from Lovina, I can tell you that it took us about 1 hour to get to the official car park.
That said, we followed GoogleMaps, which misled our driver on some smaller roads that eventually became unsuitable for passenger vehicles as they were more meant for scooters.
So I won’t bother with giving exact driving directions, but I can recommend that taking the Jalan Raya Desa after going around 8km east of Lovina (continuing east of Singaraja) is a better, wider road to get to Sekumpul Village.
For more details, you can look at the embedded map above for your trip planning needs.
Now, I’ve seen trip reports advocating for starting the hike to Sekumpul Waterfalls from Lemukih Village, but I’m under the impression that it only goes to the top of the Sekumpul Waterfall.
I could be wrong about this, but I really can’t say any more about this since we didn’t do it this way.
For geographical context, Singaraja is about 10km (less than 30 minutes drive) east of Lovina, about 30km (an hour drive) north of Bedugul, 73km (over 2 hours drive) north of Ubud, about 88km (about 3 hours drive) north of Kuta, about 78km (about 2.5 hours drive) north of Canggu, and about 83km (over 2.5 hours drive) north of Seminyak.
Note that you’ll want to take the drive times with a grain of salt mostly because the traffic situation (especially in Southern Bali) is pretty bad and unpredictable.
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