Bali is known for an abundance of gorgeous waterfalls in the northern, jungle area of the island. We wanted to avoid the crowds, so we chose Sekumpul - a collection of 7 tall, misty waterfalls in one area. It was quite remote and challenging to get to, but once so we got there, it was worth it.
Trailhead: Google Maps
Elevation change: 330 ft
Since it was over a 2 hour drive to get to the falls, we hired a driver out of Ubud. We decided to take a break from the back to back scooter rentals, which we were glad we did since the journey there included a lot of mountainous driving, poor roads, and a lot traffic that we could nap through. Hiring him for the day was a little expensive (700,000 IDR), since he was the only driver we could find willing to drive during the Hindu Gulangan holiday.
He picked us up at 9am, and he actually drove in through the Lemukih Waterfall entrance. He said that this way, it was a shorter drive, and we would only have to pay a 15,000 IDR/pp entrance fee versus a 30,000 IDR/pp fee if we went in through the normal Sekumpul Waterfall entrance. The last 30 minutes of the drive followed one of the mountainous ridges with steep drop offs on both side and was a one lane road that seemed to be paved at one point. We drove through several isolated villages perched on the clifftops overlooking the rest of the valley and saw lots of villagers riding scooters along the windy road running errands.
When we got to the parking lot, a guide offered us his services for 100,000 IDR, but we decided to head down on our own. We were glad we didn't hire a guide, since the falls would be hard not to find - there are signs at forks and the path is well maintained.
After passing the parking lot for scooters, you are met with a lot of steep stairs to make your way down to the bottom of the valley. This part could take some time, since they were very steep and your legs definitely start burning halfway down!
Once at the bottom, we could either go left towards the 4 falls, or right towards the more famous double Sekumpul falls. There were a couple huts where you could buy drinks and snacks and rest on several benches. From here we could also see a lot people coming down the opposite side of the ravine, which is where you would come down if you came in through the Sekumpul entrance. We headed left, and had to cross the stream several times, so bring shoes with good grip that can get wet.
After exhausting the 4 waterfalls, we headed towards the other set of falls on the opposite side of the basin, and this one was way more crowded. Especially because it was a holiday, there were lots of locals bathing and playing in the water.
After we hiked up all the stairs again, a family that lived near where we parked the car were so kind and offered us some fruit.
The drive home took us almost 4 hours because of all of the traffic due to people going to temple for the multiday holiday and we also ran into several parades in the streets. If you have the energy and time, some other sites you could combine with your trip to the waterfall would be the Jatiluwih rice terraces and Ulun Danu, a beautiful temple on the water.