Many of you asked about the waterfalls we visited while in Ubud, so as promised, here’s the entire lowdown. If you read my Ubud post, you already know that Bali is absolutely covered in waterfalls, streams, rivers, rock pools, and every kind of water body imaginable. Especially as you move inland away from the coast and start venturing into the thick, lush forest that covers most of this magical island.
We did a whole lot of research when it came to which waterfalls we were finally going to visit (think two weeks of just waterfall research, and yes I drove Josh absolutely insane), but I wanted to find ones that are away from the same old tourist path. I had read that it’s possible to find ones all to yourself, and that was totally my goal. We arrived in Ubud with a list of at least 10 different waterfalls, only to quickly realise that a lot of them were over 2 hours away and we didn’t have enough time in Ubud to be able to do and see everything we want. So we made a shortlist. The criteria? It had to be within 30-40 minutes from our hotel (near Ubud centre), it had to be less touristy than the famous ones, we had to be able to take a dip and not just see it from far away, and of course, we wanted to see a variety of different waterfalls. Tall ones and short ones, cascading ones and ones that fall straight down from the sky. I think by the end we were pretty thrilled with the ones we landed up at. Here’s my travel guide to the best waterfalls near Ubud!
This was our first one, on day one in Ubud. We set out after a delicious breakfast and this one seemed pretty close. It was a scenic 25 minute vespa ride through the quaint residential neighbourhoods of Ubud and we pulled into a tiny parking lot with a flimsy paper sign pointing us in the right direction. We parked the bike, paid the small nominal fee charged for keeping the area clean and started our descent. We could already hear the gushing water, so it couldn’t have been too far. After a 10 minute downhill hike we crossed a small bamboo bridge and the waterfall opened up to us. It was absolutely magical at first sight, a round lagoon of green blue water and a glorious waterfall neatly plummeting into the rock pool below. There was a cool mist blowing and there were only a few other people around (who luckily left within 10 minutes of our arrival). We swam into the chilly but refreshing water and floated around for a good hour before heading off to our spa appointment.
Go to Tibumana if: you want an easy, quick walk to the actual waterfall instead of a hardcore hike, only a few other people around, lots of space to swim in and easy access from Ubud town.
This ones great because you get two waterfalls in one location. It has an easy access and you only need to climb down a long series of steps to reach the waterfall. 20 minutes from Ubud centre, this is a spot frequented by locals and tourists alike. The unique thing about this waterfall is that its cascading down a series of rocks and you can climb these rocks and chill in the middle of the waterfall. A supremely fun thing to do, although be careful of the slippery rocks while climbing up and down. The water surrounding the fall is about 2-3 feet deep so its good for children as well. But here’s the really great part, if you brave it and grab all your stuff over your head, you can walk about 5 minutes upstream through the river to another smaller, but completely private waterfall (if you’re facing Kanto Lampo go to the left). Although its so close by, since it has no direct access and you must walk through chest deep water and over slippery and sharp rocks to get there, it’s usually completely deserted. I sat under the waterfall feeling the hypnotic drum of water against my body for ages, while Josh explored the surrounding water some more. It’s the best spot to find a submerged rock to perch upon for a while, feeling at one with nature and everything around you.
Go to Kanto Lampo if: you want to be able to climb on to the waterfall, and if you wish to see two divine falls in one location, one usually being completed isolated.
Air Terjun Kuning
About 40 minutes from Ubud centre, this was by far the hardest one to reach. It involves a solid 30 minute hike down a hairy, steep jungle path. A lot of the climb down is a set of stairs carved into the muddy ground, and these are so steep you feel like one missed step and you’ll fall straight down into the woods. I actually did slip and fall, but luckily it wasn’t serious. The entire area is wet and densely forested, so the floor on the entire trek down was mucky and had water dripping down from every possible angle, this made the descent even more difficult. I would not recommend this for kids, older folk, and those who are not used to getting dirty on hikes or sometimes having to use all four limbs in order to climb down or up. You need proper trekking shoes too, otherwise the chances of a twisted ankle are high. But the effort is worth it when you finally reach the base. The tallest waterfall out of the ones we saw, it runs down a smooth rock face in twin streams of water. The little lagoon at the base is great to swim in, and is about 4 feet deep. Another great part of this waterfall is that the lagoon cascades down towards a rivulet, creating a series of natural rock pools to hang out in. You can even swim in the stream below if you wish. This one we really had all to ourselves, and would have been the perfect spot to bring a picnic and settle in for the day. It’s quite far into the woods and really gives you the feeling of being alone in the middle of a rainforest. Absolutely divine and I’d do the scary trek any day for a chance to swim in this sweet spot again. The climb up was easier but we had to use all fours like a monkey to climb the steep path back to the bike. We got extremely muddy and tired, so be prepared to head to your hotel for a long shower and nap when you’re done!
Go to Air Terjun Kuning if: You want an adventure! If intense hikes, rock pools, a stream to wade through apart from twin waterfalls sounds good to you, then this the right choice.
To stay away from crowds and experience the true magic the forests surrounding Ubud offer, I would suggest you check out some of these waterfalls. They are all easily accessible by bike and are in different levels of difficulty. If you have time, do all 3 and then some more! The list is endless, just do your research before hand to know how far they are and how much of a hike you need to do to reach the actual fall. All of them are easily available on Google maps, which always led us straight to our destination without any problems. Ubud remains etched in my mind forever, and I cant wait to go back and continue exploring. Happy waterfall chasing, dear readers!
P.s- I would highly recommend you buy a pair of walking/trekking shoes that are waterproof. The hikes themselves are muddy and often through patches of water and the lagoons surrounding the waterfalls tend to have a rocky bottom. It’s tough to walk over this barefoot without some injuries. Josh and I bought a pair of waterproof shoes from Merrell and they were our best friends on this trip. I’ll be writing a full review of these shoes soon.
Jasleen Gill is a fashion & celebrity stylist, model, and blogger currently residing in Mumbai, India.READ MORE