A little bit off the beaten path lies a tiny village Senaru in Lombok hiding two gems – Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls. They’re almost at the base of an active Rinjani volcano and offer a nice cool down after trekking Indonesia’s 2nd highest volcano.
Most people visiting north of Lombok come for one reason – to hike up the Rinjani volcano to the huge crater lake where a smaller active volcano formed and then all the way to the top (3,726m) for sunrise. Visiting waterfalls is a cherry on the top.
Even when I say it was the hardest trek we’ve ever done, it was still worth it. The weather was perfect but the trail was grueling. The first day we’ve arrived at Senaru where the trek starts and waterfalls are located, we saw both our goals from the guesthouse: top of the Rinjani volcano and Sendang Gile waterfall. I wish we could visit the waterfalls and cool off during our trek. We visited the day after the trek and couldn’t ask for a better memory of Senaru.
Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls
After the 3-day trek, we stayed one more night in Senaru to rest, before we moved on to Gili Air. We woke up feeling exhausted and our bodies were sore. The last thing on our minds was walking through the jungle again looking for waterfalls. But I’m so glad we did!
We slowly finished our delicious and fulfilling breakfast consisting of banana pancakes and fresh fruit. Since the entrance to the waterfalls was right next to our guesthouse, we were the first ones there at 8:30 in the morning. Even if you stay somewhere else in Senaru, your accommodation can arrange transport to the waterfalls for you.
We’ve heard some travelers complain that locals were forcing them to hire a local guide. Whatever the case might be it’s not mandatory or necessary to have a guide. There are only two trails and both of them are easy to follow to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls.
The entrance is located right by Pondok Senaru Cottage, the fee is 10,000IDR (0,70USD) per person and there are even some stands inside to buy snacks or water.
When you hike 3 days under the direct Indonesian sun, you’re grateful for any shade. We were happy to see that the whole walk through the jungle to the waterfalls is shaded and quite cool.
Sendang Gile waterfall
After you pay the fee, there are several steps down leading to Sendang Gile waterfall. It has two levels and appears from the cliff above hidden by the greenery. Locals were setting up their stands or eating breakfast and we went as close as possible to the tiny pool under the waterfall. That was exactly the refreshment we were looking for.
Tiu Kelep waterfall
When you walk back a little bit and turn to the second trail, it leads to Tiu Kelep waterfall. The trail continues through the bridge and follows a water channel all the way to the waterfall. There are two small creeks on the way which you have to cross. We saw people of all ages on the way back having no problem with the crossing. In any case, there are local kids ready to help you out with your stuff.
From that point, you will hear a bustling sound of the majestic Tiu Kelep waterfall. The main and the strongest one is coming out of the highest point of the cliff and several small ones are accompanying it right below. The whole area is incredibly lush green and very humid, waterfall splashing quite far.
Of course, I took off my shoes and went as close as possible to the waterfall. The rocks were very slippery as I walked closer to the waterfall. The pool underneath is good for a short swim but the strength of the waterfall needs to be considered before going in. The refreshing sprinkle leaving me all wet was amazing. Just being surrounded by all the trees and many waterfalls is a spectacular experience.
In two hours we forgot all about our fatigue admiring natural wonders of Indonesia and left Sendang Gile an Tiu Kelep waterfalls in Senaru feeling refreshed.
What to do next?
If you haven’t been yet, visit south of Lombok and stay in Kuta. It has several gorgeous beaches (white and pink sand), great surfing, stand up paddle boarding and snorkeling, or just chill out and do some yoga by the pool.
Alternatively, you can follow our steps which lead us to relax and wind down on Gili Air for a few days and then we stayed between Mataram and Senggigi, relaxed on the black sand beach and explored Benang Kelambu & Benang Stokel waterfalls (which might be even prettier).
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