Mount Rinjani, an active volcano and the second highest mountain in Indonesia, is a famous natural attraction in Lombok. It covers a total area of 41,000 hectares and can be seen on most part of the island. Climbers take the courage to summit the mountain that usually takes three days, to and back. If time is too abrupt, consider the waterfalls of Lombok at the foot of the mountain.
To visit the waterfalls, one needs to drive for three hours from Mataram, shorter if you’re already in Senggigi and longer if your accommodation is in Kuta area. It is located in northern Lombok and can be reached using a scooter or a car. A car is recommended for safer and more convenient way because of the long drive.
We availed a car rental service from Lombok Golden Tours because we didn’t want to stay under the sun for the 3-hour drive and commuting will surely consume our limited time. For IDR750,000, the service includes a full-tanked Toyota Avanza that can accommodate up to 4 persons and driven by an English-speaking driver. We found them on Google but you can contact them directly on these numbers: +62-877-655-99445 and +62-813-3950-3316.
A short stop on our way to the waterfalls was the Malimbu Cliff, a nice area in viewing the famous Gili islands and some stretch of beaches. There’s also a large sign of MALAKA on the right side of the viewpoint. “Stand on the first letter of your name,” our driver-slash-guide suggested.
The long drive continued until we reached the town of Bayan in the North Lombok Regency. Bayan is considered as one of the oldest villages on the island. Lombok’s oldest Bayan Beleq mosque stands on its grounds since the 16th century. We didn’t go to the area to see the mosque though, but for the waterfalls.
Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls are only two of the handful waterfalls of Lombok and out of the several unexplored and no-named ones. Our driver parked at Rinjani Base Kamp, a facility offering accommodation to climbers and overnighters in Senaru. They also have a restaurant just in case you need to feed those leeches inside your tummies.
On my research before our visit, some tourists visiting the falls are ranting online about being scammed and forced to have a local guide. They mentioned that there’s no need to get a guide because the trail is undemanding and straightforward. But I tell you, guides are really helpful especially when crossing the gushing streams and climbing slippery rocks to the second falls. And it’s also a good way to help the locals.
Each of us paid IDR75,000 (USD6) that already covers the entrance fee and guide fee. The guide, Joker as he called himself whom later we found out to be Randy (his real name), was a hit during the 2-hour visit to the waterfall. His alias is very appropriate for him because he always cracks jokes. During the trek, we found out that he’s 21, loves reggae music, don’t drink tap water but bottled mineral water instead, and wants to marry an Australian girl. He even bought and gave us a bag-full of bakwan sayur, or vegetable fritters, for free.
Going to the falls, start from the ticketing booth and just go down the stairs that will lead you the first waterfall, Sendang Gile. Few locals sell items like instant noodles, chips, and fried fruits and veggies near the falls. You can easily spot them on their big and colorful umbrellas. Locals also visit the waterfalls making it a crowded area during noon time.
Sendang Gile Waterfall
Sendang Gile is a 2-tier waterfall but the bigger one intimidates the other. You can’t easily notice the upper tier if you’re far from the waterfall. Most local tourists, who consider the trek to Tiu Kelep a difficult one, stay here for swimming. There’s no water basin and locals only stay at the base where the water ends its descent. A boulder near the cascading water is a perfect spot for some photo. You just need to bear with the intrusive local tourists.
I don’t know why but I enjoyed the short trek to the second falls, Tiu Kelep. It wasn’t that grueling but someone needs to be careful because some parts require crossing stream of gushing water. The help of Joker was really felt during the river crossings as he will really assist you until you secure your foot on the dry soil. On a longer cross, kids in the area help everyone traverse the waters. It was too cute for them to ask for your hand and help you to reach the other side.
Tiu Kelep Waterfall
There are a lot of waterfalls in the Philippines and I’ve almost seen some of the most majestic ones. But Indonesia’s Tiu Kelep is a different one. There are two separate waterfalls simultaneously spewing waters to the stream. At the back is a not-so-wide curtain falls and in front of it, higher than the crest of the other, is another vertical waterfall. Taking photos of Tiu Kelep was a real challenge because moist easily covers my lens. And if you had the perfect frame, intrusive tourists wanting to swim on the basin obstruct your view. Nonetheless, it’s nice to stay at the overlook and just watch giggling tourists dipping in the waterfall’s cold pool.
Going back to Mataram, you can ask your driver to make a stop on scenic spots along the way. There’s a viewpoint near a cliff where you can marvel on the long stretch of Senggigi Beach. There are also souvenir shops along the way where you can buy shirts, magnets, batik, and even pearls. The shops are of different qualities and price ranges. Your driver knows it and you can tell him your budget for him to pick the right one to stop.
Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls are mighty streams of flowing water and they have their beauty in their own right. Traveling for 3 hours per way just to visit these natural attractions are too much. But the tiring trip is so worth it when you finally see the exceptional beauty of the falls, especially Tiu Kelep.
Lombok Golden Tours
To avoid the worrisome drive, we recommend booking your service from Lombok Golden Tour for them to take the driving for you. You can visit their website at http://www.lombokgoldentours.com/. The tour agency also offers day tours to Gili Nanggu Island, Gili Trawangan, and Kuta Lombok. For a hassle-free getaway in Lombok, you can also inquire about their packages that already include accommodation, lunch, car service, and tour activities.