Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep Waterfalls
Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls are located in Senaru, a village north of Lombok. A visit to both falls is one of the best things to do while in Lombok. Note that these waterfalls can be easily combined in half a day since Tiu Kelep is a 40 minutes hike from Sendang Gile.
Looking at a map, you will see that the north of Lombok is pretty much taken over by Rinjani National Park. Mount Rinjani is an active volcano and with a height of 3726 metres, is the second highest volcano in Indonesia. Senaru usually serves as the base for hiking Rinjani.
We made our way to the north of Lombok late in October. And although the rainy season officially kicks in beginning of October, we did not experience rain. To the contrary, Mount Rinjani was closed off due to fire making hiking Rinjani dangerous.
In this guide we will break down a few things about Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls including our personal experience.
- How To Get To the Waterfalls
- Where To Stay
- Entrance Fee
- Sendang Gile Waterfall
- Tiu Kelep Waterfall
Tip: Air Terjun is waterfall in Indonesian! You will surely come across this term while here.
How To Get To Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls
Here we will describe how we got to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls in Senaru including other ways to get to this village.
How We got to Senaru
We came to Lombok from Bali with motorcycle and after a stay of a couple of nights in Mataram, we made our way to Senaru. The drive from Mataram, Lombok’s capital city, is of 2 hours 15 minutes and is mostly along the scenic west coast passed Sengiggi which is Lombok’s resort area.
Along the way we made a stop at Nipah Beach for the most amazing meal of fresh fish at an open air eatery right on the beach.
➳ If thinking of crossing to Lombok with motorbike check this post for ferry details.
Roads in Lombok are good throughout most of the island. However, due to the August 2018 earthquake some parts of Northern Lombok had a few rough patches. But nothing to worry about. We visited towards the end of October 2019 and at which time a few roads and bridges were being built up.
Getting to Senaru by Scooter
Best way to get around Lombok is by scooter. There is nothing better than having the freedom to plan out your day as you please. And as the island is rather laid back and streets aren’t busy, it is easy to make your way around.
Although scooters are easily available to anyone, you should have an international driving permit, a motorbike license in your home country and remember to always wear a helmet. Do check your insurance coverage before your travels.
A scooter will cost around 60k IDR to 70k IDR (€3.88 – €4.52) per day (which is slightly more expensive compared to Bali). You can either rent a scooter by asking at your accommodation or from the touristic parts like Sengiggi or Mataram.
Getting to Senaru by Car rental with Driver
If you’re not confident riding around on a scooter but still want to explore Lombok at your own pace, a hire car with driver is your best option. A hire car with driver will set you back around 600k IDR for 12 hours (€38.75).
Where To Stay close to Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep
If you prefer to visit the waterfalls early morning or you came all the way from Kuta (a whopping 3 hours drive) best option is to stay overnight in Senaru. Accommodation options abound since this is where trekkers base themselves for the night before the trek to Rinjani.
We opted to spend the night at Budaya Kaki Rinjani which is 5 km away from Sendang Gile Waterfall. This accommodation which is basic is in a rural village. And is where we had one of our best local experiences. The hosts, one big extended family was very welcoming and the food was excellent.
➳ You might want to check our Lombok travel experience in this personal blog post!
Entrance Fee to Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep
There is one entrance fee of 10k IDR (€0.65) to both waterfalls.
We were at the entrance at about 6:15 am and may be because of this, did not come across locals trying to sell the service of a guide.
Though we spent some time figuring out our way to Tiu Kelep we made it to both waterfalls independently. Must add that part of the path to Tiu Kelep was badly effected by the earthquake with boulders and trees cutting the way. Therefore we had to climb over rocks and trees and walk across shallow but relatively fast water streams. So best to have a pair of hiking sandals.
From the entrance to Sendang Gile Waterfall
It seems that there are 2 separate entrances to Sendang Gile. With one involving a set of stairs which at time of our visit were being rebuilt and the other with seemingly easier access.
Once at the entrance and after having paid the ticket fee we got a glimpse of the Dusky Langur jumping from one tree to the next.
The walk down took around 15 minutes and since we reached Sendang Gile before 7 am we had the fall all to ourselves.
Sendang Gile Waterfall
The waterfall is an impressive stepped fall. One fall drops on higher grounds in the lush jungle with the second being much more powerful and drops just a few metres away. A shallow stream of water separates the fall from the viewing area.
The force of the water creates a breeze with misty water spray. Hence, everything is soaked and slippery which made it rather challenging as you get closer to the fall. Getting close to such a powerful force is always a highlight. But don’t get too close, the flow is strong thus dangerous. Besides everything is slippery and it is certainly not easy getting up near the fall.
From Sendang Gile to Tiu Kelep Waterfall
Tiu Kelep is the second waterfall upstream from Sendang Gile. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t any need to walk up the river to reach the fall. Though we do have friends who chose this route to reach the fall. In fact, we too spent some time figuring out where the actual path is.
If you are at Sendang Gile you will need to go back up some stairs and turn left once you see a passage.
The first part of the trek had a couple of sketchy parts where land slides had taken away part of the path and railing. Not that this was dangerous, we just needed to take extra care.
Most of the way you will be walking alongside beautiful water system canals. We are always fascinated to see such systems in remote areas and how much work is put into their construction. And further along you’ll reach a small dam. From here the trek is somewhat more challenging and the path isn’t so obvious anymore.
From hereon the path is alongside the river and will take around 15 minutes to reach Tiu Kelep.
Tiu Kelep Waterfall
Getting closer, the gushing sound of water increases and we jumped over a couple of boulders and there it was. A stunning fall with yet another plunge of water from high above. First thing that came to mind was Tumpak Sewu in East Java. Though similar Tumpak Sewu is much more grand.
Tiu Kelep’s water flow spreads out along a curved rim from the high up jungle. And another fall plunges right down and over the rim.
Getting closer to Tiu Kelep is an interesting experience. The fall is noisy and creates drafts of wind and water spray. With the pool at the foot of the fall covered with rocks and tree trunks.
Due to the spray of water it proved to be quite a challenging task to get a few good photographs. Both lenses got covered in water the minute we got them out. However, we did manage to capture the fall from further away.