Tumpak Sewu is clearly the most spectacular waterfall in Java Indonesia. Air Terjun Tumpak Sewu means 1000 waterfalls and honestly, the Indonesian’s could not have chosen a name that suits it more.
Tumpak Sewu Waterfalls
Although such a unique wonder, the waterfall is still undisturbed by mass tourism and there is a good chance of meeting just a few people on the day especially if visiting on a weekday and early in the morning. On our trip, for at least 2 hours we were the only ones. Later on, we only saw about 10 other people.
>>Check this post for an East Java Route and other attractions in East Java. It includes information on transport from Malang to Tumpak Sewu Waterfall in Lumajang and accommodation option close to the waterfall.
Tumpak Sewu Waterfall Viewpoint
The waterfall can be seen both from a vantage point or from the foot of the cliffs. Getting to the overlooking viewpoint is an easy 10 minute walk from the parking area. From here you will get an unbelievable scene of the multiple falls surrounded by lush greenery and a distant volcano in the backdrop.
The Trek Down to the Foot of the Waterfalls
Tumpak Sewu’s real highlight is at the foot of the fall. An adventurous trek down the cliffs will lead you inside the sunken hole. You will need to cross over bamboo bridges and makeshift stairs also part of the trek is through a water stream. A pair of good sandals would be ideal or otherwise rent a pair of rubber shoes before going down (although this option is not available if you start climbing down the hill early in the morning).
We arrived at Tumpak Sewu Waterfall panoramic viewpoint at 6 am and reached the foot of the falls in 45 minutes.
From the inside, the fall is amazing. The towering cliffs stand at impressive heights with water coming out of everywhere. The many falls drop from a 120 metre height covering everything in spray and everywhere is covered in moss. The grandeur of the waterfall is an unbeatable scene and although not such a popular destination, this was surely one of our highlights in East Java.
Goa Tetes is an unexpected waterfall close to Tumpak Sewu which we stumbled upon on our way out. Goa Tetes is a 10 minute walk from the foot of Tumpak Sewu to the other direction.
A small stream of water leads to Goa Tetes where there are multiple falls, one bigger than the other. Not such big falls but still unique in their own way. The trail leads through cliffs on either side with one side having the falls drop out of the dense jungle.
If you still haven’t wet your shoes here you won’t have much of an option. To carry on this trail we had to pass through a half metre pool of clear water. From here we reached tiered rock formations with streams running down. Climbing the rocks leads to Goa Tetes cave but we didn’t go to the cave. We climbed the tiered rocks and headed towards a flight of stairs which are also the exit point. We reached the exit 2 1/2 hours after arriving at the foot of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall
Do you need a Guide to reach Tumpak Sewu and Goa Tetes?
If you have any kind of trekking experience you shouldn’t need a guide.
We didn’t find the trail to be so challenging, just needed to pay attention to our footsteps. But for those who have never been through any sort of trail or trek, a guide should be considered. Most of the trail is easy to get along but does have parts that some may find tricky. Parts of the trek are over bamboo bridges and makeshift ladders. Closer to the foot you will need to pass through a stream of water with slippery parts and loose rocks.
Therefore if you are up to a challenge and pay attention you will be alright. If unsure or need someone that can help in the difficult parts get a guide. A guide will help point out the best photographic points and help you get to Goa Tetes caves which can be tricky to find.
>>Next to the island of Java is Bali so add a visit to both islands while in Indonesia. And if you’re chasing waterfalls, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Bali.
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