SENDANG GILE AND TIU KELEP WATERFALL IN SENARU, LOMBOK
Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall are two incredible waterfalls in the north of Lombok. The waterfalls are located in the town of Senaru, which is the area most people stay before trekking to Mount. Rinjani. My friends and I stayed in Senaru for one full day before the trek and enjoyed a sunrise over the rice fields and then visited Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall.
I also wrote a full guide about 16 adventurous things to do on Lombok. You can check out my most popular Lombok article by clicking the link below:
How to get to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall
Senaru is in the North of Lombok. This is a small town most trekkers base themselves in before and after their trekking adventures. I arrived in Lombok via ferry and headed straight north with three other friends. You have a few options from the dock to get to Senaru. Our taxi cost 400,000 rupiah or $34 USD and wasn’t too bad to split but you could also rent a motorbike at the dock. The airport is further south and the taxi cost our friend 500,000 rupiah to make it up to Senaru.
Once in Senaru, there is a sign on the main road directing you to the waterfall path. If you can’t find the sign just head down the hill at any point and you will run into the path. It’s very easy to find and if you have any trouble the locals will definitely point you in the right direction as it is a popular attraction in Senaru.
The pre-waterfall Senaru sunrise
There are two reasons you should wake up early on this adventure day are a sunrise and lighting. We headed down towards the waterfall sign and ended up finding a spot within a few hundred meters to check out the sunrise. Tiered rice fields slowly lit up as we chilled on the side of the road happy with our start to the day. The lighting is something to consider when shooting waterfalls. Although both waterfalls are pretty well protected from the sun you will get some light, especially on Sendang Gile during the day. That’s why we were keen to make sure we had a shady waterfall to shoot.
Sendang Gile Waterfall (Air Terjun Sendang Gile)
I knew about Tiu Kelep before I came to Lombok and was stoked to go explore it but I didn’t know there was going to be another amazing waterfall along the way. Sendang Gile was a huge bonus to the day trip.
The path to Tiu Kelep takes you straight past Sendang Gile so you can’t miss it.
Sendang Gile is impressive in its own right. It’s a two-tiered waterfall with massive force and although it wasn’t even on my original radar for things to do in Lombok, I think it’s one of the best waterfalls on Lombok that I visited.
We hung out here for about an hour, even crossing the river to get underneath the waterfall. GoPro is a good option here because of the mist and sprays from the gushing water got my Sony A7ii pretty wet.
It was October when we visited and there was no one else at the falls. This was our experience all over Lombok for the most part. It seems like this waterfall could be busy in peak season because there were lots of empty huts at the base of the falls, which I assume are full of coconuts and snacks on a busy day.
Tiu Kelep Waterfall
After you finish up adventuring at Sendang Gile waterfall it’s time to get back on the path and continue heading towards the big attraction of the day. The dirt trail leads you along the side of the river before it requires you to make a few crossings. Finally, you may have to actually walk through the river in cold, ankle-deep water. Water shoes or flip-flops will be fine but it does get incredibly slipper and we all had quite a few falls.
Tiu Kelep is a waterfall I knew about because it’s not one you forget when you see it posted online all the time. It’s an epic amphitheater with one of the most dramatic falls I’ve seen in Indonesia. As soon as I turned the last corner and laid my eyes on Tiu Kelep, I was pretty overwhelmed, to say the least.
Water flows down, seemingly through the wall, only to be upstaged by a forceful flow of water that streaks diagonally across the falls. Vines have taken over the rock walls and we felt like deep-jungle explorers despite only having to walk for 30 minutes to reach Tiu Kelep Waterfall.
You can swim in the pool beneath the waterfall and it’s a great spot to use the GoPro. The water in the pool is crystal clear and has a blue tinge. Be extremely careful when you are swimming because I believe several tourists have come into trouble by getting sucked in and held down underneath the powerful force of the main flow. The mist is even crazier at Tiu Kelep. Everything we owned got saturated but our camera gear survived.
Remember to take out all of your rubbish and respect the land you are lucky enough to be exploring.
Another tip to help you on your way is that you definitely don’t need a guide. Men at the top of the hill near the sign will convince you it is required or necessary to buy a Tiu Kelep waterfall tour, but it is most definitely not and they are just trying to pressure you into a $10 tour, which essentially is just a straight-forward trail on a single direction.
We didn’t have to pay entry because we came to the waterfalls so early but I believe entry is a couple of dollars. That is non-negotiable if they ask and legitimate.