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TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall (also known as Coban Sewu) is arguably Indonesia’s best waterfall. It isn’t the largest, even in East Java, but is definitely the most impressive. From above it looks like the tree of life, from below it is immensely powerful, and from all angles, it is quite simply mindblowing and one of my favorite spots in East Java.

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL

In this article, I am going to share with you my tips for visiting Tumpak Sewu Waterfall. I will share with you the location, where to stay, the order of viewpoints and trails, other waterfalls to visit on the same day, and the itinerary for the day so you can be at the right spots at the right time for good lighting. We didn’t take a guide but it wouldn’t be a bad idea especially for Goa Tetes Waterfall after.

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL VIEWPOINT

The first thing you want to do on your Tumpak Sewu Waterfall adventure from Lumajang is to wake up early. Be at the Tumpak Sewu Waterfall viewpoint for sunrise. Although the sun won’t be on the waterfall, this is actually what you want. The fog is beautiful in the morning and creates a mystical atmosphere. In the background, Semeru Volcano will be giving you a beautiful backdrop, while Tumpak Sewu Waterfall slowly comes into focus as the light increases.

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

At sunrise, there will be no one or hardly anyone at the viewpoint. We had it all to ourselves for the entire hour we visited (It was also a weekday which helped). Most tourists don’t wake up for sunrise because they don’t care too much about the photo, the colors, or the epic lighting. If you put in the effort you can beat the crowds all day just by waking up slightly earlier.

What are my favorite pieces of gear for waterfall adventures?

There are four pieces of gear that I simply never forget when I go on a waterfall adventure. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my waterfall adventure essentials.

  • Arcteryx BETA AR Rain Jacket: This is my go-to rain jacket. It’s super light, folds down into a tiny ball, and protects brilliantly in a storm. This one never leaves my backpack.
  • Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack: Waterfalls get wet and wild so having this ultralight dry sack for cameras, phones and valuables means you don’t have to hold back!
  • PackTowl Quick-Dry Towel: A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
  • GoPro Hero 10: The best and easiest way to capture your underwater and snorkeling adventures.

The viewpoint has a little section that is fenced off. This is a steep hill in front of the viewpoint that is quite steep. There is a path there and it isn’t super dangerous but if you do jump the fence just remember the fence is there for a reason and if you do slip you could be in some serious trouble as the drop-off is big. You can get great photos here without taking any huge risks so just be smart, enjoy the waterfall and the viewpoint.

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

It is a great spot for the drone. If you fly directly above you will see that the river bends around the corner after all of the flows down the cliff meet together. It creates what looks like a tree of life symbol. It’s simply incredible viewing from the drone and one of my favorite drone sessions of my life.

Don’t stay too long at the viewpoint otherwise, you may miss the nice lighting inside the canyon at the foot of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall if it is a clear day. You don’t want too much sunlight while you are at the bottom of the falls in the morning because it will be directly above the falls and make your photos very blown out.

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

HIKING DOWN TO TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL

Get down to Tumpak Sewu Waterfall on ground level before the sun rises over the waterfall. The trail is right next to the viewpoint where you were for sunrise. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk down into the canyon and then about another 5 minutes to walk through the canyon to the waterfall.

The trail down is pretty sketchy with bamboo ladders and sections where you are walking through small streams but it is nothing too crazy. Just be prepared and definitely wear shoes, not flip-flops.

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

Once you reach the canyon you start to get an idea of the scale of the walls. You are an ant within the gorge and you know you are about to witness something incredible. After turning the final corner you will never forget the moment you enter the cauldron at the foot of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall. It is pure magic with more than thirty different waterfalls plummeting down into the cauldron into tiny pools below.

What are my favorite pieces of hiking gear?

There are four pieces of gear that I simply never forget when I go on a hike. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my hiking essentials.

  • Arcteryx BETA AR Rain Jacket: This is my go-to rain jacket. It’s super light, folds down into a tiny ball, and protects brilliantly in a storm. This one never leaves my backpack.
  • Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots: For the best ankle support, waterproofing, and durable exterior I’m a fan of tough but light hiking boots like these Salomons for my adventures.
  • Black Diamond Head Torch: I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve arrived back from a hike unexpectedly late. I always keep this lightweight but strong headtorch in my bag for the unexpected.
  • Darn Tough Socks: These are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever worn and last for years. They also have a lifetime warranty and you just send them in with a hole and they replace it no questions asked.

I advise you at this point to understand that you will get wet, it will be gusty and your camera and electronics should be put away or protected. There are several great viewpoints and rock lookouts within the canyon but do beware, these rocks are permanently wet so they are incredibly slippery.

Cover your gear and go explore the waterfalls. It’s incredibly cold but some of the best times you will ever have!

The journey is not over! Next just around the corner is another waterfall called Goa Tetes, which is another incredible spot!

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

GOA TETES WATERFALL

From Tumpak Sewu Waterfall you will see signs pointing towards Goa Tetes. It only takes about 10 minutes to walk to Goa Tetes from the foot of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall.  You know when you have arrived because all of the walls are orange!

Goa Tetes is essentially a collection of caves and waterfalls all the way up the cliff. Most people view it only from the bottom of the gorge and then return to the stairs they came down to visit Tumpak Sewu Waterfall. Huge mistake! You haven’t even seen the glory of Goa Tetes yet. Below is a drone shot showing the wall of Goa Tetes on the right.

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

Head around the corner to the right and there is a trail leading up to the cliff. Follow this trail for about ten minutes. You will be walking through the stream and it is very slippery. Don’t try and avoid getting your shoes wet, to be safe you will need to wade through water throughout most of this journey.

Continue walking up the stream and always veer left and eventually you will see the caves. From here the adventure is up to you with so many different caves to explore. We scaled one cave in particular and it went really far back into darkness, while the waterfall poured down over the top of us. Absolutely incredible!

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

LEAVING THE CANYON

This part isn’t necessary but is a good little tip. Once you are at Goa Tetes you can continue up the same trail you are on. You can see the stairs to your right leading up the cliff. This trail will lead you back to the homestay and the entrance of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall. Otherwise, you have to go all the way down Goa Tetes and then back up the trail to the Tumpak Sewu Waterfall viewpoint.

WHERE IS TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL (COBAN SEWU)

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall (Coban Sewu) can be accessed from two sides of the canyon. The most popular side is the Lumajang side. Below is a pinned location of the entrance goat to Tumpak Sewu Waterfall viewpoint, which is where the trail down into the canyon is also located.

As you can see on the map below, there is a homestay called, Edi Travel Home Stay. This is where we stayed for two nights as we explored Tumpak Sewu Waterfall, Goa Tetes, Kabut Pelangi, Coban Sriti and Kapas Biru all in two days!

If you need to contact Edi Travel Home Stay to make a booking you can message Mas Yanto on Whatsapp: +62 853 3123 8963

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall is almost a five-hour drive from Surabaya but only a couple of hours from Malang. The roads out here are quite stressful to drive on because the trucks are transporting their loads to and from the mines and they take up a lot of the road. I was run off the road once and had to concentrate really hard to get us there safely. On a bike, it is a bit easier to pass by the trucks.

I highly suggest staying two nights because there are more than five epic waterfalls all within a short distance in this area.

 

ADVENTURE BAG FROM TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL

This is an adventure bag. It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!

Tag your @adventurebagcrew on Instagram and mention @adventurebagcrew in your Instagram stories to be featured and inspire your friends, family, and followers to join the movement!

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA

MORE EAST JAVA TRAVEL GUIDES

The Ultimate Guide: 15 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN EAST JAVA

Mount Bromo without a guide: MOUNT BROMO WITHOUT A TOUR: SUNRISE VIEWPOINTS, HIKES, MAPS

Ijen Crater Trek: IJEN CRATER TREK AND THE BLUE FLAME

Madakaripura Waterfall: MADAKARIPURA WATERFALL

Island hopping in East Java: TABUHAN ISLAND & MENJANGAN ISLAND BOAT TOUR

East Java Beaches: PAPUMA BEACH AND PAYANGAN BEACH

HOLD UP! Are you sure you’re ready to start hiking and traveling? GET INSURED FIRST!

If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. Don’t wait for an accident to happen, Get insured. I fractured an ankle halfway through a multi-day trek and had THOUSANDS covered by through insurance claim.

I’ve been using World Nomads and SafetyWing for the past 6 years. I’ve made successful claims with both and found them professional, helpful, and reliable but most importantly.. cheap! I trust them both. World Nomads is great for travel up to two months and SafetyWing is perfect for long-term travel.

To find out why I choose World Nomads and SafetyWing, check out my review: Best (Cheap) Travel Insurance or get a quote below.

30 Most Enchanting Waterfalls To Go Chasing! - Homes N Away

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

[…] You May Also Like:Your Guide to the Tumpak Sewu Waterfall  […]

Rangga Prasukmana

Saturday 7th of September 2019

ECO-TOURISM ! follow follow follow Jackson Movement! as " ranggaprasukmana-tour " that provide transport budget with approching for save our nature during the trip with guest from all over the world, we still consist about East Java tour such as Tumpak Sewu waterfall, Bromo, Ijen , and many more.

Don't Forget the Earth or The planet will forget you!

Do little Thing will Done Huge Thing !

Ning

Monday 24th of June 2019

Excuse me, I want to go here to shoot the sunrise, how to sign up? Will it be open here in June and July?

Alim

Friday 31st of May 2019

Hi Jackson! Thank you very much for the detailed guide! and your adventure bag idea has inspired me as a fellow mother nature lovers. Btw this blog of yours is awesome and I'll be following your blog starting from today. Try to visit ranukumbolo. I have been there last year and it was awesome. I have some pictures on my phone and if you want to look at it feel free to contact me via email. I can always share it with you. Thank you for caring for our mother nature :)

Thursday 30th of May 2019

I respect you very much and I hope your movement of adventure bag will keep growing and inspire people. You should visit other waterfall in Malang!!!