Lombok never seizes to amaze me. Even though I’ve been to most of the popular landmarks on that island, there are still some hidden gems there that keep the excitement going. Take the East Lombok Regency, for example. You’ve probably already heard about the legendary Mount Rinjani and the neighboring waterfalls and caves.
The newbies pick the mountain and some of the most famous beaches (Senggigi and Kuta) as their destinations. As for the more experienced tourists, they prefer spots like Otak Kokok that are equally tranquil, serene, and generate new, “unfiltered” memories that linger on longer than some of the more advertised landmarks.
This is a waterfall, and yes, I do know that there are tons of falls in Lombok. But it’s actually nature, or, rather, the surroundings that make a certain place stand out. Take a good look at the pictures: doesn’t it look like a piece of Heaven? Everything is brand-new, and the government is constantly introducing something new to it.
The waterfall itself is a beauty, but, again, without those cute Asian constructions, the stairs leading to the top, and the top-notch service, Otak Kokok would’ve been just another so-so spot. The road leading to the waterfall is also in a great shape, which isn’t a common thing in Lombok. Alright, now let’s dig deeper and learn more about it.
What Is Otak Kokok All About?
One of the undeniable advantages of this island over the others is the fact that most of it is still in a “raw” state. That means those forests, beaches, and waterfalls haven’t been touched by the humans and we, the modern-day tourists, get a chance to see it all exactly like it was many centuries ago.
Globalization and advanced infrastructures are great, but sometimes, they come at the price of turning an otherwise unique place into yet another contemporary settlement. The Otak Kokok waterfall is located pretty close to the gigantic Rinjani Mountain and is probably the best spot for the fans of authentic nature.
The locals really love it for the beautiful views and the comfortable climate. Usually, it’s colder near falls like this one than anywhere else because of the freezing water from the Mount. Even though it’s only 5 meters tall, it still looks quite impressive, especially when you’re standing at the very bottom and looking up.
AKA the Joben Waterfall, it has been around for hundreds of years and will probably outlive all of us. In Sasak, it means “a spring” or “an upstream.” The citizens of Lombok believe that the water coming down from Rinjani is capable of healing most diseases; same goes for Otak Kokok. They say when the water changes color to white, that means you’re cured!
Learning More About Otak Kokok
Basically, this is just another waterfall, and if you go there with the “it’s nothing I haven’t seen before” attitude, you probably won’t have the capacity to enjoy it. On the other hand, if you give it the credit where it’s due, you’ll be able to enjoy it to the fullest. After all, it is one of the most popular landmarks on the island, and both the locals and the foreigners usually stick around for longer than they initially planned.
The exact address is Montong Betok village, Montong Gading district, East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara Province. Please write that down in your Smartphone/ tablet, because chances are, GPS won’t work in Lombok.
We already learned that the waterfall can (allegedly) heal diseases; there’s also a dedicated swimming pool that will be great for families with children. Otak Kokok comes with a series of berugaks that are perfect for resting your feet after hours of walking around and climbing.
Speaking of walking, I have to say that the waterfall is quite literally located in the middle of a lush forest, and I highly encourage you to take some time to stretch your legs. True, you can (and probably should) get to Otak Kokok on a 4×4 car or a motorcycle; at the same time, nothing compares to trekking through a tropical forest, listening to the birds and taking pictures with the monkeys.
What Is There To Do At This Waterfall?
First of all, it gives you a unique opportunity to connect with your kids on a different level and have a nice time with the entire family. As mentioned earlier, Otak Kokok is always full of people, which creates an amazing atmosphere of companionship and togetherness. Second, everything looks lovely, and the feeling of being surrounded by centuries-old trees while swimming in that pool is priceless.
Even if you just sit in the corner and read a book with your feet touching the healing water, it will still be worth a visit. Every day is like a holiday over there and the tourists will be swept off their feet as soon as they step onto that cute paved road that leads to the stairs.
The protected forest is pretty huge; for camping out and having a different kind of fun with your friends/loved ones, it’s exactly what the doc ordered. Without a doubt, the Mount Rinjani National Park is the heart and soul of Lombok, and I am happy to say that the mountain itself isn’t the only tourist magnet on the island anymore.
Landmarks like Otak Kokok are becoming more and more popular with each year, and that’s awesome. Keep in mind, however, that this waterfall is on the other side of it, meaning you won’t be able to go “through” Rinjani and visit Sendang Gile. For that, you’ll have to take the eastern path and drive for about 2-3 hours.
Some General Tips Before You Leave Home
As always, you should book a hotel room way before you board the plane. First of all, that will cost you less; second, during the high season, all the rooms might be already taken when you arrive. Now, there aren’t any hotels/guest houses next to the Otak Kokok waterfall; however, there are some relatively cheap options in the area.
You’ll have to drive for 20-30 minutes to reach the nearest accommodation. Same goes for the restaurants and cafes. With that said, it’s always a good idea to pack your bag with some snacks, drinks, towels, and mosquito repellent. That’s especially true when you’re traveling with children.
Summing Up, I want to say that this is a lovely place that deserves a visit even from the biggest skeptics out there. The water coming down from Rinjani is crystal-clear but can be freezing – keep that in mind. You won’t find any trash lying around, which is a huge plus. During the weekends, Otak Kokok will be full of people.
As a low-budget option, it’s amazing. The entrance fee is incredibly low; yet, this waterfall is better than most on the island. Finally, I know a guy in Lombok that had problems with his back. After he visited this place, the pain miraculously went away! I’m not saying the legends are 100% true but do give it a try while you’re there, ok?
How To Find The Otak Kokok Waterfall
Once you take a look at the map, it will become obvious that we need to head into the center of Lombok. The waterfall is located in the south-eastern corner of the world-famous mountain. It will take a tourist approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there. The road is mostly straight and there aren’t many bumps and dips along the way.
The experienced and risky folks are free to rent bikes and reach the spot in less than an hour. However, don’t try to be a hero and put safety first. The beautiful trees, plants, and flowers on the path to Otak Kokok are lovely and it would be best to slow down to admire the view.
From Mataram, the ride will be pretty much just as long. Again, the path is straight without any sudden twists. At the same time, the main roads are usually cramped up, especially during holidays. So, it might be wise to drive through the southern part of the city to avoid heavy traffic.
If you don’t really want to bother yourself with the different routes, use a taxi to get to the destination. It is relatively cheap and the drivers are all pros. Alright, that’s everything I wanted to tell you guys about Otak Kokok!