If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews, then you already know that Lombok is a beauty. Nature over there is off-the-hook, and every year, it attracts more and more tourists. The enchanting waterfalls have a very special place in the hearts and minds of the visitors and are the island’s pride and joy.
Today we’ll discuss the Sendang Gile Waterfall, the one that you’ve probably seen on several booking websites. Along with Mount Rinjani that’s located in the same area, the waterfalls of Lombok are the stuff of legends. So, without further ado, let’s see what this particular one is all about and how we can get there from the airport and Mataram, the big city.
Sendang Gile can be found in the northern parts of Lombok. Senaru, the town slash village slash large area is where it’s located. This is the place where folks prefer to stay in to catch their breath, have something to eat, and take some pictures. Tiu Kelep, another famous waterfall in the area, is pretty much a couple of minutes away.
But we’ll talk about it in a different article. Today, all the focus is on Gile. I highly recommend giving Senaru a chance and spending at least a day there. There are enough rooms to rent, and the food is both delicious and cheap. The sunrises here are gorgeous: the rice fields look like a tiny piece of Heaven early in the morning.
Learning More About The Sendang Gile Waterfall
Fact: if Sendang Gile is the only landmark you want to visit, then a guide isn’t really necessary. Tiu Kelep, on the other hand, is a bit harder to find, and there’s a lot of trekking to do before you reach it. I’d highly recommend paying a professional guide and letting him take care of it all. Same goes for climbing on top of mount Rinjani.
However, as I just mentioned, Gile is right there in your face. By the way, if you’re traveling from Mataram, you’ll probably cross the Pusuk Pass. Essentially, it’s just a mountain road: it is the gorgeous valleys, fields, the river streams in the tropical forest and, of course, the adorable villages that will catch your eye.
On the way, you’ll definitely meet several cute monkeys that aren’t afraid of the humans. They come down to the road for some delicious food that the tourists buy for them on their way to the Sendang Gile Waterfall. Senaru, as mentioned above, is an incredibly beautiful area. It is equally loved and cherished both by the local folks and by the foreigners.
And while Mount Rinjani and the nearby park are the main attractions here, the waterfalls are becoming more popular among the fans of “natural landmarks”. Just make sure you’ve got enough strength for trekking. Nothing feels worse than getting to the Sendang Gile Waterfall only to realize you’re out of breath.
Just Another Waterfall? Or Something Special?
The locals say that this waterfall marks the entrance to the famous mountain – Rinjani. It is a tourist destination, no doubt about that, but a lot of people forget about it and head straight for the main event. I can tell you with certainty that Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile are capable of taking your breath away in the blink of an eye.
The Bayan sub-district is famous for the astonishing nature and the friendly people. And while they’ve been living in this place for all their lives, these landmarks are just as exciting for them as they are for us, the tourists. You might not realize this yet, but the water from the Sendang Gile Waterfall comes from the mountain.
Yep, that’s exactly why it’s so clean and refreshing, not to say healing. The elders in the village told me that this waterfall got its name many centuries ago, back when a lion used to terrorize the locals. The men decided to hunt down and kill the predator. The lion tried to hide in the woods, and that’s when the hunters came across this waterfall.
It is 30+ meters high and is located approximately 600m above sea level. The water comes down into a pond. From there, the water falls further down two times, turning into a captivating river at the bottom. The tourists really love to bathe in the Sendang Gile Waterfall. The water is almost always warm; so, go for it!
The Magical Features Of Sendang Gile
I know this might sound a bit stupid and childish, but the people of Senaru believe that this waterfall is magical. They claim that after you wash your face or bathe there, you will start to look at least one year younger. Obviously, that can’t be scientifically proved or denied. Besides, a lot of tourists prefer to trust this ancient legend. Who knows, maybe it is true after all?
This is important: even though this is a famous tourist spot, there’s only one bathroom and one changing room. Yes, there are some houses that you can stay in, but there aren’t that many. Plus, you won’t find any folks selling food and/or drinks near the Sendang Gile Waterfall.
So, buy everything you need in Senaru – there’s plenty of everything there – and only then head towards this landmark. Preparing everything in advance and always having a “backup plan” is the best course of action when on a foreign trip. The mighty sounds of water crashing into the ground will call to you from afar.
The path from Senaru to the waterfall will take about 15-20 minutes, but you’ll be able to hear it long before you reach it. The air around Sendang Gile is cool and fresh, nothing like I’ve ever felt. Just imagine standing in front of a 31-meter-long cliff and watching the water come down from the top. I know I was deeply touched by that!
A Tiny Piece Of Heaven In Lombok
If you’ve had enough of the Sendang Gile Waterfall and feel like your adventure isn’t over yet, I’d highly recommend visiting Tiu Kelep, another world-famous waterfall in the area. I did tell you in the beginning that we have a separate review on it, but let me just tell you that it will be more difficult to reach it, and you won’t make it without a guide.
The hike will take +/- 45 minutes; so, if you’re not up for it, just take shelter in Senaru and conquer Tiu Kelep the next day. But I think we’ve had enough traveling and sightseeing for today. I personally know some people that visit Lombok only to admire Sendang Gile.
They spend days sitting next to it and reading, listening to music, and doing other “casual” stuff. It has a calming effect, and once you get used to the crashing sounds and the super-fresh air, you’ll fall in love with this place. Please keep in mind that you’ll need a ticket to enter this area; don’t worry, it’s not expensive.
If tracking is not the most exciting activity for you, the Sendang Gile Waterfall is a perfect choice, as it’s both closer and easier to get to. That is exactly why it’s significantly more popular among the majority of tourists (and locals too, by the way).
How To Find The Sendang Gile Waterfall
So, as I mentioned in the beginning, Senaru is located in the northern parts of Lombok. If you arrive on this island via a ferry or a speedboat, the taxi drive from there to the waterfall will cost you +/- 400K IDR. That’s less than 35 US dollars. If you’re not alone on this trip, don’t be shy to split the cost.
And if you landed at the Lombok Airport, the taxi ride will cost you a bit more – 500K IDR. Again, for a ride that long, that’s not really a big amount of money. It might be significant for the locals, but for us, the foreigners, that’s pocket change. Besides, you’ll need to save all of your strength for the Sendang Gile Waterfall.
Renting is another popular option for the tourists. It will cost you less, of course (about 10 dollars for a motorcycle or even a car), but you’ll have to do all the driving. Make sure to study the map at the bottom of this article before you leave home because chances are, GPS won’t work in Lombok, and your bad Sasak won’t help you get directions from the locals.
When you’re in Senaru, look for the sign that will take you to the waterfall. Note: if the sign is nowhere to be found, simply go down the hill. Eventually, you will end up on the right path. Even if you fail again, the friendly men and women of the town will show you exactly where you need to go.