Mother Nature has many treats for us, and when it comes to tropical islands, majestic waterfalls are a huge part of the charm. Today we’ll talk about Tiu Kelep, one of the most famous landmarks in Lombok. Now, there are two major waterfalls in Senaru, and it might be a bit tricky to figure out where you should go to see both.
Here’s how it is: Sendang Gile is much easier to get to and is just 15 minutes away from the village/town. You don’t need a guide to get there and are more than welcome to spend as much time there as you want. With Tiu Kelep, however, things are a bit more complicated, to say the least.
First of all, it will take you approximately 45 minutes to get there. Second, the hike will be bumpy, full of rivers, and climbs. Without a professional trekker, you’ll probably get lost in the middle of nowhere. But don’t worry: once you let the guide take you there, all your fears will go away. Besides, all that hassle is definitely worth it.
I have to mention that because it’s right there in your face, Sendang Gile is more popular than the “shady waterfall”, but that doesn’t mean it’s more impressive. I bet after you conquer Tiu Kelep and take some pictures next to it, you’ll feel like you did what others couldn’t and achieved greatness.
Getting To Know Tiu Kelep Better
To enjoy the warm, calming waters of Tiu Kelep, you’ll have to cross a bridge and climb really high up. Nature there is gorgeous, that’s for damn sure. The forest is lush, and you can almost feel like you’re the hero of another tropical action movie. The streams of water will be running right under your feet, making this short trip even more memorable.
Be extra careful, though, as the rocks are super slippery and you might end up hurting yourself. Again, the guide will tell you exactly how to walk in this dangerous territory and will lend that helping hand whenever needed. Trekking is what they know and love; so, let them do their job and listen to what they have to say.
I can tell you with certainty that once you reach Tiu Kelep, all your exhaustion and possible frustration will disappear. It will make you forget about everything else and stare at it in awe. The waterfall is 45 meters long, and the sight of the water coming down from the cliff is truly life-defining. Even if you’re 20-30 meters away from it, you’ll still feel the cool, fresh air taking over.
Standing in front of this majestic force of nature, you’ll feel like you’re just a tiny little creature, unable to do anything but admire it. That’s exactly what I went through when the guide took us to the waterfall. Too bad I didn’t grab any spare clothes with me because I was soaking wet at the end of the road!
Preparing Yourself For A Nice Journey
You might notice there’s a water tunnel nearby that was made by the locals to direct the water from Rinjani to the rice fields. Yes, it takes care of the paddies and ensures a good harvest. When it comes to your clothes, go with something practical rather than what looks good. A nice pair of sturdy (and cheap) sandals is the best way to go.
Flip flops are the worst choice, as they’ll probably get lost somewhere in the forest. If you want to take a plunge into Tiu Kelep (and most tourists usually do), then don’t forget to wear a swimsuit. Even if diving is not on the menu for you, all those splashes will still make you soaking wet.
So, again, a change of clothes is a must-have for this trip. It would also be a good idea to buy a waterproof backpack. Some people prefer to put on a raincoat, but I’m not a big fan of that. A mosquito repellent is another super important item to take with you. If you’re lucky, the guide will have all of that prepared for you, including a swimsuit and even bottles full of water.
However, don’t rely solely on him and make your own preparations. There’s nothing worse than visiting Tiu Kelep only to walk the entire road back wet, without a proper pair of shoes, and with insects attacking you from every corner. Been there, done that!
What Else Is There To Do In The Area
It’s safe to say that it’s adventures like this one that forge new friendships and bring old buddies even closer. Besides, if you’ve been looking for that true tropical forest experience, it doesn’t get any better than this. Tiu Kelep is harder to get to than its “sibling”, that’s for sure; on the other hand, for many folks, the journey to this waterfall is even more exciting than the spot itself.
It all depends on your personal preferences and what you’re expecting from this trip. As a friend of mine likes to say, on a tropical island, the adventure begins once you step out of the plane. In a way, that’s true, and even the taxi ride can be thrilling.
The flowing water, the lush, green forest and the super-cool and refreshing air are the cornerstones of a trip to Tiu Kelep. The grandiose mountain only adds to the feeling of being a part of something bigger and greater than all of us. Senaru is approximately 2, 5 hours away from Mataram.
That’s a pretty long ride, which means you should consider hiring a personal driver to save all your energy for the 45-minutes-long hike. Or, if you’re confident in yourself, hop on a rented bike and let the wind blow in your face. Obviously, the second option is more fun, but, again, make sure you’ve got enough strength left for the walk. Otherwise, you’ll just end up visiting Sendang Gile (because it’s closer and easier to get to).
Enjoying Your Time With Tiu Kelep
According to the elders in the local villages, “Tiu” means a pool, while “Kelep” translates into “fly”. The picturesque Rinjani National Park is right there around the corner. To enter, you’ll need to pay 10K IDR, which is less than one US dollar. Now, I know that I recommended hiring a guide for the trip to Tiu Kelep, but I have to also say that pretty much every single man in this area considers himself to be a trekker.
Plus, they will “attack” you, trying to sell their services. These fellas tell scary stories and claim that no foreigner will ever be able to get there without some help. And while that is partially true, you can still try to cross the path by yourself.
Many hard-boiled and experienced travelers claim that once you conquer Tiu Kelep, you’ll up your game and gain the respect of the tourists. Watch out for those black monkeys lurking around: they might be scary if you never expect them to show their funny faces.
If you’re in Lombok for a week, it would be best to visit this waterfall at the end of your trip. As always, a time in a foreign place is not about physically standing in front of a landmark but rather enjoying every second of it. So, don’t rush anything and treat this waterfall with respect. I promise it will return the favor.
How To Find Tiu Kelep
I mentioned in the beginning that this waterfall is in the same area as Sendang Gile and the mesmerizing Mount Rinjani. That means the road to your destination will be relatively new and without any “hidden passages”, so to speak. From the Lombok Airport, a ride to Tiu Kelep (or, rather, to Senaru) will cost you approximately 500K IDR, which equals 35 US dollars.
From Mataram, the cost will be relatively lower. It’s always nice to have a bargaining talent because the local drivers are known to be extremely greedy. They think that the foreigners have millions of dollars back home and should give back to Indonesia. Don’t let them fool ya and keep 35 bucks in mind as the average fee.
Obviously, no vehicle will take you directly to the waterfall – you’ll need a guide for that, and we already talked it all through. Have you thought about renting a car or even a motorcycle and riding into the sunset? This is a very popular option in Lombok and you’ll find renting agencies in pretty much every corner.
A good combination might be a taxi from the airport to the big city and then a rental from Mataram to Tiu Kelep. Public transportation on this island is always slow, full of people, and you never know when it’s going to start, stop, or change the route. So, my advice to you: don’t go with public buses unless you want to turn your trip into a drag.