As the locals like to say, the northern parts of Lombok are home to some of the finest waterfalls in Indonesia. Thanks to Mount Rinjani (the second-tallest mountain in the country, by the way), the island is full of marvelous falls on every step of the way. Tiu Pupus is located in the North Lombok Regency, on the western “wing.”
The great thing about this landmark is that it’s only a couple of kilometers away from the main road that lies along the coastline. So, on a busy day, you might be able to hear the cars going up and down that road while standing in front of this waterfall. That makes you feel like an equal part of civilization and Mother Nature!
I want to say right from the beginning that there’s no way a tourist can cross Tiu Pupus and get straight to, say, the Segara Anak lake, or the national Rinjani park. To get there, they will have to follow the western route I just mentioned and drive for 1-2 hours. So, don’t let the map fool you and always know exactly how much time it will take to get from point A to point B.
Alright, let’s get back to the waterfall and see exactly what it’s got to offer us, the regular foreigners. Is it worth a visit? Are there any unique features, or maybe this is simply another waterfall that will be lost in the shade of the more popular and “trendy” ones? Let’s figure that out together.
What Is Tiu Pupus All About?
So, this mighty fall is approximately 50 meters tall and has a depth of 4 meters. I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest one on the planet, but still pretty impressive. In Sasak, the word Tiu means a puddle; as for Pupus, the locals use that word to describe a certain root that can be found in mountainous areas like this one and near the rivers.
I have to mention that the people of Lombok like to give the various landmarks names that fit them, as opposed to some European and American examples. On your way to the waterfall, you’ll be impressed by the breath-taking views. Even if you’re not a big fan of pictures and selfies, this scenery will inspire you to take at least a couple of pics for the collection.
The air near the Tiu Pupus waterfall is super clean and fresh: it will fill your lungs with strength and your heart will start to beat faster than it usually does. Yes, it’s safe to say that the climate is very different near Mount Rinjani, especially on higher grounds. The green trees, plants, and flowers paint an amazing picture.
The panorama is worth a thousand words, meaning there’s no way words can describe what a tourist feels while standing on top of the world and admiring God’s Good Earth. As a general rule, it’s always quiet up there – only the birds and the monkeys will come around to welcome you. For meditation, this is a perfect spot.
Learning More About Tiu Pupus
This isn’t a particularly popular landmark, which is exactly why Tiu Pupus is great for the fans of peace and quiet. Some people like to visit public places that are always crowded and noisy. For others, however, all that buzz is killing the vibe and they prefer the clean, intimate and lonely spots over the ones that are full of fun, excitement, and tons of trash.
It all depends on your current mood: if solitude and harmony are #1 on your list, then Tiu Pupus will be just the right destination for the next trip. Important note: even though the entrance fee is very low, they will ask you to make a donation.
It’s always hard to come up with the right amount in your head. So, it might be a good idea to match that number with what they charge you at the entrance. The climb down to the waterfall is pretty challenging. The rocks are slippery; be careful not to hurt yourself. Take another look at the map: can you see Air Terjun Gangga there?
It’s only 2 kilometers away and you’ll be able to get there on foot in approximately 20-25 minutes. I always encourage my readers not to hang around one spot for too long and check out as many landmarks in the area as possible. Tiu Pupus is splendid, no doubt about that, but when you get a bit tired of it, don’t forget about Gangga.
Not Just Another Waterfall
Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile are always the stars of the show. You’ll find them in most articles about Lombok. However, Tiu Pupus is a hidden gem, one that you’ll appreciate the most if there’s a romantic living deep inside of your soul. I’d strongly recommend paying it a visit during the rainy season, as that’s when it looks totally captivating.
During the dry season, the waterfall is “struggling” and won’t be able to impress the tourists that much. On the contrast, when it rains, the water covers the rocks at the bottom and looks lovely. The entire District of Gangga is very beautiful and the fans of photography will find themselves taking pictures almost every second.
Along with being a tourist magnet, Tiu Pupus also serves as the main source of water for the local farmers. Without it, they’d have to go the Terjun Gangga waterfall and get it from there. The plantations and fields would simply die without Pupus, and the government even made sure to use the dams to “convince” the water to flow in the right direction.
By the way, if you want to learn more about this island and the way the regular men and women live, don’t forget to check the neighboring villages out. They aren’t particularly fancy but do carry a strong historical value. I always try to do that when I’ve got the time and the energy for it.
Some Tips For Your Trip
Despite the fact that this isn’t the most popular part of the island, there are several warungs, cafes, and even restaurants in the area. Sadly, no hotels, but that’s ok because you’ll be able to see it all in just a couple of hours and make it back to your room. As always, food and drinks are very cheap in Lombok. The foreigners will even find some convenience stores in the vicinity that will sell some towels, clothes, and other tourist-friendly stuff.
Remember: when on a journey to check out a waterfall, make sure you’ve got a raincoat or, better yet, some dry clothes. A mosquito repellent might also come in handy, especially given the fact that the path to Tiu Pupus lies through a forest.
That’s pretty much all you’ll need. Sure, guides are always available, but they usually charge a lot. Besides, this waterfall isn’t that hard to find and any tourist will be able to get there without the help of a trekker. Furthermore, Lombok isn’t always the friendliest tropical island and you might come across some bad folks that will do everything in their power to make you pay as much as possible.
Again, leave those folks behind and rely on yourself to get to Tiu Pupus. Or, better yet, persuade some friends to join you on this journey. Usually, the best trips are the ones that we experience with a group of people that we care about.
How To Find Tiu Pupus
The distance between this waterfall and Mataram, the capital of Lombok, is approximately 50 kilometers. On a car or a bike, you’ll get there in 1 hour and 20/30 minutes. The tourists have two routes at their disposal: Mataram – Pusuk – Pemenang – Tanjung- Gondang – Lendang Bagian – Kerurak is the first one.
The second route is Mataram – Senggigi Beach – Pemenang – Tanjung- Gondang – Lendang Bagian- Kerurak. Senggigi is the most famous beach on this island, along with Kuta; for some cliché island vibes, you simply have to spend at least a couple of hours there. In contrast to most landmarks in Lombok, Tiu Pupus comes with numerous signs.
Furthermore, the roads along the western coastline are pretty new. That means renting a car/bike seems like the best idea as you’ll get to enjoy the route with the wind blowing in your face. Public transportation is also available, and for that “true” experience, an Ojek might be just right. The rest of us will probably hire a taxi driver and enjoy the view from the back seat.
Remember: once you get to the Sengkukun dam, you’ll need to leave the vehicle behind and walk for approximately 15 minutes to the Tiu Pupus waterfall. The bridge over the dam provides some Instagram-worthy views. In the area, there are some berugaks for resting and even two bathrooms.