It’s not that there are no beaches, waterfalls, or ancient temples in Europe or America – we’ve got plenty of those. However, for some reason, it’s always more exciting to check out these kinds of landmarks in faraway places. Lombok is among the most popular islands for tourists, and it’s got enough thrilling spots to serve as a magnet for the foreigners.
Today we’ll talk about the Tiu Teja waterfall, one of the finest wonders of nature you’ll ever get to see in your life. I’ve seen quite a few waterfalls on my trips, but this one touched me deeply. What’s so special about it, and how do you get there once you land at the Lombok Airport? Read this review and find out!
If you’re looking for that tropical island experience, the trip to Tiu Teja will be perfect for that. The lush forest, the beautiful blue sky, and the awesome climate will get you in just the right mood. Furthermore, the birds on this island are marvelous, and their singing will linger on long after you leave Lombok.
Take a good look at the pictures: doesn’t this place look like it came from another planet? The air around the waterfall is very cool and fresh, and you can smell it from afar. The cacao and the bamboo trees on the road only add to the amazing atmosphere of being on an adventure, a journey towards discovering the unknown.
What Tiu Teja Is All About
I have to say that most foreigners think that the famous Mount Rinjani is the only spot for trekking. Well, that’s not really the case. The breath-taking waterfalls are just as great, and, ironically, they’re all connected to each other. Tiu Teja is loved and cherished by the people of the Santong village, as it falls into the Segara Anak Lake.
Without it, they’d be forced to travel for miles to get fresh water to drink (not to mention to feed their crops). The stunning landscape, the calm, peaceful vibes, and the sounds of water crashing down into the ground make this a very popular site not only for the tourists but also for the locals. They come to the Tiu Teja waterfall to relax and to connect with Mother Nature.
The men and women of the village claim that this waterfall is fifty meters high and ten meters wide. That’s pretty impressive! The huge trees in the area keep the burning rays of the sun at bay, creating a very comfortable climate, as mentioned above. Another cool fact about this place: if you get lucky, you’ll get to see the wild monkeys that live near the waterfall.
The black ones are especially cool, but, unfortunately, they’re not that happy to see humans and prefer to hide in the trees. Still, chances are that on your way to Tiu Teja, you’ll get a glimpse of these funny creatures. They’re not aggressive or anything, so, don’t be afraid to take your kids on this trip.
Learning More About The Tiu Teja Waterfall
We’ll talk about best ways to get to our destination at the end of this article, but let me just tell you that the distance between the village (Santong) and the magnificent Tiu Teja is approximately 3 kilometers. The road in that area is quite alright, meaning you’ll be able to drive a car or a motorbike without worrying about sudden bumps and/or dips.
Still, you’ll need to walk for at least a couple of minutes to get to the waterfall. Look for an empty parking spot and head right into the forest. Those 300 meters aren’t that hard to conquer, especially given the fact that the locals took the time to build stairs that make climbing so much easier and more enjoyable
Once you start to hear some gurgling sounds, that will mean you’re almost there. This might come as a surprise to you, but there are actually two waterfalls in Tiu Teja – the locals call them the twin falls. Fact: during the rainy season, it feels like the waterfalls are stronger and carry more water. You might’ve seen a rainbow in some of the pictures taken by pros.
It doesn’t appear all the time, but do keep your camera ready, because it will make your photos special. By the way, in Sasak, Tiu Teja means rainbow. Keep in mind, however, that taking a dip and/or bathing is not really a good idea, as the heavy water coming down from 50 meters is capable of hurting your back. I’m totally serious, so, don’t think this is a joke and only go in if you know what you’re doing.
The Beauty Of Faraway Landmarks
When you reach the Tiu Teja waterfall, it feels like you’re on the edge of the planet. The protected forest looks exactly the same as many centuries ago, and that’s probably the biggest selling point of this trip. However, that also means that you won’t find a place to stay in the vicinity.
The closest hotels are approximately an hour away (on a car), and most of them are too expensive for the regular tourist. But if you wake up early, you won’t have any problems with reaching the waterfall, taking tons of pictures, taking to the locals, and going back to your hotel/guest house before it becomes dark. You might even have the time to check out some other interesting spots.
The entire journey to Tiu Teja is like a pilgrimage. Ride a bike with your friends and climb up those stairs to one of the most amazing waterfalls in the world – what could be better? The government of Lombok is putting a lot of effort into fixing the roads and keeping the landmarks untouched. I mentioned the Santong village earlier.
Well, you’ll be able to get something to eat there and meet new people. Thanks to the huge flow of tourists, it’s becoming bigger and better, ready to welcome even more foreigners. Take some time to explore it and gather your strength before your victorious climb to the Tiu Teja waterfall.
So Many Waterfalls, So Little Time
I’ve spoken to some experienced tourists and to some locals, and most of them claim that Tiu Teja is even better than the world-famous Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep. It’s just that those two are right next to Rinjani, and that is why the foreigners visit them more often.
Tiu Teja has its own, unique atmosphere, and, since it’s not as popular as the other spots (but still among the famous landmarks), you’ll be able to connect with it on a different level. Start a picnic a couple of meters away from the waterfall, grill some vegetables and fish, and enjoy what my friends call the “Tarzan lifestyle”.
Lately, the Lombok officials have been promoting Tiu Teja, putting it on the pedestal; so, don’t miss your chance to enjoy solitude at this spot. If you want to go through the mountains and see the monkeys, pick the route through the Pusuk Street.
On the other hand, if you want to drive near the beach and smell the sea, go through Senggigi, the legendary beach. Make frequent stops to gather your strength and have something to eat. At the Nipah beach, I had the best grilled chicken in my life!
How To Find The Tiu Teja Waterfall
From the Lombok Airport, the ride to this destination will take 2, 5/3 hours. Yep, that’s quite a long drive (95-110 kilometers, give or take). As mentioned earlier, riding a bike feels amazing in Lombok, especially when you leave Mataram and drive on the mountainous road right next to the coast.
A car is also a good choice if you’re traveling with your buddies and want to be together all the time. If you hire a taxi driver, he’ll charge you a lot. Public transportation from the airport to the capital is available, but it will be boring, trust me on that. So, renting a bike is the best option in Lombok. It will cost you +/- 10 bucks to rent one for 24 hours.
From Mataram, it will take y’all less than two hours to reach Tiu Teja. You’ll be driving through the Kayangan Sub-District, admiring the view and feeling the warm wind welcoming you from the other side. 60-75 kilometers per hour is the average speed in Lombok. Once you’re at the spot, watch out for the slippery road. During the rainy season, it can be quite challenging.
Don’t forget to take some food, and, of course, water with you. If it’s the hot summer season, you’ll need a lot of water to stay hydrated. Cold coconut juice is a very popular drink on this island, and it’s capable of quenching your thirst in the blink of an eye.