It’s no secret that Indonesia is home to pristine beaches and scenic mountains but this great archipelago offers more than just the typical holiday destinations often found on our Facebook news feeds. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a party animal or a chilled surfer – it’s impossible to not appreciate the natural magnificence of these destinations.
This is exactly why you should consider taking a different route on your next holiday to visit the majestic waterfalls that Indonesia has to offer. Here are 10 of the most spectacular waterfalls in Indonesia that will hopefully guide you toward some of Indonesia’s lesser recognised but far more worthy attractions.
1. Air Terjun Saluopa, Poso, Sulawesi Tengah
This waterfall is located in the village of Saluopa Leboni , Pusalemba Pamona, Poso district , Central Sulawesi; just 12 km west of the town of Tentena. The beauty of Saluopa was perviously a secret destination amongst local tourists but it is quickly gaining foreign recognition. From a height of 25 meters, the water moves from its source in a terrace like fashion. A stone staircase provides visitor access at multiple levels with unique views throughout.
2. Air Terjun Dua Warna, Sibolangit, Sumatera Utara
‘The Waterfall of Two Colours’ is found in the village of Durin Sirigun, North Sumatra, a huge 1,270 meters above sea level. It’s name was inspired by the two gradients of colour that are produced by phosphorus and sulphur levels in the water – providing different shades of gray-white and light blue. Tourists are encouraged to swim and camp here but keep in mind that the water is not drinkable. Accessing the sight requires a 2-3 hour hike but don’t be discouraged, although it is a challenging hike, it is safe and definitely worth the effort.
3. Air Terjun Mursala, Pualau Mursala, Sumatera Utara
This waterfall is Located in Mursala, between Sumatra and Nias Island, in the center of Tapanuli. With a height of about 35 meters, The Mursala waterfall cascades over black granite rock directly into the Indian Ocean with a strong rumbling sound. The water below is home to various kinds of coral reef, fish, and some endangered species, the beauty of which you may witness for yourself by renting boats and snorkelling below the surface of the crashing waters.
4. Air Terjun Moramo, Sulawesi
Another beauty worth mentioning is the Moramo waterfall sourced from the Tambolosu Mountains and located in Kawasan Suaka Alam Tanjung Peropa, Sulawesi Tenggara. It is roughly 60km away from the city of Kendari. Here you will have exclusive views of the water rushing over large granite rocks ranging from 0.5 to 3 meters high. Moramo also has a terrace form with 7 steps and 60 smaller steps that create compact ponds. Here you will find a panoramic view of beautiful greenery, butterflies and chirping birds. You may also see some of Sulawesi’s endangered species, including the black monkey and dwarf buffalo.
5. Air Terjun Sendang Gile, Lombok
Gile is found in the district of Bayan, North Lombok, within the vicinity of Rinjani National Park. Situated 600 meters above sea level, the fall has a height of around 31 meters. It is a two-tiered waterfall with the first level appearing at the top of the cliff and falling down to the bottom pool area. It is a local belief that an angel once fell from the heavens to land there and shower in the graceful waters. To reach this unfathomable sight, you will have to climb 200 stairs at a height of 40 meters and cross a bridge over a valley, or else take an alternative path that runs along the edges of the surrounding area.
6. Air Terjun Madakaripura, Jawa Timur
The Madakaripura Waterfall is located in the villages of Lumbang, Probolingo. It is one of the waterfalls protected by the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. At 620 meters above sea level, the waterfall is surrounded by beautiful hills and landscapes. It is truly a sensational sight. Legend has it that Gajah Mada visited this sight for one of his last meditations. It is considered a scared and holy place by the Hindu community. The slippery and steep roads that lead to Madakaripura are not easy to pass through, so remember to be well equipped with durable shoes and a raincoat!
7. Air Terjun Benang Kelambu, NTB
The Benang Kelambu waterfall is located at the foot of Mt Rinjani, in the Aik Berik Village, north of Central Lombok. The water flows between trees and out from a hill forming very thin streams of soft, pristine water. The name “benang kelambu” refers to the soft and quiet flow that depicts benang kelambu or ‘mosquito net’ like features. There are two groups of waterfalls here, each approximately 40 meters high. The outpour of the first falls to the lower levels where there resides rock formations and structures. Locals believe that this particular waterfall is a fountain of youth – that those who bathe in its precious waters will not age. Awesome.
8. Air Terjun Sri Gethuk, Yogyakarta
Another of Indonesia’s finest waterfall’s is located in the Menggoran Beleberan Village, district of Playen in Yogyakarta. The Sri Gethuk waterfall is on the banks of Oyo – featuring the birth of the three springs “kedung poh”, “ngandong” and “ngumbul”. To access Sri Gethuk, you have to pass forests and fields of eucalyptus trees, a nice hike for adventure-seeking junkies. Alternatively you can take a more scenic path amongst the fields, or else cruise down the river in rafts.
9. Air Terjun Sipiso-piso, Karo, North Sumatra
Sipiso-piso is regarded as one of Indonesia’s tallest waterfalls – reaching up to 120 meters. It is located in Karo, North Sumatra, not far from the Tongging Village settlements. At 800 meters above sea level, Sipiso is surrounded by a beautiful pine forest, and is quickly becoming one of North Sumatras’ top tourist destinations.
10. Air Terjun Sekumpul, Bali
The Sekumpul waterfall is perhaps Bali’s finest. It is located 2km from the village of Sekumpul. To take a closer look requires some effort with a long trek down rocky roads, the crossing of a river and the climbing of hundreds of steps. Nevertheless, it is all worth it to take in the extraordinary sight. Sekumpul is a group of at least seven waterfalls in the same vicinity, all falling at various heights, widths and speeds. It is truly breathtaking experience.