Bali’s Tukad Cepung Waterfall is a waterfall I’d never really heard of before we visited. Tirta Empul Temple and Mount Batur Volcano, I was fairly familiar with, having visited the latter last time we were here but Tukad Cepung Waterfall was something that only came onto our radars when our driver suggested that as one of our stops for the day.
After lunch, and our morning spent exploring the rice terraces and Gunung Kawi temple, we headed off to a temple we’d somehow missed out on visiting the last time we were in Bali – Tirta Empul temple (referred to by the locals as Pura Tirta Empul – Pura is essentially Indonesia for Temple).
Tirta Empul temple is one of the most important temples in Bali (oh yeah, don’t forget – with all temples in Bali, you’ll need to wear a sarong, which will be provided at the entrance).
Tirta Emplul’s founded around a naturally occurring spring (which is where the name comes from – Tirta Empul meaning Holy Spring) and is over a thousand years old.
The water here, as the name suggests is considered holy so people come here to bathe in the spring water.
Two things about bathing here – first off, it’s been rumoured that the water isn’t nearly as clean as it was in the past due to contamination from nearby towns and villages, which then washes into the spring.
Secondly, if you do decide to bathe here, you need to use a specific type of sarong (I think you can rent it here) so don’t just wander into it in your regular clothes.
We skipped the bathing (*we wouldn’t have done it anyway because it’s a religious thing and it seemed disrespectful to) and decided to wander around the temple instead, taking in the view of this intricate ancient temple.
One spot you have to visit in the temple is the actual spring itself. The spring comes from underground and is somewhat enchanting as it bubbles away, with the water rising to the surface. (You’ll see what I mean when you visit).
With the rain clouds threatening to burst open at any moment, we decided it was time to leave the temple and make our way back to the car. We needn’t have bothered as we still ended up getting caught in the rain!
Having seen the rather impressive Mount Batur before, we didn’t really plan on heading back there but this trip to Bali was the first for Georgia and Chris so we decided to swing past Mount Batur on the way to a ‘secret waterfall’ our guide had recommended we visit.
Mount Batur volcano looked as impressive as it always had, sitting alongside Lake Batur (one of the best views of the volcano is from Kintamani village so if you’re short on time, this is where you should head to for the volcano).
Within 15 minutes of arriving here, the clouds closed in on the volcano and you couldn’t see anything at all!
We decided that was our cue to leave and head off in search of the waterfall.
Tukad Cepung waterfall is one of the less popular waterfalls – understandably so because it’s not necessarily the easiest to get to. You have to hike down into the jungle, via many uneven steps, after which you then walk through some footpath and farms (like seriously, at one point, I wasn’t even sure where we were going – all I could hear was the roar of the waterfall to assure us we were on the right path).
Once you get closer to the waterfall, you start to see signs that the waterfall is set to become more popular as there are proper stairs being build here (which, doesn’t make it a lot easier to get to but is a positive sign – waterfall becoming “official” means entry fees get charged which ends up in more money being put into the local economy).
The final schlep to get to the waterfall involves walking through a rather huge crevice, which from afar looks blocked off by two gigantic rocks. You just need to slink past the side of it and there you are in front of Tukad Cepung waterfall.
The last time we visited Bali, I didn’t really need to do a hike to any waterfall (it was so easy to find the ones we visited) so I had no idea at the time that this hiking to the waterfalls would be a pattern for most of the week. I just remembered being so hot and flustered by the time we arrived (it’s super humid here) and how that all disappeared once we arrived at the waterfall. It is absolutely brilliant!
We arrived a little while before nightfall so it was fairly dark when we got here, which made me so wary about wading in (the photos make it look so much brighter than it was) but once Lloyd and Georgia waded in, I had to follow suit! There’s no point coming all the way here and not actually getting to see it properly! 🙂
After much “Ooooohing” and “Aaaaahing”, we finally decided to make the most of the limited daylight left and find our way back to the driver before it got too dark.
FYI, the journey back up is much harder than the journey down but it’s not really that hard! I’m just lazy when it comes to hiking uphill.
Truly exhausted, we decided to call it a day and head back to our villa in Ubud.
Bali has been absolutely incredible today, albeit a tad less relaxed than the previous days (I had a massage to make up for that later) and I just couldn’t wait to explore more of this amazing island.