Lombok’s Best Kept Secret: Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep Waterfalls

Our journey to Indonesia ended on a relaxing note at Bali‘s less known sister island, Lombok. With significantly fewer tourists and less commercially developed areas, Lombok offers adventurers a far more peaceful travel experience. Many come here for the idyllic white sandy beaches, clear turquoise water, and a trek to the summit of Mt. Rinjani. However, this glorious island has a well-kept secret for outdoor enthusiasts – the majestic Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls near the foot of Mt. Rinjani, that is worth every step of the way!

Sendang Gile Waterfalls, Mt. Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Getting to the Waterfalls

Tucked away in Senaru village in the very north of Lombok, these two cascades are about 2.5 hours drive from the capital city, Mataram. To get to the waterfalls, it is highly recommended to hire a private car and driver which costs about IDR 400-600k per day. Of course, you can also rent a scooter and travel there by yourself, but the travel time will be much longer (about ~3-4 hours).

At 8 am, our driver picked us up from our hotel in Mangsit, a town just a little bit north of Mataram. From there, we journeyed through the winding mountain roads with beautiful beach scenery along the coast.

Before we knew it, our car had approached the gate, where an admission (IDR 10,000 pp) is required to enter the waterfalls. We were then dropped off at a local tour agency, which offered an experienced local guide (IDR 250,000)to show us the path to the waterfalls.

Pro tip: If you only want to go to the first waterfall, Sendang Gile, it is not necessary to hire a guide. Getting to the second fall, Tiu Kelep is a bit tricky and requires trekking through the streams, so having a guide would be helpful.

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Sendang Gile Waterfall

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia Waterfalls

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia Waterfalls

Starting from the tour agency, we followed the guide down the path and through the jungle. On the way, we strolled past the spectacular views of the rice terraces on the lush green slopes of the volcano. In about 15 mins, the thunderous roar of crashing water reached our ears. Instantly, I knew that Sendang Gile waterfall is near!

We sat quietly beside the cascading water as it filled the air with a cool, purifying freshness. The magnificent sight of water plummeting down the 31-m cliff triggered a sense of awe and respect for the mother nature and reminded us of how powerless we are as a human.

Sendang Gile Waterfalls, Mt. Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

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Tiu Kelep Waterfall

After a short break, it was time to be back on track and venture on to Tiu Kelep waterfall. We climbed up a flight of stairs, crossed a bridge, and rejoined the dirt path. The 45-min journey to the second waterfall took us through a lush forest and across running streams. It could get extremely slippery when stepping on the submerged rocks. Luckily, we had the guide who lent us a helping hand as we trekked through the rivers.

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia Waterfalls

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia Waterfalls

Finally, we had arrived. As soon as I saw the awe-inspiring Tiu Kelep waterfall, the exhausted feeling dissipated. The panoramic view of the gushing water cascading 45 meters down the cliff was simply breathtaking. Despite standing 20 meters away from the waterfall, we could still feel the cold blowing mist attacking us.

The water ran fiercely over moss-covered rocks as I slowly made my way towards the splashing waterfall. With each step I took, I could feel the force of the water became stronger. The spray from the fall kissed on my face and dampened my shirt. At the bottom of this powerful waterfall, I felt so small and the world so big, which I found wonderfully liberating. The only thing I regretted was not bringing a swimsuit and a change of clothes!

Tiu Kelep Waterfalls, Mt. Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

On the way back, we walked through the pitch-black irrigation water tunnel, which was made to divert the fresh mountain water to the rice paddies further down the slope of the mountain. It was a shortcut; however, only a small section remained safe to walk through. So for the most part, we followed the same path back.

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia Waterfalls

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia Waterfalls

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Useful Tips

  • Wear adequate footwear: a pair of sturdy, durable sandals is your best choice to walk through the rush of streams. Do not wear flip flops as they might get lost down the river!
  • Wear a swimsuit underneath your regular clothes. There is no place for you to change at the waterfalls. So if you’d like to take a plunge into the fresh water pool, put on the swimsuit before you begin the hike.
  • Bring a change of clothes. You will get wet for sure (even if you don’t swim) so just prepare some dry clothes if you can.
  • Bring insect repellent, a raincoat, water bottles, and a waterproof backpack/bag. These are handy items to have to help you trek through the forest. Some guides might prepare raincoats and water bottles for you. If you do hire a guide, don’t forget to tip them!

Tiu Kelep Waterfalls, Mt. Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

The trip to the wondrous Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls was a delightful way to explore Lombok. The spectacular falls had brought us closer to nature and with their company, it was a perfect way to end our time in Indonesia!

If you’re staying in Indonesia a little longer, check out Java and consider taking a hike to its most famous and iconic attraction, Mount Bromo!

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Many come to Lombok for the white sandy beaches, clear turquoise water, and a trek to the summit of Mt. Rinjani. However, Lombok has a well-kept secret for outdoor enthusiasts - the majestic Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls near the foot of Mt. Rinjani.

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52 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Wow! Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls are gorgeous. I would love to see them in person. And the hikes look like a lot of fun, too. I love exploring natural places while traveling and these waterfalls would be right up my alley.

  2. I wish I had known about these waterfalls when I visited Lombok. I did visit a waterfall that was quite impressive, but the second one you visited is really impressive. If I ever get back there I will certainly be visiting.

  3. Love visiting waterfalls during my travels. Will definitely add Lombok to my list of place to visit if I make it to Indonesia. I like that Lombok is less developed and has less tourists than Bali so it sounds like I would enjoy it.

  4. The waterfalls look beautiful. I remember buying the Lonely Planet book for Bali and it was Bali & Lombok. I had never heard of Lombok, but some described it as Bali without all the tourists.

  5. What an awesome hike and beautiful falls! Great tip about extra clothes. That’s become second nature for us because we seem to get into the water continually, meaning to or not. 🙂

  6. I love waterfalls and always search to see if any are near a new destination I will be exploring. The best ones have a good hike along with the beauty of the falls. Lombok is a great one to add to the list when and if I get to Indonesia!

  7. I saw the tunnel on another site and thought it was so cool but I didn’t know it was in Lombok! The waterfalls in Indonesia are so darn beautiful. I can see myself falling into the slippery stream though because history repeats itself haha!

  8. I wish I would have made it to Lombok! I was in Bali last summer but ran out of time to visit Lombok 🙁

  9. Those waterfalls seems so wonderful 😀 I love waterfalls. I always wanted to go to Lombok, looks amazing 😀

  10. This hike looks incredible! Both waterfalls are gorgeous, but the Tiu Kelep waterfall is especially beautiful! I love doing hikes to waterfalls that are tucked away in the jungle. Will definitely be saving this post for when I can get to Indonesia!

  11. I have read so much about Lombok but never heard of Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls. They are so beautiful too, I don’t think they could have been designed better, nature is to wonderful. Let’s keep them a secret!

  12. This is perfect for us. We hope to visit Lombok later this year and we’re crazy about waterfalls. These are so gorgeous. Thanks for these great tips. 

  13. Wow – looks like you had it all to yourselves! What a wonderful hidden gem, the 2nd waterfall looks so worthwhile visiting. How was the walk through the water tunnel at the end?

  14. OMG! That’s just stunning! Both Indonesia and Philippines have been blessed with so much of natural beauty that its just mind blowing. These waterfalls are so untouched!!! I guess very less tourists explore these places. The views is totally worth the trek!

  15. Hi Cat – nice informative post. The Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls look and sound/read lovely. Indonesia is such a beautiful place. I am married to a Thai and would love to visit Lombok on one of our extended trips to Thailand. One day hopefully – Bali is also on my bucket list!

  16. Wow so crazy beautiful. I definitely need to pin this for when we go, I would love to get some photos there. You made me excited to visit now! 🙂

  17. What a great post about an amazing destination. I really hope I can visit soon!

  18. Love the map Cat. I always get lost on these exotic island. We hired a driver in Chiang Mai to take us to waterfalls. It was fun hearing his stories about camping there as a kid.

    These waterfalls sound like the just the right amount of approach so you get an adventure without getting too tired. I don’t know about dark tunnels in the tropics. It feels like snake country to me.

  19. Wow, what spectacular falls, the hike definitely seemed worth it! Not sure if I would venture into the tunnel though… 🙂

  20. Wow the waterfalls look incredible! The hike through the water looks like so much fun. Great tip to bring a bathing suit as it looks like it would be a lot of fun and relaxing to have a swim in the water. This is definitely somewhere I’d love to visit one day.

  21. I actually don’t know about Lombok so this is great that for my next trip to Bali/Indonesia! I love waterfalls so glad to learn about this one!

  22. I was just in Sumatra but I really need to go to Lombok. Bali is cool, but there’s so much more to Indonesia than just that one island!

  23. Lombok has always been a place we wanted to visit. It really looks beautiful and we didn’t even know about those beautiful waterfalls, they must really be a secret! Looks like a great hike and since we love hiking it seems perfect for us. Although not too sure about the tunnel, looks a bit scary for me. Thanks for all the tips too. Great post and great photos.

  24. The waterfalls look awesome. I had never heard of Lombok, but some described it as Bali without all the tourists.

  25. Wow, the waterfalls really look amazing! I spent time in Bali, but didn’t have the chance to head over to Lombok. I’d love to go back and visit. I don’t think I’d go through that irrigation tunnel though! lol

  26. THAT WATERFALL IS SO BIG! I saw your photos before, but I could not imagine it being so high! What a great guide! I need to add a lot more outdoor adventures to my trips, it’s such a different way to explore an area.

  27. Hi cat,
    Thank you for sharing. I am form Indonesia too and believe it or not, I lived 6 years in Bali before moving out to Amsterdam. I never have been in Lombok before. I am guilty as charge. I of course will consider it now after reading your post.

  28. Lombok is definitely on my bucket list! I’ll be sure check out these waterfalls when I do visit, they look absolutely amazing 🙂

  29. This place looks incredible and it looks like you had it all to yourself! How lucky! I reckon I’d definitely need a swim to cool off after the hike, so a bathing suit would be a must!

  30. You had me at the waterfalls. Simply breathtaking… but I love that you have included your top tips too!

    I’ve become a bit of an exebitionist on my travels getting changed before going swimming. It had never even crossed my mind to put my swimsuit on before I set off! I’ll DEFINITELY be doing that in future… for everyone’s sake! 

  31. Wow! You had me at the waterfalls. Simply breathtaking… but I love that you have included your top tips too!

    I’ve become a bit of an exebitionist on my travels getting changed before going swimming. It had never even crossed my mind to put my swimsuit on before I set off! I’ll DEFINITELY be doing that in future… for everyone’s sake! 

  32. Nice scenery and it looks help cooling off in a hot day. Thanks for sharing and glad that you had a great adventure in the green for a day! @ knycx.journeying

  33. The waterfall looks breathtaking. Looks like some sort adventure to get there as well. Our kids would love this they would be straight in the water. The aqueduct seems like an adventure in itself

  34. That second waterfall is so gorgeous! Definitely worth the guide hire and trek out there.

  35. What an amazing sight! We don’t have waterfalls here but I’d definately want to visit these! I love it how you give the practical tips about how to get there. Seems quite easy to hire a driver and just go!!!

  36. How lush and green!  It looks like it’s definitely worth hiring a guide here to make the most of the trip.  I’d love to visit these waterfalls if I ever make it to Bali.

  37. I visited Indonesia almost 5 years ago and always wanted to go back, especially in Lombok which I’ve heard is beautiful…I can see from your pictures that people were right in fact 🙂 I really want to go to see that waterfall now! 🙂

  38. What a lovely place, I would definitely check this out on my next visit to Bali. Outstanding photography here, very eye pleasing.

  39. I love how green everything is. The waterfalls are stunning!

  40. These waterfalls are stunning! Great photos too. I’m a big fan of hiking but have never done it in the jungle, what is the temp/humidity like. I guess cooling off in the streams and pools helps! Thanks for sharing the Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls!

  41. WOOW! These waterfalls look amazing! I would love to trekk there too, everything looks so lush and green. Thank you for this!

  42. Not many people seem to know about these waterfalls so it was great to stumble across your post. I’m so glad I got to Senaru the day before climbing Rinjani so I had time to visit the waterfalls too, Tiu Kelep was my favourite

  43. Such a lovely! Really i love waterfalls, Thank you for your sharing!

  44. The Sending Gilte and TIU Kelep waterfalls look simply divine. I love to hike out in the peaceful surroundings of nature especially when the sights at the end are this spectacular. And isn’t that true, we always seem to forget how exhausted we are and completely devote of energy as soon as you spot the end attraction. Too bad you didn’t remember your bathing suit. Thanks for sharing. 

  45. Wow! This place looks amazing. It is so green and fresh. The trail is awesome.

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  47. wow that’s great scenery of waterfall and green trees. i liked

  48. Stunning waterfalls, Cat! I’d love to visit them one day!

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  50. These waterfalls look spectacular. They seem to plunge from quite a height. Love waterfalls, they have such a soothing effect. These waterfalls are nothing short of a revelation. A lovely destination indeed.

  51. hi, where did you find the guide ? and which waterfalls is more worth ?

    • Hi Susan! Both are beautiful. Personally, I prefer the Tiu Kelep because it is more majestic and it is a lot quieter. If you’re going to Tiu Kelep, you will pass by Sendang Gile on your way. We did a day tour that was offered by the hotel. We were taken around by a private driver – they worked with a local agency that had a guide took us to the waterfalls. So we weren’t quite sure which agency it was, sorry! I would recommend you go to the town center (there are many booths that do local tours) and ask around – or consult your hotel concierge 🙂

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