Exploring Bali’s Hidden Gem: Gembleng Waterfall
By Emie Guintu
Gembleng Waterfall, a hidden gem and extraordinary natural wonder waiting to be discovered is tucked away in a lush tropical forest, surrounded by vibrant greenery and exotic flora of Bali, Indonesia. It is known to the locals as Air Terjun Gembleng and is a paradise for adventurous travelers, nature enthusiasts, and those who are seeking a tranquil nature retreat with its enchanting cascade, serene ambiance, and pristine waters, far from the hullabaloo of city life. It is not quite as picturesque as other Bali waterfalls when viewed from the bottom, but its cliff-top infinity pool makes it unique and captivating. Here’s everything you need to know about exploring Gembleng Waterfall.
How to Get There
Gembleng Waterfall is located in the Sidemen Village on the east side of Bali and is most definitely not your typical tourist destination since getting there requires a bit of an adventure. The journey to this hidden gem takes you through winding roads, enchanting villages, and dense forests. While the journey might be a bit challenging, it is well worth the effort for what lies at the end of the road.
If you happen to be staying at Samanvaya Luxury Resort and Spa, you can take their scooter tour to reach the waterfall within 30 minutes.
Upon reaching the place, the walking trail starts at the bottom of the Gembleng Waterfall. The trail to the top is all paved and copes with rain pretty well. You’ll have great scenery and will come across plenty of stunning tropical plants as colorful butterflies and dragonflies flutter along the path, seemingly welcoming the visitors.
Best Time to Visit and Entrance Fee
Gembleng Waterfall is open every day from 7 AM to 5 PM. Just to let you know, the waterfall is stunning no matter what time you visit.
There is no entrance fee to explore the waterfall, but visitors are welcome to donate.
Nonetheless, although the waterfall is open to the public and is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination, the Balinese people still consider it a holy place where they carry out the traditional melukut (cleaning themselves). Hence, on rare occasions, the waterfall is closed to the public when religious ceremonies are performed.
What to Expect
When you arrive at Gembleng Waterfall, you’ll be greeted by its stunning beauty and quietude. This grandiose, multi-tiered waterfall plunges over rugged rocks, forming a series of cascades, and eventually collects in an immaculate pool at the base. If you love Instagram-worthy pictures, the natural infinity pool at the top is where you’ll be able to capture the best shots.
You can take a dip in the refreshing pools with varying depths, shapes, and sizes, making it suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike and providing plenty of room for everyone. As you plunge into the pool, the cool mist generated by the cascading water will be a refreshing respite from the tropical heat while enjoying an enchanting view of the jungle and nearby rice fields.
Visitors are not only enchanted by the waterfall’s natural beauty but also by its well-maintained facilities for changing and freshening up, resting, and enjoying a picnic. There are also small food stalls nearby that offer local snacks and refreshments.
Tips for Visiting
As you visit and explore Gembleng Waterfall, make sure to follow these five tips:
1. Bring your swimwear, sunscreen, towel, flip-flops, insect repellent, and hat to fully enjoy your adventure; extra cash if you wish to purchase something from the food stalls selling drinks, snacks, beers, and even arak (local alcoholic spirits); and camera if you wish to capture every moment of your journey, including the breathtaking scenery.
2. Keep in mind that Gembleng Waterfall is a holy place for Balinese people so treat it with respect.
3. Be polite, especially when meeting locals.
4. Remember to respect the natural environment and follow the “leave no trace” principle by taking your trash with you.
5. Follow any guidelines provided by the Gembleng Waterfall authorities.
Indeed, Gembleng Waterfall or Air Terjun Gembleng is a natural wonder and a perfect slice of paradise. So, if you’re seeking a serene but exciting adventure with a rich history and majestic scenery, make your way to this beautiful hidden gem — Gembleng Waterfall.