What’s the best Ubud waterfall?

You’re checking off your Ubud must-do list. Monkey sanctuary? Tick. Hatha yoga class? Tick. Rice fields walk? Tick. Now it’s time to head out of Ubud and do one of our own favourite pastimes: chasing waterfalls! Read on for our guide to finding the ultimate falls near the town; as you search for the best Ubud waterfall.

Ubud Waterfall Tour - Tibumana Waterfall Header

Getting to the Ubud waterfalls

Now, before you forge ahead, here’s a disclaimer: There are no waterfalls in Ubud itself.

That said, all of the falls on this list are within easy reach of the town and can be done on a motorbike or scooter trip. You can rent a motorbike from your hotel or hostel for about 70,000 IDR (5 USD / 3.75 GBP) per day excluding fuel. Please just ensure that you have a valid international driver’s licence before heading out and wear a helmet!

If you’re not comfortable on a moped, you can easily rent a private driver – find one here. Usually a private driver for one day sets you back between 500,000 – 700,000 IDR (35 – 50 USD / 27.50 – 40 GBP) and includes 10 hours of travel, all fuel and insurance.

When to go to the Ubud waterfalls

There are two parts to timing: the time of year and the time of day.

When it comes to the season, generally Bali is best visited between April – June or September – October. This is on the ‘shoulder’ of the high season between July and August, and December to January. We visited all these waterfalls in October and the timing was perfect!

And, when it comes to the time of the day, it’s obvious that the best time to visit any sightseeing hotspot in Bali is as early as you can stomach it. We’d advise picking your favourite from our list below and trying to get there at around 7.00am.

This means that you might just have the place entirely to yourself but, more than this, you’ll have the softest, most beautiful sunlight streaming down from above. Check out our photos from Tegenungan Waterfall below to see what we mean! These were taken at around 7.30am and are, in our totally biased option, absolutely cracking photographs!

So what are the best Ubud waterfalls?

In our opinion these are the best waterfalls in Ubud, but if we had to pick only one, our favourite Ubud waterfall would be Tegenungan waterfall.

  • Tegenungan waterfall
  • Tibumana waterfall
  • Kanto Lampo waterfall
  • Tukad Cepung waterfall
  • Nungnung waterfall
  • Goa Rang Reng waterfall
  • Dusun Kuning waterfall

Your Ubud waterfall map

We’ve marked out all best waterfalls in Ubud on this handy map below. When you’re walking the falls, you can simply use Google Maps or, our preferred map app, maps.me.

That said, there are many more waterfalls near Ubud, as well as some of Bali’s waterfalls up near the centre of the island. If you’ve got the time, we highly recommend a trip up to do the Munduk Waterfall Hike.

Best Ubud waterfall for natural beauty – Tegenungan

This was the first waterfall we visited near Ubud and, in our opinion, the best. Tegenungan is a short drive from Ubud and when we turned the corner and saw it for the first time, we were awestruck.

Ubud Waterfall - Tegenungan Waterfall from far

The sun was just peeking out from behind the top of the falls and with the water gushing down to the base and birds chirping in the nearby trees, we were overwhelmed by the lush, natural beauty and greenery of Tegenungan.

On your way down to the waterfall you’ll find 2-3 viewpoints including a viewing platform, the famous Bali bamboo ‘nest’ and a heart-shaped bamboo frame. These are ideal for getting photographs from above.

In terms of how busy the waterfall gets, we were told that – like most other falls near Ubud – it can become quite busy from about 10.00am onwards.

Ubud Waterfall - Tegenungan Waterfall

Lastly, this waterfall has toilets, changing rooms, lockers and food and drink available.

Entrance fee:  20,000 IDR per person (1.50 USD / 1 GBP)

Hiking difficulty: Easy. Tegenungan waterfall is reached through walking down about 120-150 concrete steps. The steps are very sturdy and you could easily do this walk in flip flops. That said, when you reach the rocky ‘beach’ at the bottom, you might be best-placed to go barefoot.

Swimming options: You can take a dip in the rock pool at the bottom although the waterfall spray is incredibly powerful and you do need to be careful. When we visited there were buoys floating near the fall itself, which the locals told us were put there by the government after two tourists died while swimming.

Best Ubud waterfall for swimming – Tibumana

This waterfall sits pretty at second at our list, but it’s not very far behind. The walk down to Tibumana is one of the most beautiful we encountered in Bali: surrounded by leafy jungle, butterflies flitting about and totally serene.

Ubud Waterfall Tour - Tibumana Waterfall

However, what we really loved about Tibumana was getting into the cool, chalky blue-green waters. Tibumana is great for taking a dip as the single-stream waterfall isn’t that powerful plus it’s protected from wind by a large ‘bay’, so you aren’t covered with spray.

We arrived here at around 09.30am and it was still relatively quiet, with about 5-6 other people taking photographs. We spent about an hour frolicking in the water, taking selfies and painfully awkward Instagram shots and when we left, the crowd had swelled to about 30 people and the pool was quite full. Another reason to start your day early!

Tibumana waterfall has a small toilet block (one ladies and one gents) and lockers, although neither of these seemed in great working order when we were there. There were some food and drinks stalls near the top of the stairs, next to the parking lot.

Entrance fee: 15, 000 IDR per person (1 USD / 0.80 GBP)

Hiking difficulty: Easy. Well-made, solid concrete steps and paths lead you to Tibumana, and we’d guess that there are about 100-150 of them.

Swimming options: This is definitely the best place to take a swim. It’s very easy to access, the ground is soft stones, and the water is super refreshing. There are lockers and also toilets that you can change in.

Best Ubud waterfall for Instagram shots – Kanto Lampo

We’ll be honest with you here: we didn’t like this waterfall as much as the two above. It might have been the time of the day, or the difficulty of the stairs or just the atmosphere of the place but Kanto Lampo is more geared towards getting beautiful selfies and photographs than enjoying the waterfall.

Ubud Waterfall - Kanto Lampo Waterfall

Kanto Lampo is the place to go if you want the perfect Instagram pic.

The falls are set up so that you have to get into the rock pool to be able to see the waterfall properly, and to get a great photograph. Your ‘photographer’ needs to get into the water and you (and perhaps your friends or other half) scurry up into the waterfall itself, surrounding yourself in gushing spray.

This is not the place to relax or go swimming since it doesn’t have the space, and unfortunately it can get quite busy – it was quite full when we arrived at 08.30am.

There are changing rooms and toilets available as you descend, and a few food and drinks stalls at the top.

Entrance fee: 20,000 IDR per person (1.50 USD / 1 GBP)

Hiking difficulty: Easy – moderate. There aren’t that many steps down to Kanto Lampo but it can be very slippery navigating the last stairs, or clambering over the rocks down into the waterfall’s base pool.

Swimming options: Technically, yes. The only way to properly see the falls is to swim but the swimming area is very limited.

Other waterfalls near Ubud

Want to chase more waterfalls? There are at least four more gorgeous falls near Ubud that you could add to your itinerary! Let’s break them down for you.

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Another very instagrammable place on the list, Tukad Cepung waterfall is a favourite amongst those who visit, mainly since it offers something a little different to the other falls in the Ubud area: a cave waterfall!

Ubud Waterfall - Tukad Cepung cave waterfall

After taking a stroll through the forest you’ll wade through some shallow water into the cave and then see this incredible view of the waterfall water gushing down before you. It’s totally gorgeous, particularly if you time the lighting just right (we’re told that’s about 10.00am).

Due to its recent Instagram fame, Tukad Cepung is getting quite a bit busier so you’ll need to be patient for your shot, or time this as your first stop on the itinerary (but then the lighting may not be as good).

There are toilets near the parking area, and a small café on site.

Entrance fee: 15, 000 IDR per person (1 USD / 0.80 GBP)

Hiking difficulty: Easy – moderate. It’s a 15 minute walk down to the waterfall and not too difficult to manage. That said, at the bottom you either need water shoes or to go barefoot, and the ground can get a little slippery so be careful.

Swimming options: None. It’s too shallow to swim here.

Nungnung Waterfall

Feeling a little fit? Nungnung waterfall is one of the most breathtaking Ubud waterfalls, but its only accessible via over 500 stairs. Which, of course, seem like child’s play on the way down but will definitely have you sweating on the ascent!

 

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This hidden gem is a spectacular waterfall and has all the ingredients you want: a strong, powerful stream, lush greenery and usually not too many people (those stairs are probably the reason!).

If you’ve got the energy, we’d highly recommend adding Nungnung to your Bali waterfall tour.

If you’re wanting to time it right, you either need to come early in the morning (7.00 or 8.00am) for solitude, or around midday to have the sun shining above the waterfall itself.

At time of writing there weren’t any changing rooms or lockers available, but there were snack sellers at the top of the descent.

Entrance fee: 20,000 IDR per person (1.50 USD / 1 GBP)

Hiking difficulty: Moderate. 500 stairs is no joke, particularly if you suffer from dodgy knees! The steps are very sturdy but particularly steep.

Swimming options: You can definitely swim here although the current from the falls can be strong, and the strong spray might engulf you!

Goa Rang Reng Waterfall

This waterfall doesn’t win any prizes for it’s height, but it is well-known by locals for it’s width, as it’s a particularly wide waterfall, offering a bit of a different perspective to all the others on this list. The water here is also used by locals for ‘melukat’, a spiritual cleansing ritual for Balinese Hindus.

 

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It’s about a 300m walk down to the waterfall, which actually also boasts a cave and two smaller waterfalls nearby. These other smaller waterfalls seem to usually attract the fee of a local guide who will help you through the forest to the waterfalls, a small canyon and a rope swing. Keep in mind that these are only accessible in the dry season.

Goa Rang Reng is not the most picturesque waterfall in this guide but you won’t find as many tourists at this spot, as most people will skip it in favour of nearby Kanto Lampo waterfall.

There is a local warung (restaurant), offering snacks and strong Balinese coffee.

Entrance fee: 15, 000 IDR per person (1 USD / 0.80 GBP)

Hiking difficulty: Easy – moderate. About 15-20 minutes of walking on a mix of steps and forest trail down to the waterfall. There are some very wet rocks at the bottom, so you’ll need to take care.

Swimming options: You can swim here, although the water is a little shallow for it.

Dusun Kuning Waterfall

Dusun Kuning, also known as the Yellow Waterfall, is one of those waterfalls on the cusp. It used to be a very quiet waterfall attracting very few tourists but, while it’s currently still quiet, it’s probably about to get a lot busier.

 

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This ‘hidden waterfall’ has seen some huge improvements recently in that the previously slippery stairs and trail have been replaced with a metal staircase, and the infrastructure now includes a restaurant at the top, serving small meals and steaming hot coffee.

It’s a majestic waterfall that brings together a lot of the good stuff: it’s still quiet, it’s tall and powerful, it has toilets, food on offer and you can even swim! What’s not to love, right?

Entrance fee: 15, 000 IDR per person (1 USD / 0.80 GBP)

Hiking difficulty: Easy. It’s about 15 minutes of walking, mainly down a good trail and a metal staircase. If it’s rainy, do take care since those aluminium steps can get a little slippery, particularly as there is moss growing over them.

Swimming options: Dusun Kuning has some wonderful small rock pools downstream from the base and since it has newer changing rooms available, this is a good option if you need to cool off.

Bonus: Things to do alongside the Ubud waterfall

There are so many things to do near Ubud. We’ve actually got an entire itinerary for Ubud, plus a more comprehensive guide to Bali if you want to check those out. Read on for the highlights:

Goa Gajah Cave

This temple is conveniently located between Tegenungan and Kanto Lampo Waterfall, so probably worth a stop. Goa Gajah, also known as the ‘Elephant Cave’ is thought to date back to the 11th century and most think that it was used as a sanctuary for Hindu priests.

The temple complex includes ancient bathing pools, Hindu relics and a small cave that you can access.

When we visited Goa Gajah, we had already visited a number of Balinese temples, as well as a very impressive cave temple on Nusa Penida, so we felt a little underwhelmed by the experience. That said, if you haven’t seen a cave temple before, we recommend you add this to your itinerary.

Ubud Waterfall Tour - Goa Gajah Temple rock face

Entrance fee: 50,000 IDR (3.50 USD / 2.75 GBP)

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

You haven’t truly been to Ubud if you haven’t visited the Tegalalang Rice Terraces! It’s one of our favourite places in Ubud.

About 20 minutes north of Ubud centre, these breathtaking rice fields stretch as far as the eye can see, and make for some beautiful photographs. What’s even better is that they are entirely free!

Ubud Waterfall Tour - Tegalalang Rice Fields

There are extra charges (let’s call them donations) if you want to visit particular viewpoints, use one of the photo installations or take a turn on the Bali Swing. That said, without doing any of that, you can spend a good hour here exploring the walkways.

Insider tip: Be very careful of where you tread! Try to stay on the paved walkways or, if you are venturing off them, dip a toe in first to ensure it’s not just muddy water!

Campuhan Ridge Walk

After a full day of waterfall walking and sightseeing, you might not be keen to get onto your feet again. That said, one of the best sunset hikes are right near the epicentre of Ubud, the Campuhan Ridge Walk.

Ubud Waterfall tour - Campuhan Ridge Walk

The walk starts near the bridge, where you’ll descend down to a bubbling stream and then up again on a paved path over the hills. The walk takes about 45 minutes and gives you panoramic views across Ubud, including rice fields, temples, palm trees and more.

Wear comfy shoes (not flip flops like us!), and pack some water since the climb isn’t that steep but can still get hot and sweaty.

There is no entrance fee.

What to pack for an Ubud waterfall trip

So, you’re off to chase those waterfalls? Don’t forget to pack:

  • Hiking sandals or water shoes. You can get away with flip flops but it’s not advisable. Similarly, sneakers would work fine but might get a little wet during your waterfall jaunt!
  • Sunscreen: Bali gets hot at most times of the year and most of the trails to these waterfalls are in full sun..
  • Waterproof bag or camera cover. You can easily get great shots from the ‘shore’ of most waterfalls but if you want close-ups you should either pack a camera cover or a dry it off quickly and put it in a waterproof bag.
  • Water: Keep yourself hydrated, particularly for all the steps you’ll be facing! Luckily most of the waterfalls have snack stalls or vendors if you run out.

Where to stay in Ubud

Budget: One of the most popular in Ubud is Puji Hostel, mainly for it’s location and beautiful pool overlooking the rice fields. Dorm rooms are clean and relatively spacious.

Mid-range: We were very happy with our stay at Kubu Rama Cottage, located about 5 minutes outside of Ubud. The property includes well-appointed rooms, a refreshing pool, delicious breakfast and we really enjoyed being out of the manic town centre, but also able to access it easily via bike.

Luxury: Top of the pops is the Goya Boutique Resort, a plush resort near the Monkey Forest which has an incredible pool, world-class spa and luxurious suites.

If you’re looking for a 3 day Ubud itinerary, we’ve also got one for you here. It outlines everything you need to know about Ubud and the perfect list of what to do.

What camera equipment and other gear do we use?

We’re living proof that you don’t need the most expensive gear to travel the world and take good photos. Here are some of our must have items that make it into the packing list for all our travels.


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