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Located in the Sidemen region of Central Bali is the mystical and stunning Tukad Cepung waterfall. Among one of the more unique waterfalls in Bali, Tukad Cepung is visited for its famous sun rays.
Imagine, wandering through a dusky grotto, surrounded by mossy rock walls, boulders and shin high waters. You hear the roar of the falls before you see it. Just around a large rock, you see Tukad Cepung waterfall, with lush jungle growing overhead. The light rays seep luxuriously through the vines, illuminating the falls and the floor below.
To fully experience the epicness of Tukad Cepung, make sure to put aside a couple hours of your day. To make the most of your trip, follow my guide below.
Need more waterfall inspiration? Check out my guide to Suwat Waterfall, a hidden gem
Top Tips for Visiting Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Bali
How to get to Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Nestled into the flat lands between central and east Bali, Tukad Cepung waterfall is located just 40 minutes drive northwest from the Sideman region. If you plan to venture out to this falls from Ubud, it will be about an hour’s drive east.
You may notice that google maps has both Tukad Cepung Meeting Point and Tukad Cepung Waterfall, go to the latter.
Transportation to Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Rent a Scooter
The fastest way to get to Suwat waterfall is by scooter. As the main form of transportation in Indonesia, this will get you from A to B the most efficiently. If you plan to rent a scooter, just ask at your accommodation. Make sure you have an international driver’s license from your home country, and at least a couple of lessons on how to properly drive a scooter. The roads in Bali can be dangerous, so this will help set you up for success.
Klook.com is a great place to find a scooter rental and they drop it off for you.
Hire a Car and Driver
If renting a scooter is not your jam (I don’t blame you), then opt to hire a car and driver to take you to Suwat waterfall. This service starts at $40 USD. Ask your villa owner or hotel concierge and they can set you up with one. In my opinion, it’s overpriced, so renting a car with a driver should be your last option.
A good option for this is the car hire services provided by Klook.com.
Take a Tour
Taking a tour of the Tukad Cepung waterfall could be a great idea if you plan to visit some other attractions in the area, as well. Tours vary from half-day to full-day durations and include hotel/villa pick up and drop off. Getyourguide.com is one of my favourites for well-structured and reliable tour operators.
Here are a couple of my recommendations:
Tukad Cepung Waterfall Entrance Fee
The Tukad Cepung waterfall entrance fee is 10,000 IDR (about $0.70 USD). There is also a well maintained parking lot free of charge.
Tukad Cepung Waterfall Opening Hours
Tukad Cepung waterfall is open 7AM – 6PM daily. Make sure to check for local holidays as normally these types of attractions will be closed.
Read this guide on nearby fairytale Tibumana Waterfall, Bali
Facilities + What to Expect at Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Once you’ve arrived safely in the parking lot, you will notice a bank of individual washroom stalls to the left that are great for changing into your swimmers. Toilet paper, a sink and soap is provided here for your convenience, so don’t worry, this is not one of those places you will be using your stashed away, roll of toilet tissue.
To the right, you will see the first of many warungs (local restaurants). Don’t worry, if this one doesn’t float your boat, there are a few more along your trek down to the falls. All of the warungs offer refreshment (try a coconut!), Indonesian and western cuisine options.
Walk past the washrooms and follow the signs down the path to the entrance and ticket booth.
After you’ve purchased your entry into Tukad Cepung waterfall you are free to continue on the path. The first section of the path can be a bit treacherous as the thin layer of moss growing acts as a slick surface. Once you’ve reached the stairs, you are home free.
At the bottom of the stairs you will cross the stream via a concrete bridge and follow to the right. Turn left at the sign for Tukad Cepung waterfall. Here you will have one more set of stairs to reach the cavern. The famous waterfall is to the left. Be ready to wade shin deep through the water and through large boulders to reach it.
Take some time to enjoy the falls, and when you are fulfilled, venture to the right of the stairs. This side is home to smaller waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery, still beautiful and worth a visit.
Best Time to visit Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Bali
The best time to visit Tukad Cepung waterfall is between 7am and 10am to avoid throngs of tourists, although this is one of the less busy waterfalls in Bali (but growing in popularity). If you are visiting the falls to catch the famous light rays the best time to arrive is closer to 9-10am.
Things to do in East Bali – Explore the lush undiscovered region
Photography at Tukad Cepung Waterfall
If you are a photographer and visiting Tukad Cepung for the beautiful sun rays that appear through the greenery above the falls, the best time is between 8am and 10am. This is the best time as the sun rises to the right point in the sky and larger tour groups haven’t arrived yet.
A 24-70mm lens is your best bet here, as it’s a tighter landscape. No need for a wide angle lens.
There are a couple great photo spots to consider. The first one is just past the large boulder before entering the final ‘room’ of the grotto. Here you can take a picture of the famous light rays peeking through the top and the tight cavern walls on each side, creating a cool effect and shape.
Secondly, go back to the large boulder and use that as the basis to your photo. Have someone climb to the top (be careful!), stand or sit on top and look upwards. As the photographer, stand below the rock and shoot upwards, catching the top of the boulder, your subject, and the sun through the greenery above. It’s an epic shot.
Because the cavern is quite dark, raising your ISO will be necessary. Lower your shutter speed to get a nice smooth waterfall, if you desire.
What to Bring to Tukad Cepung Waterfall
With any attraction, it’s always a good idea to prepare and bring a few items that will make your trip better. Here are my recommendations:
DAY PACK | I travel with my WANDRD backpack, it comes with a compartment for your camera and tons of space for all your other goodies
MIRRORLESS CAMERA | If you want to invest in something other than your camera phone (the newest phones have great cameras by the way), I purchased the Sony A7iii with a Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 lens. Couldn’t be happier.
CAMERA WIPES | This is so important! Don’t leave your hotel without it. I went through quite a few wipes trying to keep the mist from the waterfall off my lens
WATERPROOF SHOES | I went with a pair of trekking sandals from Teva, they are pretty multifunctional in my opinion. But a classic water shoe does the trick too.
MICROFIBER TOWEL | This waterfall doesn’t really have a swimming area to speak of, but you will be wading through the water to reach it. Bring a microfiber towel to dry off your feet afterwards
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE | Let’s help save our planet from plastic pollution and carry around a reusable water bottle instead. I love my Swell water bottle as it stays cold for 24 hours and is lightweight. A LARQ water bottle would also fit the bill and has water purifying technology built right in.
Where to Stay in Ubud
You will likely already find yourself in Ubud on your Bali itinerary so this is a great starting point for your trip. It’s an hour’s drive east to Tukad Cepung waterfall. Ubud is full of beautiful and unique places to stay, but here I’ve whittled it down to my favourites:
More Tropical Bali Inspiration
LAHANGAN SWEET, BALI | Located on top of a mountain overlooking Mount Agung on one side and the East Bali coastline on the other. Lahangan Sweet is a must-visit location.
BUKIT CINTA, BALI | One of the best viewpoints of Mount Agung, Bali’s active volcano. Go for sunrise and you won’t be disappointed
TIBUMANA WATERFALL, BALI | Who can resist a picture-perfect Bali waterfall? Check out this gem located a 30-minute scooter ride from the yoga centre of Ubud
TUKAD CEPUNG WATERFALL, BALI | A unique waterfall nestled inside a mossy cave in central Bali
SUWAT WATERFALL, BALI | Suwat waterfall is tucked away in a grotto with natural falls and an epic cave