Post Summary: Adventurous East Java Waterfalls and where to find them.
Every summer Berty and I come to East Java to visit family (Berty’s from Surabaya) and we go explore a new area of the island.
Our most recent adventures have taken us to some crazy beautiful places. Specifically, some that involved epic waterfalls and hair-raising hikes.
East Java is wild!
We’ve been getting tons of messages about how to get here, what to do, and tips for exploring waterfalls in East Java.
So we decided to create this list of must-see waterfalls in East Java.
We’re sharing some of the best photos, what to expect, and how to get to each. It’s totally possible to plan a trip to see all these epic waterfalls in Indonesia, and we’ll show you how!
Stunning East Java Waterfalls in Indonesia
*Note* We haven’t explored all the waterfalls on this list, but have done extensive research on the ones listed in this post.
We’ve relied on our friend Joe (@joeadimara_) to provide some of the pictures below. His images will be clearly labeled!
Located at the base of Mount Bromo, this amazing East Java waterfall is one of the tallest waterfalls in all of Indonesia. You can easily add it to your trip if you visit Mount Bromo.
The closest city to Madakaripura Waterfall is Probolinggo.
To reach the base of Madakaripura Falls, hike 1.5 kilometers through a deep valley of rocks, a river, and slippery terrain.
You will start your journey on a dry trail for 1km, and then eventually wade under 4 waterfalls for 500 meters to reach the end.
You WILL get wet during this hike, so come prepared with a rain jacket and waterproof casing for any gear you bring.
Note: DO NOT FOLLOW THE FIRST RESULT GOOGLE MAPS.
It won’t take you to the visitor’s entrance, but rather the “closest road” to the actual falls. This road is in rough shape, steep, and hundreds of feet above the actual falls with no access to Madakaripura.
***Make sure to type in Google Maps “Waterfall Madakaripura” instead of Madakaripura waterfall.***
ACCESSIBILITY: Intermediate. Make sure to wear sturdy water shoes and pants/shorts you are willing to get wet. There is also an option to hire a local guide to help you cross some dangerous areas for 50,000 IDR (~$3ish) to be extra safe.
2. Tumpak Sewu
Tumpak Sewu in Javanese roughly means “1000 stacked”. We found this to be one of the best waterfalls in East Java, as well as all of Indonesia!
Visitors can experience a panoramic view from the top by the many viewpoints provided.
People can also opt to climb down a steep set of bamboo stairs and experience Tumpak Sewu from the base!
The trail takes about 30 minutes to complete and requires river crossings in multiple places.
ACCESSIBILITY: Intermediate/Difficult. The entry fee is 10,000 IDR + parking and requires great physical fitness to climb down the steep set of bamboo stairs. Prepare to get wet.
Plan your own adventure to one of the best East Java waterfalls. Read Our Guide to Tumpak Sewu Here.
3. Air Terjun Kapas Biru
Air Terjun Kabau Biru in East Java is also called Blue Cotton.
This waterfall was open to the public in 2015.
Its distinctive features include one single, powerful waterfall about 100 meters high, and surrounding red-brown cliffs covered with lush greenery. (Kind of reminds us of the basalt walls of Toketee Falls in Oregon!)
The entrance fee to Kapas Biru is (unknown) and parking is 5,000 IDR. The trail requires a 2-kilometer trek, with many parts at a steep angle.
This place can be very dangerous in the rainy season, so take caution when visiting December through March.
ACCESSIBILITY: Difficult. This trail can be extremely slippery after a rainstorm, so take caution when climbing down.
We recommend you to be in great physical shape, as the trail requires excellent balance, ladder climbing, and crossing streams.
4. Coban Rondo
Coban Rondo is a waterfall located near the city of Batu. You can reach this area via Malang, or the farther city of Surabaya. Coban Rondo means “Widow Falls”.
The entrance fee to Coban Rondo is 15,000 IDR. There are souvenirs, places to eat, and activities to do in the parking lot. Expect many families and selfie sticks for this convenient hike!
Also, take caution with monkeys in the area.
They will grab and steal anything that smells like food or looks like a drink bottle. Including water! Keep all your belongings secure on you, and don’t antagonize them.
ACCESSIBILITY: Easy. Coban Rondo has a 50-meter paved walkway to the base of the falls.
5. Goa Tetes
Goa Tetes can be accessed through the same entrance of Tumpak Sewu. It’s also referred to as the Drip Caves because the waterfalls flow right over the entrance of the small caves.
This places really felt like Jurassic Park!
Keep trekking past a large boulder to get a closer look at one of the caves. There is also a protected pool of water used for swimming, though be cautious of the water quality before you go in. We had friends pick leeches off their feet!
ACCESSIBILITY: Intermediate. The path to Goa Tetes Waterfall uses the same bamboo stairs down to the base of Tumpak Sewu. You will see signs veering to the left at the bottom of the stairs, and it’s a short walk from there.
6. Air Terjun Kabut Pelangi
Air Terjun Kabut Pelangi translates to “Rainbow Mist” in English. This is because it is common for visitors to see a rainbow when the sunshine hits the mist of the falls!
Similar to Kabaus Biru, the trail to the base of the falls is about a 2-kilometer hike.
You will definitely get wet during this hike. Make sure to pack a lightweight raincoat and a rain cover for your belongings.
ACCESSIBILITY: Difficult. Requires multiple river crossings, climbing ladders, and hiking through potentially slippery and rough terrain. Do not attempt in the rainy season.
7. Coban Sriti
Coban Sriti is a waterfall that separates off into two falls by a huge boulder placed at the top.
It’s approximately 120 meters high and is set along the main water source coming from the mountain, Gunung Semeru.
You can begin your trek through the entrance of Kapas Biru.
About 20 minutes into the hike, you will hike down through the bushes down with rope aids to another river. From here, you can fight the river current upstream for a while (one blog we read said three hours!)
Here, you must hire a guide to take you down to the falls.
This is because the path is very dangerous in bad weather. Also because the guide will know when to branch off the path into the main river, away from Kapas Biru.
ACCESSIBILITY: Extremely difficult. Coban Sriti has heavy water discharge all year, making rivers hard to cross and flash floods very possible. You must be in excellent physical condition to bushwack, climb over rocks, and fight a heavy river current.
Are These All The Waterfalls In East Java?
There are literally hundreds (if not thousands!) that we haven’t explored!
We plan to return to East Java every year to discover more and write about them here. Keep returning to this post for updated information about these East Java waterfalls.
Safety Tips To Consider When Visiting East Java Waterfalls
Like any activity anywhere, climbing down through canyons, rivers, and caves can bring quite a bit of danger.
Indonesia brings its own set of thrills, so consider these tips to make your East Java waterfalls trip the best one possible.
We Encourage Visitors To Sse a Local Guide.
Google maps are frequently unreliable. Guides can act as translators on your behalf, they know local knowledge, and have more cultural experience than you.
The area of these waterfalls (Lumajang) is not a tourist hot spot, so you won’t find convenient hotels, food, or even ATMs.
In this instance, Berty is from Surabaya and so are all of his friends that came on this trip to act as our “local guides”
We Don’t Recommend Traveling To East Java Alone
…unless you have extensive travel experience in many islands of Indonesia, or know the local language. Even then, we highly, HIGHLY suggest you never ever take a trail to the waterfall by yourself.
Watch Your Step When Climbing Around East Java Waterfalls
Rocks are slippery, stairs are wet, and the ground can shift from under you. Make sure to have stable footing and solid hand grips before proceeding.
Consider Visiting ONE Waterfall Per Day
This isn’t a popular tip but trust us. The daylight is only 12 hours long in Indonesia, and entrance hours are even shorter. Never force yourself down a waterfall in the late afternoon, because hiking up in the dark is extremely dangerous.
Skip These East Java Waterfalls In The Rainy Season
These Indonesian waterfalls are extremely powerful and have the capacity to sweep you downstream in the blink of an eye.
Rainy season is generally November through March. The dry season is the best time to visit, which is between May and September.
Safety first, kids!
MAP OF BEST WATERFALLS IN EAST JAVA
The closest city to many of these waterfalls in East Java would be Lumajang.
Lumajang is not generally known to be a tourist destination, so there aren’t easily accessible hotels, tourist amenities, or even western restaurants.
In order to get to these waterfalls, we suggest hiring a driver and having a home base in places like Malang, Surabaya, or Probolinggo.