Post Summary: What to expect at Tumpak Sewu waterfall, and tips on visiting here.
Ready to branch outside of Bali and explore more of Indonesia?
With thousands of islands to choose from, there are endless journeys to be had! We all want that “untouched” adventure, but how do you even begin to plan a trip deep in the heart of its islands? We’re here to make that path clear, at least to Tumpak Sewu!
If you’re looking for a unique adventure without the crowds, this post is for you. We’re sharing just one of East Java’s epic (and we really do mean epic) waterfalls called Tumpak Sewu.
We’ve got you covered with directions, what to expect, and things to remember about this incredible location. Tumpak Sewu waterfall is elusive, mysterious, and everything we wished for!
The Epic Journey To Tumpak Sewu Waterfall, East Java
Our journey began hours north of Tumpak Sewu, at a volcano called Mount Bromo. If you want to read about more adventures in East Java, consider reading this post as well. But in the meantime, scroll down for more on Tumpak Sewu…
Now, where the heck is Tumpak Sewu?
To begin, Tumpak Sewu and its area are referred to by several names.
You recognize it by other names like Coban Sewu, Air Terjung Lumajang, and Wisata Sewu. All names refer to the area of East Java called Lumajang, where the waterfall is located.
Tumpak Sewu means “one-thousand waterfalls” – which is a fitting name considering the water flows into the basin like flowing ribbons.
Fun Fact: There are hundreds of waterfalls in the Lumajang area. If you want to explore as many as possible, try staying in the area at least a week!
Below is a zoomed in map of Indonesia, on the island of Java. This map shows East Java, and the star indicates the location of Tumpak Sewu waterfall.
Some Information About Tumpak Sewu:
- Village Location: Sidomulyo / Sidorenggo
- Closest major cities: Malang (2-hour drive) / Surabaya (5-hour drive)
- Waterfall height: 120 meters – 394 feet
- Entrance Fees: 10,000 Rp. each, ($0.75) + 5,000 for parking.
Getting To Tumpak Sewu Waterfall (Driving Directions)
While the directions are fairly simple from the major cities to Tumpak Sewu, the journey is not. Traffic in Indonesia is not a joke.
From several other Indonesian adventures, we’ve discovered that Google Maps will give you an ETA, but it won’t consider the trucks, animals, and surprise roadblocks along the way (which, trust me, there will be).
The internet tells you it will take two hours from Malang – so expect it to take more like four. The main highway is essentially a one-lane road, unlike the high-speed freeways in the United States.
The journey in will consist of roadside ‘warungs’ (casual food shops), lots of motorbikes, and the occasional super-slow truck.
From Malang, half the journey is a winding road up and down mountain ridges and through tiny villages. Everyone in the village takes this same road.
When you get close to the village of Sidomulyo, you will see many signs for various waterfalls. Obviously look for signs that say Tumpak Sewu/Coban Sewu.
Waterfalls can be found all around here, and since the village makes money from visitors, you won’t have much trouble finding it. There are plenty of signs pointing you in the right direction.
Entrance Fees To Tumpak Sewu
For entrance fees to Tumpak Sewu, we paid about 10,000 IDR each, which is around 75 cents USD. There is also a charge to park your car, but it will only be around 5,000 IDR.
You can also expect to pay to use the bathroom – remember to bring your own toilet paper and small bills!
Read More: What To Pack For A Trip To Indonesia
Path To Tumpak Sewu Viewpoint
From the parking lot, the path to the waterfall is not difficult to take. It was paved and clear, and on a good/busy day, we probably would have seen food vendors and people selling gifts.
We came on a weekday so, besides a family or two, we had the whole place to ourselves.
After walking for about 10 minutes, we heard the rumble of water. We turned the corner, and it came into full view! Never have we set eyes on a more magical place than this.
It still baffles us how a place like this exists. We always wonder how the first person to discover this waterfall must have felt!
Here, you can opt to stay at the top with the panoramic view, or you can descend to the bottom. Keep reading to get a closer view…
Ready To Capture The Magic? Find Our Our Tips For Travel Photography
Getting Closer To Air Terjun Tumpak Sewu
If you want to explore the base of Tumpak Sewu, there is a trail that descends into the bottom of the waterfall. From the viewpoint at the top, there are a set of bamboo stairs to begin your journey.
History: A few years ago, local people came together and built this set of bamboo stairs, switchbacks, and ladders that bring you straight into the canyon.
Watch your step because it’s very slippery! You will go through streams and cross rivers to reach the base.
I just want to stress this point though – living and traveling in the US is very different than Indonesia. Safety codes don’t exist, and there is huge potential for structural error on any or all of these makeshift systems.
Use your best judgment when choosing to hike down! Better safe than sorry!
YOU WILL GET WET, so we suggest wearing sturdy sandals like Chacos or Tevas that are waterproof and stay on your feet.
You will cross several streams, cross rivers, and climb over slippery rocks.
After about a 30 minutes climb down, you will turn the corner to reveal the most beautiful waterfall in Indonesia…
VIEWS FROM THE BASE OF TUMPAK SEWU
There are several places to experience views at the bottom of Tumpak Sewu. From around the first corner, climb the first hill to a rocky ledge for some cool perspective shots.
You can also opt to cross the river and get a closer look at the base of the falls. Take caution with this one, because the stream can be very fast.
I would take EXTREME caution right after a rainy day (Or honestly, not even go between November and March), because the river may be too powerful to attempt a crossing.
Here are some portraits we took visiting Tumpak Sewu:
We couldn’t have done it without the local wisdom and knowledge of our Indonesian friends.
Thank you, Mas Pitino, for being a badass driver for keeping us safe.
TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL MAP AND MORE
There are hundreds of beautiful waterfalls in this area of East Java! Want to explore more waterfalls in East Java?
Have you ever traveled to Tumpak Sewu? What was your experience like? After reading this, would you come here? Let us know in the comments below!
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