Tumpak Sewu waterfall (also known as Coban Sewu) is quickly becoming famous as one of the most amazing waterfalls in Java, Indonesia. It may even be the coolest waterfall in all of Southeast Asia.
This thing is called a waterfall, but it’s more like a thousand falls put together. The name loosely translated from Javanese means “many waterfalls.”
These waterfalls thunder down into a horseshoe shaped jungle ravine that looks like something right out of Jurassic Park. The end result is an unmissable natural wonder!
Tumpak Sewu Waterfall Hike
The hike to the waterfall starts from above, on either side of the jungle ravine. This means there are two different paths, but the path on the Lumajang (east) side seems to be easier and safer.
Your first stop is at an overlook called the panorama point, where you get to see the falls from above. This is an awesome viewpoint, especially if you have a drone to send up even higher.
With a drone, you can catch the Semeru volcano in the background, or if you look straight down at the waterfall in the ravine it looks like a tree of life shape.
Hiking Down To The Falls
Don’t stay at the overlook too long, because you still have to see the waterfall from below! The best lighting for this is early in the morning before the sun gets high, otherwise taking the right photos can be more of a challenge.
Head down the path for about 20 minutes to reach the bottom of the ravine. The path is mostly bamboo steps with bamboo railings, and it’s a little sketchy in spots, but nothing too terrible. Just proceed carefully.
Once you reach the bottom of the ravine, you’re only a 5-10 minute walk away from the main event. The towering walls on either side of the ravine let you know how tiny you are, and how epic things are about to get.
There’s one shallow stream to cross, with a small bridge covering part of it. Cross the bridge, round the corner, and prepare to have your mind blown by the epic sight! This is when the scale hits you for the first time and you can’t help but feel ant-like.
There are a lot of good photo spots next to the waterfall, but be aware that the rocks are very slippery and any electronics you bring within 100 yards of the falls WILL get soaked.
I’d recommend bringing a dry bag to keep your camera, drone, or other electronics safe between photo sessions here.
Enjoy and be safe!
EXTRA: Goa Tetes Waterfall
On the way back from Tumpak Sewu, there’s a second waterfall in the same ravine that you can visit as a loop hike that takes you back to the parking area.
Walk down the ravine for about 5-10 minutes and you’ll see a nice waterfall with an orange rock wall. Keep going and you’ll hike past a series of caves and falls flowing down the rocks.
If you have time to explore, some of these caves make for really neat photo ops.
Be careful, because the rocks here are VERY wet and slippery. Don’t try to keep your feet dry, it’s impossible.
Just keep three points of contact and put your electronics in a dry bag in case you fall on your butt and get soaked.
At the end of the falls, there’s another bamboo foot path leading up and out of the ravine. When you reach the top of the ravine, hang a left and walk back to the Tumpak Sewu parking area.
Voila, you’ve completed the loop. Two awesome waterfalls in one hike!
There are two entrance fees at Tumpak Sewu, and a third fee if you visit Goa Tetes waterfall.
- Tumpak Sewu Above: 10k IDR ($0.70 USD)
- Tumpak Sewu Below: 20k IDR
- Goa Tetes: 5k IDR
These are current as of 2019, but they may go up as the waterfalls get more popular and people start to flock here!
How To Get To Tumpak Sewu Waterfall
Tumpak Sewu waterfall is located in Lumajang, East Java.
The nearest airport is Abdul Rachman Saleh (MLG) in Malang, which has direct flights from Bali (DPS). You can also reach Malang easily by train from Yogyakarta, which is what we did.
Their daily price was 400k IDR + petrol, which worked out to be 620k IDR ($44 USD) for a full day visiting 3 waterfalls in Lumajang, then driving back to comfy Malang where they have better food and hotels.
Our driver Dayat was punctual and very familiar with the area, so we had no trouble finding the waterfalls!
Where We Stayed
The best place to base yourself for these waterfalls is Malang. There are lots of good restaurants and hotels to choose from, and the city is easily accessible from Bali or Yogyakarta.
We stayed at the OYO 353 hotel in Malang and it was only 210k IDR ($15 USD) for a clean double room with cold A/C, hot shower, and 30 Mbps WiFi.
The value was insane! We will definitely come back.