This thing is called a waterfall, but it’s more like a thousand waterfalls put together, which is why the name loosely translated from the local Java language means ‘many waterfalls.’
These falls 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 is easy to visit if you’re on the way to Mount Bromo. This travel guide will explain how to get there, and everything you need to know before you go!
Tumpak Sewu: The Thousand Waterfalls
Your first stop at Tumpak Sewu Waterfall is a panorama point which serves as the main overlook, where you can see the falls from above. This is an awesome viewpoint, especially if you have a drone to send up even higher.
No hiking is required to see Tumpak Sewu from the overlook, which is just a short little walk from the parking area. The waterfall is super photogenic and it’s easy to see how it became known as the ‘thousand waterfalls’ of East Java.
With a drone, you can even see the Mount Semeru volcano in the background, or if you use a drone to look straight down at the waterfall in the ravine it looks like a tree of life shape.
From the viewpoint, there are two different paths to hike down to the waterfall, but the path on the Lumajang (east) side seems to be easier and safer.
Tumpak Sewu Waterfall Hike
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.
If you have kids and older folks in your party, they can probably do this section of the hike too, although you’ll want to go slowly and give them a hand.
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! Overall, the Tumpak Sewu Waterfall is one of our favorite sights in Indonesia. These truly are the ‘thousand waterfalls’ of East Java!
Goa Tetes Waterfall
On the way back from Tumpak Sewu, there’s a second waterfall in the same ravine called Goa Tetes, that you can visit on 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 again, 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.
Voilà, 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 the current entrance fees, 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 the Lumajang regency, which is in East Java, Indonesia.
The nearest airport is in the city of Malang (MLG), which has direct flights from Bali (DPS), or you can reach Malang easily by train from Yogyakarta, which is what we did. Another option is to visit Tumpak Sewu on a long day trip from Surabaya (SUB), which has an international airport. You can shop for flights to Malang or Surabaya at Skyscanner.
Driving time to the waterfall from Malang is about 2 hours, or from Surabaya it’s closer to 4 hours. I wouldn’t recommend using a scooter for this trip unless you’re experienced, especially since it involves long distances and driving in the dark.
The best way to visit the waterfalls is with a car and driver on a day trip from Malang, and this gives you time to visit 3 amazing waterfalls in one day — Tumpak Sewu, Kabut Pelangi, and Kapas Biru. See below for more details.
The local Javanese names for this waterfall are Coban Sewu or Air Terjun Tumpak Sewu. You can use either of these names if you get lost and need directions. The locals will be happy to help!
Is Tumpak Sewu Open?
Yes, Tumpak Sewu is currently open for tourists as of November 2023!
The waterfall was briefly closed because of heavy rain and flooding in July 2023, but both observation decks are open above the waterfall, so you can see it from either the west side (Malang) or the east side (Lumajang).
Access to go down to the base of Tumpak Sewu waterfall is also possible now if you go from Goa Tetes, although the normal stairway hasn’t reopened yet. This means the hike to the base of Tumpak Sewu waterfall will take a bit longer than normal at the moment, but you’ll go past Goa Tetes waterfall on your way there, which is worth seeing anyway!
I’ll update this travel guide when I have more information. You can also check for more updates in Bahasa Indonesia on their official Instagram page.
Best Tumpak Sewu Tour
Klook has a great Tumpak Sewu + Kapas Biru Waterfalls Tour for 350k IDR ($23 USD) per pax for 2-3 people, or less if you have a bigger group.
This is a full day trip from the city of Malang and it has very positive reviews. We’ve used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great. Highly recommended!
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 Rupiah ($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. Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal.
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