The Tumpak Sewu waterfall in East Java is one of the highest and most powerful waterfalls in Indonesia! It is easy to get to along a beautiful drive from the town of Malang. Since the waterfall is a bit off the usual tourist route you’ll most likely have this place to yourself besides a few local tourists!
Tumpak Sewu is impressive, reaching astonishing heights of 120 meters with a beautiful curtain of water flowing down from the top. Plan on spending a few hours here as there are different viewpoints along the way.
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How to Get From Malang to the Tumpak Sewu Waterfall
The Tumpak Sewu waterfall is located about 2 to 2.5 hours outside of Malang depending on traffic. The easiest and most cost effective way to get from Malang to the Tumpak Sewu waterfall is by renting a motorbike in Malang for 120 K IDR ($8.50 USD) a day and drive yourself. While the journey is long, the roads are well maintained and easy to navigate.
You could also hire a car to take you but it would be best to do that if you aren’t comfortable driving a motorbike or can split it with multiple people.
Entrance Fees to the Tumpak Sewu Waterfall in East Java
There are two fees to view the Tumpak Sewu waterfall in East Java. The cost to enter the grounds and go to the viewing point is 20K IDR ($1.40 USD). There is a second entrance fee once you’ve hiked all the way down to the bottom, this is good to know in advance. You will have to pay an additonal 10K IDR ($0.70 USD) to round the corner and have access to the actual base of the waterfall. You will want to see this if you’ve already made the trek down so just be sure to have enough cash on you.
There is also a 5K IDR ($0.35 USD) fee to park a motorbike if you drove yourself.
Panoramic Viewpoint Tumpak Sewu Waterfall
Just 10-15 minutes from the parking you will enter the Tumpak Sewu area and spot the signs pointing to either the panoramic viewpoint or the hike down to the foot of the falls. Go up towards the panoramic viewpoint first which is just a few minutes walk. Here you’ll be able to get a birds eye view of the powerful falls which is an incredible vantage point. It costs 20K IDR ($1.40 USD) to go to the panoramic viewpoint.
» Drone Tip: You can fly your drone here just be careful not to get too close to the waterfall as it can be quite powerful and could knock your drone out of the sky.
Hiking to the Bottom of Tumpak Sewu in East Java
The hike down to the bottom of Tumpak Sewu will start off as a fairly easy decline. However, within a few minutes you will be met with some sketchy bamboo stairs and a not very secure handrail. After you’ve managed to get past the stairs you will then come to the part where you’ll have to climb down rocks submerged in water.
Then there are other sections where you will have to walk through large puddles of water and you’re shoes will be soaking wet. Due to this tedious and not always safe climb down, I highly recommend wearing proper shoes and not flip flops. The hike down should take around 30-45 minutes depending on how slow or careful you are.
At the bottom you will need to pay the additional fee to continue on towards the bottom of the waterfall.
Important Things to Know Before Going
Make sure that you pack the widest camera lens that you have. The waterfall spreads over a lengthy distance and when you are right in front of it you’ll want to be able to capture as must of it as you can in a photo. This is where the wide lens will come in handy! Also, be sure to pack a rain cover for your camera! You can find our favorite one HERE!
Tripods are allowed and can be used anywhere you’d like. However, be very careful where you set up as there are a lot of slippery spots and the water is strong.
What to wear
You will get wet. There is no getting around it if you plan on heading down to the base of the falls. In fact, the majority of the hike down is through the water so you really can’t escape it. With that being said, it is best to wear your bathing suit and clothes that you don’t mind getting soaking wet. Also, wear proper shoes or water sandals. Flip flops would not be appropriate here and you will surely struggle quite a bit.
Other Things to Bring With You
I highly recommend you bring rain covers for all your back packs and camera equipment as it will definitely get wet. We have adjustable rain covers for our back packs that you can find HERE! I also use a handy, clear cover pouch for the camera which you can get HERE!
Also, be sure to pack insect repellent since you’ll be in the jungle. There will definitely be plenty of mosquitos flying around and you won’t want to get bit!
Guide or No Guide
While you certainly can hire a guide to take you up and down to the foot of the falls it’s not necessary. The path is easy to follow even if it isn’t an easy path and there will be locals down at the bottom directing you which way to go. Since you’ll have to pay the additional fee to hike to the foot of the falls you’ll know you are in the right place.
Best Time of Year to Visit
The best time of year to visit the Tumpak Sewu waterfall in East Java is between the months of April and October which is the dry season. From November through March it is rainy season and the path leading down to the waterfall could be closed due to heavy rains. In the dry season you will still see a heavy flow of water coming from the falls but you’ll have a better chance of making it down to the bottom!
TRAVEL TIP: Don’t forget to check to make sure you don’t need to apply for a visa online. Many countries receive a visa on arrival to Indonesia but you don’t want to arrive and get denied!
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WHAT CAMERA GEAR DO I USE?
- Main Camera: Sony A7III
- Wide angle lens: Sony G Master 16-35mm f/2.8
- Zoom lens: Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3
- Secondary Camera: Canon 6D Mark II
- Canon wide angle lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
- Underwater camera: Leica X-U
- Camera with gimbal: DJI Osmo Pocket & Underwater Housing
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro
- Camera Bag: Polar Pro Drone Trekker
- External Hard Drive: LaCie 1 TB rugged mini external hard drive