On our first and only full day on the island of Lombok in Indonesia, we awoke not knowing exactly what we wanted to do with our short time there. We had a pretty large group that day, seven of us in total (traveling with some friends from back home temporarily and a So-Cal lady and her Kiwi boyfriend we befriended in Ubud). We wanted to head off the beaten path and get some exercise so we decided to rent scooters and take an adventure to the remote Air Terjun Guripak (Guripak Waterfall).
We rented 4 scooters from our hostel (check out La Boheme if you are ever in Lombok), made sure all our helmets buckled, got maps.me (offline GPS! It’s great for travel) ready, and gassed up for our adventure.
We headed along the Northwestern Coast of Lombok for a while before heading inland. We passed ocean beaches, bottle petrol stops, windy roads, many monkeys, local villages, rice fields, family homes, children playing in rivers, and cows. 45 minutes, or so, into our ride, and with numb butts we pulled over where maps.me said the waterfall was but found nothing other than a dirt and rock road that seemed to end not far from where we parked. So, we asked some locals for directions. Many of them had smiled and said “halo” (hello) on our way in and were happy to point us in the right direction.
Side note: maps.me will often get you very close to your destination, but you may need to explore a bit to find it. When you don’t have a local sim card or data though it’s a life saver!
After a few smiles from locals and them pointing us in the right direction, we found an offshoot we were supposed to drive up. It was a steep, dirt “road” and the majority was completely washed out. It was quite a bumpy adventure on the way up as we were dirt biking on our scooters. Alli had to hold onto the back of the scooter for dear life and be ready to jump off at any moment!
We were also the only foreigners to be found for miles, which meant we received curious stares from the locals. Nevertheless, the search continued for our off the beaten path waterfall and we ripped our way up the narrow, winding mountain “road” smiling and saying “halo” to everyone we passed along the way.
At one point, we came to a section of the road where a group of young men were sawing up a large tree completely blocking our path. They were kind enough to let us take a detour through their yard to continue our ascent. They clapped, smiled, and cheered us on as our large group passed through.
When we finally reached the point on the map where we were as close to the waterfall as we could get before hiking in, we parked our motorbikes on the side of the road, ate some dates, and began searching for some type of path that might lead us in. We found pretty much nothing. It was at this point in the story when a young girl, about 8 we guessed, with long dark hair and a bright pink shirt waved to us from the back of her mom’s scooter. Little did we know, a few minutes later she would become our tour guide!
Wondering where the “trail” might be – if there even was a trail – we decided to ask again. The little girl smiled at us and waved for us to follow her. Deciding to put our trust in this little girl, we did.
We followed her past her mother (who smiled and waved to us as we trotted through her front yard), through her property, over a ledge, and down a steep face of the jungle mountain. We’d say there was a trail… but much of the hike was spent following the girl down through the foliage and dirt, turn right at the long vine, left at the curved tree, and straight when you see the monkeys… “make sure to clap and throw rocks so they know you’re coming!” (She didn’t speak English, but we understood what we were meant to do through her hand signals and actions). We were all in awe of the smiling young girl, in flip flops about 4 sizes too big who was bounding through the jungle while we were all racing to keep up.
After about 30 minutes of wondering how many snakes and other dangerous creatures were around us in this giant jungle, almost sliding off the mountain a couple of times, wondering how we were going to find our way back, and many laughs with this young child, we finally descended onto a river and were thrilled to see water. We were starting to wonder if we were actually being led to a waterfall because we could neither see nor hear water flowing for most of the trek. After turning around one final bend in the river, we found what we had set out for, the Air Terjun Guripak! And boy was it magnificent.
We stood there in awe for a few moments, partly because we’d actually made it and had a delightful “tour guide” walk us through her mountain-side backyard and partly because the waterfall was spectacular. Our group of friends were the only people there and we marveled at our off the beaten path find – a 70-foot beauty of a waterfall. We all laughed and took pictures. Then the little girl let out a yell at the waterfall and encouraged us all to do the same. So there we were, holding hands with the little girl, yelling at the waterfall and having our voices muffled by the force of the raging water.
How To Find Air Terjun Guripak
First off, you will need to rent scooters to make this trip possible. No driver will be able to take you up the road to the waterfall (typical price in Lombok should be 50k-100k IDR per day). Make sure your bikes are fully gassed up and, if you can, try to get a bike that is at least 125 CC with good brakes. As we mentioned the road is a bit treacherous and we do not advise anyone who is uncomfortable on a scooter to take this trip. Passengers should be ready to run up some hills if the bike isn’t strong enough to carry to people and to hop off on the downhill if the breaks aren’t working or it gets too bumpy!
GPS Coordinates: 08 30’46.48″S 116 07’42.98″E
Air Terjun Guripak can be found on the Western side of Lombok not far from Taman Sari. It is listed on maps.me and the directions are easy to follow on a scooter (you may need to ask some locals for help at the end!). If you are staying on the Western side (aka not Kuta Lombok or a more rural area) you’ll probably be taking off from somewhere close to Sengigi or Bangsal. It is about 12 miles (aprox. 1 hr) from Sengigi and about 20 miles (1 hr and 30 mins) from Bangsal. Mind you this is just the time to get to the point along the dirt road where we parked and began our hike into the waterfall. If you have difficulty finding the correct offshoot of a steep, dirt road ask some of the locals to point you in the right direction!
To actually find your way through the jungle to the base of the waterfall you will need to either follow your map (use maps.me) and traverse through the jungle valley (don’t be surprised if you stumble across multiple family dwellings), or if you’re lucky find a local willing to hike you in (you should definitely tip them if they do – we tipped our half a pack of Mentos and a dollar). We highly recommend getting there early because trying to find your way out at night could be treacherous. Plus, you’ll likely want to hang out at the waterfall for a bit! The hike in took us about 30 minutes from where we parked our bikes.
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