Tumpak Sewu, which translates to a thousand waterfalls in the Javanese language, is every bit as astonishing as its name suggests.
Tumpak Sewu appears to be made up of several different waterfalls converging into one semicircle. As if the half-moon waterfalls aren’t unique enough as is, an active volcano that doubles as the tallest mountain in Java looms in the distance. Semeru is nearly constantly erupting, with volcanic activity being a regular occurrence.
Follow along as we fill you in on everything you should know before you visit the spectacular water wonder, from details about the thrilling trek to reach the falls and what you’ll see there to the difficulty of the journey ahead!
Where Are The Falls?
Tumpak Sewu is situated in Sidomulyo Village in Lumajang Regency, East Java, Indonesia. The falls are sandwiched between the town of Lumajang, which is northeast of the area, and the town of Malang, which is northwest. If you’re driving from Malang, the falls is only two hours away.
Things To Know Before You Go
Beware -- hiking to the base of Tumpak Sewu is no small feat. The trek is not wheelchair-accessible, and it’s not recommended for people with back or heart problems or people with any other serious medical conditions.
If safety is a concern for you, book a tour that prioritizes the safety of the group while still making the trek enjoyable. If you have time to explore the area, there’s a two-day trip that visits the Sea of Sand, a desert-like ash wasteland, and Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, home to Semeru, meaning you’ll get an even closer look at the volcano. There are also day tours from Malang if you’re short on time.
If you drive from Malang, you’ll reach the waterfalls from up above. You’ll have to climb down a long set of man-made bamboo steps. There are few rest stops along the way, and the stairs are narrow, so be mindful of people walking back up as you’re headed down.
The hike down to the falls is strenuous, but once you’re at the base of the waterfall, you’ll have an incredible, hair-raising view of the falls. It’s either raining or misting at any given time, so make sure to snap photos beforehand and put away your electronics once you’re at the bottom of the stairs.
The weather at the falls is rarely above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so wear layers you don’t mind getting muddy and wet. Oh, and don’t forget your hiking boots!
The Best Time To Explore
Visit the falls early in the morning, when a thin mist blankets the area and the morning air chills your skin.
Though you can visit year-round, it’s best to visit during the dry season to avoid flooding and landslides. Also, the steps leading to the falls are known for being soggy and slippery as is, so avoiding even more water is a good idea!
If you’re interested in exploring more of the beauty of Indonesia, you might want to fly farther east to Komodo National Park -- land of the magnificent, fierce komodo dragon. In addition to seeing the dragons, you can enjoy other top things to do at the national park, like sunbathing on its beautiful beaches and hiking to the summit of its largest hill for stunning photos. Or, if you are pining for more volcano adventures, check out volcanoes like Semeru that you can and should actually visit.