The wild and green North of Bali offers a vast array of interest points – still widely unexplored. Alienor, Travel Expert at Shanti Travel, went off the beaten paths to discover the Sekumpul waterfalls and spent a night in a family homestay. She shares her experience through this article.
Let’s head north towards Sekumpul, a traditional village in a remote region of Northern Bali. It is a long journey by bike from Denpasar and it gets colder and colder as we travel further and further north. After passing by the Lakes Buyan and Tambligan, we take this tiny little path that brings us in the small village of Sekumpul.
As the night falls we realized that we had gone the wrong way… Ooops! But lucky for us, Kadek, our host for the night, came and found us as was worried we were lost. Arriving at his family homestay, we meet his wife and 4 kids, who all greeted us with a warm ‘selamat mala’ (good evening in Indonesian). They showed us our rooms before dinner. Those are separated from the main family building; some offer a view of the jungle and the hills, others on the internal court. Rooms at Kadek’s are simple but clean with a private bathrooms with hot water.
Kadek invites us for dinner and we get the chance to try yummy Balinese specialties: a mix of rice, tofu, chicken, and vegetables cooked with thousands of sweet and sour flavors. We loved speaking with our hosts, learning how they live, their rituals and what they like to do. Kadek, the patriarch, was born in Sekumpul and has lived there since the day he was born. The village gets very quiet at night and we go to bed early in order to save up energy for the morning trek to the waterfalls.
After a good night’s sleep, we wake up early to the rooster’s song and enjoy our breakfast on the rooftop terrace. Kadek’s wife prepared us the best banana pancakes in Bali and brought us delicious fresh fruits as well: watermelon, papaya, pineapple. We are now ready to start our expedition to the waterfalls.
Kadek drove us across his village and showed us the important temples where he and his neighbourhood gather for occasional ceremonies. Then we went deeper into the rice paddies. We are both very curious to learn about the irrigation system of those ricefields and Kadek explains it like a very good teacher! He further explains that in Balinese villages it is a duty to know well and help your neighbour so as to maintain a peaceful and harmonious community. We meet women who are transporting stones that will serve for future constructions.
Onwards we headed deep into the jungle to reach the waterfalls. On the way Kadek suggests that we purify ourselves with the water dropping from the rocks. We take part in this Balinese ritual with enthusiasm and continue our way to the first waterfalls… Exceptional. We are standing there, 100 meters above the waterfall, enjoying the view from the slippery stones.
We stepped down dozens of steps to reach the waterfalls. As we got there, we saw water all around! It was noisy and so impressive. We found 3 huge waterfalls elegantly rushing next to each other. We can feel drops of this water falling from very high – a refreshment that is more than welcome! The nature seems untouchable, majestic and totally wild.
This trek to the Sekumpul waterfalls was rather easy but still took the energy out of us: we are happy to enjoy a good lunch to reward our efforts. Before heading back home, we checked out local products and bought some Balinese coffee to remember our adventure in Sekumpul. Back home, back to reality, our thoughts made up of memories of our wonderful jungle trek to the waterfalls.