Hidden Bali: Banyumala Waterfall

banyumala waterfall ubud bali

If you’ve ever searched #Bali on Instagram, then you would probably have seen the images of skinny, tanned girls basking in the spray of tumbling waterfalls. But in reality, are you ever going to get the perfect shot of yourself there without anyone else in the background? The reality is that if you go on an organised tour, you will be there with at least 50 other people, all encroaching on each other’s photos. We found this with the first waterfall we went to on the organised tour we went on. Don’t get me wrong, it was lovely there, but the commercialisation and exploitation of the waterfall was evident. There were bars and restaurants being built and, of course, one of those bloody swings that you pay to have your photo taken on, which kind of spoils the experience of going there, but that’s tourism for you.

We hired a private driver for the day and he recommended taking us to a waterfall called Banyumala just north of Lake Buyan – one of Bali’s lesser-known waterfalls.

banyumala waterfall ubud bali

He drove us right out into the jungle and there was a faded sign pointing down a small rural road.

Once we were there we had to walk down a dirt track past fields of blue and pink Hydrangeas. The dirt track turned into the steepest steps I had ever encountered. The steps were wet and covered in mud and we were sliding around in our flip-flops as they got wet.

The climb down is so worth it though, as when you arrive you are greeted by the most beautiful waterfall trickling down a wall of luscious green into the deepest blue lagoon. The water here is cold, which is a welcome refreshment from the humid Balinese climate. Our guide explained that the water here is cold because it comes from the mountains, whereas the other waterfall that we visited in Ubud, gets its water from the rice fields, which is why it is warm and not very clear.

banyumala waterfall ubud bali

It was peaceful at this waterfall and not thronged by hoardes of people like the other waterfall we went to. Although you can see the signs of commercialisation coming as you pay to see the waterfall and they have cleared a path down to the waterfall, whereas before you would have to walk through bushes and find the way yourself.

If you are looking for something off the beaten track with Bali and something which has remained relatively untouched (although how long for remains to be seen), then I would recommend coming here as it is peaceful and quiet. I would recommend that you bring trainers to climb down the stairs and rocks in though as wet flip flops are unsteady and dangerous when they get wet! Swimming shoes may also be a good idea, but not essential. There is also a little changing room down by the waterfall if you would like to get changed there.

banyumala waterfall ubud bali  girls



  1. January 24, 2019 / 8:52 pm

    Oh wow! This is amazing. I’ve seen some legit Bali pictures on Instagram. I lived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a while and I was able to get an awesome shot at a waterfall as well. I love visiting places that aren’t so touristy. It’s so much more enjoyable!

    Alexx | https://aestheticsbyalexx.com

    • holly
      January 29, 2019 / 10:24 am

      Thank you for your comment Alexx 🙂 Yes unfortunately these days its getting harder and harder to find places that arent so touristy as beautiful instagram photos make people aware of all the hidden gems the world has to offer.

  2. January 25, 2019 / 10:15 am

    Lovely idea and beautiful place. If I ever go to Bali, I will be sure you follow your lead 😁

    • holly
      January 29, 2019 / 10:23 am

      Thank you Sarah! Yes please put it on your bucket list – its lovely there and the locals are so lovely

  3. January 29, 2019 / 5:19 am

    Thanks for sharing this post! Bali has been on my to-visit list for so long now, and your pictures just make me want to go even more. I found your comments about commercialization interesting – I know it’s common sense but for some reason I didn’t expect everything to be so money-focused! Instagram really does lie, haha. I’ll definitely remember about Banyumala Waterfall when I visit Bali, though! 🙂 x

    • holly
      January 29, 2019 / 10:22 am

      Thanks for your comment Arshi! Are you planning a trip to Bali any time soon or is it just on your bucket list? 🙂

  4. January 29, 2019 / 4:31 pm


  5. Ahmed Rosborough
    March 10, 2019 / 6:23 pm

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for this and found most people will agree with your blog.

  6. March 12, 2019 / 2:54 pm

    Wow this looks amazing. What a magical place x

    • Holly
      March 19, 2019 / 12:14 pm

      It was lovely because it was quiet and as yet, undiscovered! It helps to have a local point things out! 🙂

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