We’ve got a great reason for you to visit Munduk in Northern Bali, in fact, we’ve got four great reasons – the Munduk Waterfalls!
If you love hiking in nature then Golden Valley Trek is one of the most wonderful ways to see the natural environment here in Bali.
It’s also a little off-the-beaten-path and doesn’t attract quite so many tourists and visitors as some of the other waterfalls here on the island.
However, it’s important to note that if you want to trek the Munduk Waterfalls, you do need to be reasonably fit, the Golden Valley hike is not the place to start exercising after a year of sitting behind a desk without visiting the gym.
Here’s what you need to know to enjoy the Munduk Waterfalls and Golden Valley, safely.
Where Is Munduk Village?
Munduk Village is a picturesque little place up in the mountains of Northern Bali and it’s about a 2-hour drive from Ubud.
If you’re coming from the Southern beach towns, it’s going to take a couple more hours and you might want to consider staying somewhere in the area overnight to get the best out of hiking the Munduk Waterfalls.
There are some other interesting attractions around Munduk Village and it’s worth a couple of days of your time, particularly if you prefer the cool mountain air to the warm, humid coastal air.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Do The Munduk Waterfall Trek?
There is no bad time to come to Bali because the weather is actually pretty good all year long, including in the rainy season.
However, we’d want to tackle this hike in the dry season if we had the choice. It’s a long hike and a long shower can make the going slippery, muddy and even harder work than it needs to be.
Of course, we can’t guarantee dry days in the dry season, either, but you are more likely to enjoy the hike if it’s sunny rather than raining.
How Hard Is The Munduk Waterfall Trek And How Long Does The Trek Take?
The Munduk Waterfall Trek is reasonably challenging and takes between 4 and 8 hours depending on your level of fitness and whether you opt to see all four falls, or just go with three.
Given that you will be trekking uphill and the wet jungle can make hiking extra challenging, we wouldn’t recommend that you tackle this hike unless you are reasonably fit.
While a short walk that’s a “bit tricky” is something that you can easily get out of, there are points on this trail where you will be 30-45 minutes, minimum, from a main road or small village.
The Munduk Waterfall Trek is immensely rewarding but you don’t want your memories of the Munduk Waterfalls being sullied by getting stuck in the jungle of North Bali for hours.
The Four Munduk Waterfalls On This Trek
The Optional Starting Point: Labuhan Kebo Waterfall
Not everybody bothers with Labuhan Kebo and thus, we’ve made it an optional starting point. Visiting this waterfall adds about two hours to the trek and this is quite a long trek in total.
We love visiting Munduk Waterfalls but if you’re on a tight schedule then you might find it easier to move straight on to Laangan Waterfall.
How To Get There: Start at the Melanting Cottages (use Google Maps or Maps.me to get there) and then set your directions in your map app to Labuhan Kebo Waterfall.
Note: we’re big fans of Google Maps but parts of this hike are not covered by cellular reception, so we strongly urge you to use a map that can be used offline such as maps.me (find it here).
The walk starts easily and you will soon come across an intersection on the valley floor, you go left to get to this waterfall.
The walk is very easy and you really shouldn’t struggle at all to reach the first waterfall of the four waterfalls on the trek.
Mostly you are on a packed dirt path and you will know when you’re nearing the waterfall when you come across a small bamboo bridge that you cross to see the falls up close.
The Entrance Fee For Labuhan Kebo Waterfall: The waterfall entrance fee for Labuhan Kebo is 10,000 IDR per person.
What To Expect: You can’t get too close to the falls here and the best view is from the bridge itself (photographers will want to bring a telephoto zoom lens as well as their usual ultra-wide to get the most out of this place).
However, the view is very attractive and the waterfall cascades down the cliffside into the pool below.
We like to spend some time here just admiring the river valley.
The Usual Starting Point: Laangan Waterfall or Melanting Waterfall
Most people tend to skip the Labuhan Kebo Waterfall and begin the trek at the first major Munduk Waterfall, Melanting Waterfall.
Thus, we’ve got quite detailed directions here to get you started on an abbreviated Munduk Waterfall trek.
How To Get There: Assuming that you’re starting your waterfall trek at Melanting Waterfall then you just need to get to Munduk Village and then set your map coordinates to the Laangan Melanting Waterfall.
Then all you need to do is walk the route that has been suggested, you will come across a hill on this trek and you need to follow a steep path that bears away to the left and you just follow the path/rocky track all the way to the waterfall.
When you arrive at the Melanting Waterfall, you will find a small shop where you need to pay the entrance fee. The trek in this direction should take no more than 10-15 minutes.
If you’re coming back from Lebuhan Kebo Waterfall, however, you do the same thing (set a point in the app and follow the directions) but the hike is about 40 minutes.
The good news is that both these sections are relatively easy to hike though the slope up the hill might be considered “medium” if you’re not reasonably fit.
The Entrance Fee For Melanting Waterfall: The Melanting Waterfall charges a waterfall entrance fee of 10,000 IDR per person. Children get in for half price and if you need to park the parking fee is just 2,000 IDR.
This is subject to change at any time, but we wouldn’t expect it to go shooting up overnight.
Make sure to carry small bills and plenty of change to this point as they don’t take cards and may not have change for large notes.
What To Expect: You can almost feel the Melanting Waterfall before you see it, the cool mist that it creates permeates the air at quite a distance from the waterfall itself.
Photographers should note that this isn’t great for your gear and it’s best to use a water-sealed setup around waterfalls or stick to using your phone.
You can’t get too close to the Melanting Waterfall but that’s OK, you will get closer to the other falls on this list.
The Mid-Point: The Red Coral Waterfall
If you’re doing any form of the Munduk Waterfall Trek then you’re going to stop at the Red Coral Waterfall and that’s because it’s the mid-point of the trek.
We found that the Red Coral Waterfall is usually the busiest of the Munduk Waterfalls and that’s because it’s in the centre of the trek, so people tend to arrive from either side at roughly the same time.
How To Get There: Unfortunately, to get back to the Red Coral Waterfall (which is mislabelled on Maps.Me as “Munduk Waterfall”) you’re going to have to do some backtracking to the entrance of the Langaan Waterfall.
To make things confusing the Golden Valley Waterfall is also labelled, correctly, as Munduk Waterfall.
So, to plot your route to this waterfall you’re going to need to set the map to the one that is closest to you if you’re coming from Langaan Waterfall or farthest from you if you’re heading here from Golden Valley Waterfall.
Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest parts of the waterfall trek as it involves climbing up the steep path and some steep stairs to get there. All we can say is that the Red Coral Waterfall is worth the effort.
The Entrance Fee For The Red Coral Waterfall: The entry fee to the Red Coral Waterfall is 20,000 IDR per person.
What To Expect: This is a spectacular and very powerful waterfall, the Red Coral Waterfall produces a huge amount of spray and photographers really will want to keep any camera that’s not water-sealed in their bag here.
To make life more awkward for photographers, you don’t want to get here at midday as there’s a lot of direct sunlight glaring around the Red Coral Waterfall and it can ruin your shots.
You can get much closer to this waterfall than the other two waterfalls and the Red Coral Waterfall feels like a real highlight of this trip.
You may jump into the water here and if you came with a friend, you will get some awesome photos of them in the water pouring downhill onto them at this Munduk Waterfall.
The Finish Line: The Golden Valley Waterfall (Munduk Waterfall or Air Terjun Munduk)
If you’re coming from Lebuhan Kebo or Langaan Waterfalls, this is the final point of your tour. Otherwise, the Golden Valley Waterfall might be your starting point.
How To Get There: If you’re coming from Red Coral, then set your Map.me to the second of the Munduk Waterfalls and the one furthest away from your starting point.
Alternatively, you can set your map to the Eco Cafe, whether you’re coming from the other waterfalls or just arriving.
If you follow the path to the Eco Cafe, it’s pretty steep going from the other falls (it’s super easy if you’re coming in by road, mind you).
The cafe has a pleasant view over the waterfall and it’s a lovely place to have lunch before you tackle this waterfall.
If you want to skip the cafe and have just arrived, you will head down some stairs from the parking area and have to pay the entry fee.
If you’re arriving from the other waterfalls, then you will have had a long hike but you can’t skip the entrance fee without visiting the cafe, either.
The Entrance Fee For The Golden Valley Waterfall: If you start your hike at the Golden Valley Waterfall, you can get into the falls for free if you eat and drink at the Golden Valley Eco Café in the car park.
Otherwise, it’s 20,000 IDR per person to get into this waterfall and you will pass the ticket booth if you’re coming to Golden Valley Waterfall from the other waterfalls, but you get to skip it if you come from the Eco Café.
What To Expect: We’d leave Golden Valley Waterfall as the last point on the trek because it’s the most spectacular of all the falls.
You can bathe in the pool here and get some great shots, it’s also the only waterfall on this list, where the spray isn’t as heavy and you might get away with a camera without weather-sealing.
Once you’re done, if you make your way back up to the cafe and parking area, you can easily get a local to give you a lift to your next destination or back to your car or scooter at the start of the trail.
How much you need to pay will depend on your destination but it shouldn’t be too much.
Can You Visit Each Of The Munduk Waterfalls Individually?
Sort of, you can visit the main waterfalls of Melanting, Red Coral and Golden Valley Waterfall each individually, but you practically pass Melanting on your way back from Lebuhan Kebo and thus, we’d recommend you do those two together if you intend to see Lebuhan Kebo.
How Long Does It Take To Hike The Munduk Waterfall?
It takes between 6 and 8 hours to do the hike around all four waterfalls when you visit Munduk and around 4 to 6 hours if you just do three waterfalls.
How Do I Get To The Munduk Waterfalls?
We would recommend that you either join an organized tour or hire a private car and driver for the day. The roads in this area are not particularly good and using a scooter can be dangerous.
Can You Swim At Munduk Waterfall?
Yes, you can swim at Red Coral and Golden Valley but not at the other two waterfalls.
How Do I Get To Munduk Bali? How Do I Book A Trip To Munduk?
We always recommend that you book a Bali holiday or trip in Bali through the amazing Bali Res Centre. That’s a local travel service that specializes in Balinese travel.
Final Thoughts On The Munduk Waterfalls
The Munduk Area is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful parts of Bali. The waterfall trek is a great way to enjoy both the waterfalls and the stunning landscape and scenery.
Please don’t tackle the trek unless you are reasonably fit though, we don’t want your Bali holiday to become uncomfortable.
Once you’ve completed the trek, we’d love it if you popped into FINNS in Canggu, the best beach club in the world, to tell us all about your experience! We hope to see you soon.