Tucked away in the lush highlands of northern Bali lies a hidden gem – the jaw-dropping Nungnung Waterfall. Plunging 50 meters into a steep canyon blanketed in rainforest, Nungnung’s misty veil and thunderous roar create a symphony of natural wonder that attracts visitors seeking to experience Bali’s beauty off the beaten path.
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to visit this mesmerizing waterfall, from directions and fees to tips for photography and taking a dip in the refreshing rock pools below.
Table of Contents
Where is Nungnung Waterfall Located?
Nungnung Waterfall, locally known as Air Terjun Nungnung, cascades down in a remote stretch of jungle in Bali’s Badung Regency, approximately 30km northwest of Ubud.
The waterfall lies off the main tourist trail, surrounded by vibrant green rice paddies and farms. Its secluded location adds to the mystique and sense of discovery for visitors.
How to Get to Nungnung Waterfall
Reaching Nungnung Waterfall requires either a scooter or car or hiring a driver, as public transport does not service the area. The journey takes 1-1.5 hours from major tourist hubs like Ubud, Canggu, and Kuta.
- Head west out of central Ubud, past rice fields and villages
- Join Jl. Raya Petang Road heading north
- After 30km, turn right when you see signage for Nungnung Waterfall
- Follow winding roads for 15 minutes to reach the parking area
From Southern Beach Areas
- Drive inland past Mengwi and Sangeh village
- Join Jl. Raya Petang Road heading north
- Follow directions above (30km mark)
Scooter vs Car Hire
Renting a scooter offers more flexibility to explore the region and takes under 2 hours from Ubud. Cars ensure more comfort for the 1-hour drive.
Both options allow stopping at scenic photo spots through quaint villages and rice paddies.
Visiting Nungnung Waterfall: Practical Tips
Before descending to marvel at Nungnung’s beauty, valuable tips include:
- Foreign Tourists: IDR 20,000 (USD 1.30)
- Parking Fee: IDR 5,000 (USD .0.35)
- Cash only
- The parking area has toilet facilities and food stalls
- No other amenities at the waterfall site
What to Bring
- Sturdy shoes for hiking
- Swimwear if swimming
- Water and snacks
- Waterproof bag for valuables
- Cash for entrance fee
Best Time to Visit
From April to September, the dry season provides the most precise weather and trails. Lush greenery after monsoonal rains creates spectacular scenery at other times.
Aim for 9-11 am to catch soft sunlight and avoid large tour groups.
The Trek to Nungnung Waterfall
One of Bali’s most scenic hikes leads through the jungle to marvel at Nungnung’s misty cascade. The rewarding sights come with a challenging uphill return journey of over 500 steps.
- 15 minutes descent – Steep stairs wind down into the forested canyon
- Tropical scenery – Lush ferns, vines, and swaying palms surround the trail
- River crossing – A wooden bridge traverses the stream near the base
- Final approach – The rumbling waterfall emerges into full sight
Swimming at the Base
Rock pools below the waterfall invite visitors to take a refreshing dip and feel the spray of the thundering waters. Take care with slippery rocks.
Return Journey Difficulty
While gazing at Nungnung makes the trek down worth it, climbing back up over 500 steps poses a tough cardio challenge. Go at your own pace.
The journey back can become more complicated if rainfall slippery stairs and rocks. Check the weather before going and start the return trip early.
Photography at Nungnung Waterfall
From iconic wide landscape shots to playing with long exposures, Nungnung offers plentiful options to capture creative and inspiring imagery.
Best Photo Spots
- Viewpoint – Frame the horsetail falls from a distance through the trees
- Valley View – Descend closer for a side-profile perspective
- Behind the Falls – Cross the bridge to shoot the back of the cascading veil of water
Creative Photography Tips
- Use slow shutter speeds to soften and mist the falling water
- Add a model/subject to show scale against an epic landscape
- Experiment with angles and compositions, playing with light/shadows
- Low light below the canopy
- Uneven terrain limits tripod effectiveness
- Spray demands constant lens wiping
Packing a waterproof bag, lens cloth, and lighter tripod or Gorillapod assists with these conditions.
Is Nungnung Waterfall Worth Visiting?
Nungnung Waterfall’s magical rainforest environment and challenging hike make it a worthy and unforgettable destination for travelers seeking Bali’s authentic charms away from bustling crowds.
Brave the journey there, and you’ll be rewarded with a landscape from a fairytale, complete with mist-veiled waterfalls surrounded by vines and palms. It epitomizes Bali’s ability to combine jaw-dropping natural beauty with an otherworldly spiritual character.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where exactly is Nungnung Waterfall located?
Nungnung Waterfall is situated around 30km northwest of Ubud, deep in the jungle of Bali’s Badung Regency, requiring transport to reach.
What is the best way to reach Nungnung Waterfall?
Visiting Nungnung requires renting your scooter or car or hiring a driver for the day. No public transport options are available. The drive from Ubud takes around 1 hour.
What should I wear and bring when visiting Nungnung?
Bring sturdy shoes for hiking, water for drinking, snacks, swimwear if swimming, plus a waterproof bag for valuables. There are minimal amenities, so bring what you need.
Are there opening or closing times for Nungnung Waterfall?
There are no gates restricting access. However, the ticket office is only staffed from 9 am-4 pm. Arriving outside these hours means paying the fee when exiting.
Is it possible to swim at the base of Nungnung Waterfall?
During the dry season, pools at the base invite swimming and playing under the waterfall spray. Take extreme care on the slippery rocks, and take the power of water seriously.