Surrounded by terrifically high rock walls, the Madakaripura waterfall flows down into a mystical natural chamber. Inside the chamber, sunlight shines through onto the lush green damp moss on the rocky walls creating an incredible natural ecosystem. This accompanied by the rumblings of water creates a scene that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.
Madakaripura Waterfall or Air Terjun Madakaripura (in Javanese) is possibly the place where I truly fell in love with the island of Java. It is one of the most enchanting experiences of a waterfall one could possibly hope for.
4 REASONS TO VISIT MADAKARIPURA WATERFALL
Untouched natural beauty
Want to learn a bit more about this monumental and absolutely exquisite natural wonder in East Java? This Madakaripura guide provides you with all the resources you need to plan and prep for this incredible adventure in Indonesia.
As always, skip to what you need to know in the Madakaripura Table of Contents, because I’m always going to start with the juicy bits, first and logistics second!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Just a heads up here, MY PHOTOS DO NOT DO THIS PLACE JUSTICE! I was completely unprepared in terms of taking photo’s or having the right gear ready. As this is also an underrated destination, sourcing better photography to showcase was equally hard to find. If you think these photos are good, then just imagine that in-person its x20 better!
So why are people not as familiar with this natural beauty? Well, it is slightly off the beaten track and not as well known to the conventional tour companies.
Looking for more East Java Waterfalls?
READ: Tumpak Sewu Waterfall
We stumbled upon this incredible watery gem while in search of a Mount Bromo tour. When I saw the pictures, I was absolutely stunned. However, if I must be COMPLETELY HONEST – The pictures don’t do it justice
Where is Madakaripura Waterfall?
Madakaripura waterfall is located in Sapih, Branggah, Lumbang, Probolinggo, East Java. It is in the Tengger Semeru National Park. The closest major city to this location would be Surabaya or Malang. The Madakaripura Malang journey is approximately 120 km and the Madakaripura Surabaya trip is approximately 116 km. This makes it a great stop on your way to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park from Surabaya. Check out the Madakaripura Map on Google Maps
Looking for more adventure in Java – Hike volcanoes!
READ: Mount Bromo Sunrise Hike + 6 Reasons You Have to Visit
TRAVELIST TIP: The easiest and most convenient way to get there is to do a Madakaripura waterfall Probolinggo East Java tour. A Bromo Ijen Madakaripura tour would be my suggestion – It’s the one we actually chose. Seeing Madakaripura waterfall, Mount Bromo and Ijen crater were truly the highlights of our East Java adventure.
Our journey began after a 4-hour train journey to Surabaya from Yogyakarta. The train journey was great and it was a lovely way to see a bit more of Indonesia. We have just spent a wonderful 5 days exploring the cultural haven of Yogyakarta which noticeably involved visiting the UNESCO world heritage sites of Borobudur and Prambanan temples.
How to Get to Madakaripura Waterfall
Here are a few other ways to get to Surabaya:
Jakarta to Surabaya
OPTION 1: The fastest way is to take a flight from Soekarno-Hatta International (CGK) to Surabaya Juanda Airport (SUB). OPTION 2: Taking the train, the train trip travel time will take 9 hours so if you have the time to spare, this could be an option for you. It was comfortable, air-conditioned, and pretty cheap.
TRAVELIST TIP: In Indonesia, there are a number of domestic airlines (Batik and Lion Air, Scoot, Citilink, Garuda etc). Some more reliable than others, but due to the fact that there are so many there’s always plenty of flights on special. It’s very likely that you can find a flight at the same price you’d pay for a train ticket.
Looking to tick seeing Blue Fire Flames at an active volcano off your bucket list?
READ: Mount Ijen Crater Sunrise Hike with Blue fire
Bali to Surabaya
OPTION 1: The fastest way would be to take a flight from Bali Ngurah Rai (DPS) to Surabaya Juanda Airport (SUB). OPTION 2: The long way is to do a bus, ferry, and train route. Take the bus from Terminal Mengwi to Gilimanuk port. Take the ferry to Gili Ketapang. From Ketapang, the train station is a few minute’s walk away, take the train from Ketapang to Surabaya Gubeng train station.
Yogyakarta to Surabaya
OPTION 1: Fly from Yogyakarta Airport (YIA) or Adisutjipto Airport (JOG) to Surabaya Juanda Airport (SUB). OPTION 2: Train from Yogyakarta to Surabaya Gubeng Train station (approximately 4-5 hours) OPTION 3: The bus option (approximately 8 hours) from Yogyakarta Giwandan to Terminal Purabaya Bus station and transfer to Waru train station and take the train to Surabaya Gubeng station.
Looking for more things to do in East Java?
READ: The Ultimate 7 day East Java Itinerary + bonus activities
As it was a last-minute addition to our itinerary (we were actually booked for a Tumpak Sewu Waterfall Bromo Ijen tour), we weren’t too sure what to expect and were not sure if we were even in the right attire, chances are WE WERE NOT, so a quick in-car change into shorts and flip flops was required!
Dressing Down: What to Wear
So since we weren’t prepared, I’d suggest wearing something waterproof or that you don’t mind getting a bit wet, shorts and a tee with swimwear under would be best.
What to pack
So in order to be better prepared for the trip, I wish I had the following readily available in a backpack on arrival:
Flip flops or aquaboots
Change of clothes
Go Pro or waterproof camera
Raincoat or anorak
TRAVELIST TIP: We did find that they did sell umbrellas, flip flops, dry bags, and plastic raincoats at the entrance to Madakaripura waterfalls, as well as at a little stall closer to the waterfalls itself – just in case you don’t have the opportunity to change.
Pay up: Madakaripura Fees
When you arrive at the parking lot, there are a few fees to pay. Firstly, a parking fee, then a fee for a short motorbike ride to the entrance of the waterfall walk (there is the option to walk it, but the back of a bike seemed far more appealing than braving the humidity and lastly an entrance fee for Madakaripura).
Parking fee : IDR 5000
Motorcycle fee: IDR 10000
Madakaripura Entrance fee: IDR 20000
Raincoat fee: IDR 10000 to 20000
In total paying IDR 50 000 to 60 000 for this experience is BEYOND WORTH IT!
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: These prices may differ as we had our fees paid as part of our tour so I’m estimating based on research and word of mouth. Ideally, it shouldn’t cost foreigners more than IDR 50 000 to 60 000 per person.
Madakaripura Waterfall Tours
Madakaripura Waterfall is something that NEEDS to be on your Indonesia trip itinerary! As a result of the growing popularity of this unique destination, there are now a number of tours that can easily help you visit this natural wonder. These are some of my recommendations:
Recommended Madakaripura East Java Tours:
Bromo Ijen Madakaripura tour 3 day tour from Surabaya
Private Bromo Madakaripura tour from Surabaya
Ijen Bromo Madakaripura waterfall tour 4 days from Yogyakarta
Not seeing the Madakaripura tour you like?
Guide vs Unguided
There’s also the option of having a guide vs going it alone. There honestly isn’t anything technical about getting to Madakaripura waterfall, but we opted for having a guide walking with us to the falls
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I tend to opt for using guides for places that aren’t as well known or that I don’t have much research into. It makes travel feel a bit more authentic. The other reason is that it’s always a great thing to support local guides and know you are contributing to the economy.
His English was super minimal and I had only been living in Indonesia for a month so my Bahasa Indonesia was equally minimal but we got on perfectly fine!
We first took a motorbike ride to the Madakaripura waterfall trek entrance. This involved us hopping onto the back of the driver’s bike and taking a wonderful ride through the Madakaripura forest park clearings.
Along the way, we saw beautiful lush and green tropical plants as well as many bee-keeping structures. The ride is short and fun, there are no helmets, but no element of discomfort or feelings of being unsafe either. It’s not a snail crawl but it’s not a Ferrari sprint either.
Trekking? Not so much
Once you arrive at the Madakaripura waterfall entrance, the walk begins. The walk to the falls is anything but technical. In saying that it is a bit of a walk, mostly flat and paved until you get within 50 metres of the falls.
There’s also a lovely colourful Madakaripura signboard that you’ll pass on the way too.
The walk will take you through the most beautiful walled jungle coverings. The most stunning plants and fauna covering high mountain edges. It was an absolute pleasure. Although I don’t do well in the humidity, I manage to take it all in my stride, a shower and hotel is a short drive away and the trek is well worth the treasure in the end.
Along the way, we also saw some incredible creepy crawlies, not my thing, but these spiders were pretty huge, minding themselves and weaving these giant webs, it is incredible and terrifying to watch (hence why I move on quite swiftly from there).
You then reach the point where it’s time to don your raincoat. I definitely would’ve preferred to be in swimwear and dabble a bit in the puddles and streams but nonetheless, we donned our raincoats.
Basking in its glory
The walk into the Madakaripura waterfall area is truly enchanting.
I felt like I was in another world.
Like a secluded jungle (this hidden gem that few knew of) it’s absolutely breathtaking.
I’ve never seen a waterfall structure anything like it.
There is an atmosphere of wondrous grandeur emanating from this incredible environment with the babbling of the streams in the distance steadily growing louder as the falls come into view.
There is a mesmerizing feature of water curtains covering the path which you have to pass, It truly feels like an invigoration of body and soul.
Madakaripura graciously showered us with refreshment, making getting wet quite pretty inevitable. The path then ends in a dream-like cavernous valley where the astounding 200 m waterfall climaxes the experience.
Madakaripura Waterfall is dubbed as the highest waterfall in Java and the second tallest waterfall in Indonesia after Sigura-gura Waterfall near Lake Toba, North Sumatra. While the waterfall’s height is by itself already a marvel, the ambiance around the area is truly something that needs to be experienced first-hand to capture its essence.
Surrounded by terrifically high rock walls, the Madakaripura waterfall flows down into a mystical natural chamber. Inside the chamber, sunlight shines through onto the lush green damp moss on the rocky walls creating an incredible natural ecosystem for plant life.
Decorated with huge rocks, endlessly tumbling water streams, and glistening moss, one only needs to gaze up to the distant sky and immerse oneself in the spellbinding beauty of nature.
I’m literally still in awe thinking back to this incredible beauty.
Trying to Capture this Beauty
While the unfolding scene above can be captured on camera, the true sensation of being in one of the most outstanding places on earth can only be felt by being there. Our guide for Madakaripura waterfall was above and beyond any guide I’ve ever had before, in taking photographs.
He showed us tricks I never knew a phone was capable of. He took portrait panoramas and somehow managed to teach us how to get a shot of two people in a panorama in two different locations (but at the same place?)
I’m not sure how he did but see these pics below! It’s truly something I had no clue how to do! He earned his tip and more!
He made the experience a truly enjoyable one for us. There were quite a few spots where he led by the hand, because of the slipperiness of the rocks and surfaces and he knew all the best nooks and crannies to get the best shot.
He made such a great impression on our experience of the waterfall and his image will be remembered in all the amazing pictures and videos we captured together at Madakaripura.
How Long to Spend at Madakaripura Waterfall
You can easily spend a few hours at this spot. Whether you are snapping up as many photos as you can or simply just sitting and admiring.
I would undoubtedly consider this to be the best waterfall in East Java. We, unfortunately, were pressed for time to get to our next destination so we only spent about an hour at the falls. It still was more than enough time to deem it the most enchanting waterfall I’d ever seen.
Madakaripura Waterfall vs Tumpak Sewu Waterfall?
I would hope that this entire article serves as a Madakaripura waterfall review, but this is a difficult one, I would definitely say you would be doing yourself a disservice by only visiting one.
The waterfalls are so different in their entirety and feel. I definitely felt like I was an enchanted magical place at Madakaripura waterfall East Java Indonesia, the lush greenery and moss-covered rocks was something from a storybook. Whereas Tumpak Sewu waterfalls leave a feeling of awe at the sheer grandeur of the rock’s face height and tumbling streams of countless mini waterfalls.
If anything, this should be a given for any trip you take! But be sure to keep a copy of your insurance details. This is an adventure experience so you need to be prepared.
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I sincerely hope this Madakaripura waterfall blog post helps you realise that you have to visit this hidden gem in East Java.
Have you visited Madakaripura Waterfall before? Is it now on your list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in the article have affiliate links, what this means is, if you click a link and make a purchase I may earn some money to buy a coffee (woohoo!). Thanks for the support, I’d love to keep making this content freely available to all. As always opinions and thoughts remain my own.
4 thoughts on “Magnificent Madakaripura Waterfall: The Most Unique Waterfall in Indonesia”
This waterfall looks so epic! Glad to hear the way in wasn’t too treacherous. I definitely prefer a walk over a trek, though not sure about giant spiders!
Thanks so much Riana, It was absolutely incredible!
Hello, which month would you say is best for visiting the falls? June or September? We prefer september but are a little afraid that there is going to be not much water left. Thank you,
Chari, from Belgium
Hi Chari! I would suggest visiting in the dry season which is between March to October. This is a vast waterfall so you definitely will still have a significant amount of water! HAve a fabulous trip 🙂