Tukad Cepung Waterfall is a gorgeous waterfall located on the island of Bali. Tukad Cepung Waterfall is almost underground as the water flows into a cave creating the waterfall. When certain weather conditions line up, Tukad Cepung Waterfall will fill up with the famous light rays, making for some epic photography opportunities.
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Tukad Cepung Waterfall Photography
Price / Costs involved - 15,000 IDR, entry fee
Drone friendly - Tukad Cepung is not drone friendly. While there are no rules surrounding drones here, you would be silly to take off. You are practically in a cave and while there is plenty of room to walk around there are many obstacles in your way. There is also quite a lot of water constantly dripping from the roof of the cave which is not super drone friendly.
Tripod - A tripod is useful here but not necessary. You might be tempted to bracket your shots due to the harsh contrast in lighting conditions but 9 shots out 10 you will be more than fine hand held.
Crowds - Huge. The crowds at Tukad Cepung are massive. At peak time I have heard wait times can exceed 1 and a half hours. The line snakes back through the cave and there are locals working there making sure the line is orderly. Fortunately, when we visited there were only 5 other people there that moved on quite quickly. This is not common though.
Best time to visit - 9:30 am - 11:30 am. On a clear day this is when the light will start to enter the gaps in the roof of the cave. This is what makes those light rays pop but also what makes the line get huge.This is peak time for tourists and other photographers and since it is a spot you do not have to wake up for sunrise, it is very popular. We spent 2 hours here as the rays continued to get better as time went on.
Time of year - Just after wet season. This is when Tukad Cepung will probably have the best flow from the rain season but will not be uncomfortable to visit. If you can also manage to tee up your visit when tourism slumps, not in the summer for Europe, Australia or the United States, you will more than likely deal with smaller crowds.
The Lightroom Presets I used for my shots at Tukad Cepung Waterfall -
Shooting at Tukad Cepung Waterfall
What gear to bring - When planning your shoot at Tukad Cepung you want to keep in mind what gear to bring. The hike from the car park and back is nothing serious and all up takes about 10 minutes either way with a modest amount of stairs. I would recommend bringing a tripod and a wide zoom lens to really capture the grandeur of this place. Do keep in mind though that there is a lot of water in the air here and a lot of water dropping from the roof. Weather proofed gear is close to a must here and if your gear is not weather proofed, take a large amount of caution with you.
The gear I took with me -
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
- Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8 L ii
You can find the exact gear I shoot with here -
Shooting Suggestions - While I shot predominately wide here, all focal lengths can work here very well. We shot a majority of our photos from the small flowing river on the right hand side with our subject right down the middle. Don’t be afraid to also move in closer to the waterfall and get creative in there. As you walk through to the waterfall you will be met with this large rock. This also lights up with light rays and can look awesome with the right conditions.
Things to keep in mind - Tukad Cepung Waterfall is a very wet place. Try your best to keep your gear dry or bring a long weather proofed gear. Bring flip flops as you will be walking through water to get to Tukad Cepung.
Getting to Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Parking - The parking situation is very quiet when we visited Tukad Cepung Waterfall. It was large dirt patch, manned by a few locals.
The walk down - The walk down to Tukad Cepung Waterfall is fairly easy. For a majority of the walk you are next to the small, man-made river until you hit some stairs that start to take you down into the caved area. Once you hit the cave area you are walking through water until you get to the waterfall. When you hit this large rock (pictured below) take the small gap on the left and you will reach Tukad Cepung Waterfall.
Facilities - There are a few small restaurants and shops at Tukad Cepung waterfall. If you need to use the toilet, make sure you do so before heading down as there is only one toilet at the top of the walk, near the pay station. Apart from that, it is quite a natural walk once you are in the caved area and if it is a quiet day there will be no locals down there to assist you should you need it.
Tukad Cepung Location -
My overview for the Photography spots at Tukad Cepung Waterfall.
Tukad Cepung Waterfall is one of the most stunning waterfalls on the island of Bali. Tukad Cepung Waterfall is known and famous for those stunning light rays that come through the cracks in the roof of the cave. This place would be uncomfortable to say the least with a large amount of people crowding the waterfall to take their shot. In saying that, I still believe that this place is worth the visit as there is nothing like this anywhere else on the island of Bali. Try visiting Tukad Cepung in the quiet periods of tourism on Bali to avoid the crowds, make sure the day you are visiting you have clear weather and make sure you are taking weather proofed gear to the shoot.
Enjoy Tukad Cepung!