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Task Force Says Bali Tourists Can’t Be Forced To Pay For Guiding Services At Popular Waterfalls

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This year has seen the establishment of a series of Tourism Task Forces. Some have been created by Regency Governments, others by orders from the central government of Indonesia.

The Tourism Task Forces have aimed to ensure law and order in the tourism industry.

Sekumpul Waterfall in Buleleng Regency in Bali jungle waterfall with rainbow.

Contrary to popular belief the Tourism Task Forces are not only on the lookout for badly behaved foreigners. The teams have also been tasked with ensuring that tour guides, tour providers, and tourist attractions are operating within the law too. 

This week the Tourism Task Force responded to complaints that emerged via a video on TikTok. In the now viral reel, Indonesian content creator Deko Dennis documents his trip to Sekumpul Waterfall in Buleleng Regency in North Bali.

The waterfall has been getting an increasing amount of interest from local and international tourists and is touted as one of the best-hidden gems in the region. 

@dekodennis Bukan masalah 300RB-nya aja, tapi gue di bohongin. 🥹 Katanya penyesuaian tiket masuk ini udh dr 2019. Nyatanya? di google review banyak sekali orang yang complain, merasa di-SCAM juga, dengan harga tiket masuk yg berbeda-beda… Ada yg 150K, 300K, bahkan bule 600K?! Kalo gue ga bayar, harus muter balik gaboleb lanjut lurus ke arah Sekumpul Waterfall. Apakah masuk akal masuk curug bayar 300RB? Menurut saya sih tidak. Masa katanya kalo gamau air putih, harganya bisa turun jadi 250RB… harga bisa suka² gitu.. I want to support Bali & also the local communities more than anything. Tapi kalo nanti byk destinasi di Bali yang kasusnya kayak begini, what should i do? 🥲 #sekumpulwaterfall #curug #buleleng #bali #supportlocal #baliviral #fyp ♬ Sad and lonely – MoppySound

However, Dennis didn’t end up visiting the waterfall at all. He was stopped by local tourism management teams at a counter along the Lemukih-Wanagiri Village Highway.

They told him that in order to visit Sekumpul Waterfall and the surrounding hikes he must pay IDR 300,000, which he deemed to be far too expensive.

This is not the first time a tourist has refused to pay the fee. Dozens of reviews on GoogleMaps relay a similar story of tourists feeling forced to pay huge entry fees or else be blocked from accessing the waterfall.

For the wider context, the most popular tourist waterfalls in Bali charge an IDR 20-75,000 fee per international tourist.

@aimeebelll 📍 Sekumpul waterfall #bali #indonesia #travel ♬ original sound – TOBY

This package would have included what they told him was a mandatory tour guide and entry fee. However, as Dennis pointed out in his video IDR 300,000 is far too expensive. He also noted that this was the fee for Indonesian citizens and that foreigners are charged upwards of IDR 600,000 for ‘packages’. 

Following the video gathering heaps of attention online this week the Tourism Task Force paid the tour counter a visit on Thursday 16th November.

They found that there are in fact four counters controlling access to Sekumpul Waterfall. One stand is in Pegayaman Village, and three other counters are in the Lemukih Village.

@aimeebelll 📍 Sekumpul waterfall #bali #indonesia #travel ♬ original sound – TOBY

These counters offer tour packages to explore Sekumpul Waterfalls and Fiji Waterfalls. Packages offered start from IDR 300,000 to IDR 500,000.

The Tourism Task Force reported that the price includes entrance tickets, a trekking tour, a local guide, drinks, a motorbike taxi from the car park, and lunch.

The Tourism Task Force spoke with the waterfall tourism attraction team who confirmed that they block tourists from visiting the site if they have not signed up for a tour.

The Head of the Buleleng Tourism Service, Gede Dody Sukma, confirmed that tourists are not obliged to pay any other than the IDR 20,000 entry ticket. It is not mandatory to take a guide or a package tour to visit Sekumpul Waterfalls, Fiji Waterfalls, and the surrounding waterfalls. 

@xly_luuu 📍Sekumpul Waterfall , North Bali #baliindonesia #indonesia🇮🇩 #balitravel #traveltok #baliwaterfall #waterfall #dronevideo #pandora #avatar #avatarthewayofwater ♬ son original – Ly Luu ⚜️

With this in mind, Sukma confirmed that the Tourism Task Force has ordered the closure of the tour package counters in all four locations. 

Sukma added “[tourists] feel betrayed. They were stopped on the road and they were forced to buy entry tickets and activities there.”

He confirmed that he wants to have further meetings with the communities around the Sekumpul and Fiji Waterfall to ensure that a fair system for all is in place moving forward.

@ashrffanuar 📍 sekumpul waterfall bali , 10/10 highly recommend ⭐️ #bali #sekumpulwaterfall #svg4lyfe ♬ Wo bist du – CeeJay68

Sukma said, “So that residents can continue to work, tourists also feel comfortable and don’t feel like they’re being cheated on. There should be no forcing tourists to buy tour packages. If you want to explore it yourself, go ahead. Don’t force yourself into anything you don’t want to do.” 

One of the counter staff, Made Yuliarta, told reporters that he’d never forced anyone to buy a package since he opened the stall in 2014.

He explained, “This is like one in a thousand. One person protested a thousand people said it was good. So far, my guests have never protested. Why was it stopped, because there was a competition between Sekumpul and Lemukih? We never have a problem between these counters.”

@ashrffanuar 📍 sekumpul waterfall bali , 10/10 highly recommend ⭐️ #bali #sekumpulwaterfall #svg4lyfe ♬ Wo bist du – CeeJay68

Speaking from the counter in Perbekel Lemukih, Nyoman Singgih said had been trying to find a middle ground since the pandemic but all efforts have failed.

He concluded, “We hope that in the future there will be win-win solution. The important thing is that everything goes well, and our residents can get jobs.” 

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Thursday 23rd of November 2023

All of the waterfalls in Bali are registered and closely monitored by the Bali government. Weekly checks are performed to assure that all safety protocols are followed. Steps and stairs are checked for safety. All garbage collection is sorted daily, and early morning men with trucks are sent from Denpasar to collect it and then drive it to the next village and dump it in their stream. This way they don't have to be responsible for the endless mess they create. All the rest of it is burned daily creating the endless horrific pollution that we all to breath here daily.


Monday 20th of November 2023

After a visit to Bali you will probably think your name is "pay"


Tuesday 21st of November 2023

@BaliDuck, or "mister"


Monday 20th of November 2023

There will always be people prepared to pay for the guided tour. If it was at a reasonable price both could co exist. A smart operator could charge the 20pp then add a flat guide fee for a group.


Sunday 19th of November 2023

I hope they'll actually do something about it. I felt very unsafe when I went there on my own. Of course didn't manage to go explore the waterfall as I was stopped at the gate by a woman for not having bought a package (even after buying the 20k ticket).

Wilson McGreery

Monday 20th of November 2023


What are you doing out travelling alone in a foreign country?


Sunday 19th of November 2023

@Andrea, Yes. This is the major problem now. Intimidation and threats if foreigners object to exorbitant fees by people not operating in any official capacity. Thugs are in charge.


Saturday 18th of November 2023

Balinese greedy scammers as its best.