Waterfalls in Bali Gitgit
A Short History and Background
There are many places of interests in Buleleng. You can find beautiful beaches; hot springs, ancient temples and palaces, and last but not least, waterfalls. There are about a dozens of waterfalls located in Buleleng. Those waterfalls vary from smaller to the bigger one. The variation of Buleleng geographical condition that consists of hills and lowland also becomes the reason why there are so many waterfalls formed in Buleleng. We can say that Buleleng has the most waterfalls if it is compared to other regencies in Bali. Most of the waterfalls in Buleleng have been used as tourist objection so therefore they need to be preserved.
One of them is Gitgit Waterfall.
Gitgit waterfall is located in Gitgit village, Sukasada sub-district. It is situated about 10 kilometers to the south of Singaraja. The altitude of the village reaches 250 – 970 meters above sea level. The extreme range of altitude causes some waterfalls to be formed in some of the hillside. Moreover, due to the altitude, this village has cool weather in the afternoons and is cold in the evening.
There was a short story behind the development of the area as one of the most wanted tourist destination in Bali. In 1939, when the Dutch ruled the country, Dr. C. Huikas, the chief of Liefering Van der Leuk that is now Gedong Kirtya Museum, used to come to Gitgit waterfall because he wanted to et inspiration for is writing. The place gave him such comfort and peace that he decided to build “Pesanggrahan Gitgit”, which is now has turned into Gitgit Hotel and Restaurant. He didn’t come alone to the village because he brought his friends with him. The villagers called the waterfall as “Air Terjun Tuan” or “Ceburan Tuan” that means the boss’ waterfall. Since then, the waterfall became famous and Buleleng government pronounced the waterfall as one of tourist destinations in Buleleng.
There are many interesting things that we can find in the area. There are terraced waterfalls about two kilometers to the south of the bigger waterfall, twin waterfalls, fountain, a natural cave, and water spring comes from the gap between the cliffs. The water volume of Gitgit waterfall in dry seasons is about 4-5 m3 / second, but it is increasing in rainy seasons to 10 m3 / second. The height of the waterfall is about 65 meters and it poured down to a small pool formed by the water. The small pool is not so deep, about 1.5 meters so it is safe if people want to swim in there.
The surrounding area of Gitgit waterfall is planted with coffee and clove trees that make the air cooler in the afternoons. However, the weather can be so cold especially in the mornings and at nights. It gives benefit to the visitors who want to explore the surrounding area or to reach Gitgit waterfall. Someone has to walk from the parking area if he wants to reach the waterfall. He will go through nice hardened path about 850 meters. The trip passed hillside planted with coffee and clove trees and this is what the writer called as the profit for the visitors because the plants make the air cooler. The trip can be an unforgettable adventure.
If the visitors are tired of walking, they don’t have to worry about getting restaurants or hotels because there are plenty of them in Gitgit village. The villagers also provide art shops, mini markets and tourist information office.
The development of Gitgit village as one of the tourist destinations in Buleleng gives a great contribution toward the improvement of villagers econmical condition. Many of the villagers have opened a business in the tourism services such as hotels, restaurants, travel agent and art shops.
However, there are also some important things that should be taken into consideration if the villagers want to maintain their business. First, the villagers should keep the preservation of the area and it includes the cleanliness of the area. They should not only focus on the profit but also how to preserve the area. Second is about local tourist guides. They should learn more about etiquette and technique in tourist guiding because many of them are rude to the visitors. We don’t want it to happen because it will destroy Bali’s image.