A while ago we had the urge to explore something new on our beautiful island Bali that we have not seen yet. At first, we decided to drive out to see a new waterfall and just have a relaxing day after in Ubud area. So the plan was to go to Tibumana, which is a waterfall in Bangli, not too far from Ubud, but spontaneously we drove to the Secret Canyon in Sukawati instead. Sukawati is a region which is in Gianyar area, also not too far from Ubud. While getting some more info about the Tibumana waterfall, we discovered that there is something called Secret Canyon and it sounded so interesting, we just had to go there first. We figured, we can still go to Tibumana after the Secret Canyon.
So, we sat in the car and drove towards Sukawati. On the way, we kind of realized that it may be a good idea to bring any shoes besides sandals because we were clearly gonna do a hike at the canyon. Obviously only one of us did (we were four), so we did a little pit stop to look for some shoes, preferably water shoes. Luckily there was an Ace Hardware on our way and yes - they had some watershoes (well, in fact they had wet shoes to work on a construction site but hey.. potato, potato). After being so lucky with our shoe purchase, we continued our journey to the Secret Canyon.
We arrived around noon, totally optimistic and excited to hike the canyon. The Secret Canyon is actually not only one, but three canyons. Excited and pumped as we were, of course we all agreed to hike until the third one at the end. We put on our new shoes, got ourselves a guide and then slowly started the hike. In the first two minutes, we were walking down a few steps and we were already in a jungly environment. All good. Then we noticed that next to us there was this muddy river and we just thought "damn, that looks gross". A stream of brown water. Middle brown, almost dark brown. Well... turned out that we had to cross that good looking river. And of course we did it. I mean we were already there and we all thought, that is going to be it and then we continue the hike through the jungle.
What we did not know at this point: that brownish muddy water... was the water going through all three canyons. We found that out later. So we hiked through the river for about twenty minutes, on and off with a few rock paths along the way, and then slowly reached the first canyon. Honestly, without these shoes we would have been screwed. There were some parts of the hike where it was slippery and rocky, barefoot would have been a disaster. Also, we kind of got there totally unprepared. Later on we were standing until our hips in the river, of course not everyone wearing bikini pants and no spare clothes with us for later. Additionally, not all of us had a backpack and a tote bag instead - totally disturbing while hiking through deep mud rivers. When we reached the first canyon, at this point we started to question the water and asked our guide, if the rest of the hike is going to be exactly like this. Of course the answer was yes! What we totally forgot in our excitement was that it was raining very strong the day before. The rain washed up and dragged a lot of trash and mud into the water, hence the brown muddy water.
That was when we decided alright - we will go a bit further until there is a way out to return. We thought, if the water is going to be muddy and dirty, we would not really enjoy the hike and also not the water to swim in (it was brown and trash was swimming in it, so duh). So we decided to just come back another time, when the water is clear (scored the number of our guide to text him the next time before we wanna go and check the water). The hike is not boring at all, there are parts where you hike through the river and the guide tells you where to step foot because there are only a few rocks in there to walk on, otherwise you are deep in the river (seriously so deep you can't stand properly anymore). Also, sometimes the rocks are so tiny you need help either from someone or hold on tight to the rock wall. It is a nice workout and also heaps of fun. Honestly though, it is quite dangerous and i'm surprised no one slipped or got hurt. Actually, there were some slipping incidents but that was more funny than painful.
After we hiked for another maybe thirty minutes, there was a pathway (some rocks to go up and then at the end a rope hanging down to climb up the last few meters) to go back to the beginning of the canyon. We all agreed to go back and come back to do all three canyons another time. The canyons (well, we can only speak for the first one because we saw it in real) are really nice, rocks everywhere and plants, and with clear blue water to swim in it would look beautiful!
When we arrived at the starting point again, we ran into these two girls that were really eager to do all three canyons, just like us. At this point wiser of course we thought "poor girls, wearing really nice outfits and sandals, they will for sure be struggling". We told them to maybe think about it and do it another time with proper shoes and some swimwear, but excitement couldn't stop them and they started their hike. Pretty sure though they ended it though after a few minutes. I mean, we wouldn't jump into a brown mud river with our new fancy clothes and pretty sandals. Might as well throw it in the trash straight.
Recommendations for the Secret Canyon: check on the water! Make sure it didn't rain the night before and just give them a ring, how the water conditions are if you really want to drive up to Sukawati. Also, easiest is just to wear a bathing suit and some wet clothes, in case the water will be high and you will be completely wet after the hike. Also, spare clothes would be useful and a wetbag for all your stuff. We obviously didn't bring any and our guide had to carry all our bags when the water was too deep. Other than that, the landscape around is real nice! Lots of plants and green, and we are sure if the water is clear and blue, it will be a great hike! So we are excited for our second try later this year, yey!
Love, Marissa & Juliette