The poster child for the Sambangan Secret Garden, the Blue Lagoon is perhaps the biggest draw to the area thanks to its incredible natural beauty.
With a pool of strikingly blue water enveloped by high rock faces, the lagoon is a wonderfully picturesque swimming spot that’s reminiscent of a scene from a fairy tale. The surrounding rock faces are covered in lush jungle foliage, and hanging vines and giant boulders complete the mythical backdrop. At the centre of the lagoon is a small waterfall that’s fed by a river hiding in the cavern behind, which is also home to a larger, more powerful waterfall.
Located at the top of Aling Aling Waterfall, the Blue Lagoon can technically be reached without a guide, but I wouldn’t advise it because you have to walk through private land to reach it, and I’m not sure you’re allowed to swim in the lagoon without a guide. Alternatively, you can book onto one of the trekking tours detailed below, which also includes swimming, jumping and sliding at a number of other waterfalls in the valley.
Visiting the Sambangan Secret Garden Blue Lagoon without a guide
If you do want to attempt visiting without a guide, you can purchase an entry ticket to the Sambangan Secret Garden, which costs just 20,000 rupiah, and enter the garden through the small village behind the ticket office. To reach the Blue Lagoon, you need to cross the river on your way to Aling Aling Waterfall and walk up to the restaurant at the top of the hill. The restaurant hadn’t finished being built when I visited in September 2018 so there was no one working there, but once it’s finished and open they might not let you through. Once you reach the restaurant you need to make your way to the right of it and keep going straight. From there, you will reach the Blue Lagoon within a couple of minutes.
Visiting the Sambangan Secret Garden Blue Lagoon with a guide
I would recommend booking one of the Sambangan Secret Garden trekking tickets. By doing this, you will be accompanied by a guide to the lagoon and you will also be able to enjoy all of the water activities at the other waterfalls. Below are the details of the three trekking tours available. Please note that if you want to visit the Blue Lagoon, you need to book either the medium or long trek.
This trek costs 125,000 rupiah per person and includes a stop at Aling Aling Waterfall, Kroya Waterfall, Kembar Waterfall and Pucuk Waterfall. You’ll be able to jump into the pool at Kroya Waterfall and then slide down the waterfall itself as well as another small waterfall located nearby. You can then tackle a 10-metre jump at Kembar Waterfall and, if you’re brave enough, a 15-metre jump and Pucuk Waterfall. They suggest allowing between one and two hours for this trek.
The medium trek costs 250,000 rupiah per person and takes between three and four hours. The trek begins with a walk through the beautiful rice paddies that surround Sambangan Secret Garden, stopping at a local’s house for a fresh coconut drink and some cacao beans along the way. You’ll then make your way to the blue lagoon, where you can go for a swim and venture inside the cavern, where another hidden waterfall can be found. After this, you’ll be able to see Aling Aling Waterfall from the top before venturing down to experience everything that’s included in the short trek.
The long trek costs 500,000 rupiah per person and includes everything mentioned above as well as three more waterfalls: Cemara Waterfall, Dedari Waterfall and Canging Waterfall. I did not do this trek so I’m unable to provide any further information or photos on these waterfalls. They recommend five to six hours for this trek.
The Sambangan Secret Garden Blue Lagoon: Where to stay
I highly recommend staying at Shanti Natural Panorama Hotel, which is just a five-minute walk down the road. Sitting high in the mountains, the hotel boasts amazing views from the rooms, swimming pool and the restaurant. The rooms are in fact more like mini jungle houses with the bedroom on the first floor and an al fresco lounge area on the ground floor, creating the perfect spot for an evening tipple or two. A beautiful infinity swimming pool overlooks the jungle and the restaurant serves an incredibly generous breakfast and a tasty menu of local dishes – the chicken satay is a highlight.
Staying at Shanti Natural Panorama Hotel meant that we could visit the Sambangan Secret Garden twice and it also meant we were well-placed to drive to the other famous waterfalls located in the north of Bali, notably Sekumpul Waterfall and Banyumala Twin Waterfall. Gitgit Waterfall is also located within 20 minutes of the hotel.
The Sambangan Secret Garden Blue Lagoon: How to get there
If you aren’t staying at the Shanti Natural Panorama Hotel, you can either book onto a tour to visit the Blue Lagoon, which will include a transfer from your accommodation, or you can hire a scooter. These are available to rent from most hotels and cost between 70,000 and 100,000 rupiah a day. The drive from Seminyak takes about three hours.
The entrance to the Blue Lagoon is marked as Aling Aling Waterfall on Google Maps – see the point on the map below. There is also a fairly big car park at the entrance where you can park your scooter for a small fee.