Just returned from a week in Senggigi in Lombok.  Do stay on The Gili Islands themselves if you want to snorkel and dive.  The drive from Senggigi to Bangsal is at least 1 hour then it is only 7 minutes by speedboat to the islands. Senggigi is an a good place to begin your travel to explorer Lombok island.

The waterfalls at Senaru, a 2 plus hours drive from Senggigi is a popular destination for a day trip. Beware, sometimes people there claim the hiring of a local guide is compulsory, this is not true and is a scam. They often also bully the guides and drivers who bring tourists there to extract payments from them as well. Unless the person has an official card identifying them as a guide then they may not operate there as one. If they do have a card you do not have to hire them, just pay the standard entrance fee as displayed at the gate. The restaurant next the car park where all the drivers go is also exorbitant especially for cold drinks.

 

Do be prepared to walk through the river to the second waterfall and close your eyes to all the rubbish that has been thrown around the place.  If every (so-called) guide were to take one bag and fill it up with the rubbish this would be a more enjoyable experience.  It shows a complete lack of respect for their environment and what is providing an income to a quite isolated area of the island.

 

There is absolutely no need to pay any 'guide' to visit the main and most popular waterfalls here. The only admission fee payable is a fixed entrance fee. That payment should not exceed the amount displayed on the price board at the ticket booth located at the head of the steps leading down to the principal waterfall. Visitors are charged a higher rate than Indonesian residents.

A local guide, or the guide who takes you to the location will be required to either explain the route or accompany a visitor only to the second waterfall. The location is not a total mystery but a visitor will benefit from some guidance. A reasonable price to pay would be Rp10,000-15,000.

The third waterfall requires climbing equipment and suitable experience.

Many of the local guides are quite overbearing and obnoxious and are best avoided.

The local 'guides' are meant to have a permit (Izin) to provide services as a guide at this location. It is unlikely the individuals purporting to be guides at this locality will have one.

The climb down to the main waterfall is by way of a paved pathway with many steps. Unless the visitor is fit they will tire, especially on the way back up. There is no confusion concerning the route or direction to the falls, though the guides may pretend there is, just do not believe them.

The local 'guides' and touts may also try to extort money from the person who takes you to the location. The local Senaru 'guides' frequently bully the person who takes a visitor to the Waterfall location and threaten to prevent future visits unless they pay a 'fee' to them. This action may not be obvious to the visitor.

If you do secure the services of a local guide you are unlikely to derive any benefit from their presence and they are sometimes little more than arrogant and annoying pests.

Ask the guide or driver who takes you to the location about alternative locations including the waterfalls at Gumantar. Be aware though that those falls are a 2km walk from the traditional village located there.

If travelling independently seek a map detailing the waterfalls designated as suitable by the regional government tourism office.