The Marente region just south of Alas contains the villages of Marente Beru and Marente Loka and three beautiful waterfalls. Nestled in a wide river valley in the foothills of a jungle clad mountain, the villagers quietly go about tendering their rice fields with buffalo drawn ploughs. Only the clang, clang of a hammer striking hot metal as the men practise their blacksmithing skills breaks the quiet. There’s occasional excitement when they meet with neighbouring villages to race their buffalo, a favourite traditional pastime right across Sumbawa.
Seketok Waterfall is the closest to Merente Village and is reached in about 1 hour hiking from village. Although smaller than its stablemates, Seketok is exceedingly pretty. Further up the valley, Agal Waterfall announces its presence with a thunderous roar as it plummets 200 metres to the rocky river bed below. It’s an impressive sight, but the locals regard Agal is the child of the third waterfall. At a towering at 320 metres, Sebra Waterall is one of the highest in Indonesia. It’s harder and more time consuming to reach than the other two waterfalls, but is a worthy reward for those who make the effort.
All three waterfalls are accessed from Merente Village. Seketok and Agal commence on the trail. After around 30 minutes hiking, you’ll reach Pos 1 where the trail branches. Turn right here for Seketok (30 minutes further on) or continue straight on for another hour to Agal. Sebra Waterfall is reached via a separate, more difficult trail from Merente in around 5-7 hours one way. Obviously, this means getting a very early start from Merente and a long day or being prepared to camp overnight.
Merente is located about 10km (30 minute drive) south of the town of Alas, which is on the coast between Sumbawa Besar and Poto Tano. Whilst Seketok and Agal can be visited in a single day, you need to be prepared to camp out overnight to visit Sebra Waterfall. Be sure to bring your own provisions of food, water and camping gear (if overnighting). All trails can be slippery with some creek crossing so be sure to wear good, sturdy footwear.
Local guides can be recruited from either Alas or Merente by asking around (most likely they will find you). There are only a handful of guides available for the longer Sebra falls trip though, so ideally you should try to arrange this in advance.
As a footnote, we’ve heard rumours of a cave “Mumber Cave” somewhere around Merente. We don’t know anything about it but if you’re curious, ask your local guide and be sure to let us know if get to see it for yourself.