Gunung Rinjani, at an impressive height of 3726m, is the second highest volcanic peak in Indonesia. The gigantic volcano dominates the skyline of Lombok Island, and is clearly visible from the aeroplane descending to the Lombok Airport. At the center of the mountain is a huge caldera filled partially with a blue turquoise crater lake, known as Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). The trek to the mountain starts from one of the villages at the foot of the mountain. The first part of the trek transverses through open plains of tall grasses – reminiscent of an African savannah – with plenty of cattle grazing about. After the savannah area, the trail starts to ascend through rolling hills of forests, bringing you to the crater rim. The rim is a great viewpoint to appreciate and take in the sheer size of the caldera, and the beautiful Segara Anak, which is occasionally obstructed by the passing clouds beneath you. The final climb to the summit takes place the next day, very early in the morning. It is a challenging climb where you have to overcome the cold, the strong wind, fatigue and the loose slippery volcanic terrains. At the summit, you will be rewarded with the magical views of the surrounding seas, mountains, lake and rim being illuminated by the rising sun. As you descend back to the rim and venture deep into the caldera, you will follow a winding and often misty path with several bridge crossings, eventually reaching a blue serene lake. There is an opportunity for you to refresh yourself with a dip in the hot spring with a waterfall situated near the campsite by the lake. The next day, the trail will bring you up to the caldera, giving you an alternate view of the other side of the rim, before descending through the forests to the village at the base of the mountain.
Trekking Mt. Rinjani is definitely an amazing experience.
After much deliberation and negotiations, we decided to book a private trek with Lhuna Adventures as we were only 2 persons and did not want to slow down the group for our photography (and our fitness levels. LOL ). The deluxe package was for 4 Days and 3 Nights with the trek starting at Sembalun and ending at Senaru. Based on our experience, we highly recommend them based on the exceptional service provided from the time of pick up
Lun has been the most accomodating person we have come across in our travels. He arranged for our accomodation at Sembalun (Pesona Rinjani) instead of Senaru (as was the norm with all other operators we contacted) as we arrived late in the night at Lombok and were starting the trek the next morning. We met with our 3 porters and 1 guide (Ipin) after completing the registration at the Rinjani Information Center. Day 1 trek was for 7 Hours (moving time 3 hrs 40 mins) with an altitude gain of 1,541 meters and covering a distance of 10.31 KMs from the start point. The last stage after POS 3 was a steep climb and very exhausting.
Day 2- The night on the crater rim was very windy and cold. We opted to sleep through the night instead of waking up at 2 AM for the summit climb. We started our summit climb around 8 AM in the morning and took 7 Hours (moving time – 3 hours 16 mins) to get to the summit and back to the crater. As per the initial itinerary, we had to descend to the lake after the summit but we decided to stay back on the crater rim as it was quite late by the time we came back to the camp after the summit. Our guide and porters were very accommodating as this was a change from the planned itinerary.
Day 3 – We descended to the lake and in the morning after breakfast. The descent took 3 hours 45 mins (5.21 KMs)and the last 1 hour was in heavy rain which added to the beauty of the landscape around Mt. Rinjani. We spent some time in the hot springs after lunch and began the steep climb to the Senaru crater rim. The ascend is just 4.11 KMs but takes 3.5 hours. The night on the Senaru crater was very peaceful with not much wind. The sky was resonably clear and we got to enjoy the view of our galaxy which has become a rarity with the amount of light pollution in the cities.
Day 4 – This was a long trek down to Senaru village through forests, covering a total distance of 11.67 KMs and it took us 6 hours 30 mins to reach Senaru. This again was an exhausting day and the trek down through the rainforest was accompanied with very heavy rainfall.
1. The trek is hard and very exhausting.
2. Book a deluxe package or private tour for a comfort and setting own pace.
3. Warm clothes/mittens are a must during the nights.
4. Sunscreen/Balaclava – There were few who were badly sunburnt.
5. Pack as light as possible. (We were also carrying tripods and DSLRs).
6. A good rain jacket to cover till feet. Our socks got wet in the rain and in turn the water seeped into the shoes from inside even though the boots we were using were waterproof.
7. Pack Bandages for blisters.
8. Book for a longer package to enjoy the trek than just hurrying to the next point.
9. Off-season is the best time to visit.
All data on distance and time is taken from my Garmin Forerunner 235.