You can actually find wonder of trekking Mount Rinjani, Lombok. Being the second highest volcano in Indonesia after Mount Kerinci in Sumatra, Mount Rinjani becomes one of the most popular trekking in Indonesia. This is because it offers such amazing adventurous hike that promising breathtaking view at the peak. Moreover, it is also partly because of its virtuous location in Lombok becoming many independent travelers favorite.
Standing at 3,726 m, Mount Rinjani is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, similarly to Mount Bromo in Java. It bears a caldera of 50 km square holding a crater lake called Segara Anak (Child of Sea), which has a natural hot spring. Most of all, Mount Rinjani had been proposed by the government to UNESCO to be one of the worlds first official geot-park if approved. Hopefully, it will be approved to highlight its right as one of the most amazing Indonesian treasures.
Mount Rinjani is situated right inside Mount Rinjani National Park at Lombok, Indonesia. The national park comprises 41,000 hectares of mountain and surrounding forests representing Nusa Tenggara ecosystem.
Why you must go there
The magnificent atmosphere of mount Rinjani reflects natures best combination of beauty and danger, an active volcano that can be so foreboding and desolate yet so gorgeous. You will soon ignore the demanding trek requiring two days full of struggle to conquer the mountain. Then, everything will make it all worthwhile when greeted by the stunning view at the grand summit.
The best time to go trekking Mount Rinjani
- Basically, the weather at Mount Rinjani is like the rest of Indonesia, divided into two seasons, dry and wet season with temperatures that are quite even.
- Thus, the best time to go is from May to November, during the dry season where there is less rain but more tourists. This is also the safest time to do trekking, the more people, the safer it is.
- Otherwise, time to really avoid going is from January to March when the park is normally closed due to heavy rain.
- At other times, it is still possible to trek Mt Rinjani mostly due to the tropical climate, but please do not attempt to climb Mount Rinjani during lots of rain time because the path may be treacherous. For your own safety, make sure to always check out for local weather before attempting the trek.
- If you do not want the crowd, also try to avoid weekends since more hikers prefer this time.
- Mount Rinjani itself, of course.
- Segara Anak Lake: The vast Crater Lake with a new cone forming in it, called Gunung Baru.
- Mulang Pakelem: The annual Hindu ceremony at the crater lake, dated back to 18th century when the Balinese invaded Lombok. Here, you will get amazed to see hundreds of white clad Hindu pilgrims sitting and praying at the lake.
- During rice-planting season, the people here will have special traditional ceremonies on Mt Rinjani and Segara Anak lake where they will release small artificial fish made of very thin gold into the lake.
Besides trekking and enjoying the summit of Mount Rinjani, you can:
- Explore Gua Susu (Susu Cave): One of the famous caves in Rinjani worth visiting. The other two caves that you can explore is Gua Payung and Gua Manik.
- Enjoy the natural hot springs in Aik Kalak at the crater rim
- Explore local villages at Senaru where there are nice waterfalls around the area or at Sembalun Lawang where you can find weaving villages.
Routes to go Trekking Mount Rinjani
There are two routes to go up Mount Rinjani:
- Senaru ascent
It is easier and more convenient route to go. It starts for about 2 km to the west of Bayan village, on the way to Anyer. Then, the trek will lead you up to Batu Koq and from there to Senaru. From Senaru, the trek summit will take two days of 10 hours solid climbing. Later on the third day, if you still have the energy, you can do a steep trek down to the caldera where you will be rewarded with natural hot springs bath and also the stunning view of the Crater Lake.
- Sembalun Lawang ascent
Well, this is actually the harder route but claimed to be the more interesting route to trek Mount Rinjani. It is the Sembalun Lawang on the east side of the mountain. Since this trek is less well marked, you must have an experienced guide. You will need two nights trekking via this ascent, one night to reach Pelawangan Sembalun campsite (9 hours) and the other night to go up the summit of Mt Rinjani and down back to Sembalun.
Hike and Climb to the Summit of Mount Rinjani
Most people will start at Pelawangan Sembalun at around 2 — 3 am in order to catch the sunrise at the peak. Indeed, the starting path is difficult for its being steep and slippery and the final ascent is just even worse where it is so narrow. Most travelers report that if you do manage to make it to the top, the view is truly magnificent and well worth it with view of the crater and all the way to Bali Island while. More incredibly, it is surrounded by giant clouds so that you will feel you are flying in the sky of clouds. No wonder that the photography here is definitely amazing.
Go up and down both sides
To get the best of both routes offering different views of the place, you can always climb up one of the route and down the other. Therefore, you are recommended to trek up via Sembalun Lawang, covering the rims and even summit if you like and then down to the caldera before heading back to Senaru.
Remember, take extra precautions and safety when you plan to trek up Mount Rinjani no matter you want to reach the summit or not. There have been some reports of fatalities here. Additionally, the trek is also challenging and not to be taken lightly. Always make sure that your guide is well concerned with everyones wellbeing. Also, stay informed with the volcanic activities as it is still an active volcano. Ask the local authority for the up to date information.
Also remember to always keep the mountain clean and do your bit to clean up after yourself.
You cannot stay within the park itself but you can always find various guesthouses and basic hotels at Senaru or Sembalun Lawang. The popular ones are Green Haven Homestays, Matra Bungalows and Rinjani Lodge. Then, if you want to go upmarket a little, at northwest Tanjung can be your choice. Many other travelers normally stay at Senggigi instead and travel to Mount Rinjani by road for trekking.
You should decide on your accommodation based on which route you are taking to trek Mount Rinjani.
It costs IDR 150,000 per person to enter the national park. Usually, is is included in your trek package but do check before you sign on to any.
After you go back to Lombok, you can go to beaches like Kuta beach or Senggigi and Tanjung.
Sail to nearby Gili Islands for an adventure, and there are a few more mountains for you to climb if you havent had enough. Or, you can do snorkeling or diving to explore underwater.
Travel Tips for Trekking Mount Rinjani
- Make sure to always be safe and check the seismic activities report or on local media. This is a very active volcano, therefore extra precaution for safety is highly recommended. Last Rinjani eruption was on 23 May 2010.
- Some people might hit altitude sickness here, so you should be prepared for your own circumstances.
- Bring a thick jacket and gloves as it may get very chilly up there. Remember, proper attire like windproof clothes and appropriate hiking boots and headlamp.
- Also, do not forget your sunblock as you can get sunburn easier the higher you go.
Finding the wonder of trekking Mount Rinjani, Lombok, you will discover your most ultimate experiences in conquering the volcano. You will find how wonderful the nature is yet so dangerous at the same time. You should always be aware of your surrounding areas and put your safety first. Anticipation is much better than ignorance.