If you are a trekking fanatic and you are used to get up any mountain that’s on your way or if you are just a nature lover in quest of the next occasional hike while on holidays, a Mount Rinjani trek should be your next challenge. Lombok’s Rinjani is one of Indonesia’s absolute musts; Heart stirringly beautiful sceneries and breathtakingly hard ascents are guaranteed. To help with the preparation of this one-time experience and to give you a fair bit of advice for the road, here’s the Ultimate Mount Rinjani Trekking Guide!
Mount Rinjani (on the map)
Mount Rinjani (or Gunung Rijani in Bahasa Indonesia) is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and is located in a very active geothermal area. Its neighbour Gunung Barujari (which by the way means Finger Mountain) erupted in 2009, 2010 and more recently in September 2016, exactly 3 months after I managed to clamber to Rinjani’s top by the skin of my teeth.
A massive 50km2 caldera is neighbouring Mount Rinjani. Here, you can admire the Crater Lake Segara Anak (called Child of the Sea).
The volcanoes, caldera and crater lake are located in the Taman Nasional Gunung Rinjani, (the National Park) which is 41,000 hectares wide… enough to get seriously lost. This is the also the reason why you should not enter the park without a guide!
Mount Rinjani Trekking Guide
Mount Rinjani tour packages
The trekking packages for Mount Rinjani range from 1 day to 6 days, featuring different routes with different difficulty levels. Another variable to take into account while planning your hike is to know if you want to be part of a group or if you want a private tour… everything is possible, the choice is yours. Trekking rates change according to the duration of the tour and the service you choose.
Mainly prices can range between 200 and 400 US$/ per person.
The entrance fee for Mount Rinjani National Park is 150,000 RP/person and has to be paid directly at the Trekking Centre of the park.
Either way, chances are big that you’ll spend the first night on the Crater Rim at 2.600 meters of altitude with an overwhelming view on the lake Segara Anak on one side and the majestic peak of Rinjani on the other.
Hotels and hostels for the night before and after your adventure can be booked in the villages of Sembalun and Senaru, depending on the trekking route you’ve chosen.
There are no accommodations in Mount Rinjani National Park. Be prepared to sleep in a tent. For all those of you who look forward to spending a night in a romantic atmosphere, be aware that this has nothing to do with Glamping! Nights in the park, especially the one on the Crater Rim are short, cold and uncomfortable. But hey, you are on an real life adventure!
Routes to and around Mount Rinjani
There are 2 main routes leading to and around the summit of Mount Rinjani. Those routes leave either from Sembalun or from Senaru. Choose your trekking route with care. Don’t let your euphoria get ahead of you and plan according to your fitness level (really important) and your time schedule.
- From Sembalun it’s an 8-hour climb to the Crater Rim. After departure you will mainly walk through savannah grassland.
- From Senaru it’s a 6-hour climb to the Crater Rim. Here, you’ll start through the tropical forest. This is the most common route and the least strenuous route to the rim.
Although, you often need medical certificates in Indonesia, like for example the Semeru trek in Java, a health certificate is not required for the Rinjani trek.
Booking your trip
You can book your trip online with the trekking agency, or on spot through your hotel or with one of the many agencies on site (most of them are located in Senaru).
If you book your trip online, my advice would be to stick to those with good ratings on trip advisor or who are recommended on other discussion boards like lonely planet, etc. We planed our trip with online with Galangijo. The owner and the staff was super friendly and it was quite easy to book everything online.
Before paying a deposit, make sure, that the package includes:
- A guide
- Camping equipment (tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mats)
- Water bottles (as much as you want)
- Food (3 meals a day)
- First aid kit
- Radio equipment in case of an emergency
- Toilet paper
What should you bring?
The leitmotiv of the whole trek is “travel light”. Don’t bring unnecessary things that will overfill your rucksack! The climb to the Crater Rim is strenuous enough without a heavy backpack.
For our 2 days-1night Rinjani Summit Trek, we were advised not to pack more than 4 kg!
- A torch or a flashlight
- Toiletries (soap or refreshing Towelettes, a small towel)
- Sun block/lotion, hat/cap & sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Spray for muscle/balm (although, you will most likely need that the week following the trek)
- Warm gloves (if you are going to the summit, it will be icy cold, believe me)
- Camera, smartphone
- A Fully charged camera with an extra battery (very important, there are no electrical plugs up there)
- 2-3 T-Shirts (if you sweat a lot, take 3!)
- Long trekking pants (best if they are wind and waterproof)
- Rain coat or poncho and windproof Jacket
- A fleece jumper or jacke
- 2 shorts or running trousers
- Some people prefer climbing with a trekking stick or Lackie, but it’s not necessary.
Good to know
Drink enough water to avoid altitude sickness
Eat enough, you will need your strengths (a cereal bar is always a good snack to keep in your pocket)
Progress at your own pace, don’t try to break speed records
Watch out for gravel, rocks and other ankle-spraining hazards
Be prepared to turn around at any moment. There can always be a volcanic eruption
Take travel insurance, because, well… you never know!
Don’t let other people, roamers or guides, discourage you.
Also, if you want to attempt a climb to Rinjani’s summit, be aware that this is not just another easy walk around a volcano.It’s a hard ascent and you’ll need a good fitness level!
But, if you are committed to climbing to the utmost top (3.726m, remember) the unforgettable view with the most beautiful sunrise you’ll ever see, makes up for every blister, every sore muscle and any other hassle encountered during the trek.
You want a preview of the Mount Rinjani Summit experience? Here’s my personal logbook of the ascent.