Planning to hike Mount Rinjani? This blog article will all be about the things you need to know if you plan to hike the beautiful Mount Rinjani!
Mount Rinjani is 3 726 meters high and has a crater rim of 2 600 meters, making it the second highest volcano in Indonesia. The first in the list is in Sumatra, Gunung Kerici which is 3 805 meters high.
Where is Mount Rinjani located?
Mount Rinjani can be found in the island of Lombok, Indonesia. The closest villages here are Senaru and Sembulan, which can be found on different sides of the volcano. You must choose which one you are taking to reach Mount Rinjani’s peak. If you are coming from Bali, it would be easy for you to go to Mount Rinjani since these are two neighboring islands. Bali has more tourist spots than Rinjani but both are beautiful places.
If you are planning to hike Mount Rinjani, you have to be fit because it requires much effort and much time to finish trekking the volcano in limited number of days.
Quick Facts about Hiking Mount Rinjani
Altitude sickness? It will not be an issue. Despite of its height of 3 726 meters, you will sleep and stay at the crater which is at 2 600 m.
With a guide or by yourself? It is possible to trek Mount Rinjani by yourself. Just make sure you are a fit individual and experienced in mountain trekking. In my case, I chose doing the tour with Jou Trekking as I am not that fit and I am also doubtful in trekking this mountain alone.
Best season for climbing Mount Rinjani? I recommend trekking the mountain during dry season which is from April to November. I had mine during this season and everything went fine. You can also do it off the season but expect rain while trekking.
Level of difficulty: I would say that trekking Mount Rinjani is very difficult. I repeat, you must be fit to trek this volcano. But of course, it still depends on the number of days you will trek in Mount Rinjani. Trekking it in just 3D 2N is not the same with trekking it in 4D 3N. If you have more days, you can split them and have longer time to rest.
How much it costs? I recommend climbing Mount Rinjani with porters and a guide. For a 3D 2N package, you will pay around $200-$250. Don’t worry. It will cover everything- from permits, to food, and water.
How to get to Senaru and Sembulan?
2 hours from Gili Trawangan, 20-minute boat ride plus 1.5-hour drive from Bangsal port.
1.5-hour car drive from Bangsal port.
2 hours from Sengigi by car.
3 hours if you are coming from Kuta Lombok or Lombok airport.
If you are coming from Bali, it will take 1 to 5-hour boat ride. If you take the fast ferry from Padang Bai (200 000 INDR) or Sanur, it will take you an hour. If you take the slow boat from Padang Bai (40,000 INDR), it will take you 5-6 hours.
Why you should climb Mount Rinjani?
There are countless reasons why you should trek Mount Rinjani! Here are some:
My main reason for trekking this volcano is because I really loved it and landscapes are amazing.
You will surely enjoy the challenge of trekking 7-10 hours per day.You will get the chance to meet the local people here and experience their culture and how they do their daily lives.
The sunrise and sunset are definitely worth it!
You make new friends while trekking.
Choosing your trekking and itinerary
If you are not that fit and are worried that it will be difficult for you to trek Mount Rinjani, I recommend that you get the 4D 3N trekking package. This will let you lessen the time and effort for trekking. But if you know that you can trek with less time, then choose 3D 2N trekking package. Just a warning, it may stress you more, might leave you really tired each day of the trip, and might lessen the opportunity for you to actually enjoy the experience.
There are a few options for trekking Mount Rinjani:
2D/1N You will climb up to the crater for the sunset, stay there for the night, and enjoy the sunrise when you wake up. You also have the option to continue climbing up the summit for sunrise before going down but you have to be really fit and it will require much effort.
3D/2N This is the most popular trekking option. You will climb up to the crater, watch the sunset and continue climbing up to the summit for the sunrise. After this, you will climb down to the lake for lunch and enjoy the hot springs for a few minutes. Then, you will climb up again to the other side of the crater for sunset. The next morning, you have 4-5 hours to climb back down to Senaru.
4D/3N This is like the 3D/2N option. The only difference is that you will camp by the lake on the second night instead of just having your lunch. This will make you eliminate 10-12 hours of trekking on the second day and allows you to be energized when you continue trekking. You will also have more time to enjoy the lake and hot springs by fishing and taking a relaxing dip there.
If you are planning to reach the summit of Mount Rinjani (3 726m), go to Sembulan, which is the best route to take. It will take you an hour of car ride to reach Sembulan from Senaru. When you are already in Senaru, you can now rest and relax.
Before the trekking
Choosing your Trekking Guide
This is a very important part of pre-trekking plans if you really want to enjoy your adventure. There are many companies which provide trekking guides and I recommend that you choose a reputable one. You can check Tripadvisor, read Facebook reviews and/or ask other travelers about their experiences during the tour to avoid unfavorable decisions.
You get what you pay for. Therefore, you will not get the same service from a budget company and a luxurious one. I recommend that you carefully choose your trekking guide by being money-wise as well.
Things you need to check before booking with a trekking guide company
– Make sure these things are included: entrance fees and permits, drinking water and all meals, and transportation. Transportation depends on the service provider but in my case, they drove me from Bangsal to Senaru since I was coming from Gili Trawangan and leaving to Bali for Bangsal port.
– Check if you want to be in groups of less or more people. Pricing per head for a group with fewer people are more expensive than that of with more people. You have to divide the cost for each one of you so more people in the group is definitely better if you want to pay cheaper price.
– Make sure that the itinerary given to you is correct, meaning it’s what you have initially chosen. If you want to come from Sembulan and finish in Senaru, then better be sure that is on your itinerary. If you want an alternative, then ask for the itinerary in advance.
– Please choose eco-trekking! Make sure that the service provider company you have chosen cared about the environment. Mount Rinjani is becoming more and more popular to tourists and many people wants to trek here. We don’t want beautiful volcano to be full of trash, right? We should always travel responsibly!
– And the last but not the least, make sure they provide you comfort. I know trekking and comfort are two concepts far from each other. Trekking is a really tiresome activity but enjoyable. If you are going to do trekking with a tour company, then it’s best if they would provide you things like a foldable chair (to rest on), proper blankets or mats, a good tent, sleeping mattress, sleeping bag, special meals (if you are allergic to something or prefer a specific meal plan), sodas, and toilet papers. Also, it’s better if they will give you snacks and sweets like chocolate bars and cookies, too! These foods are energizing and the perfect snacks to eat during your resting time while trekking Mount Rinjani.
What to bring in Mount Rinjani
These are the basic things you should bring with you when you trek Mount Rinjani:
– Small backpack for your personal stuff, camera, clothes, water, food.
– Warm clothes to use after the sunset and before the sunrise. The temperature will go down during the night. Make sure you bring some or the company will provide just like in my case.
– Raincoat just in case it’s raining. We all don’t want to get wet and sick, right?
– A pair of gloves is helpful for climbing Mount Rinjani’s summit. The temperature in the mountains is really colder and based on my experience, you should really not forget a pair of gloves.
– Flashlight. I didn’t bring one but the company provided it for me. It was a great tool for trekking at night and it was also helpful when you just want to stroll or move around the tent or area after the sunset.
– Comfortable shoes. If you have trekking shoes, that would be perfect. I didn’t bring hiking shoes but I made sure that I brought my comfortable running shoes for the trekking.
– Towel and clothes to freshen up yourself. The weather in the day is really hot so I suggest that you bring towels and more clothes because you will sweat a lot.
– Sunblock. If you don’t want to get burnt because of too much sunlight, bring one.
– Camera or phone to take photos. You should never forget a camera or at least a phone with a good camera because the landscapes and views in Mount Rinjani are breathtaking! You surely wouldn’t want to miss capturing them.
– Swimwear. There are hot springs and waterfalls in Mount Rinjani. Bring at least one swimwear if you want to take a dip in the relaxing waters.
My Mount Rinjani Trekking Experiences
I chose to climb Mount Rinjani with Jou Trekking, a trustworthy company with amazing reviews in Tripadvisor. They planned everything for me, as well as provided all the things that I needed- transportation to Bangsal, accommodation, and meals night before the trekking. They also told me all the information about the trekking before and after the activity.
If you book with them, they will also provide you a guide in visiting Tiu Kelep Waterfall a day before the trekking or a day after. I recommend that you schedule 1-2 days after trekking Mount Rinjani for relaxation in Senaru.
We slept in a nice place (dinner included) the night before the trekking. We also had an amazing breakfast and they drove us to Sembulan (1.100 meters) by car for an hour. In Sembulan, they introduced us our guide and porters. We filled out the forms for permits. From there, we started trekking until Lake Crater. Our trekking lasted for 7 hours the first day and the last few hours was difficult because it was getting steep.
During the first few hours, the trail we took was flat. We continued climbing for another 3 hours after we stopped for lunch. When we reached our first stop, we still got a couple of hours before the sunset so our guide and porters pitched our tent and prepared an amazing dinner for us. We had to immediately sleep after the sunset since we had to wake up at 2:30AM the next day.
We woke up at 2:30AM and had a light breakfast. We started climbing to the summit at 3AM. During those hours, it was a bit cold. Good thing we have gloves and jackets. I recommend that you pack light things only including a flashlight and drinking water. It took us 3 hours to get to the summit (3.726 meters). When we got closer to the summit (an hour away), we had a hard time because it really got steeper and slippery there. Finally, when we reached the summit, we took a few photos and rested for a few minutes. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to see the sunrise because it was foggy.
Climbing to the summit was difficult, so if you aren’t that fit and you think the weather is bad for trekking, you can skip climbing up. However, you can still trek for maybe an hour away from Camp 1 and you will still be seeing great views. It will also require less effort and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy more!
Around 9AM, we got to the Crater Rim where we slept the night before to eat breakfast. Half of the way between the summit and Crater Rim is the perfect place to take photos. The view was really awesome! Climbing down was very easy. It just took us a couple of hours to get to the Crater Rim, stops for taking pictures of beautiful landscapes included.
After eating breakfast, we went down to the lake (2.000 meters) where we had our lunch. While waiting for our food to be prepared, we relaxed in the nearby hot spring for half an hour.
It was around 2PM when we started climbing again for 3 hours until we reached the Crater Rim, on Camp 2. We enjoyed the sunset and our delicious dinner. We went to sleep very early, too. Maybe it was because of tiredness.
To summarize our second day of this activity, we spent 10 hours trekking without counting the resting time and stops for lunch and breakfast. This day was really hard and people were very tired. Despite of this, all of us were happy with the beautiful landscapes and even happier with the experiences.
Last day, all the way down to Senaru. We woke up at 7 am, we had a nice breakfast and we went down to Senaru. The day takes 4-5 hours, for me took me 7 hours since my legs were super painful going down. First part of the day was slippery and later was easier way to get to Senaru. Once in Senaru, they drove me until our hotel where we said goodbye to the guide and the porters. We were very happy with our experience.
This was our last day. We were already going down to Senaru. We woke up at 7AM, had a nice breakfast, and climbed down to Senaru. The climb took others 4-5 hours but it took me 7 hours since my legs were really painful. First part of the trek was slippery but it got easier at the latter part. When we arrived in Senaru, we bid goodbyes to our guide and posters then they drove me back to the hotel we were staying. All of us were really tired but happy with our experience.
How was the experience with Jou Trekking?
– The owner, Jou, did an amazing job and he cared about my pre-trekking, during, and post-trekking adventure.
– I loved to see that the guides and porters were keeping all the trash and keeping the way to Mount Rinjani clean.
– They have high quality travel gears like tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads.
– I enjoyed local Indonesian and Western food they prepared. There was always enough food- vegetables, water, fruits, soda, and even sweets. I didn’t miss anything during the trekking. Everything was covered including my tasty snacks, chocolate bars, and cookies that I ate during breaks in trekking Mount Rinjani. Every break, I also had a cup of tea. If you are a coffee person, you will love this service from Jou Trekking, too!
– We had our own private bathroom to keep our privacy in the mountain.
The organization was really amazing! We had short waiting time for lunch, breakfast, and dinner but it was okay. It was really awesome how fast the guides and porters work in the mountain. They were so fast in preparing the food, cleaning the utensils and plates, and putting everything back to its place. They also climbed up and down so fast but they will wait for you with the food ready in your break time.
Negative things about the company: I don’t have any small complain. The porters and guides were awesome. They always had big smiles during the trekking. All of them made things easier for me to trek Mount Rinjani. I was disappointed to see some people didn’t keep their way to Mount Rinjani clean but I was really happy to see that my guide and porters were doing their best to keep everything clean before leaving.
Lombok becomes more and more touristic every year. We need to do the effort to keep it clean by keeping our trash and throwing it in proper trash bins. More tourists will surely be interested in climbing Mount Rinjani in the future so we better make it clean for future travelers.
Experience with Porters and Guides
They did an amazing job! Porters were carrying 40 kg each on their back using bamboo baskets wearing just slippers. This is the average for 3D/2N trek. Did you know that most of them are climbing in slippers? How crazy is that!
All the guides were porters before. They learnt how to speak different languages to make things easier for the tourists. They were very pleasant, always smiling, and fun to be with during the days we spent in the mountain.
What to do in Senaru
Visit Tiu Kelap Waterfall in Senaru. You will surely enjoy this amazing waterfall. You can even swim here and take pictures. After all the effort you exhausted trekking Mount Rinjani, you deserve to relax in this beautiful water fall.
You should also meet some locals and eat local food. Rest, read, and relax in Senaru before going back to the crowdy Bali.
Where to sleep after climbing Mount Rinjani
My choice was resting in Rinjani Lodge where you can enjoy two infinity pools and amazing views. I spent a couple of days in Senaru to make sure that I have enough time to relax, visit the waterfalls and plan my next destination.
Where to go next after trekking Mount Rinjani?
Will I go back again to trek Mount Rinjani?
The experience was incredible and the landscapes were amazing. If I´m going back again, I will make sure I trek 4D/3N to make sure I’ll enjoy the landscapes, the lake, and hot springs better. This will also lessen the big effort for a 3D/2N trekking since it will be split to more days.