Early morning departure for the village of Sembalun Lawang, a 3.5 hour drive from the coast and the main access point to Mount Rinjani National Park. Towering above the island of Lombok, the volcano of Gunung Rinjani is the second highest mountain in Indonesia at 3,726 metres tall. It’s also a deeply sacred place for the locals who make frequent pilgrimages to the crater rim. Climbing the mountain is not easy, paths are steep and can be narrow, and temperatures plummet as you reach the summit, but it is considered one of the best treks in the country and spectacular views can be enjoyed along the way.
On arrival, transfer directly to the National Park office where you will meet your guide and porter team and, following registration and a trek briefing, your climb will commence. The climb to the campsite at Plawangan II, your destination today, will comprise of 5-6 hours of hard trekking with rest stops taken including a break for a picnic lunch. Along the way you will be rewarded with spectacular views over the north of Lombok.
Arrive at the campsite, a height of 2,650 metres, in the late afternoon / early evening where, weather permitting you will enjoy views towards the summit of Mount Rinjani across Segara Anak Lake – a sulphur lake located 600 metres below the crater rim. Pitch your tent and enjoy dinner prepared by your local team.
Overnight on Mt Rinjani
Mt Rinjani: The Lowdown
We’re not going to sugar coat this: climbing Mt Rinjani is challenging and requires a high level of fitness. There is no easy climb option. Six hour trekking days are the norm and there are some very steep sections. Temperatures at the summit can drop as low as zero degrees Celsius.
The summit portion of Rinjani is done at night to observe the sunrise and involves a slow, challenging 3 hour uphill climb to the summit. This section of the trek is optional and you can choose instead to stay at the camp and wake up to observe the view from the rim at the camp.
Having said that, it is worth the effort and the panoramic views from the peak are spectacular.
If you wish to climb to the summit of Rinjani (3,726m) this requires a 3am start to be at the summit in time for sunrise. It’s a 5 hour round trip and the trail gets steeper as you climb, but the views from the top are worth the effort.
After breakfast at the campsite, trek for around 3 hours down steep rocky trails for a better view of the lake at 2,000 metres. Segara Anak crater lake is considered a spiritual place by many Balinese and on full moon nights locals visit the lake with offerings. Rising from the middle of the lake is the newly formed Mount Baru, which is a result of a series of eruptions, the last major one of which was in 1994.
Trek onwards to Gua Susu Cave. Another spiritual location, Gua Susu is a natural hot springs that is believed to have curative properties. There will be the opportunity to test out this theory on your tired muscles before enjoying a picnic lunch.
After lunch and time to rest, trek uphill for around 3 hours to the Senaru Rim and Plawangan I, your campsite for the evening. It’s a strenuous climb but you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the crater rim and the summit, Segara Anak Lake and the Barujari active cone. Enjoy dinner, prepared by your local team, before retreating to your tent for some much deserved sleep.
Overnight on Mt Rinjani.