Anyone visiting Lombok island, Indonesia, will notice a looming mountain dominating the island’s landscape. Lombok island is only slightly smaller than Bali, yet almost half of its land area is occupied by Mount Rinjani (Gunung Rinjani). The volcano is 3,726 m in height.
It is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, after Mount Kerinci in Sumatra. The Segara Anak Lake situated at one of the Mount Rinjani’s ancient craters. Is famous for its ocean blue water that contributed to its name- Child of The Sea. Mount Rinjani constant volcanic activity also forms several hot springs around the lake.
These natural pools are popular not only among trekkers. But also among locals, since they believe in the hot springs’ healing properties. As for flora and fauna, Mount Rinjani hosts unique biodiversity since it’s located in a transitional Wallacea region.
Australasian bird species such as cockatoos and green hanging parrots are a common sight. They live side by side with animals whose origin is the east of the Wallacea line, such as monkeys and porcupines. The park also has a unique species. In 2013, Rinjani scops owl is recognized as an endemic species which only can be found in Lombok Island.
Mount Rinjani Trekking
A complete 4 days and 3 nights trek will include two nights camping. At the crater rims as well as the summit. Hikers will also spend a night camping right at Lake Segara Anak. There are two villages from which hikers can start the trail, Senaru Village and Sembalun Village.
The trek usually starts from one of the villages and ends at the other. Nature does not design Mount Rinjani for beginners hikers. Rinjani invites those who are more experienced. A certain level of fitness required, as well as a strong mind and spirit. It is a journey not only to quench an adventure thirst, it a test.
After certain elevation, the humidity in the tropical lowland non-exist. Temperature can go as low as 4 C. The terrain is extremely challenging as 50 degrees climb. Pushing the body to its limit. The last trek to the summit keeps getting harder. With a kilometer of continuous climbs on a steep terrain.
The rewards for such a rigorous hike is diverse views offer by Mount Rinjani. Hikers will pass a recently restored traditional village. Who inhibiting an ancient caldera called Sembalun Lawang. Dark and dense forests are the early sight for hikers who depart from Senaru.
Where long-tailed macaque monkeys accompanying along the journey. At one point climbers will also pass through savannah grasslands, waterfalls, a sea of volcanic sand, and rocky canyons. But the summit waits with its special vista. Expect for a breathtaking sunrise.
After the sun is up, the spectacular view of Bali Island and Java sea seen from above the clouds. Below, the crescent-shaped crater lake sits magnificently with its deep turquoise water. The new mountain, called Gunung Barujari, stands beside the lake, still growing.
Mount Rinjani Crater Lake And Hot Springs
Descent toward Segara Anak lake is the second most difficult challenge after the climb to the summit. At 2000 m elevations, the lake provides rocky and strenuous trek going down. Sharp sulfuric rocks demand more of climbers’ concentration. Even with full focus, it’s hard to pass this trek without some scratches and bruises.
By the time visitors reach the lake, tired hikers will find the hot springs just minutes away from the lake. The 40 C temperature of the hot spring provides a natural spa treatment for the aching muscles.
Enjoy the hot bath while mesmerized at the sight of Segara Anak with its still waves. At night, the sky exhibits a clear view of million shining stars. The view will make anyone reluctant to leave the next morning.
Trekking To The Crater Rim
For those who are not able to do a full trek of Mount Rinjani, an easier option is available. A two days one-night package might be the convenient option. Where visitors hike only to the crater rim.
The hike is about 7 hours and hikers will spend overnight by the viewpoint, overlooking the lake. In the morning, hikers will wake up over an incredible sunrise and a sweeping view of the lake and the summit.
The Sasak People
Called the guardian of Mount Rinjani, Sasak people is worth for a visit. They lived in villages around the mountain, some still in their traditional thatched houses. Their culture is one of a kind. Due to a long history of conquest and occupation, Sasak culture is a mix of cultures from Hindu, Budha, Islam, and Balinese.
As visitors walk through the village, visitors will be able to see its unique culture. Within the villagers’ daily life. Balinese style rice farming, with Subak irrigation system and rice terraces, is applied on the rice paddies. Some of the villagers still practice the old religion, Wetu Telu, which is a blend of Hindu and Islam.
Around November and December, tourist can participate in an amusing tradition called Perang Topat. It is a fun sticky rice food-war between the Hindus and Muslims. To celebrate tolerance and people living harmoniously between the two religions.
Aside from the culture, Sasak delicacies is another thing to experience. Go to the modest food stall nearby and enjoy a bowl of Gule Lemak. A savory curry-like chicken soup. A vegetable dish called Kelor goes well with Ayam Taliwang.
A grilled chicken sauteed with chili sauce. For dessert, try Lapis – it is a sweet sticky cake made from rice flour and coconut milk.
Mount Rinjani Trekking Trails
Either going to the top, the crater rim or Segara Anak Lake. There are only two trails. Either coming from Sembalun Village and end at Senaru or vice versa.
Sembalun Hiking Trails Itinerary
- Mataram to Sembalun (4-5 Hours Car Transport)
- Sembalun Lawang – Summit (± 7 Hours)
- Sembalun Lawang to Segara Anak Lake (8-10 Hours)
Senaru Hiking Trails Itinerary
- Mataram to Senaru (3-4 Hours Car Transport)
- Senaru Gate – Segara Anak Lake (7-10 Hours trekking)
- Segara Anak Lake to Pelawangan Sembalun (4 hours)
- Pelawangan Sembalun – Summit (2-3 Hours)
Mount Rinjani National Park Opening Hours
There are no official opening hours to visit Mount Rinjani. However, visitors are required to pay the permit/entrance fee before hiking. The best time to hike Mount Rinjani is during summer. As during monsoon, January to March, Mount Rinjani is closed for trekking activities.
|Mount Rinjani Opening Hours|
|Mount Rinjani||00:00 – 23:59 WITA|
Mount Rinjani Entrance Fee
The permit cost to hike Mount Rinjani is Rp150.000 for foreigners. This entrance fee goes directly for the maintenance of Mount Rinjani trek and some portion goes to the local community. Register and submit the application directly in Rinjani National Park office in Mataram. Hikers can also register in Rinjani representative office in Senaru Village or Sembalun.
|Mount Rinjani Entrance Fee|
|Rinjani Trekking Fee||Rp150.000 / person/day|
Lodges are available in the village of Sembalun and Senaru nearby the entrance to Mount Rinjani trail. The villages also have plenty of restaurants offering local specialty. When trekking, tents are the accommodation for the night. As for toilets on the mountain, some tour companies provide toilet tents for better privacy.
How To Get To Mount Rinjani
Praya Lombok International Airport makes it possible for tourists to arrive by plane from Indonesia’s major cities. A public ferry is available from Padang Bai Harbor, Bali to Senggigi, Lombok with tickets around IDR 36,000.
Another faster option for the slow ferry is by fast boat services, but tickets can be more expensive, starting from IDR 250,000 for a one-way ticket. To reach Mount Rinjani National Park, visitors need to go to the village first, either Senaru Village or Sembalun Village.
To get there, the most popular transport is rental cars (cost around IDR 400,000 for a 7 seat car). There are also local public car transports called “engkel”. It’s cheaper but takes longer time than renting private cars.