A Mount Rinjani trekking tour is not for novice hikers or casual travellers. But if you’re ready for an epic 3-day journey to the summit of the second highest volcano in Indonesia, here’s everything you need to know before you go.
At 3,726 metres above sea level, Mount Rinjani looms large over the entire island of Lombok in Indonesia. Of the 130 volcanoes in the country, Rinjani is the second highest (topped only by Mount Kerinci on Sumatra). Rinjani’s ominous silhouette is a constant reminder of the powerful forces rumbling just beneath the surface of the earth.
That power is what draws hundreds of intrepid hikers to Rinjani every day.
Why Do A Rinjani Trek?
The tough hike to the crater rim is rewarded by absolutely magnificent views.
Rocky black soil at the summit drops off into a lush valley filled with purples so deep and greens so bright they don’t look like they should exist in nature.
Lake Segara Anak, nestled in the bottom of the gaping crater, is a deep turquoise, echoing the spectacular colour of Lombok’s seas. On the edge of the lake sits an active volcano, Mount Barujari, which steadily spews threatening clouds of smoke into the air.
And at night, the sky is blanketed with stars so thick they look painted on.
While the views inspire awe, the most compelling reason to trek Mount Rinjani is to challenge your body and your mind, leap firmly out of your comfort zone, and be able to shout “Hell yes, I did it!”
If that sounds good to you, read on for everything you need about…
How To Plan Your Epic Mount Rinjani Trekking Adventure
Could You Handle A Rinjani Trek?
As it turns out, trekking Rinjani is hard. Really freaking hard.
The Rinjani trek starts with a climb of 1500 m over 8 km. Most of that elevation change takes place during in the final 4 km, which take about 4 hours.
Yep, that’s just one measly kilometre an hour.
To make matters more difficult, there is next to no trail maintenance, so the route is sandy, slippery, and ridiculously steep.
Unless you’re a trail running hero or an actual superhero, be prepared to have your will and your body pushed to their limits on your way up Mount Rinjani.
And that’s just the first day.
The second day starts in the middle of the night, so hikers can summit for sunrise. To get the summit, there’s another 1000 m of elevation gain, along a narrow trail of slippery loose scree. It’s cold up there, too. The temperature hovers around freezing.
After all the climbing, the descent should be a relief? No… Instead, it seems to go on for days, requiring every ounce of hamstring strength you can muster, plus knees of steel, and an excellent sense of humour.
If you come away without any scraped knees or sore muscles, you’re definitely part mountain goat!
So, could you handle trekking Rinjani? Yes, Read on 😉
>>> What Are The Options For A Rinjani Trekking Tour?
Sembalun Or Senaru: Where To Start?
There are two main points of entry to Rinjani National Park.
You can ascend from the village of Sembalun or from Senaru. On three- and four-day hikes, you depart from one village and descend to the other.
Note: If you want a more off-the-beaten track experience, book a private tour and ask about one of the less-used routes, like the trails from Aik Berik or Torean.
>>> How Many Nights on Rinjani?
Three Days, Two Nights
The most popular option (and the one we recommend) is the 3-day, 2-night trek. This gives you just enough time to climb to the summit and also visit the crater lake and hot springs. If you’re in no rush, consider the 4-day, 3-night option, which goes to the same locations but provides a little more free time to relax and enjoy Mount Rinjani.
Two Days, One Night
The 2-day, 1-night tour from Sembalun includes the option to summit at sunrise. If you’re in amazing shape and love to punish your machine, go for it! Otherwise, take pity on your poor body and give yourself more time on the mountain.
The 2-day, 1-night trek from Senaru takes trekkers to the crater rim opposite the summit. This is the easiest (not to say that it’s easy) of the Mount Rinjani trekking options. You don’t get near the summit or the lake but it does provide incredible views of the crater. If you think you can’t handle a longer trek but still want to experience Rinjani, this is probably the best option.
Be aware that “one night” or “two nights” refers to number of nights on the mountain. Most Rinjani trekking companies encourage you to spend a night in Senbaru before the tour to get an early start. This hotel is often included in the price, but be sure to check!
Private Tours and Hiking Rinjani Without A Guide
While it is technically possible to trek Mount Rinjani without a tour or a guide, it is actively discouraged both by the government and the community. Unless you are an extremely experienced hiker and have hiked in the tropics before, don’t even consider it. If you’re injured on the mountain without a guide or porters, you’ll be in some serious trouble.
If you do decide to trek Rinjani independently, please sign in at the park office and pay the entrance fee.
What’s The Food Like On A Rinjani Trek?
On Rinjani, you get a heaping plate of fried vegetables, tofu and tempeh, a pile of freshly cooked rice crackers, all the rice you can eat, plus a massive fruit plate for dessert. And that’s just the vegetarian option!
Where Do You Sleep On Rinjani?
You’ll sleep snuggled in a tent at a campsite on the crater rim or by the lake.
What Does A Rinjani Trekking Tour Cost?
There’s a huge range of prices for trekking Rinjani, depending on which company you go with, where and when you book, and which tour option you choose. Prices are quoted anywhere between $80 and $450 US for similar tours.
We selected tours for our guest that has the best price/quality/service for both our guests porters and environment.
Please: Avoid the cheapest companies, as many don’t provide essential services like an experienced guide, good sleeping bags, garbage pack-out,…
>>> What’s Included On A Mount Rinjani Tour?
- One English-speaking, licensed, experienced guide
- One porter per person in your group
- Meals, snacks and water
- Tent and sleeping bag
- Transportation to and from SAME SAME or any town on Lombok
- Transportation between Senaru and Sembalun
- Hotel stay in Senaru the night before the trek
>>> Other Essential Questions To Ask About Your Rinjani Trekking Package
What do the porters carry? Usually, hikers carry all their personal items (clothes, toiletries etc) and the porters carry food, water and camping equipment.
What to do with garbage? You are going to go through a lot of food and water on the trail. Do not dump or burn it on the mountain. There is a lot of garbage on Rinjani – please don’t add to it!
>>> Tips For Trekking Mount Rinjani
Be prepared. The trail will probably be harder than you think. Take your time, stopping every few steps to catch your breath if you need to. If you just keeping taking the next step and then the next, you will eventually make it to the top.
Be OK with not summiting. Don’t be ashamed to say “no” to the sunrise summit trek. Plenty of people don’t go up! If the first day nearly killed you, stay in your tent and rest. There is plenty of exciting hiking to come without risking injury or exhaustion just to see the summit.
Don’t get too cocky on the descent. The trail down is steep and precarious. It’s easy to slip and fall and even easier to injure your knees. Just because the porters are running down the trail in flip-flops doesn’t mean you have to do it too!
Be respectful. Try to stay aware on the trail, even when you’re exhausted. Let faster hikers go by you and always move over for porters. Remember, they are working while you are there for fun!
Don’t add to the Rinjani litter problem. It’s no secret that there is a lot of garbage on Mount Rinjani. Bring a ziplock bag with you and please pack out your own toilet paper, baby wipes, cigarette butts and other personal garbage. If you want to do more, bring a garbage bag and pick up rubbish along the trail.
>>> Rinjani Trekking Packing List
Bring as little as possible. If you think you’ll survive without something, leave it behind! You’ll regret the extra weight when you’re on your 1200th metre of ascent for the day!
- Hat, gloves & scarf (it’s very cold at the top)
- Good hiking shoes (running shoes with good grip are OK)
- Headlamp (for the night hike to the summit)
- One/two t-shirts
- One pair of shorts
- One pair of long pants
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Lip sunscreen
- Socks & undies
- Swim suit
- Tiny towel
- Base layer (it gets freaking cold at the summit)
- Baby wipes
- Soap or hand sanitizer
- Flip Flops ( give your feet a rest in the evening )