Mount Rinjani Trekking begins in Senaru Lombok, a small mountainside village at the base of Indonesia’s second-largest active volcano, which is a whopping 3,726 meters above sea level.
Senaru is the main hub for anyone wishing to take on the Mount Rinjani challenge.
I have put together this complete guide of Mount Rinjani including how to get there, where to book a Rinjani trekking tour, and my personal experience.
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HOW TO GET TO MOUNT RINJANI
Arriving by boat from Bali to Bangsal Harbour in North Lombok, is the easiest jump-off point to then make the journey from Bangsal to the base of Rinjani in Senaru.
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It’s very easy to find a private taxi or a motorbike to rent at Bangsal Harbour.
Expect to pay around 400,000 IDR total for a private taxi to Senaru.
You can also rent motorbikes/scooters in Bangsal for approximately 60,000 IDR per day.
The distance from Bangsal Harbour to Mount Rinjani in Senaru is 60km and it’s approximately a 2-hour drive.
WHERE TO STAY BEFORE & AFTER
Blue Mountain Cottage is a small homestay in Senaru village which is the beginning point of the Rinjani trekking tour.
The a/c rooms are only 100,000 IDR per night. With two people to a room that’s the same price as a coffee where I am from!
The owner of the homestay was rather humorous and was tremendously helpful in organizing our Mount Rinjani trekking. At this point, I was super excited about our incoming adventure!
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WHERE TO BOOK YOUR MOUNT RINJANI TOUR
There are dozens of tour companies that can organize the Mount Rinjani trekking and they can be found in the main towns including Sengiggi, Mataram, Senaru, and Kuta Lombok.
If you arrive in Lombok by boat to Bangsal Harbour, you will most likely be smothered by the locals trying to sell you one of their tour packages. So the option is there if you do decide to organize and book your Rinjani trekking upon arrival to Bangsal.
However, from my experience, the best option is to find your way to Senaru, which is the village where most people stay before and after trekking Mt Rinjani. In Senaru you will be able to negotiate a price with any of the tour companies in the village.
Alternatively, you can book online in advance to guarantee a fixed price for your trek.
Conveniently for us, the owner of the Blue Mountain Cottage Homestay helped us to organize a 3-day and 2-night trek to Mount Rinjani.
After some haggling, we managed to get the price of the trek for a total of US $100 per person. This is inclusive of porters, food, water, tents, a sleeping bag, and an experienced tour guide.
On the way to the trailhead
MOUNT RINJANI TREKKING – DAY 1
The Mount Rinjani adventure began early morning when a driver and our guide met us at the homestay in Senaru to take us to the starting point.
We piled into the back of his ute and drove through some villages for around an hour before arriving at the official entrance office of Mount Rinjani National Park.
We had to provide our names and passport number as a safety requirement so everyone was accounted for at the end of the trek.
And then we were off. With a clear view of Mount Rinjani in the distance, I was anxious to see what surreal landscapes laid ahead.
The first three hours of the trek were quite mellow, and some thick fog made its way up the mountainside, cooling us down with its breeze. We stopped to rest for an hour while the porters were quick to whip up a big serving of nasi goreng for lunch!
The trek begins
Quick stop for lunch
Rinjani trekking tour
HIKING TO THE MOUNT RINJANI CRATER RIM
It was a further three hours of trekking through some slightly harder terrain before reaching the Mount Rinjani crater rim. This is where we set up camp for one night. Well, by we I mean the porters since they insisted on setting up our tents and preparing dinner for us!
We wandered down a ridge trail to find a good viewpoint for sunset overlooking Mount Rinjani and we were spoilt with an incredible view of the lake and another volcano inside the lake – volcano inception!
The sun was setting behind the opposite ridge from where we were standing, saturating the sky with bright reds and warm, delicate oranges.
Looking back at the campsite was an unreal sight of colorful tents perched on the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim of the. Talk about a room with a view!
Our guide informed us that we were to start the trek to the summit of Mt Rinjani at 2:30 am the next morning. So, we enjoyed our meal the porters prepared for us then made our way to the tents to rest up for the big finale.
Hanging out on the crater rim
Our campsite on Mount Rinjani Tour
Sunset on Mt Rinjani
MOUNT RINJANI TREKKING – DAY 2
Before I knew it I was being woken up by our guide, handing me a banana pancake through the zipper of my tent. It was 2 am and time to start the hike to the summit for sunrise.
One hour in and the five of us had already managed to have split up. I must admit, it was not an easy climb. The temperature was below freezing and the wind was howling across the narrow ridge that we had to walk across.
There were lava tubes and large rocks to take cover out of the wind to warm up. The last kilometer to the summit of Mount Rinjani was the most challenging as the ground surface was covered in loose rocks… I was literally taking one step forward, then sliding back down two steps.
The sun was just poking up over the horizon as I reached the summit three hours later. My fingers were frozen and I was struggling to take photos, hoping for the sun to warm me up soon. The five of us regrouped at the summit and we climbed down into the Mount Rinjani crater to get some shots.
It seemed the majority of other trekkers had already started to descend as the cold temperatures and strong winds were almost unbearable. We were the last group to descend from the summit of Mount Rinjani… but it was definitely worth spending more time at the top to witness the sheer beauty as the sun lit up the inside of the volcano.
Summit of Mount Rinjani
At the summit
MOUNT RINJANI CRATER
We arrived back down at our campsite on the crater rim at around 9 am. We had to eat breakfast quickly before making our way down into the crater towards the lake.
At this point, my leg muscles were tightening up, which was not a good feeling knowing we had another full day’s hike ahead.
2 to 3 hours later we made it down to Mount Rinjani Lake where there is a natural volcanic hot spring. We spent some time here to recharge our batteries, and to shower off the sweat!
Our porters once again prepared us some mie goreng noddles for lunch and then we set off to climb to the crater rim on the opposite side of Mount Rinjani lake.
The views on this side of the crater were spectacular. The blue lake was glowing and the dense jungle created a naturally moody scene. It’s hard to believe there was another volcano… growing inside a larger volcano… which was then surrounded by a lake. I felt like I was in a Jurassic Park movie set!
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The crater rim
HIKING OUT OF THE CRATER
We made it to the top of the Mount Rinjani crater rim 2 to 3 hours later, which is where we thought we were camping for the night… but it so happened our porters had continued on walking down to another campsite to set up.
We were pretty disappointed because we wanted to see the sunset from the Mount Rinjani crater rim, but we didn’t have much choice but to follow our guides to the next camp.
We trekked down for another 1.5 hours before reaching the campsite. Upon arrival, I was absolutely exhausted, so I skipped dinner and went straight to bed.
View of Mount Rinjani Lake
The trail down to the lake
MOUNT RINJANI TREK – DAY 3
The following morning was the last day of the trek and it was a beautiful walk down through the shaded forest. I spotted lots of monkeys swinging around impressively from tree to tree, wishing I could swing around with them!
The end of the trek ended at the road that lead us down to our homestay. We were all so hyped to have accomplished the 3-day Mount Rinjani trek and we tipped our guide and porters 50,000 IDR each for their efforts!
Like I said at the beginning of this article, we paid USD $100 per person, so expect to pay this amount or more depending on your budget and your negotiating abilities.
Alternatively, you can book online in advance to guarantee a fixed price for your Mount Rinjani trek.
Trekking Mt. Rinjani is one of the best adventures I have been on to date and it was a truly unforgettable experience!
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LONELY PLANET BALI
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about the Mount Rinjani Trekking please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.