The world is waiting | Mount Rinjani
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Mount Rinjani

At 3,726m, Mt Rinjani is Indonesia’s second highest volcano and often deemed the most beautiful of all. But it is not an easy hike. Stretching over 3-4 days, it’s a tough yet rewarding journey that takes you through rolling hills, starry skies, waterfalls and a stunning crater lake at the top that sits another miniature volcano within.


There are several options to climb Mt Rinjani. You can choose to start from Sembalun Village and hit the summit first before ‘relaxing’ later, or vice versa (starting from Senaru Village instead). We chose the former, trekking over 4D3N in order to have more time at the hot springs / swimming in the lake.


Our itinerary…


Day 0: Arrive Lombok, overnight in Pondok Senaru Chalet

Day 1: Start at Sembalun, camp at Sembalun Crater Rim

Day 2: Summit attack (3am), head down to camp by Crater Lake

Day 3: Chill at lake/hot springs before going up to Senaru Crater Rim for sunset and overnight

Day 4: Descend


Mt Rinjani route


With 7-8hrs of hiking on Day 1, a good night’s sleep is essential. Thankfully, we had a cozy hotel in store for us. After 3.5 hrs drive from the airport, we arrived at Pondok Senaru.



Pondok Senaru chalet – couldn’t ask for more.


The next morning, we were greeted with fresh mountain air and a clear (but daunting) view of the majestic Mt Rinjani, waiting to be conquered.



Rinjani beckons


After a hearty breakfast (and about 45min drive), we arrived at our start point – Sembalun Village!


The first part of the hike was an easy and enjoyable one, walking through gentle slopes through the savannah grasslands. Definitely deceiving of what’s ahead to come.



The scenic rolling hills make the climb more bearable


Just watch out for cow dung littered along the way… And the occasional cow that crosses your path.



Holy cow!


Before we knew it, it was time for lunch at POS II! All of a sudden, the area was teeming with life as different trek groups lay their mats, while porters chopped vegetables, set fire and whipped out frying woks.


Our lunch was so good, we felt almost embarrassed comparing to other trek groups. Firstly, our porters had set up 4 picnic chairs for us to sit on while everyone else sat on the ground. Then, hot tea was served in tin cups, followed by a full-blown 3-course meal with salad, mains and fruits. No kidding; we were served white rice with fried chicken and sunny side up – even garnished with a delicately sliced tomato in the shape of a flower!


Anyway, it’s good we loaded up on calories. After POS II, the hike starts to get steeper…



Up up up


…and even steeper from POS III onwards (at 45-50 degrees upwards)



Lending (taunting) a helping stick


Imagine our relief when we (finally) arrived at our base camp on Sembalun Crater Rim.


By that time, our efficient porters had already set up our tents and their makeshift kitchen to whip up a sumptuous dinner.



Chilling with hot tea on the crater rim


We had goreng pisang to whet our appetite before curry with rice was served. Surely a yummy way to load up before our summit attack at 3am tomorrow!


RudyTrekker dinner

Yum 🙂


Note: Don’t forget your headlamps! It’s pitch black after the sun goes down. Headlamps, and our hiking poles, are two unlikely essentials which can make or break your trip.


And so…. it was an early night in preparation for our summit attack at 3am next morning!


Summit Attack


This is the hardest part of the trip. It’s dark, cold and very very steep. Layers I put on: thermals, t-shirt, fleece, windbreaker and leather gloves.


With higher altitude, the terrain transforms dramatically. All of a sudden, we find ourselves trudging upwards in loose sand, sliding down with each attempt to move forward. The only thing to be seen at first are tiny dots of light (other headlamps), lining our path ahead. And then slowly, the sky lights up and we make out the faint silhouette of the peak.


Halfway through, a sliver of orange appears across the horizon. We stop in our tracks and watch the sun rise above the sea of clouds. On our right, the crater lake comes to life. The sun casts an orange hue over the landscape and the shadow of Mt Rinjani’s peak onto the sky.


Rinjani dawn

First light



The sun rises over a sea of clouds over the sea below



The landscape lights up slowly




When we had enough of the sunrise (and breather), we continue to make our way up – sun in the sky and summit in sight.


The peak looked deceivingly near but we took almost an hr more to conquer the steep, sandy terrain to the top.



Here’s how our route looked like


Of course…. we made it!


Rinjani summit

Hello from the top of the world!



The other side


Oh, that euphoric feeling of standing on top of the world! Nothing beats standing right at the edge, looking far and wide, wind in your face.


I’m glad we never gave up. This is what makes the climb worthwhile 🙂


And this was only the beginning… We had 3 more days of adventure ahead. It was time to descend; the gorgeous lake awaits.


It’s crazy how we managed to scale this



One last look at the crater lake before we go down


Next: Segara Anak, Child of the Sea (Rinjani crater lake)



  • J

    Hello. Read your post on your Rinjani climb. Amazing photos! May I ask when you went as I’m thinking of going next year. Cheers

    April 4, 2016 at 10:14 am
  • This was the first time we go to Indonesia. As being trekking-lover, we were all impressed after seeing a picture of Mt Rinjani in Lombok. We decided that our honeymoon will be celebrated in our unique way: to conquer ourselves the way to Mt Rinjani. For any couples of friends, together trekking a challenging routes to Mt Rinjani might be the most memorable time. And we started looking for an agency for our Rinjani trip – This is how we met Lun Expeditions and his team~

    I started to search on internet in Trip Advisor, via friends on facebook. I sent email to some agency to quote price and I found that Lun Expeditions have a very competitive price. Lun Expeditions team have full options for shared package and private package. So we think: why not give a try for such a good price like this? We talked with Mr. Lun some weeks before the trekking and he always reply us very quick. He is passionated about Mt Rinjani and he loves the mountain very much.

    Before the trekking we decided to get a lot exercises. Maybe we can share some tips for your preparation as belows:
    1. We run 5 kilometers non-stop to train our durability. You may also bring a pack of 4 kilograms and walks for steep road about 10 kilometers a day. Be prepared that you must walk on steep road at least 15 kilometers per day. If you could do this with no or less tiring, you are really fit for the trekking.
    2. You need a really Good Shoes. You can better try on the trekking shoes and go for hiking, jogging in botanical gardens and parks to test the shoes. If bring bad shoes, your legs will soon be hurt and very tiring all the way. It will be like tortures rather than enjoying the beauty of trekking.
    3. You may bring 2 pairs of gloves so that in case of slippery or steep road, you can do rock-climbing. The road is quite muddy or dusty on some difficult parts, so better prepared.
    4. Bring your own tissues for hygiene. But please collect your own rubbish after uses to keep cleanliness on Mt Rinjani.
    5. Bring warm and light jacket. The way to summit at 2 a.m is sooooo colddd. But dont stop, keep trying and walking slowly. Once you stop you might get cold, but if you keep going, everything will be alright. When the sun has risen, temperature will go up quick and the scenery is gorgeous.

    When we arrived at Lombok airport, the driver of Lun Expeditions has already waited us. It took 2.5 hours driving from Airport to Senaru village. When we get there, Mr. Lun already there and he showed us the detailed map of the route from Senaru to Sembalun. This route is quite challenging and tiring, but is more beautiful and refreshed.
    On the 1st day, we go inside the jungle from Senaru village and reach the camp at 4 pm, enough to see a beautiful sunset at our camps on the mountain crater while the porter cooked dinner for us. The road is continuously steep so after the 1st day, some people will feel hurt legs. While staying in our camp, we can have hot tea or coffee whenever we want and the porters and the tour guide Mr. Adis helped us a lot. Food is so yummyyy.
    The 2nd day is the long walk from the crater to the lake and then go up to the camp site at 2700m. The road has lots of rocks so still easier for rock-climbing.
    The 3rd day might be the most difficult and challenging day. We get up at 2am, have a light breakfast and then go to the summit. The road to summit is very slippery, so you must be careful. When we back to the camp, we had one more breakfast and then go down from the crater to Sembalun village.

    I think we are lucky that we have an exceptional good price and services of Lun Expeditions. After 3d2n, we have been immerged in the beauty of Mt Rinjani. Lun Expeditions do a really good jobs. I just want to say thank you to all Lun Expeditions team. The food is so tasty, the guide and porters helped us a lot and every members always treat us so warmly and welcome. Very highly recommend Lun Expeditions team to all trekker. Mt Rinjani is a real challenge and a true beauty in Lombok. Youmust definitely go to Mt Rinjani and book tour with Lun Expeditions team !

    August 11, 2016 at 6:29 am
  • Thank for great reviews.

    September 14, 2016 at 3:32 pm
  • Highly recommend for rinjani trekking team and trekking company in Senaru north lombok. Specialy and truely love our adventure experience in mount rinjani lombok indonesia.

    We are four person #chun ley, wang pay fey peen and me just come back from our adventure to Mount Rinjani and relax now cuple days on the kuta lombok nearly international port in lombok islands. We ve booked the tour with small trekking company but was helpful and simple person, what was a very good decision. The hospitality and service of Lun Expeditions and his team was overwhelming. On the evening before we started the trek we were invited for dinner in Lun ‘ house. We got a delicious traditional meal and heard many interesting, funny and exciting stories about Rinjani and the trek, so we could wait to start our adventure. The trek was quite hard, especially the way up to the summit, but our guide Awink was making a very professional job and he and the porters made everything to make our adventure as comfortable as possible. Lun expeditions is using a menu card on the tour, so we could choose of a multitude of meals and were everytime suprised with another fantastic meal. All other trekkers we met on the way have envied us for our fresh fruit and soft drink, the excellent food and the great service of our team. When we came back from the trek, Lun the owned of company was already waiting for us and brought us to his house, where we could refresh and rest, before we left Senaru. For us “Lun expeditions” is simply the best organiser and we would recommend everybody to book his Rinjani trek with this company.

    The point program she have zero trash” removed the rubbish in the areas mount rinjani and with honestly mind we love to help team to makes clean and Rinjani from the thousand of visitor in national park mount rinjani. Our guide” awink ” say lun is the owned give them extra payment for porter and guide for bring back the plastics garbage from mount rinjani. This program is helpful for all visitor and great example for another trekking operated. We love to join again this adventure in next summer holiday probably with all of my parents.

    November 18, 2016 at 4:19 pm
  • This was nice information about mount Bromo.
    And if someone love to hike mount rinjani Iin lombok could you find our info. At Lhuna Adventure

    November 24, 2016 at 5:23 pm
  • Nice blog. I love to reading it.

    February 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm

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