Mount Rinjani Trekking – My experience 36

Lombok Island is popular destination for surfers and beach lovers but now only! Mount Rinjani Trekking is definitely the highlight worth considering. Of course, only for those who like to hike because this one is quite demanding. I will share my experience with you and tell you about the options for trekking Rinjani.

Mount Rinjani trekking – packages options

Rinjani crater during sunrise, sun. hitting the crater lakeFor me, Mount Rinjani was the most difficult among Indonesian volcanos I have climbed. The easiest are Bromo or Ijen, more difficult was Mount Merapi, but also because I have been hiking during the night. Mount Rinjani trekking was tough and I decided to skip 3 days trekking to the summit and went only to the crater.

First of all I have to tell you that there are two starting points available: in the village Senaru and Sembalum. Most of the times, tourists which plan to go to the summit, start from Sembalum and those who just want to reach the crater – from Senaru. Starting from Senaru is the easiest option available, so if you are not experiences hiker but you really want to see the crater, this is for you.

There are few packages available from the shortest, which takes 2 days to the longest – 4 days. Trekking which takes you to the summit takes 3 days, during which you will see the sunrise on Rinjani and have a chance to get down to the lake in the crater. There are also longer trekkings – 4 days, where you have more relaxing time at the lake and hot spring.

Trekking which takes 2 days starts from Senaru and takes you to the crater. However, there are 2 days packages to reach the summit and back, but it’s only for experiences hikers.

There are tons of agencies in Senaru which offer these packages. Options are various and sometimes include pick up from the airport, accommodation in Senaru and drop off. Tour includes a guide, porters carrying all the neccesary gear such as food, tents, mattresses, cooking equipment. You can also go to the Gunung Rinjani National Park by yourself, carrying your own gear.

My experience of trekking Rinjani Volcano

Trekking which I did was 2 days package, with night and sunrise on the edge of the crater. Myself, a guide and 2 porters carrying all the gear started to hike early in the morning. All the cooking was done on the way, when we were having little breaks. Everything was well organised. Going up was quite easy, the elevation is not so rapid, until you reach the last part. This one was quite tough because the little volcanic rocks were slippery and tricky. Moreover, it becomes very steep and tiring.

We reached the crater before the sunset so I could already see the lake, but unfortunately, not the sunset. There were plenty of tents around and lots of hikers. It took us approximately 7 hours to come up, pretty long way.

Here came the morning. It was quite exciting to wait for the sun rays to hit the lake. View was incredible and the feeling of being so tiny in front of this huge lake and powerful volcano was overwhelming. I was staring there for one hour or so, watching the sunrise, lake changing colors with the light and admiring nature.

After 8-9 am we started our way back and it was pretty quick, except the slippery part on the top. I was exhausted when we reached Senaru around 1 pm and couldn’t imagine myself doing the 3 days trekking. On the other hand curiosity for hiking up to the summit and spending more time around the crater would be fantastic. Well, maybe there will be next time!

Monkey at Rinjani crater, hiking rinjani volcano with a lot of trash and pollution. Responsible tourism and eco agencies.

Monkey eating leftover on the crater.

Mass tourism = mass trash

Rinjani summit Lombok Indonesia.As there is just one way to hike, it gets pretty crowded on the trail. Especially, because for every tourist there is 1-2 porters, so in the end there is a huge army going up and down. Apart from individual tourists, there are organised tours which are huge groups of 15 or so surrounded by same amount of porters plus guides.

I was terrified about the quantity of trash on the way. Honestly, it was pretty sad. Among all the trekkings I have done in Indonesia and complained a lot about the trash, this one was the worst. Apart from people dropping trash on the way, the biggest load of it is from the guides and porters cooking on the way. Some of them collect their trash, some not. Organic leftovers are thrown wherever for monkeys and other animals. So how does it look like?

The trail is full of plastic and bad smell form organic leftovers composting. There are no toilets on the way, so you can imagine that shit is everywhere as the crowd going through is pretty big. Honestly, you come for trekking to experience some nature and you just trip over trash and smell human shit everywhere. Some people don’t ever care to go to the bush and poo on the path.

As always when I travel, I put priority on choosing eco friendly tour agency, if possible. I had a great experience with jungle trekking in Sumatra with the eco tour and tried to find one for Mount Rinjani trekking. I was able to find one agency is Senaru, which has eco-friendly ideology about cleaning the jungle and preserving the forest. At least this is how their website looked like, but reality was surprising.

What makes them eco? I have been observing all the trekking and finally decided to ask. They told me that after camping or cooking they don’t throw the plastic trash to the bush like the others, they collect it… I was speechless. All my life, I have been thinking that that’s the normal thing all human beings should do. Does it mean that those who don’t pick their trash are monkeys? No. It means that standards and habits in Indonesia are far different from what Western world is used to.

During Rinjani trekking I was feeling like they are fooling me with being “eco”. I talked with the owner later on. Of course I didn’t say: man, it’s all bullshit with being eco. I talked politely, to give advice, to inspire. In conclusion, I will keep supporting eco-friendly initiatives even when the definition of ‘being eco’ is dramatically different. Why? More tourists will be interested in eco tours, more agencies will switch into eco-friendly tourism. This way standards will be improving little by little into more awareness about the environment protection.

All that being said, I would still recommend taking eco tours to make a step forward. Here, in Indonesia it’s a very small step, but every little matters when it comes to nature.

Mount rinjani trekking Lombok Indonesia.

Indeed, Climbing Rinjani is the main attraction on the Lombok Island and probably one of the most desided adventures in Indonesia. However, it’s not only Rinjani volcano but also stunning South coast of Lombok with it’s amazing beaches and cliffs. If you still have not enough rest on the beach after Rinjani trekking, come to little Gili Islands near Lombok, to experience a bit of paradise on Earth.

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36 thoughts on “Mount Rinjani Trekking – My experience

  • Alex

    It’s a tough thing to see. I remember being in Bali a few months ago and seeing the exact same thing. It was really hard to enjoy when you knew you were contributing to the problem.

    I think the biggest issue is that trash disposal is not as available there as it is in some other countries. We take our first-world systems for granted sometimes–there just isn’t the same infrastructure in Indonesia as there is in other parts of the world.

    Hopefully, with time, theirs will get better, as well.

    • Herman Trekker

      i am Herman From Rinjani Lombok.
      thanks for your good and complete informations about Our Mount Rinjani Trekking Activity. but i want to let you know about the new informations of Rinjani Trekking After Earthquake.
      Trekking to Mount Rinjani lombok after earthquake on 2018 have a different Standar Oprational Procedure from Rinjani National Park, that is :
      1 : hikers must use a Trek Organizer with guide and porter and not allowed to do hike without a guide because national park don’t want to take a risk during hike.
      2: ticket booking via online starting from 2020 and can order only to an official Trek Operator.
      3 : trekking durations allowed maximum 4 days 3 night and not allowe to make an additional day.

      and one more information that i have to tell to all people who would like to climb Mount Rinjani. this is about a ne w route/trek afrer earthquike. many route/trek was broke such as landslide etc and make a new trek harder then before.
      so..this is the best info about how to choose the best package options for beginner and expert hikers for trekking mount Rinjani.
      1.trek to the peak 3726m. recommended trek package for expert hiker is 2 days 1 night via sembalun with stay a night at crater rim before start to the top and back to sembalun after back from the top.
      trekking package reccomended for beginner hikers is do 3 days 2 night start via sembalun with add 1 more night after finish hike from the top and then back on the third day.

      2 : trek to the peak,lake and hot springs.(complete trek)
      trekking package recommended for expert hiker is 3 days 2 night via sembalun with stay a night at crater rim before start to the top and then continue go down to the lake&hotsprings and then continue go up to the second crater rim for stay in the second night and go down to senaru village.
      trekking package reccomended for beginner hikers is do 4 days 3 night via sembalun with stay a night in crater rim before summit trek and then second night at the lake and then third night at second crater rim Senaru and the last day go down to senaru village.
      ‘don’t try 3 days 2 night summit&lake if you are a beginner because you will not able to make a complete the trek”

      hopefully my informations will helpfull for everybody who would like to climb mt.Rinjani.

      thank you.

      Herman Trekker

  • Kasia

    This sounds like an amazing trek. There’s no way I could do 3 days though. It sounds grueling to do just 2 days. But I suppose the views are worth it right? So sad about the trash and the poop though. That’s unbelievable. Why would people do that? It’s for all of us to enjoy and leaving so much trash and feces tarnishes the experience. I hope something gets done about it.

  • Jennifer Prince

    That looks like an amazing place to trek! And what a shame about the trash. People are going there because of the beauty, yet they don’t leave it as is. Such a shame! I’m glad you mentioned that as it’s a reminder for all of us.

  • Alison Rost

    It’s so sad to hear about the amount of trash that’s in the place. It’s really heartbreaking because you see such a beautiful sight in front of you and then you see how much people don’t care about maintaining it. We should all learn to be responsible travelers and take that trash with us when we leave.

  • Elizabeth O

    It is such a shame that there is so much rubbish around the area, that really spoils the whole experience I bet! It still really looks lovely despite the letdown

  • Karla

    I totally agree with you! I always choose eco tours. I met some people who hikes mountains just to pick up all the trash left by other hikers. Travelers need to travel responsibly so we can preserve the beauty of the places.

  • Kris

    … przerażające jest to co piszesz. Overtourism i jego skutki… W tej sytuacji rezygnuję z powrotu na Lombok, żeby nie niszczyć wspomnień. Bo przed laty wspinałam sie na Gunung Rinjani i nawet nie wiedziałam co tam zobaczę, ale że wcześniej płynęłam ponad tydzień na pokładzie statku “Rinjani” – aż do Irian Jaya (Na wyspie Nowa Gwinea ) via Moluki, Sulawasi i nie pamiętam jakie jeszcze archipelagi – uznałam że pasuje wejść na ten wulkan.
    Szłam z Semeru, indywidualnie, bez żadnych kucharzy, przewodników, etc. I bez żadnych biletów wstępu. Miałam szczęście, bo mimo dość późnego popołudnia na obrzeżu krateru nie było chmur co pozwoliło zobaczyć z jednej strony jezioro z nowo tworzącym się stożkiem, zieleń lasu a po drugiej stronie w oddali Gunung Agung na Bali !! ( który dzięki temu widokowi stał się celem kolejnej wspinaczki ). Wąską stromą ścieżką zeszłam do środka krateru, nad jezioro, i tam zostałam na noc ( zawieszając hamak między drzewami. ) W nocy obudziło mnie chrząkanie – okazało się że w kraterze są ( a przynajmniej były ) dziki, które zainteresowały sie moimi butami. Na szczęście plecak zawieszony na drzewie był poza ich zasięgiem. Przed świtem zrobiło się bardzo zimno więc zdecydowałam się na wymarsz zwłaszcza ze najpierw czekało strome podejście z krateru na “rim”. N.B. W kraterze były też gorące źródła – ciekawe czy wciąż istnieją.
    Ciekawa jestem jak obecnie mają się inne wulkany Indonezji – np Kelimutu z jego 3 jeziorami każde w innym kolorze, Ineriye – święta góra lokalsów z Flores, Krakatau, sumatrzański Merpati

    • Time Travel Bee Post author

      Rinjani to jeden z najpopularniejszych w Indonezji i jestem pewna, że te mniej turystyczne mają się lepiej pod względem zadeptania i śmieci. Moja obecna podróż przez Kalimantan mnie przeraża doszczętnie jeśli chodzi o dewastację środowiska. Depresja.

  • Yannick Lombok

    Hello hello.
    Helpfull info and experienes.
    By posting your trek experience in Rinjani, there will be more trekker come to try Rinjani. It means we will have big chance to get more trekking job.

    I’m one of a Local trekking guide in Rinjani say many thanks to you.

  • Herman

    Crater Rim Senaru is the best spot to see an incredible view of Mount Rinjani at altitude 2641 meter above sea level, and become the best options for beginner and families Hikers,but i think the experience still not completed if you are not visit Segara Anak Lake,Hot Spring water and the Peak 3726.
    Let’s try in the next time 😊