At 3,726m, Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and it dominates the landscape of the relatively small island of Lombok. This is a very active volcano. There was a spate of activity from 1994 to 1995 which resulted in the further growth of the crater cone of Gunung Baru, since then renamed Gunung Barujari. The mountain has also climatic importance. Its peak attracts a steady stream of swirling rain clouds, while its ashes bring fertility to the island’s rice fields and tobacco crops. Inside the immense caldera, sitting 600 m below the rim, is a stunning cobalt-blue crescent lake, Danau Segara Anak.
First of all you need to decide how long for and high you want to hike. There are different packages and usually a trek to the crater rim involves two days and one night on the mountain. We’d chosen the 3 days-2 nights package which brought us to the top (summit). The best and least expensive way to organise a trip is to head to the Rinjani Information Centre that uses a rotation system, so all the local guides get a slice of the trekking purse.
What’s included in the trekking package? Food, drink and equipment / One guide and 2 porters (if you are minimum 2 people climbing to the summit). Hiking independently is prohibited (even though we saw many people doing it). If you manage to bring all your own gear from home you can book your own guide and porters (for about 13 $AUD per day)
Park Fee and Yransport: Entrance to Gunung Rinjani National Park is 15 $AUD and you register and pay at the Rinjani Information Centre in Sembalun.
So, all of these were included in our package and we paid 150 $AUD each for 3 days, so it was about 50$ per day. We started our trekking at Senaru and ended in Sembalun, but others did it vice-versa, it doesn’t really matter, it will be hard from both sides.
If you are an amateur trekker, is better to do the 2 days/1 night option from Senaru to the crater rim. Great view and still very hard hike! If you are experienced and a very adventurous person, opt for the longer one up to the summit. The view is simply amazing (especially after sunrise). I stayed on the summit just 20 minutes because it was too cold. The way back was also stunningly beautiful with the view of the small, but still active, Gunung Barujaru in the middle of the lake! Sleeping in the camp and waking up with an astonishing view….oh guys, I can’t explain with words… The only way to understand is to do it!! Definitely the best climbing ever!!
Read more about my whole experience in this post here.
Photo Credits: Davide Fancellu