The highlight of our stay on Lombok was the hike to the over 3000 meters high Mount Rinjani. It was the highest point we have been during our two-week-long backpacking Indonesia, and one of the most spectacular places we have been to. Let us tell you about our experience, the trail, and we will share some practical tips too.
Choosing the right Mount Rinjani guided tour
Several companies offer mostly 2-day and 3 day-long treks to Rinjani. If you never did a multi-day hike or slept in a tent, we’d suggest you opt for the 2-day long version, unless you feel very fit and sportive. I’m sure your accommodation can assist you with the tour, but if you want to ensure you get a place on the desired day (or your stay on Lombok is limited, you can book the tour in advance as well).
Make sure you read the reviews or the description of the hike before booking. Personally, we didn’t check it online and let our accommodation to arrange one, and we weren’t completely satisfied.
Be smarter than us and choose the tour and book it in advance. The companies generally provide tents, sleeping bags, and food, so you just need your snacks and extra water – besides your hiking clothes.
Self-guided hike to Rinjani
It is possible to do the hike on your own of you have a proper gear (we didn’t have tents), but be prepared that the tour guides will be quite aggressive and do everything they can to sign you up on a tour.
Two days long hike to Rinjani volcano
We chose the two-day long version as our time was limited, and it offered the hike up to the rim and down to the crater lake (which sadly did not happen in the end).
The trail to the top of mount Rinjani
The path is wide but very busy. We were there in July and it seemed like everyone else would like to do the hike at the same time. At least 4 other groups were ascending at the same time as we did. The trek is simple for experienced hikers, but you’ll need to climb still quite high. If you aren’t used to hiking similar distances or hiking in high mountains, the trip can be rather challenging.
The biggest difficulty for me was neither the distance or the elevation, but the humidity. Hot and humid climate surrounded us as long as we walked in the rainforest. I don’t think I ever get used to trekking in the tropics.
The crater lake and the rim
Once the vegetation (at least the trees) were behind us, the rim of Rinjani appeared, so did the clouds. It was still a bit of climbing before we reach the top and had a glimpse to the lake down below. Descending and exploring the crater takes at least an extra half a day.
The volcano wasn’t active at the time we were there, and the clouds sadly sat all over the crater, but the view was still spectacular from the top! Our photos don’t show well the real beauty of the place as the camera had some difficulties in the high humidity, so let me find you some better pictures.
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What to pack for the hike?
- Layered clothing
- Good hiking shoes
- Snacks and drinks – you will get a meal from your guide (but check that beforehand!)
Wildlife on Mount Rinjani
If you stay quiet and still (for example during meals) you will see plenty of birds and monkeys around you. We haven’t noticed anything more dangerous, but it doesn’t mean there are enough snakes or spiders.
Best places to sleep before and after the hike
Most tours offer transfer before the hike so you can freely stay anywhere on the island. For affordable luxury Seven Heavens Residence is a perfect choice! Check their prices here!