Are you ready to push your limits and go on an epic adventure on your holiday? I love islandlife: walking around in flipflops and board shorts but the memories that stick to me the most are the ones from the mountains! I added another epic experience to my long list as lately I have been climbing Mount Rinjani in Lombok, one of the highest peaks in Indonesia.
Mount Rinjani blog
I already briefly wrote about it in my Weekly Adventures | Magic Mushrooms & Mount Rinjani blog, but in this blog I will give you a complete review about my adventure up in the mountain, tell you about the best trekking company and give you some vital Mount Rinjani trekking information about what to bring, which tour to take and how easy it is… ;)
Mount Rinjani Trek reviews
Arriving in Lombok
We were picked up from the port in Bangsal after two days chilling and partying in Gili Trawangan, an island just offshore from Lombok. The local boat that cost 15.000 ($1,20) took is in 20 minutes to Lombok and we were greeted by Jou from Jou Trekking Rinjani. We were driven up to slopes of Mt. Rinjani were we spent the night in a lovely lodge in Senaru. At dinner we were briefed about our upcoming adventure and we went through all the necessary gear we had to take along or actually all the things Jou had to prepare cause of course I didn’t bring anything. Come on I was on an island hopping Indonesia adventure and I didn’t bring any climbing gear! :) Jou was amazing and made sure we could borrow long pants, beanies, gloves, torches and even a warm jacket. Thanks mate for providing all this, great service!
These girls looked better prepared than me! :)
Day 1: camping on the crater rim
The next morning we were transported from Senaru to Sembalun where our Mount Rinjani trekking started. We first had to register with the authorities (included in the tour package) and we met our guide Ronny and his two porters. These three super friendly guys and me and my friend formed a team of 5 only as Jou Trekking opts for small groups with a maximum of 3 trekkers per guide. I felt sorry for the porters as they were carrying 40KG on their backs climbing Mount Rinjani. All the food, cooking materials, snacks, drinks, chairs and other camping gear was brought uphill by them. I only took a backpack with some extra clothes, toothbrush and my camera gear, that was it! More on what to bring later in my Mount Rinjani Trekking Information paragraph.
We headed towards the crater rim where we would spend our first night. The beginning was very chilled with paths in the open fields that slowly brought us higher up on the mountain. We stopped several times and I ate a lot of chocolate bars provided by our guide. Not only because they were delicious but also because it would make it lighter for our porters. Every chocolate bar counts if you are carrying your own bodyweight on your back!
Somewhere strategically we stopped to fuel our bodies and our porters that went up way faster than us already prepared a delicious lunch. After we digested the food with some fresh fruits we got up and the real shit started. Our Mount Rinjani trekking had started: no more inclined paths, from here we started to gain some serious altitude meters.
It was definitely not an easy walk uphill through the forest plus it got misty. Around 4pm we reached the rim of the crater where the porters already set up our camp. We had dinner with gorgeous views. After sunset we quickly moved to our tent, as it was getting cold and dark fast. An early night as we had to get up at 2.30am for our hike to the summit.
Day 2: Summit Trek
It was pitch black when a torch shined right in my face: good morning! Damn that was a short night. I couldn’t sleep till 11.00. It was a little chilled at first then it was too hot, no it definitely wasn’t my best sleep although the provided mattress was really comfy and the sleeping bag definitely kept me warm. But lets do this...
Straight from the start it was a serious climb towards the rim of Mount Rinjani. It was busy as the path is just wide enough for 1 person and about 100 people have to take the same route. That seems too busy but as it was getting harder the other trekkers were quickly becoming motivators and great companions, all about positive vibes up in the mountains. The hardest part was yet to come as the path changed into small volcanic stones and pebbles and we reached an altitude of 3400 meters. Three steps forward, one sliding back: it was a very challenging climb. To be honest I never felt anything of the altitude and thin air. It was very much a mental issue and this got even worse when the clouds rolled in and we slightly got wet. The view was gone so why was I going up? I forgot my gloves and damn that really got me! I wasn’t cold at all, I was climbing in shorts and wearing the provided jacket but my hands felt like they could fall off every moment. I couldn’t really put them in my pockets either as I needed my arms to balance on the very rocky path.
Day 2: Downhill to the crater lake of Mount Rinjani
Where am I? Is this Hawaii or may be Canada? Damn this was probably one of the most amazing views I have ever witnessed! A lake surrounded by a wall of mountains with in the middle an active volcano, it looked surreal! Everything around was so green it looked like a fairytale and it was hard to image I was in Indonesia. The climb downhill was probably one of the best things in Lombok so far but damn this was not an easy path. My legs were sore already from 7 hours walking yesterday and my summit attempt this morning, but I took the time to admire this absolutely stunning scenery!
Day 2: Uphill to the crater rim again
Exhausted but accomplished we reached the crater lake where we were having lunch, but not before I took a dip in the hot springs just around the corner. WE had to fuel up because this was not our end station; we still needed to climb two hours up to the other side of the crater rim where we would camp. In total that we hiked that day for about 10 hours and about 2.500 altitude meters, but when I reached the crater rim and saw the magnificent view of our camp in the clouds I took everything for granted. Our porters and our Mount Rinjani trekking guide were provided excellent service and prepared another delicious meal for sunset.
Lombok, the Gili Islands and Bali in one picture.
Day 3: walking back to Senaru
From here it was all the way down back to Senaru to complete the circle. I decided to leave our guide and Ruben and run down with 2 other fit guys, making this a crazy trail run through the tick forest. Within 2,5 hours I got back to Senaru where normal people take about 7 hours to complete this trek. Running down was crazy and exhausting but so much fun. I was happy to be back and crash at Rinjani Lodge, an incredible place on the slopes of Mount Rinjani overlooking the valley all the way down to the ocean.
Day 4: Tiu Kelep waterfalls
Not part of the Mount Rinjani trekking but an amazing additional activity and one of the best things to do in Lombok is to visit the Tiu Kelep waterfall. From Rinjani Lodge it is just a 20 minute walk through the jungle to get to this amazing waterfall.
Mount Rinjani trekking information
The best way to see mt. Rinjani is to opt for the 3d/2n trek. This way you camp on the crater rim on the first day, climb up to the summit, descend to the crater lake and camp on the other side of the crater rim on your second day and hike down to Senaru on the 3th day. If you read Mount Rinjani trek reviews not saying anything about the difficulty of this climb they are lying! This trek is very challenging and although I am pretty fit I definitely suffered. I can understand that you don’t have all the time in the world, but you can do the same route in a 4d/3n trek. If the summit is covered in clouds I would only go up until you reach the clouds, the views are magnificent, but if it is cloudy there is no point going on apart from saying you stood on the highest point in Lombok. Temperatures during the day are bearable, but be prepared to sweat. As soon as the sun goes down it gets really cold so make sure you have a warm jacket, definitely for the summit trek during the night. I did not wear long pants and hiked all days in short jeans. I was never cold, but what I really missed climbing Mount Rinjani was gloves, damn my hands were almost falling off it felt like. Other important things to bring along are sunscreen and lip balm.
Best Rinjani trekking company
I obviously can’t tell you what is the best Rinjani trekking company as I only hiked up to the summit once so far, but what I can tell you is that I was super satisfied with the Rinjani trekking service provided by Jou Trekking. They picked us up as soon as we arrived in Lombok, provided accommodation the day before the tour and even offered to show us the Tiu Kelep waterfalls. His groups are small and what I really valued was that he provided all the gear for climbing Mount Rinjani. Jou provided everything I was not carrying with me. A tip that you won't read in any other Mount Rinjani trekking guide is to bring earplugs. All tents are clustered up on the mountain and you hear everything that is happening in surrounding tents and believe me you don’t want that… :)
After climbing Mount Rinjani we spent 3 nights in the amazing Rinjani Lodge, on the slopes of the mountain. With two infinity pools overlooking the valley all the way down to the ocean and amazing views over the highest peaks in Lombok this place is the perfect stop when you get back from a trekking adventure. I couldn't walk properly the next days, I was so sore, so chilling out here was the best option! Take a look at the best rates for Rinjani Lodge here.
I hope you liked my Mount Rinjani review and can make good use of the information I provided. If you decide to go for it, enjoy it. It definitely is one of the best things to do in Lombok I know for sure it will turn into a lifetime memory. Let me know how it was…
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Interested in more blogs about traveling in Indonesia?
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Enjoy traveling in Indonesia, it is a magical country!