Mount Rinjani trekking in Lombok is an epic 2 day/1 night adventure in Indonesia that should be on everyone’s bucket list! In this article, we share our experience of the 2-day hike, the best places to stay before or after the adventure, what to pack and our day-to-day itinerary.
Mount Rinjani is the world’s second-highest and still active volcano located in Lombok, a beautiful (and not yet overcrowded) island next to Bali.
Update: After the earthquakes in Lombok in August 2018, where most of the hiking trails of Mount Rinjani suffered damage. Since June this year, they have officially reopened the Senaru Rim trail again, which we did last month and described in this article. The path to the summit will remain closed until further notice.
Read also: Bali in 3 weeks: travel itinerary + tips
Getting to Mount Rinjani
Mount Rinjani, known as Gunung Rinjani in Indonesian, is located in the north of Lombok, a beautiful island next to Bali. Mount Rinjani is an active volcano and is 3,726 m high, which makes it the world’s second-highest volcano. At the top, you will find the caldera, which is probably 200 meters deep.
Getting to Mount Rinjani is quite easy. Depending on the islands you visit before in Indonesia there are different options. The easiest way is to book a flight directly to Lombok (which has an international airport) and then take a 2,5-hour ride to Senaru, the village where the Rinjani trek starts. If you are visiting Bali or the Gili Islands before, you can also take the fast boat or public ferry to Senggigi in Lombok. Check schedules and prices for all types of transport below.
Best time to hike Mount Rinjani
The best time to hike Mount Rinjani is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. In August and September, you’ll have the most chance for clear skies and best views.
Good to know: if you visit Lombok between January to March, hiking trails are closed which makes hiking Mount Rinjani impossible.
Where to stay to hike Mount Rinjani
The best place to stay for hiking Mount Rinjani is the village of Senaru. This charming little village with only one main street is packed with different hotels and hostels offering tours to hike Mount Rinjani. We stayed at Rudy Trekker, where we also did the trekking with.
The moment we arrived here, we never expected to have so much luxury. The spacious rooms are super clean, have a king-sized bed, a nice bathroom with a hot shower and the pool is just amazing. We highly recommend this place to anyone, they have such good reviews, all the communication before and during the trek was really clear and they do literally everything for their guests!
We ended up staying here 2 nights (one before the trek and one afterward) but could have stayed here longer, as you can do so many great things in the north of Lombok than only hiking Mount Rinjani.
Booking your Mount Rinjani trekking in advance
The best thing to do if you want to hike Mount Rinjani yourself is to book your trekking in advance. Out of the several tour operators, we booked our trekking with Rudy Trekker. We found this company by reading all their excellent reviews on Tripadvisor and can’t recommend them enough! What a memorable experience…
During our trek, we got a lot asked where we booked the tour with as we were almost the only two chilling in comfortable chairs and had the best meals we could wish for. (when you book let them know your allergies and dietary restrictions, they changed their whole menu and brought special snacks for us because we asked to have vegan meals) Rudy Trekker really made the difference.
They not only have the best equipment or making the best food, nope, they also have the most helpful and friendly crew, and they even try to make Rinjani zero-waste in the future by collecting all the trash on the mountain!
If you decide to book a Rinjani trekking adventure with Rudy Trekker, they will give you a 5% discount per person if you use our promo code when you make the booking!
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Rinjani Summit or Crater Rim trek: what are the differences?
There are two main options to hike Mount Rinjani: the Summit Trek and the Crater Rim trek. The Summit trek is a minimum of 3 days/2 nights, which brings you up to the summit at 3,726 meters. This trek gives you more time to spend on the mountain and the surrounding highlights. In contrast to the Summit Trek, the Crater Rim trek is only a 2 days/1 night trek which brings you up to the crater rim at 2,641 meters. From here you see more clearly the lake in the caldera, and the top of Mount Rinjani. The Crater Rim trek is an easier route, and on clear days you can even see the Gili Islands and Mount Agung in Bali.
Currently, the ONLY open official trail to hike Mount Rinjani is the path up to the Crater Rim trek which starts from the village of Senaru. (note: this article is written in August 2019. It’s possible that in the future they will reopen the trails to the summit too)
Hike Mount Rinjani: our 2 day/1 night experience
Since the earthquakes in Lombok of August last year, all the hiking trails of Mount Rinjani were closed for almost one year. Luckily, we were in Lombok at the right time so we were able to hike the crater rim of Mount Rinjani again. (official reopened since June 14, 2019) We signed up for the 2 day/1 night Senaru Crater Rim trek which started from the village of Senaru.
The 2 day/1 night Senaru Crater Rim trek took us to the crater rim on the Senaru side of the volcano. From here we had incredibly beautiful views over the lake and the volcano crater, we camped at 2,641 meters height and enjoyed an unforgettable sunset and sunrise. The trekking was quite heavy and sometimes a real mental and physical battle, but the moment we reached the crater rim, we forgot everything and got rewarded by the most stunning views ever. Mount Rinjani was definitely the biggest highlight of our trip in Lombok! Can’t recommend it enough to anyone searching to do a real epic adventure.
Below you can read our day-by-day experience of this 2 day/1 night Mount Rinjani trek.
The day before the trek
The day before you go hiking Mount Rinjani, we highly recommend you to stay in the charming village of Senaru. Senaru is not only the place where the Rinjani trek starts from, but there are also two great waterfalls to visit: Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile. We arrived in the early afternoon at Rudy Trekker, got a briefing about the trek, met our guide Agus and visited both waterfalls. (from here, it’s only a 5-minute walk to the entrance of the waterfalls and will take you around 2 hours to explore them both) We had some good local food afterward in the restaurant of the guesthouse, enjoyed a swim, and went early to bed.
Day 1 of the trek: from breakfast to lunch
Wake up call: 6 am. After having breakfast, we left our backpacks safely at the storage room of Rudy Trekker and drove for 5 minutes by car to the place where it started. The first 400 meters to the actual gate were already killing. A super steep, flat path to start with. After passing the gate (900m), we hiked for 1 hour through the rainforest until we reached our first short stop at Pos 1. (985m)
From Pos 1 to Pos extra (1165m) is another 1 hour and then finally at Pos 2 (1800m), which is also a 1-hour climb through the rainforest, we stopped for lunch. (Between Pos Extra and Pos 2 the path started getting quite steep) Our two porters and guide prepared a delicious lunch, gave us two chairs and a table to enjoy our lunch in a more comfortable way. (what a service!)
Day 1 of the trek: from lunch to the finish
After fueling our bellies, we continued our way to Pos 3 (2000m), which took us 1,5 hours through rainforest, mist, and clouds. We didn’t stop here but continued the path through open bush until we reached Pos 4 (2500m). It took us also 1,5 hours and at Pos 4 we had a short snack break. Afterwards it’s started to get really exhausting. Our final climb to the crater rim (2641m) took us 25 minutes but can’t even explain anymore how hard this “short” hike was.
They call this path the “killer hills” and that’s exactly how we experienced them too. However, the moment we reached the crater rim, we got rewarded by the most stunning views ever. (looked like we arrived in heaven) We found our tents already set up and got some banana fritters that our porters prepared. After stretching our legs, we prepared ourself for an epic sunset and night. Sweet dreams!
The night on the crater rim
The moment we arrived on the crater rim, we enjoyed one of the most epic views of Mount Rinjani, the lake and the caldera. We had dinner around 6 pm, watched an incredible sunset and after some stargazing, we went to bed. As soon as the sun sets, it gets really cold (freezing is even a better word) so we didn’t stay up much longer. Our tent was super comfy, with great mattresses and we got a warm sleeping bag too.
Day 2 of the trek
7 am wake up call. What a view when we opened up our tent! We slept surprisingly good (luckily we took some warm hats with us) and had breakfast around 8 am. The moment that the sun reached above the clouds, it started getting warm again. We took off our warm clothes and started hiking back. (this time with trekking poles which were also provided by Rudy Trekker)
It took us around 4,5 hours before we arrived at the place where we started. We stopped 2 more times for a short break and at Pos 1 we had lunch. Although we need to hike down and not climbing anymore, it was still very heavy and afterward quite painful in our knees. (completely different muscles) We arrived at 1 pm back at Rudy Trekker, where we literally did nothing else anymore but relaxing in our bed. We were so happy we booked one extra night, so we could enjoy a warm nice shower and didn’t need to go any further the same day.
What after Mount Rinjani?
The best thing you can do after climbing Mount Rinjani is to simply relax. Rest your legs and do nothing intensive anymore. We stayed 1 extra night in Senaru and the day after we went to the beaches of Kuta in Lombok. If you’re only visiting Lombok for Mount Rinjani (what would be sad as there is so much to do) you could easily make your way to the Gili Islands to get the perfect escape.
Packing list for Mount Rinjani
We recommend you to take only what you need and to travel as light as possible. If you go with Rudy Trekker you’ll have porters who will carry all heavy equipment for you. (like your tent, sleeping bags, food, and drinks)
Extra note: the porters carry all of this equipment with baskets on a bamboo pole. Some of them are wearing nothing more than some basic clothing and slippers. (or are even going barefoot) Bring some cash for tipping them afterward, they really deserve it! Unbelievable how strong these men are. And also shocking to see what they need to do to earn barely USD 250-300 a month.
But of course, you need some basic stuff for your Rinjani trekking adventure too. We listed below what we packed and can be easily stored in a small daypack:
- 1 pair of comfortable hiking shoes (we had running shoes and were great too)
- 1 pair of slippers
- 2-3 t-shirts (dry-fit ones are the best)
- 1 long pant + sweater for the night
- 2 pair of shorts
- 2 pair of good socks + 1 pair of woolen socks for the night
- fresh underwear
- 1 windproof jacket
- gloves + hat for the night
- small towel
- toiletries + toilet paper
- lip gloss
- flashlight or torch (iPhones are doing fine)
- camera + drone
- reusable waterbottle
- plasters + some standard medicines like pain killers
- extra: some cash for tipping your guide + porters (around IDR 50,000/ day for the porters + IDR 100,000 for the guide)
Some final words
As you can read in this article, we were so happy we booked the Mount Rinjani trek with Rudytrekker. We chose the private one and the best thing about it was definitely our personal guide, Agus. He made this experience truly unforgettable! He stopped whenever we wanted to break, always asked if we were fine, and gave us the right motivational talks when needed it the most… the best guide we could have wished for! But besides Agus, we also want to say thank you to Rudy, Antok and the two porters. (sorry forget their names)
You guys are the best and couldn’t have taken better care of us! Seeing and listening to your stories about how the earthquakes last year caused so much damage and what you did to rebuild everything… How you support the locals with incentives to try to make Rinjani zero-waste, just heartbreaking! We love you and can’t wait to come back one day again.
Tip: If you decide to book a Rinjani trekking adventure with Rudy Trekker yourself, don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter and get 5% discount on your booking! Click here to sign up and get our promo code with the 5% discount code straight into your mailbox.
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