Mount Rinjani is an active volcano on the island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. At 3,726 metres, it is the second highest mountain in Indonesia (excluding West Papua). On top of the volcano is a crater lake called Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). At the eastern edge of the lake is a smaller volcanic cone (post-caldera cone) called Gunung Barujari. The lake changes colour (steel grey, cobalt blue or green) with the direction of sun rays falling on it. At higher elevation, the mountain peaks, floating clouds, crater rim and lake combine to give one of the most spectacular scenery on earth. Mount Rinjani and its surrounding areas are projected by the Gunung Rinjani National Park. At 41, 330 hectares, it is slightly bigger than half the size of Singapore(714 sq km). Although animal sightings – apart from monkeys, are quite rare in the park, there are a few decent hot springs and waterfalls to dip in.
There are two main routes to ascent to the top of Mount Rinjani – Senaru Route and Sembalun Lawang Route. Both routes are named after the villages (Senaru Village and Sembalun Village) from where the trails start. Both routes can lead to the crater rim, lake and summit. Trekkers can either take the Senaru Route up, followed by the Sembalun Lawang Route down or vice versa. Depending on your interests, physical fitness and time, you can opt for the “summit trek” which covers cater rim and lake as well (3-4 days), the “crater rim and lake trek” (2-3 days) or just the “crater rim trek” (2 days).
Below are some of the possible treks:
For summit trek:
Sembalun Village > POS1 (Pemantuan) > POS2 (Tengengean) < Plawangan 2 (a.k.a crater rim 2) < Summit < Lake < Plawangan 1 (a.k.a crater rim 1) < POS3 (Mondokon Lola) < POS2 (Montong Satas) < Rinjani Trek Center (Senaru)
The other way round i.e. start from Rinjani Trek Center (Senaru) and ends at Sembalun Village (But with this option, you will visit the lake, crater rim 1 and crater rim 2 first before attempting the summit)
For crater rim and lake trek:
Sembalun Village > POS1 (Pemantuan) > POS2 (Tengengean) < Plawangan 2 (a.k.a crater rim 2) < Lake < Plawangan 1 (a.k.a crater rim 1) < POS3 (Mondokon Lola) < POS2 (Montong Satas) < Rinjani Trek Center (Senaru)
The other way round i.e. start from Rinjani Trek Center (Senaru) and ends at Sembalun Village
For Crater rim trek:
Sembalun Village < POS1 (Pemantuan) < POS2 (Tengengean) < Plawangan 2 (a.k.a crater rim 2)
- Rinjani Trek Center (Senaru) < POS2 (Montong Satas) < POS3 (Mondokon Lola) < Plawangan 1 (a.k.a crater rim 1)
We took a SilkAir flight from Singapore to Lombok in the late afternoon. Our flight landed at Bandara International Airport – a new airport which replaced the old Selaparang Airport, located 30 km south west of Mataram the provincial capital of West Nusa Tenggara. We were picked up by our mountain guide who waited for us at the arrival hall with a placard bearing my name. We boarded the agency mini-bus for our hotel – Lembah Rinjani – in Sembalun. The journey from the airport to Sembalun was 2.5 hrs. We eventually reached the hotel at around 10 pm with dinner waiting for us (before leaving the airport, our guide actually called the hotel staff to cook some simple dishes for us). After dinner, he briefed us on the trekking programme.
The hotel was clean with friendly staffs. But there was no hot shower and heater in the room. As it was pretty cold outside, definitely below 18 degrees Celsius, only one of us braved the cold shower. We slept at around 12 midnight.