hiking mount rinjani

Hiking Mount Rinjani Indonesia: A Travel Journal

Hiking Mount Rinjani is definitely one of my best hikes here in Indonesia. It’s challenging yet rewarding, especially with the beautiful view of Lake Segara Anak.

Mount Rinjani is located in Lombok, Indonesia, stands high with the elevation of 3,726 meters above sea level, making it the third highest mountain in Indonesia after Mount Jayawijaya and Mount Kerinci.

Hiking Mount Rinjani is pretty popular since it’s not so far from Bali.

There are quite a number of tour providers that offer multiple day hikes to Mount Rinjani.

When is the best time to visit Mount Rinjani?

The best time to hike Mount Rinjani is between May – July when the weather is pleasant.

Keep in mind that this volcano is not only popular for foreign hikers but also locals, so expect it to be crowded especially during high season (mid august during independence day or new year’s eve).

It’d be more quiet during Ramadan month as the majority of the locals are Muslim and celebrate it.

There might be occasional closure due to the volcano activity so always check the latest update.

While occasional light showers are normal, the temperatures during this time are generally pleasant.

However, as you ascend to higher altitudes, it can get quite chilly, with the lowest temperatures reaching around 5 degrees Celsius.

Peak Mount Rinjani
Peak of Mount Rinjani from Sembalun

How to get to Mount Rinjani?

The best way and the fastest way would be flying straight to Lombok International Airport.

Flights are pretty cheap, especially if you’re flying from Bali – it should cost you less than USD 100 for a one- way ticket.

Most of the tours will start from Senaru Village which is around 3.5 hours from the airport.

You can arrange airport transfer to the basecamp with your tour company, or else you can hire a taxi from the airport which will cost you around Rp 500,000 – 700,000 to Senaru / Sembalun.

Otherwise if you’d like to take public transportation, you can take a bus from the airport called Damri to Mandalika Station then continue by a small van to Sembalun, the starting point of the hike.

Some accommodations to check if you’re staying in:



How long does it take to climb Mount Rinjani?

There are two most common routes to start hiking Mount Rinjani, Sembalun and Senaru.

If you’re pretty flexible and not worrying about the time, I’d suggest you start from Sembalun and finish at Senaru.

Ideally, it’ll take 4 days to complete the trek from Sembalun to Senaru, although most tour operators squeeze it in 3 days – it would be pretty challenging in my opinion, and believe me you wouldn’t want to miss the experience of camping by Lake Segara Anak cause the morning view is spectacular!

The Sembalun route kicks off on a positive note with a gradual ascent, surrounded by vast savanna hills. In contrast, the Senaru trail takes you through a forested path.

The reason why I prefer going up from Sembalun is you’ll do the hard work first going to the summit then you can relax down at Lake Segara Anak.

On the other hand, if you start from Senaru. You’ll go to the lake first, then hike up to the summit. I think it’ll be more tiring and you’ll have to spend time and energy.

Can you do it in one day? Yes, you definitely can but you will only get to the crater rim, not to the summit.

Do I need a guide to climb Mount Rinjani?

Lately, the Indonesian authorities have implemented regulations that mandate trekkers to be accompanied by a licensed guide and sometimes also require the use of porters for environmental and safety reasons.

This is to ensure the safety of trekkers, protect the fragile ecosystem of the national park, and support the local economy by providing employment opportunities to the guides and porters.

If you’re not taking a tour, the cost of guide would be as follow:

  • Guide: Rp 350,000 / day
  • Porter: Rp 300,000 / day

Trekking tours in Mount Rinjani

If you engage with tour operators, you basically just need to pack your personal stuff as most of the camping gear would be provided by them.

You need to check whether the price that you pay includes the trekking permit because some operators do not include it in the price.

The permit to enter Rinjani National Park is Rp 150,000 / day.

This is what the tours will offer you:

Mount Rinjani Trekking Tour 1D Package
Price: USD 75 / person
Route: Senaru – Senaru Crater Rim – Senaru

Mount Rinjani Trekking Tour 2D1N Package
Price USD 150 / person
Route: Sembalun – Summit – Sembalun

Mount Rinjani Trekking Tour 3D2N Package
Price: USD 200 – 300/person
Route: Sembalun – Summit – Senaru or vice versa

Mount Rinjani Trekking Tour 4D3N Package
Price: USD 300 – 400 / person
Route: Sembalun – Summit – Lake Segara Anak – Senaru or vice versa

Again, the price depends on if you wanna do it privately (normally minimum 2 pax) or joining a group tour.

These are the services you can expect if you join a trekking tour:

  • Round-trip transfers to and from your hotel in Senaru Village
  • Meals and beverages during the trekking day
  • Trekking equipment: tent, sleeping bag, bed mats
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Porter
  • Insurance provided by the operator


Itinerary hiking Mount Rinjani

In total it took me 4 days hike in the mountain, here’s my itinerary:

Day 1: Starting the hike from Sembalun

Upon our arrival in Sembalun, we embarked on our Mount Rinjani hike.

You’ll eventually reach the registration post in Sembalun, where you’ll need to process your climbing permit.

Each day only 160 hikers are allowed to climb.

The trek featured gentle slopes rather than steep inclines, characterized by expansive grassy hills.

Along the way, we found an abundance of water sources in Rinjani, with water available at every checkpoint.

However, the cleanest water source we encountered was at the third checkpoint.


Day 2: Post 3 – Plawangan Sembalun

We began our hike at 9 am, crossing a challenging section known as Bukit Penyesalan or the “Hills of Regret.”

The terrain became increasingly steep, earning its name as those who traverse it often express a sense of regret.

By 1 pm, we reached Plawangan Sembalun, the gateway to the summit and a popular camping spot for trekkers before the final push to the summit.

Here, we found a natural water spring, and the view of the lake from this last checkpoint was simply stunning.

Read also: An Adventure to Snow Mountain Taiwan, Second Highest One!

trekking mount rinjani
Hills of Regret
Plawangan Sembalun
Reaching Plawangan Sembalun
hiking mount rinjani
Segara Anak Lake from Plawangan Sembalun

Day 3: Summit attack – camping at Lake Segara Anak

Heading for the summit was quite an adventure. Fortunately, we had a full moon to light our way.

The moonlight danced on the lake’s surface, creating a stunning, radiant spectacle. It was truly breathtaking!

Sadly, my camera couldn’t do justice to the moment.

We commenced our summit ascent at 2 am.

The hike was quite exhausting due to loose rocks and sand underfoot.

It felt like taking one step up and sliding down slightly.

Still, it wasn’t as challenging as Mount Semeru.

The most demanding part was the section known as “Letter S,” just before reaching the summit.

The conditions were cold and windy, and it became even more challenging to take each step.

sunrise mount rinjani
Sunrise on the other side making a shadow on the lake

We finally made it to the summit, and the timing couldn’t have been better as the sun was just emerging. It was a moment of gratitude to have reached the peak.

During our ascent, we mainly encountered foreigners; there were fewer Indonesian hikers, possibly due to the fasting month.

We savored our time at the summit, capturing numerous photographs. The high altitude made it quite chilly up there.

While we had a view of the lake and the crater, I must admit it wasn’t the most spectacular sunrise I’ve ever witnessed.

The presence of surrounding cliffs somewhat obstructed the sunlight, casting shadows over the lake.

hiking mount rinjani crater
The crater

We descended directly to the lake at 1 p.m.

By 4 p.m., we arrived at Lake Segara Anak and took a well-deserved break.

This serene spot offered access to both a freshwater spring and a soothing hot spring. I indulged in a rejuvenating soak, and it felt like heaven!

Afterward, we enjoyed a meal of freshly caught fish from the lake, engaged in pleasant conversation, and took some time to rest.

Day 4: Lake Segara Anak – Senaru

The morning was absolutely enchanting, and words can hardly do it justice. Take a glance at the photos, and you’ll understand.

This place in Rinjani is an absolute must-visit—it’s a realm of pure beauty!

Lake Segara Anak
Lake Segara Anak in the morning

Regrettably, time was not on our side, so at 10 a.m., we began our descent.

Or so we thought. In reality, we had to ascend once more to reach Plawangan Senaru.

This unexpected climb was exhausting and put a damper on my spirits. We were supposed to be going down, but instead, we had to climb up again.

After an arduous hour and a half of climbing, we finally arrived at Plawangan Senaru.

From there, we descended, passing through the sandy terrain and into the forest.

By 5:30 p.m., we reached the base camp, Jebah Gawa. Only a few elderly folks, a granny and grandpa, were present at the small traditional store (warung).

We decided to spend the night here as there were no more public transportation options available. The only challenge I faced was with my camera.

I had to ensure it had enough battery and memory, so I could only capture a limited number of photos.

Originally, we had plans to visit the waterfalls at the foot of Mount Rinjani—Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile Waterfall.

Unfortunately, time constraints prevented us from doing so.

We returned to Mataram using public transportation and joined the hiking community for another round of breaking the fast.

We engaged in lively conversations, sipped on brem (a traditional drink made from fermented rice or sago), which warms the body and can be quite intoxicating if consumed excessively.

Hiking mount rinjani
The way up to summit
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One response to “Hiking Mount Rinjani Indonesia: A Travel Journal”

  1. HaLoMi Trekker Avatar

    wow look amazing! sounds great adventure, the pictures is amazing, especially pictures of Mount Rinjani.

    amazing post

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