For mountain climbers, Lombok’s best offer is Mount Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia. Rinjani is on the northern part of Lombok and has been established as a National Park covering a total of more than a hundred thousand square kilometer.
Rinjani is an active volcano, so climbing this majestic mountain can only be done when the local authorities give a green light. From time to time, Rinjani still erupt though in the last decade or so, the eruption were small ones. So here’s what you need to know before climbing Rinjani.
Three Starting Points
You can start your climb from three villages; Senaru, Sembalun, and Benang Stokel. Senaru is by far the most popular ascent route in Rinjani. Mountaineers usually ascend in the morning or early afternoon.
The hike from this point is less strenuous compared to other starting point. You initially will go through a rainforest with wild animals and the vegetation is getting thinner the higher you go.
The second ascent route is Sembalun Lawang, through beautiful grassland and wonderful panorama. However, this route might require you to s climb a rather difficult route near the crater. The third route is from Benang Stokel, a waterfall. This trek is almost similar to Senaru, but with more waterfalls along the way.
Rinjani has a very large crater area, approximately 50 square kilometer. The view from the crater rim alone is wonderful but you need to go even closer to fully appreciate this place. This crater is filled with a lake called segara Anak which has natural hot spring.
On the one side of the lake, a new cone peak is forming, locals call it Gunung Baru. Many Balinese and Lomboknese Hindu believes that this place is sacred and they do an annual ceremony here.
This has nothing to do with hiking, but Rinjani has many waterfalls in its slope. In the northern slope, there are Tiu Teja and Tiu Sekeper waterfalls. In the western part of the mountain, there are Titian Batu Kawangan, benang Kelambu, Yarn Nets, and Lantan.
To the south, there are Lembah Rinjani and Jeruk Manis. Interestingly, there is no notable waterfall on the eastern slope of the mountain. If you ascend from Benang Stokel, you can see three waterfalls on your way to Rinjani Crater.
Rinjani also has many caves. The most famous one is Goa Susu (Milk Cave), a cave with many mouths on a cliff. People likened this cave with milk because the color of the opening is similar to milk because this cave has natural sulfuric hot spring. You can even bathe in the pond within the cave if you want to. There are still several other caves like Taman, Manik, and Payung.
Rinjani is one of the most climbed volcano in Indonesia. You will have to pay about IDR150,000 to enter this National Park. The climb can be hard and strenuous, but it will be rewarded immediately along the way and definitely at the crater.