One of the treks to climb Rinjani in Lombok is via Sembalun District. This ascent point is chosen not because of its easy trek, but because of the beauty along the way to the crater of Rinjani. Sembalun and the surrounding area is definitely a great tourist destination on its own.
Sembalun’s fame keeps rising in the last few years, mainly because local people and government proactively help the tourism grow. Located in the northern slope of Lombok, Sembalun is easily accessible with the elevation of 800 to 1,200 above sea level. Here are some of the wonderful place you can find in Sembalun.
Selong Hill is a lovely vantage point, overlooking a small plateau. The plateau is divided into smaller colorful fields, creating a peaceful scenery along with the hills at the background. The management of Selong Hill has made a wooden platform to enjoy the panorama at the top of the hill. There are several points that you can access in this hill, providing different angles for the picture you will definitely want to take.
Bukit Pergasingan is almost similar to Selong Hill albeit they are a couple of kilometers away from each other. Pergasingan Hill overlooking not only colorful fields but also the picturesque Sembalun Lawang village. The main difference is that you can camp in this hill and enjoy the lovely night scenery from the village and the stars above.
Literally means Big Village, Beleq is the first village in Sembalun area. Interestingly, there are only seven traditional houses in this ancient village. Each house has two Gelang (a chamber to keep the homeowner’s wealth), Bale Malang (worshipping place), and a Pasek Gumi (sacred stone). There are also two smaller structure called Lumbung or Geleng where the villagers keep their rice or corn.
Pusuk Sembalun Park
Pusuk Sembalun was originally just an unofficial rusting place for drivers who were battling with the challenging roads in this area. The place become more and more popular. Now it is a very popular place for youngsters to gather, especially during weekends. Many communities also hold their activities here. You can see a lovely forest and savannah panorama as well as the charming Sembalun Lawang village.
Umar Maya Waterfall
This waterfall is located in Bilok Petung village. This small waterfall is accessible as the road infrastructure is already good. The drop is only 6 meter high, but Umar Maya has a wide pond with blue tinged waters. You can swim here just don’t drink the water as it is sulfuric.
Sembalun is just one of several wonderful places on the foot of Mount Rinjani. Its mountainous landscape provides wonderful panorama in almost every part of it. When you want to climb Rinjani, you might to seriously consider take the Sembalun ascent route. You will find lovely traditional villages, colorful fields, and beautiful vistas all the way to the top of Rinjani.