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Lombok, Indonesia

Mt Rinjani Trek

Mt Rinjani is one of the most challenging and beautiful treks in Southeast Asia. A trek to its summit (at a height of 3726m) takes you up into shape-shifting clouds, where you camp overlooking the serene beauty of the volcano and its surrounding turquoise lake. The climb is challenging, so it's important to take a good (or even great!) guide who will make sure you're well taken care of during the climb. The providers listed here not only have the best guides around, they're very eco-conscious as well - they will take care of the volcano as well as they take care of you!* *Note that the lake routes for Mt Rinjani are still closed and may remain closed until 2020. The other routes aren't affected.

All of our providers will pick you up from anywhere in Lombok. If you're looking to go to Mt Rinjani directly, the nearest airport to Mt Rinjani would be Lombok International Airport (LOP), then taking another 2.5 hours over land to Senaru or Sembalun village where you would start the trek (these are the two possible start points). You may also arrive from some of the other popular stops in Lombok such as Kuta Lombok (about 4 hours drive to the starting point) or Gili (about one hour and a half drive to starting point).

Some of the blogs have mentioned that there is a common pool of guides which are shared between the operators so it's not important which provider you use. Although that is true for some of the providers, the providers that we have listed here are the best in Rinjani and train up their own guides. Having done the trek, we can vouch that the providers here do take impeccable care of their guests - by providing excellent food for every meal during the trek (even bringing cold beer up to the summit for you!), securing the best camp areas for you to get the best view, bringing thick, warm sleeping bags, providing all the gear that you need, and providing a toilet tent so you can use the toilet in (relative) comfort. So if you would like to experience the best guides Mt Rinjani has to offer, we would highly recommend one of the providers listed here.

The trek is moderate to difficult so you'll need to be in good shape. You don't need to have done many mountain treks in the past but you should be used to a few days of fairly unrelenting physical activity. The trek to the summit for sunrise is the most difficult as it is a few hours of trekking with small volcanic gravel underfoot, which means that for every two steps forward that you take, you will be sliding one step back. This can be quite punishing on the knees.

You should do the trek from April to November. The mountain will be closed during the other months of the year.

As the trek starts first thing in the morning, the options all include an extra night's stay at the base of the mountain prior to the trek. There are 2, 3 and 4 day trekking options - which means you should plan for 3, 4 or 5 days respectively for the trip to factor in the extra night's stay.

What’s the difference between standard/deluxe? The difference between standard and deluxe are largely in: quality of accommodation the night before the trek, quality of camping equipment (whether you get a larger tent, thicker mattress etc) and the quality of food. All the providers here are the best Mt Rinjani has to offer - they are very environmentally conscious and take great care of their guests, so the standard trips are offered to a high standard. That said, if you would like to make your trip up Mt Rinjani very special or you simply want some pampering when facing the challenges of the mountain, we would highly recommend the deluxe trip! What do Sembalun and Senaru mean? Sembalun is the savannah terrain (less rocky but more open and exposed to the sun) whereas Senaru is the rainforest terrain (which tends to have large rocks but has the forest canopy overhead to shelter you from the sun). Our option names indicate which terrain you will be starting from. If you decide to do the Summit & Lake trek, you will be trekking up via Sembalun and you will be trekking down via Senaru. This means that you will have a slightly less punishing final day without the sun beating down on you. If you do the 2D Senaru trek, then you will be trekking up and down via the same Senaru terrain, which is more scenic and has canopy cover overhead. Should I choose the Summit, Summit & Lake or other trek? All the options will allow you to enjoy the beauty of Mt Rinjani as they include camping overnight at Sembalun Crater Rim which is incredibly picturesque (and is also the first picture you see on this page). If you would like to experience everything the mountain has to offer, pick the Summit & Lake trek – the 4 day option will be less punishing than the 3 day option and will give you more time to enjoy the surreal beauty of Mt Rinjani. Summit or not? To be honest, the view at the summit is not more spectacular than the view at the Sembalun Crater Rim, so the summit is just an additional challenge for those who crave it, being the most challenging part of the trek. If you crave a challenge, the 2 Day Summit (Sembalun) option will be right up your street but that will give you less time to simply enjoy the mountain as the trek will be pretty relentless. How about the Lake? We really like the lake because that gives you a different vantage point to admire the scenery at Mt Rinjani, and it’s just a nice place to soak your feet in the water and relax. The water is pretty cold so swimming in it isn’t for the faint hearted but it’s a good option for those who would like to freshen up a little after the trek! The lake is also close to the hot springs so if you make it in good time, you can trek to the hot springs to enjoy a nice hot soak to relax your muscles.

Due to the increase in visitor numbers to Rinjani, there has been an increase in the rubbish left by trekkers at Mt Rinjani - an issue that has been documented frequently in traveller reports about the mountain. When we visited Mt Rinjani, the issue seems to have gotten better with tighter policies being imposed by the authorities but it is up to every traveller to play their part. The providers we have listed here all have good reputations for being very eco-conscious and are deeply committed to resolving the rubbish problem on the mountain. If you do choose to go with another provider, please do ensure that the provider that you choose is eco-conscious.