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Towering over the island of Lombok, the colossal Mount Rinjani, also referred to as the Gunung Rinjani in the local language, is the second-highest volcanic mountain in Indonesia. With an elevation of over a whopping three thousand and seven hundred meters above sea level, the mountain looms large over the entire island of Lombok and is one of the most popular treks all over the world.
Even though the climb to the summit is not easy and often exhilarating, the breathtaking panoramic view from the top is unforgettable. With thousands of vibrant purple flowers and bright green bushes that grow on the rocky black soil on the summit, the mountain is home to nature in its purest form. Being a part of the renowned ‘ring of fire’, the Gunung Rinjani is also of utmost spiritual significance for the residents of Lombok. In fact, the very name of the mountain is said to come from the archaic Javanese term which may be translated to ‘God’.
A trek to Mount Rinjani is not for the faint-hearted travellers or amateur hikers. Lush with tall trees and sprinkled with steep waterfalls, Mount Rinjani draws in enthusiastic people in large numbers to itself every day. Inside the huge, gaping crater of the mountain is an active volcano, known as the Mount Barujari, which often emits thick clouds of smoke in the air. Right at the bottom of this crater resides a tranquil lake shaped like a crescent, with cool, turquoise waters, known as the Lake Segara Anak.
Beginning with a climb of about one thousand and five hundred meters, the trekking route of Mount Rinjani covers a distance of over eight kilometers and lasts for a minimum of two days. During the latter part of the trek, the levels of elevation of the mountain undergo rapid and incessant transformations, which lead to an increased difficulty while climbing. In addition, the trail maintenance is almost non-existent, and the trekking route is quite sandy, as well as slippery, while at the same time, exceedingly steep.
The trek on the second day usually begins in the late hours of the night, so that one may reach the summit before dawn and take in the mesmerizing view as the sun rises against a backdrop of a beautiful blend of dark gray and vermilion. During the climb up to the summit, one has to experience another elevation gain of about one thousand meters. The route continues to get narrower as well as more slippery with the ascent.
After reaching the summit, the trekkers climb down the Mount Rinjani, which seems to be equally difficult. Since it is quite steep, descending the mountain requires almost equal strength as well as balance as is needed while climbing up.
Primarily, there are two different starting points to climb up Mount Rinjani, namely, the quaint village of Senaru or Sembalun.
Located in North Lombok Regency, Senaru lies at a distance of about two hundred and seventeen kilometers from Denpasar and may be reached in around seven hours by private transport via Lembar – Padang Bai.
From Lembar, Senaru lies at a distance of about one hundred and nine kilometers and one may reach the latter in around three hours by private transport via Jl. Raya Bayan.
Located in North Lombok Regency, Sembalun lies at a distance of about two hundred and twenty-two kilometers from Denpasar and may be reached in around seven hours by private transport via Lembar – Padang Bai.
From Lembar, Sembalun lies at a distance of about one hundred and sixteen kilometers and one may reach the latter in around three hours by private transport via Jl. Raya Mataram – Labuhan Lombok.
The only mode of public transportation is the taxi.
Even though it is not really impossible for a person to trek Mount Rinjani without a professional tour operator, it is highly unlikely. Keeping in mind the difficult routes that lead to the summit of the gigantic mountain, trekking without an expert is thoroughly discouraged. If you still decide to climb up Mount Rinjani alone, you shall be required to sign in at the main office stationed at the entrance of the Mount Rinjani National Park and pay the quoted entrance fee. However, if you do not wish to face any inconvenience while trekking, you may book a tour operator in order to help you through the journey as well as provide you with all the required amenities.
One of the most reputed trekking operators in Lombok is the Rinjani Trekking Planner, also referred to as the Hajar Trekking. Mainly dealing with personalized and customized itineraries, this operator includes all the necessary equipment for both the novice as well as the experienced trekkers. In addition, all your belongings, except for your backpack, are carried by a local porter to make the journey more comfortable for you.
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