Mount Rinjani Trekking: Everything You Need to Know

By Joery Schotanus

Find that one special trekking

For years a Rinjani trekking has been a popular outing for backpackers who want to sweat out some of the party liquids they have been enjoying elsewhere in South East Asia. Trekking on the second highest volcano in Indonesia has been on the bucket lists of plenty of backpackers and visitors to Indonesia. Mount Rinjani, in Indonesian known as Gunung Rinjani, is an active volcano on the island of Lombok in Indonesia.

Mount Rinjani Height

Mount Rinjani is 3,726 m (12,224 ft) high and on the top, you can find a 6-by-8.5 kilometer caldera, which presumably is 200 meters deep. For the Sasak tribe and Hindu people, the mountain is sacred and religious activities are often done on the mountain. Rinjani, however, receives the most attention from trekkers.

Rinjani Volcano - An Active One

Every year, thousands of people find their way to Gunung Rinjani National Park and trek to the crater rim of Gunung Rinjani or find their way to the peak. For years the mountain provided a living for many people on the lower slopes; in the villages of Senaru and Sembalun, plenty of people make their living from the trekkers and backpackers who have found their way to this side of Lombok.Being an active volcano, the trails to the peak have been closed from time to time. It wasn’t however until the morning of the 29th of July 2018 that all the Rinjani trails were closed for what felt like an endless time. The long wait is over! Are you ready to conquer Mount Rinjani?

Rinjani Summit or Crater Rim Trek - The Differences

There are two main options to consider when you are interested in a Mount Rinjani trekking. When doing your research, you will read the words Summit Trek and Crater Rim again and again. The differences are not always as obvious as they may seem. The Crater Rim is at an altitude of 2,641 meters and from here you can see Segara Anak, the lake in the caldera, and the summit of Mount Rinjani clearly. The Crater Rim trek can be comfortably done in two days and one night. It is the easiest route for a great impression of the volcano in all its splendor. The sunset from Mount Rinjani is unforgettable.

On a clear evening, the Gili Islands, Bali, and Mt. Agung can be seen to the west. The same you can see from the Summit of course. The Summit trek is for peak baggers, who those want to climb Mount Rinjani. It’s still trekking. You won’t need ropes or anything similar, but it is the most strenuous version of Rinjani trekking. Although it is easiest to do the Summit Trek from Sembalun, you can also do it from Senaru. Most versions of the Summit Trek allow you to spend more time on the mountain. Although a fast ascent of just two days and one night is possible, most packages have a minimum of three days.In short: If you want to see the highlights of Mount Rinjani, the Crater Rim trek can be enough for you. If you want to spend more time on the mountain, tag the peak and get some elevation, the Summit Trek is yours.

Do you have this adventure on your bucket list and are you curious about the possibilities? Check out all our offers here!

Start from Sembalun or Senaru - The Differences

There are two main starting points for the Rinjani trekking. The one route starts from Sembalun, directly north of Mount Rinjani, and the other route, from Senaru Village, approaches the mountain form the Northeast.The Senaru route is a climbing route starting at 600m, going through the tropical rain forest, which isn’t too hot, but it does give you some solid elevation. The route is popular for going to the Crater Rim, to the hot springs and without having to climb the summit.

The Sembalun route is recommended for when you want to summit Mount Rinjani or come as close to the peak as possible. The route starts at an altitude of 1.100 meters which enables trekkers to do a fast track to the summit. The treks that approach the summit are best done from Sembalun. Compared to the Senara routes, the Sembalune route is a hotter route. On your way up you are crossing a meadow, which can be quite the humid experience.

Gunung Rinjani Tour Package - 2 Day

The following itinerary is an option if you want to reach the Rinjani Summit.


Your Hotel – Senaru Village – Sembalun Village – Crater RIM Sembalun Base Camp

Duration: 06:47 h
Distance: 13.1 km
Ascent: 1510 m
Descent: 70 m

Our driver will pick you up at your hotel lobby around 04.00-04:30 AM for a transfer directly to Senaru village. Here is the check-in at our office, breakfast is served and you will meet the guide and crew for the trekking briefing. After breakfast we will drive to Sembalun Village (1,156 m) Rinjani National Park Registration office; here is registration and check with your online TREKKING PASS.

The trek starts from Sembalun Lawang with a gentle ascend through open grassland used as cattle grazing by local people. After about three hours from Sembalun we reach Pos 2 Tengengean (1,500 m). From there you can enjoy the beautiful views of Mt. Rinjani summit (3,726 m) while eating your lunch.

After another 1,5 hour ascend you reach Pos 3 Pada Balong (1,800 m) for a small break. From there it takes 3,5 hours to your final destination for this day, Crater RIM Sembalum Base Camp. Along the way you will be walking through a steep trail inside the Cemara forrest, perhaps seeing evidence of wild pigs and the long-tailed grey macaque monkeys, before reaching the camp! The crew will set up all necessary gear here (tent, sleeping bag, mattress, pillow and toilet tent) and preparing your dinner. Get enough rest, because the next day starts early!

Crater Rim Sembalun


Crater RIM Sembalun – Rinjani Summit – Sembalun Village – Your Next Destination

Duration: 12:30 h
Distance: 21.3 km
Ascent: 1110 m
Descent: 2570 m
At 02:00 AM starts is necessary for the hard 3-3,5 hours climb to the mt rinjani summit (3,726 m) on volcanic screen. Once there, enjoy proud feelings of satisfaction and the amazing sunrise views across the Wallace Line to Bali, Mt. Agung and Sumbawa. Taking photograph about 1 hours and back descend down to the base camp. Return down the ridge passing numerous edelweiss plants (Bunga Abadi) to the crater rim camp for a well-deserved breakfast. After breakfast you will start 5 Hours descend back down to Sembalun Village, Lunch will serve at Post II or Post I. Trekking will be finish at the same starting point of trekking where the car is waiting for you to transfer to your next destination.

How To Get To Mount Rinjani Lombok

Get to Mount Rinjani when you are already on Lombok

If you are already on Lombok, you can get to Mount Rinjani by scooter, moped, motorbike or by car. If, however, you are doubting your transport methods, you can also just keep it simple and let your trekking company arrange a transfer for you. This service is included in your trekking package when you are booking through

Get to Mount Rinjani by Plane

Mount Rinjani is on the Indonesian island of Lombok and the best way to get to Lombok is to fly directly to Lombok International Airport (LOP), where you can easily find a transfer to the North of Lombok, to either Senaru or Sembalun. Once you are at the airport, your trekking company can fetch you from any village on the island. This service always included.

Get to Mount Rinjani by Boat

You can also get to Mount Rinjani by boat. Unless you are sailing the seven seas, most people get to Rinjani by boat from on another island like Bali or West Nusa Tenggara. If you are visiting the Gili islands from Bali, you will easily find a fast boat or a ferry from the Gili Islands to Lombok, where again you will be able to get a transfer to Senaru for your Rinjani trekking.

Not sure yet or want to discuss your plans for the Mount Rinjani Summit Trek with one of our trekking experts? Get in touch today and turn your dreams into memories!

Best Season for Climbing Mount Rinjani

From early January to March all Rinjani trekking activities are limited because of the peak of the rainy season. Hiking trails are closed in these months. Any other season is good for your Rinjani trekking. April to October counts as Summer and the rest of the year can be considered the rainy season. The months from April to October are therefore the best months for Rinjani trekking.

From July to mid-September it is the high season. You don’t have to take into account any potential rainfall as it is unlikely that there will be any. Rinjani trekking is most popular in these months and it is recommended to book accommodation in advance if you don’t have any booked yet. Every trekking company can sort you out with accommodation and if you book a Rinjani trekking package, accommodation is usually included.

Rinjani Trekking in One Day or Solo - Rather Not

Some trekking companies offer a one day option for trekking in Gunung Rinjani National Park. Although this may seem like a great option if you are short in time, it is very important that you realize that this is an illegal practice. You will be entering the National Park before opening times. This is strictly prohibited, especially since the Earthquake of 2018. Park authorities need to know who is in the park and therefore registration is mandatory. It is also illegal to enter Gunung Rinjani National Park without a guide.

Hiking Mount Rinjani Difficulty

The trek to the summit of Mount Rinjani can be quite a strenuous one. Compared to some old school Summit Treks, a trek to the Crater Rim is an easier option. Right? Well, that depends. The Crater Rim is at an altitude of 2,641 meters and this means that you are likely to hike almost 1000 meters in one go. Anyone with reasonable fitness is fit for Rinjani trekking. If you are unsure about your level of fitness and have some time at your disposal, it is recommended to opt for longer versions of your trek. 3 days will be easier for you than 2 days. Having said of all that, make sure that you come to the mountain prepared. You are not on the beach anymore and you can forget to do go Rinjani trekking on your flip flops.

Rinjani Trekking Packing List

If you want to be adequately prepared for your Rinjani trekking adventure, you should bring at least the following items.

  • Torch or lashlight
  • 1 pair of comfortable shoes (Trekking shoes is recommended but if you don’t have any, don’t get a new pair. Choose a pair which is broken in)
  • Long trek pants (windproof is recommended)
  • Windproof jacket
  • 2 or 3 t-shirts
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • Glove
  • Light rain coat
  • Small towel
  • Camera
  • Hat/cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries
  • Sun block or lotion
  • Spray for muscle or balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Trekking pole (optional)
  • Sandals (optional)
  • Binocular (optional)

A professional guide and the logistics, accommodation, food and even equipment for your route are organized from start to end. Everything is under control when you do one of our guided tours. Check it out right here!

Porters on your Mt. Rinjani trek

When you are climbing Mount Rinjani you are never alone. You are likely to enjoy the services of a guide and there will definitely be porters on your way up to the crater rim or the summit. Porters are the backbone of Mount Rinjani. Without porters, nothing goes on the volcano. If you have ever met porters in Nepal or on Mount Kilimanjaro, you must know that Mount Rinjani has its own porter culture. On the slopes of Rinjani, porters are dressed in nothing more than clothes and flipflops. Some porters even ditch the flipflops and go barefoot.

The majority of porters are local Sasak men living in the nearby Sembalun and Senggigi villages. The porters are usually already working on the mountain at the age of 18. Porters can make a living from the trekking industry on Rinjani. It is the major industry in Sembalun and Senaru. One can only imagine the impact the earthquake of 2018 had on the livelihoods in North Lombok. They earn 250-300 USD on average, excluding tips from trekkers.

Porters have excellent mental and physical power despite being heavy smokers. From years of carrying a heavy load, they have large calluses on their shoulders. With baskets attached to a bamboo pole, they fasten their load and balance it on one shoulder, swapping to the other when they begin to feel the pressure.

What To Do After Your Mount Rinjani Trek

The best thing to do after climbing Rinjani is to simply rest your legs. Fortunately, Lombok has a lot to offer for a tired Rinjani trekker. You can go sunbathe on Selong Belanak Beach, Sengiggi or you can go to the Gili islands to get the perfect breakaway. Where Gili Trawangang is famous for partying, Gili Air is good for a little bit more than that. Here you can enjoy the crystal clear water and the endless white beaches. Throw your legs in the air, preferably at a corner of the island from where you can see Mount Rinjani, reflect and relax. Perhaps you will regain your energy to such an extent, that you will feel strong enough to tackle Pergasingan Hill. We can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to Lombok.

How to identify and prevent AMS on the Mount Rinjani Summit Trek?

Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the health effect that kicks in when exposed to low amounts of oxygen at high altitudes. It is a thing and it must be taken seriously when visiting high altitude destinations. Its dangers should not be taken lightly, they can ruin your trip or, in the most extreme scenario, even kill you. Although many people will experience some symptoms of altitude sickness, it doesn’t have to escalate when you are aware of them and you can have them under control. AMS can occur when trekking the Mount Rinjani Summit Trek so here below you can find some relevant information related to it:

  • AMS symptoms

    It is key to know how to identify altitude illness so here is a series of symptoms that you may experience due to the lack of oxygen in your body: headaches, lack of appetite, breathing difficulties, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and vomiting. The intensity and severity of these symptoms may increase with altitude but an overall feeling of fatigue will take all your joy away. At intermediate altitudes (1,500 to 2,500 masl / 5,000 to 8,200 fasl) it is unlikely but possible. However, ascending to heights greater than 2,500 m / 8,200 fasl can trigger them and you may lose your sense of coordination. If things progress to HAPE (High-altitude pulmonary edema: it produces excess fluid in the lungs, causing weakness and breathlessness, making you feel like you're suffocating, even when resting) or HACE (High-altitude cerebral edema: involving excess fluid on the brain, causing brain swelling), you might get confused and be unable to walk at all.

    Once aware of the symptoms, you can do a lot to make sure you stay healthy. That is why for trekking in high-altitude destinations, you should always inform yourself about how to prevent the risks of AMS. Our experts, based on their previous experiences, wrote down a few rules of thumb that apply while trekking at altitude:

    • Listen to your body

      When your body needs rest, your body will tell you, listen carefully. Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and let your friends, your guide or your porters know how you feel. There are several scoring systems for determining AMS and guides are well-trained and are experienced in immediate treatment. Don't let that get worse and take a break. FYI, it normally takes from 6 to 24 hours before you start feeling altitude sickness symptoms. However, acute AMS can arise after having spent at least 4 hours at an altitude above 2,000 m / 6,500 ft.

    • Eat as much as you can

      Don’t skip your meals, even if you don’t like what you have on your plate. But, believe us, you will enjoy the local food. Your body works hard and needs a lot of carbohydrates to make more distance and to be able to bridge more altitude. Trekking is hard work and can easily burn more than 4,000 calories a day. Eat, and your body will thank you.

    • Avoid alcohol intake

      Let's be clear, alcohol stimulates mountain sickness and that’s not just because alcohol dehydrates you. However, if you drink alcohol, you may also be able to do so during your hike. In some destinations, some trekking companies make it a ritual once you reach a particular stage of the route. Be careful though, it won’t help your acclimatization and you will have to increase your water intake. This is even more common when it’s hot and you’re sweating. At high altitudes you need to be disciplined so drink 3 to 5 liters of water per day and some tea as well. You’re hiking, not partying, so leave (most of) the alcohol for after the trip.

    • Check what comes out

      One way to measure your fluid intake is to check your urine. Do you have to take a wee break more often than usual? Great. Keep up the hydration game. Not really? Then drink more.

    • Choose a longer itinerary

      Our trekking experts are well aware of the hazards of Altitude Sickness and they know that you shouldn’t rush your way up. You can do a trek in fewer days but it will not only make you enjoy your hike less, but it will also be detrimental to your acclimatization. AMS is mainly caused by a rapid increase in altitude, so the faster you ascend, the greater the risk. Try to choose a longer route to make the most of your tour. Longer is always better.

    • Climb high, sleep low

      An unwritten law for trekkers and climbers: at high altitudes, mountaineers may take longer to get to the peak because they go up and down a few times before reaching the top. If you see a descent in the middle of your itinerary it is to ensure that you acclimatize carefully after having tackled elevation. Therefore, if you climb to a certain altitude in one day and you stay there, your body may have difficulties adapting. But if you descend as well, the chances of getting altitude sickness are significantly lower. The many ascending and descending causes the body to acclimatize. That means that the following day will be relatively easier to stay at a higher altitude.

Where Can I Book the Mount Rinjani Summit Trek?

At you can book this trek and many others. Our guided options come with experts on the ground, and offer you a convenient, stress-free, safe, and educational way to explore the outdoors. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is this not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our blog posts:

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