Climbing Mount Rinjani – Lombok – Indonesia


This moment when we reached the summit of Gunung Rinjani is one of those moments I will always remember. Blisters on the feet, completely frozen and at the same time incredibly proud and happy – that’s how we arrived at the summit. I also swore to myself that I would not climb this volcano a second time…. As it happens, Naomi wanted to see all the highlights in Indonesia and so I climbed Rinjani a second time – but the second time only up to the crater rim. The tour to the top of Rinjani takes 3 days and 2 nights and is absolutely breathtaking.

Rinjani is an active volcano and is located in the north of the island of Lombok and is 3,726 m high. Rinjani is a stratovolcano and has been active several times in recent years. The starting point for your climb is either the village of Senaru (600 m above sea level) or Sembalun. Most tours include both the outward journey and the return journey to one of the villages.

The different tours at a glance

Mount Rinjani can also be climbed on your own – but in this case we decided to go on a tour because we didn’t have any camping equipment with us. Even though I’m not really a fan of booked tours, I found it sensible and pleasant for Rinjani. The advantage of a booked tour is the transport, the equipment and the porters who carry everything possible for you. In principle, there is a basic variant and a premium package for each tour. I had both times the basic variant and was more than satisfied. As far as I know, the differences are in the food and in the fact that in the premium variant so a kind of pop-up toilet is carried. Here I have written down 4 possibilities for you. Tour 2 I can only absolutely recommend to you – provided you are reasonably fit!

Tour 1: Senaru – Crater rim (2 days 1 night)

If you are physically reasonably fit, you should manage this tour without any problems. This does not mean that it is not strenuous. You will be picked up early in the morning (about 5:00 am) in Lombok, together with other trekkers, and brought to Senaru. From there you will start the ascent after a small breakfast. You will hike during the day with enough breaks until you reach the crater rim. At first it is mainly through forest before the landscape becomes a bit more scrubby with fewer trees. In the early afternoon you reach the crater rim with a breathtaking view into the crater. Here you will also spend the night and you can experience both sunrise and sunset. Well strengthened, the next morning you go the same way back to Senaru.

Tour 2: Senaru – Crater rim- summit -Sembalun (3 Tage 2 Nächte)

This tour is an absolute blast – but also very strenuous! You should know what you are getting into. First, you need to clarify if this tour is currently happening. Some trails were destroyed by the strong earthquake in 2018, so all tours in 2019 went only to the crater rim. The first day is identical to tour 1. The second day is more relaxed. First you go down to the crater lake for a cool down before bathing in hot springs afterwards. The last overnight stay is also at the rim of the crater, namely the Plawangan Sembalun Crater Rim at 2639m. The last day is hard as a hammer… We leave at 2:00 am to be on the summit in time for sunrise. It is quite cold and the ground is very sandy. One goes felt 2 steps forward and slides back again one. So that goes then about 3-4h and just under 1,100 meters in altitude before you reach the summit. After you have enjoyed the breathtaking view, it goes back to the tents where you have breakfast. Then follows the descent to Sembalun. Then we finally made it – completely soaked and exhausted, because it has only rained the entire descent.

Tag 1: Senaru (600 m) – Plawangan Senaru Crater Rim (2.641m)
Tag 2: Plawangan Senaru Crater Rim (2641m) – Crater lake – hot springs – Plawangan Sembalun Crater (2.639 m)
Tag 3: Plawangan Sembalun Crater (2639 m) – summit (3.726m) – Sembalun (1.156m)

Tour 3: Sembalun – Summit – Crater rim – Senaru (3 days 2 nights)

This is tour 2 only in reverse order. The first overnight stay is at Plawangan Sembalun Crater Rim before climbing the summit the next morning and continuing to Plawangan Senaru Crater Rim, where the last overnight stay is. On the last day we will go down to Senaru.

Tour 4 Sembalun – Crater rim – (summit) (2 days 1 night)

Those who are particularly hard-headed can also climb the summit in a 2-day tour. On the first day you go to the Plawangan Sembalun Crater Rim where you spend the night. The next morning it goes then at 02:00 o’clock high on the summit and then back to the Rim. After breakfast we will go back down to Sembalun.

What you need to know before climbing Rinjani

Be sure to check if your tour is possible. Especially with regard to summit climbing.
Clarifies that the specified nights are all on the mountain and not the first in one of the villages
Use your negotiating skills – prices vary greatly!
The crater climb is doable, but will demand pretty much everything from you – be prepared for it!
Especially trips with the boats of the locals are expensive (due to the high fuel costs)

Overnight stays on the Rinjani

During the hike you will spend the night in tents and sleeping bags. All equipment is included in the price. Those who would like to stay a night in the village before or after the climb will find plenty of accommodation.

Catering Rinjani

The food is prepared by the porters with love and is really delicious. There is always something with noodles or rice. For breakfast there are usually banana pancakes and for dessert freshly cut fruit. The porters also have enough water with them. So, as you can see, you don’t have to worry about your physical well-being.

Equipment Rinjani

For the ascent of Rinjani I recommend sturdy shoes in any case. I myself wore cheap hiking boots and got along with them very well. Of course, it is even more comfortable with high quality hiking boots. I wore short sports shorts and long jogging pants. Otherwise, I wore a sports shirt, had a longsleeve and a hoodie with me. I would still recommend a softshell jacket or a windbreaker. So I would say that I met the absolute minimum requirements with my equipment – but still worked out great.

How much does it cost to climb Rinjani?

The prices are very different. Usual prices are between 1,200 000 and 1,700 000 million rupiah per person (70 €- 100 €). But you can also get it cheaper.

Frequently asked questions about climbing Rinjani

Mount Rinjani is 3,726 meters high and is located in the north of Lombok.
The tours to climb Rinjani cost 1,200,000 and 1,700,000 million rupiah per person (70 €- 100 €).
For the three-day ascent of the summit a reasonable basic fitness is necessary. If you don’t feel up to it, you can do a two-day tour to the crater rim with a fantastic view into the crater lake.
Most tour packages include transportation to Senaru or Sembalun and return to a location of your choice (main locations).

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We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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