Mount Rinjani, Indonesia's second-highest mountain stands tall over Lombok. Forming part of the earth's 'ring of fire', beyond a volcano, it also holds spiritual significance to local people. The volcanic soil brings luscious wildlife and stunning landscape with flowing waterfalls and green forest lining below it.
Following the crater rim is the stunning Lake Segara Anak. This sulphur lake sits six kilometres in length and considered to be a highly spiritual place. Within the waters of the lake stands Mount Barujari, which breathes clouds of smoke into the air, most recently erupting in 2016.
Mount Rinjani forms part of Rinjani National Park and is home to vast tropical fauna and flora. For those ready to take on an incredible feat, the climb to the top isn't an easy trail. However, the views from the above are worth it. It is considered to offer one of the best hiking treks in South East Asia. The three-day hike from Senaru to the crater rim is challenging. For the more advanced hikers, the option to continue to the summit of the volcano will complete the trek. There are many guided walks on offer, and the trail is not for novice hikers. The trek is available from April to January, as from then the rainy season begins and the path becomes far too slippery. Depending on the tour you join in on, there are a few tracks available - the journey to the crater rim, Lake Segara Anak, or up to Summit Rinjani. Porters join in on the trek however you are required to bring a daypack.
A sunrise climb is available on particular treks to see the incredible colours of the sky light up from the crater, kicking off with a 2.30am start and about three hours of trekking before you reach the summit. The typical climb to crater rim, summit and lake takes three days and two nights to cover. Trek durations are about 7 to 12 hours each day, with trekker's stamina and the weather conditions playing a part in the timeframe too.
Mount Rinjani is also home to several stunning waterfalls. Here you will find Sindang Gila, Tiu Kelep, Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu Twin Waterfalls which is suitable for more experienced trekkers. However, on your visit, often guides are lurking around the entrance, which are not officially sanctioned. Some of them can be quite demanding in terms of payment and to visit the primary waterfalls; a guide isn't required. Therefore do your research accordingly and ensure that your guide is pre-organised should you need one. There are fixed prices to access the waterfalls too. The Jeruk Manis waterfalls sit in Barong Panas village with a 40-metre drop of crystal clear freshwater. The story of this waterfall is that it is believed to cure various diseases, and a traditional ritual led by Pemangku (an indigenous elder) can be arranged. The pool below is shallow, and if you choose to climb to the top, be mindful of the slippery track.
Make the most of the stunning Mount Rinjani on your visit to Lombok. Explore the remarkable natural landscape on a hike, swim at the waterfalls or indulge in the view from the mountain, and see for yourself the dramatic scenery up close.