Finishing a 2500 kilometer bicycle trip with climbing a volcano is not the worst thing you can do.
I just got down after trekking the Rinjani Volcano and here are a few impressions from the trip and some tips and advice if you think about going there yourself.
Me, at the rim of the Rinjani volcano.
How long does it take?
Camping on the Rinjani volcano.
I was running a little short of time when I went trekking the Rinjani volcano so I opted for a trek to the crater rim where you have the grand view of the crater and the crater lake.
That trek can be done in two days with one night on the mountain and it will take you to around 2700 meters of altitude. But if you want to get to the highest point of the crater rim, which is around 1000 meters higher then you need to spend two nights up there.
There are also longer treks and I would recommend them if you have the time for it as the area is great and the price does not increase that much if you decide to stay a day or two extra on the volcano.
Is trekking the Rinjani volcano hard?
Trekking up the Rinjani volcano.
It’s not a walk in the park, that is for sure, but it’s not an extreme trek either and if you have a reasonably good level of fitness then you should be able to do it, but be ready to have some sore leg muscles when you come down from there, as you tend to use some muscles that you are not used to on these treks.
But the great thing about volcanoes is that they are generally not technical climbs, but more just like 10 hours of stair climbing a day. Fair enough, that can be hard too, but you are not out doing dangerous climbs on treks like this, so they are ok for a beginner as long as you are fit.
A large part of the trek goes through areas with semi rain forest and that means you tend to “stair climb” quite a lot on tree roots and you will most likely see a bit of wild life too while going up.
I saw a few different spices of monkey when I trekked up the Rinjani as well as a few other smaller animals.
Do you need a guide and a porter to trek Rinjani?
My porter on the Rinjani volcano.
I decided to hire a guide and a porter for my trip?
It’s not that expensive and I like to give a little back to the communities i visit and giving full time employment for 2 days to two local guys is a good way of contributing to the local economy in a positive way.
My local guide was a 26 year old guy from the village called Nus. He told me that his job enabled him to put both his daughters in to good schools and give him the education he never got himself because his parents could not afford it.
Him and his girlfriend had decided to get married and start a family when he started to work as a guide on the mountain cause they knew that the wage there was high enough to pay for good education for kids. That might not be possible for them later in life as he get’s older and might have to stop trekking the mountain.
The vast majority of people take guides and porters for the trip, but you have people here and there that don’t, but since a Chinese trekker, without guide or porter, died on the mountain a couple of years ago after getting lost, the local authorities have done a lot to make sure people don’t go there alone as the route is not that clearly marked on the top and it’s quite possible to get lost up there.
What does it cost to trek Rinjani?
The lodge where I stayed the night before I started the trek.
The prices start at around 200 dollars for a trek there that includes food, tent accommodation, porters and guides and goes up to 3-400 dollars if you want more days, or if you are doing the trek alone like me.
Being two people or more, will give you a cheaper price.
The prices vary quite a bit though depending on how many days you want to be up there and what kinda luxury you need.
I used www.rinjanimaster.com which is the oldest company on the mountain and considered one of the best, mainly cause they have a very nice lodge at the bottom of the trek in the village of Senaru where the trek starts.
I noticed that I was also fed a little better than the other groups and had a lot more snacks, coffee, tea and such along the trek compared to the two other groups I met that were on cheaper treks.
This does not mean that the cheaper treks are not good enough and I would most likely have been quite happy there as well, but having a little extra luxury along the trail was fine now that i could afford it.
But please clean up the mountain guys.
Only negative thing I can think of is that rubbish at the rest stops and campsites is becoming a problem, just like you see in other parts of the world that has trekking.
The problem is not as massive as i have seen elsewhere, but the companies and the local authorities need to take action very soon before the problem goes, cause this could hurt the trekking industry on the mountain as trekkers do not want to camp next to garbage dumps.
Cleaning up the mountain is not that hard and all they would need is a patrol of people cleaning the mountain a couple of times every month and I hope that the local authorities and the trekking agencies can get together to solve this problem.
Judging from the rubbish i saw on the mountain, it’s not just careless tourists leaving stuff there, but also some of the companies taking people up there.
Should you trek the Rinjani volcano?
Yes, you absolutely should.
The view on the top is fantastic and the journey up is really nice.
It sure beats running some boring marathon through suburbia any day.
If you go to Lombok then this is in my opinion the biggest must on the island as long as you are reasonably fit.
Trekking the Rinjani volcano rocks.