Ok!, your Rinjani trekking adventure awaits! You should be so stoked but above being “sooooo stoked” you need to be soooooo prepared. Which is why we are here, to get you prepared to hike the second tallest mountain in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani!
Rinjani Trekking: Packing List & 3 Day Trek Overview
Rinjani Trekking Packing List
First things first in the whole “being prepared” for the Rinjani trekking thing, is to make sure you are packing the right gear and clothing.
If you haven’t read already, Rinjani is difficult to climb. The elevation and terrain are challenging and can knock you on your butt, even more so if you are carrying a heavy pack.
PACK LIGHT. We repeat, PACK LIGHT!
Seriously, bring as little as possible during your Rinjani trekking adventure.
Below is what we packed in our 18 liter flash pack for our trip to the summit of Rinjani….
- One/two sweat-wicking t-shirts
- One pair of shorts
- One pair of long pants
- UV Buff/Hat/Bandanna (for sun/sweat/dust protection)
- Good hiking shoes / trail runners (normal running shoes don’t have enough tread)
- Sandals (it’s great to air your feet your at night)
- Socks & Underwear (2 pairs)
- Swim suit (for the hot spring)
- Warm Ware (Yes, warm clothing. It gets cold at the top)
- Wind Breaker
- Headlamp (for the night hike to the summit)
- Portable charger
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Chapstick with SPF
- Tiny towel quick dry towel
- Face wash / Wet Wipes
- Extra hair ties
- First Aid Kit (for blisters and cuts)
- Stomach medication and Ibuprofen
- Some toilet paper or tissues
- Hand sanitizer
- Cash for tipping & entry fee
- Bug Spray
Want more information on the basics of Rinjani? Give our Beginners Guide to Trekking Rinjani a read here!
Rinjani Trekking: 3 Day / 2 Night Trek Overview
The most popular of the Rinjani trekking packages is the 3 day / 2 night trekking experience and happens to be the trek we went with!
We’re here to give you an overview of what our 3 day / 2 night trek was like so you can go into this Rinjani trek knowing exactly what to expect!
DAY 1 – Hike To The Crater Rim
Expect a wake up call around 6:00am from your accommodation in Senaru.
You’ll grab your gear, then eat some breakfast and await for your transport to Sembulan.
The drive from Senaru to Sembulan takes about one hour.
Once at Sembulan, your guide will ask you to check in with the park office and pay your entry fee (make sure you have cash). Once you are checked in and paid, you are ready to begin your ascent!
Around 8:00/8:30am you’ll begin your 8 hour ascent from Sembulan (1,100m / 3,600ft) to Plawangan II. This is the crater rim which will be your first night campsite sitting at 2,638 m / 8,654ft.
The start of your trek from Sembulan is on relatively flat land, through lush grasses and rolling hills with Rinjani sitting so pretty in the background…just waiting for you!
From 8:00/8:30am till about 12:30ish, you are passing positions/checkpoints…
- POSI (1,300m / 4,265ft)
- POSII (1,500m / 4,921ft)
- POSIII (1,800m / 5,905ft)
Once you get to position three, the porters and guide begin prepping your lunch. Take this time to relax and get off your feet because after lunch, you have a FREAKING DOOZY of an uphill climb.
After an hour lunch, you have a dreaded 3 to 4 hour climb that is STRAIGHT up. Like, up, up, uppppppp. To be frank, it’ll kick your ass.
Take your time and don’t rush. The last thing you want is an injury on your first day of Rinjani trekking.
After your 3-4 hour ascent, then you’ll be standing at the crater rim (2,638 m / 8,654ft). This is where your porter will be setting up camp for the night.
The guides and porters will pitch your tent and cook dinner while you get to take in the most insane sunset you’ll ever see above the clouds, on an active volcano.
Pretty sweet statement, right?
Try and get to bed as early as possible because you have a VERY early morning wake up call to hike to the summit for sunrise in the morning.
Day 1 Overview / Altitude Changes: Climb 1,500m / 4921ft over the course of 7-8 hours.
DAY 2 – Sunrise Summit & Hot Springs
Summit Sunrise Hike
WAKEY, WAKEY! It’s your 1:30am wake up call, and yes we told you to go to bed early, didn’t we?
Hopefully, your porters will wake you up with some pancakes and water. Eat up, get dressed and tie your shoes tight, you got another hell of a climb waiting for you.
Also, just to be real, this sunrise ascent is worse than what you just did a few hours before….(yikes).
Your hike to the summit of Rinjani will begin around 2:00am.
You’ll leave your campsite that sits at 2,638 m / 8,654ft and climb UP (and we mean up) 1,126m / 3,750ft, in a period of a 4 hours.
Your goal is to reach the the summit of Rinjani at 3,726m / 12,224ft by sunrise.
From 2:00am to 6:00am the trek to the summit is a brutal, grueling uphill battle.
The terrain is loose dirt with a mixture of sand and rock. It feels like every step you take, then you slide back two. Your shoes will be fill with dirt and pebbles. The cold wind whips over the top and just pummels you for the next few hours.
You are hiking in pitch dark (headlamps are key) and slowly but surely the silhouette of the summit of Rinjani can be seen.
We promise, you’ll feel really defeated and like you can’t possibly make it to the top, but if we did it, you can too!
It’s truly a race against time to get your cold and sore butt up to top of the summit to see one of the most beautiful and rewarding sunrises you will ever see in your life!
Once at the top, you are rewarded with an impressive 360 view of Lombok island.
Hoping for a clear morning, you should be able to see Flores and Komodo island to the east, and Mt Agung and the Gili Islands to the West. Plus, one hell of a sprawling view of the entire crater rim and lake below.
Take it in, then soak it up. You just slayed one of the most epic hikes out there and are a king/queen of the mountain! YEAH, YEAH!
Once you’ve had your fill (or in our case were too cold to stay any longer), then make your way back to your campsite at the crater rim.
Expect your descent down to camp to take a very slippery 1.5 – 2 hours. The rocks are loose so the best approach is to usually take an ice skating / roller blading slide to get down to camp safely.
Hike To Campsite #2 / The Lake:
Plan to get back to the crater rim around 8:00am-ish. This is when you will want to collapse in your tent because the thought of a full day of hiking ahead of you is too much for your to bare….
But for real, from around 8:00am to 10:00am, you have a break that you should take full advantage of. Get a nap in and enjoy the views from the crater.
Once you have had your morning break, then the rest of the day you are in for a work out. From 10:00am till about 6:00pm, you are ascending and descending. Yes, it sounds super defeating, but the views are beautiful.
Your first descent is steeeeeep, and we mean a steep, descent to the lake below. Along the way to the lake, you’ll stop for lunch.
After lunch, you’ll continue to make your way to the lake. Once at the lake, you’ll take a short 15 minute walk where you’ll find yourself at some hot springs.
The hot springs are a welcomed little break to soak your sore bones in and relax in the hot waters.
After the hot spring, you’ll make your way up-hill (of course) to the other side of the crater rim where you will camp for the night.
The climb, at times, can be very challenging but offerings spectacular views of the lake and smoking volcano.
Same as the night before, enjoy the sunset, while the porters and guide make you dinner. This time you’ll have no problem going to bed early.
We guarantee you’ll be exhausted!
Day 2 Overview / Altitude Changes: The most difficult and challenging day, mentally and physically day is day 2. This day throws 12+ hours of hiking over several thousand meters/feet of ascending and descending.
DAY 3: The Grueling Descend
On the third day, you have another early 6:00am wake up call and we promise, you’ll be feeling a little groggy and a whole lot of sore. Again, the porters prepare breakfast and begin the pack up the campsite.
Get a few morning stretches in and off you go.
This day all you are doing is going down. The descend starts off steep and slippery over loose gravel and sand – Lauren fell on her butt quite a few times but still made it!
Once the sandy, steep part stops, the trail opens up into a shaded forest. This is where you’ll stay for the remainder of the descend.
You’ll be on a muddy/dirt path that is interwoven with tree limbs and roots. You’ll see a few monkeys on the way and a whole lot of dog companions to guide you to the finish line.
Before you reach the finish, you’ll have one last meal (lunch).
During lunch, you are literally thinking, “how much longer?” You’re legs are tired and if you are lucky like we were, you’ll have a few beautiful blisters that need tending too.
After lunch, it’s another hour or two until you are finally are back in Senaru!
We promise, you’ll never be more excited to see a village in your life!
We felt so accomplished but equally exhausted. Your time spent on Rinjani will never be forgotten. It’s a grueling trek but a oh, so magnificent one!
Day 3 Overview / Altitude Changes: Over 6-7 hours you’ll descend 2,000m/6,650ft back to Senaru.
What’s The Food Like on the Rinjani Trek?
The porters carry all your food and water. Seriously, their machines who we thanked endlessly through out and tipped appropriately once the trekk was finished.
Expect pancakes for breakfast and hot teas. For lunch and dinner you can expect rice, tempeh, tofu, fruit and vegetables.
Where Do You Sleep on Mount Rinjani?
If you are looking for some hotel options or homestays, then you’ll be out of luck. It’s just you, a tent and a sleeping bag under the crazy constellation of stars.
How Cold is Mount Rinjani?
It’s cold. Regardless if your hiking Rinjani during the summer months, you need to bring warm clothes as the crater rim and summit are quite cold.
Check with your tour company to see if they have any extra clothes you can rent. Trust us, the trek to the summit is hard enough. You don’t want to add being miserably cold on top of it.
Mount Rinjani Porters & Guides
Most of the porters and guides are from the villages that surround Rinjani making them familiar with the mountain and have made it their full time jobs to escort tourists up and down safely.
The porters (1 per person) carries your tent, food, water, sleep bag, etc. They make your meals and pitch your tents as well.
Truly, they are machines. They navigate the terrain in flip flops while balancing heavy loads on their shoulders.
The guide leads the way and takes you all the way to the summit. Both roles are extremely important in your trip’s safety and success.
*PLEASE tip each guide and porter at the end of your trek. They deserve it and welcome the additional income.
Is Mount Rinjani Safe?
Mount Rinjani is an active volcano and we feel like safe and active volcano should never be in the same sentence. Rinjani erupts infrequently, but still it happens. When preparing to hike, be aware of the weather as well as the current status of the volcano.
To ease your mind, thousands of people hike Rinjani every year and majority of those finish the trek accident free. However, accidents happen so it’s important you come prepared.
- Book with a reputable company
- Have the proper clothing and gear
- If you’re not in good shape, this hike is not for you.
- Don’t rush
- Listen to your guides and porters
- Buy travel insurance
Mount Rinjani Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a no brainer and something you should consider before going on a trek of this magnitude.
World Nomads, who we have, covers you completely when those unexpected accidents do happen. Check them out, then consider purchasing some travel insurance to add an extra layer of security to your Rinjani trek.
You really never know when you’re going to need travel insurance and in our opinion, we’d rather be safe than sorry.
For The Budget Conscious: If you are on a budget but are looking for clean comfortable rooms, Tiu Kelep Homestay is your place! The location is great, close to waterfalls and offers amazing views of Rinjani, plus you can book your Rinjani trek directly with the owner.
For The Luxury Inclined: Rinjani Lighthouse, a cozy bungalow in the jungle with all the amenities is waiting to you. To it’s friendly staff to its comfortable serene environment, Rinjani Lighthouse is the perfect place to rest up before and after your Rinjani trek.
For Something In Between: With a garden and a terrace, Ila Homestay provides clean and comfortable accommodations for any Rinjani trekker. Plus, the friendly staff cooks up some amazing food for you to refuel.
For more places to stay in Senaru, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)