Indonesia’s famous Ring of Fire is a chain of volcanos running the length of the country. There are 226 peaks over 1000m and a staggering 39 peaks over 3000m. Gunung (Mount) Rinjani is the second highest volcano in this chain at 3726m. Its base and hiking routes are well established but it is still takes a minimum of 2-4 days to hike to the summit.
The most popular routes for Mount Rinjani trekking start in Senaru and ends in Sembulan but it is also possible to do other routes. The mountain is often closed from December to March because of rain and risk of exposure. The mountain boasts a massive caldera rim of 6 x 8.5km, bigger than any of the little Gili islands that are nearby. This is the base camp for the first days relatively easy hike through the forest of the lower slopes. Above the tree-line the rim campsites are exposed to both cold winds and incredible views of the huge lake that resides in the crater. In the centre of this lake is Anak (child) Rinjani which is a new volcanic cone that has been forming and can be observed smouldering regularily or even erupting as recently as 2010.
Most hiking groups either trek down to the hot springs for Day 2 or leave the base camp early in the morning for a summit attempt by sunrise. This hike is very strenous with cold winds and tiring trekking on volcanic scree. The famous 2 steps forward 1 step back phrase is often quoted. The morning trek to the highest part of the crater rim, which is called the summit, takes at least a couple of hours and tests every hikers determination, resilience and fitness. A reasonable level of fitness, good hiking shoes, a windproof jacket and lots of sachets of Extra Joss (the local energy drink) are required to reward the hiker with one of the most beautiful and breathtaking views on the planet.
The summit is fairly small and soon is filled with the successful hikers. The views of the neighbouring Gili Islands can even stretch across to Bali. The most impressive views are after the sun has risen and the tired but victorious hikers descend along the sharp volcanic scree rim back down to base camp. On the inside edge you are witness to dizzying drops and vertical rock outcroppings into the massive caldera. Truely magnificent.
Most groups descend the shorter route down to Sembulan village and after a long days hiking there are many tired and happy faces readying themselves to cross over to the many bungalows on Gili Trawangan. From Bale Sampan Bungalows we can assist you in organising a trek suitable for you, even keep your large luggage for you securely and will be happy to welcome you back to our Cafe for a well earned Bintang while you soak your weary muscles in our fresh water pool. It is truely an acheivement to summit this mighty Gunung and you will be needing a well deserved break afterwards!