There over 20 villages surround Mt. Rinjani and there are many routes up the mountain, but the main access is from Senaru in the north and Sembalun Lawang to the east. The challenging three-day Rinjani Trek route from Senaru to the crater rim (Plawangan), down to the stunning crater lake then on to Sembalun Lawang, is considered one of the best treks in South East Asia. Those heading for the summit usually prefer to start in Sembalun Lawang.
Rinjani National Park Points of View. The lake, and New Mountain
A model for ecotourism in Indonesia, the community-based activities are focused on the Rinjani Trek Centre, the most popular starting point for the tough trek. Developed with New Zealand Government assistance since 1999, the Rinjani Trek Centre embodies under one roof (satu atap) the unique partnership of the National Park, tourism industry and local communities that has been forged to manage and protect the Rinjani mountain environment. Rinjani National Park lies within the major transition zone (Wallacea) where the flora and fauna of South East Asia makes a dramatic transition into that which is typical of Australasia.
The Park has a rich variety of plants and animals, although they can be hard to spot due to the terrain and rainforest cover. Sometimes seen early in the mornings is the rare black Ebony leaf monkey, known locally as Lutung. The Long tailed grey macaque or Kera is common in Lombok and older males are seen on the crater rim. Rusa deer are forest dwellers and are occasionally seen along the Rinjani trek trail. The smaller Barking deer or Kijang has an alarm call with a distinct dog like bark. Look for the disturbed ground where the Wild pig or Babi hutan has been foraging. Also found in the forest is the Leopard cat or Bodok alas, Palm civet or Ujat and Porcupine or Landak. A variety of colourful birds live in the forests of the Park. Perhaps the best-known icon of Rinjani National Park is the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo that is not found any further west of Lombok. Many of the forest-dwelling animals, insects, birds, civets and monkeys owe their survival to the wild fig tree or Beringin as a provider of food and shelter. The pine-like Casuarina species, Cemara, are a feature of the grassy higher slopes. Orchids or Anggrek are also a feature of the grassland areas, as is Edelweiss or Bunga Abadi growing above the tree line; it is a beautiful icon of Rinjani Park and one of our best-known sub-alpine plants. Fees are paid at the Rinjani Trek Centre. They contribute to the protection, maintenance and management of the Park, Rinjani Trek route, village attractions and visitor facilities. Expert and licensed Rinjani trekking guides and porters are recommended to escourt when you do an adventure Rinjani Lombok trek. You will need three days and two nights to trek from Senaru via the spectacular crater lake, to Sembalun Lawang (or the other way). More time will be needed to explore the summit of Mt. Rinjani.
The Rinjani Trek is a challenging mountain walk and you must be prepared with good equipment, warm and windproof clothing. Rinjani can attract severe storms, lightening and strong winds. When the weather is settled, the sun is intense and the nights frosty. Parts of the trail are steep and slippery. Beware of bad weather and risks of exposure to the wet and cold (hypothermia). If caught in an electrical storm, take shelter and avoid prominent ridges. Beware of snakes, and stinging insects and plants. Leeches can be a nuisance in the wet season. Volcanic Hazards: Although Mt. Rinjani has not erupted in recorded history, Mt. Baru (2,363m) in the crater lake is an active volcano. It last erupted dramatically in 1994. Check the notice boards for recent hazards, and take advice from park staff and guides. Fresh water springs are a feature of the trek and determine campsites. Your guide knows where these are. During the drier months (July-September) some springs completely disappear. Park staff and guides constantly monitor these water sources to determine their abundance.