Indonesia, Travel

Trekking Rinjani 101


Hiking is all about preparation and being well-informed, so in this post I’d like to share you some basic information and tips for a successful Rinjani trekking that I’ve gathered. Right, here we go!


There are two main routes that hikers usually use to hike Mount Rinjani: Sembalun and Senaru. What’s the difference?

The Sembalun trek covers a lot of savanna, hills, and open spaces, with sandy areas here and there. It also includes the infamous “7 hills of regret” and “9 hills of agony.” The former is shorter, but is more challenging as it is steep and ever-ascending, plus you don’t get “bonuses” of even tracks. The latter has more “bonuses” but the route is longer. Both are equally hard, so — your pick your own choice of suffering!

The Senaru route is rockier, covering more steep cliffs and going through more forests. If you want to include the Segara Anak lake in your trip, you would have to pass through this route.

If your aim is just the summit, you could opt to go and return via Sembalun in 3D2N; however, my group wanted to visit the Segara Anak Lake so we went up via Sembalun and descended via Senaru, which takes 4D4N or 5D4N. I would highly recommend the latter, because the Segara Anak Lake is definitely worth a visit!


Decide on your method of travel. Are you going to use a private tour? An open trip? A shared cost group? On the Internet, there are lots of offers of open trips and private ones, aimed at both domestic and foreign hikers, which you are free to choose based on your budget and schedule. Most tours cover entrance tickets, food, group logistics, and group porters for a range of prices (from IDR 1.5 million to 2 million). If you’d like a more flexible trip, go on forums such as Kaskus to find and join other groups of hikers, then make sure to book your porter in advance. This way, you would just have to pay for the porter and not the tour fee. Take note that such porters would only carry your group logistics and not personal ones, unless you add an extra fee. Porters usually cost IDR 200,000-250,000 per day (as of May 2016).

Book your flights way in advance. Enough said.

Physical exercise! I can’t possibly stress enough how important it for you to be both mentally and physically prepared. Hiking smaller mountains or hills prior to Rinjani would be marvelous. If not, you could just work out at the gym–but make sure you gradually increase the endurance and portion at least a month before the hike. I hadn’t hiked mountains in the last 3 years so I was quite anxious, but I have been going to the gym regularly for a couple of months and turned out all those hours really paid off during the D-day(s)! Just don’t go for Rinjani without any physical preparation at all, please.


  • Personal Items

  • Clothing and Accessories (I would suggest to bring a hat/cap!)

  • Raincoat

  • Clothes (one top for each day, long-sleeved better)

  • Underwear

  • Cargo shorts/pants (for hiking)

  • Shorts/trainers (for sleeping)

  • Jacket (fleece/warm, waterproof and windbreaker would be ideal)

  • Thick socks

  • Gloves

  • Knitted hat (for warmth)

  • Brimmed hat/cap (for sun protection)

  • Gaiters (for the summit)

  • Hiking boots

  • Sandals

  • Headlamp and extra batteries (I would recommend headlamps rather than torches, you would need both hands when you’re summitting)

  • Bathing suit (optional; for taking a dip in the hot springs)

  • Toiletries

  • Towel

  • Sunblock/sunscreen

  • Baby wipes

  • Toilet rolls/tissue

  • Insect repellent

  • Other personal care (deodorant, mini soap, mini shampoo, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, hand sanitiser)

  • Food

  • Chocolate bars and/or energy bars

  • Dates and/or palm sugar (optional but highly useful)

  • Biscuits and other snacks

  • Mineral water (1.5 L) and flask

  • Optional: fruit powder drinks, small cans of milk, coke


  • Medicine/prescriptions

  • Camera/action camera and batteries

  • Daypack (for summitting)

  • Trekking pole (highly recommended!)

  • Power bank

  • Mobile phone charger (you won’t be able to charge on the mountain though)

  • Plastic bags (make sure everything is neatly packed inside plastic bags)

  • Sleeping bag

  • Camping mat

  • Rucksack (size depends on you, mine is 40 L)

  • Group Logistics

  • Tents

  • Camping portable stove

  • Camping cookset

  • Eating utensils

  • Group food (e.g. rice, potatoes, bread, vegetables, instant noodles, sardines, meatballs, sausages, other tinned food, fruits)

  • Portable toilet tent (optional)

  • Trash bags

Hope you’ll find this useful! For my travel notes on the Rinjani hiking trip, read this.
Good luck and have fun!

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