Gunung Rinjani National Park is home to Indonesia’s second highest volcano, Mount Rinjani. Visible from most parts of Lombok, the mountain rises 3,726 metres (12,224 feet) above sea level. Part of the “Ring of Fire”, the horseshoe-shaped belt of volcanoes around the edges of the Pacific Ocean, Gunung Rinjani has a deep spiritual significance for the local population as a place where their gods reside.
Challenge yourself with a trek up this active volcano. There are several routes to the top, but the main access points are from the village of Senaru in the north or from Sembalun in the east. These strenuous hikes require a good level of fitness and involve overnight camping on the mountainside.
Journey ever upwards through dense rain forests to Lake Segara Anak at 600 metres (1,968 feet) below the crater rim. This large body of water contains a volcanic cone that was formed from eruptions in the mid-1990s. Although you can tackle the mountain independently, the park recommends hiring a guide or signing up for an organised trek.
The chance to conquer an ancient volcanic peak isn’t the park’s only attraction. There are more than 41,000 hectares (102,000 acres) of wild landscape to explore. Go on an escorted hike through the park’s forests and visit some of the villages that surround the mountain. As you travel through the scenic landscape look for deer, wild pigs and the rare ebony leaf monkey.
Visit the Air Terjun Sendang Gila waterfall and cool off in the freshwater pool, then explore the stillness within the caves of Goa Susu, Goa Payung and Goa Manik. Afterwards, revive your spirits in the park’s hot springs.
Stop at the park’s two visitor centres to get maps and information, to hire guides and porters and to book walks. One visitor centre is located at the trailhead at the top of Senaru village, and the other is at Sembalun Lawang village.
Gunung Rinjani National Park is situated in the north of the island, a 2.5-hour drive from Mataram and 3-hour drive from Senggigi.