Mount Rinjani in Lombok is the second highest volcano in Indonesia right after Mount Kerinci in Sumatra and one of the most popular trekking spots in Indonesia. For inexperienced trekkers, the hike will come as a surprise, with uneven terrain and steep inclines. Even experienced hikers have said the hike was challenging. To begin the journey, a 1,500-metre climb across 8 kilometres will be a great warm-up. With little trail maintenance, this makes the walk slippery, steep and hard to grip. Prepare to push yourself to the limit and endure the struggle, as the views from the summit will be worth it. After you have overcome the first day, the second day brings an early start to watch the sunrise. Another 1,000-metre of elevation on a narrow trail is to come, all to reward you with the finish line! Bring your warm clothes as the height brings chilly temperatures, dropping all the way down to freezing. One of the best rewards is being able to swim in Lake Segara Anak, showcasing views across the island as its backdrop. The incredible blue colour of the water will keep you in awe. The lake is a mix of four natural hot springs with a natural waterfall falling into the lake. Stretching out over 11 kilometres and reaching up to 230 metres in depth. Many travellers climb Mount Rinjani purely to experience these “healing waters”. Once you have reached the top and rejoiced, the descent is just as steep and can be quite harsh on your knees and hamstrings.
If you are still convinced and fearless, the next thing to know is that there are two entrances to Rinjani National Park. One from Sembalun and the other from Senaru. Longer hikes will start in one village and take you to the other.
Will I need to train for the hike?
While the hike across Mount Rinjani is tough, if you are fit, then you will not need to train for the hike specifically. However, if you have not exercised for months, then preparing for the hike might be a good idea. With treks stretching out for 6 to 8 hours and an intense incline, it will be a rewarding challenge.
What about the time of year?
Timing is also essential when it comes to hiking Mount Rinjani. Organise your trip over the dry season from April to November, as when the rainy season begins the trails close. Hiking up the mountain can only be completed with a local guide, and many tours also offer porters to carry certain items. You will still be required to carry your own daypack with your personal belongings.
If you are ready for the adventure, then begin by planning your holiday around this incredible hike. Ask yourself: are you prepared to endure steep and challenging heights? The reward of swimming in Lake Segara Anak—azure hot springs overlooking the island
Lake Segara Anak
The walk up Mount Rinjani will take you past the scenic crater lake Segara Anak (Lake Segara). Formed in 1257, this blue lake is made up of volcanic water with hot thermal pools sitting within it. To reach the lake, you’ll need to join in on one of the many hiking tours up to Mount Rinjani, with an accompanying guide.
Lake Segara sits cradled between the rugged peaks like a refreshing retreat tucked away from the elements. This crescent-shaped lake is set 600 metres below the crater rim of Mount Rinjani.
The hike up to the lake takes about two days and one night, and it will bring you past a diverse range of landscapes; from lush rainforest to rocky terrains and dare dropping cliffs. Waterfalls run directly from Segara Anak, and there are four natural hot springs within the lake. These healing properties are enough to encourage locals to climb up the mountain solely to experience these waters. While high altitude brings colder temperatures, the lake’s water isn’t as cold as expected. The water temperature sits at between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius, which is much higher than the mountain’s average of 14 to 15 degrees. Researchers have found the warmer temperatures are linked to leaks from the magma chamber seeping into the water of Segara Anak. The water is composed of sulphate, potassium, chloride and sodium, which is then thinned by rainwater entering the lake.
Each year, the Balinese visit Segara Anak, which is considered to be a very spiritual place and a ceremony is performed.