a traveler's note
Getting Started: Tour packages or Individual trip?
2 options are available if you’d like to spend your couple of days in Rinjani. You may join tour package which is plenty around Senggigi or you may set your journey individually. Basically, all the info below is intended for them who choose for individual trekking, because as you join for the tour package, everything is there already. You just need to prepare your fitness then you are ready to hike. The trekking route, durations, foods & itinerary are already prepared based on the package you choose. Each details may be slightly modified but not much. And if you prefer to hike with your way, then individual hike will fit you better.
Rinjani may be considered as one of the most attraction point in Lombok. Therefore, plenty of tour providers offer a package for rinjani hike. The price is quite reasonable & since the packages are mostly offered as a share cost basis, hence the actual price often become cheaper for them who are solo traveler & would like to go to Rinjani.
How to find?
Easy, just type 'rinjani tour' on google & various choices will appear. Visit trip advisor if you’d like to know which one is the most recommended one. To get more details, type in google based on what you want to know. That's all you need to do. [WTF!! It's not a tips if you ask me to type in google #$%*$!!]
My suggestion would be to visit Senggigi or Gili Trawangan, where there are a lot of Rinjani trekking workshops when you can speak, bargain & discuss directly with the providers. Price is depended on package duration, meals provided & participants.
Budget overview is as below (only for reference).
2D1N: 1200k - 1700k / person
3D2N: 1600k - 2200k / person
4D3N: 2200k - 3000k / person
Rinjani Entrance Ticket:
Int'l tourist: 150k / person / day
Domestic tourist: 20k / person / day
1. Price is in IDR. 1k = 1000.
2. Above price range is commonly for 6-8 participants in one group.
3. Every package has a different term of services. Check with vendor what is included.
An individual trip means that you arrange everything for yourself. If you have some friends with you that can share the cost together, hence it can be much cheaper & more fun. But if you are only a solo traveler & your intention is to save budget, then it is not a good option for you. However, I did the Rinjani trip alone last time & I took this individual trip because I want to enjoy it my way. I get a guide & porter to help me with my supplies (I stayed 1 week in Rinjani) plus I also brought my own equipment just to supress the budget a lil bit. By then, I have an experience to explore Sembalun & Rinjani with my own pace. It is good for an arrogant & cocky traveler like me ;)
There are certain variables like hiking duration, porter/guide, food/supplies & equipment that need to be settled before moving further. Each variable will be categorized as below.
How long your trekking duration will matter most especially for your food & supplies preparation. If you'd like to visit all the spots in Rinjani as mentioned in previous pages, hence you'll require at least 4D3N trip for reaching there comfortably. Add 1 day if you are interested as well to visit Sembalun either for sightseeing or to prepare all your supplies.
3D2N trip will fit them whose intention is to reach summit by going across the crater rims for both at Sembalun & Senaru. Looking at this duration, you'll spend 1 night at Pelawangan
Sembalun, go through the
lake & reach Pelawangan Senaru for 2nd night, then complete the trail at Senaru Village.
In my opinion, 2D1N trip is only for them who had a good physical strength & only intend to visit the summit from Sembalun then go back again to Sembalun on the next day. Reaching the summit from Senaru will be quite though for 2D1N trip unless you have been prepared for this kind of fitness demanding activity.
Don't forget to consider about the Rinjani entrance ticket as well.
Here are the basic differences between porter & guide. Yes, they are
not same & it is your choice whether you need only a porter or you require a guide as well.
His main scope is to bring your luggages (usually up to 20kg), set up your tent & prepare your meals. The porter will walk based on his own pace so don't expect that he will wait for you. Most of all porters can barely speak English.
He is the one who will walk beside you, show & accompany you through various attractive spots in Rinjani (i.e hotsprings, falls, caves etc).
He speaks English so he can talk to you & to your porter.
If you haven't gotten your porter yet, Guide can help as well to select a good porter that he used to work with. Trust me, had an experienced porter will matter a lot because the food is better & he can arrive faster so everything is ready by the time you get there.
Guide will also help to advise the porter for meals variation (he can cook as well) & suggest for good camping spot.
Almost all of healthy men in both Sembalun & Senaru are working either as guide / porter. You can go to Rinjani Tourist Center to purchase the entrance ticket & also to get information about the available guide / porter.
Porter: 200k / day
Guide: 200k / day
If you ask him to go to summit with you then it will cost you additional 200k
If you use Sembalun porter & you descend at Senaru, then you need to add another 100k for his transportation from Senaru to Sembalun (or vice versa).
They who helped me before =
He is fun & had 2 lovely children (Langit & Zenith) that I'd like to visit them again someday.
Jan to Apr is considered as a peak of Rainy Season. The wind sometimes blow signifficantly strong so it is basically not a comfort choice to have a hike there. Sometimes, it is even closed for hike.
May to July: Personally, I'd say it is the best season for hiking. Land is still green due to the rainy season that has just passed by. Rain does still come occasionally on May.
Aug to Sept: Rinjani's high season. Too much hikers till you find it a bit difficult to have a camp spot in both crater rims. I'd avoid to hike during these months.
Oct to Dec: Rain starts to pour on Nov but the intensity is normal & it is still comfortable for hiking. It is my 2nd alternative to hike Rinjani. Just beware of increasing visitors by the late of Dec.
Food & Supplies
Once you have settled the trekking duration, porter & guide already, then you can start to plan about your supplies. Let say that you have decided to take 1 guide with you, then the easiest way is just to ask him to prepare the supplies for you. You need to communicate what is your preference otherwise he will arrange it as he usually did before. Let him know your budget and then you just pay it back later.
What I did & would like to suggest you is, just go to Sembalun / Senaru 1 day earlier, meet the guide then go to traditional market together. I met M (my guide) & we went to Sembalun market around 11AM. I chose what I'd like to eat & we discuss what kind of menu that will be prepared as we selected some related spices. We also went to local Warung to get some snacks & other supplies like coffee, tea & mosquito repellent.
If you'd like to have a western type food, then you need to prepare it while you are in Senggigi or Mataram. Sembalun local market only provides you a local Indonesian groceries. Not sure about Senaru.
Since I brought my own tent & sleeping bag last time, so I am not pretty sure about the exact details for hiking equipment rental in both Sembalun & Senaru.
However I knew that you may ask your guide assistance to get these rentals because he has offered me before. What I heard is a rental price for a comfortable Lafuma tent which is good for 2-3 persons is around 75k-100k/day. The sleeping bag costs around 25k/day. If you hire a porter with you, I believe his daily price is including the rental of cooking utensils as well, so don't bother about that anymore.
You need to provide yourself for other items such as:
Gloves: It is cold during the night.
Mask: The trail to summit is full of gravel & dust.
Trekking Shoes: Certainly you don't want to end up bare-footed if your casual shoes got damaged.
Jacket: Because it is cold.
Rain Coat: Just in case. Or do you want to hike using umbrella? ;)
2ea of Trekking Poles: These what I'd recommend for you. 2ea of poles will boost your pace when desceding because you can run like it is a snowboarding. The difference is there is no snow, only sand & gravel.