Gunung Rinjani, at an impressive height of 3726m, is the second highest volcanic peak in Indonesia. The gigantic volcano dominates the skyline of Lombok Island, and is clearly visible from the aeroplane descending to the Lombok Airport.
At the center of the mountain is a huge caldera filled partially with a blue turquoise crater lake, known as Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). The trek to the mountain starts from one of the villages at the foot of the mountain. The first part of the trek transverses through open plains of tall grasses – reminiscent of an African savannah – with plenty of cattle grazing about.
After the savannah area, the trail starts to ascend through rolling hills of forests, bringing you to the crater rim. The rim is a great viewpoint to appreciate and take in the sheer size of the caldera, and the beautiful Segara Anak, which is occasionally obstructed by the passing clouds beneath you. The final climb to the summit takes place the next day, very early in the morning.
It is a challenging climb where you have to overcome the cold, the strong wind, fatigue and the loose slippery volcanic terrains. At the summit, you will be rewarded with the magical views of the surrounding seas, mountains, lake and rim being illuminated by the rising sun. As you descend back to the rim and venture deep into the caldera, you will follow a winding and often misty path with several bridge crossings, eventually reaching a blue serene lake. There is an opportunity for you to refresh yourself with a dip in the hot spring with a waterfall situated near the campsite by the lake. The next day, the trail will bring you up to the caldera, giving you an alternate view of the other side of the rim, before descending through the forests to the village at the base of the mountain.