Jutting up from the surrounding landscape to cup an enormous pool of blue green water, Mt Rinjani, Indonesia’s second largest volcano, is a popular scenic climb. Adventurous trekkers navigate jungle forest past cascading waterfalls and alive with the calls of birds and monkeys to reach the crater rim at around 8,860 feet (2,700 m). From there, the enormous Sengara Anak “Child of the Sea,” Lake, more than two miles across at its widest point, is laid bare. Volcanic activity as recent as 2010 created the lake’s small interior Gunung Barujari cone and continues to supply heat to swimmable hot springs, which rain down into a bathing pool from a warm waterfall in an area just above the lake. Fewer trekkers continue on beyond the tree line and scramble up the scree to the 12,225-foot (3,726m) summit. But, those who do are rewarded with sweeping sunrise views of the lake and green landscape beyond.
Two main routes up the mountain offer different treks—the most popular and least strenuous departs for the crater rim from the village of Senaru on the northern side of the mountain. It also serves as the volcano’s quickest access point from west coast resort areas. Those continuing on to the summit often leave from Sembalun Lawang on the eastern side.
Treks to the summit can be done in as little as two days (with one-night camping), though many summiteers opt to prolong the journey to three to four days, allowing time to explore the area around the crater rim, visit the hot springs and explore the jungle waterfalls along the way.
Mt Rinjani is in northcentral Lombok, just east of the Island of Bali. From the resorts in Senggigi Beach, the access gate at Senaru is a two-hour (46 mi, 76 km) drive along the island’s north coast; the trailhead in Sembalun Lawang is a three-hour (68 mi, 109 km) drive. There is an $11.50 (Rp 150,000) per person charge to access the volcano in addition to any guiding fees.