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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to climb Mount Rinjani, and when is the national park closed?

People often ask when the best time to climb Mt Rinjani is. There’s no easy answer, as weather conditions can vary throughout the year. Mount Rinjani is open for trekking from April to January each year (9 months). It is closed for January, February and March as this is the rainy season and trails can soon become streams during a monsoon downpour!

As Lombok is located in the tropics, it is warm all year round but trekking conditions are not always perfect. So really, the best time to climb Mount Rinjani is determined more by your travel plans and schedule than environmental factors!

Lombok Climate, Weather & Average Temperatures

Lombok has a Tropical Climate, meaning temperatures remain fairly constant throughout the year (average daytime temperatures of 26-28°C). The hottest month is April, with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F); the coldest month is July at 26°C (78°F). November is the wettest month, with 216mm of rain on average. The seawater is also nice and warm, sitting at a pleasant 29°C for 7 months of the year!

Although most of climbing season (April – January) is considered dry, you should be prepared to encounter dust, rain, low visibility, and slippery tracks. Rinjani Dawn Adventures provide all the necessary equipment to handle a change in weather conditions and our experienced guides are trained to ensure you are safe at all times.

Although Lombok has an average temp of 26-28°C, the temperature on the summit and crater rims can be considerably lower. Generally speaking, temperature drops by 6°C for every 1000m of elevation gain. If we started a trek at 600m altitude and 27°C (roughly where Senaru and Sembalun villages sit), the temperature at the crater rim (2600m elevation) might be 15°C (12°C on the summit). When the sun sets and the island starts to lose heat to the night sky, temperatures can drop to 2-3°C (occasionally lower, on exceptionally clear nights). If you are climbing to the summit in the early morning and there is a strong wind, you might also experience the wind-chill effect. Exposure to wind means you lose heat quicker and you will start to feel colder than the actual outside temperature.

The above information is meant to reinforce the importance of packing appropriate clothing for your trek. We can supply a limited range of warm clothing (such as hats and gloves, warm jackets, buffs), but bringing your own warm layers is recommended. For more information please read our equipment section below.

National Park Entrance Fee

The Mount Rinjani National Park Entrance fee is 150,000 IDR per person per day for foreigners (it is cheaper for local Indonesian’s). If you book with Rinjani Dawn Adventures this fee is included in the price of your trek. In 2019, TNGR (Gunung Rinjani National Park Authority) increased the national park entrance fee. It is now 150,000 IDR per person, per day for the main Rinjani trekking routes. When you book, we will ask for personal details such as: full name, passport number and emergency contact details, so we can purchase tickets using the park’s online booking system. TNGR are currently limiting the number of people allowed on the trekking routes, so it is advisable to book a trek well in advance.

How hard is the trek? Can I complete it if I’m a beginner?

Climbing Mount Rinjani is a challenging trek for any guest, so it is important to have some level of fitness. The terrain is varied, but mostly involves long steep ascents and descents, with some potential hazards along the trail (these could include fallen railings, loose rocks, protruding tree routes etc). Some bouldering is necessary when descending to, and ascending from the lake.

Beginner: I’ve never trekked before or rarely trek/hike.

For those that have never hiked before or regard themselves as having a low level of fitness, the summit trek will be very hard. On occasion we have had unfit guests turn back due to fatigue and shortness of breath. For this reason, we suggest taking a shorter Rinjani trekking tour such as our I Love Lombok or Lombok Explorer packages. This means you’re more likely to succeed in completing your trek and will still have the benefit of experiencing Mount Rinjani’s incredible views.

Moderate: I consider myself reasonably fit and exercise a few times a week.

Those with moderate fitness levels usually find this trek hard, but rewardingly challenging.

Fit / Athletic: I’m an active person with a high level of fitness and/or I’m an experienced trekker / alpinist.

Experienced trekkers and those with a high level of fitness usually find this trek tough, but more comfortably challenging.

Rinjani Fitness Guide: At the beginning of 2019 we worked with Melbourne based fitness professional and all-round great guy Hakan Akkus, to develop the Rinjani Fitness Guide. The guide consists of exercises and training guidelines to prepare for climbing Rinjani. Although it was written with our Lombok packages specifically in mind, it will serve as an excellent tool for most multi-day treks and adventures. As well as the text and photos on our websites, please visit our YouTube channel to watch the technique videos for each exercise.

What time will our trek start?

The start time will depend on the package you have chosen and where we are collecting you from. Most of our Mount Rinjani treks depart at 8am. This means that you are required to be at our office no later than 7am for a briefing, equipment issue and a light breakfast. After breakfast we transport you to the start of the trail. For guests staying in Senaru, we will sometimes complete your briefing and equipment issue the night before the trek. We recommend staying in Senaru before a Rinjani trek, but it this is not compulsory. If you are staying elsewhere on mainland Lombok, we can organise an early collection from your hotel (5am if staying in Senggigi or Mataram area). 

Do I have to climb the summit?

Rinjani Dawn Adventures offers a range of adventurous trekking and sightseeing packages. Although reaching the summit of Mt Rinjani is a tremendous achievement, it is not necessarily the “best” option for everybody. If you are on a Rinjani trekking package that includes climbing to the summit (2 day / 1 night; 3 day /2 nights; 4 day / 3 nights packages) and decide you do not want to attempt the summit, this is perfectly ok. Instead you can remain at “base-camp” and sleep whilst the rest of the group climb the peak (they will most likely return at 9am). Alternatively, RDA also offers packages that are less arduous than the summit climb. These include our amazing 3 day / 2 night I Love Lombok and 2 day / 1 night Lombok Explorer packages.

What’s the quickest way to the summit… we only have two days?

The fastest route to the summit is from Sembalun – this is the only route for a 2 Day / 1 Night Summit package.

I have to catch a flight after the trek!

If you have a flight to catch directly after your trek, we recommend taking the Sembalun route. It is possible to reach the airport for a 6pm or later flight, but whether or not you make it will depend on your fitness and agility. We cannot guarantee your airport arrival time.

Starting points – Senaru or Sembalun?

Mount Rinjani 2 Day / 1 Night Summit package: This trek starts and finish in Sembalun. The village of Sembalun is approximately 75 minutes car journey from our office in Senaru. For this reason, we recommend guests stay in Senaru or Sembalun the night before the trek (Senaru is preferred if borrowing equipment). If you’re staying elsewhere on Lombok the night before your trek (e.g. Senggigi) we will have to collect you from your hotel early enough to start trekking by 9:30am. Later starts are not ideal as we aim to reach the Sembalun Crater rim before sunset. 5am is our usual collection time if staying in Senggigi.

Senaru Crater Rim 2 Day / 1 Night package: This trek starts and finishes in Senaru. We do recommend you stay in Senaru the night before trekking, but it’s not essential. If we are collecting you from Senggigi on the morning of the trek we will collect you at 5am.

Mount Rinjani 3 day / 2 night Summit & Lake package: With this package it is possible to start on either side of the mountain. The path taken on both routes is the same, with some main differences. These are:

Senaru > Sembalun:

Day 1. Hiking up through jungle to Senaru Crater Rim (Plawangan Senaru). This is a prolonged ascent, but shaded from the sun for most of the day.

Day 2. Decent down to the lake, visiting the thermal springs, and hiking up to Sembalun Crater Rim.

Day 3. Trekking to the summit, then down off the mountain to the village of Sembalun.

 Benefits:

  • Shaded by jungle canopy on day 1
  • Finish with summit on final day

Sembalun > Senaru:

Day 1. Hiking from Sembalun village to Sembalun Crater Rim (Plawangan Sembalun). This route progresses from relatively easy, undulating terrain (farmland) to a steep ascent through sparse woodland.

Day 2. Trekking to the summit (2am start) then back down to the campsite at Plawangan Sembalun. After breakfast, hike down to lake Segara Anak & the thermal springs. Lunch at the lake before climbing up to Plawangan Senaru (Senaru Crater Rim). It is possible to spend the night at the lake, but this will depend on whether guests have to travel to another location at a specific time after the trek. If you choose this option it will add approximately 3 hours to Day 3’s itinerary.

Day 3. Hiking down through the jungle to Senaru village.

Benefits:

  • Summit is attempted at the beginning of the trek, which means some guests are less exhausted
  • Potential earlier return to RDA office and onward location / airport
  • Possible to catch an early evening flight from Lombok Praya Airport. We recommend booking flights no earlier than 6pm. The travel time from our office to the airport is approximately 3 hours and this means guests would have to leave Senaru by 2pm (to arrive one hour before check-in) this estimate does not allow for delays and we cannot guarantee you’ll be on time.
Does Mt Rinjani have thermal springs?

Mt Rinjani is part of a geologically active volcanic complex. There are numerous thermal springs in and around Gunung Rinajni National park, but the most popular ones are close to lake Segara Anak. The thermal springs offer a delightful respite to trekkers with sore muscles, who are able to stop and bathe for an hour or two. It is only possible to visit Mt Rinjani’s thermal springs if you choose a package that includes the lake (3 or 4 day packages).

First Aid

A basic first aid kit is carried on all of our trips which includes: bandages, antiseptic, band-aids, dressings and a few miscellaneous items. Customers must carry any personal medication. *Legally we cannot prescribe / give our customers medication, even over the counter things like paracetamol. If taken, customers are recommended to bring small amounts of items that can aid with stomach upsets, headaches, inflammation, etc.

Communication

VHF radios and mobile phones are used for communication and to aid in the event of an emergency. *Coverage is limited in some areas.

Drugs

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trip. Possessing or using drugs not only goes against Indonesia’s strict laws but also puts you, your group and our business at serious risk. Smoking marijuana or using other recreational drugs may be accepted in other parts of the world, but is strictly forbidden on our trips. Please be respectful of our local people and culture by adhering to these rules, and under no circumstance possess or use drugs during your RDA trek.

Equipment List & Packing Guide

Lombok is warm and sunny most of the year, but it is possible to experience rain, wind and drops in temperature in different locations and altitudes. As with most things in life, it’s better to be prepared! 

We will send you a comprehensive packing guide when you book one of our adventure packages, but the list below will give you a rough idea of what to bring and what we can supply.

Suggested Items:

Mt Rinjani & Pergasingan Hill Trekking Packages:

(These include: 2, 3 & 4 days Rinjani Summit treks; Senaru and Sembalun Crater Rim treks; Lombok Explorer & Pergasingan Hill Budget & Deluxe packages) 

  • Backpack – a small “day-pack” of around 30-40l capacity should suffice
  • Hiking boots or trail-running shoes (sport shoes are a minimum requirement)
  • Daywear – shorts and t-shirt, or trekking clothing. Hat & sunglasses. Sunscreen.
  • Evening wear – some warm layers. We suggest trousers or tracksuit bottoms, fleece or wool tops, and/ or a warm jacket. Hat and gloves are also recommended.
  • Summit – warm clothes. Trousers, warm layers, jacket, hat & gloves. 
  • Dust masks – at times in the dry-season the Sembalun & summit trails can be dusty
  • Personal first aid kit / any personal medication
  • Sandals / flip-flops (useful for letting your feet breathe at rest-stops & in the evening)
  • Toiletries
  • Head-torch
  • Wet-wipes
  • Insect repellent
  • Small amount of cash for tipping your porters and guides (optional)

I Love Lombok Package:

  • As per Mt Rinjani packages (above); plus
  • Swimming gear

Lombok Waterfall Experience:

  • Day-pack
  • Swimming shorts / bikini / towel
  • Personal items

Senaru Discovery:

  • Day-pack
  • Swimming gear
  • Personal items

 

Borrowing Equipment 

Rinjani Dawn Adventures has a limited amount of trekking equipment and clothing we can loan to customers free of charge. We cannot accommodate all sizes, as it’s hard to find western XL and XXL clothing on Lombok. We strongly recommend our customers bring their own warm items of clothing, wherever possible. Below is a list of equipment we can lend:

  • Warm jacket 
  • Warm hat & gloves
  • Waterproof jacket & trousers set (limited to M-L sizes)
  • Poncho (alternative to waterproof jackets & trousers – can go over your backpack)
  • Trekking poles
  • Sleeping bag liner (100% cotton, freshly washed before each trek)
  • Head-torch (limited stock)
  • Backpacks (these are limited, so please let us know in advance)

In addition to the above, we give each customer a custom RDA “buff”. This can be worn as a headscarf, hat, or sweat-band.

Payment & Bookings

Pricing

We offer a premium service, offering our clients the best guides, equipment and Indonesian cuisine on the mountain. Please see price details for each package on our website here.

How do I book a trekking or sightseeing package?

We have a booking system on our website, where you will fill-in some personal details such as name, dates you want to trek, plus pick-up and drop-off locations before and after the trek. After you have submitted this form we will assess it, and let you know whether the package is available on the dates selected (99% of the time it will be, but if you are booking as an individual, we have to ensure there is a group you can join). We will then send you an invoice via PayPal for a deposit (20% of the total). Once this is paid your booking will be secure. 

How do I make a payment?

We will invoice you for a deposit via PayPal. You won’t necessarily need a PayPal account to pay this, as PayPal can processes payments from Visa and Mastercard (for non-account holders). We will have sent you an invoice showing the outstanding balance in Indonesian Rupiah, based on the exchange rate at the time of booking. The outstanding amount is to be paid by cash on arrival in Indonesian Rupiah. We do not accept other types of currency. If you wish to pay in full prior to your trek, a 3% charge will be added through PayPal.

Can I pay in another currency?

We do not accept other types of currency.

But we just want the cheapest price…

We appreciate that some guests simply want the cheapest price, in which case we suggest going with a budget provider. Please be careful when planning your trek and avoid deals that seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, there are many horror stories of people booking treks with unlicensed operators that don’t buy sufficient provisions, use suitable equipment and leave rubbish on the mountain.

If you’re on the fence with pricing, rest assured that we are a professionally run and fully licensed trekking operator. We are not the most expensive company and we aren’t the cheapest (we sit in the middle, but only price-wise). If you choose to trek with us, you’re booking with a socially and environmentally conscious company. We specialise in catering for small, intimate groups and provide the most experienced English speaking guides, plus the best food and equipment. Additionally, we believe in providing opportunities to our staff and giving back to the community (please visit our Community Projects page for more information about our Sasak Warriors program). 

Refund’s

The deposit is non-refundable. However, if you cancel your trek more than 3 days prior to the departure date, your deposit can be used to book another package up to 6 months from the date of the original booking. If you cancel within 3 days of departure, your deposit will be forfeited. 

If you have paid in full, but need to cancel more than 3 days prior to your departure date, we will refund you except the deposit (which can be used to book another package up to 6 months from the date of the original booking). 

Insurance

We strongly recommend that all trekkers take out travel insurance at their time of booking to cover against cancellation costs, accident, baggage loss, sickness, other unexpected travel alterations, medical emergency or evacuation and additional expenses incurred due to unforeseen circumstances and travel changes.

Rinjani Dawn Adventures is part of a cooperative that covers rescue of injured parties from the mountain to the trail starting points in either Senaru or Sembalun villages. Any onward travel to hospital and associated medical expenses would need to be covered by the customer (or customer’s insurer). Please be aware that there is no dedicated mountain rescue service comparable to what is found in the Alps or the US, and there is no air-lift capability. That said, we will always assist our customers wherever we can. To date, we have had no serious injuries that warranted using an outside rescue team.

Food & Water

Food provided

We have a lot of customers ask us what kind of food to expect during their trek. Porters will prepare all dishes and these vary depending on the time of day. Here is a list of the foods that we generally prepare during treks:

  • Omelette’s which can include vegetables/chicken/egg.
  • Indonesian dishes such as Sayur Goreng, Soups, Nasi/Mei Goreng and spaghetti using ingredients such as wheat, rice, vegetables, chicken, egg and prawn crackers.
  • Curry’s which can include vegetables/chicken/egg.
  • Prawn crackers come as a side to some main dishes.
  • Pisang Goreng (fried banana/rice flour/salt).
  • Fresh fruit.
  • Snack foods include: biscuits, chocolate, nuts and energy bars.
  • Tea, coffee and water.
Allergies and Specialist Diets:

We can accommodate certain allergies and diets, such as Gluten Intolerance, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Lactose Intolerance etc. Due to limited product options on Lombok, we tend to offer fresh-food alternatives (rather than packaged, long-life options). If you have an allergy, we recommend you contact us before the trek, specifying your requirements. We will do our best to accommodate. 

Water

We provide drinking water, although there are also fresh water springs on the trek (if you wish to be more environmentally conscious). Guests will be required to carry 1.5 litres of water per person (which can be replenished from your guide en-route).

Transport

*We cannot make flight or boat bookings on your behalf*

How do I get to Senaru?

Rinjani Dawn Adventures includes transport to and from locations in North Lombok in the price of each package. If you require transport from further away, we can arrange this at an additional cost. On our website booking form please enter your pick-up and drop-off locations, using the travel zones map as a reference. If you don’t know your pick-up and drop-off details yet you should choose travel Zone 0 (North Lombok), and inform us as soon as you know where you will be staying. Additional costs will be added to your final payment if required. One of our drivers will collect you from your hotel or designated pick-up point at a pre-arranged time.

Flights

There are many flight options to and from the island of Lombok. Please research the best option to suit your needs if you’re planning to fly.

Coming from the Gilis?

Rinjani Summit treks:

If you are staying on the Gili Isles you will either need to stay on the mainland the night before the trek, or arrange a private water taxi to take you to Bangsal Harbour for 6am on the morning of your trek. It is important to start these hikes reasonably early in the day, so you reach the campsite in daylight.

Senaru Accommodation

Should I stay in Senaru the night before a trek?

Senaru is a great place to stay the night before a Rinjani or Pergasingan Hill package, as it allows for an early, stress-free start the following day. If you arrive in the afternoon it’s also possible to visit the famous Sendang Gile & Tui Kelep waterfalls (we can organise a local guide for this, if required). 

Does Rinjani Dawn Adventures offer free accommodation?

Over the years we’ve found that most customers prefer to choose their own accommodation, so in order to offer you the best prices, we’ve recently removed this option. Should you wish to stay in Senaru the night before your package we can recommend a few different places, which you can book online. We will still be able to transport you to your accommodation in Senaru the day before the trek, so long as it is pre-arranged when you make a booking.

Hotel and accommodation options in Senaru?

Most accommodation in Senaru is budget to mid-range, typically locally owned bungalows and guesthouses. Here are a few of our personal favourites:

Senaru Budget Accommodation

There are many budget places in Senaru, and they are generally of similar quality and price. We have used Dragonfly Lodge, Pondok Guru Bakti & Anak Rinjani for customers in the past. Anak Rinjani is right next door to our office (which is convenient for collecting you in the morning).

Senaru Mid-Range Accommodation

Our mid-range choice is Rinjani Lighthouse. This can be booked on booking.com here. Western owners, but with an authentic Lombok design, friendly staff, and high quality of service (rated superb on booking.com). Rinjani Lighthouse’s website can be found here. Prices vary, but typically around $45 per night.

Senaru High-End Accommodation (top-pick)

Our top-pick for Senaru is Rinjani Lodge. Rinjani Lodge boasts stunning panoramic views, two infinity pools and a beautiful garden. The restaurant also offers excellent food at reasonable prices. Prices vary, but expect to pay around $120 – $150 per night in high season. 

Still have a question?

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