Climbing Mount Rinjani is a highlight for many visitors to Lombok and one that should not be taken lightly. It is a challenging climb; however it is achievable with a moderate level of fitness and hiking experience.
Mount Rinjani is also known as Lombok volcano and by its local name of Gunung Samalas. It is an active volcano, located on the Indonesian island of Lombok in the region of West Nusa Tenggara. Mount Rinjani is 3,726m high and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia.
Some of the highlights of reaching the top is to see the lake formed in the caldera, the views across to Mount Agung on Bali and Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa. Camping out and seeing the sunrise the next morning is also a sight not to be missed.
The best time to climb the mountain is during the dry season that lasts from April until November. The trekking routes are generally closed during the rainy season and it can get very cold close to the summit so additional layers of clothing are required.
Lombok Surfing School
During a visit to the island of Lombok one activity you should try is surfing. The surf off the beaches in Lombok is ideal for several grades of surfer from the absolute beginner up to the more experienced surfer. You can take organised lessons from one of several surf schools on the island. Once you have experienced the basics of a trial lesson and learnt how to paddle on the board, take off, ride a wave etc all under the guidance of an experienced instructor you are sure to want more and enjoy this activity. Introductory lessons usually last for about three hours and are held in the morning or afternoon.
Tanjung Aan Beach
This is one of the most beautiful beaches in South Lombok and easily accessible. The beach itself is long and the western part is better with white sand while the eastern end is comprised of darker and rougher sand. The water is very clear, turquoise in colour and virtually no waves. The shallow water makes it an ideal beach for families, but not ideal for swimming. There are several eating and drinking stalls along the beach and sunbeds to rent (they are free if you purchase food first). One downside of the beach is the large number of hawkers trying to sell you things you probably don’t need. If you want to try surfing you can take a boat out to the surf break, although is not recommended for beginners.
Sembalun village is located inland in the shadow of Mount Rinjani. The road here is quite tricky with several ups and downs as well as sudden unexpected corners. A plus along this road is the many photo opportunities of the volcano and views across the eastern side of the island. Some of the parking spots demand a fee even if you are stopping just to take a photo. Another attraction in this area is strawberry picking, the area is full of lush vegetation and a great location for a few days of relaxation. Due to the elevation you may require some extra layers of clothing as it is cooler than at sea level.
There are a number of waterfalls located close to Tetebatu inside the Mount Rinjani National Park. When visiting here be sure to wear appropriate footwear as the conditions can often be slippery. It is best to hire a local guide as the waterfalls are not marked and finding them can be time consuming without the expertise of a local. The locals are friendly and happy to guide tourists around their locality.