Want to hike Mt Rinjani in Indonesia, but don’t know how to choose among the plethora of trekking companies? Want to avoid the crowds and trek a route not everyone does? You’ve come to the right place. We chose Green Rinjani for a private hike away from the popular Sembalun Summit route and can highly recommend not only the route but the company as well. Here is our detailed review.
If you want to learn more about the route we chose (or another far less busy route on the southern slopes of Mt Rinjani) head here first.
And just in case you’re wondering: We paid for this experience ourselves (and we did not disclose at any point that we might be writing about the experience). So you can be sure that the experience we had is what anyone else is likely to experience too.
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What is it like hiking Mt Rinjani?
Mt Rinjani was hands-down the hardest hike I’ve ever done (and I’ve done some pretty hairy ones). Not for the steepness of the trail, the climate, temperature or my lack of fitness (though there was a bit of the latter), but for the difficulty of the trail itself:
- Loose sand on hard-packed soil made some sections incredibly slippery (and dangerous).
- Many parts of the trail were very narrow with steep drop-offs on one side, requiring an enormous amount of willpower (and thus energy) from someone with a fear of heights (that’s me) to just keep going.
- There is hardly any safety equipment on the trail itself. The very few ropes, ladders and steel steps that are in place were mostly along the almost vertical crater rim wall, where it would have been impossible to traverse the terrain otherwise.
All the struggles though were absolutely worthwhile:
- The scenery was mind-blowing every step of the way: from stunning waterfalls and otherworldly landscapes in the Torean Canyon to beautiful panoramic views from the Senaru crater rim of Segara Anak Lake and Mt Rinjani’s summit and a dazzling sunset over the Lombok Strait with the Gilis and Bali’s Mt Agung.
- After an arduous first day of hiking, a cleansing hot spring bath on a sunny plateau above the Torean Canyon helped re-energise our tired bodies and made for a refreshing start to day 2 of our hike. Who would have thought that a simple bath could make such a difference?
- On the trail, we were lucky to observe not only several groups of feisty long-tailed grey macaques, and a variety of birds and butterflies but also (much rarer) black ebony leaf monkeys and even a palm civet.
How was our trekking experience with Green Rinjani?
The route we chose took us from the village of Torean on the northern slopes of Mt Rinjani (at about 600 metres above sea level) to Lake Segara Anak (2,000 metres) and the Senaru Crater Rim (2,640 metres) before finishing at Senaru village (800 metres).
Review Green Rinjani Trek: Torean/Senaru Route
Pre-Tour Communication and Booking Process
Pre-Tour Communication and Booking Process
Our experience with Green Rinjani started well, thanks to the company’s professional website, and their prompt and detailed response to our initial inquiry.
Unfortunately, Green Rinjani staff then went on to book us onto the wrong tour (the summit tour we so desperately tried to avoid), and when advised of the mistake, ignored our emails. Only when reaching out to the owner via WhatsApp, we finally received a response and a few days later, the (correct) booking confirmation – again very detailed and provided all the information we needed.
Upon check-in, all guests also receive a briefing that recaps all the key things to know in front of a large map that shows the different trails and rest stops – a great opportunity to ask any last-minute questions.
Pre-trip accommodation is provided in Green Rinjani’s own guesthouse – with modern, clean and comfortable rooms providing a good night’s rest before the start of the hike.
The two nights during the hike are spent in tents (carried by the porters). Our tents (one to sleep in and one to provide privacy when going to the toilet) were a little older, and we had some issues with the zipper closures during the trek (on both tents). Thankfully, our guide and porters were able to repair them, ensuring that the tents remained usable. The mattresses provided with the tents were comfortable. The sleeping bags were graded for temperatures down to 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), requiring additional layers to stay warm during the chilly nights.
The one-night stay at the Green Rinjani guesthouse included dinner and breakfast. We also received a welcome drink and snack upon check-in.
The meals provided during the hike – all freshly prepared by the porters – were delicious and substantial (initially even too much for us to finish). The variety of drinks on offer was impressive – ranging from tea, coffee and water to soft drinks and even beer. If you don’t require certain drinks, make sure to let them know the night before your hike commences, so that the porters don’t carry items unnecessarily (they carry enough as it is).
The booking confirmation provided by Green Rinjani included essential gear required for a safe hike (and a great template to build our own packing list – more on that below). We were able to rent hiking poles from Green Rinjani, which helped us immensely when traversing steeper sections. Our guide also helped me navigate the most difficult parts of the trail – at one point literally holding my hand as we slowly descended an especially slippery slope – which was greatly appreciated.
While safety was always a top priority for our guide, the owner suggested during the briefing that we do our chosen route in reverse (starting in Senaru and finishing in Torean). We are glad we stuck to our original plan. Starting in Torean and finishing in Senaru is definitely the safer direction – don’t let them tell you otherwise. The incline is less steep as the ascent is split over two days. During the dry season, the trail between Torean and the crater rim is very dusty and slippery – going up such slopes is much easier (and safer) than going down.
Green Rinjani has a “leave only footprints” policy, with our guide and porters not only bringing our own rubbish back down but also collecting rubbish left behind by others, and the company planting a tree for every guest who joined their treks (though for people hiking in the dry season, the tree planting is postponed until the wet season).
We did our hike as a private trek, as the route we had chosen was not (yet) available as a group tour. That said, with a maximum of 6 participants, Green Rinjani’s groups are still small, making not only for a more personal experience but also lowering the group’s impact on the mountain.
Our guide and porters were all locals from the surrounding villages.
Experienced and hard-working, our guide (Fahmi) and porters (Joko, Buddhes and Leo) took great care of us, and their personalized attention made the experience even more special. If you’re thinking of hiking Mt Rinjani off the beaten path, we highly recommend doing the 3 Day/2 Night Torean/Senaru trek with Green Rinjani.
Is the 3D/2N Torean/Senaru trek with Green Rinjani good value for money?
We paid USD$620 for our private trek (USD$310 per person). This price included:
- Pick-up from Mataram (2h15min), transfer to the starting point of our trek in Torean (30minutes) and post-hike drop-off in Tetebatu (2h15min) – each time in an air-conditioned vehicle
- Private guided hike to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls on the day of arrival (entry fees of IDR20,000 per person were extra)
- Pre-trek accommodation at the Green Rinjani Guesthouse in Senaru (1 night)
- Welcome drink and snack, dinner and breakfast before the trek at the Green Rinjani Guesthouse
- Luggage storage during the hike at the Green Rinjani Office
- National Park entrance fees (IDR150,000 per person)
- Experienced English-speaking trekking guide and three porters
- All camping equipment (sleeping tent, privacy tent, mattresses, sleeping bags, foldable dining table, chairs and first aid kit)
- All food and drinks during the hike
- One small tree per person (planted on our behalf during the wet season).
While it may seem like a lot (if compared with the cheapest prices you can find for 2-Day/1-Night Summit Group treks by other companies), we believe it’s fair: The trekking guides and porters need to earn a living wage as do guesthouse, restaurant and office staff as well as drivers. Equipment needs to be bought, maintained and replaced. Food, drinks and fuel need to be bought. All of that adds up.
That said, the prices charged by Green Rinjani are higher than those charged by other companies for the same trek. We communicated with all three companies offering the route we wanted to do and decided to go with Green Rinjani (and pay more) due to their focus on sustainability and safety.
How to book the 3-Day/2-Night Torean/Senaru trek with Green Rinjani?
Make sure you book well in advance, especially if you want to hike in peak season (June to August) as visitor numbers on the mountain are restricted, and experienced trekking companies like Green Rinjani are very busy during that time.
Booking the trek via the Green Rinjani website is straightforward: just complete the booking form at the end of the page. Make sure you select the correct route from the drop-down menu (3-Days Torean Senaru Trekking).
Also note: This route is not (yet) offered as a group trek, which means you’ll only be able to do it as a private trek (3 Days Trekking Deluxe Service). Select the number of people making up your group from the respective drop-down menu.
Once your booking is confirmed via email (make sure you check all the details, including the route and dates), you’ll be required to send a digital passport copy to everyone in your private group. This is to get the required National Park entry permits. A deposit (equivalent to 16.67% of the tour price) is also payable at that point. The remainder is charged upon check-in at the Green Rinjani Guesthouse. Payments via PayPal attract a 5% surcharge, and credit card payments a 3% surcharge.
If at any point you have trouble reaching Green Rinjani via email, contact the owner (Ariee) via WhatsApp (+62 819 1603 0327).
How much should you tip your guides and porters?
The price for your trek does not include tips for your guide/s and porters. If you are happy with their service, expect to pay a minimum of IDR50,000 per person/day (recommendation of the National Park) and up to 10% of the overall price of your trek (found in other sources) – divided equally between the guide/s and porters. If unsure, err on the side of paying more rather than less (we hadn’t done our research and with the benefit of hindsight, wished we had given more).
Also worth knowing: The guides and porters are employed by the National Park and (sub)contracted to the trekking companies. While many work mostly for one trekking company, you may encounter the same guide or porter working for different companies throughout the year.
What to pack for your Mt Rinjani hike
Carrying appropriate gear, including warm clothing and rain gear, is important for any hike. No matter which trail you choose, the temperature range on your hike will be immense: from 30-35 degrees Celsius (86-95 degrees Fahrenheit) in the sun during the day to 5-10 degrees Celsius (41-50 degrees Fahrenheit) on the crater rim at night (and even lower at the summit). Layers are therefore essential (our sleeping bags were not warm enough on their own). Make sure your backpack can accommodate a 1.5-litre water bottle (or two).
Below is my recommendation based on our experience.
|Recommendation for men
|Matador Beast28 Ultralight Technical Backpack
|Unbound Merino Mens Crew Neck T-Shirt
|One per day
Wear the clean one overnight
|3/4 Pants / Shorts
|Columbia Mens Silver Ridge Utility Cargo Shorts
|To wear during the day
|Comfortable Long Pants
|Patagonia Mens Quandary Pants
|To wear in the evening/overnight
|Unbound Merino Mens Boxer Briefs
|Unbound Merino Long Sleeve Crew
|To wear in the evening/overnight
|Jumper or Cardigan
|Unbound Merino Mens Compact Travel Hoodie
|To wear in the evening/overnight and early morning
|Leggings or Long Johns
|Icebreaker Mens 200 Oasis 3/4 Thermal Leggings
|To wear under your pants overnight
|Patagonia Mens Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket
|Hat / Beanie
|Unbound Merino Beanie
|Wear hat during the day and beanie at night
|Buff Merino Lightweight Neckwear
|Optional - to protect against the sun, dust and cold
|Smartwool Liner Gloves
|Optional - to wear at night
|PackTowl Personal Towel
|If your trek includes a stop at a hot spring
|Patagonia Mens Hydropeak Boardshorts
|If your trek includes a stop at a hot spring
|Xero Shoes Mesa Trail WP
|Good profile/grip - DO NOT wear road running shoes
|Fox River Basecamp 2.0 Lightweight Quarter Crew Hiking Sock
|Xero Shoes Z-Trek
|Optional, but recommended to wear around the campsite
|Rudy Project Rydon Sunglasses
|Nitecore NU25 headlamp
|Highly recommended - we hired ours from Green Rinjani
|For example: muesli bars, dates and nuts
|Small Garbage Bag
|To collect own rubbish (tissues, wraps etc) during the hike
|Basic toiletries and wet tissues
|You won't be able to shower for a few days
|Basic First Aid Kit
|Include at least pain killers and adhesive bandages
|Magnesium Chloride Spray and/or Diclofenac Gel
|Apply daily prior to commencing your hike (and reapply during the day as needed)
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Still on the fence about hiking Mt Rinjani with Green Rinjani?
Got any questions I haven’t answered? Please let me know. I’m happy to help.