Senaru is one of my favorite towns in all of Indonesia. It sits right at the base of Mount Rinjani and is the perfect jump-off point for hikers. The air is fresh and the excitement is in the air. Only adventurers come up here and that brings with it a certain vibe.
Most of the homestays have epic views over the rice fields and you can walk just about anywhere in town. The entire town built on farming and hiking. This town was hit hard by the earthquakes in 2018 and then with Mount Rinjani closed for extended periods due to earthquake damage all of the businesses and families really struggled up here. It’s a beautiful spot and the adventures are wild!
In this blog post, I will share with you all of the things I have done while based out of Senaru. I have visited three times and enjoyed each stay a lot!
BEST THINGS TO DO IN SENARU
Wake up early and head down to the entrance of Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfall. Here you will find a path that leads along the ridge and looks out over the rice fields. The sun rises directly opposite you. We just sat out on the hill chatting and watching as the rice fields slowly lit up. This is also where you begin the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep adventure so you can just add it to your daily itinerary.
Sendang Gile Waterfall
Sendang Gile was an unexpected addition to our plans. We knew we wanted to visit Tiu Kelep waterfall but on the way discovered that the trail actually takes you to another waterfall. Sendang Gile was an incredible attraction in its own right although it will probably always be outshone by Tiu Kelep, which is around the corner. Sendang Gile is an epic two-tiered waterfall that booms down into a shallow river. It was definitely one of my favorite, unexpected things to do in Lombok.
Tiu Kelep Waterfall
Tiu Kelep is the most famous waterfall on Lombok. From Sendang Gile you follow the river for fifteen minutes, often walking through the water and making several crossings along the way. You will arrive in an incredible amphitheater with mist blowing everywhere. It is one of the most magical places I’ve ever been and definitely up there with my favorite things to do on Lombok. Waterfalls pour out of the wall and then a huge diagonal gushing flow pours down with extreme force over the top of them all. Be careful swimming beneath the falls as some people have gotten into trouble being sucked into the extreme pull of the waterfall impact zone.
Organize a tour: Visit both Tiu Kelep Waterfall and Sendang Gile Waterfall on a short trekking tour (Don’t worry this isn’t a long trek). This tour is a great way to see the best attractions the north of Lombok has to offer. You can really pack a lot into one day with the help of your local guide. Click Here to book the top-rated north Lombok tour by booking online.
Book your tour: Trekking tour of Tiu Kelep Waterfall and Sendang Gile Waterfall
Click Here: to read the full blog post about Senaru Sunrise, Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep.
Mount Rinjani Trek
Trekking Mount Rinjani was one of the most epic journeys of the year for me! We endured three days and two nights led by our guide and two porters to the summit of Mount Rinjani, an incredible 3,726 meters.
Mount Rinjani trekking opens from April until January. After January the rainy season kicks in and Mount Rinjani trekking can get quite dangerous. April and May are the quietest months of the year for trekking and actually, have some of the best views as the landscape is incredibly green. The best time to climb Mount Rinjani would be in May to enjoy the best views and quieter crowds.
Trekking Mount Rinjani is a pretty enduring few day. Camping in tents, carrying your gear and walking for up to 15 hours a day means this is for the adventurous souls out there. It was also one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had on my travels and one of the most epic things to do on Lombok.
We had porters to carry the supplies, tents, water, and food. This is standard procedure. We paid $100 USD for 2 nights and 3 days including all meals and gear.
Click Here: to read my full review about Trekking up Mount Rinjani with my mates
Jorden created this vlog from our journey up to the summit of Mount Rinjani!
Camping on Senaru Crater Rim
During the earthquakes and often during variable weather, hiking to the summit of Mount Rinjani is closed. However, the Senaru Crater Rim hike is usually open. It is very safe with no real drop-offs. You walk up through the jungle on a mostly shaded trail. It is incredibly steep and a real leg-burner. The hike to the crater rim takes about 6-8 hours.
When you arrive at the campsite for the night, you are right on the rim of the volcano crater. So you essentially see everything you would from the summit anyway… from just a little lower. You can see all the way into the crater, out over the horizon to Mt Agung and you are above the clouds for sunset.
If you want a shorter hike than a 3 or 4-day expedition or not up to heading all the way to the summit. Hiking Senaru Crater Rim is a great option but be warned, it will still destroy your legs.
Black Sand Beach near Senaru
The morning after our Senaru Crater Rim hike, we headed on a 20-minute drive down towards the coastline. There aren’t too many beach names but this whole stretch is amazing with black sand beach and coconut trees. On a clear day, you even look back up to Mount Rinjani from the beach. You can type in Pantai Greneng on google maps but I headed right from the little port there rather to the left to Pantai Greneng. The water was beautiful and there were zero other people at the beach.
Trekking up Pergasingan Hill
Pergasingan Hill is an epic viewpoint at the top of a steep 1-hour trail in the north of Lombok. The trail is suitable for most hikers and offers some of the best views in all of Lombok! It is best done for sunrise or sunset and you can even camp at the top with the help of a trekking guide. To get to Pergasingan Hill from Senaru you can do a 40-minute drive with motorbike or car.
Pergasingan Hill is in Sembalun, which is right near Mount Rinjani. In fact, you pass by the launch-off spot for the Mount Rinjani Trek and the big volcano looms in the background on the other side of the valley throughout the Pergasingan Hill Trek. It’s important to note that the local name for this trek is called Bukit Pergasingan, which means Pergansingan Hill.
The trek up Pergasingan Hill takes about 1-hour but it was halfway up that the light flowed into the valley and the conditions were just prime. Fog covered the farm fields and base of the mountains while the morning light created beautiful shadows in the creases of the sharp ridges on the mountains in the distance.
Contact Rinjani Dawn Adventures: If you would love to get in touch with Rinjani Dawn Adventures about trekking Pergasingan Hill or other hikes in Lombok you can do so by clicking through to their booking page here.
Full Blog post: TREKKING PERGASINGAN HILL IN NORTH LOMBOK
Camping on Pergasingan Hill
When I camped on Pergasingan Hill, I came from the backway in a small village and instead of an hour up, it took 2.5 hours to wind our way around the ridge. You will only find this private access point at the back of houses with tour guides.
The porters carried the tents, food, water, equipment and we carried our personal belongings much like on Mount Rinjani. At the summit, the guides set up the camp and cooked the food. It is luxury camping and didn’t we know it. It was great though as it gave us time to enjoy the views and explore a bit.
We had a bonfire at night and an epic sunrise in the morning. If you do have the time to camp here it is a great place for an overnight stay. There are lots of little areas to explore and an awesome experience. My first hike was great but camping was 10x better.
Full blog post: TREKKING & CAMPING ON PERGASINGAN HILL IN NORTH LOMBOK
Bukit Selong Rice Field Viewpoint
Bukit Selong Rice Fields viewpoint is a patchwork of farm plots viewed from various mountain tops. We had seen a ton of photos but couldn’t find a set location. Arriving before sunrise we managed to find a designated viewpoint without a big climb. There are more epic spots but this is the most accessible and simplest way to get a cool view of the fields.
A variety of different colored crops create a contrasting patchwork quilt, covering the entire valley. There is a flat viewpoint, which gives you a great view of the whole valley but there is also a higher viewpoint. We climbed up the hill, still with heavy legs from trekking up Rinjani and sat under the wooden star while it began to rain.
Where to stay in Senaru, the northern region of Lombok
The northern region of Lombok is the perfect base for adventuring to Tiu Kelep waterfall or hiking Mount Rinjani. There are budget guesthouses and beautiful resorts available in this region. These are my three recommended options.
Jeeva Santai Villas – Luxury Villa: The first place I recommend is Jeeva Santai Villas and it is my recommendation for a few key reasons. Firstly, the location is great. You are right on the beautiful Mangsit Beach but also within driving distance of Tiu Kelep and Mount Rinjani. It is a location that offers the best of both worlds. To be honest I would prefer staying near the beach and then driving to Rinjani rather than staying in the mountains and being closer to Rinjani but having no beach. Jeeva Santai Villas is a 4-star resort with a beautiful pool, wifi and really relaxed vibes. It’s great for a couple or even a chill spot for a family getaway.
Hakiki Inn Bungalows – Value: The second place I recommend is the value pick called Hakiki Inn Bungalows.This accommodation is what Lombok is all about. Set on the edge of rice fields with the jungle feel but the comfort of a private bungalow. These huts are so damn cool with stairs up to the entrance and the curved bamboo roofs. It’s very close to the Selong Rice field viewpoint and also a good place to base while doing the Mount Rinjani hike. With breakfast included for just $26 for a private bungalow, you are cruising!
Blue Mountain Cottage – Budget (but also value): This is where I stayed. Blue Mountain Cottage was somewhere we just randomly booked but it turned out being really good for a few reasons. The room was very basic but it was comfortable enough with a (once again) basic private bathroom. The accommodation had a restaurant attached, which is always handy and the food was tasty and very cheap. The location of this place was awesome. You could walk to Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile waterfall entrance in about ten minutes. We also based ourselves here when we hiked Mount Rinjani. They let us leave our stuff in their office and looked after it. We also booked our Mount Rinjani trekking tour through Blue Mountain Cottage.