Trekking Rinjani is no mean feat, and its not to be taken lightly! Which is why planning your route and choosing your tour company are two of the most important decisions to make before committing to trekking Rinjani. In our opinion, they are also the key factors to a successful and enjoyable trek, rather than simply an endurance test!
We’ve already shared the full story of our Rinjani trekking experience (including video and 45 photos!), and despite the gruelling challenge it presented us, it is without a doubt one of the most epic volcano treks of all! The scenery is simply some of the best we have EVER witnessed (and no we’re not exaggerating!), so if you’re up to the challenge, we’d highly recommend it!Over in our ‘Top Tips For Trekking Mount Rinjani’ (see our full Rinjani trekking article), we recommend thoroughly researching and choosing your tour company wisely. Why? Well aside from the standard variables such as price and basic trek inclusions, there are a few more things to consider. From camp quality (and location), to food and drink (yes we talk about this a lot but it’s our passion!), we cover it all here…
Trekking Rinjani With Rudy Trekker
We saw a big difference in the quality of service between different companies on the trek, in particular with regards to food and camping equipment provided. Which is why we want to share our tour company experience with you in detail. Thankfully for us, choosing ‘Rudy Trekker‘ for our 4 days and 3 nights on the mountain turned out to be a GREAT decision!
We spoke to many fellow trekkers along the way and were occasionally shocked to hear about the vast difference in service received. For example, one group told us how they were having to ration water each day as their company didn’t have sufficient supplies. Another told us that they’d eaten the same meal of instant noodles with veg for every meal and many other groups arrived to their camps long before their porters, so had to wait a long time for meals. Certainly not what you want when you’re already very tired and hungry from trekking for around 7 hours at a time!
In stark contrast to this, we genuinely felt like we received 5 star service from the staff of Rudy Trekker and would highly recommend them to anyone! Before delving into the full details, find out more about the accommodation, food and camp sites in our video review here!
What To Expect From A Rudy Trekker Tour?
The Camp Accommodation
All 3 of our campsites whilst trekking Rinjani were fantastic, especially their locations! Each day our porters would speed ahead to ensure they were faster than most other groups in order arrive early and secure the best camping spots!
Each time we arrived we were delighted with where they’d chosen for us to camp, and we were usually a good distance away from the other camps so that we could enjoy the amazing views in peace and quiet. We also appreciated the ‘luxury’ of having our own toilet tent too – no hiding under a bush required! I think we were also one of the only groups to have deck chairs to sit on at the end of the day and enjoy the views – amazing!
What can we say? It was just amazing!! The porters managed to surprise us with every meal. From an incredible 3-course lunch on day 1 to our delicious burger & chips served up on day 2 morning (after our early morning summit attempt!), we were amazed by what they could produce on a mountain top at 2,600m altitude!Every day our porters consistently delivered delicious and filling meals at every stop, and very efficiently too. Here’s a glimpse of the variety of meals we enjoyed over our 4 days on the mountain!
Having delicious meals to look forward to along the way definitely boosted our motivation and played a huge part in our trek survival/enjoyment! In fact this is the main reason that we would recommend choosing Rudy Trekker for your tour.
Our Guide & Porters
It’s safe to say that we loved our guide and he played a huge part in us succeeding to complete our trek! He was super patient (especially as we like to stop a lot for photography & video!) and he motivated us through the many tough parts of the trek. He made sure to stay close to us (despite our slow speed!) in order to show us the safest routes to manoeuvre ourselves up and down the steep sections, keeping us safe from taking any tumbles. His level of english was good and sufficient enough to talk us through the trek and encourage us when needed too.
Our porters were also fantastic the whole time, giving us friendly encouragement as they sped past us in order to get ahead and set up our next camp in time for us arriving. Not to mention their amazing cooking skills (already mentioned in the section above) – thank you guys!
In total we took 4 car journeys with Rudy Trekker:
1) Pick up from our Lombok accommodation in south Kuta beach to bring us to the guesthouse in Senaru.
2) 1 hour transfer from Rudy Trekker guesthouse in Senaru to the starting point for our trek in Sembalun.
3) Pick up from end of the trek in Senaru back to the guesthouse.
4) Transfer by car then private speed boat to Gili Air after the trek.
All of our journeys were excellent in a comfortable 4×4 car with A/C and safe drivers (which is a relief when driving around Lombok!) This is the sort of transfer vehicle you can expect from Rudy Trekker.
Taking a ride in Rudy Trekker’s own speed boat however was an experience we’ll never forget! A very exciting ‘James Bond’ moment! 10 minutes or so and we were on the shores of Gili Air – amazing! (All of which was included in our tour cost!)
What To Expect At Rudy Trekker Guesthouse?
The Rudy Trekker guesthouse totally exceeded our expectations and was one of the nicest accommodations we stayed in on Lombok!
Our excellent room was extremely spacious with a delightfully comfortable bed, providing us with a good night’s sleep the night before our trek! We also had a big bathroom with beautiful fittings including a big (HOT!) rain style shower which was just wonderful to soak in before and after our long hot 4 days of trekking!! The room also had A/C but we didn’t need to use it due to the nice cool evenings in Senaru (with its 600m altitude).
On a practical note, we also had about 8 different plug points (including different sockets & voltage options to cover a range of countries & adaptors!) which was very useful for charging up all our devices and camera equipment before our trek!
The restaurant in the guesthouse is great with a large menu of lunch and dinner options.
A full buffet breakfast is also included in your stay which was varied and plentiful with options including eggs, toast, omelette, fruit and tea/coffee. A good start to the day before setting off on your trek!
Finally, Rudy Trekker are also a very environmental sustainability focused company and regularly run projects to send teams to pick up rubbish from the mountain. It’s a shame how many groups just leave their trash behind, but we noticed our porters and guide making sure that every single item they brought to the mountain was taken back for proper disposal or recycling. They actually marked each bottle with Rudy Trekker, so if one was left behind on the mountain, the company would know. In fact we were so impressed to see that they also put all this hard work to good use in their own guesthouse by using lots of empty plastic water bottles as decorative plant pots in the garden!
When you’re travelling around South East Asia, your biggest expense will probably be booking tours. It can be tempting to cut costs and go with the cheaper option, which might make sense when you’re on a half day tour around a city.
But when you’re attempting a 4 day trek up a volcano, you want to be well looked after with proper equipment and food. You will need to be well hydrated, you will need to sleep and eat well. So do your own research, read other reviews, but for us, we felt safe and well looked after by the team at Rudy Trekker and would highly recommend them.
Where To Go After A Mount Rinjani Trek
For us, after 4 days of hard trekking, the only option was to take a short 10 minute speedboat from Lombok to the Gili Islands, and chill out in paradise for a few days on a beach, sipping cocktails, cold beers and fresh seafood. We recommend Gili Air!
Disclaimer: we received a discount from Rudy Trekker, but as with everything on our blog, our opinions above are an honest account of what we experienced.