Sembalun is mostly famous as a start or end point for the exhausting Rinjani Trek. However, this does not really do justice to the area itself. For those who do not have the time, budget, or simply do not feel like climbing Rinjani, Sembalun itself has great hiking and soft trekking opportunities. Sembalun actually consists of six small villages; all situated between 800 – 1200 meters above sea level, and surrounded almost entirely by a range of steep hills. The temperature is notably lower here than in other parts of Lombok, which also makes it pleasant for hiking. There may be not be much going on in the villages itself (combined population of 19.000 inhabitants), but they do make an ideal starting points to stock up on water and food, have a cup of locally grown and roasted coffee, and tie your shoelaces.
Where most of Lombok is covered in rice fields, the temperate climate here allows different crops to grow, so the start of your hike may lead through fields of strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, coffee, cacoa and chilies, along with the common banana trees and bamboo. Depending on the route you take, the hike may then continue through scrubs, riverbed and lush rainforest. Higher up you will come across moss-covered pine trees and savanna. The views over the valley are generally spectacular. From atop the hills you can often see Rinjani and from the hills on the East side, you can even see Sumbawa on clear days! The clouds often clear during the evening, so camping on one of the hills may be well worth it.
Sembalun can be reached through two main routes. From Senggigi, it is a 3-hour drive along the North coast, leading pass stunning bays and beaches before continuing through the foothills of Mt. Rinjani. The second option from Senggigi is the main road to Mataram, and then East Lombok, which leads through scenic rice-fields, and passes different villages and fruit markets. This route also takes about 3 hours. The last part of this route before reaching the valley of Sembalun is a very windy and steep road through dense rain-forest. Because Sembalun is the starting point for many Rinjani Trekkers, the villages are home to several accommodations, and in case you wish to camp during your hike, camping gear can be rented here as well. Depending on the length of the hike you wish to do, it may be a good idea to arrange a porter who can carry your camping equipment viagra kaufen in apotheke. For short trips it is a good idea to arrange a local guide too, as the trails are generally not signposted.