The cool, flower-filled mountain village of Senaru on the slopes of Mt. Rinjani stretches up a hillside spur along a winding road above Bayan. It is a scenic 2.5 hours drive from Mataram or Senggigi to Senaru. The Desa includes the hamlets of Senaru villge, Batu Koq, Tumpang Sari, and all offer accommodation in simple but pretty homestays (losmens with lovely views).
The Rinjani Trek Center is located at the top of the village at the trailhead. It offers all information for visitors on the Rinjani Trek, the National Park, Sasak culture and the arrange of ecotourism activities available for visitors to Senaru village. National Park and village entry fees are paid here, and all the porters for trekkers have to be hired from Porters’ association which is also based in the Rinjani Trek Center. Village guides, includes several local women, have been specially trained to escort the visitors around the sights. Arrange a guided excursion through the Rinjani Trek Center or your accommodation.
Senaru’s best known attraction is the Sindang Gila waterfall which attracts many thousands of Indonesian and foreign visitors annually. Located at about 600m above sea level, the waterfall is an easy 20 minutes walk down a graded trails and steps from Senaru village. A pleasant alternative return route winds along the edge of the steep valley following the irrigation canal.
For the more adventurous, Senaru’s second waterfall “Tiu Kelep” is another hour’s walk upriver from Sendang Gila. The scramble over rocks through the tropical forest is rewarded by the beauty of the waterfall and a swim in its deep pool. It is said locally that every time you swim behind the main waterfall of Tiu Kelep you become a year younger!.
With access from the main road, Senaru’s third waterfall Betara Lenjang is srictly for rock climbers with a local guide and equipment.
During early morning and evening walks in Senaru you are likely to see interesting birds. Butterflies and at least one of the two species of monkey who live in the surrounding forest. Long-tailed macaques known locally as Kera, often sit down in the road. More elusive is the rare Silvered Leaf monkey, and also known as the black monkey known locally as Lutung which can often be glimpsed in the forest around the waterfalls.
Senaru Traditional Village
A visit to Senaru Traditional Village, situated next to the Rinjani Trek Centre where the Rinjani trail begins is greatly enhanced by asking a local guide to show you around. The Sasak inhabitant are the cultural guardians of Mountain Rinjani and its surrounding forest and safeguard its spiritual values. Locally guided visits include opportunities to experience the villagers’ daily life, visit their their thatched houses prepare meals using local produce, and understanding their traditional way of life.
Morning waterway walk and sunrise
Leave your losmen early for a one and a half hour escorted walk through the fields past the traditional village and along the irrigation channel that winds through village fields past crops and houses. Enjoy visiting local homes, seing early morning activities and learning about farming methods. Witness the sun rising from the sea beneath the spectacular sweeping views of north Lombok from the summit of Mt. Rinjani to the coast.
Evening walk and sunset
Below the Senaru Traditional Village, a one and a half hour escorted walk along village trails brings you to the “sacred waterfall” or “traditional swimming pool”, the Tumpasan Senar. Enjoy a refreshing swim or late afternoon laze. On the return trip, visit some local hamlets as the people return from their fields, and enjoy the sunset over Mt. Agung in distant Bali from a vantage point in a local orchard.
By special request in advance, the people of Senaru village and Sembalun can treat you to the very special spectacle of their traditional music and dance performances in a village setting beneath Mt. Rinjani.