Lombok is unlike any other island in Indonesia. In addition to the incredible surf, its interior holds natural secrets worth exploring. Such is the case with Geopark Rinjani.
I went here following a tip from my Lonely Planet guide — did I ever mention that I ‘m part of the LP Pathfinders group of travelers? — and in reality, I didn’t even know what to expect.
The Geopark Rinjani-Lombok is located on the mountain with the same name, covers five districts to the north of the island, and was considered a UNESCO Site in 2018.
Among the various activities that can be done here, getting to know its waterfalls is perhaps one of the most incredible.
DO YOU KNOW…
Mount Rinjani is the second-highest in Indonesia. Of great importance to the Hindu and Sasak people, who often make pilgrimages to the summit, the Balinese believe that this is one of the three sacred mountains, along with Agung (Bali) and Bromo (Java).
A magical world of waterfalls in Lombok
The park consists of five waterfalls that are relatively easy to access. Still, when I bought tickets at the reception, I was tempted: “Do you want to go to the secret waterfalls?”… “secret waterfalls?…” I thought.
“There are waterfalls that only the locals know about, and we can take you there,” they proposed. “But, the trail runs through the jungle.”
Of course, I accepted immediately! How to refuse such a suggestion! Maybe it was a lie; perhaps they are known as the rest, but how to turn your back on a challenge?
We set out for Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu, two sets of waterfalls like I had never seen before.
From the main entrance to the waterfalls, you need to walk close to half an hour.
Being a little short on time and the locals offering to take us on a motorbike, we chose to hang on a Vespa that bounced freely from each hole (or, I must say, crater) that the dirt road had.
The waterfalls were formed from the unevenness of the volcanic rock, falling into curtains of water that make the view exceptional as soon as we started to approach the place.
The beauty of this place, surrounded by lush vegetation and water everywhere, makes it one of the region’s leading natural attractions. Therefore, it’s not free of numerous visitors, both foreign and national.
An adventure through the jungle
But the real adventure started from here. The young guide, who had driven the motorcycle, told us to follow him because he was going to take us to the other waterfalls.
Soon, I started to understand why they were secret. To get there, we would have to cross paths embedded in dense vegetation, rivers and streams, stone paths and even climb muddy slopes, since this is a humid area.
I usually think that the best of a challenge is what you gain with it at the end. This visit was proof of that.
After scratching myself, sweating from every pore, and even slipping in the mud, I saw myself facing amazing waterfalls and without a soul in sight! Priceless!
It was a challenging track and not suitable for those who have limited mobility. But for those who like a good challenge in nature, it’s fully recommended.
Back at the starting point, I ended the visit with a broad smile on my face and a crown of vegetation on my head made by the young guide who was tireless all the way. Just in time to avoid a storm that hit the area shortly after.
I still think today what it would be like to be caught by torrential rains on that path. But, as they say: the Gods favor the bold! 😉