In the far northeast of Lombok, little towns and traditional villages are linked to one another in a Shangrila-like environment. A quiet, well-kept road cuts through a high valley, sealed from the rest of the world by towering mountain walls. The soil in this isolated realm is rich and highly cultivated with rice, soybeans, coffee, tobacco, cotton, cinnamon and vanilla. These are the foot hills of the Rinjani, looming large over Lombok and visible even from neighboring Bali. It is also one of the highest volcanic peaks in Indonesia, lying dormant for now. Travelling through this remote land is an exhilarating experience.
Gunung Rinjani and its surrounding have been declared a national park in 1995. It lies within a major transition zone as established by the 19thy century physicist Wallace. He determined the locations within Indonesia, where flora and fauna gradually change over from a south East Asian into a typical Australian type.
At 3.726m, Mount Rinjani is also a distinguished part of the celebrated "Ring of Fire", a stretch of fascinating volcanoes spanning across from South Malaysia well into the Philippines. No wonder then that for the people of Lombok, Sasak and Balinese alike, the Rinjani is revered as a sacred place and an abode of deities. The Crater Lake is a pilgrimage destination for tens of thousands each year.