I'm just wondering if anyone out here has done both Kelimutu and climbed Mt. Rinjani and can recommend one over the other as a more must-see/must-do option and what your experiences were like (including the "down-time" or travel time in order to get to these places where most tours take you to experience the local culture a little bit more. I have to decide what to do with my last 3 remaining days in Indonesia (coming from Denpasar) and want to make it the most worthwhile and currently feel like I'm torn between the two. Seeing colored crater lakes would be an amazing sight but then I would love to do the Rinjani trek as well. The 3rd day/last day I do have to get back to DPS to catch a flight at 2:55am back to Canada. Thanks!
#1 feiticeira has been a member since 25/9/2012. Posts: 4
Forget about trying to/from Kelimutu in 3 days - seriously, check a map!! Aside from the fact that flights are unreliable (my return flight from Flores to Denpasar was delayed for days), you would need a half day minimum travelling each way to Kelimutu. And as far as trying to get public transport, well, suffice to say, they won't be working to your timetable!
Rinjani would be potentially more doable, but be I'd suggest that you to fly or take a speedboat to Lombok to save time. I thought treks up to Rinjani where more like 2-3 day affairs though. Read this blog for one person's experience.
If it were me, I'd stick somewhere a bit closer to Denpasar. Explore the northern/central/western regions of the island, or head over to Lembongan or Penida. Three days is just too short (and risky) to try to venture much further. (Risky in the sense that any disruption due to weather, etc will potentially have you missing a flight. Sounds stressful to me..)
The problem with Kelimutu is getting there. Kelimutu can best be reached via a domestic flight to the city of Ende in Flores. Unfortunately, this connection is not well served and domestic airlines are not very reliable. After having arrived in Ende, head to Wolowana bus terminal, which is located at the end of Jl Gatot Subroto, 4 km from the town centre. From there regular bus services start to Moni. Local tour operators offer the Kelimutu tour starting in the very early morning. The tour can be done within one day, after having arrived in Moni.
Mt Rinjani on Lombok can be reached much more easy. The new Lombok airport is served by serveral airlines like Garuda Indonesia, that have good reputation. You can also go by speed boat from Bali. However, Mt Rinjani is a pretty tough hike that needs 3 days. NEVER try it on your own. You need to arrange a guide in advance, e.g. at the Rinjani Trekking Club.
See here for more travel information about both trips, including links of tour operators.
Best regards and good success,
#3 kingreinhard has been a member since 14/9/2012. Posts: 2
Agree that both are too risky to try in when a return flight to Canada is factored in at the end. In 3 days you could go and see Kawah Ijen in Java easily. That in my view is every bit as fascinating as Kelimutu.
Bus to Banyuwangi from Denpasar is about 4 hours. Next morning get a guy on a bike to take you up the mountain for about 150,000 rupiah. Walk around crater, observe sulphur mining and then head back to Banyuwangi. Either rest and spend the night in Banyuwangi or head straight back to Denpasar on any one of the hundreds of buses that pass through every day.