The 3,726-meter high Mount Rinjani in Lombok is not only popular for its height and majestic presence over the island but also for being the home of three magnificent waterfalls: Air Terjun Sindang Gila, Air Terjun Tiu Kelep, and Air Terjun Betara Lenjang. These three are all located in the village of Senaru along the slopes of the mountain.
While Sindang Gila is the most popular, Betara Lenjang is the most challenging. A climb up Senaru’s third waterfall is not for everyone and only for the more experienced mountain trekker or rock climber using reliable equipment and trekking alongside an experienced guide. From the village center, one has to walk for two hours through lush rainforest. This walk alone is already taxing since getting lost in the thick shrubs is not difficult to imagine. The highly adventurous trek to Betara Lenjang begins at the Rinjani trek but takes a left down into the bottom of the valley after passing through Eaglewood Forest. The trail is not well maintained and so it can be very challenging. But the real excitement to this Senaru attraction is all in the hike leading to it. In and of itself, Betera Lenjang is in fact not as majestic as Sindang Gila or Tiu Kelep.
Sindang Gila is rightfully the most popular of the three since its cascading waters are majestic to see, and bathing in the pool below is cool and refreshing. Sindang Gila offers a fitting hideaway from the heat and humidity of the island. The surrounding greenery is also very inviting and perfect for an afternoon picnic. Tiu Kelep also offers a cool bath but with much fewer persons because it is more difficult to reach. Tourists who bother to see this second waterfall are rewarded by a cool dip with only a few other tourists around.
Taken together, though, these three natural attractions make Senaru Village a truly special place and must-see destination when in Lombok. Senaru in northern Lombok is considered the key gateway village to these majestic waterfalls and Mount Rinjani, as well as other natural wonders. Another interesting fact about this village is that it was the birth place of Wektu Telu, a Muslim-based belief system that embraces animism and pantheism, and also adheres somewhat to Hinduism. Wektu Telu is not observed anywhere else in the world.
To get to Senaru, metered or chartered taxis can travel all the way from the main tourist areas of West Lombok, which includes the capital city of Mataram and the main tourist strip of Senggigi. The fare could cost around Rp 300,000-400,000, roughly US$35-47. From the airport, a fixed taxi rate costs Rp 360,000. The trip is worth it, since Senaru is not just a one-attraction town. Taking the bus is, of course, much cheaper but a bit more complicated. From Mataram, tourists may take a ride from the bus terminal going to Anyar. There are not many trips going there, however. It is a long bus trip, taking about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. From Anyar, bemos (minivans) travel to Senaru regularly but only until 4:00 PM.
Once in Senaru, all the amazing tourist attractions and local exposures are within reach. One may walk from one attraction to another, except of course, to the Air Terjun Betara Lenjang waterfall.