As you’ve probably gathered by now, Rinjani National Park isn’t short of waterfalls and the small village of Aik Berik on the southern slopes of Rinjani is particularly well endowed with no less than five waterfalls within easy hiking distance of the village.
Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu waterfalls garner most of the attention and with good reason. Imagine if you will, a cliff face so densely clad with ferns and moss that the rock face is barely visible. Now imagine spring fed water falling from that green wall like a set of fine, lacy curtains blowing in the breeze. So beautiful it was the bathing place of the Hindu goddess Anjani. That is Benang Kelambu.
Benang Stokel is not quite as fairy tale beautiful as its stable mate but it is by no means the ugly stepsister. Surrounded by lush vegetation, the twin falls plunge from a height of 20m into a deep plunge pool perfect for swimming. The outflow bubbles through a series of shallow pools in the river bed where you can laze back against the rocks and enjoy the massaging effects of the water.
Aik Berik’s other three waterfalls are rarely visited by outsiders, mostly because very few tourists realise they even exist. Pengkelep Udang waterfall is actually the closest to the village but it’s rather hidden in the jungle just below the main trail to Benang Stokel. It’s only 11m high but is apparently quite popular with the local lads who jump from the top into the deep plunge pool. Kliwun and Sesere waterfalls are located quite close together deeper in the jungle. Not only are they both quite pretty, it’s highly likely you’ll have them to yourself.
All five falls are reached from the car park just outside Aik Berik village. A 10.000Rp admission fee is payable at the entrance kiosk. Benang Stokel is an easy 500m walk from the entrance gate and Benang Kelambu a 1km beyond there. The track to both falls is well worn and easy to follow so there’s no need for a guide.
You will need a guide if you intend on doing the additional three falls as the tracks are less well defined so they’re difficult to find without local knowledge. Good sturdy footwear is recommended. None of the falls are far apart and all five can be trekked in around 1.5 hours plus additional time for swimming etc. Expect to pay around 100.000Rp for a guide for a couple of hours.
On a sour note and similar to the behaviour seen at the Senaru waterfalls, there have been recent reports of opportunistic touts scamming tourists into paying for totally unnecessary and unlicensed guiding services. If you are only doing Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu waterfalls, there is absolutely no need for a guide. It’s about time the Lombok establishment cleaned these con artists out but until then, forewarned is forearmed.
Aik Berik Village is located about 32km (1hr) northeast of Mataram. There’s are some toilets and change facilities at Benang Stokel and a small market by the car park where you can purchase drinks, snacks, small towels and other tourist trinkets.