Hiking Mount Bromo, East Java

Mount Bromo which stands tall at 2329 m is one of the most iconic mountain in Indonesia. It beckons majestically despite having the entire top blown off and with a crater inside that keeps spewing off white sulphurous smoke. Mount Bromo is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world and there are areas that are blocked off from tourists due to its imminent danger. It sits inside the massive Tengger caldera (volcanic crater with diameter approximately 10km), surrounded by the Laut Pasir (sea of sand) of fine volcanic sand. This breathtaking and ethereal landscape have been swooned by many travelers alike.

Map of Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Map of Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Myth has it that Mount Bromo is significant to the Tengger people who believe that the site is where their brave prince sacrificed his life for his family. To appease the Gods, the people will offer food and money by throwing it into the crater of the volcano once a year during annual Kasada (or Kasodo) festival.

Mount Bromo @ East Java, Indonesia

Mount Bromo @ East Java, Indonesia

Where is it

Mount Bromo is situated inside Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, beside Mount Semeru at East Java, Indonesia.

Why go

To be awe in nature’s best combination of beauty and danger, an active volcano that can be so foreboding and desolate yet so beautiful. The view itself is almost out of this world and be the reason enough to go there!

Upclose with Mount Bromo, Java, Indonesia

Up close with Mount Bromo

When is the best time to go

June – August where there is less rain but more tourists. August is also the month for the Kesada / Kesodo festival for the Tengger people if you are interested.
But that being said, Indonesia being a fairly mild weather of just rain and shine, anytime is a good time to go Mount Bromo, only check out for local weather when you are there for best clear sky for your sunrise experience. If you do not have much days then hope for the best when you are there.
Also try to avoid weekends if you do not want the crowd.

What to see

Tengger woman @ Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Tengger woman @ Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Mount Bromo of course.

Tenggerese houses which is unique to its kind, while take some time to understand the fine Tengger people.

A Tenggerese Hindu temple known as The Poten that sits nearby Mount Bromo, looking both eerie and peaceful on the sea of sand.

What to do

Trek to Mount Bromo's Crater

Trek to Mount Bromo’s Crater

Hike up Mount Penanjakan in time to catch the sunrise over Mount Bromo. It takes about 1-2 hours hike to the first vantage point. Sun rises at 5.30am, therefore usually you have to plan when to start hiking depending on your fitness level. Maps and information are readily and easily available at one of the many official locations. Extra tip is that you may want to hike earlier to avoid the crowd and get a good spot as you may find a lot of people crowding the vantage point to view the sun rising over Mount Bromo. If you have the time and energy, there is another less-crowded vantage point higher up with unobstructed view of the sunrise. Find and scale the slope behind the shelter to get to the higher flat land.

Trek down Mount Penanjakan and up to Mount Bromo summit. Here you can trek down and then across 3km sand of sea and then upwards to summit the caldera of Mount Bromo. It takes about 1-2 hours again depending on your fitness level.

Road through Sea of Sand to Mount Bromo's crater

Road through Sea of Sand to Mount Bromo’s crater

What and where to eat

Every lodge, guesthouse or hotel normally serves food as well for travelers. There are also few independent eateries around to choose from such as Bromo Corner Café and Waroeng Basuki, or you may just head on to simple roadside warungs and enjoy basic local Indonesian food. You should also try out the hot Javanese coffee (kopi panas). All restaurants will open by 3am as that is when most people start to wake for the hike to catch the sunrise.

Catching sunrise @ Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Catching sunrise @ Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Where to stay

You may find various guesthouses and basic hotels located around Mount Bromo, as that place is popular for tourists. Try to stay nearby so that you can do the morning hike up to catch the sunrise easily. Lots of guesthouses or hotels are situated at the crater rim.

But if you want to stay a little bit further away, you may stay in nearby towns such as Malang, or at some of the cool mountain resorts offer spectacular view of Mount Semeru and Mount Arjuna.

How to get there

Horses and The Poten @ Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Horses and The Poten @ Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Fly into Juanda international airport at Surabaya. There are direct flights from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Bali. If you are flying domestic from Jakarta, you may take Sriwijaya that flies twice weekly. Take note of domestic departures cost is 40,000 Rp tax while international departures cost is 200, 000 Rp tax.

Distance from Surabaya airport to the Mount Bromo national park is about 70km and the time it takes is around 4 hours due to heavy traffic and congestion. On the way, you would pass Probolinggo town which lies at the major highway across java. Here is where most backpackers would usually share a transport to take them up to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National park.

How to get around

If you are able, then trekking or walking is the best way to experience Mount Bromo but you may take ponies or horses across the sea of sand to the bottom of the steep stairs that leads to the crater.

Where to go nearby

Mount Bromo, Indonesia with rising smoke

Mount Bromo with rising smoke

Malang – Cultural capital of East Java
Ijen crater – 6 hours drive away. Magnificent turquoise sulphur lake that exudes flames, blue fire at night and smoky white in the day.


Bring a jacket and gloves as it may get chilly up there. In a pinch you can rent a jacket at around 25k rupiah and buy a glove at 20k rupiah.

Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, Java, Indonesia

Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, Java, Indonesia

Photo credits from top: Burmesedays, Share the word, Schristia, Trekity, borderlys, dhodie, Schristia, Yv, riza, Kai Seidler

Related Articles:
Malang Travel Guide
Ijen Crater

East Java Tours (affiliate links)
Discover East Java: Yogyakarta – Mt Bromo – Surabaya

About Rachel

Fascinated by Indonesia, Rachel hopes to bring the best Indonesia Travel Guide to independent travelers, so that they can enjoy what Indonesia has best to offer. Being an independent wanderer herself, Rachel knows what it takes to make a good, fun-filled yet responsible independent traveling. So let’s join her to discover wonderful Indonesia together. Google+

36 thoughts on “Hiking Mount Bromo, East Java

  1. Mount Bromo Beautiful sunrise in east java. from Mt Penanjakan is one of the best place in the edge of the Tengger caldera to see sunrise. Afterward, the jeep will take us to the slopes of Mount Bromo by crossing the ocean of sand and then you will climb the slopes of Mount Bromo by following the stairs up leading to the peak of Mount Bromo.

  2. Thank you so much for the info presented, which is heaps helpful!

    My friends and I are planning to stay at Lava View Lodge or somewhere pretty close to it, then hike up to Mt Penanjakan in the middle of the night to photograph stars and wait for sunrise. Is it possible for such a journey on foot? Are there online resources which have the trail guides for download? We prefer to be well-prepared beforehand.

    Thanks once again!

    • Yes you can hike up the Mount Penanjakan at night about 3/4am and then wait for sunrise. It can all be done on foot, just ask someone at the resort and they will point you to the starting point at the hill, from there it is straight forward all the way up. Have fun!

      • Hi Rachel,
        Appreciate the information shared. It certainly helps alot.
        I too would like to hike up mt penanjakan and from your sharing, i understand I can probably start the hike at 3/4am if I stayed at lavaview lodge. However I notice that most tour group also depart for mt penanjakan by jeep at 3/4am if staying at lava vie lodge or nearby, would you by any chance may know how come by foot or jeep we can start at about the same timing? I would expect travelling by jeep is faster, as such I would probably have to start much earlier before 3/4am if by foot?
        Also would you have any reccomendation or contact for transport from surubaya airport to hotels near mount bromo?


        • Hi James, those that are moving out by jeep is actually heading to another mountain view for Bromo (which they had claimed that the view is much more beautiful but I have not tried it) and the one we hike up is the one nearer to where everyone stays and do not require a jeep to get up on. I believe both are called Penanjakan and differentiated by 1 or 2. You will find more people at Penanjakan 1 that have them going there in groups with a jeep, therefore be prepared for a huge crowd there. Our experience in Penanjakan 2 was pretty quiet and earlier when we waited we were almost the only ones, and the view was still breathtaking to us. Sorry I do not have any contacts for transports to Mount Bromo from Surabaya because we went there from Malang. You may try to get a local bus there is you have the time. Have fun!

          • Hi Rachel,
            if your photos on this site were taken from “Penanjakan 2″ then it is almost the same angle as I took on my previous trip when I travelled to “Penanjakan 1″ by jeep. The jeep has to take a very long route across a lava plain in order to reach the road that goes up Mt Penanjakan. Hence the travel time is rather long.

          • The pictures are a mixture of Penanjakan 1 and 2. I have only tried Penanjakan 2 hence I didn’t know that the travel time to get to the Penanjakan 1 is long but I hope it is worth it for you! ;)

  3. Hi Rachel
    From Surabaya airport how do we go to malang.
    Where is reasonable place to stay near to mount bromo
    Wish to see sunrise

    • from Surabaya, take a 3 hours bus down to Malang. We stayed in Cemara Indah, not exactly the cheapest place to stay in Indonesia but it is really near to the mountain up to Penanjakan 2 for sunrise and it is clean. :)

  4. Love your site! I’ve lived in Indonesia for a little over a year and love the weather and unique islands. Each place seems to have a culture that is all its own. Just an FYI, the airport tax has increased for both domestic and international flights. It’s now Rp 40,000 for domestic and Rp 200,000 for international. ;)

  5. Hi there, we will be going on a 4D3N trip to East Java. Do you think 1 night is good enough for Mount Bromo? We are considering if there’s enough time to visit the Ijen Crater and spend a night there before returning to Surabaya.

    • hi, yes one night would be enough for Bromo, you may explore a little on the day you arrive and then sleep and get up for sunrise over Mount Bromo, and then trek to Bromo and back and be in time to leave by 12-1pm. It is possible to make way to Ijen Crater too if you want to squeeze in but in this case it would be wise to hire transport to save time, else good luck !

  6. If I arrive at the Surabaya airport at 6:30pm, do you think I will have enough time to get to Mt. Bromo for the sunrise hike or will I be pushing it for time? I have 7 days in Indonesia and fly into/leave from Jakarta. Bali and Mt. Bromo are definitely two stops I want to make. I was thinking Ijen as well, but did’t know if it would be plausible given that the forums I have read have said traveling Mt. Bromo and Ijen will take up at least 3 days. Any advice?

    • From Surabaya to Mount Bromo from 6.30pm can be possible, just note that road condition is not that good and night traveling would take more time. You can stop by Ijen crater too on the way to Bali as it is on the way. Head to Ijen after sunrise, put up a night there and also do another sunrise at Ijen, after that head to Bali. It is possible but can be tiring.

  7. thanx so much Rachel, those are such helpful information. actually am planning to have vacation in Bali next month and after reading about mount Bromo i think i should visit it, so am asking how long it takes from bali to mount bromo national park ?? and can i get back to bali on the same day ??

    • It is possible to do a 1 day trip to Mount Bromo from Bali, there are many tour companies that offer this from Bali. If you go via overland, it will take quite sometime and I would suggest that you stay at least one night there and catch the sunrise in the morning before heading back.

  8. hello Rachael! Love your writing and info about Mount Bromo experiences. I’ll be backpacking to Indonesia for 10 days on February next year. My plan is, sunrise at Mount Bromo, then to Ijen carter and afterward Bali via Bayuwangi. which is the best choice to go to Bromo from Malang or Probolingo if I were to take train to Bayuwangi and Ijen carter afterward? and FYI I’ll be traveling on my own without tour operator.

    • Hi, the choice of going to Bromo from Malang or Probolinggo depends firstly where is your starting point. Then you need to see how many days you went to spend to get there. From Surabaya airport to Bromo, the shortest way is via Probolinggo. But if you want to have a scenic 4WD ride across the crater, then you may invest more days and put up a night in Malang first (3 hours from Surabaya) and then take the 4WD truck to Bromo. You can then take the Probolinggo route back from Bromo to Surabaya and then train to Banyuwangi though this would certainly be backtracking. You may consider other form of transport from Bromo to Banyuwangi besides the train for more direct route. Have fun backpacking Indonesia!

  9. Is it possible to do the bromo and ijea 3d 2n trip with a 11 month old infant baby. Have people done it ? What is your observation and suggestion on this ? What parts of the journey can get challenging with the infant baby?

    I am currently in bali with my wife and baby . Am evaluating the pros and cons of making this trip.

    • well it can be quite a dusty trip across the caldera and it would be also equally challenging if you decide to trek up Mount Bromo itself to look down into the active crater with a child. Also taking horses would proof to be even harder. If you only want to sit on jeeps and have view of the Bromo from far it is possible.

  10. It is also advisable to bring along either surgical mask or N95 to prevent yourself from breathing in debris. The horse ride will cost 150k Rp and make sure to pay the guide AFTER the 2-way journey. Besides Mt Bromo, do spot the highest peak namely Mt Semeru.

  11. Hello Rachel,

    I really appreciate your work, after wiki travel this is the blog i refer. Rachel I’m planning to visit Bromo in December. So it it a good time to visit Mount Bromo?

    I’m still looking for a place to stay, if you have a email address please share with me. I got one from Melang, as far as i concern it’s pretty far away from Mount Bromo.

    In wiki travels they say, tourist jeeps charges according to the no of view points we are visiting. How many view points are there after Penanjakan 1 and 2.

    Can I do this hike without a tour operator?

    • hi, december should be fine but there might be chance of rain but generally sunrise should be alright. You can try to rent a room at Cemara Indah, it is very near to Penanjakan 2. You can do the hike up Penanjakan 2 yourself without a tour, just an hour hike up.

  12. Hi Rachel,

    Can I go to Bromo with my 2.5 year old son? Could you please suggest what are the challenges I may face on the way?

    • it would be a little challenge if you decide to hike or trek the caldera, else you may hire a jeep to take you there. the last climb of stairs up to Bromo crater will be a bit challenging too.

  13. Hi, We are coming from Surabaya but are still unsure where to stay and can we get on a tour to see Bromo when we arrive or do we have to book it earlier? is it worth doing the round trip through Malang

    • I did a prebook trip before going to Bromo but it should be possible to arrange there. The journey to Malang by 4WD is scenic but takes time, so depending on your trip.

  14. Hi Rahel,
    I would like to go Mt Bromo + Semeru next year mid May 2015, Is it possible if I fly to Surabaya and back from Bali ? or Surabaya back to Surabaya. My trip is about 8 -9 days . Appreciate your kind advise.

    • You can fly to Surabaya and back from Bali if you plan to visit Bali. It will save time but could be more expensive. But take note Bali is pretty far from Java itself and takes time to get to via land.

  15. Hi Rachel

    My friends and I would like to visit bromo during mid December (5 to 7 days), do you have any tour package or agent to recommend?

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