Guide to Hiking Mount Bromo, East Java

Mount Bromo which stands tall at 2329 m is the most iconic and the most hiked mountain in Indonesia. This is one of the top 10 things to do in Java and rightly so. The mountain 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 a diameter approximately 10km), surrounded by the Laut Pasir (sea of sand) of fine volcanic sand.

After an easy hike, travelers are awarded a breathtaking and ethereal landscape during the sunrise.

-> Check out Where to Stay at Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo @ East Java, Indonesia

Ethereal Mount Bromo. Photo by Share the word


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.

Where is it

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

Map of Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Map of Mount Bromo, Indonesia. Map by Burmesedays

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. Photo by Schristia

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 the best clear sky for your sunrise experience. If you do not have many 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

A Tengger woman. Photo by Trekity

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. Photo by borderlys

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. An 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 an 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. Photo by dhodie

Where to stay at Mount Bromo

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. Take note that all the prices here whether hotels or guesthouses or homestays would be higher than your usual Indonesian ones as it is a popular tourist area.

Cemara Indah
I stayed here myself, it was an overall pleasant stay with a direct view of Mount Bromo. Most important of all is that it is located right behind the trail to start trekking up for the sunrise. Recommended for those who wants to do their hike for sunrise independently themselves. After that come back straight down for the breakfast provided before trekking onwards to the crater rim. Budget to mid range with prices starting at 50 USD. Check out the latest prices and reviews at Agoda.com *

Jiwa Jiwa Bromo
One of the popular hotels at Mount Bromo, with a beautiful garden for sitting out and enjoying the scenic mountain views. The surroundings of the place are well loved by guests and to top it off, they have really good coffee! Luxury with prices starting at 120 USD. Check out the latest prices and reviews at Agoda.com *

-> Find more places to stay at Mount Bromo on Agoda.com *

If you are coming from Surabaya, you are most likely to go via Probolinggo. There are also some options to stay * in this town and take a day trip up to Mount Bromo, such as the good for value Clover Homestay *.

If you want to access Mount Bromo via 4WD drive, then it is recommended to stay at Malang *, where you can enjoy the unique and luxurious Tugu Hotel *. I stayed at the mid-range Hotel Santika Premier * here with good experience.

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. Photo by Schristia

How to get there

Horses and The Poten @ Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Horses and the Poten. Photo by Yv

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. Or get a complete overnight sunrise tour from Surabaya to Mt. Bromo and back.

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

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.

Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, Java, Indonesia

Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, Java, Indonesia. Photo by Kai Seidler

Tips

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.

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Surabaya, East Java

Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia and though not necessarily a popular place to travel to but it is an important gateway to many attractions in Java, Indonesia like. That is why Surabaya tourism is still one of the top in Indonesia after Jakarta being an important international hub as well. Mount Bromo and Bali.

Where is it

It is located in East Java, north of Mount Bromo and to the west of Bali.

Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia Map

Surabaya Map

Why go

As an alternative to fly into Indonesia instead of Jakarta and being a good location to get to places in Java like Yogyakarta, Dieng Plateau and Mount Bromo. You may also fly or take a train and then boat to Bali and Lombok from here.

Chinatown, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia Map

Chinatown in Surabaya

What to see

There are a few tourist attractions in Surabaya worth for sightseeing:

Dutch Colonial buildings in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia Map

Dutch Colonial buildings in Surabaya

House of Sampoerna / Museum Sempoerna
– This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Surabaya, garnering many good reviews from fellow independent travelers.

Suramadu National Bridge

Tugu Pahlawan

What to do

Take the becak around the city and just soak in all the hustle and bustle.
Shopping in the many malls around Surabaya
Massage, pedicure and manicure and also all the self pampering packages you can choose from at a bargain.
Check out the old town area
Go to markets to mingle with the locals.

Where to stay

There are a lot of choices of where to stay in Surabaya, you can go from budget to high-end hotels. If you would like to go for budget, there are options of hostels or homestays like Krowi Inn * at Jalan Ciliwung or Da Rifi Hostel in Jalan Duku. Else affordable hotels like Ibis * or Novotel * is worth it else splurge all the way with the best hotel in Surabaya – Hotel Majapahit *.

How to get there

Fly into Surabaya Airport – Juanda, the second busiest airport after Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport. There are international flights flying here from places like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Bangkok, Hong Kong and other places in Asia and Australia.

From the airport, you may take the official taxi (Prima Taxi) to get to the town, about 18km away, at the cost of 7-10USD.

If you want to get to Mount Bromo from Surabaya, about 70km away, you may hire a car or take the bus instead.

To get to the bus station (Bungurasih), you may take the Airport Bus Service, operated by Damri at only 15,000 Rp. Take note that the bus station is not near to the city and you may go there to catch connecting buses to for example Probolinggo (for Mount Bromo) or Malang.

Take note of domestic departures cost is 30,000 Rp tax while international departures cost is 150, 000 Rp tax.

Street people, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia Map

Streets of Surabaya

Where to go nearby

Head to Mount Bromo about 70 km away and the time to get there 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.

You can also visit Malang just 2-3 hours drive away for its beautiful landscape and cultural attractions, and mainly also as springboard to Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo.

Or take to the hills at Batu, for a refreshing and cooling getaway, about 3 hours away.

If you love history and culture, you may get to Trowulan, which is known as the capital of Majapahit Empire in the 14th Century. Here you may find myriads of temples and some museums.

Head on east to the famous Ijen Craters for volcano acid lake and bl.

Fly to Bali or Lombok, the most famous destination in Indonesia to relax at the beach, immerse in culture and enjoy the food. You may also take the train to Banyuwangi and then boat across to Bali.

Night scene, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia Map

Night scene in Surabaya

Photo credits from top: Burmesedays, abdulrahman, batigolix and the rest abdulrahman

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Top 10 Must Visit Places in Indonesia

Indonesia being diverse and wide with 17,000 islands, you may be sure to find everything to your fancy but there are a few must visit places here that you should know about. After all, not everyone has the time to traverse the entire wonderful Indonesia.

Be it for leisure, shopping, culture, history, diving, trekking or nature, you can find all those in places below of our top travel places in Indonesia.

Jakarta

Jakarta Night Skyline, Indonesia

Jakarta night skyline. Photo by yohanes budiyanto

The capital of Indonesia, everyone would inevitably find themselves visiting Jakarta as their first or last stop in Indonesia. Jakarta is also a very important international airport hub for the entire Indonesia serving many airlines to everywhere in the world. Your visit here would not be complete without getting absorbed into the hectic and congested city. Once attuned you would be ready to take on the rest of the country with ease. It has many hidden treasures, nightlife and is a shopping haven.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Jakarta
-> Read Top 10 Things to Do and Must See in Jakarta

-> Find Jakarta hotel deals at Booking.com. Book now pay later! *


Yogyakarta

Trishaw at Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Trishaw at Yogyakarta. Photo by bob|P-&-S


Personally, Yogyakarta is my favourite place to visit in Java, Indonesia. Is has everything from ancient attractions to shopping to food and culture. Explore the main street and the narrow valleys in search of silversmiths, puppet makers, street arts and food vendors, soaking in the culture, people and food of Indonesia as it has always been.

Yogyakarta serves as a hub for historical and cultural Java, Indonesia, this is the best springboard for you to find the magnificent temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. Bath in the remains of two great kingdoms of two different religion – Buddhism and Hinduism.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Yogyakarta
-> Read Top 10 Things to Do in Yogyakarta

-> Find Yogyakarta hotel deals at Booking.com. Book now pay later! *

Mount Bromo

Do not miss out the majestic Mt Bromo at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, with active and dormant volcanoes to choose from. Standing tall at 2329 m, it is one of the most iconic mountain in Indonesia. You may ride a horse or catch or rent a jeep all the way to the top and be in time to catch a sunrise. You will be rewarded with one of the most out-of-this-world view as the sun appears in the horizon over the blue misty volcanic craters. This is definitely one place you should put on your must visit list in Indonesia.

-> Check out our Guide to Hiking Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo @ Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, Indonesia

Mount Bromo, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. Photo by masterbutler

Lake Toba

Relax and unwind from the hectic of travels at Lake Toba, swim in the largest volcanic lake in the world on lazy afternoons and have a long massage after then followed by a good meal to end the day. With a quiet and serene beauty, it is famous for travelers as a place to just unwind and while the time away, especially after a hard core long backpacking or trekking. Lake Toba is one of the most visited lakes in Indonesia, and that must mean something.

-> Check out our Lake Toba Travel Guide

-> Find hotel deals at Lake Toba on Booking.com. *

Largest Volcanic Lake at Lake Toba, Indonesia

Largest Volcanic Lake at Lake Toba. Photo by schristia

Bali

Tourist-packed? Yes. Well beaten track? Yes. Overrated? Maybe, maybe not. You should go there with your open heart and mind despite after Eat, Love, Pray commercialization and hope to still get the glimpse of the real beauty of it. No matter what the sceptics say, Bali remains a must visit place for every tourists in Indonesia, and it remains so with full of zest. After all, it is still the place with Bali best beaches, misty treks across volcanoes, amazing famous temples like Uluwatu and Tanah Lot and laidback coasts. At night you can even set out for a party or two along Kuta and other Bali night clubs.

-> Check out our Bali Travel Guide
-> Read Top 10 Must Visit Places in Bali

Lombok

A quieter shadow of Bali, this place is slowly becoming a popular visit place in its own rights. People come here to escape the crowds and for the blue waters and green mountains. For the adventurous, a trek up Gunung Rinjani would not dissapoint or surf the great waves at coast. The nearby Gili Islands are also no strangers for the people who escape Bali.

-> Check out our Lombok Travel Guide
-> Read Top 10 Things To Do in Lombok

-> Find Bali or Lombok hotel deals at Booking.com *

Gili Trawangan @ Lombok, Indonesia

Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands. Photo by Jeda Villa Bali

Tana Toraja

A highland and the most popular destination in Southern Sulawesi, this cultural island in between mountains are simply unique. Engulf in its rich culture, traditional villages and fascinating ceremonies that would wow even those who thought they have seen it all.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Tana Toraja

Graves @ Lemo, Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Graves at Lemo, Tana Toraja. Photo by 710928003

Baliem Valley

Best place to explore the Papua area in Indonesia, you may find tribes, which are still practicing rites and ceremonies from ancient times in places among cool air, misty purple mountains and buzz of human activities. Trek and explore the lands of Lani, Dani and Yali tribes in this remote Papua.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Baliem Valley

Barapen Ceremony at Baliem Valley, Indonesia

Barapen Ceremony at Baliem Valley. Photo by Arian Zwegers

Raja Ampat

Known as one of the best diving destination in Indonesia and the world, Raja Ampat is estimated to host over 75% of world’s coral species with more than a thousand tropical fish species, many previously unknown.. It is definitely a diver’s paradise and for those who love marine life.

->Read our Travel Guide to Raja Ampat

Dive at Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Dive at Raja Ampat. Photo by lakshmioct01

Komodo National Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia have the most famous Komodo Dragon which is the largest living lizard. You may even catch legions of flying foxes (large fruit bats) in the star-filled night sky.

-> Read our Travel Guide to Komodo National Park

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach. Photo by Adhi Rachdia

-> Find the right tours for you to explore Indonesia at City-discovery.com *

Versi Bahasa Indonesia10 Tempat Wisata yang Wajib Dikunjungi di Indonesia

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Why Visit Indonesia

Indonesia may not be the first place that many people would think to go but it is a truly hidden gem in the Southeast Asia even though it is a giant in size, having more than 17,000 islands with 240 million people!

You will find that a lot of tourists love coming to Indonesia because of how beautiful and diverse this country is. Known to many as Wonderful Indonesia, it brings you the second largest tropical forests, many pristine beaches with great dive sites and surfing waves, amazing hikes to active volcanoes and wildlife.

Being a large country in size with such diverse culture and covering many time-zones, one can find from mysterious Balinese spiritual to the fascinating Komodo Dragon. Indonesia is still very much off the radar of travel map, except for Bali, with its infrastructures still lacking and development very much challenged. Backpackers can enjoy the thrill of exploring the unbeaten tracks while luxury seekers may find that they do indeed have many choices as well.

People and Festival @ Bali, Indonesia

People and Festival at Bali, Indonesia. Photo by The Wandering Angel

Natural Tourist Attractions

Indonesia have most of nature’s best such from pristine beaches and deep sea to tropical forests and mountains. Be wow by idyllic beaches like in the famous Bali, the emerging Lombok, luxurious Nusa Dua or the quiet Gili Islands. You may also find hiking here amazing as you can hike up the many active volcanoes, such as Mount Bromo and Ijen Crater in East Java, Mount Rinjani in Lombok and Mount Batur in Bali. Many tropical forests here are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia like Ujung Kulon National Parkk in West Java and three major parks in Sumatra. Not to forget is the famous Komodo Dragon found in Komodo Island and the permanent glacier at Lorentz National Park in Papua, a part of Indonesia which sets it a bit different from its Asia counterparts.

Mount Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Mount Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia. Photo by paulzpicz

Historical Attractions and Ancient Rites

For those who are interested in historical and cultural tourist attractions, Indonesia have its long history, giving birth to places like Borobudur in Central Java with its world’s largest Buddhist monument dating from 8th century, Prambanan with its Hindu monument and the famous Yogyakarta, all in Central Java. For more historical interests, check out the ancient funeral rites still in practice by the people in Tana Toraja.

Diving and Surfing

Dive at Bunaken Island, Indonesia

Dive at Bunaken Island, Indonesia. Photo by Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten

There are many beautiful dive sites that goes unnoticed in Indonesia such as Bunaken, Raja Ampat and Wakatobi. You’ll also be surprise to find that it is another surfer’s paradise, with great waves at Nusa Lembongan, south of Lombok or for even greater waves at Sumbawa.

People, Culture, Festival and Indonesian Food

With people from diverse origins and religions, Indonesia has a good mix of cultures and Indonesian festivals, creating a unique melting pot of sorts. But one thing similar about the people is that they are generally nice to travelers. Diverse cultures bring amazing food of varieties and taste. Try out all the delicious Indonesian food such as nasi padang, nasi timbel, nasi uduk, bakmi, kuetiaw, bakso, soto ayam, ayam bakar, gado gado, sambal, kue and fresh local fruits just to name a few. From street food to eating house (restaurant) to higher end dining, you can be sure to satiate your appetite in Indonesia. Here’s Top 10 Indonesian food for you to start with.

Indonesian Food - Soto Mee

Indonesian Food – Soto Mee


All in all, Indonesia has a lot to offer even for those who travel on a budget in Indonesia but willing to take the extra time and effort to get to some places which is good to know that are worth it. In summary, you should go to Indonesia for the untouched nature of beaches, tropical forests, active volcanoes and wildlife, and magnificent history of monuments, and for great diving and surfing. But most of all, you should go to Indonesia to experience all it has to offer from people to culture and food, which in the end seal up what we would call a fulfilling and unforgettable trip.

Ready to start your trip to Indonesia? Start here:
Indonesia Travel Guides
Top and Best of Indonesia

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