Top 10 Volcano Mountains You Must Hike

Although boasting 17,000 islands, Indonesia may come to mind with lots of islands and beaches and sea, but you be surprised that it has just as many mountains. Being an archipelago that is situated at the confluence of the tectonic plates – Asian, Australian, Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, it has as many as 129 volcanoes making it the country with 13 percent of the world’s volcanoes. These volcanoes encircling the stretch of Indonesia has a name with a cool ring to it – Indonesia Ring of Fire.

The volcanoes, some active (some very busy) and some not, provides a naturally stunning scenery unlike any other. Some of the mountains are situated within an immense volcanic lake or some with craters that spurt blue fire.

The highest peak in Indonesia is the Puncak Jaya in Papua while the largest volcanic lake is the Lake Toba in Sumatra.

Here are Top 10 Volcano Mountain in Indonesia for you to visit:

Volcano Mount Bromo with Mount Semeru at the back, Java, Indonesia

Volcano Mount Bromo with Mount Semeru at the back spewing smoke. Photo by borderlys


Java

Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo, at 2329 m, is one of the most iconic mountain in Indonesia. This is due its majestic beauty, where it stands forebodingly within the Tengger caldera sea of sand while spewing off white sulphurous smoke. Mount Bromo is one of the most active volcanoes of the world and one of the frequent visited ones. Travelers from far and wide come here to view the sunrise over this mountain, where the ethereal landscape is not to be missed.

-> Read our Guide to Hiking Mount Bromo

Volcano Mount Ijen and its lake, Java, Indonesia

Volcano Mount Ijen and its lake, Java. Photo by Richard Liblanc

Ijen Crater

Ijen Crater or locally known as Kawah Ijen is another popular mountain of Java after Mount Bromo. Many travelers continue to visit here after Mount Bromo and the experience is refreshingly new. Inside the crater you will see a magnificent turquoise sulphur lake that exudes flames, blue fire at night and smoky white in the day.You will also meet many sulphur collectors on your hike up and be shocked by the condition of their work consuming the harmful fumes all the time. Ijen volcano contains the world’s largest acidic volcanic lake that shines in beautiful turquoise color. By night the lake will throw off blue flames which many hikers brave the dark for.

-> Read our Guide to trekking Ijen Crater

Hike Volcano Mountain Semeru, Java, Indonesia

Hike Mount Semeru, Java. Photo by Michael Day

Mount Merbabu

Mount Merbabu, the name translated as “Mountain of Ash” in Javanese, is the only volcano mountain in this list that is dormant. But even with that, it is still a volcano to be reckoned with. It lies adjacent to Mount Merapi towards the southeast at the height of 3142 m. It is a challenging hike up to the peak; there are two peaks – Syarif (3119 m) and Kenteng Songo (3142 m), forming a U-shaped valley, but with a guide, one can conquer Mount Merapi. The area of the mountain had been declared as a national park in 2004.

The nearby city to stay would be either Magelang or Salatiga *.

Hike Mount Merbabu, Java, Indonesia

Hike Mount Merbabu, Java. Photo by uncle.capung

Mount Semeru

Mount Semeru is the tallest mountain in Java, located at the east. It is also known as Mahameru by the locals, which means The Great Mountain, deriving from the mystical Hindu-Buddhist mountain of Meru and Sumeru, the gods. Climbing to the peak takes two hiking days, and it is relatively easy for seasoned hikers. The only challenge is the last slope up to the summit. Mount Semeru is an active volcano with constant smoke from its crater.

SUMATRA

Mount Krakatoa or Krakatau

Hike Mount Krakatau, Java, Sumatra, Indonesia

Anak Krakatau between Java and Sumatra. Photo by Paul Hessels

Krakatoa or also known as Krakatau, is a volcanic island situated in the Sunda Straits between Java and Sumatra of Indonesia. The eruption of Mount Krakatoa in 1883 had been noted as one of the most violent volcanic events ever recorded. The huge explosion blast over 4,000km all the way to Australia and India. This massive explosion cause giant tsunami and the dust from it stays in the stratosphere for several years after while killing more than 35,000 people.

Mount Krakatoa is still very much an active volcano and scaling it takes precaution and would require camping a night at Rakata Island, where you can enjoy the view of Krakatoa eruption at night. Else you can stay at the nearby hotels * on the mainland side.

Mount Kerinci

Mount Kerinci is the tallest volcano in Indonesia and the highest peak in Sumatra. It is located within the Kerinci Seblat National Park that is home to the endangered species – Sumatran Tiger and Sumatran Rhinoceros. It is still a very much active volcano with constant annual activities. The climb up this mountain would take 3 days 2 nights to reach the summit, or one day less if not. There are 15 lakes surrounding this mountain with one of lake being the highest lake in Southeast Asia at 1996 m which is called Gunung Tujuh Lake (Seven Mountains Lake – there are 7 peaks surrounding this lake). The biggest lake here is the Kerinci Lake at 4200 hectares. Most visitors would come in and stay first either at Padang or Jambi *, before transferring to Kerinci Sablat National Park.

Hike Volcano Mountain Kerinci, Sumatra, Indonesia

Mount Kerinci, Sumatra. Photo by WahyuS

BALI

Mount Batur

One of the more popular mountains in Bali, Mount Batur is an active volcano standing at 1700m, many travelers hike a do this short but can be quite tough 2 hours hike up the mountain to have a sunrise view over Bali and its surrounding islands. Getting here from Ubud might take some time but the climb and the view of the landscape and Lake Batur is all worth it in the end. It is also one of the popular activities to do when you are visiting Bali long enough to get bored of the beaches and sea and want to do some excursions.

Hike Volcano Mountain Batur, Bali, Indonesia

Hike Mount Batur, Bali. Photo by Kevin Poh

Mount Agung

Mount Agung, standing tall at 3142 m at East is the highest mountain in Bali. It holds a spiritual significance to the Balinese as the Mother Temple of Besakih. Legend has it that it is created by the Hindu God Pashupati when he split Mount Meru, which is the spiritual axis of the universe. This mountain can be scaled in 6-7 hours with a demanding hike. The hike itself is an adventure and many travelers find it a rewarding experience. On the way, you can visit the Pasar Agung temple, which is one of Bali’s nine directional temples. There is also the Besakih Temple, which stands dramatically on the southern slopes of Mount Agung.

Volcano Mountain Agung by the beach, Bali, Indonesia

Agung, the Indonesian volcano by the beach in Bali. Photo by Ben Godfrey

LOMBOK

Mount Rinjani

Mount Rinjani in Lombok is the second highest volcano in Indonesia at 3726 m. It is also among one of the most active volcanoes here. It ha a caldera of 50 km square with a crater lake in it called Segara Anak. Many pilgrims come yearly to this lake to make offerings to the gods and the lake. To hike this Indonesian volcano would take two days of demanding trekking but the view at the summit is all so worth it. Due to Lombok being one of the emerging travel places in Indonesia, you will find quite a number of travelers scaling this mountain with you but fret not as the beauty is for all to marvel at together.

->Read our Guide to Trekking Mount Rinjani

Hike Volcano Mountain Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Hike Mount Rinjani, Lombok. Photo by Blek

FLORES

Mount Kelimutu

Mount Kelimutu is home to the famous tri-colored lakes which people travel through long tortuous roads just to get to. The lakes are in hues of blue, green and red due to its volcanic substances and it changes colors depending on season and time making it somewhat magical. These magical lakes are the reason enough to scale Mount Kelimutu for. The highest peak here is Mount Kelibara at 1713m. Mount Kelimutu is situated in Kelimutu National Park in Central Flores of Indonesia.

-> Read our Guide to Mount Kelimutu National Park

Hike Volcano Mountain Kelimutu, Flores, Indonesia

NeilsPhotography

PAPUA

Bonus mountain as technically this is the hardest to scale and probably not everyone can do this as a mountain to hike, it is still notable as it is the highest peak in Indonesia.

Puncak Jaya (Cartensz Pyramid)

This is one of the world’s seven ultimate summit and the only mountain in Indonesia which has a glacier top. Puncak Jaya or Cartensz Pyramid is the highest point in between Himalayas and Andes, crowning it the highest island peak in the world. It lies in Lorentz National Park in Papua, Indonesia. The climb up this mountain is highly technical and tough, therefore it is well advised to get a guide and prepare yourself thoroughly for it. Conquering this mountain is part of the peak-bagging list of Seven Summits of the world.

Puncak Jaya / Cartensz Pyramid Volcano Mountain in Papua, Indonesia

Puncak Jaya / Cartensz Pyramid Volcano Mountain in Papua. Photo by Alfindra Primaldhi

Related articles:
Ijen Crater, East Java
Trekking Mount Rinjani, Lombok
Hiking Mount Bromo
Puncak Jaya at Lorentz National Park

Ijen Crater, East Java : Volcano, Acid Lake and Blue Flames

Ijen Crater, or known to Indonesians as Kawah Ijen, is one of the top recommended volcano in Indonesia to be visited. This active crater of 134 sq km has a landscape of volcanic cones of both Mount Ijen and Mount Merapi (not to be confused with the famous Mount Merapi in Central Java).

This group of stratovolcanoes lies in East Java. Inside the crater, you will see a magnificent turquoise sulphur lake that exudes flames, blue fire at night and smoky white in the day.

Here you will also find many sulphur collectors that hike up here to mine the minerals of Kawah Ijen but this had been highlighted badly recently in the media due to the fumes being harmful to human and its extremely harsh working conditions.

Map of Ijen Crater, East Java Indonesia

Map of Ijen Crater, East Java

Where is it

Ijen Crater lies nearby Banyuwangi and Bondowoso. Ijen plateau stood as the centre point of the large mountain range west of Banyuwangi and as part of Baluran National Park to the north.

Why go

Come to Ijen Crater for the largest acidic lake in the world and for the mesmerizing blue flames in the night. Besides, it is one of the best volcanic mountains of Indonesia with this one brimming with the rare sulphurs.

Besides it is less touristy and crowded than it’s sister Mount Bromo.

Acid Lake at Ijen Crater, Java Indonesia

Acid Lake at Ijen Crater, Java

When is the best time to go

June – August where there is less rain but more tourist
But that being said, Indonesia being a fairly mild weather of just rain and shine, most of the time is a good to go to Ijen Crater, just check for local weather as you head there.
Also try to avoid weekends if you do not want the crowd.

Workers carrying sulphurs at Ijen Crater

Workers carrying sulphurs at Ijen Crater

What to see

World’s largest acidic lake, which is in the brilliant turquoise color that captures not only the sunlight but every traveler’s heart.

Catch the miners hard at work, carrying a heavily laden basket of sulphur though you may be disturbed by it and feel sorry for them. Note in mind that the sulphur fumes are poisonous and these miners are subjected to it daily for extended hard-laboured hours.

There are coffee plantations cover the Ijen caldera floor where many travelers head there to visit the waterfalls, hot springs or just enjoy the dramatic volcanic scenery.

Sulphur fumes over Acid Lakes at Ijen Crater

Sulphur fumes over Acid Lake at Ijen Crater

What to do

Hiking up to Ijen Crater at night
There are few options for visiting Ijen crater, you can either start at 2 am or 4 am to arrive at the top of the crater by daylight. Many travelers recommend to do the night hiking up to Ijen Crater to catch the magical blue flames or also known as blue fire. To get this, you have to arrive at the top before sunrise of 6 am. The hike up takes 1.5-2 hours averagely and can be quite steep The good thing is at this time there are not many other tourists around as well. After being mesmerized by the blue flames enough, you can sit back at the summit and wait for sunrise which offers another spectacular view.

Walk around the Ijen crater rim
You can take a walk around the rim of Ijen crater or approach the lake which will take about 40 minutes walk.

Walk the crater rim of Ijen Crater

Walk the crater rim of Ijen Crater

Where to stay

Most travelers will choose to stay at Banyuwangi *and then head out to Ijen Crater at night or early morning depending on which adventure you choose. You can also choose to stay at the foothills of Ijen mountain range among the coffee plantations.

-> Find the best hotel deals near Ijen Crater *

How to get there

orker at suplhur mining, Ijen Crater

Worker at suplhur mining, Ijen Crater

If you need to fly in, the nearest airport would be Surabaya. From Surabaya airport to Banyuwangi, it would take another 10 hours by bus. You can also take the train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi which will take about 7 hours.

Via Banyuwangi, you can choose from all kinds of vehicles such as 4WD (costs 55,000 Rp) or motorbike or car to get to the starting point of the hike up to Ijen Crater.

You can also get to Ijen Crater via Bondowoso from either the northern or southern coast. This way is closer but much steeper and in bad condition, therefore, 4WD is essential here though costly. After that, most travelers will walk the last 8 km along the road to Pos Paltuding which is the starting point of the trek to Ijen Crater. The Ijen Crater’s lake is around another 90 minutes hike from here.

How to get around

You can get around in most preferred choice a 4WD and for more budget if via Banyuwangi you may take the motorbike or car. After that it is all on foot to hike up Mount Ijen to get to the crater and to walk around the crater rim.

Blue Flames (Fire) at Ijen Crater

Blue Flames (Fire) at Ijen Crater

Where to go nearby

Mount Bromo which is another volcano, about 6 hours away. Many travelers go there to catch the sunrise over Mount Bromo, which is a scene that promises to take your breath away.

From Banyuwangi, take a ferry onwards to Bali, a common popular route travelers take through Java to get to Bali.

Travel Tips

Remember to bring a mask to cover your nose as the pungent odour of sulphur may burn.
Also bring warm jacket as the trek at night is cold and temperature may drop to 5C.
Lastly, and insider tip says to climb to the right (anticlockwise) at the crater rim as the view from that side of the sulphur lake and entire area is spectacular.

Sulphur fumes at Ijen Crater

Sulphur fumes at Ijen Crater

Photo credits from top: Burmesedays, Richard Liblanc, Paul Hessels, Daniel Julie, Daniel Julie, Nate Robert, Dodi Mulyana and Paul Hessels

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Guide to Trekking Mount Rinjani, Lombok

Mount Rinjani in Lombok is the second highest volcano in Indonesia right after Mount Kerinci in Sumatra and one of the most popular trekking spots in Indonesia. This streneous hike may be one of the greatest challenge in life but if you succeed, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking sunrise and a view over the whole island including the Gilis and even Bali.

Standing at 3,726 m in the north center, Mount Rinjani takes a good chunk of whole Lombok and its massive caldera of 50 km square holds a crater lake called Segara Anak (Child of Sea), which has a natural hot spring. The Gunung Baru, a new volcano forming in the crater lake, is one of the most active volcanos in Indonesia, similarly to Mount Bromo in Java and adds to the scenery as an incredible landmark.

Mount Rinjani had been proposed by the government to UNESCO to be one of the world’s first official geoparks if approved.

-> Jump to Guide to Trekking Mount Rinjani
-> Find out Where to Stay near Mount Rinjani

Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok


Where is it

Mount Rinjani is situated inside Mount Rinjani National Park at Lombok, Indonesia. The national park is a 41,000 hectares of mountain and surrounding forests that represents the Nusa Tenggara ecosystem.

Map of Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Map of Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok

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 demanding trek requires three days to conquer the mountain and will make it all worthwhile when greeted by the breathtaking view including sunrise at the summit. For people with less time, two days trek are available but you will miss some of the experience as you won’t go down into the crater, take a dip in the crater lake and relax in the soothening hotsprings.

Panorama view of Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Panorama view of Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok

When is the best time to go

Weather at Mount Rinjani is like the rest of Indonesia, divided into two seasons – dry and wet season and the temperatures are quite even.

Best time to go is May – November during the dry season where there is less rain but more tourists. This is also the safest time to do trekking.

Time to avoid going is January – March when the park is normally closed due to heavy rain.

At other times, it is possible to trek Mt Rinjani mostly due to the tropical climate but please do not attempt to climb Mount Rinjani during lots of rain time because the path may be treacherous. Always check out for local weather before attempting the trek.

Also try to avoid weekends if you do not want the crowd.

Crater Lake and Gunung Baru, Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Crater Lake and Gunung Baru, Rinjani, Lombok

What to see

Mount Rinjani, no description needed.

Segara Anak Lake, the vast crater lake with a new cone forming in it, called Gunung Baru.

Mulang Pakelem – the annual Hindu ceremony at the crater lake, dated back to 18th century when the Balinese invaded Lombok. You will get to see hundreds of white-clad Hindu pilgrims sitting and praying at the lake.

During rice-planting season, local people have ceremonies on Mt Rinjani and Segara Anak lake where they release small artificial fish made of very thin gold into the lake.

What to do

Sendang Gile Waterfalls, Senaru, Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Sendang Gile Waterfalls, Senaru, Rinjani, Lombok

Other than trekking and summit Mount Rinjani, you can:

Explore Gua Susu (Susu Cave) – one of the famous caves in Rinjani worth visiting. The other two caves that you can explore is Gua Payung and Gua Manik.
Enjoy the natural hot springs in Aik Kalak at the crater rim

Explore local villages at Senaru and nice waterfalls around the area or at Sembalun Lawang where you can find weaving villages.

Trekking Mount Rinjani

Usually the trek starts either at Senaru or Sembalun Lawang. In both villages are plenty of travel agencies offering 2-3 days treks including – next to their guidance – water, food and accommodation in tents for a reasonable price. You can book online if you are on a tight schedule or just show up and find a party leaving the next day or the day after. It is not recommended to try the trek on your own as even though the route is quite easy, it is really physically demanding. Also make sure to bring a warm jacket, hat and gloves. Trekking agencies usually can provide sleeping bags and mats, sometimes even extra clothing if you are in need.

You can go the full route starting either at Senaru or Sembalun:

Senaru – Summit – Sembalun
On the first day, you hike up from Senaru to the crater rim and take your camp. On the second day you go down into the caldera, taking a relaxing bath in the hot springs, even swim in the crater lake if you like. You hike up the crater rim at the opposite site and take your camp. On the third day, you start hiking at 2-3 am to the summit. If you make it, you reach the top towards sunrise and get rewarded with a stunning view. After that you trek down to the camp and finally to Sembalun.

Campsite at Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok,Indonesia

Campsite at Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok,

Sembalun – Summit – Senaru
You start at Sembalun and hike up to the crater rim to take your camp. On the second day you start hiking at 2-3 am to the summit. Same as the other way, if you make it, you reach the top towards sunrise and get rewarded with a stunning view. After returning to the camp you descend into the caldera and take a soothening bath in the hot springs (this is really awesome after climbing the summit at the same day). You hike up at the opposite side to the rim and take your camp. On the third day you descend to Senaru.

If you have less time and only want to spend two days and one night you can start at Sembalun, hike to the summit at the second day and go back to Sembalun without descending into the crater.

Hike and climb to the summit of Mount Rinjani

Climbing to Summit of Mount Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Climbing to Summit of Mount Rinjani, Lombok

You start at the crater rim around 2-3am in order to catch the sunrise at the peak. The path is difficult as its steep and and the ground is mostly soft sand that means for every two steps forward you might drop one step back. Furthermore, the way is fully exposed that means there can be strong winds and it can be really freezing. This said, this trek is really not an easy one and you should bring a decent physical fitness. If you do manage to make it to the top (quite many won’t due to exhaustion, so be prepared!), the view is magnificent and well worth it looking at the crater and all the way to the island of Bali and the Gilis while surrounded by giant clouds. The photography here is also out of the world!

Take extra precautions and safety when you plan to trek up Mount Rinjani and whether you want to reach the summit or not. There have been reports of fatalities here. The trek is also challenging and not to be taken lightly. Make sure your guide are well concerned with the safety of everyone. Also stay informed with the volcanic activities as it is still an active volcano.

Also please keep the mountain clean and do your bit to clean up after yourself. It is also recommended to take a guide or join a hiking trip up Mount Rinjani for safety. If possible, choose an agency that takes responsibility in keeping the mountain clean and carry the groups waste back down.

Where to stay

You cannot stay within the park itself but can always find various guesthouses and basic hotels at Senaru or Sembalun Lawang. The popular ones are Green Haven Homestays, Matra Bungalows and Rinjani Lodge *. If you want to go upmarket a little, at northwest Tanjung can be of choice. Many other travelers normally stay at Senggigi * instead and travel to Mount Rinjani by road for trekking.

You should decide on your accommodation base on which route you are taking to trek Mount Rinjani.

-> Find the best hotel deals near Mt. Rinjani at Booking.com *

How to get there

The popular way to get here is via Senaru village on the north of Mount Rinjani, it is also closer to the popular resort areas such as Senggigi.
Mataram-Selong-Sambelia-Sembalun Lawang
Another way of getting there is via Sembalun Lawang entry point on the east of Mount Rinjani, and at 1,150 m, it is closer to the summit from here.

Fees / permit cost
The entry to the national park costs IDR 150,000 / person. Most times this is included in your trek package but do check before you sign on to any.

Trekking Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok,Indonesia

Trekking Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok,

Where to go nearby

Back to Lombok beaches like Kuta beach or Senggigi and Tanjung.

Sail to nearby Gili Islands for an escapade, and there are a few more mountains for you to climb if you haven’t had enough.

Anak Segara Lake at Mount Rinjani, Lombok,Indonesia

Anak Segara Lake at Mount Rinjani, Lombok,

Travel Tips

Always be safe and check the seismic activities report or on local media. This is a very active volcano therefore extra precaution for safety is recommended. Last Rinjani eruption was on 23 May 2010.

Some people might hit altitude sickness here, so know yourself.

Mount (Gunung) Rinjani in clouds, Lombok, Indonesia

Mount (Gunung) Rinjani in clouds, Lombok

Bring a jacket and gloves as it may get chilly up there. Remember proper attire like windproof clothes and appropriate hiking boots and headlamp.

Also, do not forget your sunblock as you can get sunburn easier the higher you go.

Photo credits from top: NeilsPhotography, Paul Hessels, NeilsPhotography, Blek, Jos Dielis, Trekking Rinjani, Trekking Rinjani, Paul Hessels and Trekking Rinjani

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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 sulfurous smoke.

Mount Bromo is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and some areas 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 the 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.
With that said, Indonesia has relatively mild weather of just rain or shine. So anytime is a good time to go Mount Bromo. Do 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 beautiful 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. The sun rises at 5.30 am, 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 suitable locations. An extra tip is that you may want to hike earlier to avoid the crowd and get the right 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, and 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 want 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 Jawa 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 *
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Booking.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 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 3 am 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 us around 4 hours due to heavy traffic and congestion. On the way, you would pass Probolinggo town, which lies on 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.

Related Articles:
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Top 10 Things to Do in Java
Guide to Ijen Crater
Top 10 Things to Do in Malang