Travel

Mount Bromo — visiting a restless volcano in Indonesia

This place was a long time on my bucket list: Gunung Bromo! In 2017, unfortunately, it had not worked out. I decided just to visit Kawah Ijen and to return earlier to Bali. One year later, I was finally boarded to a plane in the direction of Surabaya.

To reach Mount Bromo, you can fly to Juanda international airport in Surabaya. There are direct flights to Surabaya from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hongkong, Jakarta and Bali. From there, continue your journey to Mt Bromo by booking with a travel agent. I was lucky, and a local friend picked me up.

The crater of Bromo in 2018.
The crater of Bromo in 2018.

The peak of Mount Bromo is 2’329 meters above sea level. One day after I visited Balekambang Beach, we drove to the probably most famous crater within the Tengger Volcanic area. It’s one of the most active volcanoes on the Indonesian island of Java. I visited this impressive and restless volcano around two years ago, in June 2018. In March 2019, Bromo erupted the last time. Until today, these eruptions are still ongoing.

Looking up to the peak of the volcano.
Looking up to the peak of the volcano.

For our trip, we stayed a couple of days in Batu. Batu is with around 200’000 residents a small city on Java and located right next to Malang. To reach the mountain on time, we left Batu around midnight. The drive up Bromo took us about 3 hours. The roads to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park were a real adventure on their own. When we arrived beneath Mount Bromo, we were shaken, and we failed to sleep.

We ended up opting for the longer Bromo tour. With a Jeep, we drove first to the Penanjakan Viewpoint. After sunrise, we continued to Bromo, stopping at the famous places Savannah Hill and Whispering Sands within the Tengger Sand Sea. We finished our trip with a hike on foot to the peak of the volcano.

Sand, everywhere: Be aware and wear a face mask!
Sand, everywhere: Be aware and wear a face mask!

What should you be aware of when visiting Mount Bromo?

  • If you want to see the sunrise, please wear warm clothes. Even if it’s easily 30 degrees in the valley, it’s windy 6-10 degrees cold on the mountain at 5 am.
  • Ask the driver for a face mask. Not because Bromo is particularly dangerous. But when traffic is heavy, the sand beneath Bromo feels like a sandstorm. Soon you will have sand everywhere — in your mouth, nose and eyes!
  • Take your time and enjoy the sunrise at Penanjakan Viewpoint. We arrived there around 4:30 in the morning. That’s early, but it is worth it!
  • You don’t have to walk a long time. You can rent a horse for about 10 EUR. Like this, you will ride halfway up the hill. Anyway, the last 250 steps you have to climb yourself.
The view from the top, down the stairs.
The view from the top, down the stairs.

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