Mount Bromo, what a very famous name for the world most beautiful volcano. In Indonesia, this volcano is one of the most favorable place to visit among the travel enthusiast. It is located in the east side of Java Island; and you know for sure that the biggest city in the region is Surabaya. This volcano area are so unique; easy to reach and the most important thing is; it never disappoint me yet. Every time I come here, I found something new.
This article will explain several way to get to mount Bromo; it is applied both for rich person and the poor one.
Mount Bromo is part of the TNBTS (Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park), located in East Java. This volcano located in a huge caldera of Bromo. As you probably known that near by there is also a famous volcano named Semeru which is the highest peak in the island (3.676 meter above sea level).
Refering to the maps below; there are three entrance to the area; Cemoro Lawang Village, Wonokitri Village and Jemplang (this is not a village actually). Pick one of those entrance with this category.
Pick Cemoro Lawang Village if you required the folowing criteria.
1. You want to climb the Bromo Volcano and see what is inside the volcano
2. This is the most famous village in the area and have the best accommodation (not five stars but really enough for a traveller).
3. You want to see the vast sand dune (savana) and it feels like in Mars. I've never been there but I've seen Matt Damon living there for three years in the Martian movie.
4. You want to ride the horse and see the Hindu temple.
5. This is the closest distance to the top of Bromo Volcano.
Pick Wonokitri Village if you required the following Criteria
1. You are a photographer and want to take the photo of the volcano from distance
2. The best place to take picture of Bromo is from a place name Penanjakan Satu, located higher above the volcano and separated about 3 kilometers away.
3. This place is a religious village (mostly Hindu) and sometimes you will see some cultural performance in the area
4. This village has not much accomodation but there are several motel, not fancy but enough. For me I prefer to stay here, since the food are so cheap. Hehehhehe
5. The bad side of the village is; it is located far away from the Penanjakan Satu area (the place to capture photo of Bromo) and you have to rent another 4 WD vehicle to get here.
6. But don't worry, if you are poor guy (sorry for the bad words), you still can ask for a motorcycle taxi. Cost around Rp. 100.000 to get you up there.
7. The famous ceremony in Bromo, called Kasada. Most of the people doing it live in this village.
Pick Jemplang as the Entrance Route if you required the following criteria
1. This place is the entract point for hiking to the neighboring volcano (Semeru). So, it another things to see in the area (Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park).
2. Journey from Jemplang to the Bromo Volcano is offering awesome things to see; just like the movie from Scotland or New Zealand (Cliff, Hills, Savana, Sand dune and many martian stuff).
3. From my point of view; Cemoro Lawang is the best spot but soon you will feel that Jemplang offering something else to see in Bromo.
Guide to Bromo for Rich People
If you have lot of money, there is nothing to worried about. Just call the driver and they will pick you up and take you where ever you want to go in the area. Usually the rental cost for the cars (a van or SUV) is approximately Rp. 400 to 600 thousands Rupiahs (around US$ 35 to 55) per day all in. But sometimes you have to buy the driver food, to boost their mood taking you every where. Driver accommodation does not required, usually they sleep in their car.
This model is pretty easy to arrange; especially when you travel in group – this will save you money a lot. Say 6 people in the car should be pretty cheap.
Is there any surprise cost?
Yes, sometimes you will need to rent 4 WD vehicle around the area. For instance, travel from Cemoro Lawang hotel to the foot of Bromo Volcano is quite far for a walk, you might need to rent motor cycle or 4 WD jeep to get there).
Note: please keep in mind that only 4 WD vehicle can enter the sand dunes. So, if you rent non 4 WD vehicle you might stuck in one of the village (Cemoro Lawang, Wonokitri or Jemplang).
Do you want me to be your guide?
Hahhaha, that would be a cool idea. I am a travel photographer (as a hobby actually) and know the best place and time and what to capture. Contact me if you want to do so. J
Guide to Bromo for People with less money a.k.a poor (sorry for this words).
If you are a backpacker, a student or a person who have lot of money but want challenges your self in the area. This is a good place to go. Don’t worry, this is a friendly place, the crime rate is very low. If you find a news about crime, it is the black campaign from another tourism mafia.
Start from Surabaya (see map below)
If you are starting from Surabaya; starting from the airport the cheapest way is to use the bus (DAMRI), from the Juanda International Airport to Bungurasih bus terminal. This terminal is crowded, some of the bus agent might asking you "where are you going?" over and over again by different person. Keep walking inside and do not answer their question, don't make eye contact and don't smile, hahahahha it works for me. They won't do any harm to you, they just anoying.
Once you inside, you will see lot of bus in line - pick one destination to Probolinggo; most of the bus have AC - usually they have big letter outside the bus says "AC" or "WIFI".
In Probolinggo terminal, the bus is crowded but not as crowded as Bungurasih; transportation to Cemoro Lawang usually located on the exit way of the bus terminal. Look for blue COLT station - and ask whether he go to Cemoro Lawang or Bromo. And negotiate price in the begining.
I'll just wrap up:
a. Juanda Airport - Bungurasih bus terminal - DAMRI bus Rp. 25.000 ( 30 minutes)
b. Bungurasih Terminal - Probolinggo terminal - any kind of bus Rp. 35.000 (2 hours)
c. Probolinggo terminal to Cemoro Lawang village - small bus (COLT Station) - usually they ask around Rp. 35.000 - 55.000 per person (45 minutes). In my case, it was almost dark and I pay Rp. 150.000 just the two of us.
d. Spend the night in Cemoro Lawang village; I would prefer to use Cemoro Lawang Hotel - Rp. 350.000 per room per night (shareable). The view quite awesome. Make sure you do reservation before coming.
Starting from Malang (See Map Below)
Malang is an ancient city. Lot of the dutch colonial heritage here and worth to visit sometimes. If you are a dutch decendent, your grand parent might have once live in this beautiful city.
From Malang, there are not much option for new comer. The best way to get there is using 4WD jeep cost around Rp. 1.500.000,- per trip and shareable up to 8 person. My self, usually ask for a friend in there and borrow motor cycle. Lot cheaper and mobile. The only problem is the weather; it is not big deal since I bring my own tent. Park and tent where ever I want to.
Oh I forget something, from Malang - it would be best to use the Wonokitri route, since you have the option to see the volcano from Penanjakan satu. But it is up to you.
Is it Bromo an active volcano?
Yes off course; it was really active volcano and that is the real attraction of Bromo. In fact erupt on these years; 1804, 1815, 1820, 1822, 1825, 1829-30, 1835, 1842-44, 1856-60, 1865-68, 1877, 1885, 1885-87, 1890, 1893, 1896, 1906-10, 1915-16, 1921-22, 1928, 1930, 1935, 1939-40, 1948, 1950, 1955-56, 1972, 1980, 1983-84, 1995, 2000-01, 2004, 2010-11 and 2015-16 (still on going during this article written).
What to do to get the sunrise from the top of mount Bromo?
To earn the sunrise on Bromo, you start your hike at around 3:15 am from Cemoro Lawang, walking along the road that runs west along the rim edge (the road is the right turn about 50 metres before you get to the National Park entrance). You quickly leave the congregating jeeps behind; keep going straight along the crater edge, and in approximately 30 minutes the road begins to climb a little. At the end of the paved road continue straight on the path into shrubby forest. Even with a full moon, you will need a torch. The path is mostly paved, although a little overgrown, so make sure to follow the paved route as it zigzags upwards. After another 30 minutes you reach a large covered viewpoint, which will probably be deserted at 4:15 am, and likely sees few visitors because of the need to hike uphill for 30 minutes! With a strong moon, Bromo and its clouds of white gas will be visible, as well as the lights and sounds of the jeeps roaring across the Sea of Sand. The trail up to the summit of Panajakan continues from here; leave the viewpoint and turn left, uphill, and follow the zigzag path that makes its way up the steep slope – the next viewpoint should be 45 mins hike, and as you approach it you will hear the crowds. If the hike took longer than planned, this is a good place to watch the sunrise, but otherwise continue on the trail for a few minutes before emerging onto the paved road lined with jeeps and motorbikes. Turn right, uphill, and pass all the parked vehicles for about 15 mins – the entrance to the Panajakan summit viewpoint is on the right and very obvious – there are several warungs (stalls) selling souvenirs, tea/coffee, food, hats and gloves, and local barbecued corn. The summit can be packed, and it can be good to descend some steps to right and stand on the steep grassy slope for unimpeded views. From the summit, you can see the famous scene of Bromo, Batok and Semeru.
Lets take a look the testimony from Kristin from bemytravelmuse about Bromo (Sorry Kristin, I am copying your writing).
My jumping off point happened to be Bondowoso after climbing Kawah Ijen, which I also did independently of a tour and was really happy with my experience when all was said and done. A public bus departed the Bondowoso bus station bound for Probolinggo (just as it would from Surabaya or Yogyakarta) several times per day. Catching the afternoon bus, I paid 16,000 Rupiah (USD $1.60) to the bus attendant and settled in for the 4-hour ride. Stopping a few times to let on guitar-playing buskers and snack touts, the ride took me through absolutely stunning countryside and only made minimal, and very brief, stops.
From Probolinggo, a small bus takes off for Cemoro Lawang (the base of Bromo) when full. This can be arranged for 30,000 Rupiah one-way at Toto travel at the Probolinggo bus station.
Knowing that I wanted to use my own legs to hike to the summit for sunrise, rather than taking a jeep, I searched out accommodation at the highest point near the trail head. While there are many options, I ended up in at Losmen Setia Kawan home stay.
The first day was spent walking to the Bromo volcano itself, which involved a walk across the sand sea, bypassing the Hindu temple, and climbing up a set of stairs to the crater opening. Foolishly sitting on the railing at Mt. Bromo. Not my wisest moment in hindsight. This part of the hike is usually accessed with a jeep tour right after the sunrise at the summit. The walk was mostly flat, however, and pretty easy to do sans-tour. Plus, I prefer a walk to a ride. I sincerely needed exercise after doing too many Tim Tam slams.
The rest of the day was spent visiting the warung near Cafe Lava, eating an amazing meal for under $1 each time, and plotting a plan for the wee hours of the morning. A handy map from the extremely helpful gentleman running the information desk at Cafe Lava The next day at 3:30am, jacket on, hand-drawn map in hand, and headlamp in tow, I started what would be about a two hour climb. The path was pretty obvious for the most part. It wasn’t nearly as challenging as say, Rinjani or Kinabalu, but was a great way to get some exercise and was still a nice challenge.
*For those who are feeling tired by the time the road turns into a steeper dirt track, there’s a really nice view from the first summit as well. Many climbers choose to stop there.
The summit itself was so full of cars and people that I was instantly turned off. The hoards of other tourists made it almost impossible to get a decent view. The benefit of not being on a tour was my ability to wait for them to clear out after the sunrise to get some decent pictures. Those on a tour didn’t have the luxury of waiting around for a clearer vista, nor did they get the satisfaction of climbing to the top.
I wish I had stopped at the wooden railings just a half kilometer from the summit (Update: A reader has sent over the exact location on Google maps. Thanks Sailesh!). The view was just as good and there were probably only a handful of people watching the sun rise there, as compared to the hundreds I had to contend with. It’s one of those things you find out after the fact. So, let me be the one to pass along that the perfect place to watch the sun rise is not at the top lookout point near the antennae, but the last wooden railing you get to before the asphalt road. Chances are there will be a guy there with a motorbike asking to take you the rest of the way for some money. He probably also has some food and hot beverages to sell. Might as well stick around and hang out with him while the sun comes up.
So cool the way the clouds formed a sea The volcano
Do it Yourself:
• Take a public bus from wherever you happen to be bound for Probolinggo. The earlier, the better
• Take a small bus from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang, the town at Mt. Bromo, for around 25,000-30,000 Rupiah and ask to be dropped off at the highest guest house. There will be
several to choose from so feel free to shop around and haggle on prices
• Make sure you’re not climbing without travel insurance. It’s pretty cheap and worth it should the worst occur. It is going to be dark and at some points, steep (in the spirit of full disclosure that is an affiliate link to the company that I get my insurance from)
• Head to Cafe Lava guest house where the information booth can give you pricing on tours or, even better, write out a map for you on how to get to Bromo without a tour
• Bring a head lamp and a jacket (if you need a jacket, one can be rented cheaply for 24 hours at Cemara Indah guesthouse). Head out around 3-3:30am in order to catch the sunrise at the summit. Even better, stop about a quarter of a mile from the summit (before the asphalt road) and get a more private view of the sunrise
• Climb back down and take the small bus to Probolinggo. It leaves when full. The drivers will be around looking for tourists to bring down
• Demand to be brought back to the bus station, as these smaller vans will likely bring you to a private tour operator. Say you have already bought an onward ticket and they should relent fairly easily
• Arrive at the bus station in Probolinggo and get on a bus headed in the direction you next aim to visit
A testimony from Marcus Malabad in Gunungbagging
I bagged the Pananjakan/Bromo duo on Oct. 29-30. I took the train from Solo to Malang just to be close since I didn’t want to take the presumably interminable Bromo/Ijen/Bali trip from Yogyakarta/Solo that agencies there were offering.
I contacted one of the three tour agencies listed in the Indonesia Lonely Planet guide under the Malang entry: Hotel Helios. I thought I lucked out that somebody answered my late Saturday evening call for a Monday tour start.
Just like all the climbs and tours in Indonesia, this too started at midnight. I was starting to think that I’ll be perpetually sleepy over the entire duration of my holiday but the writing’s on the wall. Gotta get there by sunrise. Indonesian volcanoes apparently are early risers.
I was picked up first so I got to ride shotgun. This would prove to be felicitous because, as it turns out, the Helios Hotel’s jeep was long overdue for maintenance and my seat was the only bearable position inside the jeep.
I slept most of the way and when I woke up we were already traversing the Sea of Sand. I remember marveling at our driver’s keen sense of direction. I could not discern any road markers in the infinite darkness. We finally arrived at the Cemoro Indah hotel in Cemoro Lawang on the Tengger ridge. That was where we got our first glimpse of Batok and its brothers silhouetted in the moonlight. Just from those faint immense shadows in the distance I already knew that the morning would be breathtaking. It was only a short stop. Our driver then drove us the zigzagging road up the ridge to “meet our guide”. I never really knew what to expect. I was under the impression that we would just stay in Cemoro Lawang until the morning. Well, it turns out that my companions (an old French couple) were die-hard trekkers and they especially requested to hike to Pananjakan instead of being driven. This confused me as I thought we’d be climbing Bromo. But I had no other choice but to follow. Only a few minutes into the hike in the dark, first on ash then on a very dusty trail, did it dawn on me that we were walking up to the highest point on the ridge. Doh!
It probably took about an hour to 1.5 hr. We were the first ones to arrive at the viewing platform under the cellphone towers. There was a bitter biting wind at 4 am. The volcanoes on the Tengger caldera emerging in the dawn light erased all memory of a long trek on a dusty trail. The platform soon filled up. I noticed that people were arriving in jeeps! Why weren’t we driven and why all that walking? Again, by special request of those darn Frenchies. I therefore “bagged” Pananjakan inadvertently without even asking for it.
I could not forget the sight of Cemoro Lawang, perched on the edge of the ridge, with twinkling lights at dawn and with wraithlike fingers of mist hovering above it, as the horizon lights up, first with pink glimmers, then orange, then red and yellow.
The walk back through the same trail was actually a vastly more pleasant experience than the hike up. First of all, that view is priceless. The planted terraced fields all around Pananjakan are also an awesome sight to behold.
It was then time to drive to the crater. It was a gorgeous morning. It was a great feeling to stand finally a few hundred meters from Batok, when you were just looking at it from far above the ridge. I refused the horse ride that seemed to be the local cottage industry in those parts as this would’ve defeated the mountaineering experience, n’est-ce pas?
But after about 30 minutes of trudging on hard-packed earth, and then on ash and pumice as the trail meandered up Bromo’s slope, I began to doubt my early decision to refuse that horse ride. Oh, I could be merrily riding on that saddle, sniggering at those fools who opted to walk instead of ride. Huh, wait a minute, I’m one of those fools!
So back to more work. I have not come to a firm belief that Indonesian tourist attractions all demand sweat and toil. Be prepared to work a lot to reap the rewards. It’s not just a walk a few steps here, jump over a barrier there. Nope, Barry and Mary, be prepared to slog it.
Ok, back to the hike. I finally reached the concrete steps for the final approach. But hang on, why are people so slow? Well, folks, it turns out that the steps are all covered with dust and ash, so the only viable way of progress is to slip and slide. More frickin’ work, I thought!
So there I was finally on the Bromo ridge. Was it all worth that sweat? Of course it was. Quit kvetching and bellyaching, Marcus!
When I was sufficiently rested I had the hairbrained idea of handing over my camera to the French guy. I then followed the ridge to the left for about 10 minutes until my mettle gave in. I walked about 300 meters to the left of the top of the stairs. I stopped and turned around since I was thinking: what the hell are you doing?! The trail was getting narrower and narrower and ending up in Bromo’s belly was a reluctant sacrifice was not on my agenda. That would’ve pissed me off enormously.
I was glad though that the Frenchie took a picture of me as I was walking up Bromo’s ridge.
So there. Two baggings in one morning.