Day Trip to Mount Bromo – Sunrise Over Indonesia’s Best Volcano
Last Updated on November 5, 2022
East Java is famous for its many wonders and especially its volcanoes, some are still really active and all are spectacular. The most famous ones being Mount Bromo and Ijen Volcano.
Although Mount Bromo is still active, you can still hike to the summit and see the crater from up close. Most people go on a Mount Bromo sunrise tour, where you drive to a viewpoint to watch the sun rise above Mount Bromo and the crater the volcano is in, then you get to see the volcano from up close.
HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
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About Mount Bromo
Exploring Gunung Bromo, part of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, and watching the sunrise over the volcanoes is a truly unique experience. The scenery is spectacular, and the landscape is like you’ve never seen before.
Mt Bromo is an amazing place, you’ll start by driving up and then go down into the valley where the Bromo crater is. You’ll feel transported into another world. Everything here is so different from what’s around it. The valley is actually a 10 km large crater, the one of the now-extinct Tengger Volcano, hence the surprisingly lunar scenery.
Bromo is not the only volcano there and you’ll have to cross an impressive sand desert to get to them. Locals call this area Laotian Pasir or sea of sand. It is made of volcanic residue from past eruptions.
Climbing Mount Bromo is easy, the volcano is not that high, and a stairway has been built, you can even hire a horse if you don’t feel like walking. Be careful when you’re up there, there are no security railings and it can get really crowded.
From there, the views of the valley and surrounding mounts are sweeping, Bromo still emits some smoke and makes as much noise as a plane taking off.
Another good part of the Mount Bromo experience is watching the sun rises over it. From the viewpoint at the top of Mount Penanjakan, you’ll be able to see all the volcanoes and mountains around, the sight there is just spectacular. The only down point is that it gets crowded, especially during holidays and weekends. For something less crowded, you can head to King Kong Hill instead.
You’ll also be able to see the very active Mount Semeru, a 3676 meters high volcano and the highest peak in Java.
The legends of Gunung Bromo
Legend has it that the Tengger Crater was dug up by a giant who wanted to impress a princess.
Later a Hindu King and his wife, who couldn’t conceive, ask for help from the god of the Bromo volcano. The god agreed, and they had 25 children, in exchange, the god asked for the sacrifice of their youngest child. The queen refused, but her son sacrificed himself to preserve the kingdom.
Locals are highly superstitious even today and you’ll see inside the crater a lot of packaging, flowers, food… it’s not trash, it’s offerings to appease the wrath of the Volcano. You will see a lot of people selling flowers to throw into the crater. Local Hindus hold a ceremony every year called Kasada, to celebrate the volcano, a lot of offerings are made and people pray for a good harvest and success in life.
How to arrange your trip – Mount Bromo Sunrise Tour
The easiest solution is to stay in Malang or Surabaya in East Java and arrange a tour from there. You’ll have to hire a moross or a jeep to go, there’s the sand desert to cross. Some locals go with scooters but I don’t advise it.
You’ll have to leave around midnight is want to watch the sunrise and you will be back around noon the next day. I went with Rovy from Moto East Java, you can reach him on his what’s app (+62 851-0503-0747). He’s really nice and a good driver. Driving in the sand desert into the crater with a moross is really adventurous and funky, it can even be a funny experience if you’re not scared.
It gets really, really cold, around 2 degrees Celsius especially when you’re driving on the moross or waiting for the sunrise. You’ll have people renting winter jackets at the viewpoint if you need them.
You can also book a combined tour of East Java’s Volcanoes, Bromo and Ijen, from Yogjakarta, with food, accommodation, and transportation included. Some operators also offer transportation to Bali after visiting Mount Ijen instead of going back to Yogja.
Here are a few Mount Bromo Sunrise Tours you can check out:
- Midnight Bromo Tour from Malang (8 people max)
- Mount Bromo Sunrise Trip from Surabaya (private)
- 3 days in Java: Bali-Bromo-Kawah Ijen-Bali
- Mount Bromo Sunrise – Mount Ijen Blue Fire 2D1N from Surabaya or Malang
Mount Bromo entrance fee
Note that the entrance fee to visit Mount Bromo for foreigners is 317 500 IDR on weekends and 217 500 IDR during the week.
What to wear when visiting Mount Bromo
If you go watch the sunset: warm winter clothes (gloves and a jacket are essential), especially if you go on a moross.
If you go there during the day, to visit the crater, it’s pretty hot, so light clothes. Keep in mind that it’s really dusty, you might want to pack a mask.
How to visit Mount Bromo without a tour – DIY Tour
If you want to get to Bromo and the national park on your own and stay there, you can take a train or bus from Surabaya to Probolinggo, and then you’ll have to take a mini-bus to Cemoro Lawang, the starting point to explore Mt Bromo.
Be careful there are a lot of scams going on in Probolinggo. For example, if you arrive by train and you take a cab to the bus station, instead of taking you to the real one the driver will take you to a private bus company office, or at the bus station, they would tell you that the only way to reach Cemoro Lawang is by chartering a private car.
Once in Cemoro Lawang there’s not a lot of accommodation to choose from, check in advance as the prices can really climb up during peak season. Homestay Lereng Bromo is a nice place to stay at with comfy rooms and friendly owners.
From there it’s only a 40 minutes walk to the Bromo crater and the National Park. If you want to avoid the crowd and save money, there are plenty of nice viewpoints to watch the sunrise from around Cemoro Lawang (you won’t have to hire a 4WD this way). The view is less spectacular but still a nice experience. The next day you can move on directly to your next destination but it may be better to spend an extra night to rest, you’ll be tired.
You can also rent a scooter and head to King Kong Hill to watch the sunrise.
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Great post and beautiful images, Julie! I’m embarrassed to say that Bromo remains on my to-visit list, even if it is only a(n Olympian athlete’s) stone throw away 😉 Thanks so much for sharing tips for booking and avoiding scams. Aduh!
Bromo is a must-see if you’re in Java, you can check out Ijen Volcano too, therem you can go down the crater and inside you’ll see blue flames!