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A Trek To Mount Bromo: Indonesia’s Most Active Volcano

A Trek to Mount Bromo with its jaggy terrain and rugged pathways becomes the perfect hiking spot for husky and adventure-loving people. Mount Bromo is situated to the east of the main land of Java. It is one of the most scenic tourist attractions in Indonesia with its majestic sunrise views and view of the crater, a really rare event compared to other volcanoes of Indonesia. The name ‘Bromo’ derives from its Javanese pronunciation of ‘Brahma’- The Hindu god for creation. It stands 2392 meters above sea level yet, not the highest peak in Java. The volcanic mountain is situated in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Parkat East Java, Indonesia.

A trek to Mount Bromo is one of the most adventurous things to pursue while in Indonesia. It is an active volcano, making it a very thrilling spot. Mount Bromo is situated in the midst of a plateau, surrounded with mountains, giving a spectacular view of the ridge itself. It’s an active volcano, last erupted in 2016. It literally sits inside the gigantic Tengger caldera (the crater) and is surrounded by athe Laut Pasir (volcanic sand). Unlike other volcanoes, this erupts very little amount of lava and huge amounts of sulphur. Since its active, there is a constant exclusion of sulphur in the air which makes it difficult to breathe during the climb.

Earlier in my life, each time someone would mention Indonesia, I would associate it to Bali. For me, back then, Indonesia meant Bali. I didn’t think of Indonesia as a country with 18,000 islands, but as only a city inhabiting one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. Associating Indonesia to only Bali, as pretty as it may be, deprives us of seeing the bigger picture wherein you witness its rich artistic culture and appetizing local cuisines. One tends to miss out its different whimsical beach locations and luxury resorts. Also, its sensational volcanic landscapes.

The fact that a trek to Mount Bromo was so adventurous, I made sure I had it high on my travel bucket list. I like it when my Adrenalin pumps fast. I hope this blog post helps you to bring out your adventure-loving soul and convinces you that it’s finally time to get out of your comfort zone and live.

Trek to Mount Bromo

The beautiful Mount Bromo as seen from a distance. Photography by Vesper

Trek To Mount Bromo: An Overview

Nearest City Probolinggo
Distance 121kms from Surabaya
Travel Time From Surabaya

Car: 3 hours 9 mins

Train: 2 hours 10 mins

How To Get There International Travelers

The nearest airport would be Surabaya. You could catch a train or bus from there. Booking a cab could also be preferred.

Domestic Travelers

If you are traveling by bus or train, the nearest station would be Probolinggo. Book a cab from the station to your hotel.

Best Hotel Bromo Cottages
Overall Cost Approximately $200-$300
Weather Nothing is fixed. It constantly changes up there.
Currency Rupiah (1 rupee=200 rupiah)
Language Bahasa
Best Time From November to April
Safety Level Extremely safe for solo travelers(especially females), family vacations, honeymoon, friend’s trip.
Visa On Arrival



My Trek To Mount Bromo – A Beautiful Experience

My journey to Mount Bromo started at the infernal hour of 3 in the morning on the back seat of a Toyota Land Cruiser.  I was packed in four layers of clothing, and even though it was really cold outside, I could see a lot of people sipping coffee and preparing for the trip ahead.

Before going to the actual crater, the guides take you to the sunrise point at Mount Penanjakan, to get a sunlit view of the Sierra.

It is recommended to leave so early for your trek to Mount Bromo is to witness a glimpse of the Mount Bromo Milky Way. When the sky is absolutely clear, the stars are arranged in a manner emulating the actual Milky Way.

But here’s the trick. The weather up there is constantly changing. So, it could be clear for a moment and cloudy the other. So let’s just say, everything depends on your luck. Unfortunately for me, the clouds had filled every spot around us and hence we even missed the sunrise.

By 6:00 am we started our journey to the actual crater. The path there is extremely steep but the view it offers is mind-blowing.

We were parked 2 km away from the mount and instead walked the distance to the crater. You can opt for riding the horses till there but then you will be missing out on a lot of fun.

2 km and 250 steps later, I finally reached the top and for a moment there everything stood still. Mount Bromo’s beauty forces you to be conscious for a moment and pulls you deep in thought. You hear no sound till you reach there but  all of a sudden now it seems to be roaring for attention.

It was a magical experience and I am glad I went on the exploration.

Trek to Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo surrounded by a sea of sand. Photography by Huda Ashri

Complete Travel Itinerary for your Trek to Mount Bromo

2:00 am Leave for Mount Penanjakan(Sunrise Point)
3:00 am Arrive at Mount Penanjakan. If the sky is clear, prepare for the Mount Bromo Milky Way. Find a clear spot and set up your camera.
6:00 am Witness the sunrise and immediately leave for the crater. The sooner you leave the less crowd at the crater you shall have to face.
6:30 am Arrive at the base of the crater and begin your walk(or opt for a horse ride) to the top of the mountain.
8:30 am Return to the base of the mountain. Head back towards the hotel/room.

Important tip: Leave for your hotel/room a little early in the day so that you have some time to rest and sleep before the trek. Otherwise, there is very little energy left for the upcoming day.

Trek to Mount Bromo

This is me ready to undertake one of the most thrilling adventures of my life. Photography by Vidisha Terdal

Tips for First Time Travellers

First time travelers, for your trek to Mount Bromo, here are some tips to help you survive there for the day –

Tip 1

No matter what time of the year, it is always exceptionally cold up there. Remember to take a thick jacket and layer up with mufflers and gloves if you wish. Even though you can get a few jackets on rent up there, try not to take them as they are used ones and very unhygienic.

Tip 2

Reach there a little early and seat yourself at one position. It gets really crowded as you near sunrise and it’s better to book yourself a seat before-hand.

Tip 3

I would recommend not to hire a guide as they are ridiculously overpriced and do not give good service.

Tip 4

Be extremely cautious once you reach the crater. The path is very small with nearly nothing as a barrier. One side is the opening to the crater and on the other is a steep valley. Preferably stand in one place and sink in the feeling.

Trek to Mount Bromo

The super hot crater of Mount Bromo. Photography by Sharongang

The Best Time To Trek To Mount Bromo

The best time to trek to Mount Bromo will be from November to April. That is, during the rainy season.

Mount Bromo is an active volcano and hence it continuously gives out sulphur gas in the air. During summers, the dust in the air combined with the hot weather makes the climb even more difficult and hard to breathe.

That is why it is recommended to travel during the rainy season as it settles the dust around and clears the air a little bit.

Although the only downside to this is that there won’t be any guarantee how often the sky would be clear and if you will be able to see the sunrise or not.

How To Reach To Mount Bromo ?

For International Travelers: There are a lot of flights via Singapore to Surabaya. After that proceed to take any one means of transport mentioned in the table below.

For Domestic Travelers: You could opt for any one of the modes of travel since the prices are more or less the same.

By Car/Bus/Renting a Cab

(Recommended)

Cost: Takes about $60-$80 for a round trip.

Safety: The road is nice and clean and hence extremely safe for travelers.

Time Taken: 3hrs and 9 mins without much traffic on the route.

By Train Cost: $20-$40

Safety: Very Safe

Time Taken: 2 hrs

Nearest Station: Probolinggo ( From there you would have to book a cab to reach to your respective hotels/rooms)

 

trip to mount bromo

Bromo Cottages near Mount Bromo make for a comfortable stay option. Photography by Alfira Farisa

Accommodation Around Mount Bromo

In terms of accommodation for people wishing to trek to Mount Bromo, there are a lot of options. I would personally recommend staying as close to the Mount as possible as it would reduce the travel time in the morning.

My best option would be Bromo Cottages, a really beautiful hotel with a spectacular view of bamboo plantation from the top of a mountain very close to Mount Bromo. This hotel is booked all around the year but rooms are usually available during the rainy season.

Other options would be to book homestays if you are with a larger family or group and on a tight budget.

Where to Feed Yourself Near Mount Bromo ?

Small eateries and cafes open as early as 3 am in the morning. So have a light snack, some coffee and undertake your trek to Mount Bromo. Feeding is important. Else you will not be able to reach the top. You will get exhausted easily. 

To this day, every time I think of the seconds I spent watching that crater, it makes me feel alive. Anything could have gone wrong, but it didn’t. I survived it, just like I always have before.

You know you have lived your life to the fullest when you feel alive in the moment. Life is all about getting out of your comfort zone and overcoming your fears. It’s in moments like these that I realise that travel is never just an obsession, it’s the kind of moment you want to live for. It tells you that no matter what happens, you will be fine and everything will turn out to be okay.

I would like to end this article with my favourite quote of all times by Hans Christian Andersen, “To Travel Is To Live”

Happy Wayfaring.

About the Author

Vidisha Terdal

Vidisha Terdal

Vidisha Terdal is a college student, attaining a Bachelor of Technology degree in Engineering with an immense love for Travel and Photography. Her interests lie in the thrill of a new adventure or in encounters with intriguing people. She believes that travel makes you a better person, a happier person with a versatile personality ready for all the enthralling moments coming your way. It is the small things, like the sound of waves at the beach or the rustling of leaves in mountains, the taste of local cuisines and to be able to capture memories, that leave an impression on the heart.

 

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