In this article I will outline how to Bromo Volcano in Java, Indonesia. It includes logistical requirements, photos and facts (map, costs, background info) . This is a self-guided cultural experience on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the article.
Mount Bromo, is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 metres it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well known.
Gunung Bromo Volcano
This little attempt at an adventure amounted to a lot of time on buses and not much else. From Jogjakarta we were heading to the island of Bali and figured that we should break the 30+-hour bus ride in half by visiting the active Bromo volcano on the north side of the Java Island. We paid 160,000 IR each ($15) for a 12-hour air-conditioned tourist mini-bus ride to the Bromo area. The drive was miserable as it rained in pure tropical rainy season volume. We stopped in the one horse town of Probolinggo around 8pm in order to receive a sales pitch for tours, accommodation and forward transport before being loaded into a different mini-van for a winding up-hill drive to a village (cluster of guesthouses) called Cemara Lawang. It was pitch black out, drizzling and after 10 pm when we arrived. Our driver drove us around to a few of the over-priced guesthouses until we got him to take us to the cheapest were we booked a 75,000 ($5) double that was on par with Nepal’s high altitude guesthouses (AKA dump). He then tried to extract 25,000 IR from each of us for park fees
Total Cost Range of this Activity is: $
|Bus ride from Jogjakarta to Bromo
Park Fee (to enter rim, not paid if just stay at hotels)
Optional Jeep trip to various points
Cristina and I concluded that a 4 am wakeup for a ride (200,000 IR) to the Pananjakan viewpoint would be senseless since visibility was sure to be zero given the continued rain and fog. We told the driver we would pay the park fee ourselves if we actually got up in the morning and entered the park (at the fence behind the guesthouse).
The next morning I got up at dawn and visibility was about 20 meters so I went back to sleep. Around 9 am we got up and jumped on the van returning to Probolinggo in order to catch a continuing bus ride to Lovina on the island of Bali (200,000 IR each).
We did get a brief glimpse of the Bromo crater and some escaping gasses before jumping into the van but in truth the area remained socked-in and there wasn’t much adventure to be had even if we had visibility. The guesthouses were all perched on an outer crater lip and the walk down into the depression at the foot of the volcano inner cone was an easy 30 minute stroll down a park path, then a 20 minute climb up stone steps.
We took a few photos and then started the long and exhausting bus ride to Lovina on the island of Bali, that was really the adventure in this segment of travel. The bus connections were vague and the associated drivers, security guards, and anyone else for that matter were all out to extort additional funds from tourists and we had to fight tooth and nail to ultimately reach Lovina and then Denpasar, where we managed to stay only one night before booking flights out of Bali and to the north island of Sumatra where we were assured tourism was low, outdoors were high, and prices reasonable.
Bottom line: Skip Bromo and definitely skip the island of Bali unless you want to visit an Australian Spring Break location that is 500 % more expensive than the rest of Indonesia.