GUIDE TO HIKING MOUNT BROMO IN EAST JAVA, INDONESIA

Are you planning to hike The Formidable Mount Bromo soon? Here’s my mini guide on how you can do it too!

Mount Bromo is a famous active volcano in East Java, Indonesia. It last erupted in 2016. and stands tall at 2,329 meters. This volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and sits in the middle called the “Sea of Sand”.

Mt. Bromo

How I got here:

BDN-SBY
Bali to Bandung Distance

I took an Air Asia flight to Surabaya from Bandung in the morning for $40. Then I met up with my driver which I booked beforehand for $20 at tiket.com. This excludes car park fees, fuel, and the driver’s food.

SBY-MALANG-BROMO
Surabaya Airport to Mt. Bromo through Malang (Indirect Option)
Mt. Bromo

I first went to Tumpak Sewu Waterfall in Malang which is also another way to Mount Bromo. The whole journey took us 14 hours including the waterfall which will be on another post soon.

Other options:

If you’re coming from Surabaya directly to Cemoro Lawang which is the nearest village in Mount Bromo, then it would only take 5-6 hours. On the way, you will pass by Probollingo where most backpackers share a transport to take them to Mount Bromo.

SBY-BRO
Surabaya Airport to Mt. Bromo (Direct option)

Mt. Bromo

If you’re coming from Bali, you can take a bus for 5 hours going to Gilimanuk Port. The one hour ferry ride will take you to Banyuwangi. Then take another 6 hour bus to Probolingo then another 1 hour bus to Cemoro Lawang. To save yourself some troubles, the easiest way is to book it here: BALI-IJEN-BROMO TOUR

BALI-BRO

Accommodation:

I was supposed to stay at Homestay Desa Ngadisari at Cemoro Lawang which I booked at booking.com but it was no where to be found. But I was glad there are many guesthouses around to which I paid 200,000 IDR ($30) for a room. Take note that prices are higher than usual here since it’s a tourist spot.  Try to stay nearby so you can do the morning hike up to catch the sunrise.  If you plan to stay in Surabaya, then you can get that from your accommodation or directly from this link: Bromo Sunrise Tour.

Mount Bromo With or Without a Tour

I was supposed to be walking my way to death from the base. But it was so cold that I decided to get a motorbike with a driver which I forgot to pay him IDR 150,000. When I arrived at the top, I thought there’s not much walking to do but I still had to trek for 45 minutes with a steep slope.

Mt. Bromo

While walking, I met these lads from Czech Republic whom I befriended to keep me company. By the time we got to the Kingkong Hill Viewpoint which was very crowded, we decided to go higher and find a sweet spot. We had a lot of troubles finding our way to the point where I almost slipped off and fell. Had it not been for my new friends, I could have died.

Mt. Bromo
Mt. Bromo

With the sun rising already, we decided it was time to stay where we were and just enjoy the moment.

After the sunrise, it was time to go down and go to the crater. Gladly my new friends had a jeep with a driver and took us to the foothills of Mount Bromo volcano where we crossed by the Sea of Sand. When we got there, it was still a 30 minute walk all the way up to the crater rim of Mount Bromo and here we walked around the rim to several viewpoints overlooking the vast valley and into the depts of the crater.

Mt. Bromo Crater
Mt. Bromo Crater

When we reached the Bromo crater rim, I was astounded by how big it is! I was able to walked passed the 75m concrete barrier that gave me some protection to not fall in. My eyes couldn’t take looking both sides as the rest of the rim has a narrow path. A loss of balance would take me straight to my “crater graveyard” which was roaring like waiting for me to fall.

If you’re travelling solo like me, I would recommend doing it on a tour which includes a stop to the Viewpoint and to the crater itself. Since we were 4 people, each of us only paid IDR 100,000. This already included our way out to Probollingo where I rode a bus to Banyuwangi for Kawah Ijen while my Czech lads rode a bus to Yogyakarta.

Mt. Bromo

Without a tour, going to Penanjakan Hill viewpoint would take you 2-3 hours depending on your fitness level. Then walking down the hill to the crater would take 2 hours. This option is best for budgetarians as you can almost do this for free.

Mt. Bromo Crater
Mt. Bromo

So my trip to Bromo is half a Tour and half not because I did not book a tour myself and basically just joined with my new friends with their jeep. I did not pay any entrance fees because I didn’t notice any booths. To give yourself an even better chance of avoiding the crowds I recommend doing it on weekdays.

Mt. Bromo

Basic Essentials:

It was so damn cold at night that I thought I’d freeze my way to death. So bring your jacket with you. I also brought with me a headlight which was very useful because the trek started at 3am.

Mt. Bromo

A mask and a pair of sunglasses are also recommended because at times on our way to the crater, the wind would carry a wall of volcanic sand, like a sand storm in the Sahara desert. Lastly, water and protein bars. I did not eat breakfast before and after the trek because there was no time. Also wear lose pants so you can move freely.

Total Bromo Expenses:

Bromo Tour- IDR 100,000
Guesthouse- IDR 200,000
Entrance fee at the village- IDR 10,000
Water Refill- IDR 5,000
Total= 315,000 ($42)

Conclusion:

This was my first encounter with an active volcano. Hiking Mt Bromo exceeded my presumptions. I didn’t expect it to sound very active! The crater roars loudly. It’s very formidable and such an intimidating force of nature.

Mt. Bromo

The unearthly landscape is so unusual, unique and easy to make you feel like you’re exploring another planet. It was one of the most magical moments of my life. At some point, I stopped to see the stars and Milky Way above us.

Let me know in the comments if you have questions. I’d be so glad to help out.

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