Exploring MT. BROMO: Indonesia’s Iconic Place of Beauty and Danger

SURREAL/
SURREAL. That’s what I felt when I was on top of Mt. Bromo in East Java, Indonesia.

Definitely my most favorite part in our Indonesian trip is none other than our Mt. Bromo experience. To tell you the truth, I had no expectations whatsoever when we were going here. All I knew was we’re going to this volcano in Indonesia which is a beautiful and an active one. I saw pictures before of this beauty as shared by my friends in our group chat and I thought it was really something to go to. But for some reason, I didn’t remember it as much as I could. And as you know, the less you expect, the more you’d be surprised when you’re already seeing something really beautiful yourself.

This is the 3rd leg of our great Indonesian getaway. Please refer to the Indonesian primer, the 1st leg and the 2nd leg of our travel if you want to learn more about our travel in Indonesia.

Mt. Bromo

Overlooking.
OVERLOOKING Mt. Bromo (pictured with smoke on its caldera) and the other mountains as seen on Mt. Penanjakan.

Standing tall at 2,329 m, Mt. Bromo is one of the most visited travel destinations in the country of Indonesia. As for comparison, our very own Mt. Mayon is 2,463 m. The word Bromo is derived from Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

This volcano (along with Mt. Batok) is situated in the huge Tenggara caldera, said to be an ancient volcano in that part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Constantly spewing sulfuric gases from its crater, Mt. Bromo remains an active volcano until now. It has last ejected ashes onto the air on November 2015; and because of this, tourists and travelers then were forbidden to climb it up.  Thankfully, it has stopped spewing ashes and visitors are allowed to go on its crater again… for now. 

Places of Interest

Mt. Penanjakan

This is where the sunrise viewpoint in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is found. You can hike this mountain for about one to two hours or just hire a 4 x 4 jeepney vehicle so you can go at the viewpoint faster. Believe me, the scenery you would be seeing here is just so beautiful! The sunrise makes it the more exciting!

SUNRISE IN MT. BROMO
SUNRISE IN MT. BROMO. This is definitely one of the most beautiful sunrises that I have ever seen!

The photo above shows the scenery our eyes feasted on during that fateful morning in Mt. Bromo. We woke up very early to go to this viewpoint in Mt. Penanjakan of one of the famed volcanoes of the world. It was still very dark when we reached it, and so we waited for the sun to rise. When it finally did, a splash of colors painted the sky we could not help but be awed and amazed by what we were witnessing. Glorious was what I felt in that splendid moment!

WAITING
WAITING for that sunrise that day in Mt. Bromo National Park took some time. But the anticipation was so worth it when we saw the early morning light as it hit the mountains in sight!
SUNRISE AT LAST.
SUNRISE AT LAST. There’s this great feeling that I experience ever time I see a beautiful sunrise. And what I experienced back in Mt. Bromo was no exemption.

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

PEEKING
PEEKING THROUGH THE DOOR TOWARDS THE EARTH’S CORE. It was thrilling to visit an active volcano, but being able to go to its crater that is spewing with steam and volcanic gases make it the more exhilarating!

Encompassing a total area of 5,250 hectares at an altitude of about 2,100 m, the national park is a must-visit when you are in Java, Indonesia.

HORSE RIDING
HORSE RIDING. One way of going to Mt. Bromo from the sea of sand is through horse riding as seen being done by this visitor in the national park.

This park is known as the only conservation area in the country of Indonesia that has a sea of sand. Sea of sand means a vast land that is covered only with sand.

OFFERING.
OFFERING. Vendors selling food, water and even flowers can be seen when going up Mt. Bromo. These things are being sold to people who would like to given an offering to the Hindu gods being revered in the volcano.

This national park contains Mt. Semeru, the highest mountain in Java, Mt. Bromo, the most visited and Mt. Batuk, which is just beside Mt. Bromo.

FLIGHT OF STAIRS.
FLIGHT OF STAIRS. This is the stairs leading to the crater of Mt. Bromo. Notice the green mountain beside Mt. Bromo? That mountain is called Mt. Batok. For comparison to a similar picture later, this photo was taken upon our ascent on the top of Mt. Bromo.
BROMO CRATER.
BROMO CRATER. This was the view when we finally reached the crater of Mt. Bromo! Gases could be seen coming out!
BEFORE THE OTHERWORLDLY HAPPENING.
BEFORE THE OTHERWORLDLY HAPPENING. This is a picture of my friend, Carlo, as I asked him to stay still on that part of Mt. Bromo’s crater. Strong winds are starting to sway the sulfur mists towards that part of the volcano.
THE OTHERWORLDLY SIGHT. I was beyond thrilled when I saw this phenomenon right before my eyes! Sulfur mists have finally covered the crater of Mt. Bromo! Our tour guide said that this doesn’t happen very often, and we were just grateful to be witnessing this experience that’s definitely one for the books!
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN.
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. That dreamlike event of being on top of Mt. Bromo at that particular time seemed like a phantasm, but it turned out to be as real as living and breathing! The two silhouettes of people in this picture are those of my good friends, Carlo and Flip.
ZERO VISIBILITY
ZERO VISIBILITY. There really came a point wherein we couldn’t see anything around us! Now that I remember it, it would have been really dangerous walking around hastily to get out of there!
OFFERING TO THE HINDU GODS.
OFFERING TO THE HINDU GODS. When I asked our tour guide as to whom were these offerings being made, he said they were for Ganesha, the Hindu god of new beginnings, success and wisdom.
THE DESCENT.
THE DESCENT. This was the scene while we were going down the crater of Mt. Bromo. Notice that the ground below was still being covered with the sulfur mists!
HORSEMAN.
HORSEMAN. That surreal event on Mt. Bromo has made every scene happening back then dramatic. Take a look at this rider as he was going up the volcano with his brown horse.
IT WAS THE STUFF THAT BELONGS TO SCIENCE/FICTION OR ANCIENT HISTORY IN MOVIES OR TELEVISION SHOWS. Our collective moments in Mt. Bromo was made of this: a dreamlike sequence of fantastic scene after scene. This picture shows what we were witnessing while going down the said volcano in Indonesia. The sulfur mists were still enveloping the ground, making an interesting display of light, shadow and texture in the surroundings as seen by the naked eye.
THE MIST.
THE MIST. The Stephen King novel was one of the things that came to my mind upon seeing these kinds of scenarios back then in the sea of sand!
YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE.
YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE. This was one of the playful things that ran through my mind during that time. Think of it just like in a horror movie. Waking up with no recent memory of recent happenings, the protagonist found himself in the middle of nowhere. In this case, a vast land that is covered with clouds of sulfur. Not knowing where to go, he heard a voice saying he can try to escape, but he still is going to be found. Creepy, eh?
THE SHEMBOT SQUAD.
THE SHEMBOT SQUAD. That special day in Mt. Bromo was definitely made more special because I was with my very good friends who shared that unbelievable experience with me. From left to right: that’s me in red (IG: @karl_olivier), then Brye (@bryehero), Flip (@flipbardinas), James (@callmejames007), Ardee (@ardeemd) and Carlo (@carloenriquez21).

Cemera Lawang

CEMERA LAWANG.
CEMERA LAWANG. This village was said to be a place where lots of vegetables were being grown. Why won’t it be if it’s an ideal place for growing veggies because of its elevation? Baguio is what comes to mind for comparison. By the way, it was drizzling when we were leaving this village, making it colder than usual. But expect it to be a lot cooler in the early morning, especially when you’re about to embark on your journey towards Mt. Penanjakan! Bring a jacket or coat!

Cemera Lawang is a very small village located northeast of Mt. Bromo that serves as the jump-off point for early morning climbs in the vicinity. Cemera Lawang is part of Ngadisiri Village in the regency of Probolinggo in Java, Indonesia.

COMFY BED IN BROWN OTIX GUEST HOUSE.
BROWN OTIX GUEST HOUSE. Even though we were not able to sleep for too long here in Brown Otix Guest House, our stay was definitely good because it was complete with what we need: a comfy bedroom, a living room that can also be used as a dining room and a comfort room that is equipped with heater.
MT. BROMO NATIONAL PARK as seen in the picture of the guest house.

Mt. Bromo Detailed Itinerary

It was the night of our Day 2 when we went to Surabaya, which has the nearest airport to Mt. Bromo. From Yogyakarta, we flew a 50-minute plane ride to Juanda International Airport in Surabaya via Sriwajaya. We have managed to find someone who would be fetching us from the airport and transport us to Cemero Lawang, the village that serves as the jump-off point in trekking Mt. Bromo. It took us about 4 hours of travel, meaning it was past 2 AM when we reached our hostel in Cemero Lawang. We slept for a few hours before venturing to our Bromo adventure, which included going to Mt. Penanjakan, the sunrise viewpoint of Bromo, Batok and Semeru, and also at the Tengger Sea of Sand via a 4×4 vehicle, before walking and climbing the crater of Mt. Bromo itself. We stayed in the viewpoint until 8 AM before heading to the designated parking area of vehicles in the Sea of Sand. It only took us about 20 minutes going here. We decided to walk a significant part of the Sea of Sand going up to the crater of Mt. Bromo. The view atop was magnificent! And it became otherworldly when sulfur mists covered everything on the crater! Just look at the pictures here in the blog to learn what I am talking about!

 

We stayed in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park until about 11:30 AM before heading back to the hostel. After eating lunch, washing up and preparing our things, we headed back to Juanda International Airport. We were about to go to Bali first so we could travel to Labuan Bajo, the place of the Komodo! Watch out for the next leg of our trip!

 

Who to Contact:

Bromo Ijen Rent Car

+6285108333533, +6285730555530

bromoijenrentcar@gmail.com

http://www.bromoijenrentcar.com

 

Breakdown of expenses:

Bromo Ijen Rent Car – $240 or P12,535.43 per group of 6 (P2,089.24)

Inclusion:

a. Transportation (air-conditioned van) from Surabaya airport to Cemera Lawang

b. Local mountain rangers as tour guide

c. Transportation (4×4 jeepney going around Mt. Bromo National Park)

d. Transportation (air-conditioned van) from Cemera Lawang to Surabaya airport

Entrance fee to Mt. Bromo – P907.59 or 240,000 IDR per pax

Brown Otix Guest House – P2,647.15 or 700,000 IDR per group (P831.2 each)

TOTAL: P3,828.03 (per pax)

(1,000 IDR = P3.78)

AMAZING SIGHT!
AMAZING SIGHT! Just looking at this volcanic activity makes going to Mt. Bromo really worth it! So go now and plan to go here, guys!

***

Thanks for reading, guys! I hope you got inspired by this blog post about Mt. Bromo! Travel there with your friends and loved ones to get awed by this wonderful beauty in Indonesia!

Watch out for my next blog post which will feature Shembot Squad’s trip in the Komodo National Park! Thank you!

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