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Climbing the Mount Bromo vulcano is considered to be one of the most amazing attractions in Java, Indonesia. And that’s not for no reason: just looking at the picture above makes us want to go back immediately. To make sure you don’t miss out on this natural wonder, we’ve made this complete guide to climbing Mount Bromo. We’ll give you all the tips we wish we’d known in advance: what to bring, what to wear and whether to do it with or without a tour.
Getting ready for your trip to Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Packing your daypack
One of the most important things, whether you’re doing the Bromo with a tour or on your own, is a nicely packed daypack. We use the Lowepro Tahoe backpack as a daypack, and it works great. The things we’ve found absolutely necessary to bring:
- Some snacks and plenty of water, because you have to get up in the middle of the night and won’t have a proper breakfast until around 9 am.
- Some toilet paper, since the toilets there have very limited supplies.
- A flashlight, because until sunrise it’ll be really dark and the tracks aren’t all good.
What to wear
The temperature at night in the Bromo National Park is not something to be underestimated. It can get really cold. That’s why we advise you to wear good clothing that will keep you warm. We only had a thin sweater, which definitely wasn’t enough. If you don’t have anything warm with you, you can rent coats close to the sunrise viewpoint, but consider these aren’t the cleanest. The temperature starts to rise again from around 8 am. It will get to the usual Indonesian temperature really fast, so make sure you also bring some airy clothing.
TIP: Are you in doubt what you should pack for your next backpacking trip? In this blog you’ll find a suitable packing list, including tips for sustainable packing.
Visiting Mount Bromo with a tour
When we visited Indonesia, we were travelling on a rather tight schedule and didn’t have the time to visit Mount Bromo on our own. That’s why we went with a tourguide that took us from Yogyakarta to Mount Bromo, the Kawah Ijen vulcano and afterwards to Bali.
In Yogyakarta we stayed in Jawa Jiwa Hostel (which we really recommend!) and they set us up with Master Holidays. This is a well-known local touroperator. Master Holidays offered us the following package:
- Pick-up service from Yogyakarta by bus (with airconditioning) and transportation to Bromo National Park.
- A one-night stay in a hostel near the park.
- Pick-up service from the hostel by jeep and transportation into the National park, including watching the sunrise from Love Hill and later going up the Bromo yourself.
- Transportation from Mount Bromo to the Kawah Ijen.
- A one night stay in a hostel near the Kawah Ijen.
- Pick-up service from the hostel by jeep and transportation to the Kawah Ijen.
- Transportation to the harbor in East-Java by bus.
- A seat on the boat from Java to Bali.
- Transportation to bus station Mengwi in Bali.
For travellers staying in Surabaya it’s also possible to visit Mount Bromo from there. Bromo Eco Tourism can pick you up from the airport or your accommodation around 11.30 pm and drive to the Mount Bromo National Park in around four hours. After seeing the sunrise and climbing the Bromo crater, they take you back to Surabaya. You can expect to be back there around 2 pm!
TIP: Most jeep drivers will take you to Love Hill to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo, but this viewpoint is often overly crowded with other visitors. If you want to find a nice spot away from the crowds, we suggest going up the hill opposite Love Hill. It’s far less crowded and the sights might be even better. There isn’t a real path going up there, but with a flashlight you’ll surely find your way.
Visiting Mount Bromo on your own
If you’re planning on visiting Mount Bromo National Park, chances are that you’re either coming from Yogyakarta, Surabaya or Probolinggo. Firstly, we’ll discuss how you can travel to Mount Bromo National Park from there, and then talk you through visiting Mount Bromo itself.
Visiting Mount Bromo from Yogyakarta
From Yogyakarta, you can easily take the train to Probolinggo. This takes around 7 to 8 hours. You can consult Tiket to check out the exact schedule and pricing. You can also take the local bus to Probolinggo, which will get you there in 8 tot 12 hours, depending on traffic. A bus ticket only costs you 77.000 Rp (5 euros), so this is definitely the cheapest way. Do consider the bus stops rarely, so make sure to bring enough food and beverages.
Visiting Mount Bromo from Surabaya
If you’re planning on going to Mount Bromo from Surabaya on your own, the quickest option is taking a taxi. The taxi ride will cost you around 900.000 Rp (60 euros) and takes four hours. A taxi usually fits around four to six people, so make sure to find some other travellers that can hop on.
Taking the local DAMRI bus to Probolinggo is the more budget-friendly option. This will cost you around 25.000 Rp, which is less than 2 euros. The bus departs around fourteen times a day from the Purabaya Bus Terminal, but usually only leaves when full. Find more information on the exact departing time here.
Visiting Mount Bromo from Probolinggo
From Probolinggo you can take a minibus to Cemoro Lawang, a little village at the foot of Mount Bromo. This bus takes 1,5 hours and costs 30.000 Rp (3 euros). This bus only leaves when full.
If you don’t feel like waiting for the bus, You can also rent a scooter in Probolinggo and drive to Mount Bromo yourself. Scooter rent costs around 100.000 Rp (7 euros) for a day. Make sure to leave from Probolinggo around 2 – 02:30 pm to be on time for sunrise.
Climbing Mount Bromo itself
Now let’s get to the fun part! Watching the sunrise above the Bromo and later on climbing the crater itself is what it’s eventually all about.
To make sure you’re going in the right direction when you’re at Mount Bromo National Park, install the app maps.me on your phone. This app allows you to download maps and use them offline. If you use the map of Indonesia, you’ll see that there’s a path drawn to Mount Bromo which you can follow.
The first part of your Bromo experience is watching the sun rise above it. To get to the hill from where you do this, you’ll have to start hiking around 3 pm. You’ll start your hike at Cemara Indah Hotel and finish at Penanjakan viewpoint. As mentioned earlier: you can choose to watch from Love Hill or watch from the hill opposite to it.
After the sunrise, you have to walk the same path back to Cemoro Lawang. If you’re smart, you make a quick stop at your hostel to change your warm clothing for something more light, because the temperature will start to rise.
Now it’s time to start climbing the Bromo crater itself. The main entrance to the Bromo is next to Café Lava. Here you’ll have to buy an entrance ticket of 220.000 Rp during the week (15 euros) or 320.000 Rp during weekends (22 euros).
To get to the crater, you first have to cross the Sea of Sand; basically a long stretched sandy area. This will take you about 30 minutes by foot. Finally, you’ll have to walk the staircase, which is around 250 steps to the crater. Then you can enjoy the view!
After you’ve enjoyed the Bromo and its views, it’s time to head back to Cemoro Lawang. Find the bus station and take the bus back to Probolinggo. From here you can continue your travels.
Where to stay near Mount Bromo National Park
Bromo Otix Guesthouse** (Cemoro Lawang): this guesthouse is located only 1 kilometer from Mount Bromo, which makes it the perfect base for visiting the vulcano on your own. A room for two with your own bathroom and breakfast costs 275.000 Rp (19 euros). Book this accommodation here!
Cahyo Homestay Bromo* (Cemoro Lawang): this homestay is closest to Mount Bromo and receives fairly good reviews. When you open your curtains, you can even see Mount Bromo. A three-person room with breakfast costs 300.000 Rp (20 euros). Book this accommodation here!
Colorbox Bromo Backpacker** (Probolinggo): this hostel is situated in the center of Probolinggo, which is 25 kilometers from Mount Bromo National Park. A budget room for two costs 150.000 Rp (10 euros), a standard room for two is 170.000 (12 euros). Both prices include breakfast. Book this accommodation here!
If you have any questions regarding Mount Bromo National Park, please drop a comment in the comment section below!