Mount Bromo has become one of Indonesia’s most-sought views, bustling with tourists and adventurers daily. To make the most of your visit, read our guide to Indonesia’s epic Mount Bromo.
The blown-off crater of this majestic volcano is one of many things to explore around this renowned mountain. The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park holds a wide range of destinations, from deserts to stunning green hills. The good news is you can tour most of it in just one day — hiking to the top of Bromo takes less than an hour. And you can choose what to do with the remaining time to spare. Waterfall? Ride a jeep along the desert? Pick your adventure.
Your unforgettable experience in Mount Bromo starts with ample preparation. Get enough sleep and eat properly the days before; you’ll need physical fortitude to truly embrace the best spots in the best possible way.
Here’s what to pack before you go. Keep in mind that even though it’s Indonesia, you’re not going for a typical tropical island getaway. In fact, pack your winter attire — jacket, scarf, socks, and gloves; wear light clothes underneath
The topographical condition makes the temperature at Bromo similar to a desert, cold at night but scorching during the day. Hours before sunrise, the temperature may reach 10 degrees below Celsius, and may top at 32 degrees Celsius during the day. Finally, a chance to sport your best winter and summer attire in one day!
Don’t forget to bring a mask or scarf to cover your nose and mouth. Bromo is perched on a ‘sea of sand,’ and it gets very dusty. Powdery sand will be flying about through the desert and up the mountain.
How to get there
Mount Bromo is located at Probolinggo, a town in East Java. You can book your flight to the nearest airport at Surabaya or Malang, then continue by land. From either of the two cities, the trip to Probolinggo takes roughly 3-4 hours. The most convenient option is perhaps to rent a car, but a more affordable option is to get on a bus from Surabaya or Malang to Probolinggo then ask around for a shared van to Bromo.
If you’re renting a car, leave around midnight to make it in time for sunrise. It’s also common to depart the day before and rent a room at neighboring Cemoro Lawang.
Once you arrive at the entrance to the national park, you’ll be asked to switch to the jeep. One vehicle costs starting from $50-60 for six people, depending on your travel itinerary. If you’re traveling alone, you can ask around and form a group to split the cost.
Things to see and do
Sunrise at Pananjakan
Mount Pananjakan is the most popular viewpoint for a Bromo sunrise. From Pananjakan’s top, you’ll get the perfect angle of Bromo and its neighboring peaks.The viewpoint is accessible by jeep, so if you’re renting one, you won’t have to hike (unless you want to, which will take you about 2 hours).
There are a lot of warungs around the jeep parking lot, so this may also be a good time to relax for a while and order a cup of coffee or eat breakfast before venturing on.
Hiking Mount Bromo
The jeep will only get you as far as the desert area at the mountain’s base. Intriguingly enough, the desert is called Pasir Berbisik or ‘whispering sands’.
You’ll have to proceed by foot or ride a rented horse up to the foothill, then go up the stairs to the peak of Mount Bromo, where you can see the deep caldera or turn around to see the magnificent view of the whole mountain complex.
During a special ceremony, called the Kaskada, you can even observe locals throw sacrifices into the caldera as offerings to the gods. But even on other days, the mighty caldera still fascinates tourists with the soaring hot smoke and strong sulphur smell.
Don’t be discouraged by the notion of hiking a mountain, it takes less than an hour to reach the top from the jeep parking area; a good start for stiff urban dwellers who fancy a change of scene.
Yes, Teletubbies, as in the ’90s kids show with the colorful costumes and sun baby. In the middle of the volcanic caldera is a picturesque green savannah with sweeping hills, pretty much like the ones seen in Teletubbies.
Tip: This is where you ditch the jackets and put on the sunglasses and SPF 30.
Despite its soft drizzle streams, this waterfall has a distinctive grandeur that makes it one of the most popular attractions around Bromo. The water runs down the majestic cylindrical canyon and drops into an emerald pool below, creating a calming rushing sound and blissful atmosphere all around.