Mount Bromo en Kawa Ijen crater tour, all tips and tricks

21 August 2018

There are multiple ways to visit mount Bromo and the Ijen crater in East Java. It is possible to do this expedition by yourself or you can book a tour. Since we did not have the time to organize everything ourselves, we booked a tour at a travel agency in the center of Yogjakarta. We did the tour  3 days / 2 nights.


Where to book a tour to Mount Bromo and the Kawa Ijen crater? 

We booked this trip in the famous backpacker street Jl. Prawirotaman in the center of Yogjakarta. In this street are many travel agencies that offer tours for about the same price. Our preference went to a travel agency that could offer a tour including a visit to the Madakupuri waterfall. Given the high competition, price negotiation is rather difficult as the prices are fairly fixed. The differences in price  usually depend on the type of vehicle or hotel/hostel.

JL Prawirotaman 26

Our trip to Mount Bromo and the Kawa Ijen crater was booked at the travel agency at JL Prawirotaman 26. Because they were almost the only ones offering a package including an excursion to the Madakupuri waterfall. Just to know, we booked 2 days in advance but the tours are daily since they are so popular.

mount Bromo

The beautiful environment of mount Bromo  (@Unsplash)

The beginning of a big adventure…

7 am, from Yogyjakarta to Mojokerto

It is time! At 7 o’clock in the morning they picked us up by a taxi and took us to the Yogjakarta railway station. After this, a 4-hour train ride took us to Mojokerto where a taxi driver, with a shared van, picked us up.

The Madakaripura waterfall was not what we expected

Normally, the trip to the waterfall would take 2 hours, but eventually this trip was 4 hours and we were dropped off in a tourist office. Here we got more information about the trip and the agreed entrance fees had to be paid (entrance for Mount Bromo). After that it was about 1 hour until we reached the waterfall, which turned out to be closed. This was suspicious and we felt a bit robbed. It looked like they knew in advance that the waterfall was closed. We asked our money back and after some negotiations, they will contact us later to give more information.

Positive thinking, another story to tell . P.S.: How it went can be read at the bottom** .

Let us continue to Cemoro Lawang

After this we continued our trip to Cemoro Lawang which is the highest village near Mount Bromo. Around 16 o’clock we arrived and temperatures were a lot cooler. Be prepared for this and take a coat and long trousers with you. We stayed in Cafe Lava hostel, which is a basic hostel.

4 am, Mount Bromo here we come! 

Our ‘guide’ picked us up at 4 am at our hotel with a Jeep. Everything is a bit chaotic so be sure to get out early enough and show your entrance ticket. As a result you can quickly go to a jeep of your choice.

The first stop was at the viewpoint where you can enjoy the sunrise and the beautiful view over Mount Bromo. Be aware, this point is very touristic, but certainly worth the effort! If you walk down a bit, you’ll find a place where almost no one is standing and the view is just as beautiful. The tour continues after the sunrise.

 It is difficult to find your jeep between those 100 jeeps. Good tip, take a picture of the license plate of your jeep!

mount Bromo

On our way to Mount Bromo (@Unsplash)

After sunrise, time to activate our legs

Afterwards, all jeeps drive in large collons towards Mount Bromo itself. At Mount Bromo is enough time to walk around! If you want to go “next level”, you can rent a horse for 100 000 rupees. We have chosen to just walk on the volcano. This can be done by anyone who is a bit in shape. The noise of the volcano, the view and the landscape is really something special that will be remembered your whole life!

After this adventurous trip they brought us back to the hotel. Here, you will have time to have breakfast and pack your things.

mount Bromo and Ijen crater

Mount Bromo during sunrise

Our trip to Kawah Ijen crater

At 10 am the guide picked us up again with a van and brought us back to the tourist office in Proboligno. Here we got more information about the tour to the Kawa Ijen crater and paid the entrance fees.
Who wants to go to Bali after this can also book a bus here.

A few hours later…

After finishing all practical matters, we drove on to the village near the Kawa Ijen crater. We arrived at the hotel around 8 pm after a tiring and uncomfortable ride of almost a whole day. The first impression of this ‘hotel’ was not positive as the rooms were very primitive. Well, luckily this was only to sleep for 3 hours since we left at 1 o’clock at night to climb the Ijen crater and spot the “blue fire”.

A solid climb in the middle of the night

You better be awake, because there is a 5 km walk with a steep slope waiting. This is pretty tough, especially in the middle of the night, and good shoes are definitely recommended. The trail to Ijen crater consists out of stones so a hiking shoe with grip is useful.

First you reach the top of the Kawa Ijen crater and after this you need to descend along rocks to see ‘the blue fire‘. After the blue fire you can watch the sunrise on the crater itself and walk around. Because it is a sulfuric volcano, it is mandatory to wear a mask. It is better to leave it on during the descent (nothing extra to be paid). After the descent everyone meet at the vans and drive for 2 hours to the port of Banyuwangi.

Our first idea was not to take public transportation and take a taxi, Uber or Grab to Ubud. But it is almost impossible and very expensive so better take a bus with the tour operator. You pay 150 000 rupees and will definitely reach your destination.

mount Bromo

Ijen crater (@Unsplash)

Prices to go to Mount Bromo and Ijen crater

Tour Madakupuri waterfall – Mount Bromo – Ijen crater: 1 490 000 roepi (around 100 euro)

  • Inclusive: Train ride*, transportation with vans and trains, entrance fees + a guide at the waterfalls, hotel + breakfast
  • Exclusive: entrance fee for Mount Bromo + jeep (200 000 roepi), entrance fee Ijen crater (200 000 roepi), bus trip to Ubud, Bali (150 000 roepi)

*We stayed in hotels of ‘class 3’. The middle class, which is class 2, is the most expensive one. Here you have the advantage of being on the highest point near Mount Bromo. We also opted for a double room. Those who wants to go even more low budget, can choose to stay overnight in a dorm.

**Those who are curious how the ‘waterfall story’ ended… We got some money back, but not the full amount. The reason for this was that if you do not visit the waterfall you get a larger bus and have a longer train ride.

People staying on Java should visit the Borobodur and Prambanan temple! Here you can find all practical tips .

Unsplash afbeelding mount Bromo

Ijen crater during sunrise (@Unsplash)

 Thank you Evi for sharing this experience with us!#LeYatribe


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