Visiting the spectacular Mount Bromo in Indonesia is an incredible experience! Mt Bromo is an active volcano and the sunrise views of the mountain and the surrounding volcanic landscape are extraordinary. Standing on the lip of the volcano and listening to the roar emanating from deep within the crater is an amazing experience that you don’t want to miss on a trip to Indonesia.
What is special about Mount Bromo in Indonesia?
Mount Bromo is an active volcano and visitors are awe-struck by the spectacular scenery and by the power of nature when they walk to the very edge of the volcano. You can actually stand on the lip of the crater, looking down into the depths and hear the roaring sounds of escaping steam and gases.
Mount Bromo in Indonesia sits on the Ring of Fire and is one of a series of active volcanos in the Pacific region. It lies within the dramatic and beautiful Bromo Semeru National Park surrounded by 4 other volcanoes and a Sea of Sand. The scenery is magical, especially at sunrise.
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Is Mount Bromo worth visiting?
YES! Bromo Mountain is an extraordinary and exciting place to visit! The active volcano on Bromo Mountain has the power to amaze, surprise and fascinate. Set in a stunning landscape surrounded by tall mountain peaks, sand and ash, the volcanic landscape of Mount Bromo in Indonesia is incredibly beautiful.
I was awe-struck standing on the lip of the crater listening to the roar of steam and gas escaping from a vent in the depths of the volcano and watching white plumes of steam and ash blowing in the wind. Mount Bromo in Indonesia is an incredible place to visit and is sure to be a highlight of a trip to Java.
Is it safe to visit?
Mount Bromo is an active volcano so it’s natural to wonder if it’s safe to visit. However, Indonesian authorities closely monitor the volcano and close off the area and evacuate the nearby villages if there are signs of danger. So yes, it’s safe enough to visit Bromo Mountain and it’s an extraordinary place that you don’t want to miss in Java Indonesia.
How often does Mount Bromo erupt?
Since 1804, Mount Bromo in Indonesia has been erupting every few years. The last eruption was in March 2019 and there were other explosions in 2004, 2010, 2011 and 2015. In 2010 Bromo Mountain started sending up violent plumes of ash 700 metres into the sky. Nearby Malang airport was closed, and residents were evacuated. In 2015 visitors were not allowed to climb the mountain or visit the Sea of Sands.
What to do at Mount Bromo in Indonesia
- Take a jeep tour into the National Park to watch a spectacular sunrise at Mt Bromo
- Walk across the Sea of Sands to the base of Mt Bromo
- Take a pony ride across the Sea of Sands
- Pass the Hindu temple Pura Lehur Poten at the edge of the Sea of Sands at the base of Mount Bromo
- Climb the steep stairs and stand on the crater’s edge of the active Mt Bromo volcano
- Hike into the National Park and explore the stunning volcanic landscape and viewpoints on foot
The sunrise jeep tour
I arranged my jeep tour the evening before and was collected at 0300AM from the Café Lava Hostel.
There were 2 other people in the jeep and we joined a procession of rough and ready 4WD vehicles taking visitors to watch the sunrise over Bromo mountain. The jeeps wind their way up the steep and narrow mountain road in the darkness.
Our jeep was well-worn and struggled to get into 3rd gear. The seat belts were broken and the tailgating and overtaking in the dark on the narrow mountain road brought some hair-raising moments. But the driver was skilled and strong. A hardy mountain man, he safely navigated the jeep in the darkness over the rough terrain to a relatively uncrowded spot to watch the fabulous view unfold as the sun rose over the mountains.
High on the mountain it’s pretty chilly in the early morning so rug up or hire a warm jacket from your hostel
The viewpoint for sunrise
From the lookout point, there was a stunning view over the 5 volcanoes in the caldera and 2 were sending up plumes of steam and gas. Low-lying clouds shrouded the mountain peaks creating an incredibly atmospheric view.
There are lots of different lookout points to watch the sunrise and the view is great from them all. Your driver will know the best place to drop you off for sunrise at Mt Bromo.
Mount Bromo in Indonesia is a popular Instagram photo spot and there were a lot of young people taking selfies, and flying (& crashing) drones, all vying for the best Instagram photo spot with stunning sunrise views.
Across the Sea of Sands
We spent a couple of hours at the lookout and then our driver took us back down the mountain to the Sea of Sands. The wide tires of the jeep took us safely across the difficult terrain. And from there we walked to the base of Mount Bromo. Colourful ponies are available to ride to the base of the mountain and many people were enjoying the opportunity to ride across the sand.
Standing at the edge of the Mt Bromo volcano
A steep staircase leads to the lip of the crater and clouds of steam and gases rise up from inside the earth. The smell of sulphur is strong and catches in your throat when the wind changes direction. It’s truly a fascinating experience to stand at the edge of an active volcano and hear the roar of activity as the volcano rumbles below the ground.
Praying to the mountain Gods
A Hindu temple, Pura Luhur Poten sits on the sand at the base of the Bromo mountain and local people come here to pray and to leave gifts to appease the angry mountain God. Pilgrims take their offerings up the steep stairs to the lip of the volcano and throw them into the steaming crater.
As we descended the stairs the air temperature had warmed as the sun was now higher in the sky. After walking back across the sea of sands it was time to return to Cemorolewang. The jeep tour ended around 0800AM and we were dropped off at our accommodation in time for breakfast.
Hiking to Mt Bromo
You can hike into the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park to visit Mount Bromo and the Sea of Sands on foot. But to see Bromo mountain from one of the many lookout points you’ll need to leave in the dark, very early in the morning at around 3:00 AM.
There are a number of different viewpoints, and the main ones are King Kong Hill, Seruni Point, Bukit Perahu, and Bukit Cinta with the highest lookout at Penanjakan. The view is spectacular from them all but it can get busy on the mountain, especially on weekends and the choice of lookouts helps to space out the crowds.
How much does it cost to go?
- The entrance fee for the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is 220,000 IDR
- An entry fee of 25,000 IDR to Cemorolewang village is also charged when you first arrive.
- The sunrise jeep tour cost 350,000 IDR including the National Park fee.
Where is Mount Bromo?
Mount Bromo in Indonesia lies within the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in east Java near the cities of Probolinggo, Malang and Surabaya.
Probolinggo is the nearest city and is about 46 kilometres away (1 hour by car). Malang is also nearby and 51 kilometres (1.25 hours) away and Surabaya is also an easy 2-3 hour drive and 80 kilometres.
How to reach Mount Bromo
The easiest way to reach Mount Bromo in Indonesia is to fly to Java and catch a train to Probolinggo in east Java. Then take a taxi to Cemorolewang, a small village on the side of Bromo Mountain at the entrance to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.
Sunrise Jeep tours to Mt Bromo leave from Cemorolewang and also from Malang and Surabaya. Both these cities are easily accessible by air, train and bus.
I caught a train from Solo (Surakarta) to Probolinggo. The trip took 6 hours and a shared taxi was waiting to pick up passengers from the train. I was offered a good price to get to Cemorolewang and was also offered a jeep tour to Bromo Mountain for the following day at a competitive price.
How to get from Bali to Mt Bromo
The easiest way to get to Mount Bromo from Bali is to book a 3-day overland trip to see the volcano. This tour also includes a visit to the amazing blue fires of the Ijen volcano on Java.
The quickest route from Bali to Mt Bromo is to fly from Bali Denpasar to Surabaya (1 hour) & drive to Cemorolewang (2.5 hours)
TIP: Book flights, buses and trains online with 12Go Asia
Catch a train from Surabaya to Probolinggo (2 hours) and a shared taxi to Cemorolewang village on Bromo mountain (1 hour)
The cheapest route from Bali to Mt Bromo is overland travelling by bus, ferry, train and taxi.
- Catch a bus from Kuta in Bali to Gilimanuk (3 hours)
- Catch a ferry from Gilimanuk to Ketapang in Java (1.5 hours).
- Catch a train or bus from Ketapang / Banyuwangi to Probolinggo (4.5 hours)
- Catch a taxi from Probolinggo station to Cemorolewang village on Bromo mountain (1 hour)
TIP: From Cemorolewang village you can hike to the Bromo mountain viewpoints or take an early morning jeep tour into the National Park.
How to get to Mount Bromo from Jakarta
Depending on your budget there are a few options for travelling from Jakarta and the easiest is to:-
- Fly to Surabaya and catch a train to Probolinggo (2 hours) and a shared taxi to Cemorolewang (1 hour).
- Or travel overland by train or bus all the way from Jakarta to Probolinggo (15.5 hours) or Malang (16 hours)
But the quickest way is:
- Fly to Yogyakarta, Surabaya or Malang and drive or take a jeep tour.
From Yogyakarta: This 3-day tour to Mount Bromo departs from Yogyakarta and visits the stunning Blue Fires of Ijen Crater as well. Or you can include the UNESCO World Heritage Borobudur Temple on a 4-day trip to Bromo from Yogyakarta.
From Surabaya: Book a private day trip from Surabaya to Mount Bromo and witness the stunning sunrise over the most popular volcano of Mt. Bromo and hike to the top of the mountain to take in the breathtaking views of the crater, caldera, and surrounding mountains.
From Malang: Witness the sunrise over Mount Bromo on this day tour from Malang. Hike to the top of the mountain and take in the breathtaking views of the crater, caldera, and surrounding mountains.
TIP: Jeep tours leave very early at 3:00 AM to catch the sunrise on Bromo Mountain so it’s a good idea to stay overnight at Cemorolewang near the entrance to the Bromo Tengger National Park.
Where to stay
There is a selection of places to stay in Cemorolewang village on Bromo Mountain, but accommodation tends to be overpriced by Indonesian standards. Here are a few of the better options.
Budget: Cayho Homestay in Bromo Indonesia gets great reviews. The accommodation is basic, clean and well-located in Cemorolewang near a Bromo viewpoint and the Lava cafe.
Mid-Range: I stayed at the Café Lava Hostel and loved the superb location right at the entrance to the National Park. The rooms were clean but the bathroom was very basic with an ancient battery-operated hot water heater. The room had a balcony overlooking a lovely garden and mountain views. The café on site was very convenient and I appreciated the tea & coffee facilities in the room at 2:30 AM before the jeep tour. It’s a good choice although overpriced.
Upper Mid-Range: The Jiwa Jawa Resort offers 4-star accommodation in a good location in Cemorolewang. This hotel has a restaurant and a massage and fitness centre on-site.
How long to stay at Mt Bromo
An overnight stay is long enough to see the volcano and the sunrise viewpoints on an early morning jeep tour. But if you want to hike into the Bromo National Park and explore the area on foot, you might choose to stay another night or two.
How cold is Mount Bromo?
Mount Bromo in Indonesia is 2,329 metres above sea level and daytime temperatures are usually warm and pleasant (20°C – 30°C). But it can be very cold at night dropping to 10°C in the early morning.
TIP: It was very cold at the lookout point waiting for sunrise so pack a warm coat and scarf. You can also hire a warm jacket from your accommodation in Cemorolewang or from a hawker on the mountain.
Mt Bromo weather
I was there in January and the stormy weather brought in dramatic cloudy skies. Typically, the weather is clear early in the morning, even after heavy rain the day before. The monsoon rains fall in the low season and although visitor numbers were low, there were still a lot of tourists in January when I was there.
Although the morning was clear, around 0900 AM veils of mist and clouds came into Cemorolewang and the view disappeared. I wouldn’t recommend hiking in the wet season but I enjoyed the Jeep trip and the weather was clear in the early morning at sunrise.
The best time of year for hiking in the National Park is in July. It’s the dry season and It’s also the most popular time to visit Indonesia. Visitor numbers are at their highest at Mt Bromo in July and August.
TIP: Indonesia is a year-round destination and visiting Bali in the wet season is certainly worthwhile but visiting Java and Bali in the dry season is even better as there’s less rain with Bali in June being one of the best months to go. If you’re looking to travel between November and March and want the best weather, why not go to Thailand instead? Learn more about Bali vs Thailand and how these popular Southeast Asian destinations compare.
What to pack to visit Bromo Mountain in Indonesia
Whether you’re hiking or riding in a jeep, the early morning start means it will be very dark and the weather will be cool on the mountain so it’s best to go prepared. You’ll need to take:
- Warm coat & scarf
- Wear layers as it warms up quickly when the sun comes up
- Walking shoes
- Drinking Water
- Sunscreen and hat
Onwards to Probolinggo
Later that morning, a local taxi driver gave me a ride back to Probolinggo train station. He kindly stopped at an ATM so that I could draw some cash. The driving was a bit hair-raising with lots of overtaking on the narrow roads and the seat belt was broken.
Near Mt Bromo, in east Java, there are more fun things to do including visiting the waterfalls near Probolinggo and Malang.
TIP: The most spectacular waterfall in the area is Tumpuk Sewu Waterfall and you can visit it on a day trip from Malang or Surabaya.
The Blue Fires of Kawah Ijen is an extraordinary sight and a popular stop a few hours away in Banyuwangi on the way to Bali. Kawah Ijen is another active volcano on the island of Java with a spectacular crater lake and blue burning gases.
Visiting Mount Bromo in the Pacific Ring of Fire is truly extraordinary! Standing on the rim of the volcano looking down into the steaming crater and hearing the roar of the gases escaping is an unforgettable experience and the scenic landscape around the volcano is also incredible.
It’s certainly worth visiting this amazing place and January, in the low season, is a great time to do the Jeep tour because there are fewer tourists at the viewpoints. But it was a bit wet for hiking. The dry season from May to September would be a better time for hiking in the Mt Bromo National Park.
But if you’re already in Java, why not spend some time in Bali as well? This comparison between Ubud and Kuta in Bali will help you decide where to stay.