You know that you are off the beaten path when dozens of people ask to take photos with you because they rarely see a blond. Traveling to Mount Bromo, in Indonesia’s Java region, is quite the journey but it is worth the trip. Here is everything that you need to know about going to Mount Bromo Indonesia.
First, you will need to take a flight to Surabaya. Indonesia has several domestic airlines and Wings was recommended to us. The flight was just 40 minutes from Yogjakarta. Then you need to hire a driver to take you to Mount Bromo. The drive is about 3 ½ hours and costs about $65 USD. Yes, it is a trek.
My sister is one of those people who researches the heck out of everything on TripAdvisor. She decided that we would stay at Jiwa Jawa, a nicer hotel in the area instead of a guesthouse. The accommodations were simple, but the room was clean and the food at the hotel restaurant hit the spot.
The thing to do is go to Mount Bromo to watch the sunrise. Some people hike up the mountain, which takes about 2 hours. Honestly, I would not recommend this. It’s dark, so you can’t see much, and it is pretty cold. You would also get up to the viewing point late and have a harder time securing a good spot.
My sister read lots of forums where people said it was cold at Mount Bromo. It’s definitely chilly. We were there in mid-November and it was about 48 degrees, but the temperature does warm up once the sun comes up. We wore waterproof hiking boots (we both like Keen boots), leggings, tanks with long sleeve shirts on top, light jackets, and scarfs. Some people had hats and gloves but I think that is overkill. The waterproof shoes were great because the ground was wet.
Hundreds (maybe thousands) of people go to Mount Bromo to watch the sunrise every day. You want to grab a spot early. Like really really early. We left our hotel at 3am. From there it was about 45 minutes up to the viewing area for the sunrise. The earlier you leave, the better your spot will be, and the less you will have to walk. Your jeep driver will take you as far as it can go, it will park as close to the viewing area as possible, but as time goes on people have to park further and further down the mountain.
We arrived at the viewing area around 4am. We rented a yoga mat for the equivalent of $1.50 USD and settled in to a prime spot to watch the sunrise. The sunrise started happening around 4:20am. I will warn you that there were some really pushy people who showed up once the sunrise was already happening and kept standing right in front of us. That wasn’t cool. Be prepared for it.
You need to hire a driver, I doubt they rent the jeeps, and you absolutely want someone with experience doing the drive. My sister has driven on crazy mountains and roads, but she was glad we had a driver.
After the sunrise, we got back into the Jeep and went to see the Sea of Sand, an area with an active volcano that is surrounded with ash.
You can opt to ride a horse or walk up to see the crater where the volcano is. We walked, and it was a decent workout. It was fun, but not as amazing as the sunrise from Mount Bromo.
There are a couple more things that you should know. First off, since Mount Bromo is an active volcano, sometimes the area is closed for safety reasons. Also, some mornings are rainy and the sunrise isn’t great. We took a risk by going to Mount Bromo for one night and one day, but it was worth it. The only big attractions are sunrise at Mount Bromo and the Sea of Sand. Most people just visit for one day to see those two things and then leave town.
We loved Mount Bromo because it was such a unique and authentic experience. Most of the people we encountered were Indonesians who traveled from different parts of the country. It was the Indonesians who kept asking to take photos with us since they don’t see people with blond hair and blue eyes often.