A national park is named after its two mountains, Mount Semeru (the highest in Java with 3,676 meters), Mount Bromo (the most popular, 2329 meters), and the Tengger people who inhabit the area.
Living with volcanoes is a gift and a curse!
There are 45 active volcanoes on the Island of Java. The owner of our homestay explained: “This area of East Java has 4 holes. Two are dead and two are active (Semeru and Bromo). It is good that the two holes are active every day because the pressure is going out. If it would not go, this will occur panic. If Bromo would erupt, this area (this village) would not be in danger. It is lifted from the sea of sand. “
Mount Semeru is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. What stands out most is the fact that erupts almost every 20 minutes. You can see every time the stratovolcano belches out a huge cloud of steam and smoke. That´s why the mountain is often closed due to its highly active nature.
Mount Bromo is the most popular mountain to hike in the national park. It is easy and available to everyone. It is easily recognized as the entire top has been blown off and the crater inside constantly belches white sulfurous smoke. Surrounded by the sea of sand, it makes Mount Bromo one of the most photogenic calderas around East Java.
Next to Mount Bromo you will see Mount Batok. The brown nonactive volcano is 2,440 meters high and hard one to climb to.
On the sea of sand sits a Hindu temple. It is made from black stones from the volcano. On the 14th day of the Hindu festival, the Tengger people travel up to the mountain and sacrifices fruit, vice, flowers, livestock by throwing them into the caldera. That´s why there are so many sellers of flowers. It is a sacrifice for the spirit of the volcano.
Mount Bromo´s last eruptions were in 2004, 2010, 2011, 2015 – 2016 and 2019. CHECK HERE for more details and the current situation.
1ST NIGHT HIKE: Waking up at 2:30 am to hike to the highest viewpoint for sunrise was a challenge and big motivation at the same time. Especially if you are not a morning person. With guys, we started our trekking around 3:30 am from our Homestay Gunung Bromo in the nearest village to the park, Cemorolawang. Because it was during the weekend, it was such a busy and crowded night/morning. They will ask you on the way if you want to rent a motorbike or a jeep. Anyway, a lot of people come with jeeps (it is like a tour from Probolingo and other cities).
The first point is called SERUNI VIEWPOINT. Unbelievably crowded! Because it is the lowest point and accessible with the jeep, you do not need to walk so much. But trust me, higher you go, fewer people you will meet. The second point is the famous KINGKONG HILL (2.600 meters high). Fewer people, but still not the best. For picture-perfect follow the main path and after 10 meters go left on the hill! It is the highest you can go ➡ Amazing sunrise pictures with mistic fog on the ground is worth every step!
WALKING TO THE CALDERA OF BROMO: After the hike and return back to the village, it is necessary to have a good big breakfast. Walking to the sea of sand, taking some good photos, enjoying the sun, or riding a horse; these are some highlights on how to spend the time after a morning hike. The park was closed from 23. January for cars and motorbikes. That´s why you have two options: to walk or to ride a horse to the mountain base. The stairs will lead you to the top of a volcano.
When you climb up, there is a protected area with a fence. If you want to go further, there is no protection and it looks quite dangerous. So be smart and don´t do it!
2ND NIGHT HIKE: Two nights later we did it again. It was Monday night/morning and totally different scenery. The streets and trails were quieter, not crowded and it was truly peaceful. Still the same excitement as the first day of an early morning hike.
LOCALS: Restaurants, shops are closed around 9 pm. Why? Almost everybody works in the early morning as transporters to viewpoints. They work as drivers of motorbikes, jeeps, or to help horses to get you up. Otherwise, they have a lot of lands around. The area is a nice green landscape. They plant a lot of cultures such as potatoes, onions, vegetables,… Moreover, during the day almost every house sells souvenirs.
HOW TO GET TO THE PARK?
The nearest larger town is Probolinggo, around 55 km away from National park. To Probolinggo you can come on any bus. It becomes a problem in the city because you need to wait that there are enough people to fit the van. If it is fewer people, you can still go but the price will be higher. I think we waited for 2 hours. Do not forget to negotiate for the price. The van will drop you off in the village near National Park. It is called Cemorolawang.
-Entrance for village: 21.000 IDR (1.26 EUR)
-Entrance for a park: 220.000 IDR (13,20 EUR)
We reserved accommodation in GUNUNG BROMO, which was already in the park, but I wouldn´t change for anything.