Questions about Ijen and Bromo

Travel Forums Asia Questions about Ijen and Bromo

1. Posted by chrisr34000 (Budding Member 14 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!


I was wondering about two things:

1) Is it worth it to visit Bromo at sunrise? You have great crowds doing this, but is it really worth it? Or is it a better option to get there in the early morning and have more of the scenery to yourself?

2) Is it worth it to see the Ijen Crater at night because of the "blue fire" ? Is it so spectacular?

Thank you for your advice!

2. Posted by theo1006 (Travel Guru 15 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Hi Chris,
My opinion:
1) NO. How many sunrises does one want to see during an Indonesia trip? They advertise them for Borobudur, Dieng, Bromo and elsewhere. Especially at Bromo chances are that clouds spoil the surise. From an hour after sunrise the Penanjakan viewpoint is deserted, you'll have it for yourself. Most mass-tourists hurry after having seen the sunrise and Bromo to reach Ijen in the evening. Alternatives: If you are a strong hiker, you can choose to walk early morning form Cemorolawang to Penanjakan. If not, you might extend the 4WD trip to Bromo with a tour to the Widodaren Caves, the only water holes in the caldera, and/or he so-called savannah, south of Bromo.
If you can spend the money, I strongly recommend the southern approach to Bromo from Malang via Tumpang and Ngadas. They offer day tours by 4WD for this route.
See my page in the TP Traveller's Guide on 'Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park'.
2. MAYBE. I have visited Ijen often, first in 1969, but never seen the blue fire. The blue fire is burning sulphur. There was a time when any accidental sulphur fire was quickly extinguished. Now the ignite it on purpose for the tourists. Same with the 'sulphur flowers', coagulated sulphur of interesting shape, that the sulphur carriers sold surreptitiously. Now they sell sulphur statuettes made for the purpose. Rather than the blue fire at night, I would recommend descending into the crater and see the carriers at work. But set out early, be at the crater rim by sunrise, to avoid the heat of day. See my page on 'Ijen Highlands'.
Enjoy your trip,

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 6765 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Here's a direct link to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park guide so you don't have to hunt around. Nice work on that one Theo

4. Posted by chrisr34000 (Budding Member 14 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for your replies!

The thing is, that we arrive on 26.08. (in the afternoon) in Malang and we have to be on 28.08. (at the latest in the evening) in Amed, Bali. Therefore we have only the morning for Bromo and then we have to drive to Ijen and only have the morning of the 28.08. to visit the crater.

Whom would you recommend to book with for a "shorter tour" for Bromo and Ijen?

5. Posted by theo1006 (Travel Guru 15 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hi Chris!
I have no experience with tour operators, as I always travelled with my own car (residing in Indonesia). But I hear good accounts of Helios Tour ( They are conveniently close to Malang railway station and you could stay at Helios Hotel across the road.
However, I doubt whether your time schedule is feasible. E.g. with the Helios 'Bromo - Ijen - drop Ketapang' tour, they would pick you up 27.08 at 1:00am and drop you at Ketapang harbour 28.08 around noon. That leaves just half a day for the ferry and crossing Bali from west to east to reach Amed, not enough. The route tourist buses take to Denpasar (half way) is notoriously slow going, and as far as I know there are only local buses plying the north route via Singaraja.
I would recommend you choose either Bromo or Ijen, not both, or accept to arrive in Amed a day later. In my experience, even driving my own car, travelling on Java and Bali always takes longer than envisioned, due to road and traffic conditions.
But feel free to contact Heliostour and ask their advice about your schedule, and whether they can provide private transport to Amed (for a price!).

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Aug-2019, 22:23 GMT by theo1006 ]

6. Posted by chrisr34000 (Budding Member 14 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Thank you very much for your input, I appreciate it alot. I've contacted Helios Tour with our travel plans.

One more question: One tour operator told me that the savannah at Bromo is not so interesting (not so green) in dry season. Does this mean, that is not worth visiting?

7. Posted by theo1006 (Travel Guru 15 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

As I wrote on the NP page, the savannah is most interesting in the months Februaru through April, when the fennel flowers are blooming. During other seasons it's just to experience the vastness of the caldera. If one has the choice of the savannah and Widodaren, I definitely would choose Widodaren.

8. Posted by travelnshit (Budding Member 3 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

In my opinion no, it's not worth getting to Bromo for sunrise as it's packed! The sun didn't even rise over Bromo when we were there, it rose somewhere off to the left. We didn't even look at it. If I were to do it again I'd arrive just after sunrise as the crowds are leaving.
If you're planning to hike to the crater rim of Bromo I would try and do it in an afternoon. All those people leaving the viewpoint after sunrise are likely heading straight to the crater rim and there's really not that much room!

As for Ijen, check if you're even permitted in the crater. We weren't, we did see the flames but they were way too far away to make an impact.