Mount Bromo’s lunar-like landscape is one of Indonesia’s most popular sights…. for a good reason. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see the sun rise over these active volcanos?! Mount Bromo is actually one of the places that made me want to visit Indonesia so badly. Picture the steam coming powerfully out of its crater, the sea of clouds in the morning disappear in the distance, it doesn’t get much more breathtaking! The good news is, with a little bit of planning and the right tips, you can actually explore it on your own, save money and avoid the crowds! Here’s how to visit Mount Bromo without a tour.
How to get there
Mount Bromo is located in East Java, between Surabaya and Yogyakarta. Make your way to Probolinggo from wherever you are. I was traveling from Bondowoso and many buses go in that direction several times a day. Take the bus as early as possible to get a head start on the tours and enjoy Mount Bromo in the afternoon for yourself.
Once at Probolinggo bus station, take a small bus called bemo to Cemoro Lawang, the village right next to Mount Bromo. It costs 30,000 rupiah. This is where you will spend the night so ask to be dropped off at the highest hostels. That way, you’ll be close to the beginning of the hike to get to the viewpoint in time for sunrise!
Where to stay
There’s no need to book a hostel in advance, even during high season. But still, it’s better to arrive early as the guest houses get booked up as the vans come and go and drop people off. There are a few hostels to choose from so walk around for a bit and take your pick. I personally stayed at Losmen Setia Kawan Homestay and shared a room with two Dutch people I met on the bus. It cost us 75,000 rupiah each.
Hike Mount Bromo
Once you’ve dropped off your bags, go explore the sand sea, the hindu temple and Mount Bromo itself. It will take you about two hours. To avoid paying the 150,000 rupiah entrance fee, enter the park through the winding path next to Cemara Indah Hotel. The tours usually visit this area after sunrise so by going in the afternoon you will avoid the crowd.
Fun tip: Take the stairs to climb up to the crater rim but go down running down the path perpendicular to the stairs!
Sunrise on Mount Bromo
Once you’re back to the village, head to Café Lava Guest House and ask for a copy of their map. They have plenty of them on the counter so don’t be shy! It will show you the path you will have to follow the next day in the wee hours to see the sunrise over Mount Bromo from the viewpoint.
Then, relax, have dinner and rest! You can easily find mie goreng and nasi goreng for 10,000 – 15,000 rupiah at the hostels’ restaurants.
The Sunrise Viewpoint Hike
Start off the hike at around 3am to reach the viewpoint in time for sunrise. There are two stalls that sell warm beverages and snacks on the way. It gets quite cold at night so I must say that a short break next to the bonfire with hot chocolate is very much appreciated!
You need to know that there are three viewpoints. Stop right before the last one, which is where the tours stop. It’s not such a secret spot so expect to be surrounded by other visitors but this way you’ll avoid most of the crowd. Pick a spot, sit down and take in the moment!
What to Bring
As always when going on a hike, bring hiking shoes, a headlamp, snacks and plenty of water! Don’t hesitate to layer up. It’s cold at night but warms up as soon as the first sunrays shine!
Mount Bromo was one of the highlights of my trip to Indonesia. I researched the national park quite a bit before going and it was everything I expected and much more. The sunrise over this lunar landscape is truly out of this world and you’ll be happy to lose some hours of sleep. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did and that my blogpost clarified any question you might have had.
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