Located in East Java, Mount Bromo in an active volcano in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. It is one of the most popular places to visit in East Java especially at sunrise when you can first see the golden light pouring out onto the crater formations. Mount Bromo reaches heights of 7,641 ft and is surrounded by a large sandy area known as the sea of sand. After doing the Mount Bromo tour at sunrise, head down through the sea of sand to visit the crater and walk the rim.
You can easily do the Mount Bromo tour on your own by renting a motorbike and departing from the town where you are staying. For the duration of our time in East Java we based ourselves in Malang and found this to be a perfect launching point for exploring the surrounding area.
Where is Mount Bromo Located
Mount Bromo is located in East Java, Indonesia. There are a few ways to reach this part of the island. The first is to fly to Jakarta and take a train to Yogyakarta followed by taking another train to Malang.
The second is to fly to Yogyakarta and take the train to Malang. Stay in Malang like we did or take a bus to Probolinggo.
The third option is to take a ferry from Bali (Gilimanuk) to the Ketapang Ferry terminal. From there take a train from the Banyuwangi Baru train station to Probolinggo. From here you can visit Mount Bromo or you take a bus up to Malang and visit from there.
How to Get to Mount Bromo
For most visitors the easiest way to reach Mount Bromo will be by taking a Jeep tour. There are many companies that you can find via google or Instagram that offer these tours. You can choose only a Mount Bromo tour or do a combination of Mount Bromo, Ijen Crater and some waterfalls. Many of these tours can be arranged prior to your arrival or through your hotel. It really all depends on your budget, time frame and what you want to see.
We decided to do the Mount Bromo tour completely on our own and were very happy that we did. Doing the tour on your own gives you the flexibiliy and freedom of not being on a scheduled tour. Through our hotel we rented a 150 cc Aerox motorbike for 120 K IDR ($8.50 USD) a day and used that to drive ourselves there.
You’ll want a powerful bike to get you through the sea of sand to make sure to get one with enough power. Also, confirm that they provide helmets. But please do not attempt to drive there on your own if you are not a confident motorbike driver. The sea of sand is difficult in some parts and you’ll want to be good on a bike.
TIP: To reach the parking spot at the Seruni viewpoint type Tangga Puncak Seruni Point into your GPS and head there with your motorbike.
You can easily do a Mount Bromo tour from these locations: Malang, Probolinggo or Cemoro Lawang (Bromo Town)
Mount Bromo Entrance Fee
Entrance fee: 220 K IDR ($15.50 USD) per person on the weekdays and 320 K IDR ($22.60 USD) on the weekend.
What to Wear to Mount Bromo for Sunrise
It is very cold. The temperature will be around 0-10 degrees Celsius in the early morning while you wait for the sun to rise. As you begin to get closer to the sunrise viewpoint you will notice a quick drop in the temperature. Be sure to wear multiple layers as you can shed them once it starts to warm up. The climb up to the sunrise spot is not very difficult but luckily you will build some heat that way.
Wear proper shoes. There is a bit up uphill climbing through rocks and dirt which will be easier in closed toed shoes.
What to Bring With You to Bromo
A flashlight or headlamp is good to have but you can always use your phone flashlight if needed. You will most likely be starting your trek sometime around 4:30 AM and it will still be a little bit dark. The trail begins with steps and then continues by way of a dirt path. It is pretty easy to follow so you shouldn’t have any issues with getting lost.
There are a few (not so clean) toilet spots along the way. To use the toilet will cost anywhere between 2K-5K IDR. Bring toilet paper! These bathrooms with 100% NOT have toilet paper so like most places in SE Asia it’s best to bring your own.
There are a few snack stands and restaurants within the village. If you get hungry you can easily stop to grab a bite to each before heading down to the crater.
Photography Tip: Drones are allowed to be flown at Mount Bromo for no extra fee. You can easily fly your drone from any of the sunrise view points, the sea of sand or near the crater.
How to Get to the Best View Points at Bromo
The 2 main viewpoints on a Mount Bromo tour are King Kong Hill and Siruni Point. Both of these spots offer a similar view but King Kong Hill is higher up the mountain. At both spots you will find a few snack stalls and people making small fires to stay warm.
King Kong Hill Viewpoint
To reach King Kong Hill from Malang or Probolinggo:
There are two options to reach this view point. The first is to drive to the Siruni Point to park and then walk up the hill yourself which takes about 30 minutes. The hike is not difficult but there are a few steeper sections. You will have to travel through sections of the sea of sand but not the whole distance. The second option is to drive all the way to the top of King Kong Hill but your GPS will take you through even more of the sea of sand which will no doubt take longer and make things more difficult. My best advice if you’re coming from Malang or Probolinggo is to park at Siruni Point and climb up yourself.
If you are taking a Jeep then you could easily make it all the way up to King Kong Hill and only walk a short distance to the view point.
Siruni View Point
To reach Siruni Point from Malang:
Give yourself about 2-2.5 hours to reach the Siruni viewpoint from Malang. During your first hour you will drive along well paved roads through the mountain. After purchasing your ticket you will continue for about 20 minutes more until you eventually reach the wide stretch of the sea of sand.
This part will be a bit more difficult, but manageable. We got stuck quite a few times on the motorbike where I had to get off the back so Hamey could get us going again. After you get through the sea of sand you will drive through a small village and eventually reach the Siruni viewpoint. With your motorbike you can pass by all of the parked Jeeps and and leave your bike just at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the view point.
To reach Siruni Point from Probolinggo:
The drive should take around 1 hour 15 minutes and should not take you through the sea of sand. You will also pass through the small village and make your way past all of the other jeeps to park.
Once at the stairs, climb the short distance up until you reach the end of the stairs at the gates. Here you can see a rocky, dirt path which you can climb up! At the top you will find many open areas where you can watch the sun rise over Mount Bromo.
After the sun comes up you can hike all the way up to King Kong Hill. Since most people will start up here and then leave right after the sun rises you’ll have this spot all to yourself!
Tour or No Tour at Mount Bromo
This is a completely personal decision. We chose to visit Mount Bromo on our own, including driving there ourselves as we had heard from others that it was completely doable. The only tricky part is driving through the sea of sand on your motorbike. If you are not a confident driver then if would probably be best to take a Jeep.
The path to the different view points is very easy and straight forward so you shouldn’t need a guide to lead the way. There will also be many other people along the trail that can point you in the right direction should you need guidance.
How to Get to the Bromo Crater
Once you are done at the sunrise view points head back down to your motorbike (or jeep). From here you will back track through the village in which you came and then head back down into the sea of sand. If you leave a bit later than everyone else you can avoid the traffic jam that will inevitably happen.
Once you reach the sandy area go to the right (the left will take you back towards Malang) and follow the other scooters and jeeps.
TIP: Type in either Luhur Poten Temple or Two Wheel Parking Area Down Stairs Bomo Crater into your GPS and it will bring you to the motorbike parking area.
Walking Along the Bromo Crater
Once you’ve parked your motorbike you will see the sandy path leading up to a set of stairs to reach the crater. You will be offered many horse rides to take you up to these steps. However, the horses don’t appear to be very healthy so please don’t take these horses. The 15 minute climb up is slightly steep but not that bad.
Reaching the base of the steps start climbing for another 10 minutes until you reach the top of the crater and have a look into the active volcano. There will be a small section at the top with a concrete railing. Be sure to keep your distance from the edge and don’t continue on the trail past these railings. We saw many people doing do and it just doesn’t seem safe.
Tip: Be sure to bring a face mask or scarf with you and sunglasses to cover your eyes and mouth. The wind is really strong and there will be sand flying everywhere. If you’ve come on a motorbike you can wear your helmet like we did!
The fee to visiting the crater is included in your National Park ticket and there should not be any fee to park.
Where to Stay Near Mount Bromo
There are 3 different options of places to stay near Mount Bromo. These locations include Malang, Probolinggo or Cemoro Lawang (Bromo Town). Where you stay depends entirely on what your plan is after Bromo. If you plan to visit Kawah Ijen the following day it is best to stay in either Probolinggo or Cemoro Lawang.
You can also break up your drive back by stopping halfway at Coban Pelangi, a powerful waterfall surrounded by a lush jungle.
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WHAT CAMERA GEAR DO I USE?
- Main Camera: Sony A7III
- Wide angle lens: Sony G Master 16-35mm f/2.8
- Zoom lens: Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3
- Prime lens: Sony 85mm f/1.8
- Secondary Camera: Canon 6D Mark II
- Canon wide angle lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
- Canon lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L
- Underwater camera: Leica X-U
- Camera with gimbal: DJI Osmo Pocket & Underwater Housing
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- Camera Bag: Polar Pro Drone Trekker
- External Hard Drive: LaCie 2 TB rugged mini external hard drive