1. When is the best time to visit Mount Bromo?
The best time to visit Mount Bromo is during the dry season from April to October. Incidence of rain is higher during the wet season from November to March, but the national park is still open to visitors during this period.
2. Where is Mount Bromo located and how does the landscape look like?
Mount Bromo is located within the massive Tengger Caldera in Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park in East Java. The nearest major city serving international flights will be Surabaya, which is about 4-5 hrs drive away. There are 5 volcanoes within the Caldera; Mount Bromo (2,329 m), Mount Batok (2,470 m), Mount Kursi (2,581 m), Mount Watangan (2,661 m), and Mount Widodaren (2,650 m). The five volcanoes within the caldera are surrounded by a vast area of sand called the Laut Pasir, which in turn is surrounded by the steep crater wall of the caldera. Mount Pananjakan located on the rim of the caldera is one of the best place to watch the entire volcanic complex. From Mount Pananjakan, one can also see the majestic fuming Mount Semeru (tallest mountain in Java) located in the south behind the Caldera.
3. What is a typical itinerary like?
An early morning wakeup call at 3am is required for the Mount Bromo sunrise tour. The jeep will bring you to Mount Penanjakan (~30 min drive). It will park just before Mount Penanjakan, where you will take a short walk for about 10-15 minutes to the top of Mount Penanjakan. The timing for sunrise will usually be about 530am. From the top of Mount Penanjakan, you will see a panoramic birdeye sunrise view of the gigantic Tengger Caldera (with a diameter of approximately 10km), Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru and other lesser but equally impressive volvanic cones. There are several mountains inside the caldera: Mt Watangan (2,661 m asl), Mt Batok (2,470 m asl), Mt Kursi (2,581 asl), Mt Watangan (2,661 m asl), and Mt Widadaren (2,650 m asl). After sunrise, you will board the jeep again, where you will be driven down (~10 min ride) to the bed of the caldera. The jeep will stop at at carpark just beside The Poten – a Tenggerese Hindu temple. Begin your hike to the base of Mount Bromo by walking across the seas of sand. (Laut Pasir) (~an hour walk; 2-3 km) Horses can be “flagged down“ any time along the trail if you prefer to ride rather than walk. A concrete flight of (~ 240) steps will lead you from the base of Mount Bromo to its crater rim, where you can peep down into its crater. (As close to a live volcano as you can get!) After taking in the scenery, you will head back to board the jeep to Cemoro Lawang.
4. Can I view the Milky Way at Mt Bromo?
Yes. You can request for the optional Milky Way tour which starts around midnight from your lodge at Cemoro Lawang. You will head to a nearby peak such as Mount Pananjakan, Mentigen Hill, Kingkong Hill or Seruni Point where you can view the Milky Way. Avid photographers should bring suitable camera equipment such as tripod for Milky Way Photography. You would then continue with the standard itinerary for sunrise views over Mt Bromo. The extra cost is 200K IDR for each jeep (4 customers to a jeep).
5. How much is the horse ride at Mount Bromo?
It cost around 75K IDR for one way trip to cross the sand sea on a horse. For a return trip, it will cost around 150K IDR. Note that the horse ride ends close to the start of the stairs to Mt Bromo crater. You will still have to climb the flight of steps up to the crater. Horse ride is entirely optional and you can also walk across the sand sea which most visitors do. Do negotiate with the horsemen to try to get a better deal.
6. Can we hike instead of taking the jeep tour?
Yes, it is possible to do the Mount Bromo tour solely on foot rather than taking the jeep. However, you will have to wake up much earlier and set off from the hotel by 3am. The hike from your resort/hotel in Cemoro Lawang to Mount Penanjakan takes about 2 hours. After sunrise, you will trek from Mount Penanjakan down the caldera, across the seas of sand to the base of Mount Bromo where you will climb up the flight of stairs to its summit. After that, you will hike back to Cemoro Lawang. If you stay further than Cemoro Lawang, then our transport will take you to/from Cemoro Lawang for the hike.
7. How difficult is the trek?
Most of the trek is on relatively flat and sandy ground except for the flight of stairs from Mt Bromo base to its top. It is a relatively easy trek more akin to Mac Ritchie trail walking than to Mount Ophir (Steep slope) trekking. However, this trek cannot be underestimated as well, as it is definitely more strenuous than a walk in the park. The terrain is very sandy and is exposed to the elements; the trek itself is on open space with no shelter or canopy cover to shield off the strong sun – (where the sun may be especially strong at such altitudes). As the return trek between the carpark and Mount Bromo summit takes about 2-3 hours; the trek may be too strenuous for the elderly. However, it is definitely suitable for beginners who exercise regularly.
8. What is the temperature at Mount Bromo?
In the early morning or before sunrise, temperature in Mount Bromo can be as low as 5 to 10 Degrees Celsius. Temperature in the late morning and noon time will be around 15-20 Degrees Celsius.
9. What should I wear to Mount Bromo?
Winter wear is essential for visiting Mount Bromo in the early morning. You should layer appropriately, preferably in three layers:- a quick dry base layer, a thick fleece or wool jacket and wind breaker with accessories like beanie, scarf and gloves which you can easily remove when the sun rises and gets significantly warmer.
10. How much water should I bring for Mount Bromo tour?
At least 2 litres of drinking water for the whole tour. There is no water source along the way except for some peddlers along the trail selling canned and bottled drinks.
11. Are there any other essential items to bring along?
Sunglasses and sunblock lotion are highly recommended – the sun rays can be harsh and at high altitude, it is easy to get sunburnt even though the surrounding temperature is cold. The terrain is very sandy– wearing a face mask is also recommended for protection. (Akin to walking in a desert). If you are visiting the waterfalls, please bring along wet gears (swim suits with tshirt and shorts, booties/sandals, spectacle hooks, waterproof cover for camera which can be secured to your body, change of clothes, towel).
12. Are there toilets available along the trek?
There is a basic toilet (in typical local squat- style) along the trail midway between the car park and the base of Mount Bromo. The amenities are basic and no toilet paper is provided.
13. Can I mail postcards from Bromo?
Yes, you can do so at the post office in Sukapura Village near to Bromo and you can purchase postcards in the village itself. Simply request our tour guide to make a stop at the village in advance.
14. Do I have to trek to Madakaripura Waterfalls?
Our vehicle will drop you at the parking lot of Madakaripura Waterfalls where you will hop to a motorbike (Ojek) for a short 5 minutes ride to the entrance. Then you need to do a short trek of around 15 minutes (1km) to reach the waterfalls.
15. What kind of vehicles do you use for the tours?
For travel between cities and towns, the following vehicles with ample space for luggages are used:
1-3 Pax Group – Toyota Innova 7 Seater
4-6 Pax Group – Isuzu Short ELP 9 Seater
7-12 Pax Group – Isuzu Long ELP 12 Seater
13-25 Pax Group – Usually a combination of 2 x Isuzu ELPs as it is difficult for big buses to travel on narrow mountain roads
For travel to Gunung Penanjakan, Sand Sea and Whispering Savannah, you will switch to a 4WD.
16. Can you recommend some restaurants?
While meals in the countryside can be basic, once you reach the city like Surabaya, you will find many good restaurants. Our local guide will be able to give good recommendations based on your preference or you can consider some of the restaurants listed below.
Cuisines: Indonesian, Seafood
Specialty: Seafood (Reputedly the best in Surabaya)
Address: Jl Raya Bukit Mas 109 | Jl. Manyar Kertoarjo 62, Surabaya, Indonesia
2. Dream of Kahyangan Art Resto
Specialty: Boneless fish and the great ambience
Address: Puri Widya Kencana LL 05 | Citraland, Surabaya, Indonesia
3. Tempo Doeloe
Specialty: Deep fried Carp fish with special sambal chilli and other authentic local
dishes at great prices
Address: Jl. Raya Juanda Waru, Surabaya, Indonesia
17. Can you recommend some interesting places to visit in Surabaya?
– Sampoerna Museum (has a nice cafe too)
– Masjid Nasional Al Akbar (Beautiful Mosque)
– Monkasel (Submarine Monument)
– Suramadu National Bridge (nice lightings at night)
– Pakuwon Food Festival
– Galaxy Mall (big shopping complex)
– Mirota Batik (Batik and souvenir shop)
18. How much tips should I give to the tour guide and driver?
We suggest around IDR 100,000 per day to guide and IDR 50,000 per day to driver for the whole group for good service. For example, for a 4D3N Ijen Crater & Mt Bromo tour, the suggested tipping is IDR 400,000 to guide and IDR 200,000 to driver. Tips are generally expected and it motivates our tour guides and drivers to do better. 🙂
19. Can I buy a SIM card in Surabaya?
Yes, our guide can bring you to a mobile shop for SIM card purchase. We recommend not buying from the airport as it cost around twice what you would expect to pay from a shop outside. It usually cost around SGD 6 for a starter pack with sufficient call time and data to last you throughout your trip. For best connectivity, we suggest getting Simpati from Telkomsel. Mobile (including data) connection is available throughout the trip except at very rural areas such as Paltuding (start of Ijen trek). For customers who prefer less hassle, activating data plan from Singapore is also pretty affordable. For example, it cost SGD 12 for 1 GB data under Singtel’s one month ReadyRoam plan.