Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mount Bromo

This unique mountain is located in East Java, though it’s not the highest mountain in Java (2.392m above sea level) but it’s probably the most famous mountain in the island. Bromo is a mountain surrounded by mountains ; Mount Batok ; Mount Penanjakan ; and also the highest mountain in Java Mount Semeru (3.676m above sea level).

What’s so special about this mountain ? Bromo has a very large crater as the entire top has been blown off and the crater constantly belches white sulphurous smoke. Almost every part of the mountain from top to bottom are covered by a caldera. This caldera which is called Laut Pasir (The sea of sand) by the natives, coated with fine volcanic sand and it’s a very contrast view when we see the green landscape far away around the mountain, there is also a Hindu temple at the foot of Mount Bromo, and every year there is a unique ritual ceremony held by the friendly natives (The Tengger People) at the edge of the crater to honour their Gods.

There are several access point to start your journey to the crater of Mount Bromo, but we recommend to access it from Cemoro Lawang the main access to the mountain, because in this access there are lots of facilities that you might need for your journey. There are restaurants, places to rest, jeeps and ponies to hire, and if you don’t bring a jacket you can also hire it there. The best time to start hiking the mountain is about 3.30 AM since the sun rises about 5.30 AM to go on foot it will only take about 1.5 hours (about 3 Km walk), but you can hire a jeep (about US$ 4 / Person) or a pony (about US$ 5 / person) to bring you up and drop you off right under the stair-case that will take you straight to the crater.

The temperature of mount Bromo is refreshingly cool during the day though you still have to be aware of the sunburn, but it could get extremely cold at night usually the temperature can drop to 0°C during the summer and rarely can reach above 5°C in winter.

There’s one important thing you should remember when visiting this object, no matter how beautiful this mountain is it’s still an active volcano. This mountain continuously erupted throughout the centuries, and when the last time it was erupted in 2004 two tourists were killed as the mountain spit molten rocks out of its crater. So just pay attention to the geologist who can tell you the state and the danger level of the volcano.

The nearest big town from this mountain is Probolinggo, but if you’re taking an aeroplane you’re going to have to land on Juanda International Airport in Surabaya and then you have to take a car or a bus to Probolinggo (about 3 hours journey), from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang would take about 1.5 hour.
You won’t find a luxurious 5 stars hotel around mount Bromo area, but you will find nice cottages with nice facilities including cafes for reasonable prices with a mountain view. There are also several fine restaurants serving local food, Chinese food and even European food.

* If you wish to visit Indonesia, please go to Indonesia travel tips page.

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