Sunrise over clouds and ash.
An experience we’ll never forget.
Have you ever felt tired, cold, uncomfortable… and then something happens that makes you completely forget about it, and suddenly it’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?
Then you may experience something similar if you decide to visit Mount Bromo on your own. Trust us, it’s worth it!
3am THE HIKE
With just a few hours of sleep after the crazy day we had trying to get here (read all about it here), we woke up at 3am, grabbed the warmest clothes we’d packed specifically for this day, took our backpack and cameras, and started our trek!
TIP. If you follow our path, which is certainly not the easy one, you can choose to stay by yourself at the very edge of the crater in any intermediate spot and experience sunrise alone.
Our thoughts of «we should have stayed at the first viewpoints» or «this was not the best idea», are quickly put on hold by the views.
DOWN INTO THE CRATER
The hidden (and free) path
Imagine how good sunrise was, that we decided to walk down the same way!!
BROMO. THE CRATER
After crossing the sand flats, you’ll arrive at the jeep parking area at the feet of Mount Batok (the first one of the three peaks), and then to the temple complex closer to Mount Bromo.
Things get busier here, but you’ll probably be happy by now to sit for a while in one of the food stalls to have a snack while letting your legs rest before heading up the stairs to the edge of the Bromo smokey crater. Motorbikes, horses and hordes of tourists, both local and foreigners will be heading to the stairs by now.
We felt like the horses were in pretty bad shape, and therefore ask you to not ride them. If no one rides them, perhaps they’ll stop using them for this…
TIP. Wear layers that you can take off during the day. It’ll be cold and windy up in the viewpoints, but it gets hot once you get down to the Bromo and start going up the stairs to the crater.
THE JOURNEY BACK
After wandering at the crater’s edge for a while, we decided it was time to get back, given we had a flight from Surabaya to Makassar that same night. After the experience of getting here, we were not sure at all that we’d make it and not lose our flight.
With our legs pretty tired from hiking since 3 am, we decided it would be a cool experience to hire a couple motorbike guys to take us back from the crater to Cemoro Lawang. Two bikes for 100.000 IDR (6€) sounded good enough, but don’t even ask for helmets.
We were still hungry from ourlight breakfast, so we stopped by the only place that seemed to be open in Cemoro (the Lava Cafe, which is much better, was closed) and had omelettes and pancakes at 10:30am for 70.000 IDR (4,20€).
Satisfied, headed back to our guest house, took a shower and packed our backpacks. Time to find a ride down the mountain and back into Probolinggo. The system is the same: Go to the main street and find the corner where it splits in two (there are a couple small shops and you’ll probably spot the same green old van that got you up her). Talk to the van guys, and wait for more tourists to arrive. The price will be the same, 500.000 IDR for the full van, but there will be plenty of people going down at this time, so it will be a lot cheaper per person. In our case, it was 11 people sitting almost on top of each other, with our backpack on the roof rack.
Once in Probolinggo, go to the same bus station you arrived to, and ask around for your destination. We were headed to Surabaya, and the only bus we found was in terrible condition and more expensive than the day before: 80.000 IDR(4,8€).
WARNING. Even the bus driver warned us not to fall asleep during the trip from Probolinggo to Surabaya. And of course, never lose sight of your luggage!
People will get up on the bus pretty often, take a look around to spot distracted tourists, and get down on the next red light.
Traffic into Surabaya can be hectic and the bus ride took a lot longer than the day before. Luckily, a bus shuttle from Bungurashi Terminal to Surabaya airport for just 50.000 IDR (3€) for two tickets was about to leave, and we arrived on time to have a quick dinner at the airport and board our fligth to Makassar. The adventure was over… but a new one started!
All prices stated in this post are for two people, so if you travel solo just split it in half. Indonesia is a cheap country, but sometimes people will try to take advantage of tourists asking for overpriced services. Make sure you don’t always settle for the first price they tell you and ask around.