Exploring Bromo: Backpackers way

Famously known as a country in the ring of fire area, Indonesia has 139 volcanoes, 130 out of themare still active – the only place on earth with so many active ones. The breathtaking scenery over those burning mountains is indescribable, it is really mesmerizing and wonderful. One of the most famous  ones is Bromo in East Java, the pictures that maybe you might have seen in the Discovery Channel documentation about paradise on earth or maybe about the best place to visit in your lifetime.

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It’s a little bit shocking knowing that to enjoy this paradise view you have to pay quite expensive. The entrance ticket for non-Indonesian is so pricey, either you come from Malaysia, India, or Switzerland, you have to pay 20 USD in the weekday and 25 USD in the weekend. It’s just the entrance ticket, price for jeep is not included yet, if you fancy going with jeep instead of walking then it will cost you more or less 8 USD or Rp 100.000.

Some people like it more organized, for this you can use the tour service offered by the accommodation you stay in. Mostly the tour service offers fair price; you get pick up service, transportation included, and also accommodation. You pay extra and you get extra service.

As a backpacker, I always want to be tight on my budget and try something more adventurous. The best tip and best way is to travel like a local, friends with locals, and respect everyone. Trust me, miracle and good karma will always come to you. And do some research, like what you are doing now – reading my blog! Here, I will share the tips : Bromo hack!

How to get there?

I am based in Yogyakarta, thus this travel route will start from Yogyakarta and it might be also possible to do this from any city in Java with train access. Buy a train ticket from Lempuyangan (train station in Yogyakarta) to Probolinggo (East Java). The cheapest one is economy class which costs only Rp 74.000 (excluded tax and payment fee). You can easily buy this ticket online through the official train ticket website – yet the website is only in Indonesian, ask your local friend to help or use translator – and you can also book that ticket through ticket booking applications on your phone. In case you have issue with your credit card, you can also buy the ticket at Indomaret or Alfamart, the mini market that you can find almost everywhere. Better to book it 2 or 3 days before your departure, mostly it is sold out. Train will leave at 08.57 am and arrive there at 05.35 pm .

Once you arrive at Probolinggo, take bus to Cemoro Lawang. It costs Rp 40.000 per person. The recommended homestay to stay is Café Lava, not so expensive and close to the hiking spot to enjoy the view, you may also tell the minibus driver to drive directly to Café Lava.

The hiking has to start at 3 am since the sun in Java rises at 5.30 am. Here is the map of hiking path that you could follow (shout out to my friends, Maria and Edith, who shared this maps.me picture and direction to me).

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Many people will offer their service to drive you directly there, the price will be vary, you need to keep walking and ignoring them, then confidently walk through the ticket counter, nobody will stop you! Keep following the trail and you will join the other backpackers who choose this path also. There might be a ticket counter and they will ask you to pay Rp 10.000 for entering National Park. Most of people will go to Bukit Penanjakan to watch the sunrise, but there is also another alternative. Go to the sunrise point 2, Bukit Cinta and you can climb higher to the rocks and there you can find a good spot to watch the sunrise!

(NB: Bukit Penanjakan (Penanjakan Hill) in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java is set to be closed to tourists for three months starting Sept. 11 until Dec. 10.  There is another alternative which is Bukit Cinta (Love Hill -beautiful isn’t it?) and Bukit KingKong.

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After the sunrise, continue the journey to see the volcano, the walk will be only 2 – 3 kilometers. I was there during rainy season and not so many tourists were at this spot. The walk was quite easy because of the wet ground, also only few people took the stairs up to the crater.

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All in all, going to Bromo is a dream come true; one more mission accomplished! Happy exploring!

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