East Java Indonesia – Destinations, Route & Transport Options

East Java has spectacular scenery, active volcanoes, breathtaking waterfalls and beautifully coloured villages.

A visit to this part of Java will surely be a memorable one. But making the most out of your trip to East Java requires some planning since attractions are scattered around.

In this blog, we share our own route through East Java, East Java best destinations and the methods of transport used.

East Java Destinations & Route on Map

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East Java Best Destinations

East Java Destinations and getting around

Surabaya City

Day 1

We visited Surabaya twice, at the start and end of our loop through East Java. On our first visit we stayed at Livinn Hostel which is conveniently located near the Surabaya Gubeng train station. 

This city is pretty and well organised but does not get a lot of visits from foreign tourists. On our second visit we decided to give Surabaya a chance and were amazed by how much this city has to offer. The highlights of our visit were a bus tour around the city, a lovely park having a monument and a museum commemorating Surabaya’s battle for independence, its great food, varied cuisine and stylish eateries.

Surabaya has an airport with direct flights from major cities including from Bali. Check here for a list of airlines and their destinations operating from this airport.

From Surabaya to Malang by train

Day 2

From Surabaya to Malang we travelled by train early in the morning. The journey time is 2 hours and cost 35k IDR (2.50$) to 60k IDR (4.30$) (depending on the seat class and train). Tickets can be bought from the train station although we usually buy tickets online from Traveloka.

East Java Destination Malang Colorful village Jodipan


Jodipan Colorful Village, 3D Village and Blue Village are few metres away from Malang train station. While a hotel agreed to hold our backpacks we explored these interesting villages. Each house in Jodipan is painted in different colours which transformed this village from a slum to a major tourist attraction in Malang. A nearby village followed suit and was painted blue in honor of Malang’s soccer team.

East Java Destinations Blue Village in Jodipan Malang

From Malang to our accommodation near Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

Finding a taxi to take us from Malang to our accommodation late in the afternoon proved to be a challenge. Online taxis were either not accepting the trip or asking for a higher price. Luckily we had an offer from an online taxi driver that was willing to drive us to our destination at a reasonable price (though at a higher price than the price stated by the online app). 

The cost of the 2 1/2 hours drive through narrow winding roads was 400k IDR (28.70$) which we shared with another couple we had met earlier.

Transportation from Malang to your next destination should preferably be arranged in the morning either through a transport company (some options available online and which can also be contacted while in Malang) or through a hotel or hostel.

A cheaper transportation option is the bus which goes from Terminal Arjosari in Malang to Lumajang. The bus passes from in front of the alley leading to Tumpak Sewu Waterfall.

Alternatively, you can stay overnight in Malang and travel to your next destination the day after. 

Air Terjun Tumpak Sewu Waterfall in Lumajang

Day 3

Since we wanted to visit Tumpak Sewu Waterfall early in the morning (and enjoyed the fall all by ourselves for 2 hours) we stayed at Dear Traveller Guest House which is conveniently located 3 km from the waterfall. 

East Java Destinations Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

Tumpak Sewu is magnificent viewed from the panoramic platform and breathtaking from its foot. Reaching the foot of the waterfall requires hiking through uneven paths, streams of water and over bamboo stairs. Next is Goa Tetes which is a short walk from the foot of the falls.

East Java Destination Goa Tetes

Back to the guest house we took a half day tour on the back of a pick up van through breathtaking scenery, the river, villages and to Licin beach, a beach with black sand.

From Lumajang to Cemoro Lawang for Mount Bromo

Day 4

For the 4 hours drive from Lumajang to Cemoro Lawang we shared a taxi with 3 other guests of Dear Traveller at a total cost of 800k IDR (57.35$). It is possible to do this trip by bus but involves changing buses a couple of times.

Mount Bromo Crater

We arrived in Cemoro Lawang early in the afternoon and after finding accommodation at Homestay Livia we walked to the active volcano’s crater from the Villagers’ Trial (which is next to Cemora Indah Hotel booth) and over the sea of sand (which took us in total about 50 minutes). Homestay Livia is a basic accommodation and is centrally located close to the Villagers’ Trail.

East Java Destinations Mount Bromo crater

Mount Bromo for Sunrise

Day 5

Next morning we hiked up the hill to King Kong viewpoint (which took us 2 hours to reach) and enjoyed the sunrise over Mount Bromo.

East Java Destinations Mount Bromo for sunrise

Cemoro Lawang is quiet in the afternoon, so much so that on a Friday afternoon we struggled to find an open restaurant. The best option is to head to Probolinggo soon after the sunrise from King Kong Hill. We stayed for an extra night in Cemoro Lawang to avoid visiting Ijen on weekend when it is more crowded.

East Java Destinations Bromo Jeep

From Bromo (Cemoro Lawang) to Ijen (Banyuwangi) via Probolinggo

The green minivan from Cemoro Lawang to Probolinggo is 35k IDR per person (2.50$). Expect some waiting time as the van leaves when full, that is, with 15 passengers. Although you can agree with the rest of the passengers and pay the difference (the driver should get 525k IDR) and leave. 

The minivan stops in front of Probolinggo bus station close to the yellow small vans that will get you to the train station for 5k IDR (0.35$) per person. 

Train tickets to Banyuwangi can be bought online from Traveloka and the cost depends on seat class and train. Tickets should be bought as soon as you have a plan as those for trains departing at a convenient time might sell out. The journey takes around 4 to 5 hours.

Ijen Volcano

Day 6

In Banyuwangi we stayed at Karangasem Dormitory which is a very basic accommodation but conveniently located opposite the train station and the owner is fabulous. 

We got to the entrance of Ijen independently with a motorbike and trekked to the top of the hill and then down to the blue fire before heading back up to the sunrise spot. The trek is tiring but the views from the top of the hill are great and the trek down to the blue fire and sulphur mine is a unique experience.

East Java Destinations Ijen crater


After Ijen we explored further the surrounding area and visited beautiful spots with the highlights being a sulphuric river, a powerful waterfall and natural hot springs.

East Java Destination Banyuwangi Belawan waterfall

From Banyuwangi to Surabaya

Day 7

We travelled from Banyuwangi to Surabaya by train and the journey duration is of 6 to 7 hours. We arrived in Surabaya 3 nights before our flight and spent these days exploring this neatly planned city.

Alternatively, from Banyuwangi you can hop over to Pemuteran in Western Bali.

Pemuteran is a small village that offers some interesting things to do. Menjangan island which is just off the coast, is renowned for its amazing dive and snorkeling sites.

It would only take around 2 hours to get from Banyuwangi (Java) to Pemuteran (Bali). Ferries between the 2 islands run every 30 minutes and only take around half an hour to cross the small channel.

This post will help you decide if Pemuteran will be your next stop! 

East Java Map with all Destinations and attractions

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>>Destinations that can be visited in Java Indonesia prior to the East Java loop.

Jakarta ➜ Bandung ➜ Jogyakarta ➜ Karimunjawa

Jakarta – Things To Do in Jakarta in 2 Days

Yogyakarta – Things To Do in Yogyakarta

Karimunjawa – What To Do in Karimunjawa

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