Trekking to Mount Bromo & Sunrise Viewpoint Without a Tour
Mount Bromo is an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia and is a 4 hours drive from Tumpak Sewu Waterfall in Lumajang. Bromo is nestled in the picturesque highlands of Probolinggo and is the highlight of any visit to Java. The raw landscape surrounding Mount Bromo, stunning view of neighbouring mountains and the thrill of being so close to an active volcano attract hundreds of visitors everyday.
Cemoro Lawang is the closest town and is usually used as a base for those who visit Mount Bromo. The 2 draws here are watching the sunrise from King Kong Viewpoint which overlooks Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru and Mount Batok and visiting Bromo crater itself.
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Mount Bromo Interesting Fact
The sea of sand that surrounds Mount Bromo is actually the crater of a much larger ancient volcano. Apart from Bromo within the caldera are 4 other volcanoes. One of which is Mount Batok and is the only peak that is no longer active and is the one covered in verdant vegetation.
Sunrise at King Kong Viewpoint
Enjoying the sunrise at King Kong Viewpoint requires reaching the peak in the middle of the night where you will either trek or have a jeep or motorbike taxi get you here. Once at the top of the hill you can stop for a hot drink at one of the warungs. Fires are lit outside the warungs and will be very welcoming given the cold temperatures. Jackets are available for rent.
Sun will start to rise at around 5:30 and you will need to find a good spot well before this time. People start to gather at the different viewpoints (with King Kong Viewpoint being the best but also the most popular viewpoint) 1 or 1 ½ hours before sunrise. We recommend doing likewise if you want a good view.
As the day starts to brighten up you will be rewarded for your early rise. Surrounded by the sea of sand, Mount Bromo and Mount Batok and further away Mount Semeru lead the scene together with a backdrop of mountains make for one impressive sunrise and an opportunity for amazing pictures.
* The below picture was taken from a quieter spot in between King Kong Viewpoint with railing and King Kong Viewpoint without railing.
Mount Bromo Crater
Considering that Bromo is an active volcano, visiting the crater is really a thrilling sensation. Most visitors come here after the sunrise although we came for sunset the day before.
Once you make your way through the raw surroundings and the sea of sand you will reach the foot of Mount Bromo. From here it is a 15 minute walk through sand dunes and up a flight of stairs. Most of Mount Bromo’s rim can be reached but only a small part has railing and is where most people stay.
Every few minutes fumes are spit out of the crater’s mouth and sometimes rumbling from within can be heard. Moving further along the rim and away from the crowd will only make for a more unique experience.
* We visited the crater in mid July and at the time the locals had a special ceremony. They were offering vegetables, fruits and livestock by putting them either on the rim of the crater or throwing them into the crater’s mouth. Other locals were dangerously on the sides of the crater collecting the offerings.
Getting to Cemoro Lawang via Probolinggo
Probolinggo is the closest city to Mount Bromo and it can be reached by bus or train. Getting to Cemoro Lawang from Probolinggo requires a ride on one of the bemos which is a small green minibus. These will be parked in Probolinggo bus terminal. Exact location on Maps.me is Banyuangga Station (Mt. Bromo Bus Station).
The van leaves once full that is with 15 people and costs 35k IDR (€2.20) per person but if you don’t want to wait you will have to share the price of 525k IDR (€32.93).
Accommodation near Mount Bromo
Cemoro Lawang is the best place to base yourself since this small hamlet is only an hour walk to Mount Bromo. Lots of accommodation can be found in the village most of which are simple home stays or guesthouses and a few hotels. Local cuisine predominates the eateries along with a small selection of western food.
You can find accommodation once you get here, in fact we didn’t have a booking and after 10 minutes of arriving we were already settled in a homestay (at Homestay Livia which is conveniently located). However, if coming here late in the afternoon, weekends or holiday season it is best to reserve in advance. Mount Bromo is East Java’s most popular attraction and locals will flock over on these days, while late afternoons is when most visitors get here on any day.
Mount Bromo without a tour
Mount Bromo can easily be done without a tour although it needs extra effort but will turn out a much more rewarding experience.
How to get to Mount Bromo Crater without a Tour
Reaching Mount Bromo’s crater is quite easy and takes about 45 minutes on foot.
To get there on foot you will first need to find the bemo bus station that is where the small green minibuses are parked. If you find Cafe Lava on Maps.me, these little buses will be parked further down the street at the Y intersection. From here head straight along the street (direction Cemara Indah) and when you get to another Y take left side. Carry on till you reach a small path. The path is straight in front on your right. If you have Maps.me app the path is marked as the villagers’ trail to Bromo. Once through the path you will get to what looks like another planet, the sea of sand. Make your way through the sand and head towards Mount Bromo which will be straight ahead.
Tip: Try to arrive early in Cemoro Lawang and visit Mount Bromo crater for sunset. At this time there will be much less crowd and you will get a more one of a kind experience.
Trekking to King Kong Viewpoint for sunrise instead of taking a tour
Trekking to King Kong viewpoint which takes about 2 hours is an adventurous and challenging task that ends with a rewarding experience.
Start off at 2:30 am and make your way to the bemo bus stop. This time instead of turning left to the villagers trail take the right side. Carry along this street and always keep to the left at any Y intersections. Once you reach Seruni which is a structure used as a viewpoint the path seems to end, but there is a makeshift stairs. Climb the stairs and from here start the trek through the forest. The path is narrow, but visible and shouldn’t be a problem to follow. From here the peak will be around 1 hour trek.
* The third photo was taken on our way back down Penanjakan Hill from over Seruni Viewpoint.
Mount Bromo Map
Click on the right most button to enlarge the map, get the map legend and search the map.
Mount Bromo Tour
Equipment Required for Hiking to Mount Bromo & Sunrise Viewpoint
For visiting Bromo’s crater and trekking to the sunrise viewpoint you will need a flashlight or preferably a headlamp. Hiking to the viewpoint is dark even along the street and while trekking through the forest it will be pitch black especially on cloudy days. If you are walking to the crater for sunset you will need the light on your way back.
To either activity take at least one large bottle of water. Take a jacket or multiple layers and wear closed shoes when trekking to King Kong Viewpoint. Although while walking up it won’t be so cold, once you reach the peak and you are waiting for sunrise it will be freezing. But when the sun comes up the temperature rises to a more comfortable level.
Tip: Maps.me is an offline map which allows you to keep track without connection. Like many remote places, connection here is a hit and miss thing. The app is free and is a must in certain cases.
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