9 Reasons Why You Should Hike Mount Bromo

I first came to know about Mount Bromo when I was actively hiking around Asia, and I was searching for a mountain with a spectacular view. Be honest, nothing beats a rewarding view after so much sweat! When I first saw the photos of Bromo, I was sold. It is utterly epic and I wondered why didn’t I get to know about this place earlier! I booked my tickets right away.

It takes bit of luck and chance if you want to hike a volcano. I have two failed hiking attempts because the volcanoes erupted before my hike, one of them was Mount Agung in Bali which caused all flights to be grounded, the other was Mount Bromo.

They are known to be temperamental!

So where is Mount Bromo?

Mount Bromo Sunrise

Bromo is an active volcano standing at 2,329 meters located in East Java, the 2nd largest city Indonesia. It is part of Tengger Massif, which has a total of 5 volcanoes within the caldera. The nearest arrival airport is Surabaya and it is connected by international airlines. I flew in from Singapore by the late Tigerair (now merged by Scoot), the journey was 2hr 25min and SGD$150 (USD110) for a round ticket.

East Java is the island just next to Bali and Surabaya is reachable in 1 hour by flight from Bali and less than USD50 (round trip)! Most people will travel to Lombok and Nusa Tenggara. I definitely recommend you do so if you are already in Bali. I would recommend this tour for anyone even with zero experience in hiking, this will be a phenomenal experience for you!

1. It is an ACTIVE smoking volcano

First of all, Bromo is still one of the most active volcano which is emitting smoke and you can only access certain areas due to the danger. The last eruption was November 2016 and it has not quit smoking since then. Most active volcanoes are not accessible to public, hence, don’t you want to have a photo in front of a volcano and live to tell the tale? I do.

2. It is easy. You don’t have to hike

Technically you don’t need to hike at all. There is a well constructed stairs, so all you have to do is to climb the stairs up to the crater. Furthermore, you can opt for a horse to carry you to mid way of the mountain.

Horses for hire at Mount Bromo

I was picked up by the jeep from my home stay and I was dropped at The Sand Sea which is approx 300m away from the crater. From here onward, you have 2 options – ride a horse across The Sand Sea halfway up the mountain OR walk yourself.

The horse ride costs IDR100,000 (USD$8) for a round trip which will take you halfway up the volcano ( remember to bargain for best price).

Horse ride up Mount Bromo

From half way of the crater, there’s only one way up – a well constructed stairs for you to walk. And worry not, there are many people in line that you only need to walk one step every 2-3 seconds. Just chill while you walk in line.

Mount Bromo Stairs leading to crater
This where you will be dropped off by the horse, and continue your journey on foot.

My friend and I were seasoned hikers and honestly, we were fairly disappointed with the amount of hiking needed. We timed our climb whilst overtaking lots of people in line and it took us just 5~8min max.

3. It is out of this world!

Please go explore the surrounding on foot and skip the horses! If you never been to a volcano before, the crater is formed by fine volcanic ash and everything is in black. The epic rock formation is out of this world and please take lots of photos. I spent more time exploring the surrounding than the calderas.

Volcanic plains formed by ashes
Volcanic plains formed by ashes

Does not it resembles Jurassic world?

Volcanic plains

4. It is cheap

The whole trip cost USD170 for a 3D2N tour which includes permits, hiking 2 mountains, 2 night accommodation (home stay and resort), 2 way airport transfers, jeep ride and driver and 2 guides. If you are just doing Bromo, the cost will be significantly lower than USD100. Likewise, you can also arrange yourself without joining a tour. I have known friends who planned their own trip and only cost them USD$40. Additionally, this is doable over a weekend, that means you don’t need to apply for any leave.

5. Anyone can do it! Including kids

If you can climb the stairs, that means you can do it! If your kids is fit enough to can climb 5 story of steps, they can definitely complete the climb! This is perfect for a family getaway. Of course, before you perform any exercise, be sure to consult your health condition with your doctor, especially if you have asthma, diabetes, a heart condition.

Oh and before your trip, start training by climbing any stairs so to make the trip an enjoyable one!

6. You can see the Milky Way with your bare eyes

I have seen the milky way various times, in Australia and Morocco, but I feel like this is the closest Milky Way I have seen with my naked eyes. I waited for one hour at Mount Penanjakan which is a hill located adjacent to Mount Bromo, here you can see the whole mountain crater in her greatest glory. This is a must do!

Milky way at Mount Penanjakan just before sunrise at Bromo

Sunrise at Mount Penanjakan with Milky Way
I took this photo using Canon 5D Mark 2, exposure 30s, F3.5, ISO 5,000

7. You will be above cloud

Standing on a mountain above the clouds is one of the most euphoric feeling. The view point from Mount Penanjakan (2,770 m)  offers a panoramic view of the 5 volcano in the Tengger Massif.

View of Tengger Massif at Mount Penanjakan - Sunrise at Mount Bromo

8. You get to see teletubbies hill

Teletubies hill - Part of Mount Bromo Tour

9. The photos are so Instagrammable! they will make everyone jealous!

When you login to Instagram, it seems like everyone is at the same place taking the same photos at the same location  – Bali, Morocco, Santorini etc…… But this is will totally up your game!

I took these photos using a point and shoot camera, CanonG1X Mark II.  The view is so magnificent that anyone can capture cinematic photos!

Sunset at homestay bromo cemoro lawang

Sunrise at The Sea of Sand at Mount Bromo SurabayaThe Sea of Sand at Mount Bromo Surabaya

Does this inspire you to travel to Bromo?
Check out my tips and itinerary for Ijen and Bromo! ( In process of creating awesomeness)


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