Mount Bromo is a volcano famed for its stunning and immense caldera. Climbing to it’s edge in time for sunrise is a treat the likes of which even the most amateur of photographers can capture – a symphony of lights and shadow, mists and smokes, greens and browns.
We tell you how you can climb it, and get the most out of your visit.
- Outside of top #20 in Indonesia
- Outside of top #50 in SE Asia
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Natural Form and History
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - History
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Geological history
Mount Bromo is the only active crater within the Tengger caldera which is home to seven eruptive centres. The original Tengger Volcano went through five stages to form the Tengger caldera. The original volcano, called Ngadisari was formed nearly a million years ago by eruption of pyroclastic deposits and lava flows to a height of 4,500m. Subsequent eruptions resulted in the formation of the caldera as it stands today.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Modern climbing history
Mount Bromo has a religious and cultural significance for the Tenggerese people of Probolinngo, East Java, who have been scaling the mountain for centuries to make offerings to the mountain gods. Today the mountain is the one of the biggest draws for tourists in Indonesia and is part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, where is shares the limelight with its taller neighbor, Mount Semeru.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Current popularity as a climbing destination
With its ethereal beauty and accessible nature, Mount Bromo is one of the most hiked mountains in the world. The climb up its deeply furrowed side is made easier by a steep flights of stairs all the way to the top. The complete experience of Mount Bromo is thought to begin with witnessing the sunrise from the neighbouring peak of Mount Penanjakan from where one sees the darkness give way to the undulating sands and dark cones that surround Mount Bromo which itself stands wreathed in a sea of clouds, often spewing smoke into the sky.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Overview of the Trail
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Overall Assessment
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Summary of trail accessibility
The trail to the top of Mount Bromo is a steep flight of stairs and can be undertaken by anyone with a fair degree of physical fitness.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Trail options
The trail up Mount Bromo starts with a walk along the Sea of Sand, a large and windy stretch of powdery sand which lies between Mount Penanjakan and Mount Bromo. This is followed by a flight of stairs - 240 to be exact - at a steep incline, which bring to to the edge of the crater. It is not advisable to try scaling the mountain along any other path as the sand and ashes can make it very slippery. Once you're at the top of the steps, you can walk up along the edge towards the highest point of the summit. There is no clear path to the summit, and most tourists do not attempt going further up since this is still a very active volcano.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Most popular trail
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Standard itinerary
Most tourists spend the night at the nearby village of Cemero Lawang and opt for a jeep ride up the viewing points on Mount Penanjakan and down to the Sea of Sand before arriving at the base of Mount Bromo, from where everyone walks up the stairs to the edge of the crater. If you are opting for jeep and horse rides to Mount Bromo and back and only scaling the stairs on foot, the entire trip will take you less than half a day.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Day 1
03:00: Wake up early, and start from your village for Mount Penanjakan. It is a tradition to stop by here to catch the sun-rise before hiking up Bromo.
04:00: Arrive at a half-way point on Mount Penanjakan from where there is a 15 minute hike to the sunrise viewing point.
05:30: Watch the sun rise over the hills as active volcanoes with fuming cones in the Tengger caldera are slowly lit up, including Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, the tallest volcano in Java.
06:00: Walk down to the jeep that takes you down the slope and to the bed of the caldera. The jeeps park by the side of a Tenggerese Hindu Temple called The Poten and from there you will begin the journey across the Sea of Sand.
06:30: Walk across the Sea of Sand in an hour on foot or in 10 minutes on horseback. There are also motorbikes offering to take visitors across. If these are not included in your package, you might find the fares a little steep. So it helps to book the horse or motorbike beforehand if you don’t want to walk the whole way.
07:30: Start the walk up the stairs to the summit of Mount Bromo. There are 240 of them, with a few resting stops along the way if you would like to take a break.
08:30: Reach the crater rim. You can walk around the rim and watch the fumes from the crater or look around at the surrounding landscape that has an almost lunar quality.
09:00: Walk back down the stairs to the base and embark on the return journey to the village.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Climbing Difficulty
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Terrain
The hike up Mount Bromo is a non-technical climb and can be attempted by anyone with a reasonable level of physical fitness.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Sea of Sand
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Steps to the edge
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Weather
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Overview of climate
East Java overall enjoys mild weather throughout the year but the best time to plan a trip is during the dry season between April and October. May to August is your best bet to avoid the rains. Daytime temperatures within the Park seldom range over 20 degrees celcius and night time temperatures can drop to single digits, especially on the mountain tops.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Best time to climb
While aiming for the dry season, zero in on June to visit Mount Bromo if you can, to coincide with the Tenggerese festival of Yadnya Kasada. On the 14th day of the month-long festival the villagers climb up to Mount Bromo and throw offerings into the crater for good health and prosperity.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Common weather challenges
Rain: Landslips are a major concern during rains given the loose sand along the entire trail to Mount Bromo, so it is advisable to check local weather conditions before embarking on the trip. Also, cloudy conditions could hamper the views of the sunrise.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Safety tips
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Climbing safety
Volcanic activity: Mount Bromo, with its top almost completely blown off, is still a very active volcano and at times of high activity, it could be shut to visitors. The sand on your way up, or sulphur fumes near the crater rim can lead to breathing difficulties.
Slips and falls: Up at the rim of the crater, there is a one meter ledge with safety rails to help you peer into the crater safely, but at points the safety railing may be missing and one needs to be very cautious in walking around.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Personal safety
Mount Bromo is a very popular point for visitors so it is unlikely you will ever be alone or isolated. With peddlers, jeep drivers and horse owners though, you may need to haggle over rates, so it will help to read about the standard rates before you start to avoid getting scammed.
Some visitors have also reported being ripped off by scamsters posing as park officials so make sure to check for identity before handing over money in the name of entrance fees and permits.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Safety for women travelers
Indonesia is generally considered a safe country for women, and since this is a bustling tourist space, women travelling solo or in groups have little to fear.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Recommended equipment
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Footwear
Good quality hiking boots, ideal for sandy and slippery stretches.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Clothing
- Lightweight waterproof clothing. It is important to layer your clothes as it will be very chilly in the mornings and the temperature goes up after sunrise.
- Waterproof windbreaker
- Scarf: for protection against cold and wind, and loose sand
- Gloves: for protection against cold and rain
- Warm cap: for protection against cold
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Bags
Waterproof light backpack
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Weather protection
- Rain coat / poncho
- Waterproof cover for backpack
- Waterproof cover for camera
- Sunscreen lotion
- Sun glasses
- A face-mask to protect against loose sand, if you are spending time in the caldera
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Climbing support
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Navigation tools
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Medical equipment
Basic first-aid kid, for cuts and bruises
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Food
- Drinking water
- Dry snacks – chocolates, energy bars, etc. (optional)
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Hygene sanitation
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet and dry tissues
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Connectivity
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Documents
- Any ID: for emergencies
- Entrance ticket to the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park (if you have been given one by your guide beforehand)”
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Support facilities
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Resting stops and facilities
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Rest stops
There are no designated rest stops on the trail but there are makeshift stalls where you can buy food. There also are peddlers selling refreshments along the way.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Base camp
Given the short trek, there is no designated base camp. Most visitors start and end the tour at the nearby Cemero Lawang village.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Guides and porters
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Do you need a guide?
Most visitors opt for an end-to-end guided tour (where Bromo is only one part of a longer itinerary), but the hike can be easily done without one.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - How to find a guide?
Check online for recommended tour operators if you decide to go on a guided tour.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Tips while working with guides
- Read reviews from previous climbers before confirming a guide. Make it known to the guide if appropriate how you heard about them and offer to write a review if you like the experience. This might give them the extra incentive to be attentive to your needs.
- A few guides may ask for money at the start of the tour from the village which they claim is for entrance tickets, but may not purchase them later. The guards at the entrance, who seem to be part of the scam, may also let you in without checking for tickets. If you do not wish to be part of this scam, state firmly that you will purchase your own tickets at the entrance to the Park.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Porters
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Do you need a porter?
Porters are not required for this climb.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - How to find a porter?
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Tips while working with porters
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Food & water
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - At the start of the hike
Since the hike typically starts very early in the morning, have a coffee or light snack at the hotel before you start. Some tour operators will have a breakfast box for you at the start of the trek and if pre-arranged, the guides will carry water and snacks. At the sunrise viewing point, there are plenty of makeshift stalls that offer you breakfast as well.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - During the hike, along the trail
Refreshments are available all along the route. But it is advisable to carry water and some light snacks just in case you are not comfortable with what is on offer along the route.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - During the hike, at base camp
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Network connectivity
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Phone and data (3G) connectivity
Mobile signal with 3G connectivity is available in most areas of the Park.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Accessibility
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Getting there
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Nearest airportSurabaya, Indonesia’ second largest city which has incoming flights from many international destinations.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - From the airport to the starting point
Most tour operators will pick you up from Surabaya. The drive to Cemero Lawang where you will spend the night will take ~5 hours. If you’re feeling adventorous, you can also take a train from Surabaya to Probolinggo which is the nearest point to the Park on the train route. The train ride is about 2 hours and there are several trains during the day. On arrival at Probolinggo, you can take a cab to the get to the Bayuangga bus station which is about 7 kilometres away. The bus ride takes about 2 hours but since the bus services are infrequent, you can also consider the possibility of taking a shared cab or private taxi to Cemero Lawang.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Climbing permits
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Is a permit needed?A permit is not needed to climb Mount Bromo but there is an entrance fee to be paid for the Park itself.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - How to get a permit?
The entrance ticket can be purchased at the Park entrance.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Special Tips
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - For amateur climbers
- The Tengger caldera is home to multiple volcanos sitting within a sprawling sea of sand. Though Mount Bromo is the most accessible and most popular climb, take the opportunity to also scale the rugged Mount Batok that stands next to it. This is not as easy as scaling the staircase but is also not a technical climb and can be accomplished in about 90 minutes, both ways.
- Known for the dramatic sunrise over the other-worldly landscape, Mount Bromo also offers some astounding vistas of night sky. Photographing the Milky Way from the surrounding peaks of the Tengger caldera is a special experience, which you can get if you opt for the midnight Milky Way experience before continuing on to the sunrise over the Park.
Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - For advanced climbers