Bromo Semeru National Park
Bromo-Semeru National Park is one of the most impressive national parks in Indonesia covering 5250 hectares made largely of volcanic ash. The Bromo-Semeru Mountains are still active and a famous tourist attraction in East Java.
At the top Mount Bromo you will have an amazing view at the huge stretch of sand which is the bottom of the old crater. To get to the peak of Mount Bromo you can not use vehicles but there are horses that you can rent for Rp.70.000. You can walk too but the high altitude and the sulfur in the air makes it quite tiresome. The horses will take you to the foot of the crater where you can continue by climbing the stairs, (only 250 steps). Besides the wide view you have here on the old crater you can also see a temple and the grandeur of the Semeru mountain peak looming through the clouds. Best to get here just after the sun has risen since then the sun will shine at the fog which is formed at night ensuring picture perfect moments.
The best place to watch the sunrise is at Mount Pananjakan, the highest mountain in the region. At the top is a viewpoint (where in this awfully quiet area amazingly suddenly a hundred tourists may gather) where you will have a magnificent view of the sun rising up in the east illuminating new amazing sights on Mt Bromo and mountains further away. If you are lucky it is a little bit clouded and the red, orange sky above a mysterious almost outer-terrestrial landscape will amaze you.
If you did not bring your own motorbike or car you will need to get a jeep in the village or hotel you stay to take you here (be also aware you will need to get up at 4am). The road is on the crater floor which resembles pretty much a desert, and then a narrow road twists and climbs so that after a bumpy ride you have reached the top. It can be quite cold, especially before the sun has risen (just above zero degrees) but there are some food stalls that provide hot tea or coffee.
After the sun has risen most people go back to the jeep and have them taken to the Mt Bromo drop point where the before mentioned horses are waiting to take you to the top of the crater.
In the region of Mount Bromo-Semeru also in a traditional ceremony held every full moon which usually falls on the 14th or 15th in the tenth month.
This ceremony is carried out by the local community and begins at midnight till early morning. The ceremony is called Kesodo ceremony and is used to ensure an abundant harvest and the healing of the sick by throwing offerings into the crater of Mount Bromo.
Bromo Semeru National Park
Transport options Bromo Semeru National Park
Most people get to Mt Bromo by an organized tour from Yogyakarta or Bali. In both places agencies offer a two day tour which includes the bus to Mt. Bromo, a night in a hotel and the bus to either Yogyakarta or Bali. You can also go to Probolinggo by local transport where you can get a local bus to the village on the crater. Here you can get an hotel and arrange the jeep to take you to the viewpoint and crater the next morning.