Mount Bromo: Sunrise Hike Guide + 7 Reasons you have to Visit

If you’re looking for something truly bucket list-worthy, along with the adventure of peering into an active volcano and breathtaking landscape views with minimal hiking effort then this Mount Bromo trip is for you!

Never had I ever thought I’d have the opportunity to see an active volcano, let alone hiking to the rim.

Mount Bromo (Gunung Bromo) is notably the most famous volcano in Indonesia due to the fact it is such an easy trip and the reward of witnessing the Bromo volcano is something that truly leaves you speechless.

What’s even more exciting is that this adventure in East Java is close to other travel activities like exploring waterfalls and temples so it makes for an absolutely once-in-a-lifetime trip!

7 Reasons you have to visit Mount Bromo Indonesia

Bucket List – I mean seriously, how many people can say they’ve visited an active volcano

The Views – Literally looking with your naked eyes into a volcano is something magical, but the views of the volcano complex is a photographer’s dream

Adventure – The entire experience of the Mount Bromo tour is absolutely incredible and so far removed from what most people visiting Indonesia just for Bali will ever experience

Effortless – Now when most people think of a volcano, you think you’d be hiking for days – that’s not the case here (this is the most rewarding walk I’ve ever experienced)

Value – Most people spend thousands for an expedition like this, visiting is so affordable that locals love this destination just as much as foreigners!

Location Friendly – The Mount Bromo location is by no means isolated or inaccessible for those flying in or taking the train!

Sleeping in Comfort – So you think you need to camp to see the sunrise?  Not a chance, there’s plenty Mount Bromo accommodation, close enough to sleep in a comfortable bed before your sunrise start!

Now if I haven’t convinced you to try Mount Bromo with the snippet above let me go into detail below (skip to what you need in the Table of Contents, Because I have to start with the best bits first and logistics later):

Mount Bromo Sunrise

sunrise over mount Bromo landscape at bromo Tengger National Park East Java
Sun gently creeping in through the clouds illuminating Mount Bromo volcano, Mount Batok and Mount Semeru in the landscape

I’m not a morning person. Well, sometimes I can be. I’d love to say I’m that chipper person who oozes sunshine when needing to wake up at 2:00 am for a 3:00 am starting, but I’m not.

This however is one of the few times I needed to be that ‘crack of dawn’ person.

Being ripped from your bed in the early hours is obviously not the way most people would epitomize their vacation, but for the chance to see the Mount Bromo sunrise you’ve got to bite the bullet.

East Java is the place for adventure
READ: The Ultimate 1 Week East Java Itinerary

Our guide and driver, Eddy was waiting for us along with the throngs of other Jeeps at the entrance to Mount Bromo National Park. ‘Jeeps’ is in Italics because it’s actually 1980’s Toyota Land Cruisers.

Queue of 1980's Toyota Landcruisers enroute to Mount Bromo East Java
Queuing Toyota Landcruiser’s enroute to Mount Bromo sunrise viewpoint

It’s 3:00 and time to leave, The lengthy queues of Jeeps contained the masses of fellow adventurers eagerly awaiting the start of their adventure to Mount Bromo with the first stop being Mount Penanjakan.

This is the place you NEED TO BE for the sunrise Bromo offers. Getting there is easy. The Jeep literally takes you from your hotel doorstep to the parking area for a quick trip up to the viewpoint.

This is the bonus for arranging your trip through a tour.

The trip was exciting, you’re driving on ‘who knows what’ in complete darkness, in the back of this old Jeep that makes you truly feel you are truly at the start of an adventure.

With literally just the car lights ahead of your shining onto the next Jeep, you kind of have no idea where you are or where you’re going which just makes the anticipation grow that much more!

One thing you will realise, is that wherever you’re going, there’s a lot of sand.

volcanic landscape of Mount Bromo with sea of sand in East Java Indonesia
Volcanic landscape and sea of sand during daylight

Depending on how long the queueing took to get into the Bromo Tengger National Park will determine how early you are for sunrise. Our drive was pretty quick and we reached the parking lot for Mount Penanjakan earlier than expected.

So it’s cold. Like, this is not Indonesia cold. You know when you first land in Indonesia, the first thing that hits you smack in the face is humidity, well, here it’s not the case, at over 2000 metres (8000 ft) altitude, you best be wearing a jacket.

Needless to say, some warming up was in order and was easily arranged. In the parking area, there are plenty of little make-shift stalls and cafe-type structures selling coffees, teas, and warm snacks.

Looking for more volcano day hikes?
READ: Kawah Ijen volcano crater lake sunrise hike with blue fire

We made sure to get some warmth in before Eddy, discreetly motioned us to follow him.

makeshift shops selling coffee and snacks at the permit post for mount bromo sunrise tour
Makeshift cafes and stalls selling coffee and snacks before heading to the sunrise viewpoint for Mount Bromo at Mount Penanjakan

Looking for more cultural activities in Java?
Check out these guides on  Borobudur Temple and Prambanan temple in Yogyakarta

It seems we were going to a little area of Mount Penanjakan that was not as crowded as the other viewpoints.

The secluded and secretiveness of stealthily creeping behind the cafes and makeshift path towards the viewpoint was so exciting.

A short walk up and we were there in place to start watching the slivers of sun creep in.

As the clouds and became less visible and the light peeked through, I knew that this moment would be one I’d remember for the rest of my life.

What materialized from the clouds by the sun was at the time one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen.

Mt Bromo: Quiet, breathtaking, and yet so powerful. It’s a moving moment. You can really just sit for hours and stare. Which I did.

Panoramic shot of Mount Bromo landscape at sunrise from Mount Penanjakan in Probolinggo East Java
Breathtaking panoramic shot of Mount Bromo landscape at sunrise

The Mount Bromo images and photography from this viewpoint are honestly the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and can truly say this is one of the few destinations where what you see in the pictures is truly what you are getting with NO FILTERS NEEDED!

I’m not sure if you’ve realised yet, but I still haven’t mentioned the word ‘hike’. With all the pictures you’ve seen, there’s literally been no hiking! So what do people actually mean when they say ‘hike Mount Bromo’? That part comes next.

Reaching the Mount Bromo Crater Rim

This is where the words ‘hiking Mount Bromo’ are derived but as I’ll explain, there’s no hiking involved at all.

Once you’ve finished basking in the beauty of the Mt Bromo sunrise, the jeep will take you down Mount Penanjakan and across the sea of sand.

Bromo‘s crater rim climb involves taking the Jeep close enough to the base of Bromo which is actually what we passed in the early hours of darkness.

The Jeep will then drop you off at the parking area, and you’ll make your way on foot across the sea of sand. This is where you truly come to terms with the fact that this is a volcano.

walking across volcanic ash sea of sand to mount bromo
volcanic landscape and sea of sand at Mount Bromo

The sand is actually volcanic ash. And there is tons of it. You definitely need to be wearing some sunglasses and a mask or buff over your mouth.

The walk isn’t very far, but there is the option to ride a horse to the stairs for a fee. I’m just mentioning this, It’s not something I’ve tried or have any insights into.

man wearing mask over mouth walking across mount bromo volcanic landscape with horses in the background

Now I mentioned the words stairs. Yes, there are stairs. There are stairs to reach the crater rim of Mt Bromo Indonesia! How crazy and effortlessly convenient is that?!?  

Hiking Mount Bromo actually involves NO HIKING at all!

Yes, the stairs involve the effort of doing them, but you can easily take your time and do it at your own pace, and it’s really no more difficult than walking uphill.

The stair way up to Mount Bromo
The stairs leading up to the crater rim of Mount Bromo

My mind was blown. I really thought that you would need some level of physical fitness to embark on this adventure of the summit of Mount Bromo volcano. The Mt Bromo hike is literally a walk and some stairs.

If you can do that in your day-to-day life, there literally is no further preparation needed to conquer this mountain.

Bromo Indonesia was easier than running 1 kilometer (less than a mile!).

The Bromo view even from the stairs is quite other-worldly. I’ve never been to another planet (as many of us haven’t), but I imagine that this must be what the landscape must be like.

Mount Bromo crater was a quick walk up the stairs and there you have it. You are literally face-to-face with the crater of an active volcano.

View of the inside of the smoking crater of Mount Bromo calendra
The smoking crater of Mount Bromo

Another factor making this feat so incredible is that the entire crater rim is completely walkable (at your own safety). There is a barrier between yourself and the crater as you reach the top of the stairs, but you can easily walk left or right for an unobstructed view.

You do need to be careful. It can be sandy and slippery so you do this at your own safety expense.

It is mesmerizing though. It’s not the lava and magma you see from an eruption, but the sulfur deposits and gases that actually create the billowing smoke that is characteristic of volcanoes.

woman sitting on the edge looking into the volcano crater rim of Mount Bromo
Staring into the crater rim of Mount Bromo

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

It was a moment I didn’t even know I needed to tick off my bucket list.

Now onto the nitty-gritty details. If you’re looking for how to exactly plan this trip in Indonesia, below is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about visiting and planning a trip to Gunung Bromo Indonesia

Where is Mount Bromo

Simply put, It’s located in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, East Java, Probolinggo near the small town of Cemoro Lawang. Check it out on the map here

When to Visit Mount Bromo

Indonesia only has two seasons (dry season and wet season). The wet season starts in November and lasts till mid to end of April. I’d recommend trying to visit Gunung Bromo Indonesia just out of the rainy season in May or June.

In the months between April/May to October would most likely be best. Our visit was in the first week of June.

Mount Bromo sunrise landscape from Mount Penanjakan
An incredible volcanic sunrise landscape in East Java

How to get to Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo is an easily accessible location and can be reached from a number of cities. The closest major cities to Mount Bromo are Malang and Surabaya. Surabaya is a bigger city hub therefore, most people fly to Surabaya and drive to Cemoro Lawang Bromo accommodation.

Bali to Bromo

OPTION 1: The fastest way is to book a flight from Bali (Ngurah Rai International Airport) to Surabaya airport (Juanda International Airport) where you can be picked up by your tour company.

OPTION 2: The second option involves a couple of transfers. In Bali you will need to head to Gilimanuk Port, you then will depart Gilimanuk to East Java’s Ketapang Port. After arriving in Ketapang Port, head to the bus terminal to take a bus to Surabaya bus station, after arriving at Surabaya you can then be collected by your tour company to transfer to Cemoro Lawang. 

TRAVELIST TIP: If you think flying is pricey here, you’re highly misinformed. In Indonesia there’s a number of low-cost carriers and domestic airlines so finding a deal that’s as cheap as taking the ferry, train or bus is pretty easy.

Yogyakarta to Bromo

OPTION 1: Take a train from Yogyakarta to Surabaya (approximately 4 hours). Get collected by your tour company and transferred to Cemoro Lawang Bromo accommodation.

OPTION 2: There is also the option to fly from Yogyakarta (Adisucipto International Airport) to Surabaya. Then be collected by your tour company from the airport.

Have more time to spend in Yogyakarta?
Check out these Incredible UNESCO World Heritage sites Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple

Surabaya to Bromo

OPTION 1: (Public Transport) In Surabaya you will be able to use public transportation like the bus to get to Probolinggo, another ‘main’ city close to Mount Bromo. The bus will then stop in Probolinggo where you will then need to get into a smaller green mini-bus to get to Cemoro Lawang. There is also the option to take a train from Surabaya Station to Probolinggo Station and then do the minibus transfer to Cemoro Lawang.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: We did this trip as part of a combined tour that included Mount Bromo, Ijen crater, and Tumpak Sewu Waterfalls. I strongly suggest a combined tour and making the most of your time in East Java and these spots are seriously not to be missed!

OPTION 2: Get your tour company to collect you from the train station/ airport and head to Cemoro Lawang for your accommodation. 

TRAVELIST TIP: The Surabaya Bromo tour option is a popular one because Surabaya is a more popular destination (and cheaper) to fly to from bigger cities like Jakarta, Bali, or Yogyakarta.

Malang to Bromo

OPTION 1: (Public Transport) Head to the Malang Bus station and take a bus to Probolinggo, From there take the small minibus van to Cemoro Lawang

OPTION 2: Stay in Malang, use a tour company that leaves from Malang to Mount Bromo.

Interested in Exploring more of East Java?
Check out these popular destinations combined with the Mount Bromo tour from Surabaya: Kawah Ijen Crater, Madakaripura Waterfall, Tumpak Sewu Waterfall.

Standing at the crater rim of Mount Bromo volcano looking out onto the volcanic landscape
Standing on the crater rim of Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo Accommodation

Although you can’t physically stay or camp out in Mount Bromo National Park, the closest place to stay is Probolinggo or Cemoro Lawang.

Due to increased travel, Bromo accommodations in the area have multiplied so you are spoilt for choice in hostels, homestays, and hotels in Mount Bromo’s closest town Cemoro Lawang.

MY TOP BROMO ACCOMMODATION PICKS

Cafe Lava Hostel: Mount Bromo’s answer to budget-friendly comforts and private room options.

Hotel Jiwa Jawa Bromo: A lovely resort-style hotel Bromo travellers will love to indulge in great views and amenities

Hotel Java Banana Bromo Resort: This is another amazing offering for those guests looking for a bit more than a place to lay the head for the night

Cemara Indah: A quality budget and backpacker-friendly option for those needing the basics before they head out on their Mont Bromo Java adventure.

Looking for more hotels near Mt Bromo?
Check out other accommodation options on Agoda.com

Mount Bromo Weather

In the early morning or before sunrise, Mount Bromo’s temperature can be as low as 5 to 10 °C (41-50 F°). The weather Mount Bromo has in the late morning and afternoon will be around 15 to 25 °C (59 to 77 °F).

Check out the Mount Bromo weather forecast for your travel dates

TRAVELIST TIP: If you’ve been to most parts of Indonesia you will know, the average temperate is usually between 30 and 34 °C (87 °F) with EXTREMELY high humidity. You will certainly notice the temperate gradually drop as you ascend on the drive to Cemoro Lawang. You will DEFINITELY need some long warm gear when you arrive the evening before your sunrise hike!

sunrise over gunung bromo volcano crater
Sunrise over Bromo crater (Image from Unsplash Tomas Malik)

Mount Bromo Tours

When visiting Indonesia, Mount Bromo is basically a necessity to visit regardless of whether you’re just looking for a Boho Bali trip. Bromo is actually so well situated that it makes for a great destination to combine with other stops in East Java.

One of the most popular tours is the Mount Bromo Ijen Crater Tour, 3 days across Java including a stop at an amazing waterfall. The Gunung Bromo tour is truly something that will leave you never wanting to say goodbye to East Java.

Whether you choose to tour Bromo only, an Ijen Bromo tour, or even a Mount Bromo Tumpak Sewu waterfall tour – You will not be disappointed!

RECOMMENDED AND REVIEWED TOURS

3 days in Java: Bali-Bromo-Kawah Ijen-Bali

Mount Bromo Sunrise and Madakaripura Waterfall Tour

Mount Bromo Sunrise Tour from Surabaya or Malang

Mount Bromo Tour Package Prices and Fees

Prices will vary depending on whether you visit Mount Bromo only or do a tour combined with other destinations like the Mount Bromo Ijen tour.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to check your inclusions and exclusions in tour packages prior to booking. Things like entrance tickets, jeep rental, driver, guides, etc. may seem mandatory, but if something is not stipulated – ASK!

A typical private 3 day 2 night Surabaya Mount Bromo tour can start from IDR 3. 5 million and upwards per person.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: Our Mt Bromo tour price was 3 days and 2 nights and included Mount Bromo, Tumpak Sewu Waterfall, and Ijen Crater, Accommodation, drivers, guide, and all entrance fees were included. The only exclusions were lunch and dinner. We paid 4 million IDR per person. This is an EXTREMELY GOOD Mt Bromo tour package for a PRIVATE TOUR from Surabaya.

Kawah Ijen Crater volcanic lake
Kawah Ijen Crater volcanic sulfuric lake
Tumpak sewu waterfall aerial view East Java
Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

If you don’t go for the tour package option, here’s an idea of Mount Bromo tour price for the individual fees:

Mount Bromo Entrance Fee: IDR 220 000 (weekdays) IDR 320 000 (weekends and peak season)

Jeep Rental Fees: These fees are determined by whether you just visit the Mount Penanjakan Viewpoint (short tour) or visit the Mount Penanjakan viewpoint and go to the crater Rim (long tour)

Short Tour Jeep Price: low season- IDR 500 000; high season- IDR 650 000

Long Tour Jeep Price: low season- IDR 700 000; high season- IDR 850 000

These fees are In addition to the entrance fees, but a Jeep can take 4 people so you could also find others to share with and split the costs.

PERSONAL OPINION: There have been many articles stating how you should never take the first price provided and that locals are out to cheat foreigners and overcharge or even scam you.

The tours that I have recommended above are reviewed and operated by reputable companies using local guides and drivers. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND USING A TOUR COMPANY  for the reasons that the jobs are given to locals and this is their source of income and you are also contributing to the growing economy of this third world country.

I also believe that the people reporting being scammed and overcharged are not using reputable and reviewed guides and agents. Most local guides, companies, and drivers are charging the figures listed above.

If you are getting a deal vastly different from what’s listed above, then perhaps it’s shady and you should look elsewhere. Things that are too good to be true, usually aren’t!

What to Wear to Mount Bromo

As mentioned above the weather in Cemoro Lawang is cold!

Like European winter cold!

It’s not very common to wear long pants and jackets in such a tropical country but at these altitudes, you’ll need to cover up. I suggest dressing in layers as you’ll probably want to peel some off after you’ve summited the Mount Bromo crater.

What to wear to hike Mount Bromo at sunrise
What to wear to hike Mount Bromo at sunrise

PACK THESE ITEMS

Warm Jacket – something not too heavy (Down jackets are great and easy to fold up and pop back into your backpack)

A Vest or Thin Activewear Top – to wear under your thin top (You might be questioning whether you need 3 layers – typically get hot and 3 layers were just enough for sunrise)

Long Thin Top – to wear under your jacket to shield you from the chill after the jacket becomes too much

Beanie – My ears were freezing, it’s recommended!

Gloves – my finger tips were going numb, you need these.

Buff/ Bandanna or Mask – to cover your mouth whilst driving in the jeep across the sea of sand and for the walk to the crater rim.

Sunglasses – to shield your eyes from the ash and dust when walking across the sea of sand (and generally just from the sun)

Sports Sneakers or Shoes with a bit of Grip – closed shoes are recommended for the walk through the sand as well as for ankle support in the soft sand (hiking boots are not essential)  

Light Day Bag or Backpack – for your camera gear, water and to put your layers in after you’ve taken them off

Typical Sunrise Mount Bromo Hike Itinerary

One of the things I absolutely love about this adventure destination is that this incredible experience can be accomplished literally in one morning. Your Bromo mountain tour starts at 3:00 am and completes at 10:30 am.

This is typical Mount Bromo itinerary for sunrise:

  1. An early morning start of 3 am is required for the Mount Bromo Sunrise Hike tour.
  2. The jeep will then take you to Mount Penanjakan (a 30 to 40-minute drive depending on how busy it is that day).
  3. It will park just before Mount Penanjakan, where you will walk for about 10-15 minutes to the top of Mount Penanjakan for the King Kong Hill Viewpoint. The timing for sunrise will usually be about 5:30 am. Indulge in something warm to drink and snack on from the vendors
  4. From the top of Mount Penanjakan, you will see a panoramic birds-eye sunrise view of the gigantic Tengger Caldera, Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru, and other lesser but equally impressive volcanic cones.
  5. After sunrise, you will board the jeep again, where you will be driven down (approximately a 20-minute ride) to the bed of the caldera via the plains through the Seas of Sand.
  6. The jeep will stop at a car park just beside The Poten – a Tenggerese Hindu temple.
  7. Then walk across the seas of sand (volcanic ash)  
  8. Next is the Mount Bromo steps: a concrete flight of (approximately 240) steps will lead you from the base of Mount Bromo to its crater rim, where you can peer down into its crater.
  9. After taking in the scenery, you will head back to board the jeep
  10. The jeep will take your back to your accommodation where you can warm up/cool down with a shower, have some breakfast and check-out of your accommodation around 10:30 am or 11:00 am
sunrise at Mount Bromo King Kong hill view

Mount Bromo Facts

Gunung Bromo (Indonesian for Mount Bromo) is an active Stratovolcano in East Java Indonesia. Mount Bromo’s height stands at 2329m tall (7,641 ft). The name Bromo is derived from the Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god.

Mount Bromo has had volcanic eruptions from 2004 to 2011, with the most severe being in 2011 and the most recent Gunung Bromo meletus being 2019.

Check Volcano Discovery to keep up to date with Mount Bromo eruption details and more facts about Mount Bromo

Is Mount Bromo worth visiting

A RESOUNDING YES! If you’re looking for the first time adventure of getting up close and personal with an active volcano or just even appreciating the magnificent landscape from afar, then this is definitely worth the trip. 

Because it involves, no active climbing or walking steep or long distances, it makes it a must-see destination for travellers of all ages.

Coupled with the fact that its so close to some other stunning waterfalls (Tumpak Sewu and Madakaripura) and another volcano (Kawah Ijen), it makes for an incredible adventure experience across East Java.

When to visit Mount Bromo

Weather forecast for Mount Bromo remains the same all year round. Indonesia only has two seasons two seasons (wet and dry season). Wet season is November to April, Dry season is November to mid April. We visited in the the month of June.

As for when in the day is the best time to visit? Mt Bromo sunrise tour is the best and only one you should choose!

Mount Bromo crater rim view

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Travel Insurance

If anything, this should be a given for any trip you take! But be sure to keep a copy of your insurance details. This is an adventure experience so you need to be prepared.

Check out World Nomads for amazing travel insurance options

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in the article have affiliate links, what this means is, if you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn some money to buy a coffee (woohoo!). Thanks for the support, I’d love to keep making this content freely available to all. As always opinions and thoughts remain my own.

HAVE I CONVINCED YOU TO VISIT MOUNT BROMO? HAVE YOU VISITED ALREADY? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IN THE COMMENTS BELOW

Read More about East Java

2 thoughts on “Mount Bromo: Sunrise Hike Guide + 7 Reasons you have to Visit”

  1. I’ve always said that the toughest hikes provides the best views, but it seems that when it comes to Mount Bromo this isn’t the case!! Thank you for sharing all the detail, it’s somewhere that is on the list … now even higher on the list!!

    Reply

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