Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you!
One of Indonesia’s most beautiful active volcanoes, the moonscape of Mount Bromo is truly unique. Visiting Mount Bromo from Bali is the ultimate way to add that edge to your Bali trip, getting off the beaten track and doing something a little different. Due to its fairly remote location in East Java on Indonesia, Mount Bromo still feels largely untouched by the tourist industry, and the stunning vistas make it one of my favourite places on Earth (even though it doesn’t look like Earth at all!)
Why visit Mount Bromo?
Mount Bromo and the surrounding area is an exceptionally distinctive area of natural beauty. At 2329m, Mount Bromo sits in the middle of the infamous Sea of Sand. As an active volcano, it is constantly exiting smoke and gases, making it look like a proper fire-breathing-dragon-like-magical-storybook-volcano.
More than anything, if you’re into beautiful landscapes, what better addition to your Bali trip, as there really is nowhere else quite like it.
How to get to Mount Bromo from Bali
Visiting Mount Bromo from Bali is actually very easy to do, it just takes quite a long time. By far the best way of doing it is to book a tour with a local operator in Bali, who will take you there and back over two days. Expect to pay just under 2 million IDR (approximately USD$140) for this, to include all transport, accommodation and breakfast.
What to expect
You’ll be collected from your hotel wherever you’re staying in Bali at approximately 7am. A private car will then drive you over to the ferry port in the far West of Bali, taking approximately 3.5 hours from the main areas of either Kuta/Seminyak/Canggu/Ubud. From here, you’ll be guided onto a ferry over to Java that takes just under an hour. On the other side, a driver will be waiting for you to take you to Probollingo, the nearest town to Mount Bromo. This will likely be a van with other travellers, taking approximately 5 hours. Upon arrival in Probollingo, they’ll sort all the travellers into new vans according to which hotel you are staying at. Don’t worry, this is all handled for you as part of your tour, so you just go wherever you’re told to and it’s very smooth! The final leg of the journey is then another van to your hotel.
Hotels in the Mount Bromo region are fairly basic, but they do the job. Arrive by 7pm and eat dinner before heading to bed for a VERY early start the next morning. Jeeps leave the hotels at 3am to take you to the incredible viewing spots for sunrise over Mount Bromo (/Mars). Although you’ll be waiting up there for an hour or so before the sun comes up, it’s important to get there early to ensure you’ve got a good spot to see the ball rising!
Tip: Make sure to bring warm clothes with you. The hotel in the evening was chilly and I needed long trousers and a jumper. When waiting at an even higher altitude for sunrise the next morning, I’d recommend a proper coat, as it probably gets to as low as 8 degrees up there.
Sunrise will be totally epic and I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
About 30 minutes after sunrise, you’ll be expected back at your Jeep to go to the incredible Sea of Sand. This is a huge expanse of volcanic ash that leads up to the volcano itself. The Jeeps will take you to one side of it, and then you walk across and up the volcano to the crater itself. There are lots of local guys there offering horses to take you across, but I personally don’t support this sort of animal tourism.
It takes around 15 minutes to walk across the sea of sand, and then a further 10 minutes to get up to the crater. It’s an easy hike, but be prepared to get very dusty! Sometimes going up to the crater edge is not permitted due to the gases that come out of the volcano, but most of the time it’s fine. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t get to the crater – the best part is the sea of sand and the viewpoints anyway!
After an hour or two of exploring, the Jeep will take you back to your hotel for breakfast and a shower before you embark on your return journey. Again, this should all be included in your tour, and the private car once back in Bali can take you to wherever you need to go. Expect to be back in Bali between 10pm and midnight. It’s obviously a huge journey, but it’s worth every second of it.
Flying a drone at Mount Bromo
Flying my drone at Mount Bromo is one of my favourite places I’ve ever flown. The landscape is just so epic! A few things to note:
- Be very careful taking off or landing near the volcanic sand, this can do some serious damage to your drone.
- Don’t fly your drone into the gases over the crater, and be very careful flying your drone over this anyway as I’ve heard reports of fines being imposed for this. Always ask locally for the rules and regulations or check here.
Going elsewhere in Bali? Check out this guide for the best things to do on the Gili Islands – the perfect way to relax!
Or, read a full Indonesia Backpacking Route Guide here!