Bromo and Ijen Volcanoes Tour

The Bromo and Ijen Volcanoes Tour takes two and a half days. Before you set off from Yogyakarta you should know that you are in for a very long, uncomfortable and sweaty ride by minibus. Your arse is never going to forgive you and you are going to have back ache.

Before you even think about embarking on this tour read here: Drive of Hell from Yogyakarta to Bromo.

The Bromo and Ijen Volcanoes Tour leaves Yogyakarta at 07:30am on day 1 and arrives at 10:30am at Ketapang ferry port on day 3.

Read here our itinerary of the three day trip from Yogyakarta to Bromo and Ijen.

Read here why NOT to do the trip the other way around from Bali to Yogyakarta.

The tour from Yogyakarta to Bromo and Ijen

This tour cost us 700,000 rp (50€ approx.) per person and we just booked it one day beforehand.

Read here where to book your trip from Yogyakarta to Bromo and Ijen.

Included in the price was:

  • Transportation by minibus from yogyakarta to Bromo, between the two volcanoes and to the ferry port at Ketapang.
  • Jeep excursion at Mount Bromo (make sure you book this with the tour or you will pay more for it later).
  • Two nights hotel accommodation with breakfast included.

The price of the tour included breakfast on days 2 and 3 but no other meals were included.

bromo and ijen

Bromo and Ijen Volcanoes Tour: Day 1

So we left Yogyakarta at 07:30am and arrived at our hotel in Bromo at 8pm after a horrendous drive all day by minibus. If you haven’t read about that yet, please do so now: Drive of Hell from Yogyakarta to Bromo.

We had spent the day sweating in a non-air-conditioned vehicle, despite what was advertised. But now, in Bromo, at such a high altitude it was coldness that we felt.

If you do this tour you need some warm clothes and some decent shoes.

The hotel we stayed at in Bromo was good. When you book, it’s worth going for the second or third option on the accommodation list and paying a bit more than just going for the cheapest and most basic option. Remember, you are going to need a decent sleep and a good, hot shower.

We ate dinner at the hotel in Bromo and then had an early night.

Dinner consisted of a delicious curry for me, though my travel companions, at seeing Western food on a menu for the first time in a while, went straight for the pizza. It wasn’t so good. There was plenty of choice on the menu and the prices were average. There were plenty of hotels in the vicinity too, so if you don’t like what your hotel is offering, don’t think you have no choice. You do.

The Bintang really hit the spot too, after the death-ride journey.

Bromo and Ijen Volcanoes Tour: Day 2

Sunrise at Bromo

We were picked up at 4am by jeep and we were taken to Gunung Penanjakan Viewpoint to watch the sun rise over Mount Bromo. If you don’t opt for the jeep section of the tour, you don’t get to go to this viewpoint and instead you have to walk from the hotel to Mount Bromo by yourself in the pitch dark.

Mount Bromo at Sunrise

Click here for more photos of Sunrise at Mount Bromo.

If you thought it was cold the previous night when you arrived, you will think it’s absolutely freezing when you get to Gunung Penanjakan. If you don’t have the adequate clothing you can rent a big warm coat for 10,000 rp!

We left the viewpoint right after the sun had made an appearance and were taken to the the foot of Mount Bromo.

From where the jeep leaves you, you still have a very hard slog up the volcano to the crater. Of course, you can go part of the way up on horseback if you are so inclined. But you will still get yourself, your camera and everything covered in ash, and you still have to walk up the last, very hard, stretch.

Don’t worry about refreshments on the way up: both at Bromo and at the viewpoint, you can buy bottles of water from the many vendors with the baskets. Plus, at the viewpoint there are bars and cafes.

When you reach the top of Mount Bromo you will realise that the intense climb was well worth it. And if the trek didn’t take your breath away then the view of the crater certainly will.

Bromo and ijen volcanoes tour

For me it was extra special because it was the first time I was at the summit of a live volcano and the first time I was seeing a crater.

There was a steady stream of smoke rising out of the crater making it all the more real.

We had plenty of time at the top to take photos and explore the rim… And watch others, practically on their hands and knees making it to the top of the volcano.

Bromo and ijen volcanoes tour

When you’ve made your way back down to the jeep, all you can think about is shower and breakfast.

They take you back to the hotel and you have about two hours to do these things and to pack up your stuff.

Then the mini bus comes to get you and you go back down the mountain to Probolinggo. Here they put you into groups according to where you are going next. We were continuing to Ijen volcano, because we were doing the 3 days / 2 nights tour, but there is a 2 days / 1 night option too, where you are taken straight to Ketapang for the ferry to Bali after Bromo.

The journey from Probolinggo took us only four and a half hours, which was nothing after the previous day’s 12-hour hell-ride, and we were at the hotel near Ijen by 5pm.

Our hotel at Ijen

Where the hotel was in Ijen, there were some natural hot springs nearby, but we were unable to go as they were 1km away and the only way to get there was by walking. The problem was that by the time we had organised ourselves it would already be nearly dark and coming back it would be pitch black and there wasn’t a proper road; just a filthy mud-track. We didn’t need any broken ankles.

So we just made do with the very cold outdoor pool at the hotel, followed by the deliciously hot outdoor jacuzzi.

Okay, I’m lying: I didn’t go in the freezing cold pool. I stayed in the jacuzzi.

It was like having our own hot springs.

The hotel in Ijen was not one that we chose; it came with the tour package and there was no option like there was for the hotel in Bromo. But it was perfectly fine and and had its own very old-fashioned charm and character.

There was some sort of big Muslim wedding ceremony underway when we got there and there was a huge congregation. We were treated to a droning chant for the whole night. I have to say, if it was a wedding, it must have been one of the most boring celebrations in history.

The hotel did a set evening menu for 50,000 rp per person excluding drinks. There was no alternative and though it was fairly expensive, we really enjoyed it. The table was absolutely full of dishes of rice, soup, noodles, deep-fried chicken, vegetables and plenty of unidentified edible objects. If you stay at this hotel during your tour, do take the set menu. It was like having an Indonesian tapas feast.

Bromo and Ijen Volcanoes Tour: Day 3

Mount Ijen

Ijen

Getting out of bed once again at 3am was not easy or pleasant, but our breakfast (if you could face it) was at 03:30am and departure time at 4am. This time we had to take everything with us, as we would not be coming back this way.

It took us an hour to reach Ijen Volcano itself and the hike to the top was very steep and very hard going for 3km. The hardest part was the first half, where we were actually sliding back down as we were trying to go up because it was so vertical.

You will share the hike with local men who work carrying sulphur from the crater down to the bottom of the volcano. It is a back-breaking job and and some of them carry up to 100kgs of sulphur in balancing baskets that they carry over one shoulder on a pole.

It’s heart-breaking to watch them and imagine how desperate they must be for money to put themselves through such torture. Knowing that they are paid peanuts makes it even worse.

Many of the men are cheerful enough and will act as your guide on the way up, accompanying you up the volcano, giving you words of encouragement when you feel like giving up, and even finding you a stick to help you.

Ijen

There’s no point shooing these guides away; they are hiking up anyway so you might as well give them some company. They are generally as interested in hearing about you as telling you about themselves.

As you walk, they will tell you things about the volcano and the villages around there. If you want, they will accompany you down into the crater to show you how they make little statues and ornaments with the sulphur. You can give them a little tip and they will be happy.

Remember: the way up and down this volcano is not lined with women selling refreshments as in most other touristic places in Indonesia. There is the sulphur weighing station half way up and they also sell drinks, but you are going to need water before that point so make sure you take some with you.

The crater at Ijen is completely different to the crate at Bromo, because this one is full of hot water, making a volcanic lake. If you do make it to the top, you will see that it is well worth the trek to get up there. The view is spectacular.

If you decide to venture down into the crater, the whole trip from beginning to end will take four hours. If you do not go down into the crater, the whole trip takes three hours.

The only toilets are at the bottom of the volcano and they are a sorry excuse for a toilet. Ladies, prepare yourself for a stinky hole in the floor that will set you back 2,000 rp to use.

The cafe at the bottom has good, local prices and does great deep-fried banana.

The end of the Bromo and Ijen Volcanoes Tour

If your driver only allows you three hours (as ours did) and you want to go down into the crater and need more time, don’t worry, just do it anyway. They will wait. We actually left one hour later than the time we were told to be back and more than half the group was late.

Then there is a two hour journey from Ijen to Ketapang where the ferry to Bali departs from, during which you will certainly fall asleep in the minibus, too tired even to worry about being killed on the road.

When you reach Ketapang, filthy and stinking, the ferry terminal is right over the road from where the tour finishes. The ferry to Bali costs 13,000 rp. They leave frequently and, even though you can see Bali across the tiny stretch of water, the ferry goes so slow that it takes an hour.

And remember, Bali is one hour ahead of Java, so when you get on the ferry, change your watch.

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.

For more information about this 3-day tour of the East Java volcanoes, read the following:

Where to Book Your Tour to Bromo and Ijen
Itinerary 3D / 2N Bromo-Ijen Tour
Drive of Hell From yogyakarta to Bromo
Mount Bromo Sunrise: In Photos
Climbing Mount Bromo: In Photos
Sulphur Miners at Ijen Volcano
Visit East Java’s Volcanoes From Yogyakarta, NOT From Bali

Filed Under: asiafeaturedIndonesiaJavaVolcanoes East Java

About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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