Visiting Mount Bromo in Indonesia – The country’s most iconic volcano

General information about Bromo

The view of Mt Bromo is absolutely breathtaking. Especially if you go out in the dark to enjoy the sunrise with a view of the mountain. The volcanic crater in the middle of a lunar landscape, surrounded by clouds that make the whole thing seem mystical. Below I explain how you can easily make your own trip to Bromo. The volcano is 2329 m high and is located in the Tengger volcano massif. Bromo is a stratovolcano.

Mount Bromo on your own or with a guided tour?

Bromo is one of the tourist attractions for which you do not need a guide or a guided tour. The “ascent” from Cemoro Lawang (the mountain village on Bromo) takes about 20 – 40 minutes. Of course, there are hundreds of tour operators who have Bromo in their portfolio – but I focus here on my own journey, after all, we want to experience something ourselves.

Ascent to the sunrise

As you can imagine, you won’t be the only person who plans to enjoy the sunrise with a view of Bromo on this day. Personally, I would advise you not to go to any of the popular viewpoints such as Seruni Sunrise View Point, Bukit Cinta or King Kong Hill. Crowds of tourists and the annoying buzz of drones await you there. For me, a sunrise is something contemplative, which I like to enjoy as quietly as possible and in intimate togetherness. Instead, I would look a little off the beaten track for the best spot! The view is breathtaking from anywhere and so you have the chance to enjoy the sunrise alone (or with your partner). You just have to be a bit careful as it’s quite steep down – especially when you’re walking in the dark, it can be very dangerous!

Getting to Mount Bromo (Cemoro Lawang)

There are several ways to reach Bromo. I can recommend bus & train here. Personally, I always prefer to travel by train, if available, as I find it much more pleasant and scenically more interesting. If you want to continue your tour on the island of Java, i.e. in the direction of Mt. Ijen or in the other direction towards Surabaya or Yogyakarta, it is always best to travel by train, as the route network on Java is well developed. If you are thinking of travelling further to Bali, it may be better to travel by bus, as the crossing is included and you don’t have to worry about getting on from Banyuwangi.

From Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang

To get to Cemoro Lawang, you need to take a minibus. Since all tourists who land here have the same destination, you have to be careful of the machinations of a small “mafia” here. For example, you won’t be able to order a taxi to Cemoro Lawang because the drivers are afraid of the local mafia. If you are lucky, there are even mini-buses that go directly from the train station to Cemoro Lawang, which was the case on our last visit. Here we paid 40,000 rupiah each, but that was in low season. Normally, you go from the train station to the bus terminal and from there to Cemoro Lawang. You have to be a bit careful here, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you follow the tips below:

  1. Go out of the station and get on a minibus that is going to the right and briefly check that it is going safely to the bus terminal.
  2. But he won’t easily take you to the terminal without first stopping at a “travel agency”. Here you have to be super persistent, they will tell you that there is no more bus and that you should get off here and take an overpriced bus from there. The bus drivers take a commission when they drop you off. Just sit there and say that you would like to go to the bus terminal. The fare is 3,000 rupiah.
    c. From the bus terminal, simply take one of the mini-buses to Cemoro Lawang. They wait in front of the terminal. They can take a while, though, as they only leave when they are full. The fare is 35,000 rupiah when the bus is full. The driver offers to leave earlier, but then the price increases. The drivers “lease” the buses and can only make a certain number of trips per week, so they insist on the price in order not to incur expenses. After a trip, they have to get back in line, which takes some time.


There are 4 daily connections Surabaya – Probolinggo – Banyuwangi. If the departure times have not changed, they are as follows:

SurabayaArrival Probolinggo (Bromo)Arrival Banyuwangi (Ijen)
1:203:11 7:29
Departure Banyuwangi (Ijen) Arrival Probolinggo Arrival Surabaya
6:50 8:45


From Bali, you can easily get to Probolinggo by bus. I would recommend going to the Ubung Bus Terminal in the morning and asking for the next bus there. Don’t be fooled by the drivers and ticket sellers. Always buy tickets on the bus and not outside. The ride should cost around 100,000 – 150,000 rupiah. Luxury liners are a bit more expensive. The journey takes about 5-6 h. The ferry ride is included in the price.

Overnight stay in Cemoro Lawang

As the whole village is designed for visitors who want to see Bromo, there are plenty of options for accommodation here. From the simplest rooms to more luxurious accommodation, everything is available here. Since we were there in the low season, we looked around locally and negotiated our way into cheap accommodation. The two of us paid 150,000 rupiah.

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We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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