Mount Bromo and its views are best explored on one’s own feet. Through this post I will try to explain how to enjoy beautiful sunrise from Bromo, then cross the sea of sand and climb up to the active Bromo crater.
My another post related to Bromo explained how to reach Cemoro Lawang from the other side of the city. It required a bit of strenuous climb at the very end (if the drop had not been arranged till Cemoro Lawang but only to Mount Bromo parking). But certainly the road down this way had been much less explored. It would give a better opportunity to witness the vastness and serenity of Mount Bromo National park.
Where to Stay in Cemoro Lawang
Cemoro Lawang is a small village of Probolinggo region. There are no luxurious accommodation available for tourists. Though there are a few small hotel and a plenty of home-stay options available around. Cafe Lava – a much referenced stay option in many travel blogs is just one of them. However, it is undoubtedly one of the very best option for tourists with better amenities. I chose to stay in another super budget friendly home-stay; hardly 100 m away from Cafe Lava, named “Ana Tengger Homestay”.
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
Mount Bromo is one of the most important part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Three words of national park signify Bromo and Semeru Mountains, both of which are active volcanoes and Tengger corresponds to original inhabitants of the area (the Tenggerese).
Almost 70% of the tourist visiting National Park plan their tour to Mount Bromo, and one of the biggest reason is the availability of various organized tours. They make accessibility of these surroundings quite easy. But doing Bromo without any tour is not at all a complicated option. I found it much more exciting to visit Bromo without any restriction of planned tour.
We were little late for my planned visit to Bromo crater on the same day. So, took some rest and then proceeded for our dinner. Luckily, the Warung, where we chose to dine, happened to be an old guide. When we inquired about the place, he gave us a fairly good idea of what all to do and not miss while being in Cemoro Lawang – Lucky right.
How does my self-planned tour look like?
Based on suggestion from the guide; my Bromo Tour compiled like this:
- Start early for Mount Penanjakan(This mountain serves as view point to Bromo and region around).
- There are two view locations and either of them can be chosen based on start time from Homestay.
- This will be about an hour and half walk from our hostel.
- Enjoy beautiful sunrise;
- After the sunrise, move down following the same path.
- Much before reaching Cemoro Lawang, take a turn to the right in the location along the way (Mark this Location from Google Maps)
- This way will lead us down to parking area of Mount Bromo (sea of sand)
- From parking, proceed straight to Mount Bromo crater passing by Hindu Temple.
- Return back to the home-stay.
There are many other explored options, but this tour helped me in doing the tour without purchasing any entry ticket (which was quite hefty as well – 320 K IDR over the weekend) to Mount Bromo national park that too in just one day.
Way to follow for viewpoints and perfect time to start
Cemara Indah Hotel is the only point to remember to access Bromo viewpoints. Reach Cemara Indah Hotel and take a right and continue along the nicely paved road.
There is a small parking point at the end of the road, which marks the start of some stairs. Continue along these stairs for almost half an hour to reach Seruni point also known as “Viewpoint-2”.
Seruni point is the first viewpoint for tourists, and hence is usually crowded for sunrise view. This is one of the most spacious viewpoints as well and have concrete shelters to have some rest while waiting for the sunrise. But, for obvious reasons to avoid crowd it is better to move up. There are many stopovers in between two viewpoints which give very good view in the morning and are less crowded as well.
Second and even more crowded viewpoint is all the way up to Mount Penanjakan (“Viewpoint-1”). Trail from Seruni point continues through defined dirt trail. Eventually, this trail ends and merge with a paved road. This is where most of the guided tour will take the tourists to. I recommend any of the natural viewpoints between Seruni point and viewpoint-1.
Usually it is cloudy in the morning and it obstructs the views of Mount Bromo and nearby mountains. But, we chose to stay there for a while, and our patience eventually paid off!!
Time for another long walk
We had amazing views of Mount Bromo and nearby mountains. I recommend the same to other travelers as well. After inquiring villagers I came to know that it is quite usual for people to leave early out of disappointment. It is another big bonus of doing Bromo without tour since guided tour will force you to leave on time.
After enjoying beautiful sunrise, move down to Seruni point parking (tracing back same path). This is the place from where the paved way will start. Walk till the location as shared. It is about a two km of downhill walk through beautiful fields on both side of the road. From the shared location, take right (towards Mount Bromo) and you will find a trail leading to the vast plain also known as Sea of Sand.
“Beware of scam going on”
There are few instances with tourists earlier, where someone asked them to show their Bromo National Park Ticket near the shared trail.
They are not real ticket checking staff, even when they dress up pretty nicely, be adamant and continue along the trail. This trail is usually used by villagers to reach Bromo and other nearby areas. Many bloggers recommend similar trail near Cemara Indah Hotel in Cemoro Lawang itself, but now a days it is guarded during morning times; so avoid if possible.
The end of the trail lead us to the famous sea of sand. And yes, we got here, without paying any kind of entry ticket. Rest is a straight walk (about 3-4 km) to Mount Bromo crater base passing through parking area and the temple. From the base, it is a simple climb to the Bromo crater, which will take another 45 minutes or so. Bromo is an active volcano, and it’s power can be felt by listening to its rumbling sound.
Returning back is an exact trace back to Bromo Parking and then walking down the same way as explained in my previous post on “How to reach Cemoro Lawang”.
Summarizing the tour..
- Start by 2:30-3:00 AM from the Homestay.
- Walk down to Cemara Indah Hotel (for location – Click Here), take right and continue straight along paved field (a torch/headlamp is a must) – Distance > 3 Km, Time taken 45-60 minutes
- Climb to Seruni point – Easy climb of 1 km; Time taken – 30 minutes.
- If planning to stay at Seruni point – View-point 2 (starting late by 3:30 AM is also an option)
- Though a better view is higher up but the climb to View point -1 from Seruni point will take an hour more.
- Stay till 6:30-7:00 AM for beautiful sunrise view (if it is cloudy early in the morning).
- Walk down to the paved road and follow the location (Click Here). Total distance of around 2 Km ( < 1 hour while enjoying incredible surroundings)
- Walk through the sea of sand to Bromo crater – Distance 3-4 Km; Time – 45-60 minutes.
- Climb up to the crater – another 45 minutes.
- Return to the Crater – total distance of 4+ Km, Time – 1 Hour approx.
Though above tour looks quite long and tiring, which indeed it is. But, the beautiful surroundings, few coffee breaks, fresh air and lots of stunning photographs easily kept us moving. Following above plan we could easily complete our tour by 11:00 AM.
A word of caution
As I mentioned through the title of this post, it is good for those who are looking to do Bromo without tour and in a single day. After viewpoint we can always take rest and then proceed for the Bromo after Lunch. However, the frequency of mini buses leaving from Cemoro Lawang to Probolinggo reduce drastically after 12:00 PM. So, if you are planning to leave Cemoro Lawang same day (which was the case with me), above tour is a much recommended option. Or else arrive early, the first day and proceed for Bromo on first day itself (follow this amazing blog post to get an idea on this)
Small note on Bemo/Minibus to Probolinggo!!
Cheapest option to travel back from Cemoro Lawang is to take shared mini buses to Probolinggo and plan the onward journey from there. Buses are usually plenty, but the only issue is that they leave only when they are full. Generally, driver expects 500 K IDR (as on September-2016) for his one way journey, and hence charge 35-40K IDR per person with 15 passengers on board. If the number of passengers are less, the expected amount need to be divided among available number of passengers.
Don’t forgot to carry!!
- Tour is certainly long one, carry at least 1 litre of water (if possible more).
- Some light snacks.
- A windcheater/jacket as it’s quite cold in the morning.
- Headlamp or at least a torch.
Above all, the tour is completely free, there is no cost whatsoever involved. Even entering Cemoro Lawang through Malang way, I could get rid of entrance fee of 10 K IDR.
Entrance fee for foreigners
220 K IDR on weekdays, 320 K IDR on weekends/Public Holidays.
Start/End time –
3:00 AM/11:00 AM