Banyuwangi is at the most eastern part of Java. Located close to Ijen, and a short ferry right away from Bali, the city is a well-known and popular stopping point for tourists exploring the region.
In an attempt to make the region more accessible the local government invested in an airport for the city, Blimbingsari Airport. You can get direct flights to Banyuwangi from Jakarta, Surabaya and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
With the airport, together with things like local cultural and sport events, tourism started picking up. However, most people still come here to visit Ijen.
It’s understandable, but there’s a lot more to Banyuwangi than Ijen – although Ijen is pretty amazing. In an attempt to show you quite how much there is to do, I decided to put together this 3-day 2-night Banyuwangi itinerary. I’ll also provide some suggestions at the end of the itinerary to give you idea of what else you can do if you have more days in the city.
Day 1: Arrival – De Djawatan – Try Banyuwangi typical food
Banyuwangi airport is around 22 km from Banyuwangi. It’s a 45-minute journey from the city by car. On the way to the town you’ll pass Benculuk Village, the site of one of the local tourism highlights.
De Djawatan, which is the name of the site, is a small forest of Trembesi trees in the middle of Benculuk Village. The place is charming, but also a bit eerie and kind of mysterious at the same time. It is quite nice to walk around the forest and observe the trees.
It’s easy to spend an hour or more walking around the forest. Once you’ve finished exploring the forest you can head into town to check in at your hotel. I recommend relaxing in town for the afternoon of the first day as you’ll need to get up early in the morning to visit Ijen.
For dinner in the evening, try Rujak Soto, a typical food of the city. It is a soto (soup) with meat. The meat can be chicken, beef tripe, beef, or whatever else happens to be available.
The Rujak Soto is a soto (soup) comes with Rujak sauce. The sauce is made of brown sugar, peanut, salt, chilli and shredded green banana.
While I can’t promise you’ll like Rujak Soto, you should try it. I thought it was quite tasty, but it was a bit too sweet for me. Other local dishes that you can try include Sego Tempong (carefully it is spicy), and Pecel Rawon.
Day 2: Ijen – Jagir Waterfall – Leisure time at the hotel
The morning of the second day is a chance to visit Ijen. The volcano is the tourism highlight of the region. People know Ijen for its Blue Fire, but I personally think that the Blue Fire is just a bonus. The highlight for is the landscape, which is breathtaking.
Most people visit Ijen at 2-3 am. This is the best time to watch the blue fire. They then hang around either in the crater, or on the slopes of the crater, to watch sunrise.
Hiking from Paltuding, the start point, to the summit of Ijen takes around 1,5 – 3 hours one way (from 1,800 to 2,400-ish meters above the sea level). In my opinion it is an easy to medium hike, but you have to be reasonably fit. If you’re interested in Ijen, you can read more about the volcano in this guide.
On the way back from Ijen you can visit some waterfalls. When I was in Banyuwangi, we visited Jagir. The waterfall is indeed a great addition to the Ijen trip.
It is not difficult to visit Jagir Waterfall, is a 10 minutes walk from the nearest parking lot. The waterfall is beautiful and there is a pool at the base that you can take a dip in if you want to. Since we forgot to bring a set of clothes for change, we just soaked our feet in the pool and enjoyed the splash of water from the waterfall. It was relaxing.
After a morning climb it’s nice to end the day relaxing at your hotel. We were staying in Dialoog Banyuwangi. We spent a lazy afternoon by the pool. Afterwards we went for a massage at the in-house massage center.
Day 3: Sunrise view from the hotel – Pasar Kemiren – Back to hotel, check out – Departure/Fly out
For the third day, I recommend you visit Pasar Kemiren – assuming your taking the trip over the weekend. Pasar Kemiren is a Sunday market hosted in Glagah Village. The market open at 6 am and is over at 10 am.
The market is a chance to experience Osing culture. The Osing, are people who are native to the area surrounding Banyuwangi. When you visit the market you’ll be able to find and sample some typical Osing food such as Pecel Pitik, and Sego Cawuk.
There are plenty of traditional snacks and Osing or Banyuwangi coffee to try, or even buy, as well. The best thing about it is to interact with locals in the market.
We tried a lot of food at the market. My friend tried Pecel Pitik, I tried Sego Cawuk. We also bought several traditional snacks, anything really that looked interesting to us as we wandered through the market. We also tried the Osing coffee. My friend decided to go for Robusta V60 and I tried their Arabica cold brew. The coffee is quite fruity, and not too strong, in my opinion.
Other things that you can do/see in and around Banyuwangi on your third day include visiting Baluran National Park, and the Coffee Plantation Kali Klatak. The city also hosts various festivals. A bit further afield there are desinations like Alas Purwo National Park and Meru Betiri National Park that you can visit.
Where to stay in Banyuwangi
There are lot of hotels, hostels, and other accommodation around Banyuwangi. The last time I visited we stayed at Dialoog Banyuwangi Hotel. The hotel is relatively new and has a very nice vibe. It’s a perfect place for a stay-cation in Banyuwangi.
Though we were in Java, staying at Dialoog Banyuwangi felt a lot like staying in Bali. Very holiday, tropical, island kind of mood. From our room, the Deluxe Ocean view, we could see the Bali strait from afar. The hotel crew also informed us that we could see sunrise right from our room. Unfortunately it was cloudy during our stay (a good reason to go back, right?).
The room itself was spacious and functional. They have a restaurant, located by the beach next to the pool. They also have an in-house spa, and a gym (even the view from the gym is really nice, with all the coconut trees and the beach from afar).
Our favourite part of the hotel was the pool area. The infinity pool is alluring, especially close to sunset time. At sunset the colour of the sky would be blue, light soft purple, and a bit of orange. These colors would be reflected in the pool and the ocean. We spent hours talking and laughing here after our Ijen climb.
Have you ever been to Banyuwangi? What did you do in the city and how was your experience?