I love meeting new people. It’s part of the reason why I started travel blogging. When I meet tourists in Yogyakarta I always ask them where they plan to go after leaving Yogyakarta. A lot of the people I ask tell me that they are planning to visit Surabaya (so that they can see Bromo) and then (Ijen), before heading to Bali.
The Yogya, Bromo, Ijen and Bali route is really popular. I can understand why. Watching sunrise over Bromo was one of the highlights of my trip to Surabaya. Climbing Ijen and then descending into the crater was an experience that I will always remember. If you love nature I couldn’t recommend these tourist destinations enough.
So how can you do it? Well, there are a lot of different routes and options. I want to share a simple hassle free option with you that combine my favorite forms of transportation with a chance to visit Bromo and Ijen. I say simple, because everything (transport and accommodation) is included. Let’s get started.
Bromo and Ijen Tour From Yogyakarta
Day 1: Yogyakarta – Bromo
You need to get to the train station. Lempuyangan train station if you prefer an ecomony train. And Tugu Train station if you prefer business or executive class train. The economy train station will bring you to Probolinggo while business and executive train will bring you to Surabaya or Malang. I can help you with the train booking as well.
I like taking trains around Java. Unlike airplanes, trains give you a chance to see the countryside (and the countryside of Java is beautiful). I always sit by the window so that I get a good view of the passing countryside. Rice fields, forests and small villages flash by the window. It’s all so green, fertile and new.
If you’re taking a day trip then I think Indonesian trains are comfortable. You can order hot food from the buffet car, talk to locals and enjoy the day. It’s relaxing and there’s air conditioning (though economy train-even with its air conditioning sometimes can be quite hot during the day-the sun beats the air con), so it doesn’t get hot.
It’s a nine-hour train journey from Yogyakarta to Probolinggo. The train arrives at Probolinggo train station in the early afternoon. You get picked up by the driver and taken to the hotel in Cemoro Lawang village, which is close to Bromo.
Below are the train schedules:
Logawa – Economy train – 9 hours journey
08:55 from Lempuyangan (LPN) Yogyakarta – 17:31 at Probolinggo (PB)
Sri Tanjung – Economy train – 9 hours journey
07:15 from Lempuyangan (LPN) Yogyakarta – 16:33 at Probolinggo (PB)
While the business and executive trains go more frequently. You can depart from Yogyakarta (Tugu train station) at 00:48 or 16:30 or 06:45 or many other options to Surabaya or Malang. Probably more than 10 times a day. The journey is around 4 – 5 hours.
Day 2: Bromo – Ijen
You need to wake up early to catch sunrise. The jeep picks you up from your hotel at 3:30am and takes you to Pananjakan. This is the best place to watch the sunrise. It’s busy, especially during weekends, and cold. Make sure you bring a warm coat.
The sunrise over Bromo is really special. It’s not just because of the volcano; it’s also the landscape. The National Park has steep cliffs that rise steeply out of the flat dusty valleys. The difference in color and appearance of the black plains and the green hills is really striking.
After watching sunrise from Pananjakan, you are driven to the valley floor. From here it’s a 15-minute walk to the base of Bromo volcano. The climb to the top of the volcano is really easy. There are concrete steps cut into the slope and handrails to hold onto.
After watching the sunrise, climbing Bromo, and exploring the savannah plus the sand sea, it’s time to return to your hotel. You can grab a shower to wash off some of the dust, get some breakfast and pack your bags for the trip to Ijen.
The car collects you from the hotel at 9-10am. It’s a five or six-hour journey from Cemoro Village to Sempol Village (if you are ok to stay in basic homestay) or you can also stay in Banyuwangi (hotel). You check into the hotel just in time for a late lunch. Then you have the rest of the day to relax and do your own thing.
Sempol is the closest village with hotels to Ijen. However, accommodation in Sempol Village is limited and there aren’t any hotels that could be considered luxury. On the plus side the countryside surrounding Sempol is beautiful and you will be visiting Ijen in the morning.
Day 3: Ijen – Bali
Ijen before sunrise is special. Not only do you get to see sunrise from the top of Ijen, but you also have the chance to see the famous blue flames (the blue flames are caused by super heated sulfuric gas catching alight).
It takes around two-hours to hike to the top of Ijen crater. The first part of the hike is quite hard, the slope is steep and the path is dusty. As you get closer to the top of the crater the path starts to level out, before looping at a gentle slope around the volcano.
From the top of Ijen volcano you can see the blue flames flickering below. As the sun rises the blue flames disappear and you suddenly see the huge turquoise lake in the center of the crater. Ijen is also the highest point and you can see the surrounding countryside for miles around in every direction.
If you want to you can actually descend into the crater and join the sulfur miners. The path going into the crater is steep and rocky and the sulfur gas stings your eyes and catches in the back of your throat (ring a wet piece of cloth to put over your nose and mouth, it really helps).
The bottom of Ijen crater looks like something from another world. Bright yellow sulfur comes pumping out of the vents, before solidifying into lumps. Miners collect the sulfur in wooden baskets that they carry on their shoulders.
After finishing your visit to Ijen it’s time for the final leg of your journey to the port of Ketapang, where you can get the ferry to Bali (where you can catch up on sleep and spend a lazy day exploring the temples, lying on the beach or doing some shopping).
3-Day 2-Night Bromo and Ijen Tour
It took me more than 20 years to explore Java. I’m really happy I had the chance to visit Bromo and Ijen. They are experiences I’ll always remember and they are places I think everyone who loves natures should visit to experience (at least once).
The Bromo and Ijen Tour
I know that you’ll enjoy visiting Bromo and Ijen as much as I did. Bromo is one of my favourite places in Indonesia. The volcano, landscape, and magical sunrise make this place really special. I can’t think of a better way to spend a holiday than combining this with a trip to Ijen (especially if you are planning to visit Bali). That is why I partnered with a trusted travel agency to offer Discover Your Indonesia readers this special tour.
Included in the Package:
- Pick up from the train station
- Transport in a comfortable vehicle. Avanza or similar
- Experienced local driver
- Tickets for Bromo and Ijen
- All accommodation costs
Interested in joining the tour and visiting two of the most interesting tourism sites in East Java? Fill in the form below to email me and make a booking.
I respond to every enquiry personally and only work with local drivers and travel agents that I would recommend to my friends. Look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. Want me to help you arrange a more personalised tour of Ijen and Bromo? Just send me an email.
What do you think about the itinerary? What tourist destinations would you suggest visiting in East Java?