If you’re looking for epic views and exciting adventures in Indonesia, this post is for you.
However, visiting Mount Bromo is not for the faint of heart.
The combination of unknown territory, tourist scams, and large crowds (all in a foreign language, Javanese, to add to it) make this journey an extremely challenging feat to pull off.
If you’re ready to dive into the adventure head first, read on my friends.
We’re here to share with you the ultimate guide to Mount Bromo!
The Ultimate Guide To Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Mount Bromo is one of the best known active volcanoes in all of Indonesia. Sitting inside a massive caldera, this magnificent and very dangerous mountain attracts visitors from all over the world.
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park has over 500,000 visitors per year coming to see its world-renown sunrise views and to get a chance to peer inside an active volcano.
Where Is Mount Bromo?
Mount Bromo Facts And Information:
- Mt Bromo Is Located in East Java, Indonesia
- Most of the locals speak Javanese
- Nearest city: Probolinggo // Nearest Airport to Mount Bromo: Surabaya
- Mt. Bromo is just one of a collection of mountains in the caldera: Semeru, Batok and Widodaren are others
- Average temperature: Mid 50 degrees F / 13 degrees C
The average Mount Bromo temperature depends on the time of day.
Early mornings are very cold, so pack a big jacket and a wool hat. Afternoons provide little shade, so bring another hat to shade your face, and short sleeves to accommodate the hot weather.
Google Maps Guide To Mount Bromo
To get to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, there are several ways to go, and it all depends on your starting point.
If you want any chance of seeing the sunrise, go early. I mean really early. We left at 11 pm THE DAY BEFORE. We drove through the night and arrived at Cemoro Lawang at 2:00 am.
We began our Mount Bromo itinerary in Surabaya which is about a 3-hour drive away. For other routes, read this super helpful article for plane, train, and even bus directions.
Read More: 30 Essentials You Will Need On Any Road Trip
Mount Bromo Trip Costs
The little town of Cemoro Lawang hosts the most common entrance to the park. On the Mount Bromo map below, you can see that Cemoro Lawang is at the northeast entrance, closest to all the “big” sights and definitely stocked with all the tourist amenities.
You can also get a hotel room at Probolinggo or even Cemoro Lawang, but these places are known for Bromo tourists, so you’ll definitely be paying big bucks for the convenience.
Mount Bromo Tour Price
At the time of this blog post (September 2018), the Mount Bromo tour price (or entrance fee) is Rp. 27,500 ($2) for Indonesians, and Rp. 217,500 (~$17) for foreigners to enter Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.
Bring cash to pay, because cards are not reliable.
Cemoro Lawang is where you can buy Mount Bromo tour tickets, but also where you can rent Jeeps.
If you are looking to do Mount Bromo on a budget, there are so many resources out there on how to do it for free, but this post is about the QUICK and EASY way.
Should You Walk Through Mount Bromo Or Rent A Jeep?
The most common way to do a Mount Bromo trip is entering the park via Jeep. Other options are taking a motorbike in or entering on foot, but driving your own car is not allowed.
If you are trying to do Mount Bromo on a budget, the cheapest way to see the park is by foot. However, you will likely spend all day walking with little shade cover and breathing in the dusty air all day.
It IS possible, but we aren’t talking about a walking option in this post.
Ultimately, we chose to rent a Jeep vs. walking in because of the convenience. The Jeep drivers know where to go and when, as well as the quickest ways around the caldera.
As photographers, we wanted to maximize our short time in the park by getting around quickly. However, you choose the best route for you!
Mount Bromo “Jeep” Prices
Before we begin, these cars are actually not “jeeps”, but rather 1981 Toyota Land Cruisers. For the sake of this post, we will still refer to them as Jeeps because that’s what the locals call them!
Typically the Mount Bromo Jeep rental prices for range anywhere from Rp. 500,000 (about $40) to Rp. 750,000 (about $60).
There are hundreds of Jeeps staged in Cemoro Lawang, ready to drive you into the park. There is no need (or even way) to reserve them ahead of time. You must rent them once you arrive.
While you are deciding which Jeep to choose, several Mount Bromo drivers will confront you about riding in their Jeep. Never take the first offer.
We refused a guy and sat in a coffee shop for a good 20 minutes until he gave us a deal we liked ( Rp. 600,000 for the entire day).
In our group, 3 out of the 4 of us in our group spoke Javanese, and I (Emily) felt pretty certain we were getting a good deal.
If you don’t have common language on your side, arm yourself with as much knowledge possible about prices beforehand so you don’t get ripped off.
Places To Visit In Your Guide To Mount Bromo
1. Mount Penanjakan (Sunrise Lookout)
After getting your Jeep and paying for your Mt Bromo ticket, your driver will take you up the extremely steep climb to Mount Penanjakan – also called Viewpoint #1. This viewpoint is hands down the best place to see Mount Bromo at sunrise.
About halfway up the mountain road, you will get stopped by a giant clog of Jeeps. There’s just a tiny parking lot, so as the flood of Jeeps arrive at the top they just overflow park ON the street.
When we could go no further, our driver told us to take a picture of our license plate and remember the color of the Jeep. Then he sent us up the mountain road on our way to the top of Mount Penanjakan lookout.
Things To Remember About A Mount Bromo Sunrise: You will not be the only ones at the lookout. Expect hundreds of tourists, especially if you are going during a Muslim holiday. Mount Bromo is a very popular destination for families.
Other viewpoint locations to see the sunrise:
- King Kong Hill – If you are up for hiking in Mount Bromo, this is another great spot to watch the sunrise.
- Seruni Viewpoint (200 meter walk above Mount Penanjakan Lookout) AKA Viewpoint #2
- Bukit Cinta Viewpoint (about halfway up to Mount Penanjakan)
2. Climb To The Mount Bromo Volcano
Another popular destination on any Mount Bromo tour would be to look inside the smoking Mount Bromo volcano. Visitors are free to hike up the stairs on the side of the volcano and peer inside.
If you go, bring a bandana or something to cover your face. The mix of dust, sulfur, and sand can be overwhelming!
3. Drive Around “The Sea Of Sand”
While on your Mount Bromo itinerary, most of the time you will be driving from place to place inside the massive caldera, commonly referred to as The Sea of Sand.
Ever so often you’ll see a “tourist attraction” like horseback riding or food vendors between the viewpoints.
You can also choose to walk this, but it’s very dusty and desert-like, so be prepared!
Looking around in any direction in the park is stunning – just ask your driver to stop when you want to take a picture. In the pictures below, we stopped at the base of Mount Widodaren to watch the sun rise over the peak.
4. Teletubbies Hill
After a full morning of epic views, our driver asked: “Do you want to go see the Teletubbies Hill?” Did he seriously just say that??
Sure enough, after driving 20 minutes away from Cemoro Lawang on a dusty path, we were suddenly transported to a savannah in the middle of a volcanic caldera!
These rolling hills on our trip to Bromo are a pretty darn close replica of the children’s TV show location.
However, the most surprising part for us is the fact that this lush green landscape can share the same place as a smoking volcano with a desert-like climate.
Quick Tip: This place is very dusty despite all the greenery you see!
Bring a bandana and sunglasses to protect your face. This location also has very little shade (the only shade provided is one small structure that sells food) so bring a hat as well, or put on a lot of sunscreen.
Make sure to refer to our Indonesia packing list for more tips on what to bring!
Other Things To See On Your Guide To Mount Bromo:
BEWARE OF THESE BROMO SCAMS
“Fake” National Park Tickets.
If your trip is being arranged for you via a Mount Bromo tour package, avoid “pre-paying” for your ticket.
Some accommodations may request this, but then they’ll give you a fake pay stub instead. In return, you’ll face some trouble when you’re forced to pay a second time at the entrance. Demand to be taken to the Bromo ticket counter and pay yourself.
You Don’t Actually Need To Rent A Jeep.
You just can’t take your own car inside the park, though it is totally okay to walk into the park on foot.
Inside, you are also free to hire a motorbike to take you around or drive your own. But beware, it’s not easy. Especially if you’re hoping to catch the sunrise.
The ranger will stand by the entrance to “catch budget-friendly folks” or you’ll most likely come across locals who will try and convince you to ride in their Jeep. (They make a living taking people into the park).
Don’t Take Your First Jeep Offer.
Unless you are a Javanese-speaking local, drivers will hike up the price.
They will try to scare you into thinking that Jeep rentals will run out, but don’t believe them. You will always find a driver who is willing to drive you for cheaper.
“Shop around” a little bit until you find a price you’re comfortable with. Just don’t low ball them. A really good deal is still around Rp. 400,000-600,000 (~$30-$50).
The village of Cemoro Lawang lives off of tourists that visit Mount Bromo.
Here, you will be paying big bucks for proximity and convenience in accommodations.
In our opinion, it’s not really worth it. Save money and just get up a few hours earlier to make the drive from somewhere more budget-friendly – like Probolinggo or even Surabaya (like us).
How is our guide to Mount Bromo? What is the most exciting thing you have seen if you’ve been there? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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