A trip to Mount Bromo in East Java is something that no self-respecting traveler who visits the area should skip or miss out on.

Where else in the world can you hike up into the clouds (literally) and stand at the edge of a smoldering volcano and watch the sky change through multiple colors as the sun rises?

Nowhere!

Mount Bromo is one of the most powerful and impressive natural sights Indonesia has to offer. It’s made all the better by the fact that the Indonesian people know how awesome it is, and know how much people love it, so have made it incredibly easy to reach and access despite the fact it’s in the middle of nowhere.

To get there all you have to do is walk into any tour center in Surabaya, the capital city of East Java and the place most people arrange a Bromo excursion from and ask them to set it up. Shuttle buses leave every day, and the whole trip out there shouldn’t cost you no more than $30, including the price of a ticket to access the park.

Most tours involve an overnight stay at a guesthouse near the park since the vast majority of people want to see the fabled and infamous Bromo sunrise. You’ll stay in a  traditional Javanese guesthouse in the heart of the mountains, which is something worth doing in itself! This should cost around $10 or $130,000rb. Be prepared to get up early (like 2:30am early) if you want to catch the sunrise.

Sunrise

Your tour guide will take you to the park, and you’ll begin the climb early so that you can arrive at the best vantage point to watch the sunrise over the volcano itself. Those who don’t feel up for a hike at that time of the morning or who are physically unable to complete it, worry not, there are plenty of local men with donkeys who will gladly escort you up for about $5 or 75,000rb.

Those not wanting to take a donkey might find these a little annoying as they try to hassle you slightly. Just remember the phrase “Tidak mau, terimah kasih” and you’ll get rid of them a lot quicker.

Once you get there, then the magic begins. The sun rises over a scene of rice paddies, volcanoes, and mountains, the colors of both the sky and the landscape changing to multiple shades of green, blue, orange, purple and everything in between. It’s something that’s impossible to describe, but will make you say “This is why I got up at this ungodly hour and trekked up a mountain”.

It’s worth it! You’ll even get to look over the edge of one of the other volcanoes with is still smoldering, and see the bowels of mother earth herself emit her haunting, unforgiving steams and gasses.

Nature fetishists take note: This may be the most staggering display of mother earth’s powerful beauty in Indonesia. Bring your camera, because no two sunrises are the same, and a trip to Mount Bromo is very likely a once in a lifetime experience!

Then it’s back in the van, off to a delicious lunch, and then off to the next destination for more Indonesian adventure and intrigue!