Mount Bromo Sunrise In Indonesia: Volcano Crater Guide

by David & Intan

The Mount Bromo sunrise and volcano tour in Indonesia is easily one of the most amazing travel experiences you can have anywhere in the world.

Climbing the Mount Bromo crater in Java isn’t very hard and you get to look directly into a smoking volcano, complete with the nasty sulfur smell!

The first time we visited Mount Bromo in Indonesia, we did an independent road trip through East Java that included Mt Bromo and the Kawah Ijen crater, along with some epic waterfalls, before ending in Bali.

Our most recent visit was a bit different because we used a Mount Bromo tour package. This time we booked a one day tour from Surabaya to Mount Bromo, complete with a jeep ride around the volcano. We liked this even better.

Whether you use a tour package or not, the Mount Bromo volcano is a ‘bucket list’ item you shouldn’t miss on your journey through Asia, and you can even travel from Bali to Mount Bromo without much hassle.

This travel guide will explain how to go to Mount Bromo, where to stay, entrance fees, how to be safe, and everything else you need to know before you go!

Mount Bromo Sunrise Indonesia Volcano Crater Tour

The iconic volcano lineup at Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Bromo is the smoking crater on the far left. Semeru is the volcano erupting in the background.


 

Where Is Bromo?

Mount Bromo is an active volcano crater located in East Java, Indonesia.

It’s located between the cities of Malang, Surabaya, and Probolinggo, and you can visit it from any of those places.

The Bromo mountain is part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, where you can see a famous cluster of 5 volcanoes (including Bromo), and Java’s highest mountain Semeru puffing out smoke in the background.

Needless to say, these volcanoes are an incredible sight!

Mount Bromo Crater Sunrise East Java Indonesia Volcano Tour

Drone pic of the smoking Bromo crater


 

How To Visit Mount Bromo

The easiest way to visit Bromo is to fly to Malang or Surabaya, and then book a day tour or a multi-day trip from there. If you’re in Bali, you can also do it in the opposite direction, starting overland from Bali and then ending at Malang or Surabaya.

Bali has direct flights to and from Malang (MLG) and Surabaya (SUB) every day, and a one way ticket can be as cheap as 600k Rupiah ($40 USD). You can shop for flights to Malang or Surabaya at Skyscanner.

Once you arrive in Malang or Surabaya, it’s easy to book a day tour to Bromo or you can arrange everything yourself if you prefer. A full day tour is enough time to see all the highlights of the park.

We normally like to do things without a tour, but this is one case where I think the tour is definitely a good idea. Mt Bromo is a bucket list item and you want to do it justice.

A tour lets you do extra activities like Jeep riding around the volcano, and it really doesn’t cost a whole lot more when you total everything up, plus you don’t have to hassle with buses, etc.
 

Best Mount Bromo Tour Package

Here’s a top rated Mount Bromo day tour package with Klook starting from Surabaya or Malang.

You can book this as a private tour or shared tour, and it includes all of the highlights like the Mount Bromo sunrise, jeep ride in the sea of sand, optional horse ride, Mount Bromo crater hike at the volcano, and you can also add the Madakaripura Waterfall as a bonus to the itinerary.

If you’re wanting to do a multi-day trip, Klook has overland tours to Bromo and Ijen from Bali with guides, accommodation, and other expenses included. You can even add on a visit to the Tumpak Sewu waterfall.

We’ve used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great. Highly recommended!

Book Now: Mount Bromo Day Tour / 2D1N Ijen Combo / Overland Tour From Bali

Mount Bromo Volcano Indonesia Jeep Tour

Jeeping around the volcano is one of the highlights of a Mount Bromo tour package

Mount Bromo Crater Drone

Another drone pic

Mount Bromo Crater

Looking down into a smoking volcano


 

Where To Stay

In East Java you have the option of basing yourself in Surabaya, Malang, Probolinggo, or Mount Bromo itself (Cemoro Lawang village).

Surabaya has the most comfy hotels since it’s a major city in Indonesia, and Malang has some great options too. Probolinggo is smaller, but also has a few good hotel options.

Here are some of our top hotel recommendations below for the city of Surabaya, which is where we stayed on our last trip to Mount Bromo.
 

Surabaya Hotels

 

Staying At Bromo

If you want to stay really close to the action, there are some Bromo hotels at Cemoro Lawang village but they tend to be pretty basic, and a bit overpriced for what you get.

Cemoro Lawang is generally not a fun place to stay because it’s very undeveloped and hasn’t caught up to mass tourism at Bromo yet. That may change someday, but for now, most of the budget friendly hotel options at Cemoro Lawang are really rough.

Our top recommendations there would be Cahyo Homestay Bromo, Good Karma Guesthouse, or Guesthouse Gunung Bromo. Again, don’t expect luxury.

You can see the highlights of Mount Bromo in one full day tour, so it’s not really necessary to stay there longer unless you’re a serious photographer or just want more time exploring the area.
 

Best Things To Do At Mount Bromo

• Mount Bromo Sunrise

First things first — witness the famous Mount Bromo sunrise from above the volcanoes!

Before you start exploring the Bromo mountain up close, you have to see the sunrise from the top of the caldera. Every Mount Bromo tour package starts like this, and for good reason.

It’s probably one of the best places in the world to watch the sunrise. The colors are amazing, and on a clear day you can see all the way to Mount Argopuro in the east.

Mount Bromo Sunrise

Mount Bromo Sunrise

Mount Bromo Sunrise
 
 

• Mount Bromo Volcanoes Viewpoint

The viewpoints on the north side of the caldera are where you can get those iconic pics of the Bromo volcano cluster.

Your main options are Seruni Point, King Kong Hill, Bukit Perahu, Bukit Cinta, or the highest viewpoint Penanjakan. You can click each of these links for map coordinates.

To be honest, there is very little difference between these viewpoints and the only reason so many of them exist is to help space out the crowds at Bromo, which can be pretty crazy (especially on weekends).

In other words, don’t worry about which viewpoint you go to — they’re all amazing, so just enjoy the epic scenery! Photography here in the early morning is ideal because you’ll get nice shadows and atmospheric fog around the Bromo mountain complex.

Mount Bromo Sunrise Indonesia Volcano Crater Tour

Cemoro Lawang Fog

Mount Bromo Drone Java Indonesia Volcano Crater Tour
 
 

• Sea of Sand

After sunrise, the next stop is the ‘sea of sand’ at the bottom of the caldera. The locals call it Lautan Pasir, which means the same thing in Bahasa Indonesia.

This is a really neat place and you’ll need to pass through it anyway to reach the Bromo crater. You can explore the sea of sand by Jeep, horse, or motorbike.

It’s a perfect photo spot with the steep ridges of the Mount Widodaren volcano in the background.

Mount Bromo Volcano Indonesia Jeep Tour

Mount Bromo Jeep Tour

Mount Bromo Horseback Riding

Horseback riding


 

• Mount Bromo Crater Hike

Possibly the most amazing thing to do at the Bromo mountain complex is the hike to the top of the smoking volcano crater.

The full hike to the top of the Mount Bromo crater (starting from the sea of sand) takes about 1 hour, although you can speed it up if you ride a horse partway.

The last part of the hike has to be done on foot, and it’s a short but steep climb up a concrete stairway to the top of the crater. It’s not too hard for non-hikers, and even kids can do it.

Be careful at the top because there’s not much of a safety railing, and on a windy day it has nasty sulfur fumes that are hard to breathe. Generally you can’t see red lava here, but you can peek right into the smoking crater of the active volcano!

Mount Bromo Crater Drone

Mount Bromo Crater Hike

Mount Bromo Crater
 
 

Is The Volcano Safe?

Mount Bromo is generally safe to visit, but it’s a good idea to check the current status before you make plans, otherwise you may not get the full experience if part of the park is closed.

There were eruptions in 2010, 2015, and 2019. Usually no one is hurt, and you can still get some great views from a distance, but at the very least they may close access to the Mount Bromo crater hike, because during a 2004 eruption two tourists were killed by flying rocks there.

Nowadays, the area is closely monitored and they have earthquake detectors underground to anticipate any volcanic activity from Bromo.

No one has been hurt by the volcano in almost 20 years, and it gets close to 1 million visitors per year, so overall the safety record is pretty good.

Mount Bromo Sunrise East Java Indonesia Volcano Crater Tour

Mount Bromo Crater Hike

Mount Bromo Sunrise Indonesia Volcano Crater Tour
 
 

Mount Bromo Entrance Fee

  • Weekdays: 220k IDR (~$15 USD) / person / day
  • Weekends: 320k IDR (~$21 USD) / person / day

These Mount Bromo entrance fees are current as of 2024.

It’s a bit pricey by Indonesian standards, and I wish they would at least make the tickets last longer (like 3 days) so you could get more bang for your buck.
 

Weather / Climate — How Cold Is Bromo?

Even though this is Indonesia, Mount Bromo and Cemoro Lawang can be pretty chilly before sunrise since they’re 2,329 meters (7,641 ft) above sea level, and the sunrise viewpoints are even higher!

The elevation at the Penanjakan viewpoint is a whopping 2,770 meters (9,088 ft). For Indonesia that’s unusually high.

Temperatures can drop below 7 Celsius (45 F), and that doesn’t even factor in wind chill. It can get incredibly windy on the mountain peaks, and dry season is cooler than rainy season.

However, you’ll only be chilly before sunrise. After that it warms up pretty quick, and the sun at this elevation is plenty strong.

If you’re too cold at Mt.Bromo while waiting for sunrise, you can also rent a jacket at your hotel, or rent a jacket from one of the many small local shops near the sunrise viewpoints.

Mount Batok Drone

Mount Batok is an extinct volcano in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

Bromo Caldera

Inside the caldera

Volcano X-ing Sign

Volcano X-ing


 

What To Bring

  • Jacket: This is essential for sunrise because it can be very chilly. After sunrise, you’ll want to shed the jacket.
  • Footwear: Regular shoes are fine, but sturdy hiking shoes are better for the Mount Bromo hike. If you go to the crater, you’ll be walking on slippery gravel and steep inclines or declines at times.
  • Sunglasses: Can be good to protect your eyes from sandstorms in the sea of sand.
  • Poncho: If you visit Mount Bromo during the rainy season in Indonesia (especially December to February), you might want to bring a rain jacket just in case.
  • Snacks: Even though most Mount Bromo tours include free breakfast, it’s skimpy and you’ll probably be wanting energy snacks to go with it.
  • Headlight: This is useful for hiking before sunrise, especially if you plan to do the Mt Bromo hike without a tour guide.
  • Camera: Mandatory! A small tripod could be handy too since it’ll be dark before the Mount Bromo sunrise.
  • Drone: So far, there aren’t any rules against flying a drone at the Mt Bromo volcano, although I wouldn’t recommend doing it at the sunrise point since it’s so crowded. Once you go down to the Sea of Sand, there’s a lot of wide open space to fly without bothering people.

Mount Batok Drone

The stubby peak of Mount Batok


 

Best Month To Visit

There’s not really a best month to visit Mount Bromo, although any time in the dry season is definitely ideal.

Indonesia’s dry season runs from April to November, and during this time there’s less rain and the mountain visibility is best. This applies to East Java too.

You can still visit Mount Bromo during the rainy season in East Java (December to March), but if it’s cloudy you may miss the sunrise and the iconic view of the volcanoes, so it’s not ideal.

With that said, both of the times we went to Bromo were technically on the tail end of the rainy season, and we still had perfect weather, so don’t write it off completely.

In general, it’s hard to avoid the crowds at Mount Bromo because this place has become a bucket list item for so many people. Definitely try to avoid weekends and public holidays, because the park can get especially crowded during those times.

If you want to see an active volcano in Indonesia without any crowds, check out Mount Dukono in North Maluku. This one is more remote than Bromo and requires a harder hike to reach, but it’s spectacular and you might have it all to yourself!

White flower

Cemoro Lawang Fog       Bromo Horseback Riding
 
 

Is Mount Bromo Open / Closed?

Yes, Mount Bromo is currently open for tourists as of 2024! I’ll update this travel guide if anything changes.

The mountain is rarely closed to the public, and that would only happen temporarily if there’s some kind of special ceremony, or if there’s unusual volcanic activity or other safety concerns.

Mount Bromo will be briefly closed for Wulan Kapitu (January 9-10, 2024), Silent Day (March 11-12, 2024), and Yadnya Kasada (July 6-7, 2024), and again for Wulan Kapitu (December dates TBA, 2024).

You can also check on status updates for all of Indonesia’s volcanoes at Magma Indonesia.

Happy travels!
 

More Things To See Near Bromo

There are lots of good things to see and do near Mount Bromo in East Java, Indonesia, including the spectacular Tumpak Sewu Waterfall and a bunch of other nice waterfalls near Malang and Probolinggo.

After visiting Mt Bromo, most travelers head on to Kawah Ijen, a spectacular crater lake on the eastern end of Java island.

You could even climb Mount Semeru, which is Java’s tallest mountain. It’s the volcano peak you see erupting in the distance behind the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.

Don’t forget to check out my 1-Week Java itinerary for more ideas of what to do in East Java and Central Java!

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall is another popular sight near Malang


 

Mount Bromo vs Kawah Ijen: Which Is Better?

So which is better, Mount Bromo or Kawah Ijen? And if you only have time to see one of them, which should it be? That’s not an easy question, actually.

In my opinion, Bromo has a more spectacular landscape, and you get to look into a smoking volcano crater. The hiking is also easier compared to Ijen, and it’s closer to a major airport (Surabaya), although the drive from town is longer.

On the other hand, Mount Ijen has the world’s biggest acid lake, with a spectacular turquoise color, and you can also see the ‘blue fire’ phenomenon if you go there at night. Ijen also has the advantage of being closer to Bali, and closer to a town (Banyuwangi).

Overall, it’s hard to choose between Mount Bromo vs Kawah Ijen. I lean toward Bromo as my favorite, but that’s just my opinion and I’m sure plenty of people would disagree with me. If you have time, definitely try to see both places in East Java!

Read More: Kawah Ijen Volcano

Kawah Ijen Mount Bromo Java Indonesia

After visiting Mount Bromo, most travelers go to the spectacular crater lake of Kawah Ijen in East Java.


 

More Indonesia Travel Guides

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this Mount Bromo travel guide.

Seeing the sunrise viewpoint and Mt Bromo volcano tour was one of the best parts of our visit to East Java, Indonesia.

While you’re visiting Mount Bromo, don’t forget to check out my Kawah Ijen guide, as well as my complete Indonesia Travel Guide with more tips, info, and photos!
 

See Also

 
Pinterest Mount Bromo Guide

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7 comments

Sujay Saple June 14, 2023 - 6:36 am

Hi David.
Hope you’re well.
My name is Sujay, I’m from Mumbai, India – and I’ve been planning a trip to Bali and Java for the past few months to come hike a few volcanic mountains and shoot some videos for a personal art project. I’ve been reading your blog a lot and have really enjoyed the pics and details – very helpful.
However, just 5 days before I was arrive in Bali, I heard the news that the Bali government, just last week, has banned entry to ALL mountains for tourists and locals alike.
I was wondering if you know anything about this – is the ban in effect and super strict? Or are there guides still taking tourists on hikes?

The ban is specifically for the province of Bali and whatever places comes under its jurisdiction – I think this includes east Java too.
I wanted to know if trips to Mt. Bromo and Kawah Ijen are still happening or these sites are also banned from climbing?

Are there any other active/smoking volcanoes outside of the official Bali province which you’d recommend? I was also looking at visiting smoking lava fields, hot springs etc…

I’m already here in Bali, so it would be great if I hear back soon!

Thanks so very much.
Looking forward,
Sujay

Reply
David & Intan June 14, 2023 - 4:47 pm

Hi Sujay, thanks for your comment. I just replied on email. The Bali mountain ban being pushed by the governor is not in effect at the moment, and I think it’s very unlikely it will happen. In any case, it wouldn’t affect any of the mountains in Java, including Mount Bromo and Kawah Ijen. Good luck on your trip!

Reply
Kelsey July 20, 2023 - 5:54 pm

Hello!

Could you please elaborate on: “and you can even travel from Bali to Mount Bromo without much hassle.” If we want to travel overland from Malang to Bali, what would be the best way to do so?

Reply
David & Intan July 20, 2023 - 7:12 pm

Hi Kelsey! We hired a private driver and did a road trip starting from Malang and ending in Bali. We saw a bunch of waterfalls near Malang, and then did Bromo and Ijen on the way to Bali. You can see some of our itinerary ideas here.

If you want to simplify it, Klook has multi-day tours to Bromo and Ijen from Bali with guides, accommodation, and other expenses included.

Before covid there were also direct flights from Bali to Malang (and vice versa), but right now the only flight options are Yogyakarta or Surabaya. Good luck! I’m happy to answer any questions.

Reply
Max September 18, 2023 - 10:50 pm

Love the post, lots of great information please keep updated….

Reply
Paula Yeoh September 19, 2023 - 11:26 pm

Hi David, my name is Paula and I be travelling to Surabaya over this weekend for a Bromo Crater hike. Heard this was an off limit activity since the fire. Wonder if this ban has been lifted and if there is anywhere online that I can check for this update? By the way, thanks so much for sharing your journeys and beautiful pictures.

Reply
David & Intan September 20, 2023 - 2:55 am

Hi Paula! Thanks for your comment. Bromo officially re-opened for tourism yesterday (September 19). I haven’t heard if that includes the crater hike, but I would think it’s open as well. The fire is already extinguished. Good luck!

Reply

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