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 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!
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!
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!
Where To Stay
In East Java you have the option of basing yourself in Surabaya, Malang, Probolinggo, or Mount Bromo itself (Cemoro Lawang village).
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.
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.
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 Volcanoes Viewpoint
The viewpoints on the north side of the caldera are where you can get those iconic pics of the Bromo volcano cluster.
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.
• 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 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!
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 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 2023.
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.
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.
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!
Is Mount Bromo Open / Closed?
Yes, Mount Bromo is currently open for tourists as of November 2023! I’ll update this travel guide if anything changes. Mount Bromo was temporarily closed on September 7 because of wildfires in the area, but it officially re-opened for tourists on September 19, 2023.
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 closed for Wulan Kapitu on December 12-13, 2023 and January 9-10, 2023. Seasonally, it’s also briefly closed every year for Silent Day (March 11-12, 2024) and Yadnya Kasada (July 6-7, 2024).
You can also check on status updates for all of Indonesia’s volcanoes at Magma Indonesia.
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!
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
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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.
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