You’ve always dreamed of climbing up an active volcano? Looking for some fresh air in the mountains? Gunung Bromo is where you need to go. It’s an amazing destination if you want to see something different. It is relatively easy as you can choose to walk or use jeeps or motorbikes to go the viewpoints and crater. It’s not a difficult walk. However, there is a lot of dust and sand when it’s windy so it’s probably wise not to go with infants of small children.

It is feasible in 2 days if you cannot take an extra day. Because of the flights timing, it’s probably better to take an extra day off. Gunung Bromo is an active volcano. Check the situation on the Indahnesia website before going.

Singapore to Mount Bromo journey details

Connections with this trip

If you have more time, go visit  Kawa Ijen (another amazing volcano). If you are looking for real challenging trek, climb nearby Mount Semeru. If you are in need for spirituality go visit Yogyakarta and its temples. You can also get a flight to Bali and explore the North or the South.

Getting from Singapore to Surabaya airport

There are direct flights from Singapore (SIN) to Surabaya Juanda International airport (SUB).
Jetstar, Valuair, Garuda, Tigerair, China Airlines and Airasia fly there.

Getting there: China Eastern – Singapore to Surabaya: 9:45 PM – 11 PM (2h20 flight)
Coming back: Jetstar / Valuair- Surabaya to Singapore: 1.15 PM – 4.3 PM AM
Return tickets from SGD 250.

You can also fly there on the Saturday morning (Tiger 11.40 AM).

Get your ticket NOW to enjoy the best fares.



There are 2 terminals at Surabaya airport.

Terminal 1, the old terminal, offers some limited food options. The only international brands are KFC and Dunkin Donut. Money change is available. There is only one bar after checking in. Free and slow wifi is available after check in. There is a new Hotel Ibis budget in the airport (convenient if you want to sleep there and take a car early the next morning). The great news is: there are Roti’O outlets!

Terminal 2, the brand new (2014) terminal. There is no sitting area before check in but you can find a food court, a Carl’s Junior, a Roti’O and a Starbucks before checking. As often in Indonesia, the airport seems to be quite popular with locals who come and enjoy the shops and restaurants. A Burger King and a Starbucks are located after check in. Free (and slow) wifi is available after check in. There is a small duty free area with some international brands (Lacoste, etc). There is a pre paid taxi counter where you can arrange your transfer. You will also find drivers who offer you to go to the key attractions (Bromo, Ijen).

If you need to transfer between the 2 terminals, let’s stay to go sleep at Ibis Budget in terminal 1,  you can take a taxi (counter in terminal 2). The transfer will cost you IDR 45,000 and takes about 15 minutes.

 

Getting from Surabaya to Mount Bromo

If you are going for 2 days only, it’s probably wise to take a private car to optimize your time there.  Of course, a private car will be easier, faster, more comfortable, more reliable but also more expensive. The public transportation is also an option if you have more time or a tight budget.

  • By private car

From Surabaya Airport to Cemara Lawang – 3.5 hours – IDR 600,000 for a car (up to 4 pax + driver). I would highly recommend Rani from Rani Adventure Tour and Homestay. You can contact her on our behalf at info@raniadventure.com,  +62 341 787329, +6285649808479.  She will charge you IDR 600,000, per way and per car for the airport transfer by private car with driver. Alternatively, you can book a private car via Cemara Indah Hotel, they arrange pick up to the airport up to 10 pax group. Contact details: info@hotelcemaraindah.com, +62335541019 or +6281336338844 (Mobile).

  • By public transportation

The journey will take you around 5 hours if you’re lucky with the connections. Transport may not be available at all times of the day -especially the last leg, so ask around. You will need to take 3 buses.

  1. Public bus from the airport to bus terminal (go to domestic terminal to catch the bus they run more often there) -20 minutes – IDR 12000.
  2. Public bus from Surabaya bus terminal to Probolinggo – 3 hours – IDR 22000
  3. Charter bus from Probolinggo to Cemara Lawang. You will need to arrange this last leg with an agency. There are some next to the bus stop in Probolinggo. You may have to wait until the bus is full before it goes. – 1 hour -IDR 75000 if late.

Where to stay in Mount Bromo

If you want to be able to go to the viewpoint on foot, it’s best to stay in Cemara Lawang from where you can walk directly. If you stay somewhere else (lower in the valley), you will need to arrange a transport between your stay and Cemara Lawang. There are about 10 small hotels and a few homestays. No luxury accommodation is available there. But it’s not an issue since anyway, your nights will be short.  All hotels are actually pretty basic and poorly maintained and managed. You can book a room at the Cemara Indah Hotel to get a great view over the Bromo. Also check the Cafe Lava or Lava View hotels (decent but with no view). Most hotels are not available through the large booking platforms (Agoda or Booking.com). Also, some of them are wrongly positioned on the maps do double check that the hotel you are booking is in Cemera Lawang. Finally, some names are confusing so double check you are booking a room at the hotel you intend to stay at!

If you prefer you can book with

To see & to do in Mount Bromo

If you have limited time, going to the viewpoint and climbing up the crater should be your main activities. If you have more time you can also explore a bit around the volcano.

Viewpoint

View of the Bromo, Batok and surrounding area – and Semeru in the background. You have 3 options:

1. Walk to Viewpoint 2 (lower) – Walk for 1 hour  and a half on a dirt road. The road starts close (West) to the Cemara Indah Hotel. It’s relatively easy to find. Go check the first few meters of the path during day time if you can so that you know where to go (you will most likely walk by night). The “viewpoint” is actually an ugly concrete shelter.

2. Walk to Viewpoint 1 (higher)  Mount Penanjakan.   Go to viewpoint 2 and then continue on a small, more difficult path (especially at night) at the begining until you reach the road. Remember where the path connects with the road so that you can find it on your way back. The walk from Viewpoint 2 to viewpoint 1 will take you about another hour.

3. Rent a jeep to get a tour to Viewpoint 1 and then to the Bromo crater – IDR 100 000 per pax or IDR 350 000 for a jeep You can find more details about the short trek on the wikivoyage page. The sun rises between 5 and 5.15 so you will to leave your hotel early in the morning if you want to be at the viewpoint for the sunrise. Make sure you confirm with the driver that he will take you to the point. Sometimes they pretend the road is too damaged to be used and take you somewhere else.

Climb the Bromo Crater

If you are walking (above options 1 or 2), spot the path that goes down, crosses the sand plain and gets you to the base of the Bromo Crater. To go up the Bromo you will need to climb the 250 steps stairs. Note: by taking this path, you will not go through the park office. Make sure you stop by on your way back to pay your entrance fees (IDR 25,000 per person). On the way, you will enjoy a very nice view of the Bromo and caldeira. If it’s windy, you might get sand in your face on the way. When you reach the crater, expect smoke and a suffer smell. On your way back from Bromo to Cerama Lawang you can either walk, take a horse (IDR 40000) or a motor or jeep back. If you take your time and go to the viewpoint and Bromo Crater (option 1,2 or 3), you can be back before 10 am to enjoy a breakfast at your hotel (Check the breakfast time with your hotel/home-stay)

Batok

You can also climb Mount Batok (the green mountain next to the Bromo). Around 1,5 hour to go up. Ask for the way before starting.

Ranu Pane

You can rent a motor IDR 130 000 with driver to Lake Ranu Pane. 1 hour on sand, dirt and scary road but you will be rewarded with amazing views of the sand plain, fields and villages. The lakes themselves are nothing extraordinary but the trip is worth the ride. Note: the ride is intense. Make sure you are well equipped (mask, glasses, ask for a helmet) and that you pick a good driver. Do not plan to drive yourself unless you are a Paris-Dakar veteran (seriously). You can also get a jeep to take you there. Probably a more reasonable option. Walk around the village and go up a bit on the way to the Semeru and see the nice plantations. The main road is not very nice so it’s a good idea to get lost around the village on the hills. You can always ask your way back to the main road the guide house or the carpark to find transportation or food.

Waterfall

From the Lake Ranu Pane, you can continue for 1 hour and go see waterfalls. 1 hour from Lake Ranu Pane to Waterfall. 1 hour from the waterfalls back to Cemera Langwag (making a loop rather than going back the same road).

Walk around the village

If you have some free time, talk a walk around the village. Take one of the small paths off the main street. If you turn to your left when going downhill, you will be able to see local life and nice fields.

Comments You will need to pick your activities as all will not be feasible in one day. Assume your day starts around 3AM and consider the fact it is dark at around 6PM. The sky is usually clear in the early morning and can get cloudy in the afternoon. Plan to see the sunrise from the viewpoint in the morning. If you want to head to Yogyakarta after spending some time at Mount Bromo, you can book a private car calling Otto +628122778100, 6-seater van available. ~ 550 000 IDR / day.

More info to prepare your trip

Wifi is available at a few locations. It is free (but slow) at Cemera Indah Hotel

What to pack for Mount Bromo

The village is at 2200 m above sea level and you will be up in the night. Take some warm clothes. Take surgical masks (for the dust). Jacket, hat, scarf, surgical masks are available for sale at Cemara Lawang. When windy, there is a lot of dust, sand in the air. Make sure your camera and IT equipment are not too exposed. Clean with an air blower to avoid scratches on the lenses.

Trekking pack

If you are going to trek, chances are you will have to carry all your stuff all the way. So you want to be pick all you need but just what you need. Every gram in your bag is a extra weight on your back. 

  • Short sleeves tops: your main outfit. Everybody will see them on all your pictures. You really want to take that old Mickey Mouse T-shirt?
  • Long sleeves tops: to protect yourself from the sun or to enter religious buildings or to protect yourself from mosquitoes in the evening.
  • Pullover. Temperatures can be freezing when you climb up volcanoes or mountains. Above 2000 meters, even in the hottest countries, it is usually cold.
  • Short/skirt (you should be able to chose the appropriate one by yourself).
  • Trousers for the same reasons you need to take long sleeves tops. Jeans are usually not a good option. They are heavy and keep you too warm. They are also not comfortable to walk. Trekking pants are best.
  • Underwear: Cotton is good.
  • Shoes: take a pair of flip flap on top of your of (good) trekking shoes. Remember that you are going to spend most of the time on your feet. If your shoes are new, make sure you use them before you go for your trek.
  • Swimsuit: even if you don’t plan to go to the beach, you never know. A nice river, a swimming pool, a heavy rain? Always have one with you.
  • Rain / wind jacket
  • Jacket inner fleece or dawn
  • Cover for your bag. Even if you are visiting the country during the “best season”, you never know what the sky will be like.
  • Torch / lamp: head or pocket lamp with you. It comes handy when walking by night or in a tent.
  • Toilet bag: Shampoo, soap, toothbrush & toothpath, deodorant, sun screen, tiger balm, wet tissues, . Ideally, all these in miniature formats.
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Warm sleeping pants, jumper and socks if you plan to camp in altitude.
  • Your IT stuff: iPad, eBook, laptop, memory card, batteries, etc. Check if you will have power on the way to size the battery you need.
  • Camera and its protection.
  • Dryer sheets: they will help keep a fresh smell in your bag.
  • Your passportcashcredit cards and other life saving items like your insurance card with emergency contact details. 
  • Your driver licence if you plan to rent a car or a motorbike (some countries are quite particular about this so take it with you in case you are not sure, even for a motorbike rental).
  • Your emergency medical kit: painkillers, mosquitoes repellent, dressing/plaster, disinfectant, anti diarrhea, eyewash, blister tape
  • Tissues and toilet paper (you will thank me later). Remember that in a lot of countries, you will not be provided napkins when having a meal.
  • Water – plastic bottles are a good option as they are lighter than a gourd/flask.
  • Biscuits (always buy some before you go when you are not sure what you will find. Always have “emergency” biscuit  and water in case you cannot find food around and need to recharge batteries)
  • Sunglasses: you’ll need them. Take them even if it’s raining. Weather can change very fast in the region.
  • Scarf (krama, or any kind of fabric that you can use to put around your neck, put on your head to protect it from the sun, cover your shoulders in temples, dry your sweat, etc). Can come very handy in some situation. It will not stay clean for long so it’s wise to pick a dark color…
  • Hat protect your head and face from the sun and heat or cold
  • Gloves (only if you plan to stay in high altitude or cold weather)
  • Trekking poles if you are going for a serious trek. If you don’t have some, ask the guide or porter if they can make some for you out of wood or bamboo.

It’s a good idea to put your key documents and IT equipment in freezer bags (zip-lock bag)  to protect them from the rain in case you get drenched. Pack a few plastic bags. They come handy to pack your dirty laundry

You will probably adjust the content of you bag after a few trips. Remove the stuff that you have not used and add the one that you missed. Post a comment to share your tips! Happy packing (it’s the worse part of the trip but it’s worth it…) and travelling!

Indonesia

Flag of Indonesia

  • Language: Bahasa Indonesian
  • Time zone: Jakarta, Sulawesi: GMT + 7, 1h ahead of Singapore;
    Bali has no time difference with Singapore
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
  • Phone: + 62
  • Electricity: 220V 50 Hz

Immigration and airport taxes on arrival

  • If you are eligible you will need to pay for a visa on arrival. The price is USD 25 or the equivalent in other currencies. It is valid for 30 days. Check as it may vary (some airports charge 22 EUR, some others 25 EUR).
  • If you travel to Bintan, Batam, or Karimun, you can get a 7 day Visa on Arrival for USD 10.
  • On busy weekends, expect to wait for quite a while at the immigration counter.
  • Make sure your notes are perfectly clean and without any note or stain. USD bills must be from 2003 or more recent. Coins are not accepted. Change (if any) is given in Ruppiah.
  • On departure, you will need to pay the airport fees. These fees are not included in your tickets when you book your trip (hence the price difference between the inbound and outbound flights to Indonesia). They vary from one airport to the other. They are usually around IDR 150,000 per person. You need to pay these in Rupiah

National Public Holidays in Indonesia

2015

Day Date Holiday
Thursday January 01 New Years Day
Saturday January 03 Maulidur Rasul
Thursday February 19 Chinese New Year
Saturday March 21 Hari Raya Nyepi
Friday April 03 Good Friday
Friday May 01 Labour Day
Thursday May 14 Ascension Day
Saturday May 16 Isra Miraj
Tuesday June 02 Waisak Day
Thursday July 16 Cuti Bersama
Friday July 17 Hari Raya Puasa
Saturday July 18 Hari Raya Puasa
Monday July 20 Cuti Bersama
Tuesday July 21 Cuti Bersama
Monday August 17 Independence Day
Thursday September 24 Idul Adha
Wednesday October 14 Muharram
Thursday December 24 Cuti Bersama
Friday December 25 Christmas Day

* check the exact date as it varies from one year to another, check this website for other years.When Public Holidays falls on a Sunday, the following day will be Public Holiday.