Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park have known all over the world. It covers a massive area of 800 km in the center of East Java, Indonesia. For everyone with an interest in volcanoes, a visit to the park is a must. This is the largest volcanic region in the province. Visit the park and see the plumes of smoke coming from Mt Semeru, an active volcano which rises 3,676 meters above sea level. Experience the remarkable Tengger Caldera, Java’s largest, with 10 km barren desert-like sea of sand. Within the caldera rise the deeply fissured volcanic cones of Batok and Bromo, the latter is still active with a cavernous crater from which smoke blows skyward. Temperatures at the top of Mt Bromo range about 5-18 degrees Celcius. Our eyes will also completed by the sea of sand that the way to reach Bromo’s peak.
The main gate to the sea of sand and mount Bromo is through Cemorolawang. This is the most crowded visiting area, espesially on holidays. There are many kinds activities that could be carried on this area such as; Camping, watching the scenery, horse riding to sea of sand or walking.
Mt Bromo has settled by Tenggerese for about thousands years. They who are good of God follower and always do their custom strickly, has historical relationship with Majapahit. The Antropologist from our country or other country are interesting to do some research, because the Tenggerese are strickly in keeping custom for centuries, without influenced by world’s change. So there so many version of the unique of Tenggerese on the slopes of mountain , it can be in the forth of tale, folktale, serat and kidung, legend and science report.
See & Do
Penanjakan viewpoint and Bromo volcano 4WD trip – Most tourists take this trip as part of a package tour, but it can also be booked on the spot in Cemoro Lawang, Ngadisari and Tosari (as long as jeeps are available, which may not be the case on peak days). Most Toyota land-cruisers belong to the village cooperation. The cooperation has set the price and the amount the driver receives. Some land-cruisers are privately owned but will charge the same price. Wake-up call is usually at 3.30am, in order to leave at 4.00am and to arrive at Penanjakan viewpoint before sunrise. After viewing the sun rise and picture taking, the land-cruiser takes one to the parking at the foot of Bromo volcano, and will wait for its passengers to return. One is back for breakfast at the hotel around 9.00am.
Penanjakan viewpoint is small and around sunrise even on workdays tends to be crowded, with people jostling for the best spots for picture taking. If one would forego the sunrise and go there after breakfast, one has the place for oneself. With the added advantage that then there is no shortage of 4WDs. The Penanjakan viewpoint can be reached by sedan car, but it stands to reason that the villagers do not like people doing that. And if one should be as foolish as to enter the sand sea without a 4WD and get stuck, one would have to pay heavily for help to get pulled out.
The southern part of the caldera, where the sand sea makes place for some vegetation is referred to as the Savannah (Indonesian Savana). In the right season, February through April, it may even be a sea of yellow fennel flowers (foeniculum vulgare). However, the Javanese edelweiss (anaphelis javanica) is not found there any more. A bunch of edelweiss used to be offered for sale to tourists, who could then throw it as an offering into the crater. Mass tourism caused the shrub to become extinct in the caldera, though it still can be found on mountains elsewhere in Java. The Savana can be visited as an extra to the usual 4WD tour.
The Widodaren Caves
The Widodaren Caves are seldom visited by tourists. They are located below Widodaren peak, which is located south of Batok mountain, hidden from view at Cemoro Lawang. An unexperienced driver may have to ask advice for the right way. The 4WD brings one to the start of a footpath, which takes about 20 minutes to ascend. The two caves, close together, are sacred places for the Hindu population, because they are the only sources of water in the whole caldera. Once a year, in May, people gather there for a religious celebration. From the vantage point of the caves one has a great view of the sea of sand.
Coban Pelangi waterfall
The first of several waterfalls that can be accessed from the road to Bromo via Ngadas. Coban is the local word for waterfall and Pelangi means rainbow. When the sun shines into the ravine at the right angle, the rainbow appears. From the parking a 1.5 kilometre footpath leads down across the river and then uphill to the foot of the 30-metre waterfall. Unfortunately the water falls among big rocks, no chance to take a dip.
Ranu Pani and Ranu Regulo mountain lakes
Ranupani village (2,200 metres) named after the lake of the same name is the starting point for everyone who wants to climb Java’s highest volcano, Gunung Semeru (3,676 metres). The villagers depend on the lake for water, but regrettably the lake shore on the village side is not devoid of litter. A ten minutes’ walk brings one to Ranu Regulo, unspoiled within its green borders. The inhabitants of Tengger Caldera traditionally are Hindu. Ranupani has a Hindu temple reminiscent of Bali. There is a cluster of guesthouses for climbers of Semeru volcano.
Semeru Volcano – Most of Java’s volcanoes, like Merapi and Lawu, can be climbed in a weekend outing without special gear. Semeru Volcano is a different matter. The trail is not hard – except for de ascent of the cone , but it is long. The expedition takes four days and one must be prepared to camp at sub-zero temperatures. For more information and maybe joining a trip, see the JavaLava website.
Most foreign tourists wishing to see Bromo volcano come with an package tour, including transport, accommodation for one night and an early-morning sight-seeing trip with a Toyota land-cruiser. Such tours, booked from abroad or locally in Yogyakarta, Surabaya or Malang, include accommodation in Cemoro Lawang or Tosari. And one may add options like Ijen Plateau and Madakaripuro waterfall. A more time-consuming but far more interesting tour sets out from Malang by 4WD and leads through the saddle between Semeru Volcano and the Tengger Caldera.
Take a train from Surabaya Gubeng station direction Banyuwangi and get off at Probolinggo (for Cemoro Lawang) or Pasuruan (for Tosari). From either of these towns one has then to proceed by bus. Probolinggo bus terminal lies 10 kilometres from the the train station, use a local minibus (bemo) for the transfer. Pasuruan bus terminal is at 3 kilometres from the train station.
Buses from Surabaya to Pasuruan and Probolinggo depart from Bungurasih bus terminal, if you have landed at Juanda International Airport a Damri shuttle bus will take you there. Be sure to get on a PATAS bus with destination Probolinggo, and ignore touts who try to get you on another – usually slower – bus. Outside Probolinggo bus terminal minibuses with destination Cemoro Lawang leave once they are filled with 15 tourists, unless one cares to pay for the empty seats. And one may have to pay for empty seats if one arrives after 4:00pm, because then the regular stream of tourists has dried up already. The ride to Cemoro Lawang takes about 90 minutes. At Pasuruan there are no special tourist minibuses. The local bus for Tosari leaves at irregular times.
The south route from Malang via Ngadas can only partly be done by bus. A minibus from Arjosari bus station in Malang goes as far as Tumpang, with luck to Gubukklakah. From either place one can try to hire an ojek (motorbike taxi) or walk. The distance from Tumpang to Gubukklakah is 8 kilometres, from the latter it is another 11 kilometres to Ngadas. In Ngadas there is a modest homestay. Ngadas lies three kilometres from the caldera rim. The walk down into and across the caldera to Cemoro Lawang is approximately 16 kilometres.
By Toyota Land-Cruiser
If not pre-arranged, one can hire a Toyota Land-Cruiser on the spot, preferably booked on arrival. Every hotel or losmen will help booking one, as long as they are available. The price per vehicle for the early morning jeep tour to Penanjakan viewpoint and Bromo volcano is not negotiable. It is the same whether one sets out from Cemoro Lawang, from Ngadisari or from Tosari. But one can negotiate for additional or alternative routes, to wit the Savana and the Widodaren caves. The land-cruisers all park at about one kilometre distance from the volcano. From the parking one can hire a horse for that last distance or walk. There is a standard rate for the ride there and back, the owner will wait near the foot of the 250 steps’ stairway that everyone has to negotiate one his/her own legs.
To appreciate the scale of Tengger Caldera one should walk, at least the last kilometre to the foot of the Bromo stairs. The first half of the track is pretty level, but then it starts rising. Horses following the same route may stir up a lot of dust. Pay attention to the direction of the wind and walk on the upwind side. Or better still, follow the less used path at some distance from the horse track. It is perfectly feasible and acceptable to forego the jeep tour and walk from Cemoro Lawang to Bromo Volcano. Indeed, before the advent of mass tourism this was the only way. The distance is about three kilometres. For hardy hikers, here are some approximate distances. Footpath from Cemoro Lawang to Penanjakan viewpoint: 6 kilometres uphill. Cemoro Lawang to the Savana: 12 kilometres. Cemoro Lawang to the Widodaren caves: 10 kilometres.
Cemoro Lawang – There is abundant accommodation at Cemoro Lawang. If you are not choosy, you will always find a place in a losmen or homestay. But if you want a specific hotel, e.g. the popular Lava View Lodge, Cafe Lava, Yoschi Hotel, Jiwa Jawa.