A couple of weeks ago, we spent our anniversary, hiking the famed Mount Bromo in Java, Indonesia. Prior to this, we did our research and even considered working with a tour company to do an Adventure Review. After much thought, we decided to just do it ourselves without a tour. Why? Mainly because we heard that the spot where all the tour groups take you is normally swarmed with tourists. We didn’t want to share the view with 100 odd tourists all waiting for their turn to take a photo. No, thank you!
Related: A Photo Walk of Mt Bromo at Sunrise
So, with a little help from other blogs and by getting information from locals, we got a map and followed it until we reached the viewpoint which gave us unobliterated views of the stunning sunrise over Mount Bromo. We actually climbed that point twice, as we did it for sunset and sunrise the next day. The hike there was beautiful both at night and during the day! So without further ado, here is how you can experience the sunrise at Mount Bromo without a tour.
- From Probolinggo, catch a local bus to Cemoro Lawang. A lot of people opt to stay in Probolinggo or other towns larger, but we actually loved Cemoro Lawang. Stunning scenery, cold climate (which was a nice break), and really friendly locals. The local bus should only cost from 25,000-30,000 rupiah.
- When the bus stops, insist on them taking you to the highest guest house. The driver will stop at some local homestays and will say that further up are only hotels. He normally has a commission with those places. Don’t get down but wait until he brings you to the very top.
- Also, someone will try to sell you a park fee while you are on the bus. They have printed “ticket receipts” and everything. This is a scam! Stand your ground and tell them that you will just purchase them later. Official park entrace fees can be bought later on. Prices vary and weekends are more expensive.
- After settling in your guesthouse, make plans for your sunrise rendezvous. First step is going to Café Lava Guest house and getting a copy of their map. Although it isn’t the best, you can still clearly see where to go. Their staff will happily tell you how to go to the viewpoint by foot.
- In the map, you will reach a junction on the road and instead of going left, take the road to the right. Follow this road to the very top and you will see a series of 3 viewpoints.
- Personally, we stopped at the (first) viewpoint with a wooden bamboo railing. We had a bench to sit on, and was with a total of 4 other people as we watched the stunning sunrise. Such a treat! The view from all three are relatively the same except naturally, there are more tourists on the higher view points.
- Once you get to the top, you have locals selling coffee to warm you up.
- Don’t forget to bring a hat, scarf, and a warm jacket as it does get cold! If you don’t have cold clothes, don’t worry, the guest houses rent them out for cheap. Also bring a head torch or regular flashlight to light the way.
- Lastly, ENJOY! The views that we saw were absolutely stunning and remains to be one of our highlights in Indonesia. After that, you can either hop on a bus straight to Probolinggo and catch your train/bus to your next destination or opt to explore the crater area.