Ah, Bromo. The sunrise views here were the most epic I’ve seen in the world so far.
I can’t begin to describe the beauty.
It’s worth the early start.
Anyway ...I’m getting ahead of myself!
So, you’re thinking of visiting Bromo and going on a Bromo Tour. Well great!
Below I’m going to take you through everything you need to know about visiting Mount Bromo and our top travel tips, whether you opt for a DIY style tour or an organised one.
Brad and I did an organised tour and to be honest we never usually take tours, but decided we should have one for this, and it was the best tour I’ve done, plus it was private...more on that later.
First things first ...
Mount Bromo is an active volcano in East Java located in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. It’s 2,329 in height which doesn’t make it the highest in the area, but certainly the most well known and iconic. If you’re looking to do a Bromo tour, then the chances are you’ve seen the amazing pictures, so you’ll know what you’re dealing with...but if not, then here you go…
Well this can be divided into a variety of sections depending on where you are coming from. But if you’re going on a Bromo tour, you’ll be taken on a custom keep that’s made for the conditions, or if you are doing your own DIY thing, you’ll probably have a moped, which isn’t safe...take it from someone who has had an accident.
This is where Brad and I went from on our Bromo tour and it was super easy. Our tour guide picked us up around 1am and it only took 1.5 hours to get to Bromo, so we had lots of spare time, but it was good to get a spot early, and also grab some drinks around the fire at night. We got to mingle with other travellers too.
If you DIY it you can rent a moped in Malang for around 80,000 but they might not want you to drive it on the sea of sand...more on that later.
You can’t do a sunrise tour from here. You’ll need to either get the train from Yogyakarta to Malang and do your Bromo tour from there. OR you can fly from Jogja to Malang too and the same idea as above.
Mount Bromo is located 4 hours drive from Surabaya, this means if you’re heading in the morning for a sunrise tour, you’re going to have to leave late the night before. Whilst I have no doubts that people do probably do this, I think it’s worth trying to get to a closer town and going from there.
This is the closest area to Mount Bromo if you decide to DIY your tour and go via your own moped. It’s about a 1.5 hour drive to the park from here. But again I warn you about the sand and be wary that you might have to “walk” your bike. We have seen quite a few people doing this and it will eat into your time.
This is the big question, should you do a Bromo tour or do it yourself?
Okay, so when Brad and I do any sort of activity, we always like to do it ourselves without a tour guide as they tend to rip you off. But after I did some research into doing Bromo by yourself, I didn’t think it was worth it.
Basically when you are getting to Mount Bromo, you drive through a “sand of sea” that’s literally in pitch black and there are no directions to where you need to go. Hence the reason why only certain types of jeeps are allowed in the park.
Imagine a moped on sand, and think about what it will do, it will get stuck and it will skid and you will be at risk of coming off. I came off a moped due to skidding in gravel and had to get stitches in my knee. Yes sand isn’t gravel, I’m just indicating the danger.
If you’ve never rode a moped before then do NOT, I repeat do NOT ride it for the first time in sand. It would be the height of stupidity.
But if you’re confident enough to skid and perhaps falls and drive in the dark with no directions, then go ahead. When we drove by with our jeep, (which even got stuck in the sand at one point, btw), we have seen a few people on mopeds “walking” them because they kept getting stuck.
So, basically, I think it’s worth doing a tour. Group tours aren’t our thing either, so we opted for a private tour because it was only a couple of pounds extra. Some tour companies will charge you double for a private tour, but not our guy!
Other benefits of doing a Bromo tour is that your guide will know something about the area, can take cool pictures of the two of you (if you’re travelling as a couple like Brad and I), and even take you to some secret photo spots, which our guide did. Actually our guide LOVED taking travel photos. It felt like having a photographer with me through the day, which was awesome.
We also had breakfast included and actually Brad and I always tend to “complete” activities a lot quicker than others, which is another reason we don’t like group tours (we have to sit around and wait for everyone else), but with our private Bromo tour we could leave as quickly as we wanted.
You’re first spot will be the sunrise spot, wherever that may be. You’re second spot will be the sea of sands as you drive through, you’ll probably stop at another Bromo viewpoint, then you’ll head up the Bromo Crater.
You’re last spot will be Teletubbies Hill and you can even add on a waterfall to your tour for an extra fee of 100,000 if you wish which is called Coban Pelang. We didn’t so I can’t say how good it is.
The best season to do a Bromo tour is during the dry season of Indonesia. This runs from April to October. Brad and I visited in August and the weather was perfect. No rain in site and the views were amazing.
When I was pricing around for a Bromo tour, there was a wide range of prices that were coming back to me.
Some people were taking the piss and others were just expensive. So we went to our hotel in Malang, Whiz Prime and asked them about organising a tour. They put us in contact with Mr John who owns the Bromo sunrise tour company that’s located in Malang city centre. He offered two prices:
For a group tour: 650,000 per person (Around $45)
For a private tour: 750,000 per person (Around $52)
All including guide, entrance, transport and breakfast. And it was a great price and worth every penny we spent. This was the most expensive thing we paid for in all of Indonesia, so I was more than happy to pay it.
This is his whatsup number, if you want to book!
Yes, yes and yes. Whilst I am sure it’s nice to visit at other times of the day, you cannot go to Mount Bromo and not do a sunrise tour. It would be one of the biggest regrets ever.
When you go on a Bromo tour with a group, I would assume that there is a set destination for your sunrise spot. However, Brad and I went on a private tour and our driver basically suggested a few spots to us and let us decide.
He recommend Kong Hill, based on how busy that day was, and whilst Kong Hill is super busy, all you need to do is climb the sand hill a little bit and you’ll find spots with less people so you can enjoy your sunrise moment in peace.
Other Bromo tour sunrise spots include:
Malang is the nearest airport to Mount Bromo. Malang is a pretty cool city to explore with its many great surroundings, so if you want to spend a few days there too, you can check out my post on the best things to do in Malang for some inspiration.
Even though Mount Bromo is located pretty high, you don’t climb on that. You’re already way up high, so the actual climb is around 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level.
It’s a fairly easy climb, but the thing that makes it challenging is the darn sand. It’s hard to get a grip in sand, so that’s why it can take a little longer getting up.
When you’re up there, you’ll literally on the edge of a crater that has sulphur down there. There is NO barrier to protect you after a certain point, so be super careful if you walk past other people and make sure there is no strong wind.
This make for an epic drone shot, but I wouldn’t do anything stupid on the edge of a crater. Just saying!
You can also get donkeys to bring you up to the crater, bar the last steps, (which are so dodgy and need re-doing- be careful), but please don’t use them. I have no idea how much they cost, but the donkeys don’t need it.
Yes. Of course it’s an active volcano, so you’re probably thinking “what if it erupts?” well the national park monitors the activity of the volcano and if activity is too high etc, then you won’t be allowed to visit. So don’t worry, it’s safe to visit.
Warm clothes! It’s very cold up there before the sun rises. But if like Brad and I, you didn’t exactly pack your winter gear on a trip to Indonesia, well you’ll be happy to know that you can rent a thick winter coat up there for 30,000 IDR which is awesome.
You can also buy hats at 30,000, and they were a great investment and super cosy. It would have been such a horrible experience if we were not warm in some way. But you can also stay warm at the little fires they build at all the cafes.
You can buy coffee and tea for 5,000 to help stay warm too. It’s not overpriced, which is great.
If you prefer to have your tour organised ahead of time, then there are a few online tours I recommend.
If you're coming from Bali, then this tour combines Bromo and Ijen Crater into a 3 day tour. You can actually see these volcanoes from North West Bali on a clear day!
From Malang, you can opt for this tour which is well priced and got great reviews!
Just a list of a few items to remember to bring with you on your Bromo tour:
So there you have it, my guide on everything you need to know about a Bromo sunrise tour. I hope you’ve found this most useful and hopefully I’ve answered most of the questions you are wondering, but if not, just drop a comment below and I’d be happy to help.
Below are some other posts about Indonesia that might help inspire your travels: