Recently, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to take a once in a lifetime trip to experience first-hand the mighty Mount Ijen and its mystical blue fire. Not only that, but this awesome 3-day and 2-night tour also includes summiting the famous Mount Bromo – and we can’t wait to share our intrepid experience with you!
Our Mount Bromo and Ijen tour began at around 6 pm on a Friday evening in Bali. As we were picked up from our accommodation we quickly became acquainted with our driver Didik, who would be taking us from Bali to Mount Ijen, on to Mount Bromo, and back again in his comfortable air-conditioned transport. Didik explained to us the schedule of our 3-day 2-night tour and our hearts swelled with the anticipation of witnessing epic volcano sunrises for the next two mornings.
The drive from Bali to Mount Ijen took roughly 6 hours, including a trip on the car ferry from Gilimanuk in the North of Bali, over to East Java. While crossing the ferry, Didik offered us local specialties, including quail eggs and authentic Balinese coffee. As we were feeling adventurous, we decided to oblige. We reached the base camp of Mount Ijen just before midnight which meant that we were able to sneak a couple hours of sleep in the car before we set off at 1:30 am to catch sunrise at the Mount Ijen Crater.
The trek to the summit of Mount Ijen was challenging, and at night the temperature dipped below 20-degrees celsius. We were grateful to have brought long trousers, jumpers and hats as it was a little cold when we reached the top. The trek from the base to the crater took around 2 hours and 30 minutes and was a steep climb for most of the way, so we certainly worked-up a sweat! But before we could rest, we donned gas masks and climbed into the rocky crater of Mt Ijen where we were excited about finally having the chance to witness the famous blue fire for ourselves.
As we reached the base of the crater, we could see the blue flames magically appearing to dance on the surface of the volcanic rock. Although our eyes and throats were feeling the effects from the strong sulfur fumes (even with our gas masks on!) we were awestruck by the glorious blue lake in the crater, as well as the blue fire and smoke which covered the rocks. We learnt that the local workers who we saw in the crater were mining for yellowstone to sell for just 2,000 IDR per kilo (20 cents), and that each day they would carry many kilos of rock down in baskets from the Mount Ijen crater.
After taking in the view from the summit of the volcano we had a short rest and refueled with some snacks, then we climbed our way back down to base camp.
Next Trip: To Bromo
The next part of our adventure was to take us from Mount Ijen to Mount Bromo, but thankfully we had a 7-hour car journey which allowed us to rest our tired legs and catch up on some sleep. We stopped for lunch along the way and sampled some more delicious local foods with encouragement from Didik, our driver.
We finally arrived in the valley of Mount Bromo and we decided to go to bed early at our accommodation to gather our strength for our final climb. The accommodation was basic, and we were glad that we had brought a power pack with us because there was nowhere to charge our phones! But we didn’t let a small issue like that bother us, because we were here for the adventure of a lifetime!
We were picked-up at 2.30am on the final day of our 3-day and 2-night tour. Although we were a little bit tired from our previous climb to the Mount Ijen crater, we were determined to conquer Mount Bromo as well! With that in mind, we were driven to a picturesque lookout point where we were able to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo, with Mount Semeru (the tallest and most active volcano in Java) in the background. Although it was pitch black at first, as soon as the sun appeared over the horizon, we could clearly see Mount Semeru in all its glory with small puffs of smoke appearing from the summit every 20-30 minutes. It then dawned on us that we were witnessing volcanic activity right in front of our very own eyes – hitting home just how alive and raw the natural beauty of Indonesia is!
After sunrise , we were escorted in the Jeep to the Mount Bromo Crater which made us feel like real off-road adventurers. When we arrived at the crater, we were overwhelmed to find ourselves right in the middle of a lava field! The driver let us out near the crater, and it was a much easier descent compared to that of Mount Ijen, as it took only 30 minutes and there were even stairs at the last part.
When we reached the rim of the crater, again we were awestruck. Not only could you see and smell the gasses pouring from the crater of the active Mount Bromo – but there was also a rumbling noise similar to a thunderstorm. It was a truly memorable and humbling moment where we could experience the raw power of the Earth right beneath our very feet! For those brave adventure seekers, there was also the opportunity to follow a narrow path which snaked alongside the side of the slope – offering cooled lava views on one side and a steep drop into a bubbling crater on the other. Definitely not for the faint hearted!
Once we’d had our fill of being inside the magnificence of Mount Bromo’s crater, we drove back to our accommodation and prepared to return back to Bali after a memorable 3-days and 2-nights. If this has wet your adventurous appetite and are keen to try this once in a lifetime experience for yourself, click on the button below an get a klook voucher where you can book the Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen 3 day 2 night tour package, including one night accommodation, all transfers and a jeep tour.
And if you want to find out more about bali’s most popular volcano then read our blog post about it.