One of Indonesia’s popular mountains, Mount Bromo, has been supporting the country’s skyline for ages. Although it is not one of Indonesia’s highest peaks, do not take it for granted. At 2,329 meters above sea level, it sits peacefully among the clouds. At the break of dawn, it creates a glowing silhouette adorned with the faint sun.
Four East Java’s regencies of Pasuruan, Malang, Lumajang, and Probolinggo surround the mountain. As it belongs to Tengger Karst, Mount Bromo neighbors with Mount Semeru and Mount Batok. Tengger Caldera, Widodaren Mount, and Penanjakan Mount also crowd the mountainous complex.
Other than the mountains, tourists can enjoy panoramic lakes Ranu Pane, Ranu Regulo, Ranu Kumbolo. These are parts of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, a government-run, vast, natural site. Despite its status as an active volcano, Mount Bromo is relatively safe and friendly.
It does not erupt that much, and when it does, it is not fatal. The country’s Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation keeps a constant eye on it. The last eruption occurred in 2015, resulting in the closure of the area for months. And not quite much volcanic activity ever since.
Shrouded in Myths and Mysticism
The superstitious locals have their own interpretation of the origin of Mount Bromo. Legend has it that a childless couple Joko Seger and Roro Anteng prayed for offspring. They prayed to the deities of the mountains and one day their wish came true. Roro Anteng was pregnant and gave birth to 25 children as the years went by.
However, the gods wanted to have their 25th kid, Raden Kusuma, to join them. In other words, the gods required a human sacrifice of the couple’s flesh and blood. It was a heartbreaking deal and they did not want to give up Kusuma. The family then fled and hid their last child somewhere away from Bromo’s crater.
No-one surely could ever fool gods and soon they found the escapees. Furious, the deities reached out their fiery hand, made of the volcano’s flame, for Kusuma. They snatched away his small body and dragged him alive into Bromo’s crater. His parents and 24 siblings were crying and devastated—they had lost the boy.
Amidst their sobs, the torn family heard Kusuma’s voice preaching from inside the crater. He told them he was happy to sacrifice himself for the sake of the family. Suggested his brothers and sisters to love and take care of each other. And asked them to give him offerings of food and natural goods once a year.
It seems that Bromo’s folklores revolve around the sad-romantic couple Joko and Roro. Tenggerese tribe, natives residing around the mountains, has their own theory of the name “Tengger”. They believe that Tengger is derived from the couple’s names: Anteng + Seger = Tengger.
Another belief says that Tengger actually reflects the tribe’s way of life “Tenggering Budi Luhur”. In English, it means “High Morals”—something that the people hold true to their hearts. The mythical sacrifice of Raden Kusuma led to a traditional religious ceremony Yadnya Kasada.
Pura Luhur Poten temple
It is an annual, one-month-long event, in which Tenggerese people commemorate Kusuma’s altruism. On the 14th day of Javanese month Kasada, they gather at Pura Luhur Poten temple. They pray together for wealth and health at the temple near Mount Bromo’s crater. Later, they march to the crater and toss some offerings like livestock, food, even money.
The show does not stop there though as things are about to get more intense. Some locals attempt to climb down the crater to regain the sacrificed objects. They believe that by doing so, they will be blessed with fortune and luck. No matter how risky that is, they apparently are willing to tease death.
Although tourists cannot enter the temple, they can see Pura Luhur Poten from the outside. The ancient Majapahit aura surrounds the temple located at the ocean of sand Segara Wedi.
Mount Bromo Long List of Natural Wonders
Penanjakan Sunrise Viewpoint
The infamous and most packed point filled with so many sunrise hunters. A jeep tour will make the first stop at Penanjakan viewpoint. Despite the overcrowded visitors, Penanjakan is the best sunrise sight spot. Experience a low temperature while waiting for the golden sunrise.
Not a morning person, avoid the crowd and come to see Mount Bromo and Batok after 7 am. As sometimes the sunrise hunter gets disappointed. When a thick fog thwarts the entire effort in experiencing the golden view including waking up early. Arriving after 7 also means less crowd as most people going down to see the crater.
Mount Bromo Crater
After looking from the distance, get closer to the base of an active volcano. The jeep will wait 1 km away from the first stair-step to the crater of Mount Bromo. Not feeling too excited about doing the morning walk. A horse ride with the additional cost will escort tourists right to the base of the volcano.
From the base, prepare to climb hundred of stairs to see the smoking crater. As the top of the rim will definitely fill with hundred people. With a narrow edge surrounding the crater, manage to walk safely. Carry at least a bottle of water.
Sea of Sands
Another beauty comes in the form of a spacious landscape blanketed with sand, Segara Wedi. It has no vegetation or any type of plant but grass and shrubs. The desert is so wide that up to the horizon, it is nothing but sand. This grey magnificent spot was the setting of Indonesian drama “Pasir Berbisik” (Whispering Sand).
The Trio Lake
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park also offers a trio of picturesque lakes (local: Ranu). They are Ranu Pane, Ranu Regulo, Ranu Kumbolo which are situated in Panupane Village. The village itself is still around the mountainous area, close to Bromo and Semeru. Mountaineers can start their hiking route from one of these three lakes as well.
They may be different in sizes, but each has its undeniably captivating charm. Ranu Pane is about one-hectare wide while Ranu Regulo covers 0.75 hectares. Both are 2,200 meters above sea level with thousands of pines and tall trees around. Given such altitude, the temperature can drop to as low as -4 degrees Celsius.
However, it is hard to stop admiring their mirror-like surfaces with rolls of mist hovering above. Ranu Kumbolo is the biggest one and located slightly higher than the two. At 2,390 meters above sea level, this lake expands to eight hectares. The water is indeed colder but it is very safe to drink and consume.
Dozens of colorful tents along Kumbolo’s shore are like joyful decors around this reflective lake. Hundreds of wooly, yellowish-white, Edelweiss make the atmosphere lit up with numerous hues.
Mount Bromo Opening Hours
Vacationers can drop a visit anytime they want as it is open 24 hours. Hence, everyone can experience Mount Bromo at any time of the day, or night. It allows sunrise hunters to standby around the top of Bromo hours before. Sunset hunters can make their way back to the hotels much later after 6 PM.
|Mount Bromo Opening Hours|
|Time Restriction for visitors to see the sunrise from Penanjakan, Love Hill, Kedaluh Hill||00:00 – 08:00 WIB|
Mount Bromo Entrance Fee
As almost every tourist attraction in Indonesia. Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park charges foreign tourists higher than the locals. Entrance Fee to explore Mount Bromo includes insurance.
Seeing the 4 spots, a jeep will cost from Rp 600.000 and fit for 5-6 people. Traveling with a group or share with a fellow traveler on the spot to save cost. During peak season, visitors will have to bargain harder or end at an expansive price.
|Mount Bromo National Park Entrance Fee|
|Foreign (weekday)||Rp 220.000/person|
|Foreign (weekend)||Rp 320.000/person|
|Jeep Rent||Rp600.000 to Rp 1.000.000|
|Horse Ride||Rp 75.000 – Rp 100.000/1 way|
Hotels, restaurants, and small eateries of various prices are available at Bromo’s lower sides. Near and at the top of the mountain there are completely none though. It has to be this way to keep the environment unharmed from any man-made construction.
However, there are a few people selling cup noodles and hot coffee near the top. Visitors can rely on them for some quick in-between meals or hot drinks. Tourists can get to the top and the surrounding objects by jeeps rented by locals. One jeep (including fuel, driver) costs about Rp 1 million per day, very expensive indeed.
Mount Bromo How to Get There
Start the adventure from Malang city as it takes roughly 2.5 hours to Mount Bromo. A tour package will mostly cost Rp 600.000 to 700.000 per person from Malang. That includes a private car and exchange transportation mode to a jeep. Pick up and drop off from and to the hotel in Malang.
To avoid waking up at midnight, then staying in Cemoro Lawang village is the best option. Arrive at Juanda International Airport take DAMRI bus from the airport that heads to Bungurasih terminal. Damri will cost Rp 25.000, to Bungurasih terminal. Catch another bus that heads to the Probolinggo bus station called Banyuangga.
The patas bus that heads to Banyuangga will cost Rp 30.000 for a 2-2.5 hour drive. Arrived in Probolinggo will be the most exhausting experience. Beware of any scammer, touts include a stop at the fake bus terminal. That will ends to cost an expansive ride to Cemoro Lawang.
From the Banyuangga bus terminal make sure to get the right minibus. Find another fellow traveler heads up to Cemoro Lawang. The minibus will cost Rp 35.000/person. But the downside it will not leave until the maximum capacity 15 people are occupied. Sometimes tourists will have to pay more to leave faster.
Address & Location
Bromo Tengger National Park is located in Gn. Bromo area, Podokoyo, Tosari, Pasuruan district, East Java.