Menu Close
Climbing Mount Bromo | Ummi Goes Where?

How to Climb Mount Bromo, Indonesia - Guide for Beginners

Home to 147 volcanoes, Indonesia may be one of the most volatile places on Earth, but on the plus side, it is blessed with spectacular landscapes that my own country (Malaysia) lacks. Luckily for us Malaysians, Indonesia is just a few hours’ flight away if we suddenly crave some volcanic adventures.

One of the most famous volcanoes in Indonesia is Mount Bromo, an active volcano located in East Java (the island next to Bali). The volcano, which is part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, is 2,329 meters (7,641 ft) above sea level. It lies in the middle of a huge sand-filled crater called the ‘Sea of Sand’, along with 4 other volcanoes.

Mount Bromo
Credit: Sara Marlowe / Wikimedia Commons

The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is open to visitors all year round. However, the best time to visit is during the dry season, which is from April to October. Bearing in mind that this is an active volcano, it is best to check with the Bureau of Meteorology before visiting.

How to Get to Mount Bromo

The nearest airport to Mount Bromo is Juanda Airport in Surabaya (SUB). It is the second busiest airport in the country, with frequent flights to Jakarta and other major Indonesian cities, as well as some direct international flights including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Hong Kong, and Taipei.

From Surabaya, you can either take a private taxi/car all the way to Cemoro Lawang (the nearest village to Mount Bromo), or take public transports to Probolinggo:

By Bus

If you’re from Surabaya Airport, take the DAMRI Airport Bus to Bungurasih (a.k.a. Purabaya) bus station. The ticket costs Rp 25,000 (as of January 2020). And from there, take a Patas express bus to Bayuangga Bus Terminal in Probolinggowhich will take about 2 hours, depending on traffic, and cost around Rp 30,000.

Bayuangga bus terminal
Bayuangga bus terminal. Credit: Mujionomaruf / Wikimedia Commons
Outside Bayuangga bus station, you can take an angkot (minibus) to Cemoro Lawang for Rp 35,000 per person. The minibus will only go once it is filled with 15 people or when someone pays the full price (Rp 450,000 for the 15-seat bus). This wait can sometimes take up to 2.5 hours.

If you arrive after 16:00, it can be difficult to fill up the entire minibus, and you may have to negotiate with the group. It is possible to get the whole minibus for Rp 300,000. However, if you’re the only passenger, it might be cheaper to get a private car instead. The journey from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang should take about 1.5 – 2 hours.

By Train

Probolinggo is on the line between Surabaya and Banyuwangi, with several trains a day in each direction. The journey from Surabaya takes around two hours, while the journey from Banyuwangi takes around five hours.
Once you arrive in Probolinggo train station, take a bemo (shared taxi) to Bayuangga bus terminal, which is 10 kilometers away. The official fare for a bemo ride is Rp 5,000 per person. At the entrance of Bayuangga bus station, get the minibus to Cemoro Lawang.

From Cemoro Lawang to Mount Bromo 

Most people stay overnight in Cemoro Lawang to climb Mount Bromo before sunrise. Mount Bromo is a 45-minute walk from the village. You can also rent a motorbike or a 4×4 jeep. Alternatively, check with your hotel to see if they organize group tours.

How to Book a Hike to Mount Bromo

Although some people hike independently to Mount Bromo from Cemoro Lawang, many book tour packages, either from Cemoro Lawang or even other destinations like Surabaya and Bali. Some tours combine it with a hike to nearby Mount Ijen. You may try booking at your hotel/hostel reception or online:

What to Bring When Climbing Mount Bromo

  • Warm jacket, especially if you’re climbing in the morning before sunrise. In any case, the village in Cemoro Lawang is also quite chilly, if you’re spending the night there.
  • Raincoat, if you visit during the rainy season.
  • Flashlight. The trail can be extremely dark before sunrise.
  • Hiking shoes, preferably, but I survived with strapped sandals.
  • Hiking poles might help, but I’d rather just scramble on all fours.
  • Sunscreen if you’re climbing under the hot sun. Being on a higher altitude means you’re more exposed to the dangerous UV rays.
  • Water and snacks. There are few vendors in the national park.
  • Camera. It’s really pretty up there.

    How Fit do You Have to Be to Climb Mount Bromo?

    Although Mount Bromo is 2,329 meters high, don’t let this scare you. You won’t actually be hiking 2,329 meters. The base from which you will begin your trek is already high above sea level. Depending on your fitness level, the actual trek to the summit should take only about 20 – 30 minutes.

    Mount Bromo Indonesia
    This is the kind of terrain that you’ll have to hike.

    You don’t need to have prior hiking/mount-climbing experience to hike Mount Bromo. The hike is not difficult although the sandy slopes can make it a little tiring, as your feet keep sinking into the sand. If you’re as unfit as I was, you might have to scramble on all fours at some parts.

    There are villagers will offer their horses to take tourists to the top of the volcano, but I urge you to think carefully before taking up on this offer. Carrying a full-grown adult to the summit can be really tough on the horse.

    Horse on Mount Bromo
    Horses are available to take tourists to the summit.

    Mount Bromo Entrance Fee

    Before entering Cemoro Lawang, you will need to pay a conservation fee of Rp 10,000 (Nov 2015) to go inside the village.

    The entrance fee for Mount Bromo National Park is as follows:

    • Indonesians: Rp 27,500/person (weekday) or Rp 37,500/person (weekend and public holiday)
    • Foreigners: Rp 240,000/person (weekday) or Rp 340,000/person (weekend and publci holiday)

    My Experience Hiking Mount Bromo

    The Journey

    Climbing Mount Bromo beginners guide - Ummi Goes Where?

    I visited Mount Bromo in May 2011, just a few months after it erupted. The trip was unplanned. My original destination was Bali, but since flying directly to Bali from Kuala Lumpur was a little beyond my budget, I decided to fly to Surabaya instead, and continue overland to Bali.

    It turned out I had an extra day to spare, so I tried to fit in a side trip to this famous volcano. From Surabaya airport, I took a bus to Bungurasih and another one to Probolinggo. It was past noon when I arrived and there was no other passenger available to share a minibus with, despite waiting for almost an hour.

    I was hoping to continue my journey to Bali that very evening, and not wanting to wait much longer, I finally decided to take a motorbike taxi. The 1.5-hour journey felt much longer on a motorbike, because I wasn’t used to being on one and kept asking the driver to slow down at sharp corners.

    Climbing Mount Bromo
    On the ojek (motorbike taxi) to Mount Bromo.

    There were a lot of sharp corners on that winding uphill road. The motorbike made weird sounds every time it braked. Several times, it almost skidded into the ravine as we tried to make way for trucks and vans that seemed to come out of nowhere. I wasn’t even given a helmet.

    As we ascended, the air gradually got cooler. The view that accompanied us managed to melt away some of my anxiety. Green, misty valleys and terraced rice fields were dotted with farmers with their legs knee deep in the mud. There were kids running around in the small village we passed by.

    The last stretch of the road was the narrowest and steepest before we reached the parking area. Upon arrival, I was already greeted by the view of Mount Bromo. The looming hulk of the volcano looked ominous against the grey sky. Its mouth was still continuously spewing ash and smoke since the eruption earlier that year.

    Climbing Mount Bromo
    How cool is that?

    There was a Hindu temple that seemed abandoned. Everything was covered by inches of grey volcanic sand. I didn’t see any other hiker, as most people usually only climb during sunrise and sunset to get the best photos.

    Climbing Mount Bromo
    At the temple.

    The Climb

    We then began our climb. Every now and then, the volcano would make thunderous rumbling sounds, followed by a spray of ashes that would rain on me. According to my guide, these ‘mini eruptions’ were to be expected after a major one, much like aftershocks following an earthquake.

    Apparently, there used to be a proper walkway and steps leading up to the crater rim, but they were all buried in ash after the eruption. The ground we stepped on was soft from ash that hadn’t settled. My feet kept sinking and slipping with every step I took. It certainly didn’t help that I was only wearing sandals — I had packed for the beach, not the mountains.

    After just a few minutes, breathing became difficult. I don’t know if that was because of the altitude or because I was plain unfit. Still, I made it in under 30 minutes.

    Climbing Mount Bromo
    The steps, half buried in ash.
    Can you see the tiny horse at the bottom?

    Thick grey smoke emanated from the deep crater, so we were only able to see a few meters ahead of us. My guide and I only stood at one spot. You could actually walk all the way around the crater, but with no safety railing in sight, I’d rather not.

    Mount Bromo
    Visibility was poor.

    This was how it looked like inside the crater:

    Climbing Mount Bromo Indonesia - Ummi Goes Where?
    Couldn’t see anything because of the smoke.

    Suddenly, I felt a drop of something wet on my arm. It was black. Before I knew it, there were more and more. For a moment there, I had no clue what was happening. What was this black liquid? I heard the rumbling sound again but realized that this time, it was really thunder. I also felt the wind getting stronger and colder.

    It had started to rain — a few fat drops in the beginning, which quickly turned into a torrential shower. The rain was black because it had to go through the ash clouds that were hovering in the air. It was practically raining mud!

    We hurried down and found the motorbike covered with a thick layer of mud. After wiping the seat with our bare hands, we made our way down the winding path back to the village. My guide had lent me his jacket as I only had a blouse on, which was already drenched.

    Climbing Mount Bromo - Ummi Goes Where?
    Look at my sorry state
    Climbing Mount Bromo beginners guide - Ummi Goes Where?
    RIP, new jeans

    We stopped at the nearest guesthouse to wait out the rain before heading back to Probolinggo, where I was to take a bus* to the easternmost part of the island, close to Bali.

    *That bus ride ended up being a harrowing experience for me. The story was featured on Zafigo. Click here to read it!

    Additional Tips for Climbing Mount Bromo

    • Although East Java is rich with natural attractions, its tourism infrastructure is still pretty much underdeveloped. Getting around by public transports takes a lot of time and effort. I do not recommend taking public transports if you have a tight schedule, or a plane to catch.
    • Probolinggo is rife with scammers who would try to rip you off at every chance they get, especially if you don’t look like a local. I’m a Southeast Asian who could speak Bahasa with a passable Indonesian accent, and still almost got scammed.
    • The view of Mount Bromo is best seen at sunrise. This means waking up at 3:30 a.m. Be prepared with warm clothes and a torchlight.
    • Organized tours by bus or jeep are available, but climbing Mount Bromo is easily doable on your own.
    • Another popular option is to climb Mount Penanjakan. The viewing platform offers magnificent views of the caldera, but gets busy with tour groups in the morning. However, most of the tour groups leave soon after the sunrise.
    • Mount Bromo is very popular among local tourists and school students. Time your visit so it doesn’t coincide with local holidays.

    Where to Stay Near Mount Bromo


    Cahyo Homestay Bromo – Located a mere 600 metres from Mount Bromo, this homestay offers a shared lounge, a garden, a children’s playground, and air-conditioned rooms with balconies and free WiFi. Rooms come with private bathrooms and free toiletries. Both bicycle rental and car rental service is available on site. From IDR 220,000 (USD 15) for a Deluxe Double room.


    Bromo Terrace Hotel – A hotel located in Sapikerep (8.4 km from Mount Bromo) and surrounded by green hills and plantations. All rooms are equipped with a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV. Free WiFi, a shop, and a restaurant are available at the property. From IDR 1,060,000 (USD 73) for a double room with terrace, including breakfast.


    Plataran Bromo – A very clean and modern hotel featuring a restaurant, free WiFi, car hire service, (paid) airport transfer, a garden, and a terrace. The location may be a bit secluded, but it’s close enough (10.9 km) to Mount Bromo, making it a good place to start the Bromo sunrise tour. From IDR 3,000,000 (USD 210) for a deluxe room, including breakfast.

    Have you been to Mount Bromo? Share your experience in the comments section below.

    Posted in Indonesia

    Related Posts


    1. Fas

      Pernah pergi ke Gunubg Bromo ini semasa pelancaran penerbangan pertama ke Surabaya. Saya cover utk Majalah Wanita, Utusan masa tu… nak naik ke atas kita orang kena bangun awal kul 3 pagi dah gerak dan rasa oxygen pun kurang waktu utu sbb tinggi. Tp satu pengalaman yang cukup indah…

      • ummi

        Wah, best la kak Fas. Kira fully sponsored la, ya? Pukul 3 pagi memang the best time to hike, supaya boleh tengok sunrise kat puncak. Saya pun terasa jugak oksigen kurang masa tu. Semput. 😆

    2. Zharif Azis

      Mount bromo is in my wishlist to go. Unfortunately border tutup pulak sebab covid. Nanti dah selamat, ingat nak ke sana. Anyway, thank you for all the details. Sangat terperinci. Suka !!

      • ummi

        Hmm sama la, dah berapa banyak plan dah kena cancel ni, disebabkan Covid. Anyway, glad you liked the article. Nanti kalau ada plan nak ke Bromo, jgn lupa refer balik ya, kat artikel ni 😁

    3. adianiez AIDA

      satu2nya gunung yg aida da naik is Gunung Dato’ @ negeri sembilan. tu pun sebab kursus dan wajib naik gunung tu lulus hu hu hu hu… therafter, tak pernah da daki gunung, ummi.
      but my husband = hikers. done gunung kinabalu. semenanjung ni pun byk gunung dia dah tawan.
      wow! a great journey ni, ummi. gunung berapi. experience gini bukan selalu diperolehi. meskipun unplanned, tak jadik ke bali, but yg ni much better kot than bali 🙂

      • ummi

        Saya pun sebenarnya takde la kaki hiking sangat. Kadang2 je, tu pun kalau view cantik. Yg kat Malaysia, saya pernah naik Kinabalu dgn Irau je. Bromo ni first volcano. Actually bukan tak jadi nak gi Bali, tapi on the way nak ke bali, singgah kejap Bromo. 😄

      • ummi

        Ya I’m sure tempat ni ramai Malaysian tourists sebab ada direct flight from KL to Surabaya. And the whole of Indonesia, in general, is very popular especially for Muslim Malaysians.

      • ummi

        Ada tu nanti. Rezeki masing2, kita tak tau kan. 🙂 Saya pun skrg ni mampu throwback travel yang lepas2 je. In the meantime, I hope you check out the other stories on my blog.

      • ummi

        Thank you so much, Veronica! I’m working on more articles now. If you don’t want to miss out on my latest updates, please consider subscribing or following me on social media. I think it would be really cool if you took your daughter to travel with you. It would be a great mother-daughter bonding session 😍

    4. ienaeliena

      wah bestnya pergi Bromo..tengok member pergi cantik je gambar view dekat atas..alahai kesiannya mud rain pulak time tu…tapi pengalaman yang unik jugak kan..kat malaysia xde mud rain 😀

      • ummi

        Hehe ya, memang unik sangat. Masa kena tu memang miserable la tapi nak tergelak pun ada sebenarnya. Apa pun, mmg pengalaman yg tak dapat dilupakan.

      • ummi

        Betul, Indonesia memang sangat indah dengan gunung berapi dan pulau2 yang mencecah berbelas ribu, walaupun kawasan2 ini kebanyakannya rawan bencana.

      • ummi

        Yes, please do! I update this article from time to time, in case there are any changes in entrance fees, etc. I hope you’ll get to visit Bromo in the future. It’s a truly magnificent place. 🙂

      • ummi

        Waktu sunrise di Bromo memang confirm cantik. Saya pergi waktu tghari mcm ni pun dah nampak keindahan tempat ni. Takpe nanti ada la tu peluang utk Cik Puan Ena pergi.

    5. Pingback:Climbing Mount Rinjani – A Beginner’s Guide | Ummi Goes Where?

    6. Pingback:Climbing Mount Kinabalu – How I Did It Without A Tour Operator | Ummi Goes Where?

    7. Pingback:Climbing Mount Batur, Indonesia – A Beginner’s Guide – Ummi Goes Where?

    8. Susan

      I’m not sure which part of this looks most amazing; the landscape, the active volcanos, the terrain. It all looks pretty great. Thanks for introducing me to a new place to put on my bucket list.

    9. Destiny

      I love how inclusive and informative this post was!! Looks and sounds like an amazing trek, although I think my anxiety would hit with all of those little rumbles haha. Even if it is expected I feel like my nerves would be like “lets just head back” lol

      • ummi

        Hahaha. I was a little nervous too honestly. But the locals didn’t seem at all worried and I was pretty sure I could trust their judgment better than my own. Hahah. Still, despite the mud rain and all, it was an amazing experience – my first time seeing a volcano up close. 😍

      • ummi

        Thank you, Tjasa. Mount Bromo is totally doable even for beginners. It’s much easier than the other volcanoes in Indonesia that I have climbed, such as Mount Rinjani in Lombok, and Mount Batur in Bali. I’m sure you can do it too! 🙂

    10. Sarah

      Oh wow I had never heard of this volcano before, but it sounds amazing to visit. I hope to be able to visit one day. I think I would have been scared with all the ash in the air still!

      • ummi

        Yes, it was actually quite scary, Sarah, but exciting at the same time as I had never experienced anything like that before. I hope you’ll be able to visit it someday. 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Verified by MonsterInsights