Mount Bromo East Java Indoneisa

Mount Bromo, one of the top travel destinations in East Java Indonesia, is an active volcano situated in a surreal but spectacular massive caldera. While very busy with tourists, almost to the point of being a put-off at the sunrise viewpoints, it is definitely still worth a visit. The active volcano sits inside the gargantuan Tengger caldera – with a total diameter of around 10 km – and is surrounded by the Laut Pasir (Sea of Sand) that’s made up of fine volcanic sand. The overall setting is a sight to see – serene and beautifully other-wordly in stark comparison to the lush green valleys that surround the caldera.

The case in point is that from night till sunrise, tourist jeeps are already plying the Sea of Sand – the name given to the flat ashy ground of the Tengger caldera where Mount Bromo is. Some head towards the Mount Bromo crater itself, while most others, towards Mt. Pananjakan, where “Viewpoint 1”, the most popular sunrise viewpoint stands

Light trails of the jeeps heading towards the smoking Bromo crater and Mt. Pananjakan

The view from Cemoro Lawang, the access town on the edge of the Tengger caldera is already quite something, but from the higher viewpoint at Mt. Pananjakan, it is even more spectacular. Even when we set off at 3:30 AM, we were almost deprived of viewing space at the viewpoint. With the number of people increasing as the hours go by, and with locals and tourists alike smoking while waiting, it is perhaps not the best of my “sunrise moments”, but all is forgotten when the light touches the volcanoes! Not to forget too, the light on the mists, as well as the views of the town of Cemoro Lawang itself!

The line of tourists going up to the crater of Mt. Bromo

However, for those who have an extra day, the areas around Cemoro Lawang are worth a walk. The contrast of the barren caldera and the lush green around Cemoro Lawang is stark and definitely yields different photographic opportunities. Moreover, it seems that many of the locals have their own viewpoint for sunrise, just behind the famous Lava View Lodge! And if you are lucky, perhaps you could also catch a ‘Glory’ cast onto the mists on the Sea of Sand.

Once you’ve made the trek to the top of Mount Bromo, you’ll have breathtaking panoramic views of the Tengger caldera as well as all the way down to the Semeru group of volcanoes at the south end of the national park.

Mount Bromo Fun Fact:

This is admittedly more legend than fact, but it is fun nonetheless. According to local legend, Mount Bromo came to being in an act of unfulfilled love. An ogre was given the seemingly impossible task of digging the Tengger crater using half a coconut shell in order to gain the right to wed the princess he loved. He was to accomplish this feat in a single night.

When it became apparent that the ogre might actually succeed, the princess’s father, the King, ordered his servants to start pounding rice to indicate that the morning had arrived. Cocks began to crow and the ogre realized that he had failed. Before dying of exhaustion, he threw away the coconut shell and it became Mount Batok while the surrounding trench became the Sand Sea around Mount Bromo.