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Travel to Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park

The East Java story, tips and tricks

Looking at these pictures, it’s hard to believe how beautiful this place is. I decided to put Bromo in my bucketlist after a friend from Surabaya has introduced it to me a year ago. Before this I’ve never heard about Bromo. I asked Sarie “So.. where should I visit if I go to Surabaya one day?” She pull of her phone and show me Bromo pictures from Instagram. was like love at first sight (gitu).

First and foremost, why you should visit this place? (Who should visit the place?)

  1. Tonnes of photo opportunities. This place is too scenic (Who: photographer/instagramer)
  2. The fact that Surabaya is quite close to Malaysia, you don’t have to travel far – (Who: To people yang taknak travel jauh2 oversea, but still want to witness magnificent view)
  3. Travelling to and within Surabaya is cheap (like most parts in Indonesia, I know you guys will agree with this) – (Who: “I want to do a cheap trip kinda people” LOL we all do)
  4. When was the last time you see a real active volcano? Never? Pack your bag now. Best for travelers who are craving for adventure- (Who: I feel like an “Indiana Jones” or “LOTR” kinda people)
  5. Some views do look like New Zealand, well the volcanic area like Tongariro National Park (Who: I want to go NZ but maybe one day when I have enough money)

Equipped yourself with:

  1. A pair of glove
  2. A fleece or jacket because it can be pretty cold up there
  3. A good walking shoes
  4. A mask. If you have allergic to dust, mask is a compulsory. If not, you will end up with a nasty dust allergy (like what happened to me. In my case, I wore a mask and I still got a terrible allergy). At the end I have to take anti-histamines.

This is our story! Sorry it’s a bit incoherent, writing this with so much eagerness and excitement to tell a story here hehe.
We woke up at 3.30am, took a “rough” jeep ride across a sand desert at night. Along with us, other jeeps tailing at the back. It feels like we’re in an action movie or something, heading for an important mission (lol! :P).

We’re going for an adventure!

We arrived at Gunung Penanjakan an hour later for the sunrise. Yang bagusnya ada surau dekat area tempat parking jeep, which is very convenient for the muslim visitors. After solat, we walked up to the viewing spot (which is quite a walk though). When we arrived, why am I not surprise, the viewing spot was pack with people! (with selfie stick and all!). Sangat la pack macam sardin haha, semua nak menunggu sunrise. So..secara berjemaah, we witnessed the magnificent sunrise.
Minus the overcrowded place. when the sun started to appear, WHAT A VIEW IT IS!. We are literally on top of the clouds.

Clouds and selfie sticks

The highlight is, of course, when I finally got to see the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru-Batok clan. I felt so overwhelm and happy. It looks unreal! Sangatla cantik SubhanAllah :’). These pictures that I took, are all without filter.

Looks unreal right? The highest peak Gunung Semeru, it is actually the highest mountain/volcano in Java and still pretty active.
Up-close and personal of Semeru and Bromo.

After viewing the sunrise and snapping pictures, we went down to the base of Gunung Penanjakan with the jeep. We then crossed the sand desert towards the base of the Bromo crater, riding a horse! So finally I ride a horse for the first time, new experience but I was scared that I will fell. Gila rasa tak stabil haha. Siap terpikir macam mana kalau kuda tu tetiba lari macam ala2 movie, kut2 tetiba kuda ni meroyan (yes I’m paranoid like that!). Bapak yang pegang kuda tu pula asyik cakap “tak apa2, santai-santai”.

I’m a cowby, on a steel horse I riiiide 😛

Another option is to walk to the base of the crater, but I was advised that we will save more energy if we ride a horse (because later we will have to climb 292 stairs up to the Bromo crater). If you want to walk, you can walk on the way back from Mt Bromo to the jeep (which I highly suggested because the view along the way is photoworthy).

Walking and taking a horse? I suggest you take a horse to the base of Mt Bromo, and walk back to the jeep in order to appreciate the view.

When we arrived at the base, up we climb the stairs, again with many people (man this place so touristic). Up there, the view is even more stunning! Gunung Semeru which is still active macam dekat sebelah je. Up to the mouth of the crater, we got to see what’s inside an active volcano. You don’t see that everyday!

As you can see, this place is very touristic. At one point you have to queue to go up the crater.
What’s inside an active volcano? This is still pretty active though, last eruption (more like expelling more dust) is last November. 2015
Me and Semeru
The tips of Gunung Semeru, above the clouds.
Segara Wedi (In Javanese)
Lautan Pasir in Indonesian
Down from the crater. Segara wedi or Lautan Pasir This the view that reminds me of New Zealand
Goodbye Bromo. You have been amaxing!

How to visit Bromo-Tengger-Semeru? Of course the closest part of Indonesia is Surabaya

Option 1-Tour package
Probably the most common option. Take a tour which is an easy peasy option. Everything has been arranged, pickup transport, accommodation, jeep ride etc, I didn’t check the price, but I know that the bigger the group the cheaper you will need to pay, There are many tours on the net since Bromo trip is quite famous in Surabaya.
Option 2-Travel the local way (which what I did)
Not as convenient as taking a tour but definitely much much cheaper and more adventurous!. Note that thee transportation can be uncomfortable and unreliable sometimes in terms of the bus schedule. For girls, try to travel in a group, if you are not confident enough with this way of travelling. Oh and do travel lightly. Having many heavy bags can be very inconvenient if you want travel this way. This following price that I get is a local price since I travel with an Indonesian friend. Anyway, the key things, bargain and bargain for the best price (people who looks like Jawa and can speak Java language, bonus points for you there).

Here is the route and the price:

  1. From Bungurasih bus station (Surabaya) to Probolinggo bus station (with aircond bus), price: 80,000 rupiah (RM25). Bus depart as early as 7.00am. Trip is roughly 4 hours journey without stop.
  2. Arrive from Probolinggo bus station, walk out from the bus stop and turn to your left, you will find a van or a minibus or they called it ELF. You can also take ojek (or motorbike with local) to Cemoro Lawang, which is the closest place to visit the Bromo National Park. However we took an ELF because it comes with the full package with an 1 night accomodation and a jeep ride to Mt Bromo and Mt Penanjakan, which cost: 285, 000 rupiah (RM90) per person. However, try your best to bargain. The price doesn’t include the entrance fee to the park.
  3. Overnight a Cemoro Lawang and at 3.30am you will start your journey to Mt Penanjakan from Cemoro Lawang.
  4. Entrance Fee to the National Park : 5,000 rupiah (RM2)
  5. Horse Ride to the base of Bromo Crater (return ride): 30, 000 rupiah (RM10)
  6. After you finish the trip, you can ask the jeep diver where you can get an ojek going back to the bus stop. Taking ojek from Cemoro Lawang to Probolinggo bus stop: 13,000 rupiah (RM4). Jeep ride is also available.

Hope these tips help! For more tips you can email me add

Special thanks to my dear friend Sarah Baharuddin (if you read this), your tips and advises help me a lot. Much love <3

Written by Aeda Jamal

Part time Hobbit.
She had stayed in New Zealand for 2 years, studying science, daydreaming, roadtripping.

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