Mt. Bromo and Mt. Ijen are two popular volcanoes in East Java. Both have their own charm – Bromo with its stunning views and Ijen with its blue fire. If you get the chance, we definitely recommend to visit both of these highlights in Java.
With a distance of 140km between Bromo and Ijen, you can fit climbing both peaks into just 2 days. That’s if you’re in a hurry and don’t tire easily. If you have more time, you may want to include a visit to the nearby Sewu Waterfalls as well.
Note that to climb Mt. Ijen, you first have to get to Banyuwangi. Located 35km away, it is the usual basecamp for the so-called “mountain of fire” of Mount Ijen.
Train or Bus from Probolinggo, Malang or Surabaya?
To travel from Bromo to Ijen there are 3 ways that go via Banyuwangi: by train (4 to 7.5 hours), by bus (6 to 7.5 hours), or by organised tour. Fares range from 29,000 IDR ($2) to 236,000 IDR ($16.50).
First things first, what is the basecamp you want to use to hike mount Bromo? To hike the Bromo Vulcano, there are 3 common basecamps: Probolinggo (50km northeast), Malang (55km west), and Surabaya (125km northwest). You can check out our page on Yogyakarta to Bromo to decide which basecamp is best for you.
In short, if you’re planning on visiting both volcanoes, we highly recommend that you stay in Probolinggo. But if you’re thinking of exploring Bromo and Ijen along with Sewu Waterfalls, Malang is your best bet.
Transport options from Bromo to Ijen
When taking the train from Bromo to Ijen, you can find a direct line from any of Bromo’s basecamps to Banyuwangi. The train is our preferred method as it is cheap and comfortable. Depending on the location of your basecamp, the journey will take between 4.5 and 7.5 hours:
Train from Probolinggo: 4.5 hours
Train from Malang: 7.5 hours
Train from Surabaya: 6 hours
Local buses are available from Bromo to Ijen, but we recommend taking executive buses for this route. They’re more expensive, but they guarantee comfort and security. Ticket prices for executive buses start from 179,000 IDR ($12).
There’s also an option to get from Bromo to Ijen as part of a customised tour. Rates already start from 1,750,000 IDR ($122) for a 2D1N journey when you book with Klook.
Sidetrip to Sewu Waterfalls
Tumpak Sewu Waterfalls is a multi-tiered waterfall in East Java, some 100km south of Mt. Bromo. Loosely translated, Tumpak Sewu means “a thousand waterfalls.” It’s not very easy to reach, but we think its beauty is worth the extra trip.
Tumpak Sewu is a 5-hour drive from Surabaya and only a 2-hour drive from Malang where you’ll find its entry point in the town of Lumajang. You can do this journey on your own if you rent a car or motorbike, but you can also book a driver through your accommodation. This side-trip to the Sewu waterfalls will be easiest and cheapest when you’re staying in Malang.
It is also possible to take public transportation from Malang to Sewu Waterfalls. First, you must get to Gadang Bus Terminal. Ask around which bus you can take to Tumpak Sewu. Bus fares shouldn’t cost more than 72,000 IDR ($5) for the 3-hour journey. It will be a long and hot ride so better to take an aircon bus if it’s available.
You are to get off at Sidomulyo Village. The driver (and even the passengers) will probably let you know once you’ve reached your destination, but to be sure it’s always a good idea to inform the driver. The entrance to Sewu Waterfalls can be easily spotted from the main road at Sidomulyo.
We highly recommend confirming the details with your hotel in Malang before you set off as the local bus schedules can change regularly.
Duration: 4 – 7.5 hours Cost: from 29,000 IDR ($2)
Direct trains are available from Bromo to Ijen if you’re staying in Probolinggo, Malang, and Surabaya. You’ll need to get off at the town of Banyuwangi, which has 2 train stations: Karangasem and Ketapang.
Karangasem is closer to the town centre (only 4km away) and surrounded by lots of accommodation. Ketapang is located some 10km away and is closer to the harbour.
You can buy your tickets at the train station, but we think you’ll save a lot of time if you book them online via Tiket.com. The earlier you book, the more chance you have to score cheaper tickets.
Probolinggo to Banyuwangi by Train
Duration: 4 hours Cost: 29,000 IDR ($2)
There are 6 trains that operate from Probolinggo to Banyuwangi daily. Travel time is 4 to 4.5 hours and ticket prices start from 29,000 IDR ($2). Below are their schedules:
Duration: 6 – 7.5 hours Cost: from 179,000 IDR ($12.50)
If we were you, we’d probably go with the train over the bus due to the time and cost that you’ll save. However, if you’re not really keen on taking long train rides, you can read on for a detailed guide!
Probolinggo to Banyuwanggi by Bus
Duration: 6 hours Cost: 236,000 IDR ($16.50)
The bus terminal in Probolinggo is infamous for scamming. Many “drivers” and “bus attendants” try to lure people into buses that supposedly go straight to Banyuwangi. These scammers are usually not actual drivers and attendants, and the buses make a final stop elsewhere, from which you’ll have to take another bus to Banyuwangi (and pay for that ride again).
Locals and veteran travellers say that it’s better to hail a bus from the street, maybe 1 kilometre away from the bus station (in the direction that you are heading to). Local bus fares start from 75,000 IDR ($5) for the 6-hour journey.
If you’re not confident about taking on the local bus system in Indonesia, you also have the option of the super executive shuttle with Sinar Bali 99. It’s more expensive at 236,000 IDR ($16.50) via EasyBook, but you’ll have a very comfortable ride to Banyuwangi.
These buses have 2 departure points: one in Giant Probolinggo in the city centre and another one in Pos Polisi Ketapang (3km west of town). They depart at 21:00 and arrive in Banyuwangi around 03:00 in the morning.
There are at least 4 companies that offer bus trips from Malang to Banyuwangi. Malang Indah is the most expensive, but it’s also the only one offering a decent time of arrival in Banyuwangi. A ticket costs 179,000 IDR ($12.50) when you book with RedBus.
If you plan on climbing Ijen as soon as you arrive in Banyuwanggi, you can find a few more bus choices on EasyBook.
There are also several local buses that operate from Surabaya to Banyuwangi. However, most of them don’t make a stop in Banyuwangi city centre. They either go straight to Ketapang Harbour (30 minutes from town) or end their journey in Jember, from where you’ll have to take another bus to Banyuwangi.
Local bus rates from Surabaya to Banyuwangi start from 110,000 IDR ($7.50).
Banyuwangi to Ijen
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours Cost: from 100,000 IDR ($7)
Mt. Ijen is located 35km northwest of Banyuwangi. That’s a 1.5 to 2-hour drive. There are 3 ways you can complete this last part: by renting a private 4×4 jeep and driver, by joining an organised tour, or by renting a scooter and driving on your own
The most common way to travel from Banyuwangi to Ijen is to rent a private jeep. Especially if you’re travelling with a group, you can save a lot of money here. Prices for a 4×4 ride, including the driver, a trekking guide, mask and headlamp, start from 862,000 IDR ($60). That’s already good for 4 to 5 persons.
If you’re travelling alone, it will be much cheaper to join an organised tour. Klook offers join-in packages from 431,000 IDR ($30). These include a shared roundtrip transfer to and from Banyuwangi, a guide, as well as mask and light.
Renting a scooter is the cheapest way to get from Banyuwangi to the foot of Mt. Ijen. It should cost less than 100,000 IDR ($7) to rent one for 24 hours. However, we only recommend this for veteran drivers who have a lot of experience riding in Southeast Asia.
The roads from Banyuwangi to Ijen are not exactly easy, and they’re especially difficult since you’ll be travelling at night and probably passing those roads for the first time. Also, keep in mind that you’re still hiking after. You’ll be wasting a lot of energy on the ride.
If you want to see what Ijen is famous for, which is its blue fire, then you should definitely get to the crater before sunrise. Most travellers depart from Banyuwangi at midnight so they can start their climb as soon as it opens at 02:00 in the morning. The hike takes 2 – 3 hours.