Mount Bromo is an iconic natural treasure, and the most hiked mountain in Indonesia. The awesome lunar landscape is quite literally unlike anywhere else on the planet. The constantly smouldering Mt. Bromo is just one of three volcanoes which have sprung up from a vast 10km crater which makes up the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. The dramatic landscapes are surrounded by the ‘sea of sand’ which is in fact a huge caldera of volcanic ash sand. As well as the stark grey landscape there are rolling green hills of savannah surrounding the peaks.
Still highly active, sunrise hikes are most popular. Surprisingly, it’s one of the most easy-going volcano climbs you will ever experience. It takes less than an hour to scale the mountain and then wait in the darkness for the sun to appear.
There are several viewpoints to marvel as day breaks, including awesome vistas of Mt. Bromo, Mt. Batok and the soaring peak of Mt. Semeru through the clouds. Sunrise at the top is truly spectacular, and makes that early morning start all worthwhile.
From where to visit the Bromo Volcano?
If you are planning a hike to Mt. Bromo, it is important to decide which area you choose for your basecamp.
When travelling from Yogyakarta to Bromo, you can stay in Surabaya, Probolinggo, Malang or in the village right next to Bromo: Cemoro Lawang. Each of these locations offer their own pros and cons, which is also why there is no single best way to reach Mt. Bromo.
Easy to independent sunrise tour (just start walking from the village)
You’ll have to travel back to Malang, Probolinggo or Surabaya to continue your trip to Ijen or Bali
Why we prefer to stay in Malang
There are several places to call basecamp before setting off in the early morning to Mt. Bromo, but which is the best? Malang and Probolinggo are less than 2 hour’s drive away, while the sprawling city of Surabaya makes sense if you prefer to fly from Yogyakarta.
In our view, Malang is the winner. It’s just 35 km from Bromo and there are numerous tour companies offering tours. Malang is a student city with a vibrant coffee bar and fashion scene, and it’s must less traffic-clogged than most Indonesian cities, such as Surabaya.
There is also an excellent choice of well-priced hotels to choose from. In fact it’s worth hanging around for a couple of days before or after your Mt. Bromo hike. If your next stop is Bali, there are good road and rail links from Malang. It is a good choice too to break up the journey if you intend stopping to see the sulphuric blue flames at Mt. Ijen en route to Bali. Ijen is just a short drive from the ferry port for boats to Bali. Last, Malang is also the best base if you want to combine a Bromo hike with a side trip to the spectacular Sewu waterfalls.
Sewu waterfalls have been growing in popularity lately. Not surprising as it’s probably even the most beautiful waterfall in the whole of Indonesia. The only disadvantage is that it can be a bit tricky to reach.
If you come from Malang, it will be the easiest way though. We hope to publish the step-by-step guide to get there from Malang soon!
If you want to cram in a couple of more hours of sleep before scaling Mt. Bromo at dawn, it’s also possible to stay in the small village of Cemoro Lawang. Located at the edge of the caldera, it’s a small place with numerous hotels and guesthouses. However, many are rather basic and almost all are overpriced for the standards. There are much better options at affordable rates in Malang.
Limited in time and don’t want to avoid the hassle of searching around for a good tour to join and organizing your own transport?
There are also multi-day organized tours which leave from Yogyakarta to Bromo, Ijen and then continue on to Bali by ferry. Rates vary from 1.5-3 million IDR ($100-$200). These are fairly tiring as they include very early starts to hike the two mountains with only a few hours to rest afterwards before hitting the road again. One popular tour organizer is Bromo-Tour, but you can also book one easily on your own in Yogyakarta.
There are several direct trains that operate from Yogyakarta to Bromo via Malang daily. The ride takes around 8 hours.
We recommend taking a night train so you don’t waste a lot of daytime. The train departs from Tugu Station and arrives at Malang Station. Depending on which class you book, a ticket costs between 114,000 IDR ($7) to 262,000 IDR ($16).
Trains bound for Malang depart from Tugu Station at the following schedules: 00:52, 02:07, 04:11, 05:46, 07:45 and 20:45.
As you can see trains depart early in the morning with a long gap until the final service in the evening.
How to get to the railway station?
Yogyakarta’s Tugu Station is located about 500m from Malioboro Street. It is conveniently close to many of the city’s hotels and is served by the Trans Jogya city bus service.
Once arrived at Malang Station (also known as Malang Kotabaru Station), you are only about 1km away from Malang city centre. A short taxi ride should cost only around 25,000 IDR ($1.70).
It is also possible to take a private taxi straight from Malang station or your hotel to the Cemoro Lawang, located next to Mt. Bromo. Expect to pay about 350,000 IDR ($23).
Organized Tour from Malang
There is no public transport directly from Malang to Mt. Bromo. Luckily there are numerous tour companies offering a variety of Mt. Bromo tours. Shop around for the best rates or ask your hotel for assistance.
There is also an option to book one in advance online with Klook. You can choose from private and join-in tours. A Mt. Bromo sunrise tour costs 605,000 IDR ($37) per person if you join a group tour (50% discount for Indonesian residents).
Another option when travelling by train from Yogyakarta to Bromo is via Probolinggo.
There are at least 4 direct trains that operate from Yogyakarta to Probolinggo daily. Two of which depart from Tugu Station and the other two from Lempuyangan Station.
Travel time is around 8-9 hours. Fares start at 74,000 IDR ($5) for economy seats and 185,000 IDR ($11.50) for business class. See their schedules below.
8 hours 18 minutes 8 hours 05 minutes
185,000 IDR ($11.50) (Business Class)
9 hours 10 minutes 8 hours 53 minutes
74,000 IDR ($5) (Economy Class)
From Probolinggo to Bromo
From the centre of Probolinggo, you can either take a minibus or a taxi to reach Mt. Bromo.
Note that the last minibus from Probolinggo to Mt. Bromo departs at around 16:00 and costs 35,000 IDR ($2.40). With the taxi, you can reach Cemoro Lawang in 1.5-2 hrs for around 259,000 IDR ($16).
If heading straight to Mt.Bromo from Probolinggo train station, look out for the yellow minibuses which connect the train station with the Probolinggo Bayuangga bus terminal.
Minibus scam: Although it is less frequent nowadays, there have been many instances in recent years of minibus drivers targeting foreign travellers. When asking to go to the bus terminal, travellers have sometimes been misled and taken to tour company offices on the way. From here they are offered overpriced bus tickets to Mt.Bromo for which the minibus driver receives a kickback. Simply stay on the bus and politely state you wish to go to the public bus terminal.
Minibuses from the bus terminal do not run to scheduled timings. They will depart when there are 15 passengers. During the low season on weekdays this may involve a wait but it is possible to pay more to leave earlier. In fact, staff at the bus station will likely offer the option to pay a surcharge to depart earlier. The price will depend on how many people are already waiting.
Bearing in mind the above scam, is pretty easy to organise everything yourself and travel to Mt. Bromo independently. However there are numerous private and small group tour options too if you prefer the convenience of being picked from your Probolinggo hotel or want to pre-book extras like a jeep tour or a hose ride across the volcanic landscape.
It is possible to charter an empty minivan from the bus station to Cemoro Lawang for around 350,000 IDR ($23) although a private taxi from the city centre is arguably a better option for up to four people at a similar price.
Yogyakarta to Bromo by Train via Surabaya
Duration: 4.5 – 5.5 hours Cost: 97,000 IDR ($6)
Although the city of Surabaya is further away, it’s a quicker journey by train and there are more frequent services from Yogyakarta. This is why travelling from Yogyakarta to Bromo via Surabaya is also a popular option.
There are at least 8 trains that depart from Yogyakarta’s Tugu Station each day, and the travel time to Surabaya is only 4.5 to 5.5 hours.
The earliest train departs at 00:52 and the latest departure is at 16:40. Get off at Surabaya Gubeng Station, which is located within the city centre. A ticket costs between 97,000 IDR ($6) to 194,000 IDR ($12), depending on the class of seat you book.
Trains also leave Surabaya Gubeng Station for Malang and Probolinggo, so you can break up the journey to Mt. Bromo for a stopover in Surabaya.
The Gubeng Station is only a short taxi ride away from several central Surabaya attractions and monuments, such as Apsari Park, and the Grand City and Tunjungan Plaza malls. There are also several hotels located close to the train station.
Organized Tour from Surabaya
From Surabaya, there are several options to book private or group tours to Mt. Bromo. You are about three hours away from the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and generally, it works out cheaper to arrange a tour if leaving from Surabaya. Check with your hotel for assistance prior to your arrival.
Another option is to book a Mt. Bromo sunrise tour via Klook. Private tours are available any day of the week, but join-in tours are only available from Surabaya on weekends. You can join a group tour for 899,000 IDR ($55), but note that there is a 2-person minimum requirement.
It is also known as Kulon Progo due to the area in which it is located. Most scheduled flights have now relocated to the new airport although there is still a lot of flights leaving from Adisucipto International Airport (JOG).
For flights to Surabaya Adisucipto International Airport (JOG) is often still the best choice.
Make sure you double-check which airport your flight departs from when making the booking.
Flights from Adisucipto International Airport (JOG)
Step 1: Yogyakarta City Centre to the Airport
Duration: 20 minutes Costs: 8,000 IDR ($0.50)
Adisucipto International Airport is more convenient for the city centre, and has more transport options. However, do make sure your booked flight departs from there and not the new airport.
You have 3 ways to reach Adisucipto International Airport from Yogyakarta city centre by train, by bus, or by taxi.
The train is a good option if you want to skip the traffic. However, they are infrequent, and there’s a chance you will have to wait a while for the next train. Trains depart from Tugu Station. You should get off at Maguwo Station, which is connected to the airport. Travel time is around 20 mins and fares start at 8,000 IDR ($0.50).
If you prefer to take a taxi, we recommend booking one via Grab or Gojek. The 20-min trip costs about 82,000 IDR ($5).
The bus is the cheapest option at 3,600 IDR ($0.20). However, the bus trip takes about an hour due to numerous stops along the route. If you still want to travel to the airport by bus, take TransJogja Bus #1A. Ask your hotel for assistance in finding the nearest bus stop.
Surabaya is a popular basecamp for Mt. Bromo, but it is still 2.5 hours away and the furthest of all our recommended areas.
From Surabaya Airport to the city centre, you can take either a bus or a taxi. The bus takes 1 hour to reach the tourist district and a ticket costs 30,000 IDR ($1.80). Travelling by taxi is quicker at around 30 minutes with rates starting at 131,000 IDR ($8).
Flights from Yogyakarta International Airport (YIA)
Step 1: Yogyakarta City Centre to Yogyakarta International Airport (YIA)
Duration: about 1 hour Costs: 45,000 IDR ($3.00)
A train is the best option to beat the road congestion. Trains depart from Tugu Station, which is the nearest station to Jogya’s backpacker area.
There is no airport rail terminal so you will get off at nearby Wojo Station. The train fare costs 30,000 IDR ($1.80) and the journey takes about one hour. From Wojo Station take a Damri shuttle bus to complete the journey to the airport. It takes about 15 mins and costs only 15,000 IDR ($0.90).
A more seamless option is to take a taxi from your hotel direct to the airport. The journey takes a little over an hour and fares start at 247,000 IDR ($15) depending on your city centre location.