Mount Bromo Horse riding, East Java

Mount Bromo which stands tall at 2329 m is one of the most iconic mountain in Indonesia. It beckons majestically despite having the entire top blown off and with a crater inside that keeps spewing off white sulphurous smoke. Mount Bromo is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world and there are areas that are blocked off from tourists due to its imminent danger. It sits inside the massive Tengger caldera (volcanic crater with diameter approximately 10km), surrounded by the Laut Pasir (sea of sand) of fine volcanic sand. This breathtaking and ethereal landscape have been swooned by many travelers alike.

 Bromo Day 2

Myth has it that Mount Bromo is significant to the Tengger people who believe that the site is where their brave prince sacrificed his life for his family. To appease the Gods, the people will offer food and money by throwing it into the crater of the volcano once a year during annual Kasada (or Kasodo) festival.

Though the smoking craters are not actually the highest tip of the Bromo complex, this works to the area’s advantage since it’s possible to view them from an even higher crater edge. The harrowing drive up Mount Penanjakan is a small price to pay for admission to the sunrise show. Our favorite orange orb could inspire even the blackest of hearts as it rises from behind the volcano’s steaming clouds, surrounding desert and savanna. Less crowded view points also exist on Mount Cemoro Lawang, along the trail to Mount Penanjakan.

Horse riding on ash

In the middle of the caldera, there are locals renting horses with various cost for a ride. These horses are available to be ridden freely, though the owners will tag along and if given your camera, will have a field day filling it with shots from all angles.

 Bromo Horse 1

Majestically standing in front of Mount Bromo is Pura Luhur Poten, a temple used by the native Tenggerese people for the annual Yadnya Kasada sacrificial ceremony.  After trotting around, there are 253 steps to be climbed up to the sulfuric crater. However, hiking is prohibited if the volcanic activity is considered too dangerous for tourists to come close, as happened in early November 2010.

The complex was formed by repeated eruptions each of which created new volcanoes and calderas. It began with the eruption of Mount Nongkojajar, which reached the height of 3,000m, then continued with the formation of Mount Ngadisari, Old Tengger Mountain, Mount Keciri and finally the current peaks of Mount Cemoro Lawang, Lautan Pasir (Sea of Sand), and Mount Bromo itself. Mount Bromo is now the only active peak.

How to get there:

Mount Bromo is situated inside Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, beside Mount Semeru at East Java, Indonesia. Fly into Juanda international airport in Surabaya. There are direct flights from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Bali. If you are flying domestic from Jakarta, you may take Sriwijaya that flies twice weekly.

Bromo Horses 2

Best time to travel:

June – August where there is less rain but more tourists. August is also the month for the Kesada / Kesodo festival for the Tengger people if you are interested. But that being said, Indonesia being a fairly mild weather of just rain and shine, anytime is a good time to go Mount Bromo, only check out for local weather when you are there for best clear sky for your sunrise experience. If you do not have much days then hope for the best when you are there. Also try to avoid weekends if you do not want the crowd.

Photo Credit from here.

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