To watch the sunrise at Mount Bromo is one of the most magical experiences we made during our travels in Indonesia. The viewpoints can get pretty crowded, but we managed to find a way to do the hike ourselves without a tour and to find a spot for ourselves. In this blog post, we share with you our tips and experiences about our sunrise hike at Mount Bromo.
How to get to Mount Bromo
When we landed in Surabaya, we took a taxi at the airport and drove all the way to Bromo town. It took us about 2.5 hours and cost about 500K IDR (about 35$). Please haggle about the price; they will tell you a much higher rate. If you come to Java from Bali, you can take the ferry to Gilimanuk, which is northwest of Bali. With the ferry, it only takes about 30 min to get to Java, but it depends on where you stay in Bali; the drive up to the port can be pretty long.
Where to stay near Mount Bromo
We decided to stay in Bromo town for the sunrise hike, but it is also possible to stay in Malang and drive to Mount Bromo by scooter. Both options have their ups and downs. Of course, if you want to do the sunrise, you must start your drive from Malang in the middle of the night (it’s a 2-hour ride). From Bromo, you can begin at your hotel and walk all the way up. Bromo is a tiny town with only very few restaurants (which was fine for us because the food was super cheap). But to leave Bromo is a bit of a challenge because there is no public transportation, so you have the following two options:
Take a shared Minivan, which is cheap, but you don’t know when they will leave because they only start when the van is complete (8-10 people), and the ride to Malang is much longer (about 5 hours) because they drive all around the volcano valley called sea of sands.
Take a private driver with a Jeep and drive through the Vulcano Valley, which is way faster (about 2 hours to Malang) but much more expensive, about 700K (49$)
That is why staying in Malang and driving to Bromo by Motorbike for Sunrise is definitely the cheaper option but maybe less convenient.
We stayed at the Guesthouse Gunung Bromo which is very well located and has its own restaurant and a delicious breakfast (also for us vegans, they made us tofu instead of egg)
How to do the sunrise hike at Mount Bromo without a tour
You can choose if you want to visit with a tour or do it by yourself. We decided to do the hike by ourselves, and it was very easy. We took the app maps.me that helped us to find the way offline and some headlamps for the darker parts of the hike. Be aware that it is freezing in Bromo and bring some warm clothing for this hike (see our Instagram vs. real life outfit-shots below), which you will start in the middle of the night (we started at 3 am). The best is to wear different layers. There are two popular viewpoints called Seruni Viewpoint and King Kong hill. We heard that the viewpoints can get very busy, that is why we decided to find a place for ourselves in the middle of these two viewpoints. The sunrise view there is beautiful and an unforgettable experience.
If you want to visit the crater of Mount Bromo and drive to the desert valley called “Sea of sands”, you can either walk through the valley in about 45 min or you can drive with your own Motorbike or book a Jeep. That’s what we did, and we just asked one of the drivers who were waiting in Bromo Town when we came back from the sunrise hike. We haggled a bit and ended up paying him 150K IDR (10$). He drove us to the parking where all the tours go, and we hiked to the crater from there. It took us about 30 min to get to the top and the view was incredible.