How long does it take to climb Mount Bromo?
The trail to the top of Mount Bromo Summit is free. It takes about 20-30 minutes depending on how quickly you can haul yourself up the sandy slope. Many tourists decide it is a good idea to have a horse haul them up the hill.
Mount Bromo is an easy climb and is more about exploring the expansive crater. Generally, people start from the Mount Penanjakan viewpoint (technically, Mount Bromo is the small volcanic dome in the middle of the crater) at sunrise.
Then you descend into the caldera, and either walk, ride a horse or take a motorbike to the base of Bromo in the middle of the caldera.
If it’s safe, guides will help you scramble to the top of the volcanic dome, otherwise, you can explore other parts of the caldera. An entrance ticket must be bought at the Park entrance. Getting to the first viewpoint can be done by jeep.
Time to climb
Most tourists spend the night at the nearby village of Cemero Lawang and opt for a jeep ride up the viewing points on Mount Penanjakan and down to the Sea of Sand before arriving at the base of Mount Bromo, from where everyone walks up the stairs to the edge of the crater.
If you are opting for jeep and horse rides to Mount Bromo and back and only scaling the stairs on foot, the entire trip will take you less than half a day.
Wake up early, and start from your village for Mount Penanjakan. It is a tradition to stop by here to catch the sun-rise before hiking up Bromo.
Arrive at a halfway point on Mount Penanjakan from where there is a 15-minute hike to the sunrise viewing point.
Watch the sunrise over the hills as active volcanoes with fuming cones in the Tengger caldera are slowly lit up, including Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, the tallest volcano in Java.
Walk down to the jeep that takes you down the slope and to the bed of the caldera. The jeeps park by the side of a Tenggerese Hindu Temple called The Poten and from there you will begin the journey across the Sea of Sand.
Walk across the Sea of Sand in a half hour or so on foot or in 10 minutes on horseback. This is a large carpet of powdery sand and with all the rush of horses and people, there will be quite a bit of sand in the air too.
This stretch is not difficult to navigate on foot but can be tricky in parts owing to the loose sand. Make sure to bring a mask for protection against the sand.
There are also motorbikes offering to take visitors across. If these are not included in your package, you might find the fares a little steep. So it helps to book the horse or motorbike beforehand if you don’t want to walk the whole way.
Start the walk up the stairs to the summit of Mount Bromo. There are 240 of them, with a few rests stops along the way if you would like to take a break. The stairs are equipped with handrails to ease the difficulty of the steep incline. But the constant ash spewing from the crater and the swirling sand can make it slippery in certain parts.
The constant footsteps of tourists and bellowing of the volcano above have taken their toll on the steps, for many have worn down and are accompanied often by broken rails on the sides.
Reach the crater rim. You can walk around the rim and watch the fumes from the crater or look around at the surrounding landscape that has an almost lunar quality.
Walk back down the stairs to the base and embark on the return journey to the village.
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