Home » Articles » Mount Ijen Indonesia | A Home to the Phenomenal Blue Fire

Mount Ijen, also known as ‘Kawah Ijen’ is highly recommended for nature enthusiasts and hikers. The Plateau was at one time a huge active crater, 134 sq km in area. Ijen is a quiet but active volcano, and the landscape is dominated by the volcanic cones of Ijen (2,368 asl) and Merapi (2,800 asl) on the northeastern edge of the Plateau, and Raung (3,332 asl) on the southwestern corner.

Mount Ijen, East Java, Indonesia

A Home to the Phenomenal Blue Fire

The beauty of Ijen Crater has been recognized across the world. In March 2016, this magical lake has been included in UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserves.

When you arrived here after walking through a road surrounded by lush greeneries, a refreshing chill breeze will greet you right away. The air around Ijen Crater normally will reach about 10 degrees celsius daily

Sometimes, it might even hit 2 degrees celsius. During the day, the mesmerizing sight of sunlight radiating a turquoise lake enveloped with smokes will give you an everlasting impression. Several small vents can be found surrounding the crater.

They are a source of work for sulfur miners, making their way up and down from the crater and down to the lake each and every day. At dawn, you can have a chance to witness an incredible natural phenomenon where blue-tinted flames will appear around the crater. Known by many as the Blue Fire, this phenomenon usually occurs around 05:00 AM.

Mount Ijen, East Java, Indonesia

Get Around

You can take a walk for about 1-1.5 hours around the crater rim.

Get There

The Ijen Plateau can be reached through Bondowoso from either the northern or the southern coast. It is closer to Banyuwangi, but the road can be very steep and badly deteriorated. A jeep is quite helpful, although difficult to hire in Banyuwangi and outrageously expensive. Most people walk the last 8 km (from about 64 km) along the road to Paltuding Post (the PHPA Post, the starting point, or the trek to the crater) from Bondowoso. Once you’ve arrived at Paltuding Post, you can trek your way up to the edge of the Ijen crater caldera through a 3 km long route. The daily climbing schedule starts at 01:00 AM up until 12:00 AM. However, during the restriction period, the climbing schedule will instead start at 03:00 AM.

Mount Ijen, East Java, Indonesia


A gas mask or filtration mask: You can rent this in the parking lot at Ijen Crater. For 40,000 rupiah you can get a mask that covers your mouth and nose with a small filter. It isn’t perfect but it helps a lot. Most people use these and you are only doing near the Sulfur for a short period of time or really as long as you like. There’s no need to go close to it.

A flashlight or headlamp: The trail is pretty simple the whole way and we had a full moon so we only used one light between us. I do suggest at least one torch or headlamp between you and a partner. They also sell things in the Ijen Crater parking lot for about $4

Warm Jacket: It was cold but because we were hiking up I actually had my jacket off most of the way. Waiting for sunrise at the top when we stopped moving was cold but only lasted thirty minutes until it warmed up with the rising sun. It isn’t as cold as Bromo and I found it warmer than I thought.

Enclosed shoes: I had Salomon hiking shoes, which were great and I suggest proper hiking shoes as they can be quite slippery. However, my friends just used normal sneakers. Definitely, don’t do this one in flip-flops!

Water and snacks: There are no vendors once you are on the trail for the most part. I think I noticed one shop but I’m not sure it was open. Pack your snacks and water. We were there for a long time taking photos and videos so we packed a bit extra. There are Warungs and cafes near the parking lot for when you exit Ijen Crater.


The entrance fee for foreigners was 150,000 rupiah, which is about $10 USD. For locals and all Indonesians, the fee was only about $1 USD. The team is constantly upgrading the path and adding infrastructure so this fee is quite low considering the popularity of the attraction.


The Ijen Crater trek is an amazing experience and with an expert guide, you will have a great time. This tour is one of the top-rated tours you can pre-book online and includes hotel pick-up and drop-off from the town of Banyuwangi (where everyone stays before Ijen). Here is some information about what is included in the tour.

Mount Ijen, East Java, Indonesia

You are collected at your accommodation in Banyuwangi at midnight. The journey to the Ijen Crater will take about 1.5 hours. Then the hike to the Ijen Crater viewpoint takes 90-120 minutes from the foot of the path, which leads you to the top. On a clear day, you can see the magical blue fire, which is a truly unique experience.

After witnessing the stunning blue flames from the viewpoint, continue to catch the beautiful sunrise over the largest acid lake on Java Island, called Ijen’s Crater. On the way back to the car park, appreciate the local miners carrying sulfur rock as part of their daily tough life to continue fulfilling their family bread and butter.

After a 1-hour trek down, you will reach the car park around 7:00 AM. On the way back you will stop at the coffee and cloves plantation on the way back to your accommodation, which you will reach around 9:00 AM.


  1. Mount Ijen Tour From Bali

  2. Mount Ijen Bromo Tour 

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