The Volcanic Wonders of Java: Exploring Mount Bromo without a Tour

10 min

Share Article

Key Facts

No time to read now?

Save on Pinterest to read it later.

Pin this post
mT. Longonot

Sunrise at Mount Bromo

There is something magical about standing on the edge of a volcanic landscape as the sun rises slowly over the horizon, illuminating the dramatic terrain and casting an array of colors across the sky. The view is truly breathtaking, with the silhouette of Mount Bromo in the distance and the Sea of Sand stretching out below. It’s no wonder that the sunrise on Mount Bromo has become one of the must-see experiences in Indonesia.

Located within a protected reserve called the ‘Sea of Sand’, Mount Bromo is surrounded by a massive crater that houses five other volcanoes including Mount Batok, Mount Kursi, Mount Watangan, and Mount Widodaren. Standing at a height of 2,329 meters, the active volcano Mount Bromo is the most popular attraction in the area. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the crater and Bromo from different viewpoints, explore the Sea of Sand, and even climb up to the summit of Mount Bromo for a truly unforgettable experience.

View of Mount Bromo at sunrise

How to plan your trip to Mount Bromo on your own

Explore Mount Bromo without a tour
Where to stay?
How to rent a scooter?
Driving to Mount Bromo
TIP: It can be very cold in the night, especially in late August when temperatures drop below 10 degrees Celsius in the night. Dress warmly in layers when riding a scooter as the wind can make it feel colder. We also recommend to bring a scarf and gloves. There are also food stalls at the viewpoints, which offer small fires and hot coffee/tea to warm up.
IMG 4747
IMG 0270

Best Viewpoints for the Sunrise

You don’t want to watch sunrise from Mount Bromo itself. There are several viewpoints, each offering a unique perspective of the stunning landscape. The most popular viewpoints are Penanjakan, King Kong Hill, and Love Hill.

  • Penanjakan is the highest and most crowded viewpoint, offering a panoramic view of the entire area, including Mount Bromo, Mount Batok, and Mount Semeru. It can get very crowded, so be prepared to arrive early to secure a good spot.
  • King Kong Hill is a less crowded option, located just a short hike away from the Penanjakan viewpoint. From here, you can enjoy a stunning view of the Mount Bromo crater with a foreground of rolling hills and vast savannah.
  • Love Hill, also known as Bukit Cinta, is a more secluded option, located about 3 km away from the main area. It offers a stunning view of the sunrise over Mount Bromo and the surrounding landscape, with fewer crowds and a more intimate atmosphere.


We opted for the King Kong Hill viewpoint. Also, we found out from a German travel blog that there’s a hidden trail after the food stalls on the right side that leads to a secret spot (before the official one). We followed the trail for about 5-10 minutes, and it led us to a stunning viewpoint that was higher up the hill. The best part was that there were only a few people there, so we had plenty of space to enjoy the breathtaking view in peace and quiet.

It’s worth mentioning that Mount Bromo is not the tallest volcano in the area, but it’s the smaller, smoking one located on the left. 😉

IMG 0238
IMG 0242

Climbing the Bromo Crater

As we drove our scooter from the viewpoint towards Mount Bromo, we couldn’t help but feel the excitement building up inside us. The sand was still cold in the morning and driving through the Sea of Sand was relatively easy. 

TIP: Start moving towards Mount Bromo before the crowds start gathering, so you can enjoy the view without any distractions.

We had to walk for around 10 minutes from the parking lot on a dusty road to reach the stairs that would take us to the crater. We had read in other blogs and it was important for us to reiterate – please do not take a horse for this small walk as these animals are not treated well.

TIP: Use your scarf or dust mask to protect you from all the dust. Trust us, you will really need this! We learned this the hard way as Laura got an allergic reaction and started sneezing soon after entering the Sea of Sand. Her nose was running for two days afterwards.

To reach the summit of Mount Bromo, we had to climb up a short but steep path that was paved with stairs. It took us around 20 minutes to reach the top with a normal space. But we noticed that the stairs can get crowded and it is hard to bypass others on the narrow stairs. So we suggest being patient.

The view from the top is absolutely worth it! We were left in awe as we gazed down into the vast, otherworldly caldera and marveled at the fuming, volcanic activity below. It was a truly humbling experience and provided us with a unique perspective on the natural wonders of our planet.

IMG 4802
IMG 4801
IMG 0285

"Swimming" through the Sea of Sand

As we descended Mount Bromo, we realized that our scooter’s fuel tank was almost empty. With fingers crossed, we made our way to Cemoro Lawang in hopes of finding some fuel, although Google Maps didn’t show any gas stations. We crossed our fingers and asked the locals for help. To our delight, a friendly lady sitting on her patio pulled out two plastic bottles of fuel and filled up our tank. We continued our journey towards the Sea of Sand with a filled tank and grateful hearts. But little did we know the journey ahead would be much harder than we anticipated.

The sand had become incredibly soft, making it almost impossible to ride our scooter. We had to push it most of the way. There were also no trees to provide shade from the scorching sun. However, we kept our spirits up and laughed at the absurdity of our situation. We noticed we weren’t the only ones struggling, which made us feel better. After about two hours of hiking through the Sea of Sand, we finally made it to the other side. Despite the challenging journey, the breathtaking views of the landscape and rice fields along the way made it all worth it.

IMG 0295

Visiting Mount Bromo is an unforgettable experience. From the stunning views of the sunrise to the unique and awe-inspiring landscape of the crater, the journey to this iconic volcano is worth every bit of effort. Though the drive by a scooter can be challenging at times, the reward of seeing the volcanic activity up close and personal is simply incredible. Overall, our experience of visiting Mount Bromo was nothing short of 10/10 and the memories have remained close to our heart since then.

0 /10

Discuss With Us

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated. By submitting a comment you agree to our privacy policy. Your email will not be published.

Did You Know That..

When you purchase something thorugh our links, we earn a small fee. However, you still pay the same. Win-win!

via booking
via Hostelworld
via TRIP
via Gettransfer
via Tripadvisor
Find Related Stories

Interested in more articles about Indonesia? You will find all of our Indonesia stories in our Indonesia Articles Section.