Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park covers a massive area of 800 square kilometres in the centre of East Java. For anyone with an interest in volcanoes, a visit to the park is a must. This is the largest volcanic region in the province. Visit the park and see the plumes of smoke coming from Mount Semeru, an active volcano which rises 3676 meters above sea level. Experience the remarkable Tengger Caldera, Java’s largest, with its 10 km barren desert-like sea of sand. Within the caldera rise the deeply fissured volcanic cones of Batok and Bromo, the latter is still active with a cavernous crater from which smoke blows skyward. Temperatures at the top of Mount Bromo range about 5 to 18 degrees Celsius. To the south of the park is a rolling upland plateau dissected by valleys and dotted with several small scenic lakes, extending to the foot of Mount Semeru.
The Tengger sandy area has been protected since 1919. This is believed to be the only conservation area in Indonesia, and possibly the world which possesses a unique sand sea at the attitude of about 2000 m above sea level. There are several mountains inside the caldera: Mt Watangan (2,661 m asl). Mt Batok (2,470 m asl), Mt Kursi (2,581 asl), Mt Watangan (2,661 m asl), and Mt Widadaren (2,650 m asl). With beautiful scenery, easy access and visitor-oriented facilities, it’s no wonder that this one of the most popular reserves in Java.
Take in the spectacular view of the sun rising over volcanic peaks with an early morning trip to Mt Bromo. From the lookout point at Penanjakan you will get picture perfect shots of a spectacular vista. Cross the desert on a pony, climb the steep stairs right up to Mt. Bromo’s crater rim, then watch the sun spectacularly rise over the horizon.
Climb Mount Semeru, the highest peak in Java. This mountain, also known as the Great Mountain, is regarded by Hindus as the most sacred mountain of all. Getting to the peak is a tough three day trek. Mt Semeru is one of the most active volcanoes on Java and regularly explodes. These gases and belching lava make Semeru dangerous, so stay well away from the vent.
Witness local culture at its best when on the fourteenth day of the month Kasada, – usually in the month of November – the native people of the area, the Tenggerese, gather at the rim of Mount Bromo’s active crater to present offerings of rice, fruit, vegetables, flowers, live stock and other local produce to the God of the Mountain. The Tenggerese are adherents of a religion which combines elements of Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism. In this Kasada ceremony the Tenggerese ask for blessing from the supreme God, Sang Hyang Widi Wasa.
There are a number of guesthouses and basic hotels located around Mt Bromo. The Bromo Guest House is located at Ngadisari that lies 3 km from the crater rim. Or you can stay at Cemoro Lawang where there are guesthouses situated near the crater.
Alternately stay overnight at Tretes and Prigen, Pasuruan, before climbing Mt. Bromo to reach there before sunrise. Malang is another pleasant hill town to explore on your way to the Park.
- Necessities for the trip include a torch, warm clothing, comfortable trekking shoes, and glove as a protection against the freezing temperature which hovers between zero to five degrees Celsius (33 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit)
- If you buy or rent something remember to bargain.Sunrise occurs between 5.00 and 6.00 am (if it’s not cloudy), so you should leave from your hotel or guesthouse by 3am.
- The best time to see the sunrise is in the dry season from April to October.
- Before you start trekking or climbing, be sure that you have already eaten, or bring some food and drink with you.
There are many souvenir shops around Mount Bromo selling T-shirts, woollen scarves and other goods. There are also street hawkers selling these things at the caldera area.
Many visitors to the park choose to walk while they are here. There are clearly marked tracks across the sand sea that leads to the foot of Bromo. Alternatively you can rent a jeep or hire a horse from Cemoro Lawang to get around.
Bromo Tengger Semeru can be reached by private and public vehicle from Surabaya or Malang in East Java. Sriwijaya Air flies twice daily to Malang from Jakarta.
There are multiple ways to get into the park. Visitors can come from Probolinggo, in the north west arrive through the village of Ngadisari. Or take the north east approach via Pasuruan and the village of Tosari. The third, the more difficult approach is via Ngadas, which is best travelled on the way down.
The Probolinggo approach is the easiest and by far the most popular route, especially if travelling by public bus. Wonokitri is the closest and the easiest approach if you are coming by private vehicle from Surabaya (5 hours journey). To get closer to Mt. Bromo you must rent 4×4 vehicles (there are many 4×4 vehicles available for rent there).
Most tour groups from Surabaya stay overnight at Tretes, where there are a number hotels, as there are in Malang city, which has the added advantage of having an airport. Alternatively, you can contact a travel agency to arrange your trip.
Most of the warungs (local food stalls) in this area close after 7.30 pm so be sure to eat early. If you’re in Wonokitri area, there are some warungs in Tosari market, which are usually open between 7-9 pm.
Source : Indonesia Travel