Mount Bromo, East Java, Indonesia
Mount Bromo is one of the most popular active volcanoes in Indonesia. Located in East Java, it offers a spectacular view of sunrise highlighting rows of adjacent mountains and “the sea of sand” around it. This entire volcanic complex is officially named as Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and is located 50 km east of Malang. To enter the park, it is very recommended to rent a Jeep with an experienced driver (for about USD30/car) available in abundance at the entrance. The driver will take visitors through the curvy and narrow paths with steep ravines to reach Mount Penanjakan, the prime area to capture the beautiful panorama of the surroundings.
Aside from a fully-charged camera, strong will and a functioning alarm clock will be necessary to greet the sunrise in Mount Bromo. To get the best spot for sunrise viewing, people usually start to gather in the veranda of Mount Penanjakan before 4AM, regardless the cold and freezing pre-dawn temperature. Nevertheless, when the sun starts to rise and beam its light upon these landscape, all of the adrenaline poured during the Jeep tour and facing the chills will certainly be paid off.
From the veranda of Mount Penanjakan, the mountains are beautifully presented across the sea of sand in the caldera of ancient Tengger volcano. This unique feature is declared as the only desert-like area in Indonesia and thus has been protected since the early 1900s. Among its significant numbers of mountain, the scene covers Mount Bromo, Mount Batok —the only mountain that is no longer active— and Mount Semeru —the highest peak in Java Island. Seeing this group of mountains covered in mist under the clear blue sky is an exotic package that is rare to find.
After the sunrise, the Jeep tour usually takes visitors to Bromo foothills where people can walk or ride horses to climb the mountain and view the caldera of Mount Bromo. These horses are rented out by Tengger people, the remaining indigenous Hindu communities of Majapahit era that inhabit the area, both in and around the park. This community still strongly performs their religious duties including to respect Mount Bromo as a sacred place. Once a year, Tengger people hold Kasada Festival in the modest temple located in front of Mount Batok. They then climb up the mountain to deliver offerings of foods, flowers and other sacrifices by throwing them to the caldera of Mount Bromo.
A few days before I left to Indonesia, Mount Merapi erupted on the West side of Java, injuring and killing several people. This is the heavily photographed Mount Bromo on the east side. Just a week after this was taken, this mountain also erupted…
On Tuesday, 23 November 2010, 16.30 Western Indonesian Times, the Indonesian Center of Vulcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation had risen the activity status of Mount Bromo to “alert” because of the increasing activity of tremors and shallow earthquakes in the mountain. The potential volcano eruption might take place soon. As precautions the refugees encampments were erected, the locals and tourists must cleared the area within radius three kilometres from the caldera. Currently the Bromo is off limits for visitors, as the volcano is the most famous tourism attraction in East Java.
Bromo started to erupt ash on Friday 26 November.
Mount Bromo (Indonesian: Gunung Bromo), is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 metres (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia.
Mount Bromo sits in the middle of a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand” (Javanese: Segara Wedi or Indonesian: Lautan Pasir), a protected nature reserve since 1919. The typical way to visit Mount Bromo is from the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. From there it is possible to walk to the volcano in about 45 minutes, but it is also possible to take an organised jeep tour, which includes a stop at the viewpoint on Mount Penanjakan (2,770 m or 9,088 ft) (Indonesian: Gunung Penanjakan). The best views from Mount Bromo to the Sand Sea below and the surrounding volcanoes are at sunrise. The viewpoint on Mount Penanjakan can also be reached on foot in about two hours. From inside the caldera, sulfur is collected by workers.