A three day adventure in East Java (from or to Bali)
An itinerary that combines two unique highlights of East Java: Kawah Ijen and Bromo.
Kawah Ijen is a volcano in a stratovolcano complex of which the larger caldera is about 20 kilometers wide. Its highest peak is called Gunung Merapi and rises 2,799 meters (9,183 ft.) above sea level. Nearby, inside the slightly lower crater of Ijen at 2,600m, there is a lake that contains a very high concentration of sulfuric acid and hydrogen chloride. This specific solution is the result of abundant rainfall continuously infused by gases coming from the earth’s core. With a depth of 212m it is by far the largest acid lake on Earth. On the edges of the lake steaming sulfur gases are lead through ceramic pipes that deposit about 4 tons of pure sulfur on the shore each day. Kawah Ijen is the site of a labor intensive mining operation and it is amazing to watch hundreds of men hauling heavy loads of sulfur up and down the mountain. Near the lake the sulfur is broken into pieces, loaded in baskets and the miners carry huge loads first from the crater floor to the rim of the crater and then down the mountain to a weigh station. These workers make the 4 km trek up from the lake and down to the base of the volcano about twice a day carrying 65 to 80 kg of sulfur at a time.
From the mine of King Solomon this voyage then takes you to the eerie moonscape of Bromo.
Mount Bromo is an active volcano and the best known attraction of the Tengger Semeru National Park. The site is noted for its spectacular sunrises, and the majestic views on the Semeru volcano behind it. To get there you cross the Sea of Sands on horseback…
Day one : Bali - Ijen Resort (no meal included)
We take you from your resort in Bali and drive along Bali’s West coast to the ferry harbor of Gilimanuk. Crossing the Bali Strait to Ketapang Harbor of Banyuwangi takes 30-45 minutes. Upon arrival in Banyuwangi, we drive inland to the village of Licin in the foothills of the Ijen Highlands. We check you into the Ijen Resort and Villas <http://www.ijendiscovery.com/index>
Day two : Hike to Mount Ijen and transfer to Malang (B,L)
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we take you in a 4WDrive through rural villages, coffee and clove plantations into the rainforest that covers the slopes of the larger Ijen craters. Through the giant ferns and the colossal trees we may spot some of the plentiful wildlife. When we reach the Park Rangers station at ‘Paal Tuding’ we start our hike up to the crater edge. It is only about a three kilometers distance from there to the lake, but the path goes up rather steeply. In just three kilometers we have to go up 518 meters which is an average inclination of 17%! The first two kilometers are the heaviest but the reward of the effort is more than worth it: literally a breath taking view. We encounter many workers trudging up and down the mountain carrying sacks of sulfur. After reaching the crater the intrepid and agile may wish to climb down to the lake but the air is filled with sulfur dioxide; the smell is pungent and at times breathing may be difficult. (An early morning departure to Ijen is advisable for a number of reasons. The light is better for taking pictures and by noon the crater maybe in the clouds already.)
We return the same way we came and when you return to the hotel there is time to freshen up. After we check out we directly proceed to Malang. Lunch will be served en route in the Pasir Putih area. Driving time is approximately 4 hours. Our selected accommodation in Malang is Hotel Tugu <http://www.tuguhotels.com/malang/>
The town of Malang has retained a pleasant Dutch atmosphere with wide, tree-lined boulevards. It is a great place to stroll around and a very good base for those who wish to explore Mount Bromo.
Day three: Sunrise at Bromo - transfer to Malang or Surabaya airport (B,L)
Today we really have to leave in the wee hours of the night so we carry a breakfast box provided by the hotel. The drive to the Tosari Area where we may enjoy the famed Bromo sunrise takes three hours. It takes another hour to where the Bromo crater rises up in the middle of a sea of sand but it is possible to cross this lunar landscape on horseback and when we finally reach the crater we still have to go up a flight of 245 steps to reach the rim (2,329 m). What is certain: the sight from the top of the Bromo into the crater, in combination with the view on Tengger always creates another indelible memory! Tengger is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes and regularly belches out a huge cloud of steam and smoke…
When you return to Malang there is ample time to relax at the hotel or get to know the town. At the appropriate time we transfer you to Malang or Surabaya airport for your return to Bali or the flight to your onward destination.
End of services. Of course this itinerary can be followed in the reverse order.