Arriving on Bromo’s ‘sea of sand’ is something in between landing on the Moon or an immense Mongolian plain. It’s a mystical setting for travelers, triggering a sense of reverence in even the most seasoned explorers.
The trek is easily accessible, and well worth summiting for sunrise, however you can also venture off to explore other peaks in the national park, such as Mt. Semeru. Discover the desert plains and endless views over the valleys of Ranu Pani, where you may spot the Javan rusa deers, muntjacs or marbled cats.
Meet and greet the Tengger people, a welcoming ethnic group of Hindu faith who maintain their animist tradition and are happy to exchange smiles and experiences. Feel your skin get drier and your shoes fill with black volcanic sand as you admire this apparently static yet constantly changing environment. Whether you go up in a jeep or walk yourself, the adventure is yours.
Home to fascinating volcanic lakes and unusual landscapes, Mt. Ijen and the Blambangan Nature Reserve provide a dramatic setting for an out-of-the-ordinary travel experience. Although a steep and arduous climb, reaching Java’s biggest crater lake will reward you with views of the surrounding cliffs and a 200-metre deep crater filled with turquoise water, topped with a layer of sulphuric cloud. Along the way, you will meet the agile and friendly barefoot sulphur miners who make a living in this harsh environment, carrying many kilograms up and down the mountain each day.
Discover the Hindu heritage of Banyuwangi, the entry town to the volcano, and stay up until the morning light to watch a traditional Gandrung Dance, allowing you to feel the love and gratitude towards Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice. If you are lucky, you may spot the rare Javanese tiger and leopard, or simply admire the magnificence of sawo kecik trees as you enjoy the company of colourful peacocks and wild deer.