The Bromo region is best known for its awesome scenery; at its heart is a vast, ancient volcanic crater with sheer walls over 300m high. Within this crater, a host of picturesque mountains, including the dramatic, still-smoking Gunung Bromo (2329m), rises up from the Sea of Sand, the sandy plain at the crater’s base. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come here each year to climb Bromo for the sunrise – a stunning sight, and less strenuous than many other Indonesian peaks.
This unique landscape now comprises the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, whose highlights are the dramatic smoking crater of Gunung Bromo, Gunung Penanjakan – on the outside crater’s edge and one of the favourite sunrise spots – and Cemoro Lawang, with its brilliant panoramic view of the crater. The park also contains the highest mountain in Java, Gunung Semeru, which can be climbed by experienced trekkers. Views are best in the dry season but, whatever time of year, you should bring warm clothes.
There are two main approaches to the Bromo region. The most popular is to head inland from Probolinggo, on the north coast, to the crater’s edge at Cemoro Lawang, where most people stay in order to make the dawn trip to Gunung Bromo as easy as possible. Alternative access is from Pasuruan, also on the north coast, inland to the less-visited villages of Tosari and Wonokitri. These villages are linked by road to Gunung Penanjakan, so they offer an excellent approach for the sunrise. Many people visit Bromo as part of an organized trip from Yogya to Bali.