How many of you have seen a volcano? And how many of those who did, saw it erupting? This is truly a rare occurrence and if you had a chance to see it you should consider yourself incredibly lucky.
Read a story about a place where you can gaze at sunrise at this wonder of Mather Nature. Welcome to Mt Bromo.
1. Behind Cemara Indah Hotel – that's at the end of the village. Hotel is located at the very cliff. From there you can see Bromo without the necessity to go anywhere far. It's perfect spot to watch the sunset. You can also order tea or coffee at the restaurant and drink it on the terrace overlooking the smoking volcano. How great is that?
2. Sunrise Spot – it's not official name, but everyone goes there to watch the sunrise, so let's leave it at that. You can't get lost. There's only one way leading there. It takes about 1h to climb to the viewpoint. If you want to watch the sunrise leaving around 3.30 is plenty enough. No point in sitting there later and freezing for an hour. There's also no need to go to the the very top (view from there isn't the best, there are crowds of people and concrete building standing at the top is very anticlimactic). It's much better to stop a the point before the stairs. There is one small booth in there where you can buy tea or coffee (it's nice at freezing hours of the dawn). Sunrise is around 5am.
If you don't feel like hiking you'll see dozens of people with horses on the way up. Each one of them will ask you “By horse?” So for those feeling lazy (or simply wanting to have a ride) there's an option of riding there on horse back. It's 50 000 IDR (~4$) one way.
1. Get to Probolinggo – by bus or train. Personally I recommend travelling by train. It's comfortable, cheap and much more safe. When you travel by bus you'll definitely be swarmed by a crowd of scams trying to cheat you out of your money and make you overpay for the ticket. With train there's no such problem. Plus trains are heavy guarded by security.
2. Get to Cemoro Lawang (it's a village closest to Bromo).
a) There are microbuses leaving from outside of the bus station. Cost is 35000 IDR. They leave when full. If you arrived by train you can get to the bus station by a bacak (cycle rickshaw). Again watch out when you negotiate the price. I asked the guy how much. He said 15. I made sure 15 or 50? 15. OK. But when he took me to the place and I gave him 15 he said 50. He didn't get it though. But they might try to scam you that way. The best way is to write the price on the piece of paper so that there wouldn't be any misunderstandings afterwards.
b) apart from a microbus there's also an option of going to Cemoro Lawang by an ojiek (public motorcycle). That's how I got there. It's twice the price but the fun is worth it. For me the very ride was a tourist attraction on its own. You can feel the temperature gradually dropping with the altitude and the views are just stunning. (Don't forget to wear a jacket even if in Probolinggo is very hot. It's going to get d cooler pretty soon). The ride takes about an hour. You can also ask someone to pick you up from your hotel the next day. It's very convenient if you need to be on time for the train or bus (microbuses leave only once full, so you'll never know how much time it might take). Price will be around 70 000 IDR for a ride (drivers always say 150 but it's easy to bring it down – very few people decide to go there by ojiek so the competition over clients is fierce). If you need transport to the railway-/ bus station for the next day, look around for Andy (photo). He's the most honest and punctual driver I met during my whole travel through Indonesia. He didn't try to scam me, got exactly the price we agreed upon and when I asked him to pick me up at my hotel at 8.30 he was waiting at the gate already from 8.00. He's local in Bromo area so if you just walk down the main street of Cemoro Lawang you should be able to meet him.
There are a few hotels in Cemoro Lawang that you can book on Agoda.com. I don't think it's worth it though. There are plenty of homestays you can choose from. The cheapest starting from 80 000 IDR. Especially avoid booking Yog Bromo Homestay – that place is a damp. No proper shower, dark and dirty – and costs 230 000 IDR for a night (probably because it's the only homestay you can find online - but it's not worth the price). You'll be much better off just shopping around for a place once you arrive.