Hi! I'm going to Mt. Bromo in December.
1. Is December a good season to go there?
2. How shoud I go there from Surabaya?
3. Any recommendation for budget and safe accommodation at Mr. Bromo?
Thanks a lot! :)
1. December is part of the rainy season. But do not let that discourage you. The morning skies are often clear in the rainy season too, I owuld say the odds are 50-50.
2. and 3. Here is part of VT-er ORDTPE' report on his trip from Yogya to Bromo (and Ijen). I suppose that you can get a "travel" tour from Surabaya to Bromo as well. If you don't want that, there is public transport too.
We didn't take that 180 EURO package offer. We actually skipped Surabaya. In Yogyakarta, a travel agent offered us 3D/2N package "Bromo/Igen/Bali' departing from Yogya for rp600000/person, including transportation, 2 nights hotel and 2 breakfast. So that's less than 70USD a person. We took it.
The ride from Yogya to Cemero Lawang was long, including a minibus change in Probolinggo. However, we were lucky enough to have just 3 people in a 8-seats minibus with adequate A/C. So the long ride wasn't too bad. We left Yogya at 9am and arrived in Probolinggo at 6pm. It was handled by a different local travel agent from that point. They asked us if we were taking jeep tour to see sunrise the following day. The price has increased to rp 150000 per person for the the jeep tour which was very different from what I read before. The agent did not seem willing to bargain. After a long day, we didn't want to spend time hard bargaining either. So we paid that amount. Then they transferred us to a minibus at 6:30pm and arrived in Cemero Lawang. The night was spent at Cemoro Indah hotel. At hotel, I saw they list the jeep tour rate for rp 150000 as well. But I am sure you can always bargain a lower price.
Because Bromo-Ijen part is handled by this Probolinggo travel agent, we actually have the flexibility to stay in Mt Bromo longer as we wish. After sunrise tour, we moved to Lava View Lodge, which was a lot of nicer hotel, and spent one more day hiking around in this quite and spectacular area. Of course, this extra day was not part of the package, so we had to pay out of our pockets. But it well worth it.
On Day 3, a minibus came to Lava View Lodge to pick up us and a bunch of other people. The driver drove us back to their Probolinggo office again. From there, some waited for the bus to go directly to Bali while we waited for another minibus for Kawah Ijen. Originally there were just two of us heading for Ijen. But a French couple dropped in the last minute and negotiated price for Ijen-Bali package. So at the last minute, we got two more companions. well, 4 passengers in the minibus still weren't bad. Later, we found they negotiated a super deal for rp 250000/person, even including Ijen entrance fee and a dinner!!! We arrived in a coffee plantation guest house, Arabica, around 3:30pm.
On Day 4, we actually got up much earlier than scheduled for our Ijen hike. The French couple had an argument with the driver at prior night. They insisted on seeing sunrise at Ijen Crater because that was what the agent promised them (poor driver kept using his limited English saying "Ijen, No sunrise"). Initially I wasn't too happy about leaving that early (3am), but then decided to go for it because we liked the idea of arriving in Bali earlier. Despite feeling sleepy in the beginning, it was actually a very interesting experience to hike in the dark with sulfur mine workers. The round trip hike took about 2.5 hours, but we spent another 2 hours watching sunrise and taking pictures around crater.
The agent in Yogya is ARI Tour & Travel, located in JI. Sosrowijayan NO 72. The street is a block south of main train station. This street is basically a backpacker street with many budgets hotels and travel agents. I originally got the agent name from a Taiwanese backpacker site, so I headed the agent directly without checking all the other agents. There are many agents in Yogya. Many cater to backpackers, so you shouldn't have problems to find similar packages with similar prices. The person I talked at ARI spoke fairly good English and was not pushy, plus the price seemed good. So we didn't even bargain. But I suppose if you try, you probably can save a few more tens of thousands or have them thrown in some goodies.
The agent in Probolinggo is Mahkota Tour & Ijen Tour. If you buy the whole package from ARI in Yogya, you will be brought to this agent to change minibus anyway.
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Very good and helpful anwer by theo (he had helped me plan a west java trip for which I am very grateful for)
We visited bromo from surabaya this weekend - sep 21 and i just finished writing a very long review about it - I just dont know what the link to is
I believe it can help you a lot - if you can find it - review tengger caldera or by username/handle...
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