Bromo is an active volcano (2392 m), lying at the center of the Tengger massif; a spectacular volcanic landscape and one of the most impressive sights in Indonesia. The Tengger crater stretches 10 kilometres across and its steep walls plunge down to a vast, flat sea of lava sand. From the crater floor emerges the smoking peak of Gunung Bromo. This desolate landscape has a strange end-of-the-world feeling, particularly at sunrise, the favored time to climb to the rim of Bromo’s crater. Bromo itself is not one of the great volcanoes of Indonesia, it is the whole landscape that is breathtaking.
Mt Bromo is one of three mountains that have emerged within the caldera of the ancient Tengger volcano. Bromo is flanked by the peaks of Batok (2440 m) and Kursi (2581 m). Mount Semeru (3676 m) – further south – oversees the whole landscape. Mount Semeru is actually the highest mountain in Java. The whole area is incorporated as the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. The Bromo area is home to the Hindu Tengger people, who cultivate market vegetables on the steep mountain slopes. When the Majapahit Empire collapsed and its aristocracy fled to Bali, the Tengger highlands provided a heaven for Hindus left behind.
Activity of the volcano
On Tuesday, 23 November 2010, the Indonesian Centre of Vulcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation (CVGHM) confirmed the activity status of Mount Bromo at ‘alert’ due to increasing tremor activity and shallow volcanic earthquakes at the mountain. Concerns were raised that a volcanic eruption may be likely to occur. The area surrounding the Teggera caldera of Bromo remained off limits for visitors throughout the remaining part of 2010.
Bromo started to erupt ash on Friday 26 November 2010. Government volcanologist Surono reported that the volcano was spitting columns of ash some 700 metres into the sky. Up till now the Bromo is still very active. Sometimes tremor vibration can be felt and sounds of eruption continue to be reported from the mountain monitoring facility, Bromo Observation Post.
Access is usually via Probolinggo, because that is the easiest route. But, Bromo can be approached va a number of routes. One of the most scenic routes is via Ngadas and includes crossing the sand sea. For this route you definitely need a 4WD. From Probolinggo it is 45 kilometres to Cemara Lawang. Just before Cemara Lawang you have to pay an entrance fee. From Cemara Lawang it’s 3 kilometres down the crater wall and across the Sand Sea to Bromo. Or, you could visit mount Penanjakan (2770 m), the highest point on the outer crater, first. From Pasuruan you can reach Tosari (42 kilometres) and Wonokitri. Both places have accommodation. From Wonokitri it’s 2 kilometres to Dingklik from where you stand right on the edge of the outer crater. From here it’s 4 kilometres to Mt. Penanjakan or 6 kilomtres down to the Sand Sea by a very steep road. From Ngadas you can trek into the Tengger crater. You can then either via the Sand Sea or the savanna via fields with edelweiss. You can find a guide in Ngadas if you like. You can also reach Mt. Bromo via Lumajang, through the forest. You have to get via Senduro to Ranu Pane. In Ranu Pane you can find some modest accommodation.