Kawah Ijen Travel Guide
Ijen Plateau, known as “Kawah Ijen“, is a volcano complex located in East Java and is regarded as one of the unmissable sights in Indonesia. Ijen is a quiet but active volcano, set amidst a stunning landscape of volcanic cones and a beautiful turquoise coloured sulfur lake.
- Where is Ijen Crater Located?
Banyuwangi is at the easternmost tip of Java, and is best known for its ferry connection at Ketapang to Gilimanuk in Bali. This area has a lot more to offer though and it is becoming better known as a visitor destination in its own right. Banyuwangi is also the gateway to some stunning volcanic scenery on the Ijen Plateau as well as the main access point to Mount Bromo
- How to get to Ijen Crater?
Kawah Ijen, which literally translates to “Ijen Crater,” is located in far eastern Java island. To reach Ijen, take the train from Yogyakarta or Surabaya to Karangasem station or, alternatively, the ferry from Bali to Ketapang. Due to the danger involved in entering the crater, hiring a guide is highly advisable.
- When is the best time to visit Ijen Crater?
The best time to visit Ijen Crater is during the dry season from April to October. April – October where there is less rain but more tourists. But that being said, Indonesia being a fairly mild weather of just rain and shine, anytime is a good time to go Mount Bromo, only check out for local weather when you are there for the best clear sky for your sunrise experience. If you do not have many days then hope for the best when you are there.
- How do i hike Ijen Crater?
There are few options for hike Ijen crater, you can either start at 1am or 4am to arrive at the top of the crater by daylight. Many travelers recommend to do the night hiking up to Ijen Crater to catch the Magical Ijen Crater Blue Flame or also known as Ijen Crater Blue Fire. To get this you have to arrive at the top before sunrise of 6am. The hike up takes 1.5-2 hours averagely and can be quite steep The good thing is at this time there are not many other tourists around as well. After being mesmerized by the blue flames enough, you can sit back at the summit and wait for sunrise which offers another spectacular view.
- How to get around (a itinerary like)?
The trip starts at 1am from Banyuwangi. You can get around in most preferred choice a 4WD. After that it is all on foot to hike up Mount Ijen to get to the crater and to walk around the crater rim. But in case of a high activity of the volcano sometime can be shifted to the morning or even prohibited for tourists. Normally the entrance opened about 2 am. travelers will climb 3 km is not it and they will come down to the crater, the road to the bottom of the crater are very steep and hard about about 250 meters. Only then, the blue flame pins. This amazing natural phenomenon. Blue flame at Kawah Ijen is unique, rare, and becoming an attraction itself. It also adds to the beauty of Ijen Crater, after the sunrise. On the top of Ijen crater you will see a few flashes of blue fire, but when we descent to the lake you can make some pictures. The road back is very beautiful. Mountain peaks of volcanic complex, a fog and clouds shrouding slopes, scorched trees and dense vegetation of forests and fields are on the way.
- How difficult is the hike to the crater rim?
Is it a difficult hike? “Very steep, yes, but you go up at night, so you can’t see how steep it is”. The hike up is tough, but rather short (it will take you no about 1.5 hrs to reach the top / 3 km), This section of the trail is basically a wide dirt road but sloping upwards all the way to the rim.
- Can I go down to the crater floor?
The tour guide will only be able to lead you up to the crater rim, as this is part of the Indonesian National Park regulations. it is possible to arrange for a local miner/workers to lead you down to the crater where you can take a clearer look at the blue flames (it will be your own risk). There will be extra cost for optional hike down the crater cost around IDR 150,000 for each pax.
- Is it possible to stay a long time close to a dense acid gas without a mask?
Not for sure! Acrid sulfur gas (sulfur dioxide) is very dangerous to health. High temperature near the pipes from which sulfur flows is a life-threatening. For good pictures, you should go to the epicenter of heavy whitish-yellow smoke. Despite the mask, it was very difficult to breathe, your eyes will fill with tears. after each next step on the slope above the hot liquid sulfur. I think that just such adventure is not terrible 🙂 Note: There will be Local tour guide (workers) will lead you to see the blue flame & We suggest you to stay on top (not going down to the crater), Our guide will only be able to lead you up to the crater rim, as this is part of the Indonesian National Park regulations.
- Where is accommodation near Ijen Crater?
There is a lot of accommodation in Banyuwangi, or Homestay at katimor and at arabica homestay in Sempol. Most visitors who take Surabaya Bromo Ijen Bali Tour Package chose to stay at Arabica Homestay then to stay in Banyuwangi beacuse they will be direct go out to Bali after ijen tour (one direction), but we still suggest you to stay in Banyuwangi because it is the main city of Ijen Crater Located not only that recommended hotels are available.
WatuDodol Hotel, Best hotel with sea view where you can see clearly Bali island from your room.
Berlin Barat Hotel, Jl Letjen Haryono MT 96, Banjarsari, Glagah. Very much aimed at the budget traveller. Good clean rooms arranged around an open courtyard. Western toilets but no hot water. edit
CATIMOR HOMESTAY (BLAWAN PLANTATION), Blawan-Sempol]. A nice accommodation, surrounded with coffee and clove plantation. Coffee plantation environment and very easy close to the Ijen Crater
ARABIKA HOMESTAY (KALISAT JAMPIT PLANTATION), Kalisat-Sempol,]. A nice accommodation, surrounded with coffee and clove plantation. Coffee plantation environment and very easy close to the Ijen Crater.
Ijen Hotel, Desa Licin, A nice hotel with bungalows and private villas. Opened in 2005. Offers a range of activities at Ijen including climbing up to the crater, trekking in
Ketapang Indah Hotel, Waterfront cottages only 10 minutes from Ketapang ferry terminal. Good sized swimming pool and restaurant.
Manyar Hotel. This is a rather souless hotel but it is very convenient indeed for a one night stopover before
- What is the temperature at Kawah Ijen?
Its temperature is between 2 to 8 degree centigrade and the crater area lies at 2.386 meters above sea level (mdpl).
- What clothes should I wear for Ijen?
Bring warm jacket as the trek at night is cold and temperature may drop to 5C. Waterproof and windproof jacket with attached hood
- What do i wear to go hiking?
First, be sure to wear a respirator or a protective mask. The more effective it filters the air the better. There are casualties among tourists, who neglected safety rules. Second, keep in mind that the road goes across the rocks. Comfortable shoes and gloves will help you overcome the way.
- Do i need to bring any food for the hike?
We suggest you to bring some lightweight trail food like biscuits, nuts and fruits etc that are easy to pack.
- Travel Tips
Remember to bring a mask to cover your nose as the pungent odour of sulphur may burn. Bring mineral Water, At least 2 litres of drinking water for the whole tour. Also bring warm jacket as the trek at night is cold and temperature may drop to 5C. Lastly, and insider tip says to climb to the right (anticlockwise) at the crater rim as the view from that side of the sulphur lake and entire area is spectacular. Additional information: There is no toilet along the way except at the National Park Office.