I have never seen an active volcano so far and neither was it on my list. But due to an official visit to Indonesia, I happened to visit Mount Bromo. When we talk of Indonesia, first place that comes to our mind is Bali. For me it was Surabaya, since we have our biggest plant situated there. It was the third week of Nov’17 and I was flying out of Dubai to Jakarta on Emirates. From Jakarta, I had a connecting flight (Garuda) to Surabaya. I was to stay for a week and then return via same route to Dubai. My stay was arranged at Sheraton in Surabaya, which obviously is an expensive hotel. Since my schedule was jam-packed, I hardly any scope to do day tours or trips by extending my stay. The only option was to check out night tours!
After checking online, I found that Mount Bromo tour is indeed done at night so that one can see the sunrise and also visit volcano site. There are couple of tour operators who offer night tour of Bromo including pickup and drop to place of your stay. The average cost of such tours is $150 per person. Luckily my company at Surabaya organised this tour for me and all I had to pay was for the entry fee and 4×4 vehicle charges at Bromo.
Ideally the tour starts at midnight 12 am when your picked up from the hotel. It is 3 hours drive from Surabaya to Bromo. Once you reach Bromo local 4×4 vehicles are to be hired to complete your travel. There is also the entry fee which is to be paid as per govt. The rates for 4×4 are negotiable and one can definitely get best price. Once you shortlist your 4×4 vehicle your taken to view-point and asked to wait for the sunrise. As the sun rises slowly behind the mountains, you can witness the clouds underneath you covering the plains of Bromo. At a distant you can notice smoke constantly coming out from Bromo! Now that is the volcano smoke. Many mistake it to be cloud as it seamlessly and silently camouflage. Plastic chairs are available, if you are tired of standing. Please do carry your jackets or sweaters since it is very cold at the top early morning.
Later your taken down the hill in 4×4 to volcanic spot. The distance to actual spot and the place where 4×4 drop you is approx. 2 km. You can either walk or opt for the horse ride available at the site for a reasonable rate. Again this is negotiable and go for it. As you reach the foothills of site, you find 200+ steps to be climbed to reach the top of volcano mouth. Please note since it is an active volcano, you can notice the strong odor of sulfur gas. Suggest you to carry mask which I failed to do so. Also be careful if you have small kids or children with you as there is no proper barricade or fencing at the spot. One can easily fall straight into the mouth of volcano.
As you reach to the top, the sound of tectonic plates rubbing each other is very much clear. It is scary at times especially with huge amount of smoke been spewed out regularly from the mouth of volcano. The last time it spewed lava was in 2014 (not sure on this fact) as informed by a local.
We could not spend more time considering the scary sounds and also due to sulfur gases. After 15 minutes of stay we vacated the spot and headed straight back to Surabaya.
It is definitely a must visit place for tourists to get a feel of the active volcano.
Apart from Mount Bromo, you can also visit Submarine and Somperna muesum.