Indonesia is known for its beautiful nature, from its volcanic landscapes to sunny beaches. If you’re still wondering whether Indonesia is a place worth travelling to, hesitate no further as you read on about what I have to say about East Java. It is a place I would recommend to any adrenaline junkie or nature lover because of the beauty it holds!
Here is my take on the Top 5 must do things in East Java:
1. Get awed by the blue flames on an active volcano
Mt Ijen has got to be your first stop! Here you’ll gain a really unique experience of seeing blue flames on an active volcano. These blue flames are only there for a certain period of time each morning, so you got to be there as early as possible.
It still awes me to this day that I am able to see this phenomenon with my naked eyes. Check out my experience climbing Mt Ijen and determine for yourself whether the views are worth it. To me, it was definitely worth every minute of me effort to get to those picturesque views!
*Note: This hike requires a certain level of fitness. It starts at a high altitude and you’ll find yourself being short of breath as soon as you start. The descend to the blue flames is also steep and narrow. In addition, this descend is also tougher because of the pungent sulphuric smell arising from the crater. Hence, if you’re someone with breathing difficulties or foresee yourself having issues completing the challenging hike, do take extra precautions before you embark on the hike.
2. Have an exhilarating hike to the base of a waterfall
Experience a one-of-a-kind descending hike to the base of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall. This is a challenging hike with no proper tracks. You can expect to see a path made up of rubber tyres, thin bamboo sticks and ropes. It requires lots of balancing and focus and is not recommended for the faint-hearted! If you think you’re up for it, then go for it!
I did not expect to take away such an exhilarating experience from this hike, especially when we were not fully dressed for it. We had on a pair of Birkenstock sandals and that turned out to be one of the best footwear! Despite being waterproof, it still had such a tight grip on the rocks that made our descend more effortless than would be without.
*Note: Do not underestimate this hike! Wear an outfit to get wet in and shoes with good grip so as to finish your hike in one piece!
3. Stargaze and catch the sunrise from above the active volcano
Head towards Mt Bromo and be ready to drop your jaws at the crazy views that you’ll get there. This is iconic of East Java and definitely worth sacrificing that few hours of sleep to get there early to secure a good spot. We climbed up a mountain in the dark and stargazed. If you’re lucky you might even be able to see the Milky Way.
We sat on an empty spot and waited till the sky turned into a beautiful ombré blue-pink-orange. I was so focused on the sky, the stars and the sunrise on the left that when I turned my head to the right, this breathtaking view of Mt Bromo just took my breath away.
*Note: Remember to layer yourself really well for the wide range of temperatures that changes really quickly in the morning.
4. Get close to an active volcano
This part comes right after the stargazing at the peak of Mount Bromo. At this point in time, the temperature would have rose to a comfortable level. Shed your extra layers of clothing from the morning and be prepared to walk across a long plain of fine volcanic ash towards the smoking crater of Mt Bromo!
It is rare to be able to get up close to an active volcano and see these beautiful land formations. If you are feeling adventurous (or lazy), you can even ride a horse across this plain to get to this amazing view!
5. Get wet under a waterfall
Hike towards the Madakaripura waterfall and feel the natural sprays of a waterfall as you maneuver around the rocky pools! Be prepared to be welcomed by cold waters despite the scorching hot sun and don’t forget your cap! You’ll be rewarded at the end of the short hike with the view of the majestic waterfall.
You can even enjoy a little swim or a dip in the icy cold waters if you’re up for it. We did this hike right before our flight in the evening and it felt surreal that just hours ago, we were actually swimming and going crazy with the camera shutter at this waterfall.
*Note: Bring a poncho if you prefer to be dry while admiring the waterfall! They do rent it to you there too if you forget yours!
How to plan for your trip to East Java?
Feeling excited to plan your next trip to East Java already? Do check out the private tour that I signed up with that made my experience extra memorable and hassle-free! The guides there put together a personalized tour for us that made my planning nearly effortless. All I needed to get was my air tickets and some cash! The itinerary even included both airport pick-up and drop-off, so can you already imagine how easy it was for us?
Do note that prepayment is necessary for them to book accommodations in advance. Since I’ve completed my trip with them, I can assure that this tour agency is reliable. However, I suggest that you do your own due diligence if you’re booking your tour with another agent just to be safe!
With that, safe travels and enjoy your time at East Java! Feel free to drop me a note to let me know if this helped you in any way~