East Java Pg2


Day 3/Thu 05 Apr – Ijen Crater


Ijen Crater is the biggest caldera (Crater Lake) in Java.

Ijen Plateau lies in the centre of Ijen-Merapi Malang Reserve, a large mountain range west of Banyuwangi, which abuts the Bahuran National Park to the north.

Ijen volcano has a one-kilometer-wide turquoise-coloured acid crater lake. It is 200m deep and contains about 36 million cubic meters of steaming acid water shrouded in a smelling swirling sulfur cloud.

The lake is the site of a labour-intensive sulfur mining operation, in which two sulfur laden baskets (about 80kg) are carried by workers on the shoulder with a bamboo stick from the crater floor up 300 meters to the crater rim with a gradient of 45 to 60 degrees and then 3 km down the mountain for weighing. Most miners make this journey twice a day.


We left Ketapang Indah Hotel at 4.30 am and travelled in two 4WD vehicles to Pal Tuding, the last ranger post of Ijen National Park. From here we trekked over 3km to the rim of the Ijen Crater along a shady and granule trail to an elevation of over 2,800 meters above sea level.

The climb from the road’s end to the rim of the crater took over one and a half hours. The view of the steaming and luminous blue/green crater lake partly shrouded by a swirling sulfur cloud was magnificent.

Unfortunately, because of the abundance of sulfur smoke emitting from the Crater Lake it was not safe to carry out any sulfur mining operation and so all sulfur miners were not present when we were here.

We descended to the road’s end at about 10.30am and had our packed breakfast in an open hut. We left after our breakfast and proceeded to Mt. Bromo at Tosari Area. It was a long and tedious journey (about 15 hrs) and when we checked into Hotel Bromo Cottages it was already early the next morning!     

Trekking to Ijen Crater (about 3.5km)

Spectacular views along the trek

Smoke wafting from bright yellow sulfur deposit

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