Ijen Volcano

This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.

One of the most famous and tourist-visited natural attractions in Indonesia is the Ijen volcano (Kawah Ijen, Kawah Ijen), located on the Ijen plateau of the same name on the eastern edge of the island of Java (Ijen volcano on the map). It is an active volcano, but the last active eruption was in 1936. Now it is open to tourists, but in 2011, 2012 and 2018 it was closed for a while due to increased activity.

Attention! On March 21, 2018, the Ijen volcano emitted a large amount of sulfur dioxide (sulfur oxide), as a result of which 27 people were injured. The ascent from the Pos Paltuding base camp is temporarily closed. You can check the information about the availability and activity of the Idgen on the website https://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=263350

Tourists go to Ijen to see at night the fascinating blue flame of burning sulfur, the world's largest acid lake, and to meet the dawn on the crest of the crater. Another of the local attractions is the sulfur miners. For a mere penny by our standards, but a good salary for this part of Indonesia, ruining their health without any protective masks, they extract sulfur from the volcano using a homemade condensation system from barrels, and lower it down in baskets, carrying up to 80 kilograms on their shoulders at one time.

Ijen volcano is a place so popular and famous all over the world that people come here on purpose even from other countries, and if you find yourself in Indonesia on the island of Java or Bali, then be sure to try to get to it. About all the questions of visiting the Ijen volcano, including how to get to it on your own, read on.

Ijen Crater

Summary information about the plateau and the Ijen volcano, and useful tips

  • The walking part of the route is easy, accessible to everyone. Lifting takes 1-3 hours depending on your physical condition.
  • For lifting, it is necessary to protect the breath from caustic steam and sulfur smoke. On the spot you can rent a mask for 25,000 rupees (1.62 USD, see Indonesian currency and exchange rate). If you have sensitive eyes, it is better to bring sports tight-fitting ski goggles or diving goggles with you.
  • If you go up at night, dress warmly. A jacket is mandatory, a hat and gloves are desirable.
  • For a night climb, be sure to take a flashlight, preferably a headlamp
  • Insurance is mandatory. That is, no one will ask you here, but the risk of injury or health problems on the volcano is high, so get medical travel insurance, which can be done on one of the price comparison sites for insurance:
    • ☂ Найти и сравнить цены на туристическую страховку на Sravni.ru
    • ☂ Найти и сравнить цены на туристическую страховку на Cherehapa.ru
    • ☂ Найти и сравнить цены на туристическую страховку на Tripinsurance.ru
  • If you are covered by a sulfur cloud away from the exit from the ground, there is no need to panic and run. It is best to hold your breath, close your eyes, and wait for it to go away. Due to the change of wind, the column of sulfur smoke constantly changes its direction, so in just a few seconds it will go away. If you run, then in the fog there is a real chance of getting injured on rocks or even falling off a cliff.
  • On the island of Java, where Ijen is located, the time difference from Bali is minus one hour. I.e. in Bali 12 hours, on Ijen 11 hours. This is important so as not to make a mistake with the rise time.
  • The night blue fire ceases to be visible after sunrise at 4-5 o'clock in the morning.
  • A guide is not required for the ascent, everything is clear without it.
  • The best time to visit is the dry season in April-October.
  • Access to the volcano is through the checkpoint, which opens at 01:00 (for night ascents).
  • Access to the volcano costs 100,000 rupees on weekdays (6.46 RUB), 150,000 rupees on weekends (9.7 USD).
  • Sightseeing tours to the volcano from Bali cost from 75 to 250 dollars; tours from the nearest cities Banyuwangi (Banyuwangi) and Bondowoso (Bondovoso) from 35 dollars. Excursions from Bali to Ijen can be ordered online Here.
  • Just in case, take raincoats with you, as the rains here are acidic.
  • There are no toilets on the way up, so try to go to the base camp before climbing.

What to see

The Ijen plateau occupies a huge territory, and besides the Ijen volcano there are other interesting places here. There are three mountains on the plateau in total:

  • Ijen (Ijen) – 2368 meters
  • Merapi – 2800 meters
  • Raung (Raung) – 3332 meters

Also on the plateau you can see:

  • Mount Kawah Wurung (mountain on the map) is a small hill with views of the plateau and surrounding area. Entrance is paid – 5000 rupees. The rise is small, but the slope is steep.
  • Coffee, tea, clove, rubber plantations. They are scattered all over the plateau, you can visit for free.
  • Kebun Balawan Plantation (Blawan) (plantation on the map) – coffee plantation with hot springs and waterfalls. The entrance is 5000 rupees.
  • Acid Waterfall Air Terjun Banyupait. It is formed by a stream from a sulfur lake in the crater of a volcano. An unusual place, you can stay here for 5 minutes. Parking is paid, 3000 rupees. Located near the road near the entrance to the volcano from Bondowoso (waterfall on the map).
  • Waterfalls. Along the way along the road there are many waterfalls, and they are scattered all over the plateau in different places, which can only be reached on foot. But it is not necessary to spend time and effort on them, look at one, all the others are similar.
  • Villages. There are several villages scattered on the plateau. If you travel by your own transport, visit at least one of them, the impressions will remain unforgettable.

Nevertheless, focus first of all on the ascent to the Ijen crater, because everything is most interesting there. Other places can be visited along the way or skipped. Some of them are included in standard tours, or you can ask the driver to stop near them if you book an individual tour.

Volcano crater

How to get to Ijen Volcano

Ijen can be visited as part of an organized tour from popular tourist destinations on the island of Java, including Bali. It is much more convenient, safer, and faster than on your own. An independent trip only makes sense if you are traveling one way, for example, moving from the island of Java to Bali. Then you can visit successively Bromo, then Ijen, and then move from the city of Banyuwangi to Bali. Although there are such one-way tours at least from Jakarta.

Prices for package tours from Bali vary depending on the program and amenities, cost from $ 75 in a large group, and up to $ 150 for a group for two. A tour or an independent trip from Bali to Ijen takes two days. Often excursions include visits to two volcanoes at once, Ijen and Bromo, which takes three full days.

You can buy excursions in recreation areas at street travel agencies, or you can find ready-made sightseeing tours online on these trusted sites:

But there is no difficulty in getting to Ijen on your own. The nearest settlements where there is a tourist infrastructure and which are the base point for departure are the cities Banyuwangi (Banyuwangi) and Bondowoso. If you are going to travel from Bali, then you need Banyuwangi, if from Jakarta, then Bondovoso is better. Ready-made tours or tourist transport are also offered from these cities to the volcano, although, if desired, you can get directly to the volcano on your own.

The ascent to the volcano begins at a camp called Pos Paltuding (camp on the map). In this place there is a parking lot for transport, a small shop, a cafe, a guesthouse, a camping area, a ticket office and a checkpoint. It is here that you will have to leave the transport and continue on foot directly to the crater. Here you can also rent a protective mask (respirator) for 25,000 rupees, and here you will be offered the services of a guide. Hiring a guide is not necessary, there is no problem to climb without it.

There are only two roads leading to Pos Paltuding – from Banyuwangi and Bondowoso. Both come to the same point, to the Pos Paltuding camp, from different directions. So, you can complete the route both round-trip and through, i.e., for example, get from Bondowoso to the volcano, climb it, and then continue on to Banyuwangi and further to Bali.

  • How to get from Banyuwangi to Pos Paltuding

    There is only one asphalt road of poor quality, 30 kilometers. There is no public transport here. Learn more about Banyuwangi and how to get there here.

    • Tour or hire a car, motorcycle taxi

      If you decide to take a tour from Banyuwangi (in fact, it only includes jeep delivery to Pos Paltuding and waiting), then it will cost from $ 35 depending on the number of people gathered. Such tours are organized in all hotels in Banyuwangi or in agencies on the streets. You can also hire a motorcycle taxi (ojek) for the trip. Round trip with a wait of several hours will cost from 200,000 rupees (12.93 USD). If you have arrived from Bali and do not plan to stay at a hotel in Banyuwangi, then you can immediately go to the volcano by hiring a car or a motorcycle taxi at the pier. You can also hire a car or a motorcycle taxi in one direction, and after climbing the volcano, continue on your way to Bondovoso by hiring a transport near Pos Paltuding.

    • Rent a motorcycle

      The most economical option is to rent a motorcycle and drive on your own. The road is bad, it is not illuminated at night, but there are no big problems to get on a motorcycle or moped. In some places, low-power automatic scooters may not be able to pass due to the steep climb, but such places are also overcome: you just need to get off the motorcycle and hold it. If possible, when renting, choose a more powerful motorcycle, and preferably not with an automatic transmission. And be careful when descending: do not let the brakes overheat, make stops to cool them for 5-10 minutes. And yet, fill a full tank before the trip, there are no gas stations on the way.

      It is impossible to get lost, there is only one road. You can rent a motorcycle in Banyuwangi from 65,000 rupees (4.2 USD) per day. There are a lot of rental offices, you can ask at the hotel. Here are some famous:

      • Tera Tour and Travel, address: Jl. Stasiun Karangasem A7
      • Tripoli Tour and Travel, address: Jl. Basuki Rahmat No.77
      • Toko Subur, address: Jalan Stasiun Karangasem
      • Motocy Banyuwangi, address: Jl. Ikan Wijinongko, Sobo, Kec
  • How to get from Bondovoso to Pos Paltuding

    There is only one asphalt road of better quality leading from here than from Banyuwangi, but the route is longer - 60 kilometers. But you can get there not only by tour or by motorbike, but also by public transport. About Bondowoso and how to get to it, see here.

    • Tour or hire a car, motorcycle taxi

      Tours to Bondovoso can also be found in hotels or on the street from $45 depending on the number of people in the group. You can also hire a motorcycle taxi (ojek) for the trip. Round trip with a wait of several hours will cost from 250,000 rupees (16.16 USD).

    • Rent a motorcycle

      If you drive a motorcycle, you can rent and get on it. The road here is better than from Banyuwangi and not so steep, but the time is longer, it will take at least 2 hours. Along the way, you can also make a stop at the Kebun Balawan coffee plantation with hot springs and waterfalls (you will need to deviate a little from the road), see the acid waterfall Air Terjun Banyupait. Fill a full tank before the trip, there are no gas stations along the way. It is impossible to get lost, there is only one road. You can rent a motorcycle in Bondowoso from 75,000 rupees (4.85 USD) per day. There are not very many rental offices here, you will have to look for them, but they are there.

    • Local transport

      This is the most economical way to get there, but sometimes you have to make transfers. In addition, keep in mind that in this way you will be able to get to the volcano only during the daytime.

      From the Bondowoso bus station (bus station on the map) you need to take a minibus to Sempol (25,000 rupees, 3 hours on the way, depart in the morning until about 15:00 by occupancy). From Sempol to the camp, another 10 kilometers can be covered by motorcycle taxi for 50,000 rupees (3.23 USD), or arrange with the minibus driver to take you to the camp, but you will need to negotiate a price with him at the rate of no more than 50,000 per person. You can also take a motorcycle taxi back to Sempol.

Ijen Ascent

So, when you get to the Pos Paltuding camp, you will have to climb up from a height of 1875 meters to 2368, i.e. a climb of 500 meters with a length of 3 kilometers. Depending on your fitness, it may take 1-3 hours. If you climb at night, it is better to do it as soon as possible, because there are a lot of tourist groups climbing, especially on weekends there is just an endless stream of tourists coming up, and when watching the burning blue lava they interfere with each other. There will be a cafe and an observation deck along the way.

Ijen Trail

The ascent takes place along a wide path, which is not marked in any way, but is clearly distinguishable. There is almost always someone walking along it, so just go to the light of the flashlights ahead, and everything will be OK. By the way, for a night climb, be sure to take a flashlight with you, preferably a headlamp, so that your hands are free.

The miners loaded with sulfur also move along the same route. Try not to interfere with them, do not block the road, as they carry a very heavy weight. They usually ask for money for photographing, 5-10 thousand rupees is enough. You can also buy from them or sellers along the route figures cast from sulfur as a souvenir for 10-20 thousand rupees.

When you go up to the edge of the volcano, you need to go down again 200 meters to the lake (place of descent to the lake on the map). The descent is very steep, rocky, sometimes slippery, it will take about 30 minutes. It is here that you will see the blue flame, from here sulfur vapors are escaping from the ground, and its miners are working. There is also an acid lake here. When you have seen enough of the mysterious "blue lava", you can climb up again and continue along the crater to the sunrise meeting point (sunrise meeting point on the map). By the way, not all tours provide descent into the crater to the lake and the blue fire, please check this when buying there. The fact is that most tourists are unable or unwilling to overcome the dangerous steep descent / ascent, and are limited to meeting dawn on the edge of the crater.

Descent into the crater

As for the lake, it is really acidic and dangerous to health. Metal objects, including jewelry made of silver, darken here, not only in water, but also in the air. The equipment also gets it, so if possible, protect expensive equipment from getting caustic smoke inside. But in fact, the water in the lake is not deadly and does not corrode everything instantly, as it is often written about.

Do not forget to issue a travel insurance policy before your trip. If you come to Indonesia on a ticket, the insurance that is included in the travel package in most cases will not work during the ascent to the volcano, since this refers to active sports or the "active recreation" option. To do this, it is enough to issue an additional insurance policy with this option, and in order to save money, you can make the insurance valid only for a few days or even for one day when you plan to lift. Such insurance will cost only a few US dollars.

If you are going on a trip to Indonesia on your own, then it is better to make insurance for the entire period of the trip, and this is not so expensive compared to the cost of the entire trip. Check and compare the cost of insurance from different companies, and you can arrange it online through these trusted sites:

  • ☂ Найти и сравнить цены на туристическую страховку на Sravni.ru
  • ☂ Найти и сравнить цены на туристическую страховку на Cherehapa.ru
  • ☂ Найти и сравнить цены на туристическую страховку на Tripinsurance.ru

When is it better to climb Ijen, the time of work

The best time to visit the volcano is the dry season, which falls on April-October. At this time there is little rain and cloud cover, and most of all there are chances to see a beautiful dawn. The rest of the year, climbing is also possible, but you should be careful during the rain because of the slippery path, and it's also bad that the sky may be overcast, and there can be no question of meeting the dawn.

Seasons on the Idgen by month, when is the best time to go

Jan Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

* the best time to visit;
acceptable time to visit;
not recommended time to visit

Igen weather and forecast

During the day there are two options for lifting: night and day. It is best to climb at night, because only then will you be able to see that mysterious blue flame, and then meet the dawn and enjoy the same views that daytime tourists will see.

The night flame is visible only until dawn, usually it is 4-5 hours depending on the time of year.

The exact time of dawn on Ijen today: 04:58

It is better to start a night tour from Banyuwangi at midnight, from Bondowoso earlier by 30-60 minutes, as it is further to go. It is advisable to arrive at the opening of the checkpoint, which happens at 01:00, plus or minus 30 minutes. In fact, the checkpoint is conditional, and if you arrive earlier, you can easily pass through a closed checkpoint.

Where to stay before climbing Ijen, hotels

The most convenient starting points are the cities of Banyuwangi and Bondowoso. They have the necessary tourist infrastructure, hotels, transport, so the most convenient option is to come to one of these towns, check into a hotel, and go climbing at night. Banyuwangi is more suitable if you are going to the volcano from Bali, and Bondowoso if you are moving from Jakarta. You can find and book hotels using the links:

In addition, you can stay in one of several guest houses located closer to the volcano. A small guest house with the most basic amenities is located at the very entrance to the hiking route in the Pos Paltuding camp. But there are few rooms there, and you can't book online. Two guest houses are located 10 kilometers from the rise in the village of Sempol, and they are available for booking:

Also in Sempol you can stay in the houses of local residents, they offer rooms for rent. In general, it is convenient to stay in Sempol if you get to Ijen on your own by local transport (minibuses) from Bondowoso, but it will be very difficult for you to refuse excursions that will be imposed in these hotels.

Well, there is an option for the most economical travelers – to stay in a tent camp next to Pos Paltuding. But in this case, you need to go here with your tent and other equipment.

Ijen map with hotels

You can download ⤓ points of interest, important transport points (bus stations, airports, etc.), districts and beaches from our map in KMZ/KML format. These files can be downloaded to the navigator or smartphone for use with offline or online Google Maps applications, Organic Maps and others that support this format, and use them to navigate and explore resorts.

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