Kawah Ijen Trek
Sunrise over Kawah Ijen is a slowly unfolding play. As the sun rolls along the rim of the volcano, it reveals a new scene of velvety colours and rich textures almost every minute. But the deeper story lays inside the bowels of the volcano where mesmerising blue flames of burning sulphur spit over the heads of the miners who are trudging up and down the volcano, bearing unimaginably heavy loads of dried sulphur. Bring a guide with you to better understand the stories behind this fascinating place.
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Choose from 3 different experiences
The closest town to Ijen to Banyuwangi. Depending on which option you choose, the guide will provide transport to Ijen from Banyuwangi or Bali. Ijen is about one hours' drive from Banyuwangi and 4-5 hours' drive from Bali.
If you are going to Banyuwangi on your own, there are a couple of ways to get there. If you are starting out in West Java, make your way to Banyuwangi by train (from Surabaya, Probolinggo or Jogyakarta). If you are coming from Bali, you can take a public bus or arrange private transportation to take you to the ferry terminal at Gilimanuk and across to Java by ferry. There are a few comfortable buses that run from Denpasar all the way to Banyuwangi Ferry Terminal (meaning you take the ferry while remaining on the bus). From the ferry terminal, you can catch a taxi to town.
It is not mandatory to have a guide, but it is advisable to have one. Ijen has become increasingly popular with travellers in recent years, and there is an increase in the number of people who will try to get you to buy tickets and knick-knacks on the ground that aren't necessary. A guide can help bring colour to the wonderful trek, arrange logistics and transport ahead of time and help you avoid the hassle when you get on the ground.
The terrain isn't difficult so only moderate fitness levels will be required - i.e. you should be comfortable with a hike down and up that will last about 2.5 hours each way.
These sites are opened all year round, but it is recommended to avoid the wet season (November to March) because the terrain will be extra slippery and there is a higher chance of being subjected to the rain, making the hike more difficult than usual. There might be indefinite periods of closure regulated by the government based on the level of volcanic activity.
The trek itself is only 5 hours but the return journey (inclusive of trekking time) will take approx 14 hours from Bali and approx 9.5 hours from Banyuwangi.
One of the options starts from Bali and the other starts from Banyuwangi so it depends on where you are coming from.
Whether you start from Bali or from Banyuwangi, you will arrive at Ijen at around 2am. There you will begin the 2.5 hour climb up the volcano crater, before descending into the volcano where you will see an active sulphur mine, observe blue flames and the lives of the miners working there. For sunrise you will emerge back up to watch the varied landscape reveal itself.
If you start from Bali, you will start your journey to Ijen at 10pm on the activity start date and end early afternoon the following day. If you start from Banyuwangi, you will start your journey past midnight on the activity start date and end at 9:30am on the same day.
Sufficient water (1L)
Trekking shoes (simple trainers will do)