I was a solo traveler that really wanted to do the Kawah Ijen tour - I actually had some difficulty finding places that would do a shared tour for 1 person, so the shared tour here offered by Ijen Pepe ended up being one of the more affordable options. I also got lodging and a private car ride to and from Bali to Banyuwangi. Overall, I had a really great experience: Pepe was very responsive and friendly, ensured that every leg of my trip was smooth, and went above and beyond to ensure my safety given that I was a female traveling alone.
//Traveling to and from Banyuwangi from Bali
I landed around Bali around 3PM and the driver was there to pick me up from the airport. The journey to Banyuwangi is actually quite long - it took about 5 hours of driving to get to the ferry to take you to Java, then there’s a 30-45 min ferry ride to Banyuwangi, then a short ride to the accommodation. Note that Java has a one hour time difference to Bali so be sure to take this into account if you are short on time. My driver was extremely nice and even bought me coffee cause he saw that I was tired. Also, because I arrived at the ferry around 9PM at night and it was already quite dark, Pepe, even had someone accompany me during the ride to Java to make sure I was safe - I was very impressed by his thoughtfulness.
//Kawah Ijen Tour + Accommodation
The tour’s shared car picked me up around 12:30 PM. I had arrived around 10PM so only had a couple hours to rest before it was time to head to Kawah Ijen. The accommodation itself is quite simple, you get a private room and bathroom. Nothing fancy, but given that I was only spending a few hours here at most it was not a big deal - it also included breakfast after the hike, which was a nice touch. At the mountain area itself it is actually quite cold there so ensure that you bring proper attire (long pants, a decently warm jacket). Make sure you wear tennis shoes/sneakers as the terrain does get quite rough and you will be hiking in the dark. It took about 2 hours to hike the mountain. The first hour is actually just going up the volcano, which was relatively easy. Then, you descend into the crater, which is actually the most difficult part of the hike, as it is very rocky and steep. Also you will share the narrow road with the miners working there. Once you get to the bottom of the crater, you will see the famous blue fire phenomenon, (only available in 2 places in the world, here and Iceland!). Be sure to wear a gas mask (included in this tour) so that you don't inhale too much of the sulfurous fumes. Around 6AM the sun will rise and you will be able to see the beautiful sulfurous crater lake. On the hike down, you’ll see two volcanoes in the distance. The tour guide was an ex-miner so knew the mountain very well and was also nice enough to take a bunch of pictures for me.
//Know Before You Go
Bring warm clothes and layer jackets
It will be dark / overnight hike so get some rest and be sure you eat properly beforehand
We enjoyed our trip with PepeIjen, the team was very friendly, especialy Ali our driver and Ribot our guide on Kawa Ijen. It's a bit exhausting but it's worth it!
We took the tour Bromo + Kawah Ijen, and it was a fabulous experience.
It was easy to contact them to have the information earlier, and they were very flexible (especially with a long delay of our flight to take us at Surabaya airport!).
The tour was perfectly organized (hotels, transfers, meals, and of course visits, with a guide for Ijen, and finally the transfer to Bali). Our driver Hendrix was also very nice.
It was a real pleasure for us; we highly recommend Pepe tours.
Ijen Pepetour is the perfect agency for your excursions in Java. The communication is really easy, the information given are complete, they answer all your questions easily and fast. The most appreciated is their flexibility. I saw a tour on their website but I would like to modify it to stick to my travel plan. They propose me the perfect trip from Surabaya to Ubud in passing by Madakaripira waterfalls / Mount Bromo / Kawah Ijen. We were taking in charge from our hotel in Surabaya to our hotel in Ubud. They are really professional and care about you and your trip. They manage every detail to let you feel good and don’t think about anything except your trip ! Our driver Erwan was really nice and helpful. He helped us to discover the island and show us many things in addition to drive us during the whole excursion. Everything went smoothly so I really thanks them for that. The price are also really really interesting when I compared to others agency. Pepe really care about his clients and you can feel it ! I recommend with eyes closed
We took a tour with my girlfriend starting from banyuwangi, going to the Ijen volcano, then Mount bromo and finally reaching Jogjakarta.
The whole thing was perfectly organized and everyone really nice and helpful.
Our guide on Ijen, Fendi, was well documented and was a great support when hiking down inside the crater (also a highly talented photographer !).
They know the good spots and have a good knowledge of the places you visit.
Special thanks as well to André our driver who took good care of us during the long way to Jogjakarta and through the mountains.
Hotels and other equipment were of good quality as well. This tour was a very pleasant part of our trip, I would recommend it to anyone willing to discover this part of Java island