Soaring over 2,300 meters (7,600 feet) above sea level, the magnificent Mount Bromo is one of the peaks of the Tengger massif in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, East Java. The massif does include Mount Semeru, the highest mountain in Java, but Mount Bromo happens to be the best known, thanks to its unique feature of being located in the middle of a plain called the Sea of Sand, as well as its mesmerizing sulfur crater.
Lending Bromo its otherworldly feel, the Sea of Sand is enclosed by jagged, barren volcanic peaks. Walking or riding on horseback across the vast, gray plain of whispering sand to get to the edge of the caldera may give the sense of being in a rite of passage. The sensation is only heightened by the presence of Pura Luhur Poten, a Hindu temple that casts a lone figure in the middle of the desert-like landscape. It also serves as a picturesque sight when seen from Bromo’s summit. Some areas, however, consist of beautiful rolling slopes covered with green grass fed by rivers from the mountains.
Another favorite attraction is Mount Penanjakan, arguably the best vantage point for viewing sunrise in the area. Get to its peak at the right time, and the gleaming sun rising from behind the massif’s other volcanoes, with the sand plain as foreground, will simply leave visitors at a loss for words.
Mount Bromo is about a four hours’ drive from the East Java Province’s capital of Surabaya to the southeast. A Mount Bromo experience typically requires a full day tour, especially if one is keen on exploring its surrounding valleys, where charming sceneries of the countryside marked by peaceful, humble villages open out to vast expanses of lush vegetable fields.