Located in Banyuwangi Regency, East Java Province, Kawah Ijen is a quiet, active crater with a surreal landscape. Surrounded by the jagged cones of three volcanic mountains in the different corners of Ijen Plateau, it is most famous for its glowing, lava-like blue fire seeping out of cracks on the crater’s floor. Only visible during the dark hours, the blue fire is actually the light from the combustion of sulfuric gases that come in contact with the air, become ignited, and send flames up. Some of the gases then condense into liquid sulfur, giving it the sense that one is watching flowing, blue lava.
When daylight arrives, what visitors can see is a one-kilometer-wide, turquoise-colored acid crater lake — the largest of its kind in the world. It is the site of a labor-intensive sulfur mining operation. Trudging 200 meters down the crater’s craggy walls while breathing in sulfuric air through a mask may be a challenging feat, but one that promises a great reward, which will certainly appeal to mountain buffs, hikers, and adventurers alike. The base of the crater offers an ethereal ambiance, with sheer, rugged cliffs encircling the captivating realm, white smokes billowing up, and miners quietly doing their job collecting sulfur before trudging up the hazardous route with baskets over their shoulders.
Everywhere one looks from the heights of the Ijen Plateau, the views surrounding it are nothing short of incredible: pristine forests, coffee plantations, and waterfalls are just some of the extra features that await visitors who wish to extend their stay in the area.