The Ijen volcano complex is a group of strato volcanoes in between Banyuwangi and Bondowoso Regency, East Java, Indonesia. You can start both from Bondowoso or Banyuwangi. Best way is to start from Bondowoso and goes down by Banyuwangi if you want to continue to Bali. Bondowoso route has beautiful scenery but smaller mountainous road.
Ijen Caldera is about 20 kilometers wide and the biggest crater lake in Java. Inside the caldera is a 1 km turquoise-colored lake, the primadona of this mountain. This caldera is the site of a labor-intensive sulfur mining operation, in which sulfur-laden baskets are carried by hand from the crater floor.
Ijen Crater has a unique phenomen where the crater lets out electric-blue flame, which makes tourist numbers increased. The phenomenon also happens in daytime, but only at night, people can see clearly the stunning blue fire. The blue fire is ignited sulphuric gas, which emerges from cracks at temperatures up to 600 degrees Celsius. It is the largest blue flame area in the world and local people refer to it as ‘Blue Fire’.
BEST TIME TO VISIT IJEN
The best time to visit Ijen crater is in dry season, between April – October. We can still visit Ijen during the rainy season, but on heavy rain season, entrance only open by 3.00 am which make it harder to get the blue fire. For blue fire, best time to start the hiking is by 02.00.. From the crater, you want to go for sunrise point by 4.00am. And be at sunrise point by 5.00 am. During the first Friday of each month, Ijen is closed for clean up.
If you are not into the blue fire and sunrise, day time hike is a good option where we can avoid the crowds. The entrance is closed by 12 pm.
IJEN TRACK AND DESTINATIONS
Midnight hiking become the only option if you want to witness both the blue flame and the sunrise. It takes 1.5 hour tracking up, with quite steep track for beginner. Once you get on top, you need to get down to the crater to see the blue fire closely. But this route needs extra caution, and sometimes when the smoke goes to your direction, you cannot go further. You will meet a lof of sulphur miner on the same route, carying their sulphur on a wooden basket. As a responsible traveler, we have to give them way and let them through first.
After witnessing the blue fire, we continue to the sunrise spot. Depending on your hiking timing, you might have to choose on of them (blue fire or sunrise) if we take too much time during hiking up. But dont worry, in both place you can still see the turquoise coloured lake.
Your hiking will be accompanied with a local guide who are villagers from around the area. Many of them used to be sulphur miner.
If we spend more night in Ijen to explore the area, there are some waterfall, hot spring, coffee plantation and beautiful hills to explore. The whole Ijen area is owned by government company for coffee production. So you will see huge coffee plantation area. Villages around are lovely with every house in the same-design and beautiful little garden, all for the employees family.
TEMPERATURE IN IJEN
The temperature drops at night, near the crater rim it can fall to about 10° to 2° Celsius. Refreshingly cool during the day even when the sun already risen. Daytime temperature is about 20°C. However, once you start hiking, your body will get much warmer so no need to bring thick jacket.
CULINARY AROUND IJEN
There are not much option for food in Ijen area. Most of them are small stalls called “Warung”, there are no restaurant around this area. In Ijen starting point there are few stalls which sells instant noodles, hot drinks, bread, and etc. So, bring snacks before you go up to Ijen area. You can enjoy proper breakfast in your hotel.
WHAT TO BRING TO IJEN
Jacket and or windproof. Though its really cold at first, you will get very warm very fast as you begin your ascend. (please contact Tripperhood if you need to rent a jacket)
Positive attitude for sure
Headlamp for the night hike (provided by us)
Gas Mask to go to the blue fire (provided by us)
Mineral water and snacks to accompany while you hike.
Hiking stick can be useful (please contact Tripperhood if you need to rent one)
Ijen is not just another mountain, it offers you a one-of-a kind experience. Contact us to make your best moments in Ijen!
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