Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How to go to Mount Ijen, Banyuwangi


Those wanting to know how to go to Mount Ijen, Banyuwangi, this article will provide you with some information on one of the most popular mountains to trek in Indonesia. Mount Ijen or Kawah Ijen as it is locally called, is located in the Banyuwangi Regency which is the east most part of Java Island and neighbouring the island of Bali across the Bali Straits. 

Flying to Banyuwangi

There are a few ways to go to Banyuwangi and the fastest and easiest way is to fly into the Banyuwangi Airport (BWW) using the local Indonesian airlines. Most travelers wanting to hike up Mount Ijen would do this to save time.

However, if you are a backpacker or budget traveler, you may travel overland from Surabaya which will take you a cool 10-12 hours via bus. If you are taking an international airline, you can land at Surabaya Airport and connect to Banyuwangi using Lion Air, Wings Air or Garuda Indonesia. From Jakarta, you need to transit at Surabaya before connecting to Banyuwangi. Note the flight timings are not as regular as other popular cities. 

From Bali to Banyuwangi

Another option is to travel from Bali to Banyuwangi, and this requires overland and a ferry trip which will take you no more than four to five hours. From Denpasar or Kuta, you need to travel to Gilimanuk Ferry Terminal in the west coast of Bali Island, take the ferry service across to the Ketapang Ferry Terminal and you are in Banyuwangi.
Gilimanuk-Banyuwangi Ferry Service. (Photo credit www.visitijen.com)
Trek up Mount Ijen (Kawah Ijen)

The star tourist attraction of Banyuwangi is no other than Mount Ijen and the trek is a tiring one where you need to depart at midnight to reach the foot of the mountain by 1.30am and then trek up about two to three hours or so to catch the elusive blue flame just before sunrise. Most visitors who want to see this blue flame would start as early as 11pm. 

There are many tour companies offering the full Mount Ijen Trekking Package, so you simply need to book your tour and make the arrangements with your guide in Banyuwangi. You can ask your guesthouse or hotel for this. The 4x4 vehicles and guide will pick you from the hotel and you will travel overland for about one hour to the foot of Mount Ijen, before your briefing and trek up. In total, you will spend about six hours and will be back by breakfast.
The scene at Mount Ijen taken at 5.00am
The trick for trekking up Mount Ijen is to sleep early the night before as you need your rest for the trek up. This means, forgoing your dinner and hitting the sack by about 4.00pm and to wake up at 11.00pm. Also, it is best to book a tour from a local tour company as it will be hassle free. 

Note the Kawah Ijen park entrance is around IDR100,000 weekdays, IDR150,000 weekends. A full tour package per person including the park entrance fees, 4x4 vehicle, guide, torch and mask would cost around IDR600,000 to IDR700,000. Recommended to shop around for the best price in Banyuwangi, and make sure you ask what is included in the price package. For more information, you can also visit the Indonesia Tourism website. 

The above are the best ways on how to go to Mount Ijen in Banyuwangi and if you have any comments or questions, please do ask them in the comment form below. Have a great trek and happy travelling. 

Author:

Malaysia Asia is a multiple award-winning travel blog site with information on unique and interesting places around Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Southeast Asia and the World. Malaysia Asia is also under MyAsia Services, a Digital Travel Solutions Company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest. We are also not your regular travel bloggers. 

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