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Scenic drives trip recommendation btwn Malang and Ijen

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Scenic drives trip recommendation btwn Malang and Ijen


This is my second trip to Indonesia but last time I was only in Bali for couple of days where I rent a car and drove around.

This time together with friends I'm planning to rent a car and drive from Bromo to Ijen Area - Banyuwangi or Bondowoso. I've already done a lot of reserach of Bromo Tengger Caldera and Kawah Ijen however it's hard to find any info about recommended scenic drives in between. I guess the southern route should be more scenic as its mountainous. Does someone has any recommendation and suggestions? Let me write some questions below:

-1. I'm mostly interested in amazing rice paddies/plantation views - which road is the best for that?

-2. is any coffee plantation worth to visit? and is it obligatory to take a tour or just walking around in nice scenery is possible somewhere?

-3.are any interesting traditional villages/ cultural sites on the way?

-4. is worth to explore west side of Kawah Ijen (areas with Sempol,Blawan?) after visiting the crater? is the scenery really amazing? or just better idea is to head Bali straight after Ijen trekking?

-5.how is scenery/ nature in Java in comparison to Bali? if anybody have any suggestion what else to see before Bali I'd appreciate it.



Salatiga, Indonesia
Destination Expert
for Java
posts: 763
reviews: 50
1. Re: Scenic drives trip recommendation btwn Malang and Ijen

Hi Robert,

If you set out from Malang, I recommend you approach Bromo through Tumpang and Ngadas, which I call “the back door”: members.virtualtourist.com/m/c8969/1285cc/4/ .

After “doing Bromo” you can return south through the sand sea and pick up the same mountain road heading east via Ranu Pani to Lumajang (scroll down from the back door for more tips).

However, you need to hire a 4WD - with driver - for that route, which you can get in Malang.

The road from Lumajang to Jember is not spectacular, but from Jember to Banyuwangi you have another winding mountain road through forest and farther through plantation country. You can make a stop at Kalibaru for a cocoa plantation: members.virtualtourist.com/m/c8969/1294a5/ . A guided tour is free for guests of either hotel I mention in the blog. But someone is bound to be willing to show you around for a tip also.

Then, if you have taken that route, you will approach Ijen from the east, as I guess you intended to do. My latest information is that the road from Banywangi to Ijen has been upgraded. So you do not really need a 4WD any more after Lumajang: members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1f2a64/ .

The plateau west of Ijen crater is coffee plantation land. If you want to see it, just go west as far as the Arabica Homestay before returning to Banyuwangi.

I can't think of traditional villages on the way, but you might stop any time at a somewhat isolated village - people are friendly to visitors. For sawah views you better count on Bali.

You will need to consider where to stay over - the trip will take several days. I suggest you spend a night (or two) at Cemorolawang, then at Kalibaru and another at Ijen. You need to leave Cemorolawang early if you want to reach Kalibaru in one day. So for your whole trip you will have to rent a car for several days.

Java has a lot of good scenery, also sawah views, but the good places are far apart. Exploring Java needs much more time than Bali. Browse my VT pages for Java.

Good luck,


2. Re: Scenic drives trip recommendation btwn Malang and Ijen

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