We climbed Ijen on a Friday night Saturday morning along with about 400 other like-minded people. Our guide (Kiki) & his driver picked us up from our Banyuwangi hotel at 12.30am, the drive to the mountain took us just over an hour.
On arrival at the crater we were surprised to see the number of vehicles and people there, Kiki provided us with a hot tea from the café while we waited for the gates to open at 2.00am.
Once the gates opened it was a bit of hustle / bustle for the first stage until the pack thinned out & we edged our way to the front of the queue.
We reached the top of the crater in just over 1.5 hours with no stops, the 3km climb could be spilt into three sections;
• Steady Incline
• Steep to Very Steep section
The ground is firm compressed earth / dirt, however is could be slippery in wet weather.
Unfortunately, due to the wind conditions blowing the Sulphur plume towards the crater track we couldn’t go down to the blue flames & had to settle with taking photos from the crater rim. On our approach to the rim of the crater we had to put on the masks provided by Kiki, we also wore glasses for a short period as the Sulphur mist stung the eyes
After viewing the flames from a distance, we then moved to a higher spot on the rim to watch the amazing sun rise.
It’s cold & windy at the top, a warm jacket and long pants are recommended.
The climb down is less physical but hard on the joints, it took just over an hour to get back down, we were back at our hotel by 8.30am.
Our tour was organized by sofyan & kiki at email@example.com
Our advice to other is:
• Bring your own torch – head light.
• Take your own snacks & water, the guide also has spare water and snacks
• Use the toilets near the entry gate before climbing as there are no toilets at the top.
We’re disappointed we didn’t get down inside the crater to get a close look at the blue flames, however overall the climb and views were an experience we won’t forget..
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