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“Amazing, albeit a little disappointing”
Review of Ijen Crater

Ijen Crater
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Overnight Small-Group Ijen Blue Fire Trek Tour From Bali
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Ijen Blue Fire Trekking Tour
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Mt. Ijen Blue Fire Trekking Tour from Bali
Ranked #1 of 63 things to do in Banyuwangi
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed February 22, 2013

The whole trek is an amazing experience. We did it with our two kids and it's doable, although don't expect an easy ride. However, if you are used to trekking, it's nothing out of the ordinary. What you see on the top IS! The landscape is just out of this world, it really is, no matter how many volcanoes you've seen - it's breathtaking. The trip down to the crater proved a little bit too much for the kids, so we had to back out. Still worth the effort. The only downside for me were the porters who rather often were expecting money or some gifts or both. We had Ozie baseball caps for them and about 20 mouth covers anyway to hand out, so we were not that surprised, however it was a little off-putting for us. Take plenty of water and some food, as you are in it for quite a few hours depending on your speed and how much time you want to spend on top. The trek down into the crater is at least 45min as you have to give way to the porters so you are slowed down by that a lot. All in all - stunning.

Thank Mali_svetobeznici
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 22, 2013

To see several sides of this stunning beauty you need to trek 3 km uphill from the car park on a slope ca. 30-40° most of the time. I believe that night trekking gives different experience. I would recommend hiking up with a start around 2am so that you catch the end of the darkness. You can see the dancing blue flames of the burning sulphur gas only in dark and they look mysterious. Also, part of the awesome beauty of Ijen is the stone formations of the crater. You can see the form of the stones changing from minute to minute and you realize that the sun started to come up somewhere. Blue flames are not visible anymore but the place looks more and more like a different planet, despite the fact that the seemingly inviting but strongly acidy green Crater Lake appears. The whole is a mysterious experience, out of place and time. While I encourage everyone to reach the crater rim in the dark, I certainly don’t recommend it without guide who would know every cracks and humps before you twist your ankle. I went up with Java Indo Ecotourism and certainly would go with them again. In addition to local knowledge I received everything I needed, e.g. flash light, stick, water, and a mask was ready to use in case the smoke flies into your face. However, you need to carry with you warm jacket and cap because it is cold and windy on the top (8-10 C) but only there. Don’t expect to find toilet, not even in the car park. Prepare some smaller banknote to give miners, they wouldn’t want it for nothing. Nice little statutes carved into sulphur are offered occasionally on your way. You might be shocked when seeing how hard labour sulphur mining is and without safety measures.

6  Thank Lenke_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Ijen crater lies between Bandowoso and Banyuwangi made mountain become the last one of many rings of fire volcanic mountains on Java Islands. Ijen crater definetely one of the greatest natural wonders in Indonesia. With the of crater lake is 800m long and 700m wide with 180m depths, make it as one of the most acidid lake in the world.
It took about around 4 hour driving from Bondowo crossing bumpy road and twisty road and could be same from Banyuwangi through few extreme slope. When you arrived at the Village, you could enjoy the beauty of area surround. Villager houses, with small yard which planted by vegetables and many kind flowers. And also you could smell the fragrance of coffee flower that grows all over places.
You could get cheaf and affordable places to stay, also you could stay in good Hotel at Arrabica and Catimor Hotel. Arrabica is near from the main road (not more that 1 km). Catimor is quite far from main road, but it is very close with hot springs and also water fall (another beautiful places on this area).
Many people start hike to Ijen Crater during midnight (around 2am) to see the amazing blue flame on bottom of crater. Usually it took 1 hour walking through the path till reach rear of crater.
But don’t need to worry, you won’t trekking the path alone, there are many traditional sulfur miner coming back and forth brings bamboo basket on their shoulder to carry sulfur. You couldn’t imagine how heavy the sulfur that they carry on by walking steps over steps on the rocky and slippery stairs.

1  Thank OURTRIPst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

With the newly improved road from Banyuwangi, it's a relatively short and easy trip up to the Kawah Ijen car park (no longer requires 4WD or motorbike). From the car park, it's then a 3km hike to the Ijen Crater. Most of it is uphill, and the air is quite thin, but the views along the way are stunning so we just took our time. If you want to take photos of the sulphur carriers, it's worth having some candy and cigarettes (kreteks like Dji Sam Soe "234") to hand out in compensation. You can buy these treats at the Ijen car park.

The view of the crater lake when you arrive is awesome. But by far the best scenes are to be had by descending the 300m down to the bottom of the crater. You can do this alone, but its worthwhile making friends with a worker who can guide help you down (they are very strong, they could even carry you back up!). Some compensarion is appropriate (IDR 100,000 would be ample).

The mine is fascinating. Ceramic pipes have been put in place to catch the hot fumes coming out of the crater, which contain a high level of sulphur gas (at around 500 degrees C or more). The sulphur condenses in the pipes (at least some of it does!) and emerges as a deep orange-brown liquid (that is very hot). Once it cools down to around 115 degrees C, it starts to turn orange and then finally bright yellow.

The miners then break off large chunks and load it into baskets. Then the carriers climb 300m up the steep crater wall (with loads up to 100kg or 220 lbs!), have their load weighed at the top, and finally trek 3km downhill to the collection station where they get paid (IDR780 per kg) for their load.

If you visit the crater during darkness, you can see a dancing display of blue flames ("api biru" in Indonesian) caused by hydrogen sulphide burning. We didn't do that though, we didn't fancy doing that climb in total darkness!

3  Thank An0nym0use
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Start hiking at 2am, reach the peak at 4am, about 2hrs hike for 3km. Saw the blue fire from top and not going near to it as its too dangerous. If you are interested to go down, please prepare professional mask. I can said the most difficult part for this hiking is just the easier part of mt kk. So no worry about the hike. Prepare warm clothing as it's strong wind and cold! After blue fire, wait until after 6am to view the lake and the scenery is really worth the hike. DSLR have to pay Rp30k/camera.

14  Thank pinkytpk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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