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“Another world”
Review of Ijen Crater

Ijen Crater
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$65.00*
and up
Ijen Blue Fire Trekking Tour
More Info
$150.00*
and up
Mt. Ijen Blue Fire Trekking Tour from Bali
Ranked #1 of 60 things to do in Banyuwangi
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
81 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Another world”
Reviewed May 3, 2014

I heard about ijen via a Tripadvisor forum and I am so thankful for every review that encouraged me to make the tough trip to get there- it's worth it. We flew into Bali, took an excruciatingly long drive to Gilimanuk Ferry from Denpasar. took the ferry to Banyuwangi, stayed overnight and started climbing at 2am. The climb is STEEP. And the road is slippery. We got by wearing sneakers, but if you have hiking boots, this is the place to put them to use. The night sky is stunning while you climb and the sunrise is worth the tough climb. Its a 3km walk till the crater rim, and another 1km if you want to get to the sunrise point. The terrain is magnificent. Unfortunately we got there on a cloudy day, and we couldnt get a clear view of the lake, but even so- it was stunning. Carry gas masks- the regular N95's from a pharmacy will do. The last 1 km walk the fumes are very strong. Beyonfd the rim of the crater if you want to go down they will provide you the gas masks (professional grade)- we didnt make go down as the climb was very steep and the fumes extremely strong. There are mining workers doing their daily job there. As a fellow traveller I urge you not to stop them to click pictures- we are there for recreation, they are not. And its a tough, inhumane job they do. It was sad to see other tourists clicking pictures and posing with them interrupting their walk up from the mines. The climb down from Ijen is tough too- your knees will take a beating! If you have trekking poles, they are very handy here. Overall, ijen is one of those fabled places you see in Star Trek or in a Nat Geo documentary. If you have the opportunity to visit, dont miss it.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank FizzyGubbara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Blue Fire is amazing sight!”
Reviewed April 25, 2014

We hiked all the way to the top at 2 am so we could experience seeing blue fire (around 4 am) and sunrise (at 5). It was full moon and everything seemed magical. There were many people in the crater wanting to do the same thing. Some of the braver ones went deeper to the base of the crater to take pictures of the Blue Fire. Being there just felt so peaceful and profound.

The sunrise was beautiful and we could see the whole mountain and crater area. So pretty and breathtaking. My friend even cried because she was emotionally moved. On the way down we met so monkeys and many exotic birds. Even though it's interesting to take pictures with the sulfur miners, don't ask to take their pictures unless you are ready to give them some money because they would ask.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Vina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bandung, Indonesia
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“You've got to put on your bucket list”
Reviewed April 21, 2014

Simply breathtaking... literally... You should wear a mask if you're gonna go to the crater.
Quite easy climb if you're fit. Get the experience you'll never forget!
Additionally, the drive from/to the climb entrance itself was the best driving experience in my life. Bring a WRC-ish car and you are Sebastien Loeb.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank tjamenovic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Absolutely Amazing”
Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

I went to the Ijen Crater and started climbing at 2.30 AM. At first it was a easy climb, after 1 km... it gets tough. I climb a lot of mountains so I'm reasonably fit, but make sure you are in a healthy condition.

WEAR A FACE MASK. I can't stress that enough. The sulfur really bothered my respiration system. And if you're willing to look ridiculous, bring goggles! The fumes really hurt my eyes. I was tearing up and coughing like crazy even though I was wearing a gas mask.

But once you get inside the crater... oh my Lord.. I've never seen anything like it before. It's magical, beautiful, jaw dropping and incredibly impressive. Blue flames really stole my heart.

The awkwars thing about the Ijen Crater is that you are there for a recreational purpose but you are also witnessing hundreds of men working.. mining the sulfur. It's not exactly the most enjoyable and easiest job in the world. While you sit and enjoy the view, a lot of men are suffering and risking their lives to make money. It's quite heartbreaking.

However.. the view you see when you walk down the mountain in the morning is incredible. Unspeakable beauty. Worth the visit indeed.

Helpful?
4 Thank Alexia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Heart wrenching”
Reviewed April 19, 2014

I'm not sure how to begin to describe this experience, I guess the title sums it all up for me. More than the magical illusionary vision of the blue flames the one image that will remain vivid in my mind for a very long time is of my first encounter with a local miner making the arduous climb out of the crater with a full load of sulfur rock on his back. I can still hear his short breaths under the strain of his heavy load and as he slowly scrambled past us I managed to see his expression of sheer exhaustion in his blood shot eyes. It literally brought tears to m eyes and instant empathy filled me. How do we subject our selves to this life?
It certainly brings everything into perspective, especially when it comes to our extremely sheltered and fortunate existence.
Now, back to the reality of this experience...for those who are planning on visiting Ijen crater be aware that there is now an entrance and camera fee in place contrary to some reports that these are made up. The fees are minimal and in fact I believe they should hike them up and share profits with miners as they deserve everything they can get....but that's another argument : )

Do bring a good pair of hiking shoes, it was insanely stupid of many visitors on the day walking in with flimsy joggers or worse such as sandals and flip flops??! The first part leading up to the crater is on a decent path, maybe a little slippery in spots but well marked. Once you begin the descent into the crater this is when it gets very dangerous in parts, very steep and lots of loose rocks with some sheer drops on either side of the "track" and doing this in pitch black as we did to see the blue flames. It is a recipe for disaster and I truly believe it is only a matter of time before a terrible accident takes place. The morning we hiked in it was Easter long weekend and there were hoards of mostly local tourists visiting. I'm glad we were one of the first to get to the bottom because on our way up we encountered a long line of inadequately prepared tourists making their way down! This was one negative aspect of tourism and it's impact on the miners, it is such a hazardous and difficult job made worse by having to deal with unprepared tourists blocking their path as they are trying to irk a living carrying 60+ kg of sulfur rock on their backs ?? Yet I repeatedly kept hearing these miners caring and warning tourists to Hati Hati be careful on their descent and it was the miners who would step aside still with their load on their shoulders to allow these clumsy tourists go past them. Truly a humbling sight.

So, would I recommend you visit Ijen? Yes, but be fully prepared for the sake of the miners and yours. Try and make minimal impact on the miners daily routine, most importantly go and experience for your self a minuscule hint as to what these men have to endure to make a living for themselves and their families. This has been an unforgettable experience for both me and my wife and I am sure it will be for you too.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Robbie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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