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Pursuing the Exoticism of Blue Fire In Ijen Crater Bondowoso East Java

There is a unique natural phenomenon in East Java, Indonesia, people often call it the Blue Fire. The uniqueness of blue fire from ijen crater is a rare phenomenon that occurs in active volcanoes. In general, the volcano will issue a red lava, but unlike the Ijen crater that emits blue lava. This very rare natural phenomenon can be found in Ijen Crater located in the border area of ​​Banyuwangi and Bondowoso districts. Ijen crater itself is a volcanic crater lake located on Mount Ijen, at an altitude of about 2344 meters above sea level. Ijen crater is one of the still active volcanoes in East Java province. Incidentally this crater is quite close to the mountain Bromo which has been much longer known as a tourist destination

About Ijen Crater

This rare natural phenomenon is even only two in the world: In Ijen Crater, East Java and in Iceland. Blue Fire phenomenon in this crater Ijen may have existed since hundreds or even thousands of years ago. However, the existence of this place has just been known by local sulfur miners around the 1950s. Ijen Crater becomes a challenging tourist destination, in addition to its very extreme place, the journey to the crater is not an easy journey. However, blue fire from the crater of ijen will always be a magnet that will never stop attracting tourists to enjoy its beauty.

Ijen crater tour price is quite reachable for everyone. If we start from Banyuwangi East Java Indonesia, the tour price is only $51 USD. The Tour Price is for 2-4 People. You can travel by 4WD Jeep from banyuwangi to visit Ijen Crater.

ijen crater activity - blue flame
Photo by Markus Gebauer

Ijen Crater Facts

The outflowing blue lava is caused by very high sulfur gas pressure, so when high pressure sulfur gas is exposed to lava and burns oxygen the fire color will be dominated by a blue color that has temperatures over 600 degrees Celsius. That is why so far many professional photogrefer who go to the crater of ijen just to create ijen crater activity documentary.

In addition to enjoy the beauty of Blue Fire at night, in the morning until noon, when the weather is sunny we can see the scenery that is not less amazing, from the crater lake Ijen with water colored toska. The scenery is more natural with the fog and sulfur fumes so amazing. Tourists often take pictures in this place because it is considered very Instagramable. Although it looks so beautiful, but do not try to come closer. Ijen crater lake is listed as the largest acid lake in the world. The area of ​​Ijen Crater lake reaches 5,466 ha with an estimated depth of 200 meters. This lake has a very high acid levels, can even dissolve various objects. If any metal such as iron, dipped in water, will undoubtedly rust.

ijen crater lake
Ijen Crater Lake
Credit: piknikasik.com

When is the best time to come and see the Ijen Crater Blue Flame?

If our goal of visiting Ijen Crater is to see the blue flame phenomenon then we must adjust the visit time. because the blue flame phenomenon can not be seen at any time. The best time to visit Mount Ijen is during the dry season from July to September. In the rainy season is very dangerous to climb because the road is slippery. The new blue flame will be visible after dark. What is the most ideal time to see the rare natural phenomenon is in the early hours of the morning between 2 and 4 o’clock. The best time to climb the mountain at 05 000 to 06.00 pm because in the morning the sun has not felt hot. Long trips to climb up and down the mountain for about four hours for leisurely walkers. The scenery in the morning is also more beautiful because the many mists that sift the mountain and sulfur vapor have not smelled.

ijen crater activity
Photo by Puchong Pannoi

Location and route to Ijen Crater BlueFlame

Guide – The location of the ijen crater lies between the borders of 2 districts, namely, Bondowoso and Banyuwangi districts. There are two routes that can be passed to the crater of ijen, the northern route through situbondo and the southern route through banyuwangi, If your position is in poor, then the route to the crater of ijen from the poor city is through situbondo.

The northern path passes through Situbondo city -> Sempol (Bondowoso) past Wonosari -> Paltuding. The distance between Situbondo to Paltuding approximately 93 km and with good road conditions, the journey can be taken approximately 2-3 hours.

Route south through Banyuwangi city -> Licin (about 15 km) -> Paltuding (about 18 km). Travel can be continued using a car or vehicle with a double axle. The journey from Banyuwangi has a route with damaged and perforated road conditions caused by the number of sulfur lorry trucks that pass this route every day. Fortunately this route has a relatively much shorter travel time, only takes approximately one hour only.

After a tiring journey, the blue fire crater hunters will still face the climb from the main gate to the crater, approximately for 2 hours of climbing. As you climb, you will encounter an occasional group of sulfur miners who are always friendly to the climbers. try to say hello or just ask about blue fire crater ijen. Gladly the miners will explain about some phenomena in the crater of ijen. Including history where ever happened toxic gas explosion ijen crater that once took the lives of some traditional sulfur miners.

Ijen crater tour from Bali

Ijen crater tour from bali its not really a big hassle doing it yourself. The big city closest to Ijen Crater is Banyuwangi. For public transport or bus from Bali you can take big bus from Ubung bus station Denpasar. Cost around 70,000,-IDR just say your destination Banyuwangi and you will be drop to Ketapang harbor Banyuwangi.

There is no public transportation from the city of Banyuwangi directly to Ijen Crater, there is only an angkot to the Licin area, from there you must ride a sulfur carrying truck that goes to Kawah Ijen by paying Rp. 5.000, – and usually departs around 07:00 pm. Alternatively you can rent a motor vehicle that many found in the city of Banyuwangi, motor rental rate per day ± Rp. 70.000, – and car rental ± Rp. 250.000, – up to Rp. 450.00, – per day.

traditional sulfur miners - Ijen Crater
traditional sulfur miners – Ijen Crater
Credit: topindonesiaholidays.com

Ijen Crater Accommodation

There are various types of hotels you can find near Ijen Crater like Grand Harvest Resort and Villas and Grand Harvest Resort and Villas.
If you want cheaper, you can choose to stay at some guest house ang also easy to find such as Herry’s Guesthouse at Jl. Perkebunan Kalibendo Desa Rejopuro, Glagah, Banyuwangi 68432. Try to use TripAdvisor for more information.

At the end of Paltuding there is also a simple lodging run by the Ministry of Forestry, a room for Rp 100,000 per night or a three bedroom villa for Rp 500,000 per night. From here you stay up to the crater of Mount Ijen waiting for morning. If you want a more comfortable lodging, you can choose to stay at Belawan and Jampit Plantation with prices starting from Rp 135,000 per room per night. But from these two estates you have to rent a vehicle to the Paltuding post which is six kilometers if you want to climb the mountain.

Travel Tips to Ijen Crater

  • Save money: Actualy you do not need a guide. There are many many people every night to climb and there is no way you can get lost.
  • You can go there by a car with many people if possible (allot cheaper and warmer than a motorbike)
  • Ijen crater entrance fee around IDR 150,000 in the week (including the night from friday to saturday)
  • Use comfortable shoes for trekking to Ijen Crater.
  • Wear thick jackets, gloves, and trousers, as it enters the dry season and the weather will be very cold.
  • Do not forget to bring a flashlight / headlamp and mask cover the nose to face the smell of sulfurous smoke, wet with water if the smell of sulfur is very concentrated. For better options, all you have to do is rent a gas mask. So definately rent a gas maks before heading there. And not worry about breathing that stinky air, because you are only there one night you can take it right?
  • The path down to the rim of the crater is very dangerous, do not force down to the rim of the crater without a special mask and guide, be careful when going down because safety is your own responsibility.
  • Very difficult to find phone signal in the area of ​​Ijen Crater, so if you go with the entourage, try not to separate.
  • The sunrise is AMAZING and reveals all the landscape you could not see at night.
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