Bromo is an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia. Mount Bromo is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator. So, when recently a chance came for me to take a day trip to Mount Bromo in Indonesia, I was obviously excited.
But as I would soon realize, travelling is much more than setting off to a particular destination with your bags on your backs. You definitely need to do a bit of planning and researching. One thing you must definitely research before you travel to any destination is the weather (obviously). I failed to do this, and I paid a big price.
Bad early signs
My flight to the city of Malang, East Java Province was a nice one. But that’s just as positive as it got. I arrived 24 hours to the time I was supposed to start the trip to Mount Bromo. As soon as I landed, it was clear that it was going to take a miracle for the trip to happen. To say that the weather was bad, would be an understatement. It was raining and the fog was so heavy that you could barely see 30 meters ahead. My hope of catching the sunrise and witnessing the famed view in Bromo now hung in the balance.
It was now clear that I had made a grave omission by not researching the weather beforehand and the consequence was there for all of me to see. I was hanging on to hope that the situation would have improved by the time I started the 3-hour drive to Bromo at 12 a.m. the next day. So I crossed my fingers and waited. The Jeep journey to the viewpoint was an experience in itself. I was getting driven in darkness, around cliff points, unmarked roads and dirt tracks – exciting.
The big disappointment – Anti-climax.
In order to catch the sunrise in Bromo, you need to be there by 5.30 a.m. So at 12 a.m. the six of us left Malang in a Jeep. When we got there at 3 a.m., the weather was not only foggy, it was drizzling. The temperature had to be around 10 degrees Celsius. There was no way the sun was going to come out in two to three hours. At 6 a.m., My attempt to see the sunrise was confirmed as one epic fail. I was disappointed, but I only had myself to blame.
The worst of Bromo weather was here for us to see. At this point, with lack of sleep, overpaying for the private tour, waiting 3 hours and freezing my butt off just to see clouds. With the dense fog, I could not catch a glimpse of the much-hyped view of Mount Semeru.
So I ended up taking the only other available option which was to explore areas around Bromo with thick clouds hanging above us. My driver was from the area so he knew a few places that were interesting. But still, I had learned the hard way the importance of doing my homework before going on a trip.
Bromo is a great place, but …
In my opinion, based on my friend’s travel pictures, Bromo potentially a great place to visit, but I am not sure if I will be going back. One thing you have to deal with is the problem of overcrowding and cleanliness. It is overcrowded with local tourists and the whole surrounding viewpoint area is littered with plastics and cigarette buds. Street food culture also runs deep in the area. This means that there are a lot of vendors and littering is quite rampant.
Best time to visit
As for the best time to visit Mount Bromo, it definitely has to be during the dry season. It starts in April or thereabouts and goes all the way to October. Your chances of dealing with little or no rain are highest between May and August, which makes them the best months to visit. But even during these months, you still have to check the weather forecast to avoid being disappointed like I was.