Saturday, 13 June 2009

Ijen Crater (2,300m)

"The biggest Kaldera in Indonesia"Ijen crater is an active one which is combination of Mt. Raung and Mt. Ijen. There are two main routes leading to the crater. The first route is from Banyuwangi to the south -west through Jambu village. By mini bus from Banyuwangi , we go to Licin village and by another mini bus go to Jambu village , as the last village .

From the Jambu village , we start trekking by passing Coffee and Clove Plantation along the way to a splendid tropical forest. This way is used daily by the workers to carry sulfur stores from ijen crater, so the path is quite wide and good . In the middle of the journey, we will find cold water from a small river . It will takes 4 hours before getting st a prairie . There are three locked huts and some water from rain. We need 1 and half hours to reach to the crater . On the way , there is a small office managing sulfur mining , in which we can buy drinks or cigarettes.

The second route is from Bondowoso to south east passing Wonosari and Ijen Kaldera which is the biggest Kaldera in Indonesia. From Bondowoso , just straight to wonosari - sukosari and continued to sempol. Sempol is the nearest village to Ijen Crater and there is no inn there.
We will takes 5 hours passing beautiful savanna , to reach the three locked huts above from sempol . We cant rent a car from Wonosari or Sempol to go to Pal Tuding to minimized time as mini bus rarely passes there. It will spend another 2 hours , trekking from Pal Tuding to the three locked huts.

Here are some tips if you plan a visit to Ijen Crater.

 1. transportation
Transportation from Surabaya or Denpasar, Bali could by road to the town of Bondowoso. Estimated travel from Surabaya to Bondowoso about seven hours using public transport bus at a cost of Rp 50,000. While from Denpasar to Banyuwangi about four hours by public bus.

From Bondowoso or Banyuwangi to the late post named  Paltuding, it can be reached by renting a three-hour jeep adventure through damage road. If you are backpacking to Mount Ijen, from Terminal Bondowoso there a transportation to the village in Sempol district  with costs Rp 15,000. Then followed by a motorcycle trip to the post Paltuding for about Rp 40,000. While from Banyuwangi you have to ride transit to village at a cost of Rp 10,000 to the District Licin first and then travel can be resumed by ride of a sulfur truck  to the post Paltuding with only at a cost of Rp 5,000 per person.

2. lodging

In Paltuding end post there a simple inn run by the Ministry of Forestry, and cost for room is Rp 100,000 per night or three-bedroom villa at Rp 500,000 per night. From here you can live up to the crater of Mount Ijen and wait for the morning.If you want more comfortable stay at the guest house owned by PTP, you can choose to stay at the Plantation Belawan and Jampit with prices starting at Rp 135.000 per room per night. But from these two estates, you have to hire a vehicle to post Paltuding for a distance of six kilometers up the mountain.

3. the best time

The best time to visit Mount Ijen is in the dry season from July to September. In the rainy season is very dangerous to climb because the road was slippery. The best time to climb the mountain at 05 000 until 06.00 am in the morning because the sun has not shone bright and a long way to go up and down the mountain about four hours for casual walkers. Scenery in the morning as well as many more beautiful mountains and the fog has not smell vapor of sulfur.Do not forget to bring a thick jacket, hat, neck scarf and sneakers and another gear up to the mountain. Flashlights are also necessary if you want to leave at dawn to the crater.
Ijen Crater forms a lake with boiling light green color water whose sides strongly blows sulfuric gas . Ijen Crater is one of the most fascinating panoramas in Java island.
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