The hike to the top of Ijen is definitely challenging. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the crater lake, with some very steep steps. The good thing is there is a well-marked path. You don’t have to worry about getting lost while walking in the dark.
Imagine these miners going up and down, with 40-70KG on their shoulders, doing that same walk 3/4 times a day. Oh, and they earn 900 IDR (0.06 USD) per kilo.
Blue fire Kawah Ijen tour
The blue fire is a natural wonder that can only be seen at Ijen and in Iceland. It is only visible in the extreme darkness. If you are planning to witness the blue fire, you have to start walking from 2 AM. Once at the top, you have to descend again into the crater, wearing a mask to find the blue fire.
Sunrise at the Ijen Crater
Watching the sunrise on the aqua Ijen Crater Lake is beautiful. Just like Bromo, it is busy, but you can walk around almost the whole crater lake to take a beautiful photo. The colors change from orange, pink, purple, and aqua.
Would we recommend Ijen? It was a beautiful experience, but wouldn’t recommend it if you have limited time for your route through Java.
Temperature at Ijen
During our visit to Kawah Ijen, it was 0-10 degrees, and there was a strong wind. This made it cold and dangerous as some people were blown over.
What to wear during an Ijen tour?
Be prepared to wear long trousers, socks, closed shoes, a shirt, and a jacket or multiple sweaters. Do remember you will be hiking for at least one hour, so your body will get warm.
Good to know: There are small push carts that will take you to the top for a fee. You are then pushed and pulled up the mountain by three men, and you pay a minimum of 700,000 IDR (50 USD) for that. We don’t support doing this, as it almost looks like slavery on these insane climbs.
How to get to Kawah Ijen
Contact our great driver Azhar on Whatsapp (+6281336042045). Make sure to tell him you came via ‘Salt in our Hair’ so you’ll get the best price.
Where to Stay at Ijen
You have a few options to get to Ijen. The easiest way is to find a guesthouse or homestay near Ijen. The best location would be in Banyuwangi.
Another option is to stay in a larger city called Bondowoso. The only downside is that you have to drive for another two hours to get to the starting point of Ijen.