Attraction Ijen Tamansari Licin Banyuwangi Regency 68454, Indonesia Published on: 15-01-2016
Kawah Ijen (Ijen Crater) is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Kawah Ijen (Ijen Crater) is special ?
Ijen Crater is the biggest crater lake in Java. The sulfur crater lake lies between a natural dams of deeply etched rock. It is 200 meters deep and contains about 36million cubic meters of steaming acid water, shrouded in a smelling swirling sulfur cloud. Inside the crater the different color and size of stones are found. Indeed the crater of Ijen is beautiful garden of stone as well.
Today, Ijen is a quiet but active volcano, and the landscape is dominated by the volcanic cones of Ijen (2,368 asl) and Merapi (2,800 asl) on the northeastern edge of the Plateau, and Raung (3,332 asl) on the southwest corner. Ijen plateau is highly recommended to mountain buffs and hikers.
What to explore at Kawah Ijen (Ijen Crater)?
Sitting in the heart of the Ijen crater is a sky-blue lake approximately one kilometre across. The colours of the lake contrast with the sterile moonscape of the rest of the crater, and at first glimpse you might think this a beautiful scene. In reality, the lake has the pH of car battery acid and will quickly turn a metal can into nothing but a fizzing, bubbling memory.
Around the edges of the lake is a series of vents where the volcanic gases escape. Local miners have placed ceramic pipes over these vents and as the gases travel down the pipes, they condense and turn into liquid sulphur. This quickly cools and solidifies. This bright yellow residue, used in cosmetics and medicines, is harvested by miners using only the most basic of tools.
How to get to Kawah Ijen (Ijen Crater)?
The Ijen Plateau can be reached through Bondowoso from either the northern or the southern coast. It is closer to Banyuwangi, but the road is very steep and badly deteriorated. A 4 WD is essential, although difficult to hire in Banyuwangi and outrageously expensive. Most people walk the last 8 km (from about 64 km) along the road to Pos Paltuding (the PHPA Post, the starting point or the trek to the crater) from Bondowoso.
- A great midnight walk
- Blue flames are incredible
- Authentic, superb and magical experience
- Beautiful and Very Challenging
- An incredible volcano and crater
Ijen Tamansari Licin Banyuwangi Regency 68454, Indonesia
Tips for you
We started off at 01:00 in the morning on the 4KM trek up a decent path to the caldera rim. We then continued into the crater by torch light to see the magical blue flames which was amazing. We then stayed to sunrise to see the lake from inside the crater and it all was a great trip,. However please take note that whilst the trek to the crater edge is ok for anyone with reasonable fitness the way down into the caldera rim is a tough scramble and whilst there is a rough path it is not marked and you end up following others. It is all complicated further by the significant amount of sulphur smoke which is choking if you get in the wrong place and needs avoiding although that is not always possible. If you have any existing breathing conditions (asthma etc) then I would strongly recommend you don't try to get into the Caldera and if you are not comfortable with scrambling in the dark down a steep rough track then don't do this. There is also no rescue services anywhere to be seen and no easy extraction so if you do fall you will be in a very precarious situation. This trek down would be banned as a health and safety risk in any Western country!! If you are fit however and can cope with the sulphur and want to take the risk then then go for it as it is amazing and almost unique in the world.
Try to go up with a sulfur porter: they are happy to show you what they do every day, and also guiding you on their day off will bring them in more money than the rest of the week!