Gunung Bromo is an active volcano that lies at Tengger giant caldera. With its top blown off, it appears more crater than mountain, while putrid sulfurous gas and smoke billow out from within. This mountain is one of Indonesia’s most breathtaking sights: the massive size of the entire Tengger caldera and the magical beauty of the scenery and the dramatic highland light really are what dreams are made of.
Visiting Bromo starts even before the sun is up to catching the magical sunrise. The best views of the massive caldera landscape are almost certainly had at sunrise from the top of neighboring Gunung Penanjakan (2,770 metres), as the sun rises, the clouds are the first to catch the color. Red. Pink. Orange. Then the valley starts to glow. The shadowy outline of the mountains comes into the focus and vista across the whole area is suddenly bathed in light. It is a good way to start the morning, indeed.
A few moments later, down at the base of Mount Bromo itself sweeping views back across the ‘sand sea’ to the lip of the crater and over to Mount Batok and the Hindu temple (this only opens on auspicious days in the pilgrim calendar) at its base. It feels like something from Sahara. The only vegetation is up on the cliffs around the caldera, watching fearfully down at this barren landscape.