Visiting The Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
The national park bears the name of two volcanoes – Bromo and Semeru. The Semeru Volcano is the highest of Java. It almost constantly have an eruptive activity. Climbing this volcano is said to be a little challenging, but I would really love to attempt it one day… and bring you some new panoramas!
Tengger is the name of the massif that Mount Bromo is part of, and the name of the 10 km (6.2 mile) wide caldera – Java’s largest – that you see in all the pictures of this area.
The national park covers a huge area. Most of the time, you will focus on Mount Bromo and the Tengger Caldera. I suggest you to stay at the village of Cemoro Lawang like I did, on the edge of the caldera, offering you some splendid views. This village offers some small hotels/homestays.
In the panoramas and pictures on this page, you can put yourself in the shoes of the many tourists who wake up very early to go watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo and the whole Tengger Caldera. This is a truly spectacular sight, a must-see. In the early morning, the caldera is filled with mist. This mist slowly vanishes mid-morning, chased away by the sun. From such an elevated viewpoint, you are able to witness the power that volcanic forces have to shape spectacular landscapes.
Seeing this smoking crater from a distance was an irresistible call to explore the caldera. A quite surprising place you will come across is a Hindu temple, built really close from the active volcano, at the bottom of the caldera! It was built by the Tenggerese people, a Hindu community who came to this inhospitable place to escape the Muslim invasion of Java.
Past the temple, the landscape was totally desolated, with an almost post-apocalyptic feeling. The last eruption of the volcano took place in late January 2011. The area had reopened to visitors in April, I was there in July. The whole area is covered with fresh ash, and all plant life around the crater has been exterminated by the eruption.
Around the crater, it’s a mix of dead trees, of dunes of fine and sticky ashes. The stairs going up the volcanic cone up to the crater rim had also been completely covered with a thick layer of ash, and had recently been cleared. This display of the destruction power of the volcano is the kind of atmosphere that makes you humble…