It is probably a strange feeling to wake up in the morning and see an unworldly landscape through your window. At a first glance, this would seem like an imaginary landscape from Mars or the creation of your inner world.
The unusual sunrise, the mysterious clouds and intense colors might look like a drawing made by a furious painter that has unleashed his anger. Believe it or not, the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park perfectly fits this description.
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is located in Indonesia, to the southeast of Surabaya, the capital of East Java. It is the only conservation area in Indonesia that has a sand sea, the Tengger Sand Sea, across which is the caldera of an ancient volcano (Tengger) from which four new volcanic cones have emerged. This unique feature covers a total area of 5,250 hectares at an altitude of about 2,100 m.
The park borrowed its name from Mount Bromo – 2,329 meters (easily recognized by the crater that constantly belches out a huge cloud of steam and smoke), Mount Semeru – 3,676 m (the highest mountain in Java) and Tengger- the name of the people who inhabited the area starting hundreds of years ago.
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park also has green valleys with a typical tropical forest flora fed by the rivers from the high tops. These can be found in its lowest elevation and away from the sand sea.
The park is not renowned for birdwatching, but up on the plateau you often see hawks and eagles soaring. Down in the valleys, mammals such as the leopard cat, Java rusa deer, marbled cats or wild pigs can be seen, but very rarely.
You can get there by plane – to the airport in Surabaya- which is well served by regular domestic flights from Jakarta, Bali and some other countries in Asia. Or you can choose to fly to a small regional airport at Malang with flights from Jakarta and access from here makes sense if you intend to enter the park via the Tumpang/Ngadas route.
If you want totake the car, there are three established routes into the park:
– the Probolinggo → Ngadisari Route (on the north coast of Java about 45 km from the park and the most straightforward)
– the Pasuruan → Tosari Route is a little harder than the Probolinggo option and Pasuruan has the benefit of being closer to Surabaya.
– the Malang → Tumpang Route approaches from the south east
Regarding accommodation, there are plenty of options around the park, but some research about facilities and prices is recommended. You can get more travel information from here.