Gunung Bromo is the jewel in the crown of East Java tourist attractions and ranks as one of Southeast Asia's premier natural wonders. Located high in the hills 40 kilometres from the dusty town of Probolinggo on East Java's north coast and more or less due east of Malang, the area around the active volcano was one of the last refuges of the former Majapahit empire, which ruled most of Java and Bali in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Most tourists visit the area to get up before dawn so that they can catch sunrise over the stunning moon-like Tengger Caldera, which contains the active Gunung Bromo among a cluster of other volcanoes. Sitting right on the edge of the caldera is the town of Cemoro Lawang which is the most popular town for visitors to stay in. From here it is possible to walk to many of the best vantage points around the caldera or alternatively it is possible to catch a ride in one of the hundreds of jeeps that zoom around the area.
Cemoro Lawang sits about 2,000 metres above sea level and temperatures at night and the early morning are chilly, meaning you will require at least a long sleeve shirt and long pants, but preferably also a jacket.
When the sun rises, temperatures rise to about 20 degree Celsius, at which time it is possible to shed some excess clothing, particularly if you are hiking.
There isn't much in the way of facilities in this area, so bring all the cash you need for your time in the area. As well, be aware that medical facilities are rudimentary should you sprain an ankle or worse.
By Adam Poskitt