Photo: Quite amazing.


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The incomparable ethereal volcanic landscape of Gunung Bromo ranks among Indonesian’s most acclaimed and recognised natural treasures, and it is also a stop on the well-trodden Jakarta—Yogyakarta—Borobudur—Bromo–Bali overland route.

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The active volcano smoulders at the centre of the Tengger Massif, a vast ancient caldera located in the fertile highlands 40 kilometres from East Java’s north coast town of Probolinggo and more or less due east of Malang.

You’re not in Kansas anymore. Photo taken in or around Gunung Bromo, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

You’re not in Kansas anymore. Photo: Sally Arnold

Gunung Bromo is but one peak within the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, but the name is popularly interchangeable. Within the caldera, alongside Gunung Bromo (2,329 metres), the peaks of Gunung Batok (2,470 metres), Gunung Kursi (2,581 metres), Gunung Widodaren (2,650 metres) and Gunung Watangan (2,661 metres) sit surrounded by a sea of black volcanic sand biding their time until their next violent eruption, although of the group, the classic cone-shaped Gunung Batok is officially dormant, but that hasn’t stopped volcanos in Indonesia in the past. Meanwhile Gunung Semeru (3,676 metres), Java’s highest peak can be seen to the south, consistently puffing out clouds of smoke. A visit to this remarkable and dramatic region is an indelible experience.

The majority of travellers arrive before dawn in order to catch the sunrise over this transcendental, otherworldly caldera. The journey commonly arrives via Probolinggo, passing the near vertical farmlands cultivated in the surrounding districts by the Tengger highlanders, a sub-ethnic group of the Javanese people said to be decedents of the former Hindu Majapahit Kingdom, which ruled most of Java and Bali in the 13th and 14th ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,000 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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