Catching Sunrise at Mount Penanjakan

Asia, Indonesia

A Glimpse of Sunrise as Seen from Mount Penanjakan

My phone’s alarm rang at 3 am that day. Waking me up from uneasy sleep in a cold room. I went directly to the bathroom only to learn that the water was even colder than before. Not spending too much time near the cold water, then I got myself prepared for a hike to Mount Penanjakan, the most popular viewpoint to see sunrise at the entire Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. At 3.30, a red jeep parked in front of the lodge to pick me up. Not wasting too much time, in only a few minutes I have found myself sitting on the front seat of the jeep heading to Mount Penanjakan. But after picking me up, the jeep stopped at a nearby hotel to pick up four Thai tourists.

About half an hour after going through dark road, we finally arrived at a car park on the slope of Mount Penanjakan. From there, people continue the hike either by riding a horse or on foot. I chose the later. However I regret for not bringing the flashlight that I brought from Jakarta for this hike. If only there were no moonlight, it would have been pitch dark along the way up. Plus, some people who walked in front of me also made it easier for me to find out where to walk and where to turn.

Tengger Caldera at Dawn

After hiking for about 15 minutes, not an easy one though since I had to halt frequently to catch some breath and stretch my feet, finally I got to the viewpoint which has concrete platforms on it. I took the liberty to rest myself down for a couple of minutes while waiting for the sun to rise. Not long afterwards, the east sky started to change color as the sun crawled slowly before showing its full circle. Then, one of the most amazing views that I’ve ever witnessed in my life slowly revealed itself before my very eyes. The extinct Mount Batok stands elegantly in the middle of Tengger Caldera, a remnant of an ancient super volcano. While Mount Bromo, which last erupted in March 2011, sits humbly behind Mount Batok. From afar, the majestic Mount Semeru, believed by ancient Javanese as the center of the universe, overlooks the vast caldera which contains the other two mounts. Truly a breathtaking scenery! Nevertheless, my sunrise-watching was a little marred by some clouds which partly covered the sun. Hence I didn’t get the best possible experience which many others had. I suggest for those who wish to visit Mount Bromo to catch the sunrise, please do consider doing that in dry season when clouds are considerably less.

A View of The Slope of The Caldera

Viewing Platform Where People Take Pictures of The Sunrise

I stayed on the viewpoint for about two hours to truly feel the atmosphere of this place. Now I’ll leave you with some other pictures that I took. Have a great day!

When The Sun Starts Shining Upon The Trees: Beautiful

Color Gradation on The Slope

My Final Shot of Mount Batok (front), Bromo (left) and Semeru (background)

Related Posts: Cemoro Lawang: A Village in The Clouds, Unearthly Mount Bromo and Tengger Caldera

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Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.

23 thoughts on “Catching Sunrise at Mount Penanjakan”

  1. Pingback: Cemoro Lawang: A Village in The Clouds « What an Amazing World!

  2. Wow, I would have loved to be there… the last picture looks so surreal, it’s just like a painting! Was the hike difficult? The viewpoint seems very high up, at least above the morning clouds. I adore volcanoes so Bromo looks like something I’ll have to do on my next trip to Indonesia!


    • Thanks James..The hike was actually not that difficult as long as you do it with enough light. Lucky me that night there was a full moon. However I do suggest to do some exercise prior to your visit to Bromo. Healthy lifestyle does make difference 🙂 If you are that excited towards volcanoes, then Bromo is a must. It’s quite easily accessible and there are a number of good hotels in nearby villages.


  3. wow, what a gorgeous place! Where exactly is the park located? My uncle is going to Indonesia soon and would probably love to hike this volcano. What an amazing place you live in!!!! Thanks for sharing and the pictures are spectacular.


    • Thanks Nicole!
      The park is relatively easy to reach from Surabaya (Indonesia’s second largest city). From Surabaya, take a three-hour bus ride to a small town called Probolinggo. From the town’s bus terminal, take a minibus to Cemoro Lawang (the nearest village from the park which offers various options of lodging). For more information about getting there and away, you can refer to Wikitravel’s page about Bromo.
      I hope your uncle will have a great time in Indonesia!!!


  4. Pingback: Unearthly Mount Bromo and Tengger Caldera « What an Amazing World!

  5. amazing shots. wow. And of course I’m so, so envious, and dying for a trip like this to Asia. I only had one hiking trip in Asia, but that was like six years ago, and so iI’m overdue. Will live vicariously through you for now. Enjoy!!!


  6. It was a relief for me to look at those photos, Bama. The pro is still a pro, I must say. You are pretty consistent at producing decent photos. I wish I could do the same with my point-and-shoot.


    • Wow, that’s such a great compliment, Sony! I will always try my best to produce decent photos because I myself am a very visual person and I like to stare at my photographs from places that I’ve visited to bring up some good memories. One of the most important things in producing nice photographs is practicing. Over time you’ll learn how to make good pictures (that’s what I do, because back then when I bought my current camera I produced super crappy photos. But then I keep learning and experimenting).


  7. Pandu says:

    For me, Lautan Pasir misty looks nicer from Penanjakan view point. But, whatever it is, Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is always stunning.:)
    Suggestion: Try to visit it again in August, August is the best month to see the sunrise from Penanjakan because in this month the sky is clear, and the sun looks great and exudes a charming red color.


    • Makes me want to go to other national parks in Indonesia. Thanks for your suggestion, Ndu! Next time I revisit this place, I’ll make sure to do it in August.


  8. Pingback: Blue Skies Over Bromo « What an Amazing World!

  9. Hello Bama,

    Nice pictures (as always). May I know the hotel / guest house where you stayed near Bromo? Anyway, I suppose that you hired a jeep but not the whole one for you? (just know that). I am planning for a trip to Bromo soon, so need your kind tips. Thank you.


    • Thanks Ethenia!
      The last time I went was in October and I stayed at Hotel Bromo Permai 1 which is very close to the entrance gate to the Sea of Sand. I really recommend this place as the room was clean and the food was quite decent. The only drawback was the hot water. It’s literally hot and impossible to shower with! About the jeep, I hired a whole jeep for me and a friend. So it’s always a good thing to share all the costs with your friend. 🙂


    • Thanks Madhu! It’s easy to be blown away by the beauty of Mount Bromo and the massive ancient caldera. I hope it will be sooner than later for you to visit this place.


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