Getting from Surabaya to Bromo can be tricky, but you don’t need a tour guide to complete the journey…
Mt Bromo offers some of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the whole of Indonesia. As well as the opportunity to look into the crater of an active volcano! If visiting the island of Java, it is not to be missed.
Flying into Surabaya airport (Juanda International) is your best bet for making your way to this iconic destination.
Juanda Airport – Surabaya Bus Station
On arrival at Surabaya airport, you will be immediately inundated with taxi drivers looking to pick up unsuspecting tourists offering to take you all the way to Bromo. To avoid the hassle, simply inform the drivers you plan to get the public bus.
When you exit the doors of the airport, cross over to the second pavement. This is where the public coach (Demari bus company) will pick you up and take you thirty minutes to the main Surabaya bus station for 25,000Rp (£1.30) per person.
Surabaya Bus Station – Probolinggo
At Surabaya bus station, you have two options to get to Probolinggo (the closest large town to Bromo). You can either take the direct bus from terminal 5 which is slightly more expensive. Or like us, you can take the cheaper/longer bus from terminal 12. This bus takes around 3 hours and costs 20,000Rp (£1.10) per person.
Bus Station Probolinggo
When you reach Probolinggo, the driver may make you leave the bus before the bus station at the top of Jl. Raya Bromo street. This, unfortunately, is a scam. A tour operator is located here that will try and overcharge you to reach your destination. If this is the case, don’t get off the bus and demand the driver takes you to the actual station in town which is situated further south along this road.
Search for “Terminal Bayuangga” on Google Maps to reach the right place.
Probolinggo public bus – Cemoro Lawang (base of Bromo trek)
Just south of the terminal there is a “public bus” service that takes groups up to Mt. Bromo for 30,000 – 40,000Rp (around £2) each. The price is cheap, but the minibus does not leave until it is full. This can be an issue, as you may have to wait for hours at a time. However, in the end, the bus will save you a substantial amount of money compared to a taxi or private charter bus to Cemoro Lawang at the foot of the Volcano trek.
The public shuttle bus
Once on the bus to Cemoro Lawang, you, unfortunately, may not be home and dry. The driver claims to drop each passenger off at their hotel/homestay but this is not always the case. You may well, like us, be dropped in the middle of nowhere in the pitch black! The driver said he could not drive us to our hotel as it was in a national park, where fees were involved.
He did, however, inform us of where we should walk. But it was quite a stressful experience getting out of the minibus with no real idea of where we were and no phone signal. Insist that he takes you to where you need to be to avoid this.
Is it worth it?
When we made our way from Surabaya to Bromo we did not have the information provided above. It was not such an easy journey. But the trek the following day more than made up for it. The views at the top are truly magical! And with all of the information we have provided here, it should be no trouble at all.