The Charm of Blue Fire and Blue Sapphire in Ijen Crater Banyuwangi

Ijen Crater is the largest acid crater lake in the world located in Banyuwangi, East Java. Twin volcanoes with Mount Merapi from this crater have been extinguished. Ijen Crater is one of the most beautiful natural panoramas in Indonesia. At the bottom of the crater, sulfur smoke billows, causing the aroma around the crater to smell sulfur.

The crater is elliptical because of the displacement of the crater pipe. Ijen Crater measures approximately 960 x 600 m, is located at an altitude of 2,148 m above sea level, and a depth of 200 m. Inside the crater of this mountain consists of sedimentary rock remnants of the eruption. Cliffs – cliffs surround the crater, and if we want to go to the crater, we have to go through the roads around the cliffs that sulfur miners usually traverse. The Ijen Crater area is a plateau consisting of the hills of Mount Merapi (2,799 m.dpl) are located next to each other.

Night Gets Blue Fire and Day Gets Blue Sapphire

Ijen Crater is the largest caldera in Indonesia, and until now, its sulfur ore is mined traditionally. Ijen Caldera also has geothermal potential that can be used for power generation. The Mount Ijen area can indeed be visited at night or during the day.

Two different characters canA vast be obtained from Ijen at night and during the day. At night, precisely at midnight at 00.00, you will get the beauty of the night sky that is so romantic with a sprinkling of stars shining from the galaxy. Not only that, another interesting natural phenomenon in the form of blue fire or blue fire surging from the crater can only be seen at night.

When the day comes, you will get a clear view of the blue sky with the enchanting lake Ijen. A vast lake in its crater with a very high sulfur content makes the color of this lake beautiful in shades of tosca or turquoise blue. It is a blended color of a slightly greenish-blue.

Transportation Route to Ijen Crater

Towards Ijen Crater, there are two main routes, namely from the direction of Bondowoso-Wonosari and Banyuwangi-Licin. From the direction of Bondowoso, the car can reach Paltuding is the beginning of the climb, while from the direction of Banyuwangi. We have to walk 4 hours from Jambu Village to get to Paltuding because the asphalt road from Jambu to Paltuding is being built.

Transportation from Bondowoso

From Sempol, we head to Paltuding is 13 Km away. The journey takes 30 minutes by vehicle. Since there is no public transportation, to save time, it is recommended to rent a vehicle from Wonosari or Sempol to Paltuding. During the trip, we will pass through vast grasslands and coffee plantations.

In Paltuding, we have to report our climb to the PHPA officer and buy an entry sign. We can stay at this PHPA Post for a modest fee, also rent a sleeping bag if needed. It is recommended to keep at the PHPA Post or Sempol because the trip to Ijen Crater is only 2 hours from Paltuding.

From Paltuding, the journey continues uphill across a reasonably wide road with beautiful natural forest views. It takes 1.5 hours to arrive at the Sulfur Mining Hut. This hut was made as a storage office for sulfur results obtained from the crater. In this place, we can buy drinks and snacks. From this cottage, it only takes another 0.5 hours through a flat road.

Transportation from Banyuwangi

From the city of Banyuwangi, we go to the Sasak Perot/Banjarsari terminal by taking a bemo. From Sasak Perot, we change to a minibus to the Slippery direction. From Licin village, we head towards Sodong via Jambu by taking a plantation truck or motorcycle taxi. You can also travel because the roads are easily traversed by vehicles.

The journey will pass through coffee and clove plantations, as well as beautiful tropical forests. The slippery distance to Sodong is 8 Km (2.5 Hours). After arriving in Sodong, we continue our journey to Paltuding by truck or motorcycle taxi. Paltuding is the meeting place for the passing lanes from the direction of Bondowoso and Banyuwangi.

If you have enough time, if you start the journey from Bondowoso, it is recommended to go down to Banyuwangi. In addition to more accessible public transportation in Jambu, you can enjoy beautiful natural forest views along the way from Paltuding to Jambu. You also enjoy the natural scenery of the Bali Strait beach in Banyuwangi – Ketapang has a sloping beach.

From Banyuwangi, we can continue the journey to Baluran or Alas Purwo National Park to see the largest habitat in Java for wild buffalo, deer, and bull. We can also continue the journey to the island of Bali.

Tips for Midnight Show Climbing to Ijen Crater

A few things that need to be prepared for perfection when you come to Ijen Crater:

  • It’s best to come in the early hours of the morning and go uphill before dawn to get a candid picture of the blue fire.
  • For beginners, it will be more comfortable and safe if you bring a guide.
  • When you reach the top, wait at dawn to see the sunrise.
  • Use a jacket, mask, knit hat, and special hiking shoes to make it more comfortable throughout the hike.
  • Don’t forget to bring enough drinking water.
  • Make sure you are in a fit condition. Do not have the risk of heart disease and other serious diseases, especially asthma or lungs.
  • Bring a camera, because every moment of your hiking trip will be worth it.
  • Bring lighting in the form of a flashlight at least one for two people because the climbing area is very dark if you happen not to see the moon.
  • Go slowly but consistently.
  • Just bring enough money. At the time of climbing, you can find a shop just to unwind, or you can use the money to buy sulfur crafts which are quite beautiful as souvenirs.
  • Don’t forget to bring a raincoat in preparation for heavy rain.

Planning to visit Banyuwangi soon? Find out more about Banyuwangi and Indonesia by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.

Carolyne Sauer

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