Is the Ijen volcano worth a visit

Kawah Ijen: a trip to the bowels of the world

A site unique in the world

The most acidic lake on our planet is located in the crater of the volcano (so it is better not to jump into it). Its color is extraordinary and stands out from the surroundings. The Kawah Ijen is also the largest natural sulfur reserve in the world. Visitors are offered supernatural scenes: at night blue sulfur flames escape from the crater, at a temperature of more than 200 ° C!

The "sulfur workers", as they are called, contribute to the reputation of the volcano, as does the incredible decor of the place. Hundreds of porters keep walking back and forth between the crater and the village with more than 70 kg of chunks on their backs (they are paid according to the weight returned). How long may their life expectancy be, given all the inhalation of sulfur smoke over the years? 40 years ... If you want to bring a souvenir from Kawah Ijen, you can buy a small sulfur statue so you can be sure that the money will go straight to you.

A night climb: a must!

Even if the Kawah Ijen is a must on your trip to Indonesia, it is not the most accessible place on the island ... Once you have made the journey, either through a tour operator (often together with the Bromo volcano, another place worth seeing in Java) or after taking numerous public transports (more strenuous, but much cheaper), all you have to do is make the 3km climb that separates you from the crater. A short distance that shouldn't be taken lightly because the climb is pretty tough. Especially if you choose to do the night hike to watch the blue flames in the crater (which I highly recommend).

You will meet many guides who offer their services to go into the crater. If your budget is a bit limited (or if you want to take more time on site), you should know that you can go down on your own: it is impossible to go the wrong way as there are so many guides who lead tourists, that all you have to do is follow them.

Watching the sunrise from the top of the volcano is a magical moment that you definitely shouldn't miss. If you have climbed high at night, you will discover an environment that is gradually lit by the sun ... the acid lake, the sea of ​​clouds, the green valley that contrasts with the dead trees near the volcano: at Kawah Ijen,you have the feeling of being at the place of origin of the world! Nature lovers or those interested in geology should charge the battery of their camera well, you don't always have the opportunity to descend into the bowels of the earth ...


One day is enough to visit the site, but as this "expedition" is also strenuous, do not hesitate to spend a night in the area. There are many coffee plantations here where you can spend an afternoon.

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Updated on May 10, 2016