There is no cheap and easy way.
Many people like to travel overland from Jakarta to Bali, with stops at Yogyakarta and Mt Bromo.
View Ways to Mt Bromo in a larger map
Mt Bromo is the most well-known and widely-visited of Indonesia’s 129 active volcanoes, due to its relatively easy access and proximity to airports in Surabaya, Malang and Bali. There are also train services from Surabaya and Bali (Banyuwangi) to the nearest station: Probolinggo.
Unfortunately, travelling from Yogyakarta to Mt Bromo is more difficult.
The only direct train is an economy class service that – unlike business and executive class trains – cannot be booked in advance and arrives in Probolinggo too late to get a connecting bus to Mt Bromo. Bus services reportedly finish each day around 16:00.
The three trains from Yogyakarta to Malang are all overnight trains. As explained here, Indonesian trains don’t have beds/sleepers/couchettes. This route is therefore not recommended for light sleepers, especially the night before a 03:30 start for the Mt Bromo sunrise.
There is no cheap and easy way from Yogyakarta to Mt Bromo, so here are some suggestions to maximise comfort or minimise cost.
You can take the 06:00 flight to Surabaya on Wings Air or Xpress Air, then a taxi to the nearest train station (Sidoarjo – directions) where you can get the 09:00 train to Probolinggo, arriving at 10:58.
Yes, the early start sucks, but it is good practice for the 03:30 start the following morning.
A small variation would be to take the DAMRI airport bus to the nearby Surabaya’s Bungarasih Bus Terminal, then get a bus to Probolinggo. This would be cheaper overall for the solo traveller.
Buses from Yogyakarta to Denpasar (Bali) will usually stop in Probolinggo, but check first.
The trip would be 10-11 hours and the Giwangan bus terminal is 5km from central Yogyakarta, so again it would be an early start to ensure you arrive in Probolinggo by mid-afternoon.
Bus tickets cannot be booked in advance.
The most popular choice is to take the 07:25 train to Surabaya, then travel by bus or taxi to the Bungarasih bus terminal (near the airport) and get a bus to Probolinggo.
Please note that direct buses to Bungarasih rarely travel past Gubeng Station in Surabaya; if you are keen, you would exit the station from the west/left side of the train. Alternately, you can take a taxi a short distance to Jl Panglima Sudirman (Jl = Jalan, Street); there are more buses to Bungarasih – including air conditioned coaches – passing by here.
Taxis are available on the east/right side of the train; the most reliable are Bluebird taxis, waiting across the road from the car park.
Many operators offer tours from Surabaya to Mt Bromo. These range from 12-hour overnight tours (starting at midnight from Surabaya, paying for just transport and park fees) to multi-day tours finishing in Bali with trips to Ijen Plateau and the famous turtle hatching area of Sukamade.
Prices for tours vary significantly according to the number of passengers, level of comfort and standard of hotel.
Mau Ke Mana books tours for clients with only trusted, reputable operators; there is no fee for clients who book train or flight tickets. A 50% deposit is often required when booking, with the balance paid in Rupiah cash during the tour.
You can also use this form to make a tour enquiry,
in the box titled “Anything you’d like to ask or specify?”.
Whichever way you go, you are likely to enjoy reaching the final destination. Most people go at sunrise, but it is also possible to visit at sunset, or any other time of day. The active can also walk across the “Sea of Sand” to/from their hotel.
Please remember that Mt Bromo remains an active volcano; it last erupted in 2011. You can check the current status for Mt Bromo (and other volcanoes) here, at the bottom right; at the time of writing, Bromo was on Level 2 of 4. Trips to Mt Bromo should be postponed if the status is Level 3 or 4.
You can also check the weather forecast at the nearest town of Probolinggo here.
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