Ijen Crater (The Blue Fire) Travel Hints
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Indonesia, as located in the Pacific ring fire, has lots of active volcanoes which has contributed to the beautiful natural phenomenon. One of those famous phenomena is Ijen Crater which mostly known as the immortal Blue Fire. The Ijen Blue Fire is one of the only two phenomenons in the world as the other one is located in Iceland. The blue fire is created by the gas mixing with the oxygen from the ground.
The best time to visit Ijen
Weather is the first thing you should consider before visit Ijen crater. The best time to visit Ijen crater is between Juli to September, during the dry season. When the rainy season arrives, the Ijen Crater hiking trail will be not safe to visit.
How to reach Ijen Crater
Banyuwangi city is the nearest city with Ijen Crater, make sure you book a flight to Banyuwangi. The route can be made from Jakarta or Bali with two airlines options; Garuda Indonesia or Citilink Airlines. Take public transportation once you arrived in Banyuwangi airport named angkot (small bus) which takes you to Licin, approx cost you for 2 USD. From Licin you can simply carry on to Ijen Crater by hitchhiking a truck that heads to Paltuding post to pick sulfurs from the crater. Give 5,000 Rupiahs (5 cents) as a tip for the truck driver. If you are looking for more convenient trips you can rent a jeep to reach Paltuding from the airport which costs 10 USD for three hours drive.
To enjoy the blue fire, become a mandatory that you should make your hike to the peak at 2 am from Patulding post while the sky is still dark. The hike from Patulding to the Ijen crater will last 1.5 hours as the cold weather and low visibility will become the major challenge. The route will be as tough as the hike include granular steep which can cause you to fall.
Place to stay
There are numerous options can be chosen for your accommodation. The nearest point with the crater is a room which facilitated by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Paltuding post as it cost $10/night. If you take the family on your trip and want a more private room, you could rent a villa with three bedrooms approx $50/night. You do not have to worry about finding food in Ijen. There are lots of warung serving common food in the Ijen crater. More variation of food offers in Banyuwangi city while seafood is the limelight food in Banyuwangi since the location close to the sea.
Tips before start hiking to the Ijen crater.
To witness the phenomenal Blue Fire Ijen, you require to make some preparations. Here are some of them:
Make sure to use layered clothes and thick jackets. As you have read in the explanation above, the air in Ijen Crater is extremely cold and windy which has an altitude of 2,443 meters above sea level. The temperatures can fall into two-degree Celcius during the night.
Use the mountain shoes during your hike, the gravel road to Ijen Crater allows you to fall accidentally.
Bring your flashlight, as the pitch black is the only scene you can see during your hike to the Ijen crater.
The gas mask is heavily required during the Ijen crater area, as the smell of sulfur can bring damage to your lung. In the middle of the trail, there is a check post usually selling the mask for 35,000 rupiahs ($3) in case you miss the mask from the start.
When you want to capture the Blue Fire moment, make sure you use UV glasses to protect your eyes from the crater gas which can cause harm to your eyes.
There is no toilet along the trail to the Ijen crater. You know what to do.
As the last, if you are sick and thinking cannot make your way to the top, there are transportation called Ojek which can bring you to Ijen crater using carts pulled by a human. The rate is $100 for one way trip to the top or the bottom. It sounds expensive, isn't it? But if compare with the remarkably hard trails to the peak, the cost will be reasonable.
You only need to spend two days of your free time to enjoy the beauty of this active sulfur crater. Happy backpacking!