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Visit Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park’s many Volcanoes in Java, Indonesia

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Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park is located in East Java.  The National Park is named after its two most popular mountains (Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo) and the Tengger people who inhabit the area.  The national park is more than 800 square kilometers in area and its highest point is at Mount Semeru, which is 3,676 meters tall.

Mount Semeru is Java’s highest mountain.  It is an active volcano that abruptly rises out of the surrounding coastal plains.  The volcano has an extensive eruptive history, with at least 55 eruptions since 1818.  Climbers can reach the top of Mount Semeru in two days.  However, one must be in peak physical condition in order make this climb and a permit must be obtained beforehand.  Climbers should also be aware that the mountain will be off-limits during periods of eruptive activity.

Mount Bromo is another active volcano within the national park’s jurisdiction.  It is 2,329 meters high and surrounded by erg called the Tengger Sand Sea.  Other mountains within the sand sea are Mount Pananjakan (2,770 meters) Mount Cemorolawang (2,227 meters), Mount Lingker (2,278 meters), Mount Pundak Lembu (2,635 meters), Mount Jantur (2,705 meters), Mount Ider-ider (2,527 meters) and Mount Mungal (2,480 meters).  The main highlight is to go to the look-out point on Mount Penankajan and watch the sunrise over this entire volcano complex.  It can get cold (anywhere between 5 °C to 0 °C), even in the summer months.

There are parkas for rent if visitors do not feel like bringing a jacket to tropical Indonesia.  The sun rises early throughout the year at the national park so visitors will have to wake up as early as 3.30 AM in order to catch the sunrise at 5.30 AM.

Because of the area’s unique height levels and accompanying temperatures, the forests in the national park can be classified into three zones: the submontane zone (750-1,500 meters), the montane zone (1,500-2,400 meters) and the sub-alpine zone (above 2440 meters).

The submontane zone is generally considered a rainforest.  A wide variety of tropical plants and animals reside here including a wide range of liana trees and orchids as well as the Crab-eating Macaque, the Green Peafowl, the Besra and the leopard.

The montane zone contains much less vegetation than the area below it.  The area is covered in volcanic sediment from Mount Bromo’s volcanic activities.  The area known as the Tengger Sand Sea is believed to be the only known desert-like area in Indonesia and has been protected since 1919.

The sub-alpine zone contains even less vegetation, with the unique Javanese Edelweiss growing in the area.  However, there is no plant life above 3,100 meters.

The Tengger people are the inhabitants of the area.  They represent one of the last remaining Hindu communities on Java Island.  They are quite similar to the Hindus in Bali, but with more animist beliefs.  The Tenggers are believed to be descendents of the Majapahit Empire.

Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park is a very interesting place to go if you plan on a unique Indonesian trip.  You can visit Mount Bromo and its surroundings on our thorough Three Islands: Java – Bali – Lombok Indonesia tour.  These three islands may be close in terms of proximity but each offers a unique set of cultures and landscapes, ensuring an educational, enlightening and certainly memorable trip.  You can also see our suggested Indonesia tours page for other exciting trips in this country or contact us if you have any questions or would like to tweak our tours.

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