Ijen plateau, also known as ‘Kawah Ijen’ is highly recommended for nature enthusiasts and hikers. The Plateau was at one time a huge active crater, 134 sq km in area. Ijen is a quiet but active volcano, and the landscape is dominated by the volcanic cones of Ijen (2,368 asl) and Merapi (2,800 asl) on the northeastern edge of the Plateau, and Raung (3,332 asl) on the southwestern corner.
A Home to the Phenomenal Blue Fire
The beauty of Ijen Crater has been recognized across the world. In March 2016, this magical lake has been included in UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserves. When you arrived here after walking through a road surrounded by lush greeneries, a refreshing chill breeze will greet you right away. The air around Ijen Crater normally will reach about 10 degrees celsius daily. Sometimes, it might even hit 2 degrees celsius. In the day, the mesmerizing sight of sunlight radiating a turquoise lake enveloped with smokes will give you an everlasting impression. Several small vents can be found surrounding the crater. They are a source of work for sulfur miners, making their way up and down from the crater and down to the lake each and every day. At dawn, you can have a chance to witness an incredible natural phenomenon where blue-tinted flames will appear around the crater. Known by many as the Blue Fire, this phenomenon usually occurs around 05:00 AM.
You can take a walk for about 1-1.5 hours around the crater rim.
The Ijen Plateau can be reached through Bondowoso from either the northern or the southern coast. It is closer to Banyuwangi, but the road can be very steep and badly deteriorated. A jeep is quite helpful, although difficult to hire in Banyuwangi and outrageously expensive. Most people walk the last 8 km (from about 64 km) along the road to Paltuding Post (the PHPA Post, the starting point, or the trek to the crater) from Bondowoso. Once you’ve arrived at Paltuding Post, you can trek your way up to the edge of the Ijen crater caldera through a 3 km long route. The daily climbing schedule starts at 01:00 AM up until 12:00 AM. However, during the restriction period, the climbing schedule will instead start at 03:00 AM.