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East Java is a land unlike no other. Most regions boast one or two-star attractions but what I found on my road trip is that each day just kept getting better. The next waterfall just got bigger and bigger and the volcanoes became more and more impressive. After 10 days exploring East Java by car, I was blown away. We hired a car in Surabaya when we landed and road tripped to all the popular spots but also found some lesser-known gems along the way. These are my favorite East Java images from the trip.

These photos were taken by myself but mostly Nic Morley. I spent the majority of the trip standing in his photos or more importantly videos. We were in East Java primarily to shoot a video. We still had time to create these stills though!

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On December 8, 30 competitors from around the world will come together to race in the first ever Bali Swim Run event. They will be running 24km and swimming 2.5km across Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan, two islands just off Bali mainland. Most notably, they will be raising $60,000 in much need funds to upgrade the current recycling facility on Nusa Lembongan. I am one of those 30 and I’d love your support in helping with this project.

In this blog post, I will explain why Nusa Lembongan needs this recycling facility upgrade, what I am doing to contribute to the upgrade and how you can support me on this project! First, let’s start with what the $60,000 is needed for. Then we will get to how we will be raising the money!

Nusa Lembongan is struggling to keep up with the amount of plastic on the island and plastic pollution is only getting worse. The team at the recycling plant are currently collecting 2 tonnes of rubbish per day (this number is constantly rising). Of that rubbish 30% is able to recycle such as plastic bottles. The recycling plant in its current state simply can’t keep up.

NUSA LEMBONGAN RECYCLING PLANT NEEDS
  • Additional collection trucks
  • Additional equipment
  • Increased infrastructure and facilities
  • More LOCAL personnel and staff working at the facility
WHAT IS THE AIM OF PROVIDING THE $60,000 USD

The aim of providing the $60,000 in the form of new infrastructure, facilities, personnel and collection trucks is to create a system that is capable of dealing with all trash the island produces (and that washes up on its shore from elsewhere)

The specific items that have been priorities for purchase are:

  • 2nd and 3rd collection trucks
  • A glass crusher
  • More land for composting
  • A second-hand boat for transporting recycled material to the mainland for sale.
HOW IS THE MONEY BEING RAISED

Bali Hope Foundation has organized a Swim Run event. This Nordic event involves swimming and running in continual segments without taking off your swim cap, shoes or gear. It’s pretty extreme. I’m not exactly sure how I wound up as a competitor having never done any swimming before but here we are and I am taking on the challenge. Below you can see the route we will take across Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan Island. *It would have been epic to run down Kelingking Beach but I’ll save that for after the event!

To make things even more interesting, I will be tied to my partner, Josh Lynott, by a 5m rope throughout the entire event.

30 competitors from around the world are coming to Nusa Lembongan for the swim run. The founder of Otillo Swim Run, the women’s world champs and the #1 Indonesia triathlete are just a few of the competitors so it will be a quality field. Each competitor is raising at least $2000.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The event is costing up to $20,000 to run including 5 days of accommodation, meals, transport, logistics etc. Events are very difficult to run and for the size and scale, this is quite a low amount as anyone in events management will know. The team has worked tirelessly to collaborate with local hotels and businesses to keep this figure low. The additional $60,000 goes directly to the Nusa Lembongan Recycling Facility upgrade. That is as transparent as I can get. The team is raising 80k and the recycling facility receives $60,000 worth of upgrades, facilities, and equipment. I personally know the organizers of this event and can guarantee you that they have put blood, sweat, and tears into this project. This is an awesome idea and a model that is feasible for the future. I am sure it will be replicated in different shapes and sizes across the world.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUPPORT ME?

It doesn’t matter if I finish last or first (unlikely). I’m part of this project to help Nusa Lembongan upgrade their recycling facility. However, I have always been competitive and I always will be. I am training like a pro out here in the Philippines, logging kilometers in the ocean and on the roads like crazy. That is just a personal challenge and to see how far I can push myself.

I do need to raise $2000 USD to contribute to the overall goal of $60,000 USD. If you would like to support me you can donate by clicking the button below. I am so appreciative of any support whether it be a donation, a comment or a social media share.

Thanks to all of you guys for reading this far and considering supporting this campaign!

The post THE BALI HOPE SWIM RUN CHARITY EVENT: NUSA LEMBONGAN appeared first on Journey Era.

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This week was a bit unusual. I moved to the Philippines from Indonesia to set up a base for a month of solid training. I’m training for the Swim Run event in Nusa Lembongan.

The Swim Run is a charity event to raise $60,000 USD to upgrade the Nusa Lembongan recycling center. It is currently understaffed and in need of equipment to be capable of processing all of the plastic the island uses and collects on its beaches. 30 competitors from all over the world will raise $2000 each and compete in the race.

If you are keen to support me for this charity event, my personal goal is to raise $2000 USD. You can CLICK HERE to make your donation. I appreciate all of your support.

A Swim Run is a bit of an interesting event. You swim 3-4 times for a total of 2.5km and you run 24km in segments. So you are entering and exiting the water many times all the while staying in your shoes and swimming cap. It will be competitive with the women’s world champions and male Indonesia number one triathlete involved. However, this is a charity event first and foremost with the goal of cleaning up Nusa Lembongan and keeping it clean for future generations.

So I grabbed an apartment in Moalboal, Cebu and have stocked the fridge ready for some intense training. This first week I have run 85km through the streets of Moalboal. You need to get out and running by 530 am to have any chance of beating the heat. Without ever done any serious swimming before, I donned a swim cap for the first time. My Australian roots have come in handy with some natural swimming ability. This week I clocked 10km in the open water of the warm, 28 degrees, Moalboal water.

It’s pretty crazy but I actually feel like I’m a tourist snorkeling while I train for swimming. On my last three swims, I’ve seen four turtles. I’m literally swimming over world-class coral as tropical fish disperse as I swim through! Amazing conditions to train in and I’m loving being back in the Philippines.

I’m also using this time to catch up on the blog. I completed all of the East Java content and am super pumped about the East Java guide, which is a huge adventure travel guide, not written for the eyes of the internet or elsewhere before in entirety. Next, I move on to finishing all of the Panama content. For that reason, I haven’t touched my camera since arriving here. I need these detox weeks from the camera and it’s this ability to balance that has me going strong into my third year of digital nomad life. Having said that, I have no photos to share with you from this week so I will use a photo from my last trip to Cebu as the cover photo.

Josh Lynott is currently on his way to Cebu to join the Moalboal training camp and I am venturing out to some waterfalls tomorrow, so I am sure there will be some adventures and photos incoming shortly.

The post THE WEEKLY #121: THE MOVE TO CEBU appeared first on Journey Era.

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Veraguas is a province in the center/west of Panama full of hikes, waterfalls, and epic adventures. I spent several weeks exploring some amazing spots in the region. The terrain ranges from dense rainforest to dry rolling hills to tropical islands. Veraguas really has it all! Veraguas is also the only province in Panama to border both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  After three weeks in the region, these are my favorite things to do in Veraguas.

CERRO TUTE HIKE

Cerro Tute was the first hike I did while staying in Santa Fe. It takes about four hours return trip and offers panoramic views from the rocks at the summit of the hike. The final ascent is quite steep but despite the photos looking a little dangerous, it is a pretty safe hike and summit.

I really loved Cerro Tute and it was a great first experience in Santa Fe, Veraguas. I recommend doing it as your first Santa Fe hiking trail even though it is quite long. You will get great views of the area and can even pick out a few other peaks you might want to summit also! It’s one of the best hikes in the region and one of my favorite things to do in Veraguas province.

Read the full blog post: EPIC CERRO TUTE HIKE

CEBACO ISLAND

Santa Catalina is a popular surf and island-hopping destination in Veraguas, Panama. Most tourists take a boat tour to Coiba Island, which has beautiful islands, snorkeling, and marine life. However, it is quite popular and can be a little crowded. Less than an hour away from Santa Catalina by boat is another amazing destination for whale spotting, snorkeling and island hopping. Cebaco Island is a beautiful palm tree-laden paradise and the best part about it, you will be the only one there!

There is only one hotel on Cebaco Island called Cebaco Sunrise and there are less than 300 locals living on the island. I spent 48 hours on Cebaco Island and didn’t see another tourist or even another local. From Cebaco Sunrise we were completely isolated in our own little paradise. I walked up and down the coast in solitude, exploring lagoons, waterfalls, and caves. It’s not often you feel like you have an entire island to yourself!

Read the full blog post: CEBACO ISLAND

SEE AN EPIC SUNSET REFLECTION AT LA COQUITA BEACH

La Coquita is one of my favorite beaches in Santa Catalina because of the reflections. It reminds me of Bali beaches, which give epic black sand reflections every night. When the sunset gives you some color you want to be at La Coquita.

It is one beach further on from Playa Estero and you just walk down Estero and then go across the rocks at the end of the beach. This is easiest at low tide and when the reflections are the best.

Because of the huge stretch of sand, it is a popular spot for horse-back riding and we even took the cruiser bikes all the way down here. On our visit to La Coquita, we watched an insane storm come straight past us as the horses were riding through. It was a pretty surreal ten minutes and the storm never even touched us. Visiting La Coquita for sunset would have to be one of my favorite things to do in Santa Catalina because of the reflections.

ALTO DE PIEDRA WATERFALL HIKE

Alto de Piedra waterfall hike is one of the most popular things to do in Sante Fe, Veraguas. Because it is such a short hike it is frequented by a lot of travelers in the area. There are several short trails to different waterfalls all in the same little area.

The first waterfall was a beautiful 20-footer that quietly flowed into a small blue pool. Vines and ferns crowd the small amphitheater in what as a very peaceful spot. I hung out here for almost half an hour by myself taking photos and then I just sat on the rocks taking the tranquility in.

I continued on to another trail that I stumbled across and this waterfall was quite unique. It was several tiers in a slot canyon. The landscape here was quite bizarre with water flowing in all directions. I had never seen something quite like it and climbed down as far as I could to explore.

At the bottom of the third trail was a huge waterfall, the biggest of the day. I felt like the waterfalls in this region just never ended but that’s Panama for you. A shallow pool once again collected the water at the bottom of this pool. It wasn’t the best place for swimming in waterfall pools. However, there were lots of swimming spots along the route. Just none at the foot of a waterfall per se. Having a shower under the waterfall would definitely be possible.

Read the full blog post: ALTO DE PIEDRA WATERFALLS HIKE

KAYAK TO SANTA CATALINA ISLAND (ISLA SANTA CATALINA)

Santa Catalina Island or Isla Catalina is it is known locally, is a beautiful island sitting just off the coast from Santa Catalina in Veraguas. Snorkeling and a virgin white sand beach are the highlights of the island. You can expect a peaceful afternoon with tourists rarely venturing out to the island. You can either rent a boat to drop you there in a few minutes or head out on a kayak adventure to Santa Catalina Islands as we did. For me, this is one of the best beaches in Santa Catalina if not the best beach. However, it takes some effort to get out there.

The back side of the island is all rocks and the front side is a long sandy beach. It was a great place to grab a tan and hang out in the sun for a while. We explored along the shore keeping our eyes out for a trail we had heard about. Apparently, the local fisherman had cleared a nature path to the top, which offers a viewpoint of Santa Catalina and even to Coiba. We didn’t search too hard but didn’t find anything that resembled a trail. Keep your eyes open you might just stumble upon a great viewpoint! Let me know if you find it!

Read full blog post: KAYAK TO SANTA CATALINA ISLAND

DAY TRIP TO COIBA NATIONAL PARK
In the Gulf of Chiriqui province is Coiba National Park. There really isn’t any other way to describe this island region than paradise, which is why it is the #1 day trip and one of the most popular things to do in Santa Catalina. We are talking about white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and palm tree laden islands. The most impressive part of the region is not what is above the water it is what you might encounter below. Coiba National Park is a hotspot for whale sharks, humpback whales, sea turtles, stingrays and hundreds of other marine species.
Coiba National Park is 430,825 of tropical bliss, comprised of 38 different islands. The most well known is namely Isla Coiba. Coiba National Park has been identified as a UNESCO world heritage site since 2005.

Read full blog post: COIBA NATIONAL PARK

SALTO EL SUBI WATERFALL

El Salto Subi Waterfall is quite amazing with the flow crashing down in multiple directions. I always love when a waterfall is chaotic and smashes down the drop in different directions and different levels! It isn’t too far from Santa Catalina, which makes it a great little adventure if you get sick of sun and sand.

Read full blog post: SALTO EL SUBI WATERFALL

BERMEJO WATERFALL HIKE

Bermejo Waterfall was a scene of beautiful destruction. As I sat atop a wet rock, alone in the amphitheater of Bermejo, I could only envision the events that had unfolded over the years to leave this magical place in the state it remains today. Boulders the sizes of houses are covered in moss with trees growing readily from their surface. Freezing cold water swirls viciously, inviting you to test the danger. And then there is the waterfall itself. A multi-tiered, dual-directional flow of pure aggression, which slices through the earth in the middle of the Santa Fe Jungle with an exclamation point.

There was a defining moment. A fork in the trail. The waterfall could be heard to the left but I thought I would stick to the straight trail. This turned out to be a mistake but an adventurous one. If you want to visit the waterfall you need to take this left.

It’s an aggressive waterfall without a place to swim directly below it. However, the first pool is deep enough to at least cool off. I definitely suggest packing lunch and hanging out in this area for a few hours to appreciate the region and recover from your trek in!

Read full blog post: BERMEJO WATERFALL HIKE

EL SALTO WATERFALL HIKE

On my last day in Santa Fe, I decided to head out to find El Salto Waterfalls. It was an incredibly hot day and a pretty strenuous hike up some serious hills. However, after arriving in the small village, what I found was nothing short of amazing. El Salto is a collection fo 22 waterfalls (if not more) in the middle of the mountains near Santa Fe. I explored two by foot and one other with the drone. It is possible to explore all of them but takes expert knowledge of the area, ropes and some serious skills and planning.

When I arrived at the waterfalls, I was pretty tired. I didn’t think this was such a big trek from the bus stop. I had gone for a 10-kilometer run that morning, which was an indication of what I thought this adventure would be like. The hike in was incredible. There were beautiful views of the mountains in all direction, maybe the best I had in Santa Fe. You can even see several waterfalls on the other side of the valley as you near the village.

I finally, made it up the hill and was ready to see what El Salto had in store. The first falls were a great little spot with two waterfalls coming down into a small pool. This is the spot where I swam in the refreshing water. The striking part about El Salto was the huge boulders that were scattered throughout the canyon. I always love to consider the crazy situations in which these sorts of landscapes were formed. Just imagine the force needed to drop a boulder the size of a house into the river.

The second waterfall was where things started to get very impressive. Three waterfalls streamed down the flat cliff. It was almost like a water feature. It wasn’t a booming fall like Golondrinas, it was an elegant, triple waterfall tucked away in a corner. From the observation spot of the second waterfall, I spotted the third.

Up in another canyon, a third waterfall looked even more impressive. It was the waterfall you could see on the other side of the valley while on the hike. It looked very tempting, but the rocks were very slippery, I was by myself and I just thought it was an adventure for another time. I did, however, explore it quite thoroughly with the drone and it was my favorite of all three waterfalls. If you can it would be explored to explore the third waterfall with ropes or a guide and maybe even more of the 22 waterfalls in El Salto.

It’s definitely one of the longer Santa Fe hiking trails but you usually get out what effort you put in and it’s is true in this case. Remote paradise!

Read full blog post: EL SALTO WATERFALLS

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East Java is a land unlike no other. Most regions boast one or two-star attractions but what I found on my road trip is that each day just kept getting better. The next waterfall just got bigger and bigger and the volcanoes became more and more impressive. After 10 days exploring East Java by car, I was blown away. We hired a car in Surabaya when we landed and road tripped to all the popular spots but also found some lesser-known gems along the way. In this guide, I will share with you a list of the best things to do in East Java, Indonesia. I’ll also share with you a suggested itinerary and some helpful tips for your visit to the region.

  • At the bottom of this blog post, I have included a map with the 10-day road trip route and the entire day-by-day itinerary. Hope that helps you guys plan out your East Java adventure!
ARRIVING AT EAST JAVA

Most people will fly to Surabaya airport but it is also possible to take the ferry from Bali, which is another popular option. The third way to arrive at East Java is by train, car or bus from central or western Java.

MOTORBIKE OR CAR FOR EAST JAVA ROAD TRIP

Before arriving in East Java, I could never have imagined wanting to rent a car in Southeast Asia. I mean to be fair the roads are mayhem and only locals who have grown up navigating the craziness can usually handle the traffic and the maneuvers required to survive the drive. However, I had a tip-off from a friend that a car would be beneficial for our trip given the long distances between key attractions.

We decided to rent a car and found some numbers online once we landed in Surabaya. Within an hour of waiting at a cafe, we had a company drive a car down to us. We negotiated 300,000 rupiahs per day for a very new, white SUV. That comes out to about 20 USD at the time with the transfer rate. Split between two of us we were paying $10 a day for transport. In our 10 day journey, we filled up the gas 3 times (like I said a lot of driving), which cost us $25 USD each time. So, let’s say about $15 per day each for gas and transport for the entire trip!

A motorbike or moped would cost anywhere from $6-10 a day depending on your negotiation skills and availability. Gas is a few dollars per tank.

So why the car? There were often drives of 6 hours. For example from Tumpak Sewu to Ijen crater you are looking at a six-hour journey. We didn’t even make that journey we stopped halfway and it was still a mammoth drive. You need to focus every second as cars tend to drive on the wrong side of the directly at you, forget they have the ability to indicate and try and overtake you in gaps that they create! We felt much safer in the car and were much more comfortable in the piercing heat. It made it easy to navigate as my passenger, Nic, assumed that role for the trip and we actually did a lot of planning and research in the car on the way to destinations. It also meant we didn’t have to unpack and pack everything we owned every time we moved.

The last huge bonus was storing things. When we did a hike or visited a waterfall, we simply took our camera backpacks and left everything else scattered in the car. I love moped and motorbike adventures don’t get me wrong and usually, I would snub the car but for East Java, if you plan to cover it all, I would highly recommend the car. If you are solo it is a toss-up as the car may be a bit pricey.

Sidenote: we rented a moped for one day because we thought it would be fun to whip around at Mount Bromo. We weren’t wrong.

HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED FOR EAST JAVA

We spent 10 days and are efficiency ninjas when it comes to adventuring and seeing lots of spots. You know those people who are somewhere for sunrise, mid-morning, lunch, afternoon and sunset. Even with our level of intensity, we didn’t come close to visiting all the spots we wanted to. I know not everyone has the same desire to see every inch of the destination like myself so with that in mind, I would recommend 7-10 days for the regular traveler. For the traveler who likes to spend two nights in a place cause they like to do it a bit more relaxed you won’t be bored with 2 weeks. 7 days is the minimum in my book. Anything less than that and you will be visiting only the common, popular destinations. I call those surface scraper trips and while they are fun, you get some great photos, you kind of miss the point of the adventure sometimes. 7-10 days minimum and you will be golden for the trip of a lifetime! Trust me. If you don’t trust me I have created the entire itinerary below so you can see that you will waste no second and even with 10 days you will be tired the entire time as East Java kicks your ass but wow she is beautiful so it is damn worth it!

THINGS TO DO IN EAST JAVA

Okay, enough about the logistics and my advice. Let’s get into these epic spots. These are all the natural, adventurous spots but East Java does have a lot of interesting mosques and points of interest in the cities if that is your cup of tea. On this blog, I stick to the adventures. I’m going to put these in the order we visited them to help you plan your trip. I will, however, post my itinerary below. (We, of course, missed out on several spots like hiking Semeru and other awesome activities but you can’t do it all and there is always next time! Most of the places on the list below have an individual blog post with more details and photos so you can click on the link to read those if you need. So here we go…

JODIPAN VILLAGE (THE COLORFUL VILLAGE & THE BLUE VILLAGE)

Only twenty minutes from Malang is a curious village called Kampung Warna-Warni Jodipan. This village was struggling. It was dilapidated, polluted and struggling to build a healthy community. Eight students from a nearby university, who were studying event management, decided to apply their knowledge to a real-world situation. Partnering with a local paint company, the students created a social responsibility project. 6,000 pounds of colorful paint was donated and the run-down city was transformed into a colorful village with a bright future.

The village now has a small entrance fee for tourists (only 30 US cents)  and the colors have brought in much-needed interest and financing for a village that needed a boost. Tourists will often buy a drink, lunch or souvenirs from the locals. The standard of living has risen and has inspired members of the community to continue improving the village with projects like improving the sanitation and pollution.

One on side of the bridge is the ‘Colorful village’ and on the other side is an entirely blue village (Kampung Biru Arema). In a similar fashion, this village has been painted entirely blue.

COBAN TALUN WATERFALL

Coban Talun is a beautiful waterfall in Batu City near Malang in East Java. It’s only a 20-minute walk along a sandy trail before you can enjoy the stunning waterfall, viewpoints, and caves. As well as the waterfall there is a camping ground and a specialized photography/hangout area with photo perches, wings, and other cool photo opportunities.

Once we reached the bottom of the falls, there were a number of huts set up but it seemed they were only used in high season. We had the whole place to ourselves at 9 am in the morning. There are several cool rocks, which make great spots to take photos but our favorite area was down at ground level in the pool of water. It was freezing but incredible to watch the water trickling down the waves. You can also explore inside the caves behind the waterfall.

Definitely try and visit this waterfall in the rainy season. It was still cool during the dry season but would be 10x more epic with a huge flow of water crashing down!

Need more information? Full blog post: Coban Talun Waterfall

TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall (also known as Coban Sewu) is arguably Indonesia’s best waterfall. It isn’t the largest, even in East Java, but is definitely the most impressive. From above it looks like the tree of life, from below it is immensely powerful and from all angles, it is quite simply mind-blowing.

The first thing you want to do on your Tumpak Sewu Waterfall adventure from Lumajang is to wake up early. Be at the Tumpak Sewu viewpoint for sunrise. Although the sun won’t be on the waterfall, this is actually what you want. The fog is beautiful in the morning and creates a mystical atmosphere. In the background, Semeru Volcano will be giving you a beautiful backdrop, while Tumpak Sewu slowly comes into focus as the light increases.

Get down to Tumpak Sewu Waterfall on ground level before the sun rises over the waterfall. The trail is right next to the viewpoint where you were for sunrise. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk down into the canyon and then about another 5 minutes to walk through the canyon to the waterfall.

The trail down is pretty sketchy with bamboo ladders and sections where you are walking through small streams but it is nothing too crazy. Just be prepared and definitely wear shoes, not flip-flops.

Once you reach the canyon you start to get an idea of the scale of the walls. You are an ant within the gorge and you know you are about to witness something incredible. After turning the final corner you will never forget the moment you enter the cauldron at the foot of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall. It is pure magic with more than thirty different waterfalls plummeting down into the cauldron into tiny pools below.

Need more information? Full blog post: Tumpak Sewu Waterfall in Lumajang

GOA TETES WATERFALL

Goa Tetes Waterfall in Lumajang, East Java was one of the most surprising places on our ten day travels throughout the region. We came to visit Tumpak Sewu, the famous waterfall nearby and were recommended to stop past Goa Tetes Waterfall on the way back. It was an incredible sight in its own right with unbelievable caves inside the waterfall. It was the most unique waterfall we visited in all of East Java!

Goa Tetes is essentially a collection of caves and waterfalls all the way up the cliff. You walk up the stream until you reach the caves. From here the adventure is up to you with so many different caves to explore. We scaled one cave in particular and it went really far back into darkness, while the waterfall poured down over the top of us. Absolutely incredible!

Need more information? Full blog post: Goa Tetes Waterfall in Lumajang

KABUT PELANGI WATERFALL

Kabut Pelangi was one of my favorite waterfalls in East Java. The waterfall crashes down into the amphitheater below, which is covered in lush green plants. The trek down to Kabut Pelangi takes about 25 minutes in total. The trail is paved a lot of the way and when it’s not the conditions aren’t very difficult.

The 100m+ Kabut Pelangi is an incredible sight. The force it generates when it hits the pool below is incredible and this is definitely not a place you want to go swimming! Kabut Pelangi translates to waterfall rainbow mist. If you catch the conditions at the right time you will be able to see a rainbow in the mist at the bottom of the waterfall!

Need more information? Full blog post: Kabut Pelangi Waterfall

KAPAS BIRU WATERFALL

Kapas Biru Waterfall is amazing. One huge, thundering stream of water crashes down from what seems like 100m. The pool at the bottom of the waterfall is smashed with the force of the crashing water. It then streams down the river, which has scattered rocks and plants throughout making it a beautiful lead up to the waterfall.

Need more information? Full blog post: Kapas Biru Waterfall

COBAN SRITI WATERFALL

From Kapas Biru, it takes about 20 minutes of scrambling across rocks and river crossings to reach Coban Sriti Waterfall. Two huge streams of water plummet down at least 100 meters onto the huge rocks below. The rocks below must have cracked off the cliff at some stage as they are the size of houses!

At the base of this waterfall, it is incredibly slippery and..

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Mount Bromo is one of the most incredible volcanoes in the world. It just so happens to be surrounded by several other volcanoes in one of the most magnificent landscapes you will ever set eyes on. Jeep tours to Mount Bromo are one of the most popular activities in East Java but I did Mount Bromo without a tour and I’m going to share the details so you will know the sunrise viewpoints, hikes, maps and important timings for your DIY Mount Bromo adventure.

If you are going on a Mount Bromo tour with the jeep, I would continue reading as well because you may find some valuable information in this post regarding photo spots, sunrise spots and itinerary you could suggest to your driver.

First I will give you all of the information about Mount Bromo and then I will share with you how we did it without a tour, which was very simple and easy. It gave us a lot of freedom having our own motorbikes for the day.

WHAT IS MOUNT BROMO

Mount Bromo (known as Gunung Bromo in the local language of Bahasa) is an active volcano. It is part of the Tengger Massif region in East Java, Indonesia, which is one of the most visited tourist attractions in all of East Java and even Java itself. The volcano is part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. If you are wondering what the term ‘Bromo’ means you are correct if you guessed it held some great significance. It is derived from the Javanese pronunciation of ‘Brahma, which is the Hindu creator god.

Mount Bromo lies in the middle of a huge crater called the ‘Sea of Sand’, which is a protected reserve. There are a total of five volcanoes inside the crater including Mount Bromo (2,329m), Mount Batok (2,470 m), Mount Kursi (2,581 m), Mount Watangan (2,661 m), and Mount Widodaren (2,650 m).On a typical tour you will visit viewpoints on Mount Penanjakan that look back into the crater and towards Bromo, visit inside the crater at the ‘Sea of Sand’ and have the option to summit Mount Bromo itself.

It is safe to visit Mount Bromo, but depending on the level of activity, sometimes the Bureau of Meteorology issues warnings about visiting.

WHERE IS MOUNT BROMO

Mount Bromo is a 45-minute walk from the village of Cemoro Lawang. The nearest cities/towns are Malang or Probollingo. I used Probollingo as a base to visit Mount Bromo and it was a 1.5-hour moped drive to the entrance from Probollingo. In relation to the other attractions, you may want to visit in East Java, Mount Bromo is more or less the central figure. I say central because you will likely fly into Surabaya and also likely visit Ijen Crater. This puts Mount Bromo somewhere in the middle of those two depending on your route. As you can see on the map below it is about equal distance to Mount Bromo from either Probollingo or Malang. I don’t think it really matters, either way, to be honest. Probollingo was a good base for us as we also visited Madakaripura waterfall, which is nearby. We had already visited Malang at the start of our route so there was no need to return.

MOUNT BROMO ENTRANCE FEE

We drove to Mount Bromo on our mopeds. We didn’t need to book anything in advance. You just arrive at the gates and the first man asked us for 10,000 rupiah, which is less than $1 USD.  Then moments later at another stop, we bought the ticket at the official booth, which was 220,000 rupiah, which at the time was about $16 USD. Therefore give or take with the exchange rates the total fee was $17 USD. We did also pay for parking at King Kong Hill viewpoint and at the foot of Mount Bromo before we summitted. Both of those fees were about $1. Total fees and parking tickets for the day were less than $20 USD. Not bad for the most popular attraction in the region!

MOUNT BROMO HEIGHT

Mount Bromo is 2,329 meters (7,641 ft) above sea-level but despite its immense popularity, it isn’t even the highest peak in the region! Don’t worry, when you hike up to the summit you will already be high above sea-level before you begin so you won’t actually be hiking 2,329 meters. That is just how far above sea-level the peak is. The actual trek to the top takes only about 20-30 minutes depending on your fitness level.

BEST TIME TO VISIT MOUNT BROMO

The best tie to visit Mount Bromo is during the dry season, which is April to October. I visited in November and it was a perfect day for us! The National Park is open to visitors year-round.

MOUNT BROMO TEMPERATURE

You are most likely going to Mount Bromo for sunrise. It isn’t going to be a freezing snowcapped mountain but you will be chilly. We drove for 1.5 hours on the mopeds in a jacket and shorts and we were cold, to say the least. Most people had jackets, beanies, gloves, and the whole nine yards. However, once the sun rises you don’t need any of that as it becomes quite hot. So you are really only chilly for a short period of time, especially if you arrive by jeep or car then you don’t have the wind like on a motorbike.

The temperature at the King Kong Hill viewpoints can get to as low as 5-10 degrees Celsius. It’s Indonesia. Bring layers and no doubt you will remove them. We drove home and got sunburnt after freezing our butts off in the morning.

DOING IT SOLO!

Okay, that’s all of the general information about Mount Bromo covered. Now I will share with you my journey and how we did Mount Bromo without a tour. There is no big hack but we did find a lack of information online about motorbikes, where to rent them, can they cover the terrain, where to go for sunrise etc. So, I hope this helps the DIY community enjoy their day at Mount Bromo.

GETTING A MOTORBIKE IN PROBOLLINGO

It’s the night before we hike Mount Bromo and we need a motorbike. We are in Probollingo and it is quite clear this is not a tourist town and there are no tourist shops with bikes and tours on every corner as you might find in Bali. We begin to trawl forums and blogs looking for a travel agent or someone who rents out bikes and eventually we found a local called Bowo. His Whatsapp number is:  +62 813 7324 2198

He came and picked us up from our homestay and took us to his house. Here he showed us the bikes, we paid him each 150,000 rupiahs (This isn’t Bali with 50,000 rupiah bikes, this is Probollingo, where you pray you will find something with two wheels). He kept our passport. Surprisingly he told us yeah take em on the sand, go for it! Normally the owner is more cautious. We found that even stranger once we experienced the sand!

THE JOURNEY FROM PROBLLINGO TO MOUNT BROMO

We were insistent on being at the top with time to spare because we were making a film and shooting photos. So we saw that it was about a 2-hour drive from Probollingo to Bromo. Therefore we decided to leave at 2 am. This gave us time for any incidents or wrong turns and would give us about an hour to spare at the top.

We ended up reaching a small village about 35 minutes before Mount Bromo entrance. We were way too early as we still had several hours till sunrise. We stopped here and had two coffees before continuing on a little later. It was a very cold drive but we did it in shorts and survived. If you are smart and have pants, wear them!

If you want to cut it close you could leave Probollingo at 3 am but I would probably suggest heading off around 230 am having experienced the journey myself once. I’m not sure if we went the wrong way but we drove across the crater in the morning to get to King Kong Hill. The route was fine we just didn’t see anybody else doing it. The sand was super thick so we were skidding all over the place by ourselves in the crater. It was actually pretty funny looking back on it but we thought we were lost in the dark for sure!

SUNRISE VIEWPOINTS AT MT BROMO

Once you pay your entrance fees and get into the national park, you soon realize how popular this place is. As you drive up towards King Kong Hill, hundreds of jeeps literally line both sides of the road. It is insane.

Now. You are left with several options for your sunrise.

A) Go to King Kong Hill, which is more or less the highest viewpoint on Penanjakan Hill looking down at Mount Bromo. It is insanely crowded and you might got poked in the eye with a selfie stick. I would avoid this option although I am sure the view is great. We originally planned to go to King Kong Hill and just find our own spot somehow but on the way we stopped as we thought we had made it and it turned out we were one peak too soon, which ended up being perfect. We could see the madness of King Kong Hill to our left as 20 or so of us calmly watched the sunrise over Mount Bromo with no barriers.

B) Therefore, option B is to go almost the whole way to King Kong Hill but stop just before and watch it at a smaller viewpoint. I’ll admit, amidst all the people and parking lots it is hard to find what you want so you kind of just have to get lucky and hope you find a good spot. Once again, leaving early gives you breathing room if you pick a dud viewpoint you can quickly change.

C) There are lots of viewpoints all the way all Penanjakan Hill. Some of them look all the way down the ridge of the crater, which is awesome and others have a huge drop-off or unobstructed views. To be honest, until you visit once or during the day it will be hard to know which you will prefer. The reality is they all more or less look at the same place and we visited several of them after sunrise and commented to eachother that we wouldn’t have been dissapointed at any.

D) The final option, which is definitely one worth considering is to be on top of Mount Bromo for sunrise. All of the tours go to King Kong Hill or Penanjakan Hill for sunrise and then hike up Mount Bromo after. Like clockwork after sunrise they make the transition to Mount Bromo for the hike, quickly vacating King Kong Hill. If you do it in reverse, you get an epic view of the sunrise from the crater rim and then you miss the crowds when you go up to the viewpoint. It’s definitely something to consider. We though about this option long and hard but decided in the end we wanted to take photos of the entire valley or ‘Sea of Sand’ while the sun was rising.

Our sunrise was epic and cold. The trees made it a bit difficult for too many photos but you had a clear view out of Mount Bromo for landscape photos. For us, it was a great helipad for the drones and we sent them straight down towards Mount Bromo for some amazing shots.

Below are two examples of viewpoints we could see from our very own viewpoint. The third shot below is the drone photo I took while flying from our sunrise viewpoint.

DRIVING DOWN TO ‘SEA OF SAND’

Now that the sunrise is over, you make the slow crawl down the mountain into the crater with all of the jeep drivers. Don’t try and speed down you will just get stuck behind another jump, cruise down in the now warmer weather and enjoy the glimpses of Mount Bromo. Once you reach the sand you will see that the jeep tours all run off and find their own little spot to take photos. It is actually kind of strange like part of the tour is modeling with your jeep. We decided to go off-roading with our mopeds and seriously had so much fun. We also got stuck 100+ times but we were flying around as our back wheels were sliding from left to right. It’s a great way to crash or get injured but bloody fun. There’s no need to do any of that but for us, it was part of the experience and we were taking photos and videos while we were at it.

If you choose not to drive like a maniac across the thick sand you will still likely struggle. There are many parts where the sand is so soft and thick you will get stuck or be sliding around. This isn’t ideal for a first-timer to be honest. It’s not difficult per se but not comfortable at all. We were covered from head to toe in dust.

After our fun in the sand, we made our way over the to the entrance for the Mount Bromo hike and parked our bikes for 50 cents. There is also a toilet here and there are snacks available.

HIKING TO THE MOUNT BROMO SUMMIT

The trail to the top of Mount Bromo Summit is free. It takes about 20-30 minutes depending on how quick you can haul yourself up the sandy slope. Many tourists decide it is a good idea to have a horse haul them up the hill. It’s pretty cruel for the horses and I suggest you think long and hard about how the horse is feeling before deciding you are a bit too tired to walk up the hill.

It took us about 25 minutes and when we reached the summit, I had imagined it would be a nice view but nothing too amazing. I thought the sunrise viewpoint was the pinnacle. How was I so wrong!? Once you reach the top you look down inside the huge crater as the sulfur pit of hell rumbles loudly and ominously! All sides of the crater slope down and it appears as if it is an actual burning pit of fire. Essentially Mount Bromo is the closest thing to hell on earth in the best way possible.

You can actually walk all the way around the crater although bear in mind the safety railing only covers you for the first few steps. After that, you are on your own. It isn’t dangerous but the reality is if you slip down the side of the crater you are in big trouble. The path is about 1-meter wide in most parts. Know your fears and limits and don’t go past the viewing area if you are in doubt.

If you are keen, there are a couple of flags posted on the far side of the volcano. We went to check out the first and while I assume you can reach the second and complete the loopback I cannot confirm that. We walked on the left side of the crater to the first flag and returned.

MOUNT BROMO EQUIPMENT/GEAR LIST

Warm Jacket: It was very cold in the morning but after the sun came up we were in t-shirts.

Enclosed shoes: I had Salomon hiking shoes, which were great and I suggest proper hiking shoes as it can be quite slippery. However, my friends just used normal sneakers. Definitely, don’t do this one in flip-flops!

Water and snacks: There are only a few vendors once you are in the national park. I think I noticed one shop but I’m not sure it was open. Pack your snacks and water. We were there for a long time taking photos and videos so we packed a bit extra. There are Warungs and cafes nearby for when you leave the national park.

Hope that helps you enjoy a cheap, DIY day of adventures at Mount Bromo! 

The post MOUNT BROMO WITHOUT A TOUR: SUNRISE VIEWPOINTS, HIKES, MAPS appeared first on Journey Era.

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Waking up in the middle of the night and trekking up and then inside a crater sound enticing? Add a gas mask and walk into a cloud of sulfur gas while watching blue flames. Enticed yet? You should be. Ijen Crater is one of the most epic adventures in East Java.

In this article, I will share with you all the tips for trekking up Ijen Crater such as the time you should leave, what equipment you need, guide or no guide needed and tips for the best photo spots around the crater.

PREPARING FOR IJEN CRATER

Ijen Crater is an interesting adventure because you have a few different elements. Firstly, you are waking up in the middle of the night to start the adventure so it is cold. Secondly, you are going to be hiking in the dark. Thirdly, you are going to be very close to toxic sulfur gas as you observe the blue flames inside the crater. It isn’t your normal hike and this requires a certain level of preparation but nothing too intense.

You will need:

A gas mask or filtration mask: You can rent this in the parking lot at Ijen Crater. For 40,000 rupiah you can get a mask that covers your mouth and nose with a small filter. It isn’t perfect but it helps a lot. Most people use these and you are only doing near the Sulfur for a short period of time or really as long as you like. There’s no need to go close to it.

A flashlight or headlamp: The trail is pretty simple the whole way and we had a full moon so we only used one light between us. I do suggest at least one torch or headlamp between you and a partner. They also sell things in the Ijen Crater parking lot for about $4

Warm Jacket: It was cold but because we were hiking up I actually had my jacket off most of the way. Waiting for sunrise at the top when we stopped moving was cold but only lasted thirty minutes until it warmed up with the rising sun. It isn’t as cold as Bromo and I found it warmer than I thought.

Enclosed shoes: I had Salomon hiking shoes, which were great and I suggest proper hiking shoes as it can be quite slippery. However, my friends just used normal sneakers. Definitely, don’t do this one in flip-flops!

Water and snacks: There are no vendors once you are on the trail for the most part. I think I noticed one shop but I’m not sure it was open. Pack your snacks and water. We were there for a long time taking photos and videos so we packed a bit extra. There are Warungs and cafes near the parking lot for when you exit Ijen Crater.

ENTRANCE FEE TO IJEN CRATER

The entrance fee for foreigners was 150,000 rupiah, which is about $10 USD. For locals and all Indonesians, the fee was only about $1 USD. The team is constantly upgrading the path and adding infrastructure so this fee is quite low considering the popularity of the attraction.

DO YOU NEED A GUIDE

To answer this question you first have to consider your level of experience and what you are willing to figure out on your own. We didn’t have a guide but a local friend helped show us the way. The entrance fee is only $10 USD without a guide. The reality is that there is a path the whole way and then you can just follow the crowd. There are lots of other tour groups so it is impossible to get lost. Hundreds of people go every morning and the trail is straightforward.

The only part that required any know-how was walking down to the blue flame. I saw many tourists holding onto their guides as they went down the steps. They were scared, in the dark and out of their comfort zone. This a great time to have a guide.

For us, we were not scared walking down the rocky trail in the dark with our torch. It was just a normal experience for us. So I think if you have done a few trails, hikes and night hikes in the past, I would suggest no guide. Only pay for a guide if you want a group tour, a bit of extra safety and guidance or you think they will provide you with good information. That would depend on their English level or other language depending on what you speak.

Conclusion: Not necessary but if you are inexperienced or nervous it would be helpful and safer.

WHAT TIME TO BEGIN THE IJEN CRATER HIKE

There are a few main things to do consider. Do you want to go down to see the blue flame up close (and inhale sulfur!) and do you want to be at the sunrise point early to prepare or right on time for the sunrise.

We began at midnight from Banyuwangi Town, which is where most people stay. The drive was simple and took an hour. We parked the car, rented our masks, used the toilet facilities on site, finalized our gear and I believe we were on the trail walking by 1:30 am. The sunrise was scheduled for 5:10 am.

We reached the crater within about an hour and then spent about 45 minutes going up and down to reach the blue flame. It was then about 3:30 am. We then made the final trek to the sunrise spot, which took about half an hour. We then had to wait only half an hour at the summit (a bit cold but not freezing) for the colors to start to come through. For us as photographers that was perfect because we prefer to be thirty minutes early than thirty minutes late.

IJEN CRATER HIKE EXPERIENCE

The trail begins with a sandy incline in the dark at around 1:30 am. Nothing too remarkable happens for the first 45 minutes as you trudge your way up the hill, sweating heavily. With fifteen minutes left before reaching the crater, you begin to realize how high you are. I turned around and saw we were above the clouds as Mt. Rante poked above the cloud line in the distance.

THE BLUE FLAME

We reached the tip of the crater edge after about an hour of pretty mild climbing and saw there was already quite a crowd. They were all headed down to the blue flame, which occurs near the huge cloud of sulfur gas pouring out of the pipes. Sulfur mining has been underway at Ijen Crater since 1968. The combustion of the sulfuric gases creates a blue glow, which has become famous as the ‘blue lame of Ijen Crater’. I’m sorry but I didn’t fancy coughing on sulfur for 20 minutes to shoot a long exposure of the blue flame. To be honest it is something best enjoyed with the eye.. for 2 minutes then get the hell out!

Mining companies have installed ceramic pipes on an active gas vent, which speed up the natural processes. The pipes channel the gas down the mountain, condensing it into liquid sulfur, which drips and solidifies into the sulfur collected by the miners. The miners then have to hit the sulfur with iron bars to break it up, pack it into the reed baskets and carry up to 150 pounds back to the crater rim and then down to the bottom of the trail. Miners make anywhere from $5 -$7 per load. Most miners are reportedly making 1-2 loads per day.

The sulfur cloud is toxic and you will need to wear your filtration mask. I found that I was still breathing in some sulfur and pressed the mask tighter. It helped but it still wasn’t perfect. You are warned before about this and if you have breathing problems or are asthmatic definitely DO NOT go down into the crater. You can get a good look at the blue flame from a distance and there is no need to push the limit and risk your health to get right up close and personal in the flumes of gas.

The wind will often change direction rapidly and blow all of the gas right into your face, engulfing you for up to a minute in the foul sulfur gas. Don’t stay down here too long. Enjoy the phenomenon and then get the hell out.

IJEN CRATER SUNRISE

After the blue flame expedition, you head on further up and around the crater rim to the ‘sunrise spot’. It is an interesting spot because a huge mountain actually blocks most of the sunrise. There are some brick bunkers and structures to shelter in as you wait. This is where most of the crowd will be or back at the blue flame area. Many don’t continue on further than the blue flame as you can actually enjoy the sunrise from anywhere around the crater so for most people that is enough walking for one day!

We decided that we would get away from the crowd and headed further around the rim to an epic knife-edge section that is very dangerous. It was here that we really enjoyed the epic nature and grand scale of Ijen Crater. With no-one else around, huge drop-offs and the ever-changing gas clouds billowing out from the pipes, we felt in a land far, far away.

We stayed up here for hours and finally made it back down as the last ones to leave Ijen crater at 11 am after being up there for 10 hours! It’s just a great place to explore and we wanted to enjoy our moments and hope you do to!

IJEN CRATER ALTERNATE VIEWPOINTS

You can access almost every single section around Ijen if you are keen to do so. We made it to the knife-edge ridgeline and covered almost 2/3 of the rim. However, you can cover the other 1/3 near the gas cloud by taking a left turn before the blue flame. There is a path here and we saw several people over there.

There is one popular viewpoint with a little walk-way. It is very popular quite safe for epic photos. This viewpoint is in between the blue flame area and the sunrise summit viewpoint.

WHERE IS IJEN CRATER

As you can see from the pinned location on the map below, Ijen Crater is in the far east of Java. In fact, it is so close to eastern neighbor Bali, that many people use Bali as a base for the Ijen Crater tour. However, most people base themselves in Banyuwangi town and then drive one hour to Ijen Crater in the early hours of the morning. This way you can still get a few good hours of sleep before the adventure, which is very important.

ADVENTURE BAG FROM IJEN CRATER HIKE

This is an adventure bag. It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!

Tag your @adventurebagcrew on Instagram and mention @adventurebagcrew in your Instagram stories to be featured and inspire your friends, family, and followers to join the movement!

The post IJEN CRATER TREK AND THE BLUE FLAME IN EAST JAVA appeared first on Journey Era.

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Goa Tetes Waterfall in Lumajang, East Java was one of the most surprising places on our ten day travels throughout the region. We came to visit Tumpak Sewu, the famous waterfall nearby and were recommended to stop past Goa Tetes Waterfall on the way back. It was an incredible sight in its own right with unbelievable caves inside the waterfall. It was the most unique waterfall we visited in all of East Java!

GOA TETES WATERFALL

We kicked off our day with a visit to the Tumpak Sewu viewpoint and then by hiking down to the foot of Tumpak Sewu. It is, of course, the most popular waterfall in Lumajang and even in East Java.

One of my friends had told me to check out Goa Tetes on my way out of Tumpak Sewu but they hadn’t prepared me for how epic it would be. We thought we might as well see it while we were there but it is indeed a waterfall you absolutely cannot miss!

From Tumpak Sewu you will see signs pointing towards Goa Tetes. It is an extra 5000 rupiah I believe. There didn’t seem to be a ticket office but somehow the locals just find you. That’s less than 50 cents to be clear. Below is a drone shot that shows Goa Tetes Waterfall on the right. It comes from everywhere and anywhere as it pours down the cliff.

It takes about ten minutes to walk to Goa Tetes from the foot of Tumpak Sewu. It’s a nice way to warm up after getting wet in the Tumpak Sewu cauldron. You will arrive at the first part of Goa Tetes. You know when you have arrived because all of the walls are orange!

Goa Tetes is essentially a collection of caves and waterfalls all the way up the cliff. Most people view it only from the bottom of the gorge and then return to the stairs they came down to visit Tumpak Sewu. Huge mistake! You haven’t even seen the glory of Goa Tetes yet.

Head around the corner to the right and there is a trail leading up to the cliff. Follow this trail for about ten minutes. You will be walking through the stream and it is very slippery. Don’t try and avoid getting your shoes wet, to be safe you will need to wade through water throughout most of this journey.

Continue walking up the stream and always veer left and eventually you will see the caves. From here the adventure is up to you with so many different caves to explore. We scaled one cave in particular and it went really far back into darkness, while the waterfall poured down over the top of us. Absolutely incredible!

WHERE IS GOA TETES WATERFALL

We stayed at a homestay near Tumpak Sewu on the Lumajang side. From here it is a short walk down to either Tumpak Sewu or Goa Tetes. In fact, the hike down to Goa Tetes is only about ten minutes because it is halfway down the cliff if you go down the stairs nearest the waterfall.

The pin on the map below shows you the exact location of Goa Tetes.

ADVENTURE BAG FROM GOA TETES WATERFALL

This is an adventure bag. It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!

Tag your @adventurebagcrew on Instagram and mention @adventurebagcrew in your Instagram stories to be featured and inspire your friends, family, and followers to join the movement!

The post GOA TETES WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA appeared first on Journey Era.

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Tumpak Sewu Waterfall (also known as Coban Sewu) is arguably Indonesia’s best waterfall. It isn’t the largest, even in East Java, but is definitely the most impressive. From above it looks like the tree of life, from below it is immensely powerful and from all angles, it is quite simply mindblowing.

In this article, I am going to share with you my tips for visiting Tumpak Sewu Waterfall. I will share with you the location, where to stay, the order of viewpoints and trails, other waterfalls to visit on the same day and itinerary for the day so you can be at the right spots at the right time for good lighting. We didn’t take a guide but it wouldn’t be a bad idea especially for Goa Tetes after.

TUMPAK SEWU VIEWPOINT

The first thing you want to do on your Tumpak Sewu Waterfall adventure from Lumajang is to wake up early. Be at the Tumpak Sewu viewpoint for sunrise. Although the sun won’t be on the waterfall, this is actually what you want. The fog is beautiful in the morning and creates a mystical atmosphere. In the background, Semeru Volcano will be giving you a beautiful backdrop, while Tumpak Sewu slowly comes into focus as the light increases.

At sunrise, there will be no-one or hardly anyone at the viewpoint. We had it all to ourselves for the entire hour we visited (It was also a weekday which helped). Most tourists don’t wake up for sunrise because they don’t care too much about the photo, the colors or the epic lighting. If you put in the effort you can beat the crowds all day just by waking up slightly earlier.

The viewpoint has a little section that is fenced off. This is a steep hill in front of the viewpoint that is quite steep. There is a path there and it isn’t super dangerous but if you do jump the fence just remember the fence is there for a reason and if you do slip you could be in some serious trouble as the drop-off is big. You can get great photos here without taking any huge risks so just be smart, enjoy the waterfall and the viewpoint.

It is a great spot for the drone. If you fly directly above you will see that the river bends around the corner after all of the flows down the cliff meet together. It creates what looks like a tree of life symbol. It’s simply incredible viewing from the drone and one of my favorite drone sessions of my life.

Don’t stay too long at the viewpoint otherwise, you may miss the nice lighting inside the canyon at the foot of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall if it is a clear day. You don’t want too much sunlight while you are at the bottom of the falls in the morning because it will be directly above the falls and making your photos very blown out.

HIKING DOWN TO TUMPAK SEWU

Get down to Tumpak Sewu Waterfall on ground level before the sun rises over the waterfall. The trail is right next to the viewpoint where you were for sunrise. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk down into the canyon and then about another 5 minutes to walk through the canyon to the waterfall.

The trail down is pretty sketchy with bamboo ladders and sections where you are walking through small streams but it is nothing too crazy. Just be prepared and definitely wear shoes, not flip-flops.

Once you reach the canyon you start to get an idea of the scale of the walls. You are an ant within the gorge and you know you are about to witness something incredible. After turning the final corner you will never forget the moment you enter the cauldron at the foot of Tumpak Sewu Waterfall. It is pure magic with more than thirty different waterfalls plummeting down into the cauldron into tiny pools below.

I advise you at this point to understand that you will get wet, it will be gusty and your camera and electronics should be put away or protected. There are several great viewpoints and rock lookouts within the canyon but do beware, these rocks are permanently wet so they are incredibly slippery.

Cover your gear and go explore the waterfalls. It’s incredibly cold but some of the best times you will ever have!

The journey is not over! Next just around the corner is another waterfall called Goa Tetes that is another incredible spot!

GOA TETES WATERFALL

From Tumpak Sewu you will see signs pointing towards Goa Tetes. It only takes about 10 minutes to walk to Goa Tetes from the foot of Tumpak Sewu.  You know when you have arrived because all of the walls are orange!

Goa Tetes is essentially a collection of caves and waterfalls all the way up the cliff. Most people view it only from the bottom of the gorge and then return to the stairs they came down to visit Tumpak Sewu. Huge mistake! You haven’t even seen the glory of Goa Tetes yet. Below is a drone shot showing the wall of Goa Tetes on the right.

Head around the corner to the right and there is a trail leading up to the cliff. Follow this trail for about ten minutes. You will be walking through the stream and it is very slippery. Don’t try and avoid getting your shoes wet, to be safe you will need to wade through water throughout most of this journey.

Continue walking up the stream and always veer left and eventually you will see the caves. From here the adventure is up to you with so many different caves to explore. We scaled one cave in particular and it went really far back into darkness, while the waterfall poured down over the top of us. Absolutely incredible!

LEAVING THE CANYON

This part isn’t necessary but is a good little tip. Once you are at Goa Tetes you can continue up the same trail you are on. You can see the stairs to your right leading up the cliff. This trail will lead you back to the homestay and the entrance of Tumpak Sewu. Otherwise, you have to go all the way down Goa Tetes and then back up the trail to the Tumpak Sewu Waterfall viewpoint.

WHERE IS TUMPAK SEWU (COBAN SEWU)

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall (Coban Sewu) can be accessed from two sides of the canyon. The most popular side is the Lumajang side. Below is a pinned location of the entrance goat to Tumpak Sewu viewpoint, which is where the trail down into the canyon is also located.

As you can see on the map below, there is a homestay called, Edi Travel Home Stay. This is where we stayed for two nights as we explored Tumpak Sewu, Goa Tetes, Kabut Pelangi, Coban Sriti and Kapas Biru all in two days!

Tumpak Sewu is almost a five-hour drive from Surabaya but only a couple of hours from Malang. The roads out here are quite stressful to drive on because the trucks are transporting their loads to and from the mines and they take up a lot of the road. I was run off the road once and had to concentrate really hard to get us there safely. On a bike, it is a bit easier to pass by the trucks.

I highly suggest staying two nights because there are more than five epic waterfalls all within a short distance in this area.

ADVENTURE BAG FROM TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL

This is an adventure bag. It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!

Tag your @adventurebagcrew on Instagram and mention @adventurebagcrew in your Instagram stories to be featured and inspire your friends, family, and followers to join the movement!

The post TUMPAK SEWU WATERFALL IN LUMAJANG, EAST JAVA appeared first on Journey Era.

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Madakaripura Waterfall or Air Terjun Madakaripura as it is known locally is one of the most spectacular waterfalls not only in East Java and Indonesia but also in the world.

MADAKARIPURA WATERFALL IN PROBOLLINGO, EAST JAVA

When you arrive at the parking lot you will need to buy a parking ticket for 7,000 rupiahs. But then you cannot drive the next 4km to the waterfall. You can either walk or take a motorbike taxi (There are many men waiting) for 10,000 rupiah, which is less than $1 USD. We decided to grab the motorbike taxi, which took us to the start of the trail, which is probably about 1.5km itself. Therefore if you don’t take the moto-taxi you would be doing an 8km round trip plus 3km round trip. Essentially you can choose a 3km round trip or 11km round trip and save $1.50 USD and enjoy a nice walk.

At the entrance, you will need to pay about 20,000 rupiah entrance fee. With all of the parking, moto-taxi and entrance fee it all adds up to about 45,000 total per person, which is getting quite steep comparatively. But it’s worth it.

The trail is paved the whole way until you reach the falls. Then lots of men will approach you trying to sell you a poncho and iPhone covers etc. You don’t need them but you will get quite wet. So it’s up to you. You are only under the falling water for less than a few seconds so if you move quick your gear and clothes don’t get destroyed. We had our camera gear and just walked through quickly with our bag covers on.

Okay, that is the logistics covered. I hope that helped. Now you are at the waterfall.

The first part of Madakaripura Waterfall is actually just the lead-up to the main waterfall but it is equally impressive. Water streams down the lush green walls into the river below. For most of the way you can walk through the river without getting wet but there are some points you have to pass through the falling water. This is truly one of the most magical spots I have ever been.

After you make it through the river, you will climb a little section that leads you to the main waterfall. It is huge and I believe it might even be the highest waterfall in East Java. That might seem like an easy feat but after some of the huge waterfalls, we visited we couldn’t believe that!

The waterfall crashes down into a pool that is a vivid turquoise color. The waterfall is inside a narrow keyhole amphitheater. About 80m in length and 30m in width this is a small area. When you look up you can see the leafy walls curving around you, which is an amazing feeling.

HOW TO GET TO MADAKARIPURA WATERFALL

From Probolinggo, the drive took us about an hour. We got lost a couple of times because Google Maps isn’t exactly perfect. I’ve pinned the exact location below on the Madakaripura map. If you look on the map below you will see  Air Terjun Triguna Ronggolawe. Take the road towards this and you will see the signs on the road. As you can see Madakaripura Waterfall is kind of between two main roads. The one on the left does not lead you there and takes you up a treacherous, pothole-ridden dirt road. It was fun…

ADVENTURE BAG FROM MADAKARIPURA WATERFALL

This is an adventure bag. It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!

Tag your @adventurebagcrew on Instagram and mention @adventurebagcrew in your Instagram stories to be featured and inspire your friends, family, and followers to join the movement!

The post MADAKARIPURA WATERFALL IN PROBOLLINGO, EAST JAVA appeared first on Journey Era.

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