Mount Ijen or Ijen Plateau is located between two regencies of Bondowoso and Banyuwangi in the province of East Java – Indonesia. It covers 5,466 hectares wide and an altitude may not exceed 2,500 meters above sea level. There is a turquoise acid crater lake with a depth of 200 meters. From the edge of the Ijen crater lake, some of the locals are involved in arresting the bursting sulfur flows with very simple metal tubes. They carry more than 70kg of the extractions on their backs with a simple conveyance out of the crater through the unstable path and back down to the weighing station. They have been doing it since the colonial era. And it is a super hard job in supporting their families.
The main highlights that you will experience and explore at the summit of Mount Ijen or Ijen crater are a phenomenon of blue fire, sunrise and traditionally sulfur mining. The blue flame is only able to be seen before dawn, so you had to start hiking or trekking from Paltuding trekking camp between one and two o’clock in the early morning hoping to look at a natural phenomenon “blue fire”. This phenomenon is only in Indonesia and Iceland.
After enjoying the beauty of the blue fire inside and outside the crater or from the crater rim, it’s time to enjoy the second beauty of nature when the sun will rise and watch the sun will be casting its first light on the turquoise crater lake. That is really amazing. At the end of your exploration, you can chat with each other with sulphur miners before descending to your car.
For this Mount Ijen trekking, you must prepare in advance your backpacking gear and other essentials like a gas mask, camera, sunscreen, hat, extra t-shirt, sweater, raincoat, mineral water, and snacks.
Walking uphill, you are always faced with incline elevation until you get closer to the summit. When approaching the crater rim of the sulphur mining site, the smell of sulphur is getting stronger, even if you are still a hundred meters from the crater rim. Therefore you must use the right gas mask. It’s very compulsory for staying protected while exploring there.