Ijen Volcano On a Budget

Ijen Volcano On a Budget

Explore Java: Explore Ijen Volcano on a budget

It might absorb your time but it will save you some cash and lets be honest, reaching Ijen volcano on a budget and independently makes one hell of an adventure. Here’s how to see this iconic volcano, its blue fire and sulphur miners on your own steam…


Public Transport to Ijen Volcano

Be prepared for public transport to be rather slow…


Public buses leaves Probolinggo for Bondowoso from 9am onwards (20,000 Rupiah) but this journey takes almost 4 hours and risks missing the angkot connection to Sempol/Kartimore village. This departs between 12pm and 2pm, whenever it is full. After bartering for this transport we attained a seat for 25,000 Rupiah pp. A stop-over in Bondowoso will ensure your arrival at Ijen on an earlier angkot/minivan journey. Either way prepare yourself for the slowest of approaches over a crumbling road. Not only is your driver also the delivery man between the town and city but locals making their way to this remote region are captivated by the last minute buys they can make in civilisation.


To catch Ijen volcano’s amazing blue fire you’ll need to leave Sempol/Kartimore around 1am.  A motorbike driver charges 100,000 Rupiah per person to take you to the park office (also the site of the parks official accommodation) and return to collect you at any given time. Booking your return journey for 8am allows you ample time on the mountainside, to experience Ijen’s many other highlights.


An angkot plods its way back to Bondowoso from the villages around 3pm. This means you miss any onward connections and have to spend the night here.



In Summary

Return public transport from Bondowoso to Ijen Volcano = 150, 000 Rupiah

Return public transport from Probolinggo to Ijen Volcano = 190, 000 Rupiah



Alternative self-transport options to Ijen Volcano:

From Bondowoso private transport can be hired from most accommodation for 1,200,000 Rupiah (US $120) per car for the ‘blue fire’ tour that departs at 11pm. If you are not concerned with seeing blue fire then 900,000 Rupiah should cover a daytime trip.



Guided tours to Ijen Volcano:

Tours can be arranged from ridiculously far locations in Indonesia that entail an arduous bus journey, five hours sleep and an onward drive that departs as soon as you descend the mountain. One such bus tour can be arranged from Probolinggo whose close proximity means less dramatic travel distances, Toto travel have an office at the cities main Bayuangga bus terminal. or check out www.tototravel16.blogspot.com



Explore Java, travel indonesia, Ijen volcano on a budget



Hotel Anugerah has friendly staff and comfortable rooms with various facilities. Double rooms range from 137,000 Rupiah to 275,000 Rupiah including breakfast.


Eating in Kartimore.

Save heaps of cash by eating at the locally run Java Resto. A friendly and fun family will warmly invite you with large smiles, cook delicious authentic cuisine and can assist with local transportation.



Best Indonesian food in Ijen Caldera




Return to our destination guide: Explore Java





Written by

Rebecca Mayoll is a ‘just turned 30’ freelance writer and photographer from England. She is the co-founder and author of straightondetour.com, a travel website with the mantra ‘find your own adventure.’ Promoting adventurous destinations, independent travel and giving a humorous insight to the World of travel is what Becky does best.

  • Pinto Julian says:

    Hi Rebecca and Prue, its great reading your inspiring blog. I am planning a trip to Bromo – Ijen soon and thinking of going budget by taking the public transport as much as possible. I hope you could share more details about taking the public transport from Probolinggo to Bondowoso, as I have read many scams happening in that area. Could you also share a little more about booking transportation from Bondowoso to Ijen on a budget. Thank you!

    • Hi there, thanks for reading and saying hello. What an adventure you have ahead of you, Bromo and Ijen are spectacular and whichever way you decide travel there you will have a fantastic time. We wrote our blog about how to get to Ijen independently with as much detail as we can and have we listed times the bus and mini vans leave Probolingo and Bondowoso… Is there anything specific you were after, I might be able to help a little more. I also mention bartering in the post. This is crucial, and was the biggest scam going when we were there. Buy your bus ticket on the bus after you have departed, not from a ticket booth in Probolingo bus station… If you can speak enough Indonesian to buy a ticket and explain yourself to the bus driver, your risk of being scammed will be greatly decreased. Once we pulled the bus driver up on the scam, he laughed with us and gave a cigarette. ha – It’s all a game, be patient and you will be fine.

      Kind regards,


      • Pinto julian says:

        Hi Prue, thanks for your reply. May I ask where I might catch the bus from Probolinggo to Bondowoso? And also, how can I recognize the right bus to board?
        And like you mentioned in your post, if I take this bus to Bondowoso, am I likely to miss the ride to Sempol (which you mentioned departs between 12-2pm)? Sounds like I might have to spend a night in Bodowoso, if that’s the case.

        Thank you and best regards,

      • The bus from Probilinggo leaves the main bus terminal. From memory it is the Terminal Bayuangga, a little bit west of the city. The bus will state Bondowoso on it or drivers can direct you to the correct bus.

        “Saya mau pergi key Bondowoso” means “I want to go to Bondowoso” in Bahasa Indonesia.

        Like we say, you are likely to miss the bus, we caught it just in time as it wasn’t full, but once it is they will leave regardless of the time. There are plenty of cheap places to stay in Bondowoso though so you shan’t be on the streets :)!

        Have a fantastic time Julian! Would love for you to like us on Facebook if you’ve found us helpful!!

        Kind regards,

  • Shir says:

    the last bus from bondowoso to sempol is 2pm??

  • toto travel says:

    Good trip..also good information for another travelling
    Thank’s for recommend us..toto travel

  • Ailene Rhea says:

    Such great tips. I love your blog by the way.

  • […] The astonishing phenomenon is caused by sulphuric gas escaping the volcanic vents at 600 degrees Celsius, by day this sulphurous activity turns yellow and the sulphur collectors arrive. Ijen Volcano is one of the deadliest and strangest places to work. Strapped for cash? Here is some advice on how to can experience Ijen on a budget. […]

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Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.