Climbing Mount Ijen: A Short Guide For Daring Explorer

September 20, 2023

Are you an adventure junkie with an insatiable desire for unforgettable journeys? Then, climbing Mount Ijen should be on your bucket list! Located in Eastern Java, Indonesia, Mount Ijen is famous for its blue flames and stunning turquoise crater lake. But what does it really take to climb this magnificent mountain?

Where is Mount Ijen? 

Mount Ijen is a stratovolcano located in the eastern part of the island of Java, Indonesia. It is part of the larger Ijen volcano complex, which includes several volcanic cones and craters. 

The most notable feature of Mount Ijen is its incredible turquoise-colored crater lake, which is considered one of the most acidic crater lakes in the world.

climbing mount ijen 6 @rukiinaraya

How to Get There 

Getting to Mount Ijen isn’t a walk in the park. But with our definitive guide, you’ll find yourself standing amid the breathtaking blue flame scenery in no time. Here are the critical steps on how to get to Mount Ijen.

Reaching Banyuwangi

The first leg of the journey is to reach Banyuwangi, the nearest city to the Volcano. Here are a few options:

  • By Air: Fly into Banyuwangi’s Blimbingsari Airport. It is connected with many Asian cities, making it relatively accessible.
  • By Train: If you’re already in Java, you might consider taking a train trip. A direct train from Yogyakarta to Banyuwangi takes about 10 – 12 hours.
  • By Ferry: In case you happen to be in Bali, take a ferry from Gilimanuk Port to Banyuwangi. It’s a short one-hour voyage.

Taking The Route to Paltuding

Paltuding is the base camp from where your actual Mountain trek starts. You can take a taxi or hire a car from Banyuwangi, and the journey roughly takes 1.5 – 2 hours.

Embark on the Ascent

From Paltuding, it’s about a 2-hour steep climb to reach the top. Though tough, it’s completely worth the effort! The challenging climb, covering nearly 3 kilometers uphill, would typically take you around 2 hours. You’d be passing through rugged trails, dense forests, and more as you ascend the volcano. But that’s not all! You’d also frequent the intriguing sulfur mine at the summit of this active volcano.

climbing mount ijen 5 @veronicamarino_

Essential Tips 

Climbing Mount Ijen can be a rewarding and memorable experience, but it’s important to be well-prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Here are some essential tips for climbing Mount Ijen:

Plan Ahead: 

Research and plan your trip well in advance. Consider the best time to visit, weather conditions, and any special events or phenomena like the blue fire. Make sure to book accommodations, transportation, and guides if needed

Physical Fitness: 

The hike to the summit of Mount Ijen can be physically demanding, especially if you’re attempting to catch the blue fire phenomenon during the early hours of the morning. Prepare by maintaining a reasonable level of fitness through regular exercise.

Proper Gear: 

Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing for hiking. Layering is essential as the temperatures can vary significantly during the trek. Sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction are crucial, especially on rocky terrain.

Headlamp or Flashlight:

Since you’ll be starting your hike in the early hours of the morning, a reliable headlamp or flashlight is essential to navigate the trail in the dark. Make sure your batteries are charged and carry spare batteries just in case.

Warm Clothing: 

As you ascend, temperatures can drop significantly, especially during the pre-dawn hours. Bring warm clothing such as a jacket, gloves, and a hat to stay comfortable during the chilly parts of the hike.

Water and Snacks: 

Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike. Snacks like energy bars and nuts can provide you with the necessary energy to keep going.

Respiratory Mask:

The sulfur gases emitted from the crater can be quite strong and harmful to breathe. It’s recommended to bring a respiratory mask to protect your lungs. Some tours may provide masks, but it’s best to bring your own for safety and comfort.

Sun Protection:

 If you’re planning to witness the sunrise at the summit, be prepared with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

Follow the Trail: 

Stick to designated trails and avoid straying off the path. This not only protects the fragile ecosystem but also ensures your safety. The terrain can be challenging, so staying on the marked trail is essential.


If you’re not used to high altitudes, consider acclimatizing yourself before attempting the hike. Take breaks as needed, and don’t rush the ascent.

Environmental Respect: 

Practice responsible hiking by following Leave No Trace principles. Carry out all your trash, avoid picking plants, and respect the natural environment.

Safety Precautions: 

Listen to your guide’s instructions, especially when it comes to safety. The trek involves some steep and slippery sections, so take your time and be cautious.

Cultural Respect:

 If you encounter locals during your hike, be respectful of their culture and customs. Ask for permission before taking photos of people.

Sulfur Mining Area: 

If you’re planning to visit the sulfur mining area within the crater, be mindful of the workers and their challenging conditions. Keep a safe distance and ask for permission before taking photos.

By following these tips and being well-prepared, you can make the most of your Mount Ijen climbing experience while ensuring your safety and the preservation of this unique natural environment.

climbing mount ijen 3 @bastienmezaache

Along The Way to The Crater 

The walk to the crater lasts approximately 2 hours. The initial section is a mild hike, evolving into a steeper ascent as you get closer to the crater. The trail is well-used, but it could be slippery owing to the volcanic ash. From the rim of the crater, you’ll have a magnificent view of the turquoise lake, truly a spectacle worth witnessing!

The journey to the top of Mount Ijen is filled with excitement and anticipation, as you ascend the rugged terrain and are surrounded by lush greenery and the harmonious sounds of nature.

Take your time to truly absorb the beauty of your surroundings and appreciate the serene atmosphere. The trail is well-marked, ensuring easy navigation and allowing you to savor the experience at your own pace. 

Along the way, you may even have the pleasure of encountering friendly locals who are eager to share their stories and insights about the mountain. 

Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view that stretches as far as the eye can see. The mesmerizing turquoise crater lake, with its vibrant colors contrasting against the rugged landscape, is a true testament to the wonders of nature. 

Take a moment to reflect on the awe-inspiring natural beauty and the immense power of Mother Nature. The descent is equally as exhilarating, as you make your way back down the mountain, taking in the sights and sounds one last time.

As you finally reach the base, a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment will wash over you, knowing that you have conquered Mount Ijen. 

climbing mount ijen 1 @kawahijen.volcatours

What You Will Get There  

Encountering the Iconic Blue Flames

Departing at midnight is a regular practice, allowing climbers to reach the peak by sunrise and see the iconic blue fires. Originated by lit sulfuric gas, these unique bright blue flames create a mystical ambiance to the whole experience.

Isn’t it amazing to visualize oneself standing on the rim of a crater, amidst the dreamlike blue flames?

climbing mount ijen 2 @bastienmezaache

Stunning Crater Lake

There exists a beautiful turquoise acid crater lake within the volcano, one of the largest globally. Its crystal-clear, calm, and shimmering water provides a stunning contrast to the fiery sulphuric spectacle.

climbing mount ijen 4 @artemronin


Climbing Mount Ijen is one of the unforgettable moments in your life that you will never forget. The journey is thrilling and challenging.  

Embarking on the climb up Mount Ijen can be daunting yet thrilling. Being prepared, equipped, and safety-conscious can enhance your experience significantly. It’s about conquering your physical limitations and apprehensions to witness one of nature’s incredible spectacles. 

Climbing Mount Ijen is not merely about summiting an active volcano; it’s about challenging yourself to go further your limit.
Indeed, with these climbing Mount Ijen tips handy, you’re all set for a remarkable adventure, combining the thrill of the climb with the allure of stunning landscapes that make the journey truly rewarding.

If you want to keep updated about Ijen and all about it and decide to put it on your bucket list, you can check it on our website.