Mt. Ijen: Getting There and Accommodations

The journey and accommodations at the fifth stop in our SEA by Train vacation in Indonesia, Mt. Ijen.

Fresh from the sunrise and climb of ever-active Mt. Bromo, we were only given enough time to take a quick shower to rid ourselves of sand and ash before hopping in the van that will take us to Bondowoso, the gateway to Ijen – another active volcano. This is the most adventurous I’ve been in my entire life, two active volcanoes in a span of two days… Hahaha!

Arabika Homestay near Mt Ijen Indonesia

According to the forums I read, the only way to get to Ijen is by hiring a private car, which can be very costly. Still part of the 1.25 Million Tour Package, it was very convenient not having to look for a service to Ijen and, not to mention, haggling for a lower rate.

During our stop for lunch, we encountered other tourists, likely to have also availed of a packaged tour. We noticed that they were in bigger groups and their vehicle is a worn down non-air-conditioned minibus. They looked like they were having fun though, their guide is very chatty. :)

The travel from Bromo to Ijen took about five hours. Like the train travel from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, I slept though most of it. Haha! Although, even the heaviest of sleepers will find it hard to sleep through the last couple of hours into the journey. The roads are rough, to say the least. It was quite impressive how our small Suzuki van held up. Good thing there were only five of us in that vehicle, otherwise, it would have been an uncomfortable ride.

We took another short stopover to view the acres upon acres of coffee plantation in Bondowoso. The several truck loads of coffee workers we encountered on the road is an indication of just how big the plantation is.

Unlike the accommodations we had at Yoschi’s Hotel during the Bromo leg of our trip, our room at Arabika Homestay is small and very basic. Two single beds, a drawer and hot shower. That’s it. The room could also use a little bit of tidying up.

There’s free flowing coffee all day. Complimentary breakfast is also part of the package. Of the entire trip in Indonesia, we had the worst and only bad meal at Arabika Homestay. The pricey IDR 50,000 set meal consisted of instant noodles and bland tasting food.

Arriving late at Bondowoso, we had very little time to go around the area. Arabika Homestay is situated atop a hill and below it is a small village. We ventured into the village to buy credits for our Indonesian SIM card. We wanted to explore more of the village, unfortunately, there are no street lights and it was really dark that night.

We headed back to the restaurant for another cup of free coffee and decided to call it a night. We wanted to be well-rested; after all, we will be climbing another active volcano the following morning.

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23 Responses to Mt. Ijen: Getting There and Accommodations

  1. Millie Manahan 14 July 2014 at 6:38 am #

    I don't like sleeping while traveling, but kakapagod minsan..:) Grabe the instant noodles ha! :) At least the coffee was free!! hehe..

  2. Rainbow Journal 14 July 2014 at 6:25 am #

    I try not to sleep cause there's no telling what you'll miss not seeing. However, since we just came from another trek, I can't help but shut my eyes.

  3. Rainbow Journal 14 July 2014 at 6:23 am #

    Jerome Lupisan , What can I say, we are real coffee drinkers! Hahaha!

  4. Dok Tour 14 July 2014 at 6:03 am #

    Such an expensive tour! Haha! Honestly, i don't sleep during travel times because I want to see the beauty of the surroundings unless there is no beauty at all. LOL

  5. Jerome Lupisan 13 July 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Rainbow Journal The free coffee should cover it. Hehe. Well, I guess one can overlook that if the service is good.

  6. Rainbow Journal 13 July 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Malapt lang ang Indonesia! At lagi naman may promo ang airlines. Hahaha! Go for it! :)

  7. Rainbow Journal 13 July 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Machu Pichu… That place is on top of my bucket list!
    Hope you'd get back to traveling. Would love to read your blog about it. Or perhaps you can write a book about it too. :)

  8. Rainbow Journal 13 July 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    Sorry to hear about the terrible breakfast you had at SG. Good thing there are a lot of good and affordable places to eat there.

  9. Rainbow Journal 13 July 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Only downside to staying at Arabika is the food. Everything else was okay.

  10. Rainbow Journal 13 July 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    My first official hike was at Mt. Batulao in Batangas some two years back. It was a great experience, discounting the fact that I nearly slid off the face of the mountain. No kidding! I thought it was done for! Haha!

  11. Rainbow Journal 13 July 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Exactly! Good thing there's free coffee. Hahaha! The service is also commendable.

  12. Jerome Lupisan 13 July 2014 at 6:10 am #

    What?! Rp 50000 for instant noodles? What a ripoff. Gotta take not of that name. Arabika. Arabika. Arabika. Okay, got it in my head now. I hope you enjoyed the other parts of the trip.

  13. Christian Melanie Lee 13 July 2014 at 5:48 am #

    I've never been to go in a mountain and do some hiking. Interested to visit Mt. Ijen soon.

  14. Slick Master 13 July 2014 at 4:25 am #

    This place seemed interesting at will, just except for the food and security/ambiance by nighttime though. However, the sojourn continues… as we'll look forward on your next post.

  15. Sherlane Fortunado 12 July 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    It's so sad that you experienced the worst and only bad meal at Arabika Homestay which consist only of instant noodles and bland tasting food but at least they have the unli coffee :-). I just remembered our tips in SG. We are on a cheap motel with free breakfast which consist of boiled eggs, coffee and loaf bread with margarine. And we ate that kind of breakfast for 3 consecutive mornings :-)..

  16. Chai Castro Galapon 12 July 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    I love looking at the photos of people who like travel to travel.. I also wanted to do that as I have been a lakwatsera during my younger years… sana makapunta din ako sa mga hard to reach tourist spots.. are you targeting Machu Pichu or you've been there already? Seems like a great great place talaga

  17. Rommel Laguidao 12 July 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Gad! Kakainggit talaga ang adventures mo! Some time soon, puntahan ko din yan :) that place is so interesting.

  18. Rainbow Journal 10 July 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    Looking back, it just seems hectic but we actually get a lot of time to rest. :)

  19. Jennifer Lopez Gana 10 July 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    as usual, another kaiinggit travel, from one volcano to another :-) I am not sure if I can survive that travel parang nakakapagod :-)

  20. Rainbow Journal 10 July 2014 at 7:43 am #

    Thanks Alaine! Hope you were able to get some tips here for when you visit Ijen. :)

  21. Rainbow Journal 10 July 2014 at 7:42 am #

    It was a bit tiring, with all the hiking involved. Hahaha! We spent most of the days we had in Bali just lounging. Hehehe! But it was all great! :)

    They prepare their coffee differently. They boil the ground coffee then just let the ground bits settle at the bottom of the cup.

  22. Alaine Yambot-Alejandrino 10 July 2014 at 5:15 am #

    This place is so inviting. I wish I could go there too. Your photos are beautiful!

  23. Janice Lim 10 July 2014 at 3:21 am #

    Nice photos as usual. It must have been a very tiring trip for you guys though. But I'm sure you didn't mind at all since you were visiting such beautiful places. I used to work in our local coffee industry so I got interested when you said you saw coffee plantations there. :) Hope to see them there for real one day.