KAWAH IJEN VOLCANO | Blue fire amp; Sulfur lake
Enjoy Kawah Ijen Volcano Travel Guide featuring Blue Fire, the largest Sulfur lake in the world, possibly one of the most challenging worksites left on the planet.
Kawah Ijen volcano complex is a group of composite volcanoes located on the border between Banyuwangi Regency and Bondowoso Regency of East Java, Indonesia.
Planning a trip to Bali? Adventurous Spirit? Block out a few days for Kawah Ijen. After 2 years on the road it comes in at top 10 sights, and maybe even top 5 things we have ever seen.
In this video we will tell all about how to get to Kawah Ijen Volcano from Bali, what you can expect to see and how to make the most of your tour!
First and foremost, Kawah Ijen is most enjoyed before, during and just after sunrise. Remember though that it can be cold in the morning so you may want to dress appropriately. Warm hats and gloves are also sold onsite in the wee hours of the morning in case you forgot.
You will usually start your hike at about 3 or 3:30 if you planned it correctly. The reason you want to start this early for what turns out to be about a 1 1/2 hour hike is because of the famous blue fire. It can only be seen in the dark of night so you may want to check the moon phase and positions before the hike as well.
The blue fire located at the base of the crater inside Ijen volcano. It is actually ignited sulfuric gas, which emerges from cracks of the sulfur mine at temperatures up to 600 °C (1,112 °F). The flames can be up to five meters (16 feet) high. National Geographic sights it as the largest naturally occurring blue flame area in the world.
Once you arrive at the blue flame you may see a number of locals carrying large yellow bricks in baskets back up to the rim of the volcano. These blocks are cooled sulfur. Sulfur, when molten is a deep red color, however, when cooled it becomes a deep yellow. These cooled yellow bricks are chiseled out of the mine and hauled for processing by one of the 200 miners that work the area.
The job is dangerous, exhausting and takes its toll on the workers. The men carry up to 210 lbs per trip and are usually only able to make two trips per day. The total wage a miner can expect to make only reaches about $25 dollars a day. The caustic gasses they inhale leads to a fairly short life expectancy. Average life expectancy for a miner is only about 50 years.
Please respect the miners when you visit the volcano. Their job is difficult enough with having to dodge eager tourist every few steps. This is their workplace so please act with respect. However, don’t hesitate to take photos, and video of your experience with them. And if you do, please tip!!! A little goes a long way for these men and their families.
After enjoying the blue fire and sulfur mines, make your way back up to the rim of the volcano. You will want to be back on the rim at first light (not sunrise, FIRST LIGHT). Once back to the top, make your way around the rim to the sunrise viewpoint where, weather permitting, you will enjoy one of the most beautiful sights of your life. In the distance smaller volcanos will just out from the vibrantly colored clouds, the volcanic gasses will turn a deep magenta and complement the perfectly turquoise sulfur lake in the volcanic basin.
People generally stay until about 8:00 am and start making their way back down the mountain. We stayed a bit longer to see how the miners worked during the day and to get a few shots with them.
The duration of your stay really depends on your guide. Be upfront with him or her about what you want out of the experience and they will do everything they can to accommodate you. You can expect to pay around $20 per person for a good tour guide but prices vary depending on how you book.
We booked through Grand Harvest Resort whom we partnered with to produce this travel guide. They had an amazing hotel with beautiful rice fields onsite, two swimming pools, excellent food and amazing services. We certainly recommend a visit.
If you haven’t had enough of volcanic adventures, you may consider making the trip to Mount Bromo where you can see similarly fantastic volcanic formations, and the nearby Tumpak Sewu waterfalls.
Hopefully we will have our Promo video posted by now so be sure to check it out!
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