Program for day 6 of our circuit at JAVA : Ascent of KAWAH IJEN volcano – Discovery of Banyuwangi – Java National Dance Festival.

Directions Banyuwangi – Kawah Ijen Volcano


Departure at 4:00 am to reach the starting point of the trek (approx. 1h30 from 4X4). Too exhausted, we didn't have the courage to get up earlier to see the famous blue flames… But the volcano still seemed EXCELLENT!

Before starting the ascent, rent gas masks if you want to descend into the crater (obligatory to support sulfur fumes).


Then it is 1h30 steep climb to reach the crater. Take good shoes, because the path is very slippery.

Once on top of the crater, the spectacle is impressive: at the bottom of this rocky cauldron, the lake of milky blue-green acid spreads out, while on the shore we openly see the yellow stain of a sulfur pit in the sky, from which a thick cloud of smoke escapes.

I walked down a rocky path (30 minutes) to the shore of the lake where we meet the sulfur gatherers and porters. It is necessary to avoid giving money without counterpart. I decided to buy several pieces of sulfur directly to the carriers. They were happy and I felt a little less guilty… but I still felt pity and anger against this way of exploiting men. Do not hesitate to start a conversation when they are posing, and especially avoid taking pictures .

FYI, porters ask for candy or cookies (I don't know why).

IJEN volcanic crater - sulfur and sulfur fumes - JAVA

When you come back down, remember to raise your head from time to time because there are many monkeys in the trees jumping from vine to vine: another beautiful natural spectacle!

On the way to the crater of the IJEN volcano, monkey family in their natural environment


Back at the end of the morning around BanyuwangiWe took a rickshaw ride and visited the local market. We found the rickshaws on the street across from the main shopping center. The pedicab ride takes us into the old neighborhoods and leads us to a Chinese temple. Beautiful walk, but difficult for rickshaw drivers. I almost wish I had done it on foot. On the other hand, we got people who really need it to run.

The local market is overcast and very dark. It seemed to me not of great interest, because there are few booths, not very friendly, few smiles . in short, as soon as you enter, you want to leave!

We wanted to visit a fishing port in Muncar Our guide suggests the Java National Dance Festival instead. So bingo! We are invited as VIPs sitting among the officials watching 1 great dancers in traditional costumes choreographing in perfect harmony. We were even interviewed by a journalist who craved western comments… An unpredictable, unexpected moment as we immersed ourselves in Javanese culture in an atmosphere we adored! Thanks again to Daus for this magical moment!