Hunting Blue Fire Phenomenon in Ijen Crater
Ijen Crater is one of popular tourist site located within the borders of Banyuwangi and Bondowoso regencies in East Java. Having more than two thousand visitors every month, Ijen Crater becomes a tourist attraction that makes many people curious. This is a must-see if you are in the area or planning a trip to East Java Indonesia. You can enjoy many interesting things in the Ijen Crater, ranging from the phenomenon of the Blue Fire to the sunrise point. Moreover, Mount Ijen has an altitude of 2,386 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by the most beautiful lush green countryside with rice fields and forests. And bordered by two other mountains right next to it (Meranti and Merapi). The gate is open from 12.30 AM.
The hiking itself to the volcano is around 1.5 until 2 hours. Also, the trip to the bottom of the crater is around 30-40 minutes. Ijen carter itself is truly dramatic – the caldera has a lake which is bright green in color and almost 100% pure sulphuric acid. It is 200 mt deep at its deepest and provides a fascinating focus to the volcano.
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Blue Fire Phenomenon
On top of that is the famed blue flame, visible only before sunrise and apparently only the second. Unfortunately, the blue fire phenomenon, which only occurs in two places in the world, Indonesia and Iceland, does not always appear at any time of day.
This bluish light appears only at 3:00 to 4:00 a.m and decrease in size at around 5 a.m. During the rainy season, the blue flame is a bit ‘shy’ or a little smaller than in the dry season. Meanwhile, the dry season is believed to be the ideal time to see this blue fire. In addition, a visit to the Ijen crater could be a tricky one. There is no doubt it is an absolute charm, but a well-planned visit is a must. It very much depends on the weather on the morning of your visit. Clear weather gives you the luxury of opting for either the sunrise or the blue fire. If it rains just forget about the blue fire and go for the sunrise.
The Sulfur Miners of Ijen Crater
Since early morning, the sulfur miners began to climb to the top of Mount Ijen which has a height of 2,443 meters, using a flashlight on the head, a thin jacket, and gloves. The trip to the top of Mount Ijen takes about two hours. After reaching the top of the miners down the steep slope to get to the crater. Around the crater of Mount Ijen, they took sulfur. While carrying a bamboo basket full of sulfur weighing around 70 kg, the miners went back up the rocky path to the top. Every now and then their steps stopped to rest. This often attracts tourists who look in amazement with sulfur miners as well as being an attraction.
Hunting Sunrise at Ijen Crater
The saying “raft upstream, swim – swim to the edge” is right for this one condition. The reason is, to be able to get a beautiful moment of sunrise in the Ijen crater you have to climb since early morning. Indeed, climbing to the Ijen crater is open from 01.00 until 12.00. But, for you who want to pursue the beautiful scenery when the sunrise must be prepared early so that you don’t miss the cool moments. After a long journey and arrived at a height, you can enjoy the beautiful panorama of Ijen’s crater. From the nature perspective, this is stunning and definitely worth getting up so early! It’s a bit steep and you’ll need a moderate level of fitness to get up the hill then down the crater. Don’t forget to capture the moments with your mobile phones and cameras. This experience is truly one of a kind!
Ijen Carter as Biosphere Reserve
Another thing that fascinating is that the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated the Ijen crater as a biosphere reserve. Biosphere reserves are sites designated by various countries to promote biodiversity conservation. The Biosphere Reserve designated by UNESCO covers an area of 678,947.36 Ha. All are divided into 3 zones. There is a core area of 127,855.62 hectares which includes three National Parks; Alas Purwo, TN Baluran, and Meru Betiri National Park. There is also the Ijen Crater Nature Reserve zone with a buffer area of 230,277.4 hectares. One other transition zone covering an area of 320,814.34 Ha.
Souvenirs and Culinary at Ijen Crater
If you visit Ijen Crater from Banyuwangi, then you can taste the pleasure of Rujak Soto. You can find it at the stall near the Paltuding post which sells food to the miners. You can also stop by and enjoy hot food and drinks there. As for souvenirs that you can bring home from there are a variety of souvenirs made of bamboo and shaped like a small basket like a miniature basket of sulfur miners. This small basket is then filled with small yellow sulfur flakes and sulfur souvenirs made in various unique and interesting shapes.
How To Get Ijen Crater
To go to Ijen Crater, you can take only two routes, namely the Banyuwangi route to Licin which is about 15 km with a distance of about 30 minutes using a two or four-wheeled vehicle. The second route is through Situbondo which passes Wonosari and Paltuding which can be reached by two-and four-wheeled vehicles. Paltuding is the foot of the mountain with an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level, so the air temperature must be very cold.
There are a few things you should prepare if you want to visit this beautiful place such as bring good winter clothes due to it gets freezing cold at night. The temperature can drop down to 8°C. Wear comfortable shoes. Several routes are quite steep, so you might bring a hiking stick as well. Don’t forget to bring mask, when you reach the crater the sulfur smell is quite potent at times (depending on the wind direction). You can also rent mask there and it cost IDR 35K. Don’t worry about the toilet, there’s some on the route. To anyone who can not walk along the track, there also “Becak” to ride you to the top (costs around 700K-800K, from start-to-start)