The Mount Bromo may be easy to climb, but the Kawah Ijen is another story. This ascent is recommended to parents a bit athletic with children who have already done other ascents! Kawah Ijen is located in the south of Java, Indonesia and is 2386 meters above sea level.
It harbors a wonderful turquoise lake which is considered to be the world’s largest acidic crater lake. Every morning miners do at least two round trips to extract its sulfur. You will discover breathtaking landscapes and make exceptional encounters.
5am – we start with the 3km ascent which means leaving our guest house (Arabica Homestay in our case) around 4:30am. You could, of course, start to climb a bit later in the morning but it will be hotter (therefore more difficult) and you may not meet as many miners. So let’s get started!
The first kilometer is rather easy but the difference in heights is more significant in the last two kilometers. We talk to miners on our way who even offer to carry Little Globetrotter #1 in their baskets! We refuse. We wouldn’t be able to chase them down if they decided to run with our kid :p . Miners are pleased to see us with our kid. They start talking about their own kids: how many girls or boys they have, their age, which is very nice! They’re carrying loads of sulfur of more than 80 kilos/ 176 pounds on their shoulders, are climbing slopes wearing flip-flops while giving us smile. Some are more hostile but who cares? We forget about them and focus on the best part!
Once at the weighting center, we buy a bottle of water to the miners we chatted with and take some rest.
Amazing landscapes while climbing. We cannot wait to see more!
After climbing for more than an hour and a half, we finally reach the crater rim. Miners are working endlessly looking like small ants from so far away.
“All visitors are strictly forbidden to go down to the crater”. Actually you could find some “guides” who will help you to go down. This would be extremely dangerous with kids. We then just look at the miners from the rim.
We finally start going down. Because it is easier to climb down than to climb up, we reach the bottom around 8am. Exhausted but yet happy 😉
|Tips from Kidootrip to Parents|
|Stroller or baby carrier?
||Considering the vertical drop and the soil (dirt track), it is impossible to take a stroller. The baby carrier (preferably a back carrier so you won’t be too hot while climbing) is by far the best option for this trip.|
|Baby/ Child age from?||18-24 months|
|Health condition?||Bad : Kawah Ijen is an hour away from Bali where you could find a decent hospital. You’d better bring your first aid kit (Paracetamol, Antacid, Antiseptic solution/ wipes) to deal with small medical emergencies. Not to mention that you shouldn’t be going down to the crater with your kids regardless of their age. By staying at the rim, you won’t inhale sulfur vapor.|
|Particular challenge(s)?||The vertical drop + your kid’s weight that you will have to carry, unless s/he is big enough to walk. The early wake-up can be tough but that’s only if you want to see the miners work (they don’t work all day) and to avoid the heat. It will take you 2 to 2.5 hours to climb 3 km/ 1.86 miles, and reach the top. Recommended to parents a bit athletic!|
|Food?||You might find baby biscuits and crackers but forget about milk or baby food jars. You will have to plan ahead and bring something to eat before arriving at Kawah Ijen. There’s still the possibility of buying bananas at the café located at the foot of the volcano when coming down.|
|Number of days/ hours?||We did the Singapore-Surabaya-Bromo-Kawah Ijen-Bali-Singapore journey in 5 days but that was very very fast. Unless you have a kid who doesn’t mind spending long hours in transportation and being waken up early several days in a row, I would advise to extend your trip for few days or do Bromo and Kawah Ijen on two separate trips.|
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