Bondowoso Travel Guide

The small provincial town of Bondowoso sits 740 feet above sea level in East Java, Indonesia, about 112 miles from Surabaya. Enclosed by several natural attractions, this spot is particularly known as a base for hiking enthusiasts who wish to explore the unique yellow-green crater lake of Kawah Ijen, the world’s largest vetra-acid lake.

The crater area lies 42 miles from the town center and provides a campground, shelter and Tourist Information Center. Its caldera is 7,828 feet above sea level and can be climbed in one and a half to three hours depending on your level of fitness. The ideal time to enjoy the scenery is in the morning when the rising sun glows on the lake and neighboring Mt Merapi.

A further draw is the imposing 100-foot high Blawan waterfall located around 32 miles from Bondowoso. Surrounded by sharp cliffs, it features a stalagmite cave which supposedly was used for meditation a long time ago. Other falls in the area include the 253-foot high Tancak Kembar waterfall, 15 miles west of the town, and the 98-foot high Polo Agung waterfall, 25 miles to the east.

Scattered around Bondowoso are a number of megalithic sites, above all a sarcophagus which consists of stones covered with a lid. Remains from the megalithic era can be found on the slopes of Besar Hill in the town center and comprise a stone sarcophagus, stone chair and stone statues.

Getting There & Away

There are hourly bus services from Surabaya to Bondowoso, the 112-mile journey taking 4 to 5 hours. Every 30 minutes, a bus runs from Malang to Bondowoso and the trip takes around 2 hours. You can also fly directly from Jakarta to Malang, the flight time being roughly 2 hours.

Things to Do

Bondowoso Attractions


An interesting megalithic site.

Side trips from Bondowoso

Kawah Ijen

A fascinating otherworldly crater lake.

Blawan Waterfall

Unwind at this pretty waterfall which features a stalagmite cave.