Indonesia is an archipelagic country that is blessed with various extraordinary natural beauties. The beauty of the mountains, oceans, and beaches to rare natural phenomena also exist in Indonesia. Blue Fire or Blue Fire is a phenomenon that only exists in two places worldwide, one of which is in the Ijen Crater, Banyuwangi, Indonesia.
Geographically, Mount Ijen is located within the three boundaries of two districts, namely Banyuwangi, Bondowoso, and Situbondo. The mountain, situated at an altitude of 2,769 meters above sea level, has an Asam Crater Lake with an area of 5,466 hectares and a depth of 200 meters. The water of the Ijen crater lake is blue or milky green. This is due to the high level of sulfur contained in it. The water flow from the Ijen crater lake flows into Kali Pahit and is held back by a dam built by the Dutch a few years ago to protect the plants underneath from ground rain and hot water.
Ijen Crater Natural Tourist Attractions
The prima donna of the Bromo Ijen Tour is the “Blue Fire” phenomenon, which tourists target. Not only local tourists but tourists from various parts of the world are also willing to come to witness this rare phenomenon. Usually, they are lovers of nature, photography, and adventure. They like Ijen Crater because it has a beautiful blue fire.
Blue fire occurs naturally from high-pressure sulfur gas reaching 600 degrees Celsius that comes out of rock crevices and then mixes with oxygen, which causes the fire that comes out not red but blue. However, behind the beauty of Blue Fire, many dangers threaten, one of which is a puff of sulfur smoke that is very dangerous for breathing. So, for safety and security when traveling to Ijen Crater, it would be nice to bring a gas mask. However, if you don’t get it, you don’t need to worry because many shops around the post rent out these masks.
Not only the beauty of the Ijen crater lake and the Blue Fire phenomenon when climbing Ijen Crater, but you can also see the beauty of Mount Rante, Suket, Raung, and the peaks of Mount Merapi above the height of Ijen. While in the Ijen crater, you will also witness the sulfur miners passing by. Even though it is dangerous for the body, these sulfur miners are willing to risk their lives against poison gas to support their families.
Hiking Tour Route to Ijen Crater
Ijen Blue Fire Tour from Bali has a route to witness Blue Fire which you can only get by climbing from the Paltuding Post. Paltuding Post is the Main Gate of the Ijen Crater Tourism Park Nature Reserve, commonly called the Ijen crater climbing gate. The total distance of climbing to the Ijen crater is around 3 KM, usually taking 2-3 hours.
Climbing to the Ijen crater requires solid physical endurance. This route is complicated if you are a beginner climber, but if you are a reliable climber, this route will feel very easy. The climbing route to Ijen Crater has a slippery texture and is uphill with varying degrees of inclination. The initial track of the climb feels quite heavy because the soil structure is sandy and severe, with a 25-35 degrees slope. The second track feels steep, as far as 800 meters, and the gradient reaches 45 degrees.
Blue Fire will usually be visible from 2 to 3 in the morning. If it is later than this hour, this rare phenomenon will slowly disappear, caused by the rising sun. So, if you want to hunt Blue Fire, start climbing at 12 or 1 in the morning. Not a few tourists also miss watching the blue fire because of obstacles in climbing. But, even so, they can still witness the beauty of the sunrise over the peak of Ijen, which is no less beautiful than the sunrise at Bromo.