How To Get To Ijen From Bali

Ijen is one of the most unique volcanoes in Indonesia, if not the world. It’s claim to fame? The constant burning of sulphur deposits means Ijen is always spurting blue flames out of it’s crust. While getting there is by no means quick, going to Ijen from Bali can be cheap…if you plan it correctly.

What Is Mount Ijen?

Mount Ijen, also called Mt Ijen or Kawah Ijen, is a strato-volcano located on the Indonesian island of Java. It is most known for the stunning blue flames that emerge from its crater. This geological wonder occurs due to the combustion of sulfuric gases that ignite upon contact with the oxygen-rich air.

Beyond its mesmerizing flames, Mount Ijen also boasts a striking turquoise crater lake (pictures below), one of the largest acidic lakes on Earth. This makes Mt. Ijen a popular destination for adventurous trekkers looking to see something extraordinary.

Blue fire at Ijen Volcano

How To Get To Mount Ijen From Bali?

While there are a few tour companies offering trips from Bali to Ijen, with round trip coaches/vans and included bottled water, they tend to be quite expensive. If you go in a large group I didn’t see anything in my research for a Mount Ijen tour from Bali for less than $50/person (not including Ijen entrance fee), and if you are a travel couple or going solo and want a private driver expect to pay $150-250 for a minivan.

How To Get To Ijen From Bali

So what should you do?

It’s entirely possible to get to Ijen from Bali on a budget, and we decided to see just how cheaply we can do it. The answer? Taking a local bus on the way from Bali to Ijen. You can also arrange your tickets in advance on Bookaway!


Step 1: Get yourself to Ubung Bus Terminal.

Bus terminal

The station where you will find a bus going from Bali to Ijen is located in North Denpasar which means you should probably take a grab or GoJek from your accommodation. We went from Seminyak and our Grab totalled Rp.90,000 or about $6.50

Step 2. Take The Local Long Distance Bus To Gilimanuk

How To Get To Ijen From Bali

However there is no bridge or tunnel connecting Bali Island to Java island. So the bus actually goes from Bali to Gilimanuk. Once you get to Ubung Bus Terminal just find a bus that says Gilimanuk on the front window. If you need help, there is a police station inside the terminal so just ask an officer. We did and he led us directly to the bus and told us exactly how much to pay.

As you pay the driver, don’t give money to anyone hanging around the station. On the non-air conditioned busses the cost is Rp.50,000 per person or about $3.50. Another plus besides the cheap price is the schedule. The bus leaves every hour from the terminal.

Note that the ride takes anywhere from 4-8 hours dependent on traffic conditions.

Step 3. Board The Ferry To Ketapang

You will be dropped off right near the ferry port and you have to buy your ticket before you get on. The cost is Rp.6,500 or about $0.45 per person. The strait crossing takes about a half hour.

Ferry To Ketapang

These days they use a plastic card that locals can top up to buy a ticket. Unfortunately they do not have a cash window nor do the machines take credit/debit card. Unless you want to buy a card for Rp.25,000 you should ask the local attendent to buy tickets for you on his card and you’ll give him cash. He will ask for Rp.7,500 per ticket meaning he makes a cool 7 cents on the deal. Fine with me.

The ferry leaves every half an hour, so it is not that important to follow a strict schedule. No meter at what time you will arrive to the port, it won’t be long till the boat departs

Step 4. TukTuk To Banyuwangi

Ok, so we heard you could totally take a public bus, but as you are going to an accommodation you might as well take a TukTuk and be dropped off right in front. Just tell a local you want to go to Banyuwangi and expect to pay Rp.50,000. The Ketapang port is a grab/GoJek red zone so unless you want to walk a few blocks, you’ll have to take a local TukTuk driver.

Ketapank. The view from the ferry

We “stayed” at Mango Tree guest house and I put stayed in quotations since we didn’t sleep much. You have to leave around midnight to go to the volcano if you want to see the blue fire so it’s really just a place to put your things, charge your devices, and shower after a long journey.

The price at Mango Tree for one night was Rp.125,000 or about $9

Step 5. Arrange A Driver To Ijen

Unfortunately there are no public busses that run from Banyuwangi to the base of the Kawah Ijen volcano, so you’ll need to either arrange a private driver, or find a tour.

Expect to pay Rp.500,000 for a private driver per car. If you spot other tourists you can discuss ride sharing to lower the cost individually. This doesn’t include the entrance fee to Ijen volcano, nor does it (usually) include the gas mask, headlamp, and goggles. You also don’t get a tour guide up the mountain and down the crater.

How To get to Ijen From Bali

We suggest doing a tour because that will really help you save on the transport fee. We actually booked our tour through the owner of Mango Tree guesthouse and it was fantastic. I highly recommend doing the small group tour as you get really good service.

The total price this way was Rp.325,000 per person, however this also includes breakfast, waters, headlamp, gas mask, goggles, AND the actual entrance price to Mt. Ijen. Normally the tour is Rp.250,000 but we went Christmas Eve and had to pay holiday pricing. (The actual volcano entrance fee goes up, it wasn’t the operator just asking for more money).

Step 6. Drive To Ijen From Banyuwangi

This takes about 1 hour. We were in a van with 5 other people so it was fairly comfortable. On arriving at the base we had breakfast at a little parking lot restaurant and some much needed coffee.

Breakfst at 1 AM before climbing the volcano
Breakfst at 1 AM before climbing the volcano

Enough good energy to start the near 2 hour hike to the top of the volcano.

To Read My Complete Guide To Hiking Ijen Click Here

Coming Back

Going back to Bali from Ijen is similar to getting to Ijen from Bali.

Coming back to the Banyuwangi

After you finish at the volcano the driver will take you back to the guesthouse where you can have more breakfast (at least where we stayed). From there you can call a Grab/GoJek to the port. Take the ferry and the public bus back to Ubung station, then a grab taxi to your accommodation.

All in all we did this trip in about 30 hours. You could leave later on the first day and do it in less, but we didn’t want to do the ferry crossing at night.

Total Price Breakdown

List of all prices we paid to get to Ijen from Bali

Total Expenditure…………….Rp.828,000 or about $60 per person.

Final Thoughts On GoingTo Ijen From Bali

Now I know some backpackers will still scoff at $60 a person and say, “well you can just ride your scooter to Ijen by yourself and only pay for petrol and the entrance fee!”

To Ijen from Bali

While this is completely true, that’s driving over 6 hours one way on high traffic and dangerous roads. I personally don’t want to put myself through that.

At the top of the crater

That being said, I am so happy we went to see Ijen and I highly recommend visiting it for anyone looking for a cool adventure. The blue flames were awesome, and the caldera lake was beautiful. My nose and throat still burn a little from the sulfur gasses, but that’s a small price to pay to see what is in my opinion the best volcano in Indonesia.

How To Get To Ijen From Bali

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