All you need to know – 4D3N Trip from Singapore to Surabaya

Mt Ijen, Surabaya Indonesia - Where you can find the biggest acidic lake in the world!
Mt Ijen, Surabaya Indonesia – Where you can find the biggest acidic lake in the world!

Surabaya Indonesia is just a 2hr 15min flight away from Singapore. If you are a nature lover or looking for an adventure, this trip to Surabaya Indonesia is the perfect getaway for you! In just 4D3N, we hiked two mountains, rode a jeep, saw the world’s largest acidic lake, and showered under a waterfall.

Quick Guide

The two of us travelled in Oct 2023 and the total cost of the trip to Surabaya Indonesia amounted to SGD$575/pax inclusive of flights, tour, accommodation, meals etc (scroll down to the end for the breakdown). Here is a summary of how we spent our 4D3N:

Madakaripura Waterfall – Day 1

  • Departed Singapore at 7:10am on Jetstar
  • Arrived Surabaya, Indonesia at 8.25am, 2hr 15min flight time (note: Singapore is ahead of Indonesia by 1hr)
  • Airport pick-up by Tour Agency (CheapBromo.com) and met our Tour Guide Rina
  • Started our 3D2N private tour (click link for details: 3D2N tour)
  • Visited Madakaripura waterfall
  • Accommodation: Cafe Lava Hostel, Surabaya Indonesia

Mt Bromo – Day 2

  • Woke up at 3 am and rode a jeep up Mt. Penanjakan
  • Watched the Bromo Sunrise
  • Hiked up Mt Bromo Crater
  • Accommodation: Ijen View Hotel

Mt Ijen – Day 3

  • Woke up at 1am to drive to Paltuding of Mt. Ijen Crater
  • Hiked up Mt Ijen and down to the Ijen Crater to witness the Blue Fire
  • Hiked back up the summit of Mt Ijen for sunrise
  • Drive back to Surabaya
  • Accommodation: Bumi Surabaya City Resort

Depart for Singapore – Day 4

  • Departed Surabaya, Indonesia at 1.35pm, 2hr 15min flight time
  • Arrived Singapore at 5pm (note: Singapore is ahead of Indonesia by 1hr)

Cost breakdown

  • Flight Cost: $296 ($148/pax)
  • 3D2N Tour Cost: 9,000,000 IDR or SGD $775.10 (approx. SGD$388/pax)
  • 1 night hotel stay at Surabaya: SGD$68
  • Miscellaneous (money for use of toilets; meals not covered by tour): SGD 60
  • Total Cost: SGD$1200 (SGD $600/pax)

Packing Tips

  • Do bring a travel adaptor as Indonesia’s power sockets are those with two round pins. As you will be spending quite a lot of time in the car, you may want to bring a power bank if you phone battery runs out quick.
  • For Day 1’s waterfall trip, the weather will be warm and humid. A quick-drying shirt and shorts would be suitable. As you will be walking into the stream with loose rocks, a pair of sandals with a good grip is recommended. There are ponchos for sale at the entrance of the water. However, if you would like to embrace the refreshing waterfall, we recommend you to bring a change of clothes.
Hiking Attire
  • For Day 2’s Mt Bromo trip, the trick is to wear layers. The wait for the sunrise will be very cold (below 10°C), especially when standing at one spot in the wind for over an hour. However, when walking to the Bromo Crater after sunrise, it is rather warm. For those of you not comfortable breathing in the sulphuric fumes from the volcano, do bring a face. Hence, a pair of sunglasses and your jacket’s hoodie will go a long way to protect your face and hair from all the sandy dust. Bring wet wipes to as your belongings, face and hair will turn black from the sand.
  • For Day 3’s Mt Ijen trip, the layering method is the same. As the incline at the start of the hike is rather steep, you will find yourself taking off the layers. When at the summit, the wind is very strong and you will be wearing the jackets to stay warm again. The descent down to Mt Ijen has a lot of loose rocks and sand. A pair of shoes with a strong grip is highly recommended. We wished we were warned of this, as our sport shoes were definitely not adequate for this hike.

Payment methods

  • The restaurants we went to did not accept Apple Pay. They require a physical credit or debit card.
  • We recommend to bring a small amount of cash because the public toilets charge a fee (ranges from 2000-3000 IDR) and some of the smaller shops only accept cash.
  • CheapBromo.com accepts the following payment methods:
    • Cash
    • Wise
    • Revolute
    • Paypal (4.4% surcharge applies)

What to expect on the 3D2N tour?

Before the trip

We decided to go with CheapBromo.com as they ranked #1 for tours and activities to do in Surabaya on TripAdvisor reviews. The tours offered a variety of tours, such as a “single-day sunrise at Mt Bromo trip”, “3D2N to Mt Bromo, Mt Ijen, Madakaripura Waterfalls”, and a “4D3N trip covering Mt Bromo, Mt Ijen, Tumpak Sewu Waterfall and Rainbow Village”.

We contacted CheapBromo.com via Whatsapp and they were very responsive. They recommended that we take the 3D2N tour as the 4D3N would to tiring. Looking back after the trip, this was a fair comment as the hike up Mt Ijen was a tiring one.

We went ahead to confirm the tour and surprisingly there was no need to pay any deposit prior. CheapBromo assured us that the guide will be holding a nameplate when we arrived, and we would receive the guide’s handphone number prior our arrival. We were a little concerned when we did not receive the contact when we boarded the flight. We only received the contact when the plane touched down. Luckily all went smoothly, we managed to meet the guide at the arrival hall. We definitely would have preferred a more formal confirmation of booking (e.g. via email instead of just via whatsapp) and advance communication of the tour guide’s contact.

Day 1

Heading to Madakaripura Waterfall

After meeting the tour guide, everything was a breeze. Rina, our tour guide, was attentive and spoke fluent English. We boarded the 5-seater car, which we would be on the entire trip except for the Mt Bromo sunrise tour. In addition to the tour guide, there was a driver who was accompanying us on most of the trip.

After a 2-hour car ride, our tour guide introduced us to the local guide that will take us to the Madakaripura Waterfall. We then took a 15-minute scooter ride and walked for 30-40mins, before we finally made it to the very grand sight of the Madakaripura Waterfall.

Madakaripura Waterfall
There are two waterfalls. The taller of the two (back) is 200m in height
Madakaripura Waterfall
Photo taken at the bottom of the taller waterfall
Madakaripura Waterfall
To get to the taller waterfall, one need to trek across this narrow path of rocks

Hiking to the Waterfall

It is recommended to bring sandals with a good grip to cross a narrow path of rocks to get to the bottom of the taller waterfall. Regardless, rest assured, as the guide is very skilled, running around in slippers to offer support. What impressed us the most was our guide’s ability to run from one spot to another, up and down the stream to help us capture great photos and videos.

We headed back to the parking spot to meet up with our Cheapbromo tour guide, Rina. We changed out of our wet clothes at the nearby public toilets. To use the toilets, we had to pay a small fee. The conditions of the toilets were not great – not too well-lit and was a squat toilet that did not have a flush. The was a running tap of water and a pail provided to wash your hands and to manually flush the toilet.

Lunch at Bawangan Resto

We then went on another 1hr car ride to our lunch spot. The weather started to turn chilly (approx. 15 degrees) as we were going up the mountains.

Bawangan Bromo Hotel & Resto
The lunch spot also has a beautiful photo spot!

For lunch (not part of the tour package), Rina brought us to Bawangan Bromo Hotel & Resto. Rina said that the Ayam Goreng is popular. Portions were on the small side but the texture of the chicken was really lean and chewy.

Bawangan Resto Ayan Goreng
Ayam Goreng (1/2 chicken)
Bawangan Bromo Resto Mee Goreng
Mee Goreng

We also enjoyed an Indonesian speciality drink called the Happy Soda or “Soda Gembira”, which is a mix of Strawberry Syrup, Carbonated soda, and condensed milk”. It tasted like strawberry calpis!

Alternatively, you could try a similar version where they mixed Coke with condensed milk. This was very sweet.

Between the two we preferred the Happy Soda!

Bawangan Bromo Resto Soda Gembira, Happy Soda
The Happy Soda

First night accommodation at Cafe Lava Hostel

After lunch, we took another 1hr ride and made it to our hotel at around 5 pm. The hotel we stayed in was called Cafe Lava Hostel. We slept at around 7 pm as our Day 2 itinerary starts at 3.15 am.

Cafe Lava Hostel. Hotel at Bromo
Family room at Cafe Lava Hostel, with ensuite toilet

The amenities in the hotel are very old. The only tap is in pic, which was very small in size. The water heating system also boils the shower water with fire!

We also spotted some bugs in the room.

Day 2

Journey to Mt Bromo Sunrise View Point

We met the tour guide at 3.15 am at the hostel lobby and got on our jeep. Rina shared that only licensed jeeps were allowed up the Sunrise viewpoint. The road up the viewpoint was bumpy, so hang on tight! Rina advised we start early to avoid the peak traffic up the mountains.

After a 30-minute ride, we arrived at the top of Mt Penanjakan. The weather was under 10°C. We took shelter at a small hut that served drinks, noodles and snacks.

Drink at Mt Bromo Sunrise view point
Warming ourselves up with a hot drink!
Indomee at Mt Bromo Sunrise view point
Nothing beats having Indomee in the freezing cold!
Goreng Pisang at Mt Bromo Sunrise view point
Goreng Pisang
(Banana Fritters)

Beautiful sunrise view of Mt Bromo

At 5 am, we started our very short 10-minute walk to our sunrise viewing spot.

Mt Bromo crater sunrise view
The view of Bromo Crater was breathtaking! A big plus point: Rina was such a great photographer!

This was a “secret” spot, away from the crowd! It was a mid-point from the summit of Mt Penanjakan. Here is where you need to wrap up, as we stood in the cold for a full 1.5 hours waiting for the sun to rise. The wait was well worth it.

Sunrise at Mt Bromo
Sun rises on the left side of the Mt Bromo crater.
Sunrise at Mt Bromo
Looking down at the crowded viewpoint below. it would have been impossible to take photos without people in it.

Trip across the black sea of sand and up Mt Bromo Crater

After the sunrise, we took the jeep down to the black sea of sand. To get to the Mt Bromo Crater, we had two options: Walk for 20 minutes or ride a pony at a cost. We chose to walk, and it felt like a walk on a beach.

Black sea of sand, Mt Bromo crater
Black sea of sand, Mt Bromo crater

After 20-mins we reached the foot of the Mt Bromo crater. We saw people selling face masks as there would be some sulphuric gas at the summit.

Mt Bromo volcanic crater
The staircase leading up the Mt Bromo crater.
Mt Bromo volcanic crater
View of Mt Bromo crater.

Before we headed back to our hostel for breakfast, the guide let us have a fun photoshoot with the Jeep!

Mt Bromo volcanic crater, Sea of Sand, Jeep
The iconic jeep shot at the black sea of sand!

Second night accommodation at Ijen View hotel

After breakfast and a quick shower, we checked out at 930am. The car ride to our next accommodation took 4 hours. Compared to our first day’s accommodation, Ijen View Hotel was much more modern. The hotel also had a pool.

Ijen view hotel room with two beds
Mt Ijen room
western style ensuite toilet
Ensuite bathroom

After checking into Ijen View Hotel, Rina brought us out for lunch at a nearby restaurant. The tour package includes this meal and we could order a dish and drink from the menu. Rina said this was part of letting us experience local food, which we enjoyed very much

Satae Ayam and Ikan Asam Manis with Nasi Goreng
Satae Ayam and Ikan Asam Manis with Nasi Goreng

Day 3

Journey to Mt Ijen

We checked out from Ijen View Hotel at 12 am and met our tour guide at the hotel lobby. After a 1.5hr car ride, we made it to Ijen hike starting point where we met our local guide. The guide handed us a gas mask and a torch light. This hike was the highlight of our trip! We will have a dedicated post of the hike. Here are some snaps we took!

Blue flame of Mt Ijen
The blue flame: Gases emerge from cracks in the volcano at high pressure and when it comes into contact with air, it combust into these blue flames!
Photospot with trees at Mt Ijen
At the ridges of Mt Ijen crater, there are many of these beautiful trees to frame your pics!
Mt ijen, largest acidic lake in the world
This is the world’s largest acidic lake!
Details of the hike, including elevation, time, distance
A summary of the time and distance we took for the hike, including the elevation.

Journey back to Surabaya

We started making our way back to Surabaya after the hike at 8 am. After a 6-7 hr drive, Rina dropped us at our Surabaya hotel at 2 pm, which marks the end of our adventurous 3D2N tour with CheapBromo. At this point, we were both tired from the hike and ready to enjoy the rest of the day in our hotel.

We chose to stay one more night in Surabaya city to rest up. However, it is possible to take a late afternoon/ evening flight back to Singapore.

3rd night accommodation

This night’s accommodation was not part of CheapBromo’s tour package, and we were free to choose any hotel in Surabaya City. We chose to stay at Bumi Surabaya City Resort due to its excellent reviews on Booking.com, saying it offers a very spacious room, a big garden and a great breakfast buffet selection. After the stay, we can affirm that the reviews were true and enjoyed our break after the hectic 3D2N trip.

Bumi Surabaya City Resort room
Our room
Bumi Surabaya City Resort room view
Room view
Bumi Surabaya City Resort breakfast outdoor
Breakfast outdoor dining area

Day 4

Heading to the airport

We booked a grab at 1030am to Terminal 2 Juanda International Airport. Grab was much cheaper than having the hotel book the ride for you. The 35-minute ride travelled 19.36km and cost 74.000 IDR (approx. SGD $6.40).

This sums up our 4D3N trip to Surabaya. Considering that this is a trip with a lot of car rides, very early morning hikes, we would classify this trip as one of the more tiring ones. This trip also reminded us to travel while we can not when we can, because we are quite sure we would not sign up for this when we are older!

Hope this post was useful in helping you plan your unforgettable getaway to Surabaya, Indonesia. Do check out our ultimate guide to hike Mt Ijen, if that is part of your bucket list! Comment below to share with us your thoughts or if you have any questions. we will try our best to address them

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