Ijen Crater is the biggest crater lake in Java. Ijen plateau or known as 'Kawah Ijen' is highly recommended to mountain buffs and hikers. The vast, otherworldly Ijen Plateau is located in eastern Java and is dominated by three cones: Ijen (2,368 meters), Merapi (2,800 meters), and Raung (3,332 meters). The main attraction is undoubtedly the Ijen Crater where visitors come to marvel at the iconic, dancing blue flames, as well as the largest acidic lake in the world.
The blue fire is ignited sulfuric gas, which emerges from cracks at temperatures up to 600 °C (1,112 °F). The flames can be up to five meters (16 feet) high; some of the gas condenses to liquid and is still ignited. It is the largest blue flame area in the world and local people refer to it as Api Biru (Blue Fire).
The view of sulfur miners who climb and go down to the crater is also amazing. A man puts about 10 kg of yellowish stone in to his basket, before he descends the mountain slope to sell his load, carrying the same basket, going in the same direction, digging the same mineral. It is the natural picture that can be seen everyday.
How to get there?
There are two gateways to Ijen Crater: Banyuwangi (from the east) and Bondowoso (from the west). Banyuwangi is the recommended starting point, and easily the most popular, thanks to its better roads and closer proximity. To get here, you can fly to Blimbingsari Airport—which has connections to Jakarta and Surabaya—or hop on a train or bus to the center of town. If you’re coming from Bali, make your way to Gilimanuk, the westernmost tip of Bali, and take the ferry to Ketapang Harbour in Banyuwangi. The ferry runs 24 hours and takes around half an hour. From Banyuwangi, the starting point of the hike is around an hour and a half’s drive away (prepare for a bumpy ride!).
Source: https://www.fodors.com/, https://www.eastjava.com/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ijen, unsplash, pixabay