Mt. Ijen is an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia. Mt. Ijen is one of the volcanoes that surround the Ijen Plateau. Mt. Ijen and it's plateau are famous tourist's attraction for those who would like to go a bit of the beaten track. Besides, sulphur miners earn their living at the volcano.

Trekking to Mt. Ijen

It is just a 3 km hike from Paltuding, the parking area, to Ijen crater lake. Despite the short distance, it takes about 75 minutes to get to the lake as slopes are very steep. The scenery makes it worthwhile to take your time. Besides, you will meet sulphur miners on your way to the top.

Sulphur miners work at Mt. Ijen

Sulphur miners are incredible strong people, who work under harsh conditions to earn their living. The sulphur is mined early morning. Sulphuric liquids escape from the volcano and solidify after it cooled down. This sulphur is then carried up the crater rim and down to the sulphur weighing station near the parking lot, where you start trekking. These sulphur miners carry once or twice daily a load between 80 and 100 kg.

Coffee plantations at the Ijen Plateau

At the Ijen plateau, coffee trees are being planted and coffee berries being harvested for over more than 100 years. The coffee plantations were established during the Dutch colonial era as well as the two coffee factories that both are still in production. Other remnants from the colonial period can still be found, such as writings, layout of the plantation and houses.

Sulphur miners are supermen. They work under harsh conditions, e.g. lot of sulphuric smoke which makes it hard to breath without gas masks, and carry heavy loads of between 80 and 100 kg. Their bamboo baskets filled with solidified sulphur cut their flesh and leave their marks. It is astonishing that on the one end of the world people work under certified circumstances, while in Indonesia working conditions aren't yet human.

The history of coffee goes back as far as the 10th century. The native origin of coffee is thought to have been Ethiopia. The earliest substantiated evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree is from the 15th century. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey, Horn of Africa, and northern Africa. Coffee then spread to the Balkans, Italy and to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and then to America.

History of the coffee plantation at the Ijen Plateau

The history of the coffee plantations at the Ijen Plateau doesn't date back as far as the 10th century. The plateau was deforested at the end of the 19th century. The abolition of the Cultivation System in 1870 was the go-ahead to transform the Ijen Plateau into a coffee plantation.

Working at the coffee plantation Blawan and Kalisat

Picking coffee is seasonal work from May till August, for which a lot of people live temporarily at the plantation. People are divided into groups, which makes them specialized in what they do. After peak season the seasonal workers return home.

Coffee growing process at the Ijen Plateau

Coffee is sown in greenhouses in Blawan. The seedlings will grow till an age of 1 year, before they are planted in the fileds. A coffee plant bears flowers after three years. After another two years, the first coffee can be harvested. If the harvest per hectare is too low, the beans are picked but not processed.

Processing beans at the coffee factory Blawan

After the berries are hand picked, they are collected in the factory. Here the berries undergo a long process before they finally become coffee.

Choose your city of departure to explore the available first class tours to the Ijen Plateau and Ijen crater lake. Please, feel free to get in contact to adjust your tour to your wishes.

Tours can start actually anywhere, but the tours described at start either in Denpasar (Bali), Surabaya, Yogyakarta or Jakarta. These options give you an idea of the possibilities within a certain time-frame.

Every now and then likes to share highlights in a special kind of way. One way to do that is to make a tour with a special price, we call that "promo". Please, check your extra advantages with in our promo-tours.

East Java has a lot to offer to both national and international travelers. The landscape is divers as are its cultures.

The Ijen Plateau is a coffee plantation, but has more to offer than coffee and all the facets related to it. Nature still is an abundant phenomenon at the Plateau and gives you some wonderful sites.

As you have many sights to visit at the Ijen Plateau, some interesting products can make your tour even better. Thus, good to know which products can be found on the Ijen Plateau.

Ijen Plateau and the crater lake: access, accommodation, photos and points of interest.