Istood on a yard-wide path as the ground shook beneath me – on one side, a craggy cliff, on the other a caldera burning with smoke and ash – as I tried to control the drone. The thought crossed my mind that I could have – should have – just filmed all this before climbing to the volcano’s edge.

Seas of ash, a precipitous caldera, and views of the tallest mountain in Java – Bromo is perhaps the most famous active volcano in Java. However, with insider access to lesser-known locations and proper timing, Gunung Bromo can be experienced in peace.

The first question most have about visiting a volcano is, “Does it erupt?” In Bromo’s case, the answer is yes, most recently in 2015. The dramatic eruption in 2011 shot ash 18,000 feet into the air. These thoughts are never far from the mind when one feels the vibrations underfoot throughout climbing the ridge.

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