East Java’s Ijen Crater reopens to tourists - Tourism Indonesia




Wednesday, July 15, 2020

East Java’s Ijen Crater reopens to tourists

Ijen Crater Nature Tourism Park in East Java. (Shutterstock/Mazur Travel)

Ijen Crater, which lies on the border of Banyuwangi and Bondowoso regencies in East Java, reopened for tourism on Saturday. 

R Tjahjo Widodo, the head of the Jember V Regional Coordinating Agency (Bakorwil), said the opening would comply with the health protocols set by the Environment and Forestry Ministry. 

Tourism in the area had been on hiatus since March 16 to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

The reopening of the crater follows the reopening of other tourist destinations in the country, which have marched on with plans despite the ongoing pandemic.

As quoted by kompas.com, Tjahjo said both the Banyuwangi and Bondowoso administrations had sent out teams to monitor the reopening and ensure that all tourist activities complied with COVID-19 prevention standards.

Before the pandemic, Ijen Crater attracted approximately 500 tourists daily. That number could increase to 4,000 visitors during long holidays.

The destination is famous for its acidic, 1-kilometer-wide turquoise crater lake and its electric blue flames. It is one of only two places in the world where such flames occur. The other is Dallol mountain in Ethiopia.

To reach the attractions, tourists hike for two hours to reach the rim of the crater and then descend for 45 minutes to the bottom of the crater. To reach the bottom at the most picturesque time, visitors usually start the hike at midnight.

The pandemic has caused Indonesian tourism to suffer greatly as travel remains difficult and destinations remain closed. Local tour guides and businesses that rely on tourist arrivals have lost sometimes overwhelming portions of their income. (JakartaPost)

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