The Ijen crater and surrounding national park have been closed to tourists and locals following emissions of toxic gas from the volcano at the end of March. The mountain, which is a 2,368m active volcano located near Banyuwangi in East Java, is currently off-limits to visitors, whilst tests are conducted to determine the degree of danger posed by the recent emissions.
On 23rd March, an official statement was released by Dr Nandang Prihadi, Indonesia’s Directorate General of Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems for East Java, regarding the closure of Ijen:
“There has been a high concentration a smoke and toxic sulphur fumes and gases in the area of Ijen Crater Natural Park. In order to minimize negative impacts, activity at Ijen Crater Natural Park will be closed, starting from 23rd March, 2018 until a deadline that is as yet undetermined.”
In adherence to the statement from the Directorate General, members of the local community, visitors, tourists, climbers and miners have all been barred from going near the crater since 23rd March. No injuries or incidents involving tourists have been reported before or since the closure.
A selection of alternative locations in the vicinity of the national park can offer visitors a range of alternatives to climbing the iconic mountain, should it stay closed long enough to interfere with scheduled itineraries. Red Island, Alas Purwo National Park and Plengkung beach (known as one of the best surfing beaches in the world) are a few of the options available to travellers in the region. Mount Bromo also remains an alternative for trekkers intent on climbing Indonesia’s spectacular volcano peaks.
Despite the closure, Mount Ijen remains classified as “Normal”, or “Level 1”, suggesting that no eruptions or significant increase in seismic activity are expected. This status also bodes well for hopes that the mountain will soon be re-opened to the public.
We will continue to update our agents and clients with new information as soon as it becomes available.