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Kawah Ijen volcano is mostly visited by day when the miners are working. But if you look for "Kawah Ijen" in Google Images, a lot of blue lava images appear (is not lava really). I'd like to see this myself, going very early in the morning (3 or 4 o'clock) so I can see the blue lava at night, the dawn and the first miners coming to work.

Question: does it happens every night? is it visible to the naked eye or only in the pictures?

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You typically want to enter (yes, there is a kind of park entrance) Kawa Ijen as early as possible in order to avoid the dozens of people arriving by organized tours.

I entered at 1am & it felt just fine.

The best way to visit this amazing place is to do it on your own. You can then start as early as possible and take as much time as you like to enjoy the crater. And you will only spend a fraction of what a tour would cost you.

You can get to the entrance of Kawa Own by your own means, either by rented motorbike or rented car. See how to do it with a rented motorbike Banyuwangi to Kawa Ijen by motorbike, possible?

This is probably the best way to enjoy Kawa Ijen:

  • Hike up to the crater, just follow the path & the workers. Get a mask to protect yourself from the sulfur smoke
  • Enjoy the blue flames & the fascinating workers "in action"
  • Hike back out of the crater & enjoy the turquoise lake
  • Sit facing the sunrise (crater will be behind you) & the limitless sea horizon. Have some biscuits/fruits you took with you & take more stunning pics
  • Hike back down to the entrance of the park
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You should be able to observe the blue flame each night, as it's the temperature of the flame and the substances burning. However, this is nature, nothing is guaranteed.

Saying that, it is reliable enough that there are tours built around it. For example, the Paket Kawah Igen Blue Fire Tour. It's in Indonesia, but running it through Google Translate, their 2 day package sounds right:

2 Day Tour Package Blue Fire Kawah Ijen Tour - Surabaya / Malang Ijen Blue Fire Tour begins at 01:30 AM EDT up and preparation to the Post Paltuding which is the entrance to the crater Tourism. The journey from the inn to the Post Paltuding estimated 45 minutes, and proceed to the location of Blue Fire Kawah Ijen by climbing or trekking around 3 km, with takes about 2 hours, attempted to arrive at the location of the crater before sunrise, so he could see the blue flame that still lights up. Once satisfied explore the charm and beauty of blue fire Ijen crater and surrounding tourist, back to Paltuding and drive to lodge / hotel for a shower and breakfast. Furthermore, check out the hotel and went on a trip back home to Surabaya, about 18:00 pm was already in Surabaya / poor and programs Ijen Crater Package Tour Blue Fire ended.

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