Probolinggo is a port town in East Java, surrounded by mountains and the beach, where the locals mostly live through fishing. The highly fertile soil of Probolinggo makes the place known as a land rich in delicious fruit, too. But besides fish and fruit, the surrounding nature also makes the town a destination for great sights. You shouldn’t also forget its interesting culture, molded by its different ethnicities.
If you’re looking for a place where the heights and the cool waters are available in one package, this is the best deal for you. There’s nothing to do but to just get on with it, start traveling and check out the best things to do in and around Probolinggo, Indonesia.
1. Visit Candi Jabung
For those who don’t want to miss a glimpse of a destination’s unique, ancient architecture, you should check out Candi Jabung (Jabung Temple). It is a 14th-century Buddhist temple, located in Jabung Sisir village.
The temple structure, standing with a height of 15.58 meters (51.1 feet), is not the temple itself, but only a surviving part of its inner compound. Beyond its red bricks, there are carved images on the walls, depicting some scenes from Hindu tales and daily activities.
Address: Jabung Candi, Paiton, Probolinggo, East Java 67291, Indonesia
Website: Candi Jabung (Indonesian)
2. Go rafting on the Pekalen River
The Pekalen River is your playground if you want to try out the intensely exciting and heart-stopping rafting available in Probolinggo. This extreme activity offers difficulty levels you can choose from, based on your experience and guts. The river is divided into sections: Top Pekalen (12 km/7.5 miles), middle Pekalen (7 km/4.3 miles), and bottom Pekalen (10 km/6.2 miles). Around 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) of rafting may take 2.5 to 3 hours, including breaks.
Be sure to look first for a reliable rafting agency, to ensure you have experts who can guide you through the rapids. Some of these trusted operators include Songa Adventure and Noars Rafting.
Address: Kav. a-11 Jln. Nginden Semolo 38- 40, Probolinggo 60118, Indonesia
Website: Pekalen River Rafting - Songadventure (Indonesian)
3. Eat green mangoes
Probolinggo is famous for its fruit and one you shouldn’t miss is its delicious mangoes, which can get expensive when bought outside the town. These mangoes are locally known as “mangga manalagi” and you better try them while they’re still unripe. Just look for the green, soft ones, to have a taste of this popular treat.
4. See the sunrise or sunset on Mount Bromo
Mount Bromo is one of the most popular attractions, not only for those visiting Probolinggo, but for the entire country. The volcano sits between Surabaya and Yogyakarta, where tours going to the mountain are all easy to find. For those who want to have easier access to the summit and the crater lake, you can book a tour that’ll take you there via jeep or horseback. But, if you’re the type who wants a workout and a less expensive way of enjoying the volcano, you can also hike up to the peak.
Make sure you have everything planned carefully, as exploring independently, rather than taking a tour, can be tough. Once you’re at the summit, you will understand how Mount Bromo has become a tourist favorite. The sea of clouds and the entire scene of nature’s magnificence will surely ease your weariness.
Address: Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, East Java, Indonesia
Website: Mount Bromo
5. Visit Madakaripura Waterfall
When you’re in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, Madakaripura Waterfall is a highlight you shouldn’t leave for tomorrow’s itinerary. When the weather’s perfect, there’s nothing else you should do, but start the 20-minute hike to the waterfall. Follow the river stream, until you find the tall waterfall at the end of the deep valley, that will surely make you feel tiny in the huge scene.
You won’t really feel the distance, as the few smaller falls along the way will keep you going, before you find yourself in front of the massive site. Look around and notice your sparkling surroundings, as the sunlight hits the wet, green, moss-covered, high walls.
Address: Dusun Branggah, Negororejo, Lumbang, Probolinggo, Jawa Timur 67183
Website: Madakaripura Waterfall
6. Sail to Gili Ketapang Island
Gili Ketapang is a 68-hectare (168-acre) island, located on the northern side of East Java, 8 kilometers (5 miles) away from Probolinggo city. It’s not a usual tourist destination, as there is no accommodation available for those who want to stay for more than a day. However, there are local tourists who still come to camp, enjoy the white sand, and meet the countless goats roaming around the island.
Gili Ketapang Island
Address: Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia
Website: Gili Ketapang Island
7. Find peace at Ranu Agung Lake
If you’re tired of the energy-draining tours and crowds of Mount Bromo, you can take a trip to Ranu Agung Lake. It is around 2.5 hours away by car from Mount Bromo. The lake is a peaceful spot, where you can swim in its cool waters while being surrounded by the green mountains. It’s also considered a favorite camping site.
Ranu Agung Lake
Address: Ranu Agung, Tiris, Andungsari, Tiris, Probolinggo, Jawa Timur 67287, Indonesia
Website: Ranu Agung Lake
8. Take photos at Bentar Beach
Bentar Beach offers a simple view, decorated with hills, mangrove forests, and the beach. The beach is a go-to spot for people who want to spend a lazy day watching the sunrise or sunset. The long pier seems to be an attraction too, for visitors who can’t wait to take photos with their travel squad.
Address: Jalur Pantura, Mayangan, Curahsawo, Gending, Probolinggo, Jawa Timur 67211, Indonesia
Website: Bentar Beach
9. Take a dip in Tiris Hot Spring
If you’re in a place surrounded by volcanoes and mountains, there’s probably an available hot spring, where you can take a dip, to warm up that mind and body, hungry for a relaxing day. Tiris Hot Spring is near Segaran Lake, which you should visit, too.
As the lake contains sulfur, you can enjoy some of the benefits it can offer, such as a lower blood pressure, ease of skin problems, such as eczema, increased immunity, and stronger hair, nails, and skin. But besides all these benefits, there’s no doubt that bathing in a hot spring will provide instant relaxation.
Take it slow in Probolinggo
With all that’s surrounding Probolinggo, the only problem you’ll have is how to visit all the attractions. Savor the goodness of every step in every mountain hike, the first few seconds your toes dip in that hot spring water, and the days you’ve learned something new. Later on, you’ll realize that Probolinggo is nature’s gift to the people, especially to those who come from the busiest cities, to tell them that they better chill and relax - even just for a few days.