ON THE ROAD BETWEEN BROMO AND IJEN: THE MARGO UTOMO PLANTING
220 kilometers in 4:30, this is the program of our afternoon on the Indonesian roads, from Bromo to Kalibaru. We have booked two double rooms at the Margo Utomo Agro Resort. They are located in small bungalows set amidst lush tropical vegetation, flowers and very well maintained. With a large pool as a bonus, this resort looks luxurious but is actually very affordable.
There is the possibility of taking a guided tour of the plantation. Our guide, whose smile never leaves his face, explains and shows us how we grow coffee, cocoa, nutmeg, vanilla etc. It makes us feel everything, even taste it when possible. Coffee beans drying in the sun. So, when she makes me smell the cinnamon with her eyes closed without telling what it is, I immediately makes an association of idea: “Mmmh, it smells like cake”! Then an employee admires the children by climbing the coconut palms with bare hands and feet, as easily as if it were a staircase, to pick up some coconuts.
Then the guide shows us teak… in the form of trees. It also shears the bark of a rubber tree, the famous “rubber tree”: children are captivated by this substance which transforms in a few seconds into latex. We end the visit by the oven above which boils coconut juice, which we have the right to taste and which is a pure delight.
In short, a superb little lesson in things that this guided tour, perfectly suited to children but also to adults. In the afternoon, we leave for Banyuwangi where we will spend the night, and which will be our starting point in the early morning for the excursion to Kawah Ijen (which means “crater of Ijen”).
How to get there ?
By car : the plantation is located in Kalibaru, on the southern road from Bromo to Ijen (via Jember). It is an ideal stopover between the two volcanoes.
Accommodation : Margo Utomo Eco/Agro Resort (in Kalibaru, East Java: not to be confused with the Margo Hill View Resort, which is part of the same group and located nearby).
→ The price : low season $. 40/night for the double room, breakfast included, and $. 50/night for high season. The exotic garden is lush and particularly pleasant. The height of happiness for children: there is a large swimming pool surrounded by tropical vegetation.
Address: Jl. Lap. No. 10, Kalibaru Kulon, Kalibaru, Kabupaten Banyuwangi, Jawa Timur 68467. Tel +62 333 897700
The Margo Utomo plantation
→ Visit of the plantation – There are two ways to tour the plantation (“Aroma tour – Spice gardens”): the one hour guided tour and the two hour one. We chose the one hour, which lasted almost double thanks to the very available guide.
→ Catering – We have tasted a delicious warung on the road which crosses the city (leaving the enclosure of the plantation, take the path on the left, then turn right at the first crossing; arriving a little further on the road main road which crosses the city, the warung is located a hundred meters on the left). It’s delicious and it only costs a handful of euros for four meals, the Chinese boss is welcoming and as in all warungs, we had very nice meetings there.