Banyuwangi / Ketapeng Travel Guide

Basically the link between Bali and Java Islands, Banyuwangi and Ketapeng aren’t exactly tourist towns.  However, nearly every tourist moving between the islands will invariably find themselves here.  Chances are you’re probably just zipping through between locations, but if you are hoping to chill out for a day to break up your trip, it’s a decent enough place to do so.  You won’t need to set aside much time for exploring, but you won’t be hard done by if you need to crash here a night either.


Things to Do and See in Banyuwangi or Ketapeng

As the introduction to the city might have noted, there really isn’t anything to do or see in town.  Most people just crash the night and move on.  There are, however, a couple interesting places to see including the mosque which is in Ketapeng near the ferry terminal.  There are also a couple impressive mosques in Banyuwangi.

Where to Eat in Banyuwangi or Ketapeng

You’ll find ample street food in both of the cities.  Lots of places serve Bakso (chicken meatballs in soup), which is a favourite of mine.  If you’re looking for something a little bit more upscale check out the Manyar Hotel which has a nice restaurant with everything from local dishes to steaks that come out sizzling on a hot plate.

Where to Stay in Banyuwangi or Ketapeng

If you’re just looking for a place to crash for the night in transit, then you’re better off staying in Ketapeng.  Banyuwangi is about 7 kilometers away from the train, ferry, and bus terminal which all actually stop in Ketapeng despite the fact that Banyuwangi is the bigger of the two.

I stayed at Manyar Hotel which is a nice enough resort which cost $17 for a double room with a bathroom, air conditioning, hot shower, and nice breakfast.  It’s great value if you can afford it.  In Banyuwangi, there are plenty of homestays available, although most are fairly basic. Right in the center of town, Hotel Baru is your best bet for budget travels in the city.

Getting out of Town

Getting out of Town is easy enough, it’s getting around town that will make you want to pull your hair out.  As soon as taxis see you, they see dollars.  Beware.  You might ask for a ride to the train station, they might still take you to tour offices looking for commission.  Be stern, you shouldn’t pay more than 5,000 anywhere in town.

The train station, bus station, and ferry terminal are all right nearby, and getting to each destination below is fairly easy.

  • Kuta: You can get to Kuta by catching the ferry and then finding transport on the other side.  There should be minibuses making the run fairly regularly.
  • Lovina: Same as Kuta.  Get across and then jump in a red or white minibus toward Lovina.  The minibus will cost about 50,000 per person.  Alternatively, you might be able to catch a taxi for about 250,000 total to Lovina.
  • Subraya: The train goes 3 or 4 times a day and takes about 5 1/2 hours.
  • Probolinggo: Same train as Subraya, but only takes 4 hours.
  • Bromo: Catch the train to Probolinggo and then head to the bus station and catch a bison to Cemoro Lawag.  You can also go to a tour office in Probolinggo and catch their shuttles.  You might also be able to get a taxi, I got one for 250,000 from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang.

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