Coming from the hike on Ijen, we had no place to stay so we booked a train to Probolinggo and had plans to move onto Bromo before the day was over. We got to Probolinggo somewhat late and instead of spending the night there and waiting for the local bus we tried to take a van from an agency. Big mistake.
We ended up getting taken for some money by an elaborate system of scams in the Bromo area. But if you take a van from a travel agency you'll pay an exhorbitant fee of 217,500 IDR to enter the park and they will most likely try to trick you in other ways too.
We declined to enter the park and stayed just outside the entrance at a hotel that is clearly prepared for people in our situation. Dirty bed, ice cold showers, and apathetic staff for 450,000 IDR.
We were with some other people who ended up proceeding into the park and they also got scammed in numerous ways: fake entrance fees, fake homestays, drivers charge a high fee then only take you halfway and insist that their friends (who wait there ready for you) have to take you up the rest of the way by horse.
However, part of the group did perservere, walking up the trail themselves and later emailed us reporting that they had a great time despite the volcano itself being closed due to geothermal activity.
If you have time and patience I would recommend taking the local bus from Probolinggo to Bromo in the morning which allows you the time to wait for a full bus (meaning price is a respectable 35-50K IDR) and avoid paying park entrance fee. When you arrive you'll have time to shop around for a homestay instead of taking the first one that you find.
Then, once you hike up the mountain on your own and enjoy the sunrise, tell me how it was! 😁