Welcome to paradise of Sumatra!
Located in western Indonesia, Sumatra is the sixth largest island in theworld, stretching some 2000kms and covering 473,607 sq km.
An island of diverse cultures, breathtaking mountains, lakes and rivers, almost 100 volcanoes spread along the range of the Bukit Barisan mountains, Sumatra’s backbone, Sumatra’s tropical climate is home to many rare and endangered species as well as its 50 million people (2010), from the Malays, to the former head-hunters of the Batak regions, the matrilineal Minangkabau and the indigenous groups of Pulau Nias and the Mentawai Islands.
Rich in natural resources, the majority of Indonesia’s export income is generated through oil and natural gas, followed by rubber, palm oil and timber. Demand for these resources has led to the clearance of large areas of Sumatra’s original rainforest for plantations, although areas do remain, among them Gunung Leuser in the north and Kerinci in the central west.
Sumatra is one of the world’s last remaining strongholds of the orangutan, with around 7,300 still left in the wild. Although protected, the orangutan still remains under threat from illegal hunting and habitat destruction.
The best time to visit is during the dry season of May-Sept with June/July being the most popular months for tourists.
In Sumatra there are many places of interest to visit. From the forests of Bukit Lawang with its many great apes, to the serene natural beauty of Tangkahan and its Sumatran elephants, to laid-back Lake Toba, Indonesia’s largest lake, with Samosir Island at its heart and the volcanoes of Berastagi, Sibayak and Sinabung mountains, to Bukittinggi’s cultural heritage, to its many snorkel and dive sites including Pulau Weh, or surfing havens such as Pulau Nias.
And finally any trip to Sumatra is not complete without sampling some of its many culinary delights from local specialities to street food.
Don’t miss trekking…not only for backpackers, trekking is an adventure not to be missed. Full of its own challenges and rewards, there is nothing dangerous or difficult about the jungle. So if you’re interested in fully immersing yourself in nature, why not give jungle trekking a try?
If you are ready to travel in Sumatra, or have any questions, please contact us.
A truly incredible journey awaits you in Sumatra.
Why book with us?
We aim to make your trip to Sumatra a more colourful and interesting experience.
We cater for all budgets, making sure that with our standard price you get more than just standard facilities. With our team of approved local partners, we are able to secure the best price which we then pass on to you.
Our team of local experts are dedicated to helping you plan your perfect trip, whether you need travel information or transport booked, would like to book one of our recommended tours or would like a bespoke tour created for you. We work with you to build a tour that works best for you, removing the hassle and stress out of planning your trip.
So whether you want to visit North Sumatra or venture further afield, we can provide all the necessary arrangements to make your trip truly magical.
Tangkahan (‘the lost paradise’) is a village located just 2 hours drive from Bukit Lawang. Famous for its protected Sumatran elephants, it also offers a natural unspoilt environment where you can experience a unique jungle adventure together with elephants, from washing and feeding them to trekking with them through the jungle.
As well as being used for trekking, the elephants also have an important job in the CRU (Conservation Response Unit), patrolling the national park and preventing illegal activities such as poaching, encroachment and illegal logging.
The easiest way to get to Tangkahan is by private taxi or bike from Bukit Lawang or as part of a day tour. Alternatively, you can take public transport from Medan Pinang Baris Terminal.
Located in the Karo Highlands, Berastagi, meaning ‘rice store’, is a lovely tourist town known for its various kinds of flowers, vegetables & fruits specifically the ‘Marquisa’ passion fruit.
Located 66kms southwest of Medan, Berastagi’s main attractions are its two active volcanoes Mt. Sibayak, with its hot springs & Mt. Sinabung.
At 2094m, Mt. Sibayak is one of Indonesia’s most accessible volcanoes for trekking. The round trip can be completed in five hours. A guide is not essential but is highly recommended, especially if you’re trekking alone as trails are not well marked.
As of June 2015, Mt. Sinabung has been actively erupting so hiking is not possible at this time.
Berastagi is a 5 hour drive from Bukit Lawang, and is a good place to stop to break up your journey to Lake Toba.
Created by the eruption of a super volcano 75,000 years ago, Lake Toba is not only the largest lake in Indonesia but also the largest volcanic lake in the world.
Samosir Island, an island as big as Singapore, sits in the middle of the lake, surrounded by the crater edge of the volcano.
The village of Tuk Tuk, popular with tourists for its local Batak culture, is situated on a small peninsula on the island.
Samosir Island can be explored easily in a day by mountain bike or bike. A must see is the historic town of Ambarita, famous for its Minangkabau style Batak houses. One of the houses doubles as a small museum where you can learn more about the history of the town.
Take the ferry across the lake, enjoying the picturesque views of the traditional Batak style cabins with their cane roofs, and lakeside private pool, to visit the local traditional markets of Parapat on the mainland. Whilst there, stock up on supplies at the local shops and make use of the banking facilities.
Located on the west coast of Sumatra, situated in the area of Teluk Tapian Nauli, this small town has an area of approximately 35.36 square kilometers.
350 kms from Medan, Sibolga is a good place to stop, before continuing your journey onto Mursala, Nias Island, West Sumatra, and Aceh.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra, Pulau Nias is famous for its surfing, beautiful beaches and unique culture.
The largest of the 131 island Nias archipelago, Pulau Nias is best known for its War Dances, manhood ritual Stone Jumping, and the haunting beauty of its music.
Banda Aceh (Pulau Weh)
Located at the tip of Sumatra, Pulau Weh is a popular tourist destination.
Famous for its Kilometer Zero monument, the point at which Indonesia officially begins, Pulau Weh has much more to offer with over 60 square kilometres of government designated nature reserves.
Sabang, the largest city on the island, is divided into Upper Town, with its Dutch colonial buildings, and Lower Town, a traditional settlement with many shops, restaurants and cafes serving the famous Aceh coffee.
The best way to see all 156.3 square kilometers of Pulah Weh is by bike or car.
Aceh's West Coast (Pulau Banyak)
Located in the region of Singkil, Pulau Banyak's coral islands have something for everyone with fantastic beaches, snorkeling spots, natural forests, local food and simple accommodation that blends in with the nature.
Relax in an eco-resort on Palambak with its panoramic ocean views, blue skies, white sands and swaying palms. Snorkel at Tailana or island hop amongst some of the 99 islands-Sun Island, Balong, Tambarat, Lizard, Pabisi, Lambodong, Long, Sikandang, Ashokand Ragu Island-all of them beautiful.
West Sumatra (Padang)
Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province, is located on the west coast close to the sea, surrounded by hills.
Most of the population is ethnic Padang Minangkabau and has a distinctive culture.
Padang, a city rich in culinary flavours, is also famous for the beautiful detailing of its traditional cloth fabric, songket.
Visit Padang and sample its rendang, watch the sunset at Sweet Water Beach or visit Anai Valley and enjoy the atmosphere of a typical mountain nature reserve.
Once the capital of the Republic of Indonesia and an important area in Dutch Colonial times, Bukittinggi, ‘high hill’ is the largest city in West Sumatra.
Located 108 kms north of Padang, the city is surrounded by Mount Singgalang, Mount Marapi and Mount Sago, and offers exotic scenery and culture to tourists.
6 cultural sights not to be missed are Lembah Anai, Jam Gadang, Lubang Jepang, Ngarai Sianok, Fort de Kock and Baanjuang Traditional Ho
Lembah Anai Waterfall
Part of the protected nature reserve area of the Anai Valley, Lembah Anai, which lies between Padang and Bukittinggi, is surrounded by tropical forest and diverse species of flora and fauna.
Built in 1926, during the Dutch colonial era, as a gift from the Queen to the city, the Clock Tower is a very popular landmark, popular with locals and tourists alike.
One of the unique features of the Clock Tower is that the number four is written as IIII (instead of the Roman numerals IV) representing the four workers who died whilst constructing the building.
Located in the Mount Sianok canyon, this cave was said to have been used by the Japanese as a defense during World War II and the Greater East Asia War in 1942.
Based 40 metres below the canyon, there are 21 tunnels, of which one was used as a torture chamber for prisoners.
Located in Mount Singgalang, the canyon’s steep valley stretches up to 15 kms, with a depth of 200 metres.
Often compared to the Grand Canyon, Ngarai Sianok is best experienced from the lookout point of Panorama Park or by kayak/canoe on the crystal clear river that flows through the canyon.
Fort de Kock
A former Dutch colonial fortress, built on Mount Jirek, Fort de Kock was originally named Sterrenschans, before being renamed by a Dutch military figure, Hendrik Merkus de Kock.
A few years later, the land around the fort was developed into a city that shared the name Fort de Kock. In 1949, this city became known as Bukittinggi.
Baanjuang Traditional House Museum
Founded by Mondelar Countrolleur in 1935, the museum takes the form of a traditional house, built with wooden walls and floors. The museum houses important collections of ethnography, coins and strange preserved animals.
The museum also has miniature replicas of longhouses, a restaurant and a mosque.
Located 36 kms west of Bukittinggi, Lake Maninjau is a crater lake formed by the eruption of Mount Merapi.
The second largest lake in West Sumatra (after Lake Batur), measuring 16 kms long, 7 kms wide and 105 metres deep, Lake Maninjau is surrounded by hills. The beauty of this lake can also be seen from the height of Puncak Lawang.
From the summit plateau of Puncak Lawang, the blue Lake Maninjau can be seen. Located in District Matur, Agam, West Sumatra, Puncak Lawang is located 1,210 metres above sea level. Historically used as a resting place for the Dutch nobility, it is now often used for international class paragliding championships.
Mentawai has many beautiful islands with large waves, ideal for surfing. Since 1990, tourists have flocked to Mentawai, to see what the home of the world’s third best waves has to offer.
Mentawai is a cluster of small islands located to the west of Sumatra, with Siberut the largest of the islands. The other major islands are Sipura (home to the capital district of Tua Pejat), North Pagai and South Pagai.
The Mentawai tribe live in traditional longhouses called uma, speak their own Mentawai language and live a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
Mentawai is home to twenty endemic species and five endemic primates including the Mentawai gibbon, Mentawai macaque and Mentawai leaf monkey.
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