Encounter orangutans up close and personal, trek in the jungle of national parks, chill out on Lake Samosir.
Tour description provided by G Adventures
If the only thing you think of when you hear “Sumatra” is “coffee,” then we need to have a chat. If you’re looking to plunge right into a nature-filled adventure with orangutans aplenty, here’s where you’ll want to be for two weeks of city touring, hiking, and having a great time bonding with your fellow travellers. We’re pretty sure you’ll agree that everything is a highlight in Sumatra.
Day 1 Medan
Arrive at any time. There will be a welcome meeting around 6 or 7pm on this evening with your Chief Experience Officer (CEO). Please look for a welcome note upon arrival to the joining hotel for the exact time of the meeting.
Medan is Indonesia's third largest city and is comprised of many different ethnic groups, contributing to a wide variety of mouth-watering foods.
Day 2-3 Bukit Lawang (2B)
Tour Medan in the morning of Day 2, visiting Maimoon Palace, the Great Mosque and the Vihara Gunung Timur temple. In Bukit Lawang, visit the orangutan viewing platform, and opt to go jungle trekking in Gunung Leuser National Park.
An orangutan rehabilitation centre was set up in 1973 to help orangutans released from captivity to learn the skills they will need in the wild. Once they are released into the wild, they are monitored and still provided with some supplementary food until they're 100% ready to fend for themselves. We visit this feeding platform when they are being fed.
Gunung Leuser National Park is located nearby and a great place to do some wildlife trekking in this large jungle park.
Approximate distance: 100 km
Estimated travel time: 5 hours (including stops)
Day 4-5 Tangkahan (2B)
Traverse bumpy roads to reach the small jungle community of Tangkahan. Opt to participate in an elephant feeding session or go hiking.
This tiny, remote village was practically built on the logging trade in the 1980s and 1990s, because the people became aware of the damages by such activity. They collectively decided to stop illegal logging and transform the area into an functional, self-sustained ecotourism destination. So in April 2001 the community banded together to form the Tangkahan Tourist Institute (Lembaga Pariwisata Tangkahan - LPT) and fixed regulations prohibiting the exploitation of the surrounding rainforest. So the Conservation Response Unit (CRU) was born - a team of Sumatran elephants and their mahouts that helps safeguard the national park to protect it from encroachment. When its bath time at the elephant camp on the outskirt of Gunung Leuser National Park tourists are allowed to help. By joining the elephants by their afternoon bathing you will support this local initiative.
Approximate distance: 50 km
Estimated travel time: 3 hours
Day 6-7 Berastagi (2B)
Orientation walk upon arrival. Opt to hike a volcano or tour traditional villages.
Originally developed around 1920 as a Dutch hill base in the Karo highlands, the cooler weather and surrounding smoking volcanoes make this destination ideal for weekending Medan residents and travellers alike. Berastagi is also known for their myriad flowers, fruits and vegetables piled high at the local markets. Explore further afield and check out examples of traditional Karo Batak architecture.
On your free day, opt to hike up Sibayak volcano for sunrise and take in the stunning view of the valley. Free afternoon with the option to visit the local hot springs.
Approximate distance: 160 km
Estimated travel time: 8 hours (including stops)
Day 8-9 Samosir Island (2B)
Travel to the world's largest volcano lake, Lake Toba. Situated in the centre of Lake Toba, Samosir has all the features of a resort area but still retains a rustic charm and relaxed atmosphere. You have a free day here with options to relax or explore the area. Chill out and swim in the warm waters of the lake or opt for some culture by visiting local Batak villages to see traditional Batak houses and the tombs in Tomok.
Approximate distance: 190 km
Estimated travel time: 8 hrs (including stops)
Day 10 Sipirok (1B)
Take a boat across the lake then set off by private van towards Siporok. Stop off at local villages visiting weavers and a markets en route to this beautiful hilltop town surrounded by rice fields and mountains. Enjoy an orientation walk around Sipirok upon arrival.
Approximate distance: 200 km
Estimated travel time: 9 hrs (including stops)
Day 11-12 Bukittinggi (2B)
Orientation walk upon arrival after a long travel day with a few stops to break up the journey. Free day to go rafting, kayaking, visit Sianok Canyon or check out the Japanese Caves built during World War II. The Sianok Canyon is located just outside of town and offers breathtaking views of the canyon with Mount Singgalang in the background.
Bukittinggi is a city of approximately 100,000 people located in the Minangkabau Highlands and is a good jumping off point for nearby activities.
Approximate distance: 400 km
Estimated travel time: 12 hrs (including stops)
Day 13 Maninjau (1B)
Transfer down to the beautiful crater lake of Maninjau. Enjoy the slow pace of life and do not miss the sunset!
There are several small villages along the lake that are perfect for experiencing the rural lifestyle in Sumatra. A waterfall is located about a half an hour outside of town along a steep (and sometimes slippery) path.
Approximate distance: 30 km
Estimated travel time: 2 hrs
Day 14 Padang (1B)
Transfer to Padang where the tour ends upon arrival in the late morning.
Approximate distance: 150 km
Estimated travel time: 3 hrs