Holiday Details

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  • North Sumatra Explored



    6 Nights - 7 Days - island of Sumatra, magnificent

    Day 1 - Medan (Kuala Namu Airport) - Parapat - Local ferry to Samosir (L)

    Arrive at Medan Kuala Namu International Airport by morning flight from Jakarta. Your local English speaking guide and private vehicle with driver will meet you outside the arrival area of the airport.

    Recommended flight (Not included and quoted separately– Tariffs and schedule subject to change without prior notice):

    Domestic: From Jakarta to Medan by Garuda Indonesia GA182 departing at 07:50 and arriving at 10:15 or GA184 departing at 08:55 and arriving 11:20.

    Leave Kuala Namu Airport and proceed to Parapat via Tebing Tinggi and Pematang Siantar. Drive over a scenic road with magnificent views over estate plantations of rubber and palm oil.

    Lunch will be served on the way at a local restaurant in Pematang Siantar.

    In the afternoon continue your drive to Parapat, a small town on the shore of Lake Toba.

    In the late afternoon you will board the local ferry for the short boat trip to Samosir Island (estimated departure time subject to change at 17:30, 1 hour between Parapat and Tomok on Samosir Island).

    This small island is located in the middle of Lake Toba, the caldera lake of the Toba Volcano, which was formed over 75,000 years ago. It is the largest volcanic lake in the world.

    Direct transfer to your hotel located in Tuk Tuk Peninsula in Samosir Island (15mn drive from Tomok) for check in and where you will have time to refresh after your journey.

    Dinner at leisure.

    Overnight in Samosir.

    Distances and travel times:

    Kuala Namu Airport – Parapat (160 km): 5 hours  approximately

    Parapat – Tomok in Samosir Island by local Ferry: 1 hour

    Day 2 - Samosir Island (B,L)

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Today you will spend a full day exploring Lake Toba.

    You ll leave Tuk Tuk with your private car and driver accompanied by your guide and proceed to Ambarita.

    Samosir’s most interesting Batak Toba village known for its unique stone chairs tribunal and execution stones – beautiful architecture – can be reached by land or by boat

    Drive to Simanindo where you’ll be treated to a performance of a traditional Batak Toba dance called Tor-Tor (once a day at 10:30 AM – 45 minutes long) and visit the traditional village and its small Batak museum.

    From Simanindo, we continue along the Eastern shore of Samosir Island to Pangururan, the small capital of Samosir (1 hour boat trip off beaten track – for GIT only).

    Your driver and vehicle will be waiting in Panguruan where you will continue by car to Tele a rarely visited area located on the mainland in the Southern Shore of Lake Toba accessible after crossing a small bridge followed by a 30 minutes drive up the mountain: The view over Samosir Island and Lake Toba from the Observatory tower in Tele is simply breathtaking and the best one you can get over Lake Toba.  

    On the way back to Tuk Tuk via Pangururan stop alongside the road for observing the traditional weaving (daily except Wednesdays where the woman are attending Pangururan weekly market).

    Note: for those who want there is the possibility for enjoy a relaxing bath in a hot springs.

    You’ll return to your hotel in Tuk Tuk late in the afternoon.

    Dinner is at leisure.

    Overnight in Samosir.


    Distances and travel times:

    Tuk Tuk to Tele via Pangururan (60 km): 2 hours approximately each way


    Day 3 - Samosir - Parapat - Pematang Purba - Dokan - Brastagi (B,L)

    This morning after breakfast and check out from your hotel.

    Transfer from Tuk Tuk to Tomok for a short visit the tombs of King Sidabutar.

    Cross back from Tomok to Parapat with the regular local ferry with you private vehicle, driver and guide joining on board (Departure time subject to change is at 1000 from Tomok arriving at 11:00 in Parapat)  

    Upon arrival in Parapat disembark the ferry and continue along the northern shore of the lake to Berastagi.

    Again will be enjoying great views, passing villages and see how the local people get on with their lives. Everywhere you get to see the strange but typical houses for this area of the island.

    Lunch will be served en route at a local restaurant near Simar Jarunjung approximately 1h 30 minute from Parapat.

    In the afternoon continue your journey to Pematang Purba where you’ll visit Rumah Bolon, a200 year old wooden house built on pile works and used to be the dwelling of the ancient Batak Simalungun Kings.

    When we are back on the road you will make a stop to see the 120 meter Sipiso-piso waterfall which is located in the Batak highlands. The beautiful fall is formed by a underground river that then plunges from a cave into Lake Toba caldera.

    After this spectacular waterfall we drive to the nearby Dokan village, home to the Batak Karo people who have unusual wedding and funeral ceremonies which can last for days and dozens of other unique traditions and rituals which they still practice.

    In the late afternoon you will arrive at Brastagi, a climate station located at some 1400 meters above sea-level.

    Check in at the hotel and the remainder of the day is free at leisure.

    Dinner at your leisure.

    Overnight at Grand Mutiara Brastagi.


    Distances and travel times:

    Parapat – Berastagi via Pematang Purba, Sipiso Piso & Dokan  (130 km): 6 hours approximately


    Day 4 - Brastagi - Binjai - Tangkahan (B,L)

    Breakfast at your hotel.

    This morning a sort city tour of Brastagi includes an outside visit of the St. Fransiscus Catholic Church, with its unique Batak architecture and in the background a perfect view over Mt. Sibayak.

    This is followed by a walk in the local fruit market which is swarming with activity and scenes from traditional Karo life. Here you can see, smell and even taste many tropical fruits that are typical for this region, the most famous of which is the "Marquisa" or known as passion fruit which is commonly made into a refreshing fruit-drink.

    Leave Brastagi in the mid-morning with destination Tangkahan, one of the gateways to Gunung Leuser National Park at the border between North Sumatra and Aceh provinces on the banks of the Batang Serangan River.

    Lunch is served en route in a local restaurant in the small town of Binjai.

    Afternoon continue to Tangkahan via Stabat. This last portion of the journey is a bad un-asphalted road (for about 1 to 1h 30 minutes)

    Upon arrival in Tangkahan you first have to register at the “Gunung Leuser National Park” visitor center before walking to your lodge located on the other side of the river: Access to the lodge is through a nice and impressive Suspension Bridge (15 minutes safe walk)

    Check in at the jungle lodge.

    Note: Please take a light bag with you only for tonight, the accommodation is basic with no hot water or AC. The driver will proceed with your main luggage to Bukit Lawang.

    Dinner at leisure.

    Overnight at the Jungle Lodge.


    Distances and travel times:

    Berastagi – Tangkahan via Binjai & Stabat (150 km): 6 hours approximately


    Day 5 - Tangkahan - Bukit Lawang (B,L)

    After breakfast at the lodge, start around 08:00 with a 30 minutes’ walk to the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, the starting point for a memorable activity with Sumatrans elephants, native to the island.

    Start your program with a bath with the elephants in the Batang Serangan river, followed by a 1 hour Elephant ride between the Rehabilitation Centre and your lodge along the river & through the Jungle (2 pax/elephant + local Mahut)

    At the end of the ride, disembark in a platform nearby the river and walk up the stairs back to your lodge

    Note: On Friday, the elephant ride cannot be done because all elephants are on patrol in the park with the rangers. Advance booking is needed as only 5 elephants operate. We do recommend participants to wear short pants, Tee Shirt and sandals for the activity and bring a change with you for changing when returning to the lodge

    Back to your lodge and time for shower and for changing

    Rest of the morning at leisure: You can walk around the lodge and have plenty of opportunity to observe the cheeky Thomas Leaf Monkey in their natural surroundings.

    After lunch at the Jungle Lodge cross back to the other side of the river using the Suspension Bridge (10mn walk)

    A local jeep will be waiting for you in the other side for your off road trip to Bukit Lawang (approximately 2h to 2 hours 30 minutes) passing through rubber plantations and with beautiful jungle and mountain landscapes at the horizon.

    Before arriving in Bukit Lawang a short stop to stretch our legs and enjoy a fresh coconut drink at coconut park.

    Upon arrival at Bukit Lawang cross on foot the impressive wooden suspension bridge over the Bohorok River for getting to the reception of the Eco Lodge

    Check-in at your lodge in Bukit Lawang.

    Dinner is at your leisure.

    Overnight in Eco Lodge Bukit Lawang Cottages.


    Distances and travel times:

    Tangkahan – Bukit Lawang: 45km – 2h00 to 2h30 approximately by local jeep (max 3 pax + guide)


    Day 6 - Bukit Lawang - Timbang Lawang Eco Farm - Medan (B,L,D)

    Breakfast at the lodge.

    Bukit Lawang at the entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park and is one of the last sanctuary of the Sumatran orangutan.

    Start your trek early at 07:30 behind Eco Lodge (with an additional local English speaking Jungle guide).

    The first part is an easy climb to the forest for about 30 to 45 minutes – the local Guide always send a tracker ahead to check where are the Orang Utans. If some are seen in 1st part of the trek Guide will suggest people who have difficulty to walk to return to the Lodge with the tracker while accompanying other participants all the way to the feeding Platform (total about 2h30 until 3h up & down in the jungle, more challenging & can be slippery. Good shoes are recommended).

    After observing orang Utan at the feeding platform (30mn) continue  down to the Orang Utan information Centre on the bank of the Bohorok river (30mn) – cross the river using a pneumatic raft pulled by a rope (2mn crossing) and walk back to Eco Lodge along the river bank and main village of Bukit Lawang (30mn)


    Feeding time around 08:30 (Afternoon  one at 15:00)

    Camera fee is not included and must be paid locally IDR 50,000 per camera (around USD 5) and IDR 150,000 per video (around USD 15)  each time client enter the Gunung Leuser National Park.

    Free time for shower and changing at the lodge before check out. Lunch is served at Eco Lodge restaurant.

    In the afternoon, cross back the suspension bridge over the Bohorok River and continue by motorized becak to Timbang Lawang Eco Farm on an Agro Tourism excursion (20 minutes ride with local driver). Here your main driver will be waiting with the car and your luggage for the last part of the trip back to Medan.

    Upon arrival in Medan, check in at the hotel and time free for refreshing.

    Later this evening, you will go to Chinatown to experience the pleasure of trying hawker food. This is a very typical way for Indonesian people to have their dinner. You can walk around between all the food stalls and see the hawkers prepare their fresh food. A mix of sounds and smells like you’ve never seen before.


    Distances and travel times:

    Bukit Lawang – Medan city center (70 km): 2h 15mins approximately


    Day 7 - Medan city tour - Departure (B)

    This morning after breakfast and check out we start with a short but interesting city tour of the highlights Medan has to offer.

    We go to the Sultan’s Deli Palace built in 1888, in former times the Palace was considered as the centre of the town administration before the city of Medan developed.

    The sultan himself at this present time bears merely the symbolic title for the featuring community of the Malay tribe.

    The tour continues to the Great Mosque (built in 1906 by the first sultan and still considered as one the most beautiful mosques in the country). We end with the impressive Gunung Timur, a Chinese temple.

    Afterwards you will be brought to the Medan Kuala Namu airport for your onward flight.

    Recommended flights (Not included and quoted separately– Tariffs and schedule subject to change without prior notice):


    By Garuda Indonesia from Medan to Jakarta with GA189 departing at 14:05 and arriving at 16:25.


    By Silk Air to Singapore with MI237 departing from Medan at 20:05 and arriving in Singapore at 22:20 (daily).

    By Malaysia Airlines to Kuala Lumpur with MH865 departing from Medan at 15:45 and arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 17:45 (daily)

     Distances and travel times:

    Medan city center – Medan Kuala Namu Airport (30 km): 01 hour - 01h15 approximately