Venture into the wild and experience the beauty and hospitality of Sumatra on a 13-day overland tour. See orangutans in the jungles of Gunung Leuser National Park. Meet the locals, such as the gracious Minangkabau people, visit crater lakes, and more.
What to Expect
Get off the beaten path on a 13-day overland tour of Sumatra. Meet indigenous people, look for wildlife in lush jungles and marvel at coconut and rubber plantations along the way. Drive off-road and visit places where tourists are rarely seen. Get up-close to nature on jungle treks, elephant rides and other activities. Watch the natural world go by from your accommodation, often located on the edge of a forest or on the banks of a river or lake.
Day 1-2: Medan Airport to Tangkahan
Following your pick-up from Medan Airport, pass coconut oil and rubber plantations on a rugged 3-hour drive to your hotel at the edge of the forest. Along the way, you will cross the river on a rackety ferry and wade through water. This is a real jungle adventure! Your accommodation is run by locals and boasts a superb location at the intersection of 2 rivers. The local Batak people are dedicated to preserving the forest and started this tourism project with the aid of a foundation. Enjoy a warm welcome and take optional jungle treks on the back of an elephant. Alternatively, relax to the sounds of the jungle from your bungalow terrace or take a swim in the river.
Day 3-4: Bukit Lawang
Admire the jungle and palm oil plantations on a 3-hour drive to Bukit Lawang, located on the edge of a forest and river. Today’s transportation will be by jeep, as the drive is along some very rough off-road tracks. Bukit Lawang is the location of a famous rehabilitation center where orangutans that have been kept in captivity are taught to survive in the jungle before being freed. The primates are fed every morning and afternoon and it is quite an experience to watch. Since orangutans do not have any natural enemies, they are very curious and easy to approach at close distance. If there is time, you can walk to this spot in the afternoon. If not, there will be time in the morning.
Day 5-7: Lake Toba
Drive to Lake Toba via Medan, passing a lot of plantations along the way, including many that date from colonial times. Toward the end of the day (day 5), you will reach Prapat to take the public ferry to peninsula of Tuktuk, the location of your hotel. Enjoy a fine view over the calm lake and mountains from your room and marvel at the lights of Prapat illuminating the water. You will have 2 days to look around at your own pace. Rent a bike to visit the traditional villages of Tomok and Simanindo. The terrain is flat and the climate cool. You can also take some fantastic treks over the rough mountainous interior to find hidden traditional villages. Try not to miss a dinner accompanied by the traditional songs of the Batak people, renowned throughout Indonesia for their singing voices and cheerful nature.
Day 8: Sipirok
Today is a long but enjoyable day following the Bukit Barisan (Barisan Mountains). Most parts of the road lead along a fast flowing river and fields of rice. Along the way, see the busy market life, Islamic schools and impressive rainforest of the region. Visit the colorful market in Balige for a nice break from the long drive. You will spend the night in a hotel in Sipirok, located in the Batak Mandailing region of a very traditional tribe.
Day 9-10: Bukittinggi
Take another long but interesting road to Bukittinggi and cross the equator. As soon as you enter the territory of the Minangkabau people, you will notice a change in the style of the houses. Spend the day in Bukittinggi to get to know the city and its surroundings. This is the heart of the proud Minangkabau people who use the matrilineal radat system whereby property is passed from mother to daughter. Besides its interesting culture, Bukittinggi offers timeless images of picturesque villages hidden among the lush green scenery. Take a challenging trek through the canyon above the town. There are times when you will have to cross the river more than 15 times. You can rent a horse cart to trek to a small village along the small, paved roads. A rich meal, served in a beautiful traditional house, is included. Make sure you watch the graceful dance performances of the locals.
Day 11-12: Lake Maninjau
Depart Bukittinggi for the 1-hour drive to the crater lake of Lake Maninjau. There will be plenty of time to relax at your hotel, located on the banks of the lake, where the still waters beckon you to swim. Alternatively, take a bike trip around the lake.
Day 13: Padang
Transfer to Padang Airport for the end of the tour and services.
- Accommodation (including breakfast)
- Transportation by air-conditioned car with driver from day 8 - 13
- Transfers by car from Medan to Tangkahan
- Jeep transfers from Jembatan Titi Mangga to Tangkahan and Bukit Lawang
- River crossing at Tangkahan
- Jungle trek at Bukit Lawang (2-3 hours)
- Transfer between Bukit Lawang and Toba
- Trek at Bukittinggi
- Return transfer by public boat to Samosir
- Guide for 13 days
What's Not Included
- Inter)national flights
- Airport taxes
- Entrance fees
- Elephant ride at Tangkahan
- Excursion and dance performance in Bukittinggi
- Personal expenses
- Meals not mentioned
- Tips and donations
Pick-up at Medan Airport (Sumatra). You will need to arrange your own international flights.
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Know Before You Go
• Bookings cancelled up to 30 days before the tour departure are subject to a 25% cancellation fee. For cancellations between 29 and 11 days before departure, a 75% cancellation fee will apply. For cancellations between 10 and 6 days before departure, a 90% cancellation fee will apply