8 Days 7 Nights Trip
From Medan (North Sumatra) to Padang (West Sumatra)
Sumatran Orangutan and Lake Toba.
Day 1: Medan – Bukit Lawang
Arrival in Kualanamu airport in Medan, the main city in northern Sumatra. Then, drive on about 4.5 hours to Bukit Lawang, a small tourist village popular with its rehabilitation centre of orang utan. It is located at the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park, one of the largest national park in the world containing over 800,000 ha of virgin rainforest. You will pass by some plantations of oilpalm and rubber. Arrive in Bukit Lawang, check-in to your accomodation and free to relax. Enjoy the scenery from the veranda of your hotel room.
Overnight at Eco Logde (or similar), simple accommodation but clean and nicely located by the river side on the outskirts of the park. The rooms comes up with traditional Indonesia shower “mandi/bucket shower” with only cold water, no hot water.
Day 2: Orangutan Tour, Jungle Trek & Tubing – Berastagi (B,L)
First orang utan tour. You will visit the feeding platform where semi-wild orang utans are fed and trained to live in the wild. It is a marvelous sight to see the orang utans coming out of the forest to the platform by swinging freely from branch to branch. In the fruit season the orang utans may not come out as they may get enough foods from the forest but it happens not often. After the feedings, jungle trek about 3 hours deeper into the Gunung Leuser National Park to experience the rainforest, of course you will hike up and down the hills while constantly searching for wild animals in their natural habitat. You have a big chance to see gibbons, thomas leaf monkeys, longtail and pigtail macagues, flying squirrels, Sumatra peacocks and hornbills. A wild orang utans might cross your way. Your guide will explain you many things about the rainforest. And he will show you many different kind of plants and flowers. After jungle trek, return to your accomodation by safari river (Tubing). You will float down the river ± 20 minutes on car tubes that have been modified to ensure safety. Fun rafting! Afterwards, departure ± 6 hours to Berastagi (1300m). This cool and picturesque hill town is flanked by two active volcanoes Sinabung (2417m) and Sibayak (2172m). It is the homeland of the Batak Karo, one of the six Batak tribes that inhabit the province of North Sumatra. Before arriving at hotel, stop and wander around local fruit market. Accomodation at GRAND MUTIARA / SIBAYAK HOTEL (or similar).Note:
- Those bringing camera/video in the Gunung Leuser National Park will be charged Rp50,000 (USD 6) and Rp150,000 (USD 8) for video.
- WHAT TO BRING ! Shoes with good profile, rain coat & dry bag for wallet, mobile etc to protect from water/rains, insects repellant & drinking water.
Day 3: Berastagi – Lake Toba – Boat to Samosir island (B,L)
Scenic drive to lake Toba, one of the deepest and largest crater lake in the world with stop at Dokan, a small Batak Karo village with a number of traditional houses still inhabited by eight families each. Proceed to Sipiso piso waterfall and Rumah Bolon, the long house of king Batak Simalungun. From this site you will continue following the lake and arrive in Parapat somewhere afternoon. Parapat is a small town on shore of lake Toba. From here you will cross the lake ± 45 minutes to Samosir island using public boat. It is enjoyable trip. The boat will probably stops several times to drop other passengers. You will be dropped right in front of your accomodation located on peninsula of Tuktuk.
Accomodation at TOLEDO INN / TABO COTTAGE (or similar), simple accomodation but clean and nicely located by the lake side.
Day 4: Samosir tour (B,L)
Drive around the island to explore the natural beauty and cultural aspects of Batak Toba. You will visit Ambarita village where the remnant megalithic culture of Batak Toba lies in front of traditional houses. Continue to Simanindo to see folkdance Tortor performed by the villagers. Here you also can visit a museum built in typical Batak style. On returning to your hotel, stop at Tomok village to see a very old but nicely decorated sarchopagus, the old tomb of king Batak Toba Sidabutar.
Day 5: Samosir Island – Sipirok (B,L)
Across back by boat ± 45 minutes to Parapat and drive up to Sipirok with view of marching mountains Bukit Barisan, a long but beautiful trip. First stop will be at a typical Batak village Jangga Dolok/Lumban Binanga. Next stop at colourful market place in Balige and sulphur hotspring in Sipoholon.
Accomodation at TORSIBOHI HOTEL (or similar), simple accomodation but clean and nicely located on top of a hill. The cottages are spacious and offer enough comfort but still are simple accomodation with simple facilities.
Day 6: Sipirok – Bukittinggi (B,L)
The journey today is the longest drive from all the routes, about 10 hours. Long but worthwhile to exhibits the inner part of Sumatra. The scenery of mountains, rivers, valleys and traditional villages will relieve you from weariness. Enroute stop at Sijornih waterfall and Sihepeng to see a small herb garden where several kinds of herbs are grown (kardemon, ginger, vanille etc). Here, often there is also a short tailed monkey present who are specially trained to collect coconuts. Next stop at moslem school. See how moslem children go to school and live nearby in very small wooden houses and finally in the late afternoon across the equator. From the equator it takes another 1,5 hours to reach the higland town of Bukittinggi (literally “a high hill). It is the heart of the Minangkabau tribe that inhabits the province of West Sumatra. The specialty of the Minangkabau is their matriarchal and matrilineal society. Accomodation at ROYAL DENAI / PUSAKO HOTEL (or similar).
Day 7: Bukittinggi Tour (B,L)
City tour to visit the clock tower Jam Gadang which overlooks the colourful market Pasar Atas, the remains of Dutch fort called De Kock, Sianok valley and Pandai Sikat, a village famous with its hand weaving and wood carving. Travel further to Batusangkar to see Pagaruyung palace, a site of ancient Minangkabau kingdom where women ruled in matrilineal society. Afternoon back to Bukittinggi.
Day 8: Bukittinggi – Padang Airport (B)
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Padang airport on about 2.5 hours. You will pass by the greenery of Anai park and waterfall.
Price incl: Transfer and tours program as indicated in the itinerary, Room with daily breakfast (B), Meals as specified in program (L=Lunch), Entrance fees, Tubing, Basic camping equipment & English-speaking guide.
Not incl: Airfares & airport tax (40.000IDR/person), Other meals not specific, Tipping, Porter service at airport, hotel etc, Camera/video charge in Gunung Leuser National park, Personal travel insurance & Other personal expenses such as laundry, telephone call, minibar, room service.