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Highlights Of Sumatra

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highlights
  • Bohorok - Encounter Orang-utans in the wild when trekking through the jungle in Bukit Lawang.
  • Berastagi - Stroll through fruit markets and climb the active volcano of Mount Sibayak.
  • Samosir - Travel by boat to visit the remote Batak villages, learning about their unique ancestral traditions.
  • Lake Toba - Enjoy the peace and tranquillity, with the chance for a refreshing swim in the largest crater lake in the world.
The Highlights of Sumatra tour starts and ends in Medan. The Highlights of Sumatra is a Wildlife tour that takes 8 days taking you through Medan, Indonesia and other destinations in Indonesia.

We spend 8 days taking in the rugged landscapes and discovering the unique wildlife of Northern Sumatra. We trek through jungles to spot Orang-utans, scale volcanoes for sunrise and enjoy rural village encounters on this adventurous trip through a lesser-visited region of Indonesia. Bohorok - Encounter Orang-utans in the wild when trekking through the jungle in Bukit Lawang. Berastagi - Stroll through fruit markets and climb the active volcano of Mount Sibayak. Samosir - Travel by boat to visit the remote Batak villages, learning about their unique ancestral traditions.
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Join the trip in Medan, where today is free at leisure. Medan is Indonesia's third largest city and is the capital of the island of Sumatra. Through colonisation and centuries of prosperous trading, Medan has grown to become home to a number of diverse ethnic groups including Chinese, Tamils, Malay, Batak natives and the Dutch. This interesting blend of cultures has made the city into a veritable melting pot, with a wonderful mouth-watering array of food to try from street vendors, curry houses and noodle bars.
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we set out on foot to explore the metropolis of Medan. We start with the jewel in the city's crown, the Great Mosque or Masjid Raya Al Mashun. Taking its influences from Arabia, India and Europe, it is a beautifully ornate piece of architecture and we have the rare opportunity to enter inside to witness the daily rituals of the locals. We then move onto the Dutch-built Maimoon Palace, the former royal palace of the Sultanate of Deli and an excellent example of colonial buildings in Indonesia.
We leave the city behind after lunch and head into the jungle. Our route snakes north on occasionally potholed roads, past lush rice fields before these give way to swathes of palm trees lining the road. We will see many palm plantations on our travels in the next few days, and whilst the palm oil crop is controversial, our Leader will offer explanations from a local's perspective.

We plan to arrive in Bukit Lawang in the late afternoon, with the rest of the day at leisure.
Please note that as we are staying in the jungle and on the fringes of the National Park , our accommodation is clean but basic, with no hot water or air conditioning. The showers are refreshing after time spent in the rainforest, and the room temperature is kept cool with a number of fans.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple hotel
We leave our lodge today on foot, crossing the river via a footbridge and into the National Park, past locals swimming and bathing. Here we begin our three to four hour search for wildlife, made with a local guide with intimate knowledge of the surrounding rainforest, so the chances of spotting the 'men of the forest' are very good. Bukit Lawang was originally set up as an orang-utan Sanctuary in 1973, helping to rehabilitate orphaned orang-utans, but in the past few years the last gentle giant was successfully re-introduced into the wild, so the feeding platform has closed down and now the orang-utans forage and fend for themselves. The orang-utans are now interspersed throughout the area, and with a bit of luck we should be able to enjoy spending time observing them in their natural habitat. Other wildlife we are likely to encounter include the endemic Thomas Leaf Monkey, long-tail macaques, slow loris, snakes, Sumatran peacock, flying squirrels and mouse dear. Also present in the jungle are Sumatran tigers, rhinos and wild elephants, but the chance of encountering these are incredibly rare.

We return to our lodge for lunch, where the rest of the afternoon is free to spend at leisure. It is possible to organise a massage, or to take a walk through nearby rice fields to learn more about the harvesting of the Indonesian staple of 'Nasi'.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple hotel
Our journey today takes us from the lush green jungles of Bohorok, through small villages before the jungle starts to give way, with the road snaking upwards as we start to gain altitude. Berastagi sits at 1400 metres above sea level, this elevation brings cooler climes and offers a welcome respite from the heat of the equatorial jungles. It also brings with it a change of scenery as thick rainforest and palm trees are replaced with tall pine and cedar trees. We check into our hotel, where, on a clear day, the rear of our hotel has wonderful views to the nearby Sinabung Volcano and its frequent mini-eruptions. This afternoon we will visit the town's fruit market, a colourful place the locals visit on a daily basis to pick up their eclectic range of produce. Because of the varying climate, exotic fruits like papaya, durian, red guava and lychee sit alongside the more recognisable broccoli, carrots and apples.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
We rise early this morning for the relatively easy walk up to the crater of Mount Sibayak (2,212 metres), an active volcano with a dried-up crater at its peak. We start the journey by vehicle, snaking our way up the hairpins of the lower volcano to a small rest area half way up. It is here where we continue our journey on foot to the summit. The walk starts steeply but quickly eases off to a more gentle gradient, and it should take around 1 ½ hours to reach the crater (total ascent approximately 300-400 metres). There are several active gas holes to be found around the crater, hissing and spewing out billowing sulphurous gases. The last eruption here was well over a century ago, but it still remains the site of geothermal activity, with the vents producing crystalline sulphur which can be found littered over the crater rim. We return along the same path, meeting our vehicle and heading back to the hotel to freshen up before we drive onto Lake Toba and Samosir Island.
The drive to edge of Lake Toba takes a couple of hours, and we stop here at a scenic viewpoint for some lunch. We then continue along a road skirting around the edge of the lake, with traditional Batak houses beginning to pop up along the route. On arrival in the small market town of Parapit, we board our ferry to Samosir Island, an island located in the middle of the lake and our night stop for the next two nights.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
At 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres at its widest point, Lake Toba is the largest crater lake in the world. It is also home to the Batak people, an ethnic group of people that are indigenous to this area, along with other parts of inland Sumatra and western Java. They are known for their colourful hand-made shirts and garments, as well as their eye-catching homes with large pitched roofs that arch up into the sky, resembling the hull of the boats they use to fish.
After our lake-side breakfast this morning, we board our boat and head up the lake for the settlement of Tomok. Here we find a small traditional Batak village and learn about how the chief presides over the village, how law and order is kept, and how cannibalism used to play a part in the punishment of crimes. We then move onto Simanindo, where several Batak families still live and practice their ancient traditions. We are invited to explore their unique homes and may even have the opportunity to witness some of their spiritual dancing.
This afternoon can be either spent relaxing at our lake-side hotel where we can take a refreshing dip in the lake, or perhaps visit the village of Ambarita with its handicrafts market and Batak graveyard.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
After a leisurely breakfast we catch the ferry back to the mainland this morning, where we meet our vehicle and head back to Medan by road. The journey will take around four to five hours, dropping down from the mountains into the jungle, and past numerous rice paddies. There will be opportunity to stop at a number scenic points, and we take lunch at a local restaurant en route. We plan to arrive in Medan in the early afternoon, where the rest of the day is at leisure, perhaps to shop for souvenirs in Medan's various markets and malls.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Trip ends in Medan after breakfast.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Meals
  • 7 Breakfast
Accommodation
  • 5 nights standard hotel
  • 2 nights simple hotel
Transport
  • Bus, Boat
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader, Driver(s), Local Guide(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Medan are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Highlights of Sumatra tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 8 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 17 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Medan, Indonesia/ Medan, Indonesia
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Highlights of Sumatra
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Payment

A deposit of 98 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 25 August 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Highlights of Sumatra tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Highlights of Sumatra tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Highlights of Sumatra tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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