SBY 08 - 20 Days in Sumatra, a Journey of Discovery
Program Details & Highlights
Most of trip will be far away from the tourist trail. The best knowledge of our guide will be valuable information for you traveling in lush Sumatra. We will also be supported by some local experts who will share their expert points of view in a specific visit such as in Bukit Lawang and Way Kambas National Park or in a specific culture or art visits.
It combines local residents, standard to comfortable hotel for accommodation that will be adjusted to the real condition surrounding visited places. The journey use standard tourist transportation and local transport on certain occasions. It is also a combination of walking and driving tour.
Here you will experience and explore some interesting uniqueness of Sumatra cultures and natural environment.
Diverse cultures of many tribes and natural beauty in lush Sumatra will be a joyful and memorable experience for travelers. Experience the adventure and explore the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Bukit Lawang; amazing Lake Toba, the home of Batak tribe; waterfalls and crater lakes around “Bukit Barisan” mountain range; crossing the equator to meet the unique culture of Minangkabau tribe, the world’s largest matrilineal society; spectacular natural phenomenon of “Anak Krakatoa”, a volcanic island that emerged out of “Krakatoa” collapsed caldera after its massive eruption followed by powerful tsunami that changed the earth climate for several years; interesting wildlife of Way Kambas National Park, the home of many species of birds and monkeys. Also the habitat of “Elephas maximus sumatranus”, a native Sumatra elephant, the elusive Sumatran Tiger and the very rare Sumatran Rhino. To explore this seldom-visited national parks will be on foot and by jeep. Our main visit is to meet a rhinos veterinarian who oversees the rhino feeding and we can spend time with at least one of the 7 rhinos in their wild setting.
Day by Day SBY 08 - 20 Days in Sumatra, a Journey of Discovery
Day 1: Selamat Datang-Arrival in Kualanamu International Airport (D)
Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel. Our adventure begins in Medan, with its Dutch architecture and Asian culture. Tonight we meet as a group for dinner and orientation.
Day 2: History and Culture in Bursting Medan (BLD)
Our morning city tour includes Sultan Deli Palace, the Great Mosque, Chinese Temple and Kesawan Area, the old center of Medan city. In the afternoon we leave Medan and depart for the 97 km drive to Bukit Lawang, an orangutan rehabilitation reserve. On the way, watch the transformation from urban life to jungle life. Visit rubber and oil-palm plantations before arriving at our hotel for a relaxing evening in Bukit Lawang.
Day 3: Orangutan Observation and Rehabilitation (BLD)
We start out with a short walk along the bank of the Bohorok River to the canoe station where we cross over the river to the Reserve. The orangutan viewing station site occasionally changes but typically is about one hour uphill hike. This is where we will observe the orangutans in an intimate and natural setting in Gunung Leuser National Park. In the afternoon, we set out on a jeep safari to Tangkahan where we will visit a stunning waterfall. For those who would like, you can also go for a refreshing swim in the river. At some point, you may even be joined by some local elephants looking to take a bath! We return to Bukit Lawang by jeep in the afternoon.
Day 4: Relax at Rainforest and Life in a Mountain Town (BLD)
After breakfast this morning, we will depart for the half-day drive to the mountain town of Brastagi. Visit “Lumbini Temple” (the highest Buddhist Temple in Indonesia), Santo Fransiscus Church which has impressive architecture that was inspired by the Batak culture and tradition, and a colorful fruit market that offer various of exotic fruits. Enjoy the evening in Brastagi, a town which is nestled between two volcanoes.
Day 5: Toba - Home of the Batak (BLD)
Early morning departure from Brastagi to beautiful Lake Toba, the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Formed by a prehistoric volcanic eruption, Lake Toba is one of the highest (900m) and deepest (+ 750 m) lakes in the world. Along the way we visit Sipiso-piso waterfall and Rumah Bolon, the Batak Palace where the last king reigned until 1949. Upon arrival at Lake Toba, we will transfer to a ferry boat for the short crossing to Samosir Island, where we will spend the next few nights.
Day 6: Explore and Experience Local Culture (BLD)
Today we will explore Samosir Island, the original home of the Batak people. In the morning, we embark on a journey to visit the Batak Toba traditional village at Tomok and see the old tomb of Sidabutar kings. Visiting Ambarita, an old Batak village, where we learn about the ancient Batak judicial system. See the stone chair and table where executions took place for the ancient tribal chieftains. We will also experience making Ulos, a traditional Batak Cloth. In the evening, experience a Batak Toba traditional dance.
Day 7: Enjoy Amazing Lake Toba and Social Interaction (BLD)
A free day to walk or bike around the dramatic scenery of Samosir Island, or just relax and enjoy the view looking out upon this magical crater lake. For those interested, there will be an opportunity to enjoy an afternoon walk to spend some time with a local Batak family in their home.
Day 8: Overland to West Sumatra (BLD)
Today we are going to take a long overland trip to the land of Minangkabau. We have an early morning departure from Samosir Island by ferry boat to travel south. Along the way we will discover the vast array of agricultural crops grown in this fertile land and make some stops for lunch, coffee break and getting to know about local culture. We will pass a Toba Batak town of Tarutung, whose name translates as ‘durian’ a highly prized local fruit. Late Check in around Sidempuan, a connecting town of the North and West Sumatra.
Day 9: Crossing the Equator to Reach the Mainland of Minangkabau (BLD)
Another long but interesting drive as we go south from the “Tano Batak” (Batak Land) and enter into “Ranah Minang” (Minangkabau Land). We will pass “Rimbo Panti” (a conservation rainforest) and stop at Equator Line of Bonjol. Late afternoon, take the coffee break in Palupuh. This is a place where Sir Stamford Raffless held his “Sumatra Botanical Research”. A fresh organic “Luwak Coffee” before hotel check in at Bukittinggi.
Day 10: Minangkabau Culture and Gorgeous Landscape (BLD)
Passing the magnificent earth created, “Sianok Canyon”, we head to Matur and enjoy the scenic view of Lake Maninjau from atop a hill. It is surrounded by a village where the people’s main income is sugar cane plantation. Here, we will discover how the people worked with buffaloes in producing brown sugar. Another unique thing is that people has a special way to produce peanuts as snack. They use volcano sand. At early noon, we will join a group of Minangkabau women do embroidery as their economic support to the family. 100 years ago, a woman public figure, Rohana Kudus started educating women (widows, married women, and girls) to embroider to economically support the family in the struggle against Dutch colonialism. Besides the embroidery, this Koto Gadang Village is also well known for its silverworks. Let’s learn their technique in producing silverware.
Day 11: Megalith Site of Minangkabau (BLD)
In the morning, we will drive to megalith site in Mahek. This is the valley of thousands megalithic menhirs. The thousands of menhirs are oriented to the southeast toward Mount Sago. The megalithic tradition as a whole on the hill is intended as a means of connecting the living with the dead, because the mountain is considered sacred. This megalith heritage is from about 3000-4000 BC and its motif similar to Minangkabau cultural house’s carving. Somewhere nearby there are also musical instruments made of stone. We’ll see locals play them with typical Minangkabau intonation.
Day 12: Ancient Land of Minangkabau (BLD)
Drive to Tanah Datar, the ancient land, homeland of Minangkabau people. Explore the iconic Pagaruyuang Palace, an heritage of Minangkabau kingdom. Visit a +350 years old original Minangkabau typical house and getting to know about their knock down architecture related to earthquake in the ring fire area. Lunch will be in a “Bajamba” setting, a ceremonial way of local reception. It will be in a “Rumah Gadang”, a typical Minangkabau House in a countryside near by lake Singkarak. Drive to Padang and late check in.
Day 13: Fly to Jakarta (BLD)
Lazy morning. Then, we’ll take local train to airport while the luggage will be directly transferred by our team. Upon arrival in Jakarta, directly drive to the coast on Sunda Strait and check in at seaside hotel in Anyer. It is only a temporary leave of Sumatra, returning the next day.
Day 14: Krakatoa : a Spectacular Natural Phenomenon (BLD)
We set out by speed boat, crossing the Sunda Strait to the remote, but fabled, volcano of Krakatoa and Anak ("child of") Krakatoa. Perhaps the single greatest destructive force in modern history happened in 1883 when Krakatoa erupted, creating massive tsunamis changing the Earths climate for several years. Today only a part of the steep rim or wall of the original caldera remains. Close to the original caldera remnants is the volcanic island of Anak Krakatoa. The island first emerged from the ocean in 1927. The lower portion of the island is already lush with tropical plants which supports the wildlife that live there. We hike up the island, where the landscape changes from lush and tropical to a harsh, rocky, volcanic landscape. From our viewpoint we can see what remains of Krakatoa, which looks like a vertical green wall. Turning around we see the top of Anak Krakatoa, still active and often spewing smoke. Our encounter with Krakatoa is followed by a relaxing visit to a small, nearby island, where we have lunch on the beach. You can lie in the sun, under a palm tree or go for a refreshing swim in the tropical blue ocean. We continue our boat journey to Kalianda, once again returning to Sumatra. We drive to Lampung, where we enjoy dinner and overnight.
Day 15: Way Kambas National Park (BLD)
After a relaxing morning, we depart for Way Kambas National Park. The night is full of mystery and intrigue. The sounds of the jungle can be overwhelming and captivating. A myriad of birds, insects and animals create a beautiful wild symphony! We are also on the lookout for wildlife and birds as the jungle is very much alive. (Note: Way Kambas National Park has approximately 40% of the remaining 100 endangered Sumatran rhinos worldwide, yet receives very little in the way of tourism, which may have a detrimental effect on the survival of the Sumatran rhino. The surrounding villages subsist mostly on farming, which generates very little income. The temptation for poaching the rhino for a substantial payoff is very high. Until the local population starts to receive economic benefit from tourism, poaching will continue to be a threat. Sumatra and Beyond Tour would like to focus the spotlight on the plight of the endangered Sumatran rhino, in hopes of raising awareness of the threat to this animal. Permits to the sanctuary cannot be purchased in advance, but each group that visits Sumatra and Way Kambas National Park is going to try to obtain these permits so that we may have a spontaneous experience that will be extremely rewarding. We believe the benefits that our tourist dollars can have on the local community, could make a huge difference to the protection and survival of the Sumatran rhino, just as tourist dollars have helped the survival of mountain gorillas in Bwindi, Uganda. Within the national park is the Rhino Breeding Center, where it is possible to obtain permits to view one or more of the 7 Sumatran rhinos. Obtaining the permits is not guaranteed as this is out of our control but is very likely, especially with our 3 night stay at Way Kambas. No refunds will be issued if we are unsuccessful. We will still enjoy the pristine surrounding jungle with its fascinating and exotic wildlife. The park has Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, Sumatran rhinos, Siamang monkeys, tapirs and over 400 species of birds. If we are successful in obtaining these permits, Sumatra and Beyond Tour will be making a donation to the breeding sanctuary for each group that visits.) Overnight at Ecolodge, Way Kambas.
Day 16: Way Kambas National Park (BLD)
In the morning, we will have the extremely special experience of seeing a Sumatran rhino up close. Under the supervision of the veterinarian, you can attend the morning feeding at the Rhino Breeding Sanctuary, located within the national park. There are 7 rhinos at the breeding sanctuary, including 2 locally born offspring, Andatu, born at the breeding center in June 2012 and Delilah born in 2016. Way Kambas has about 40% of the worlds remaining Sumatran rhinos. It is thought that there are no more than 100 rhinos in the wild. We can enjoy a jungle safari in search of wildlife, Siamang gibbon, long-tail macaques, blue herons, crocodile and much more. Tigers and rhinos live in the park but sightings are rare. The orchestra of jungle sounds can at times be overwhelming in Way Kambas. In the afternoon we enjoy a driving safari in search of wildlife but with a focus on the Sumatran elephants, which are often sighted in certain areas of the park, or visit a local elephant hospital. Please note: the order of activities may change during our stay at Way Kambas. Overnight at Ecolodge, Way Kambas.
Day 17: Way Kambas National Park (BLD)
Today, enjoy a morning jeep safari in search of wildlife. While tigers and rhinos are only spotted on rare occasion, the elephant, gibbons, macaques and over 400 recorded bird species, including the endemic white winged duck, can be seen along the river from a park boat. We return to our lodge for lunch and to relax during the heat of midday. In the late afternoon, we can enjoy our final safari in search of wildlife. We also enjoy a local cooking class. Overnight at Ecolodge, Way Kambas.
Day 18: Sumatra Farewell Night (BLD)
This morning we will have our last jungle excursion before returning to our ecolodge for a relaxing morning. You may choose to just relax at the lodge with a myriad of butterflies and birds that can be seen right from your room. After lunch, we depart for the city of Lampung. We have a free afternoon before enjoying our Farewell Dinner with special cultural performance on the last night of Sumatra. Overnight in Lampung.
Day 19: Fly to Jakarta (BLD)
Enjoy a relaxing morning, where you can go for a swim, or enjoy other hotel facilities. After lunch, we fly to Jakarta. City tour to Old Jakarta and enjoy the last Dinner at special Cafe nearby before you depart Indonesia.
Day 20: AirportTransfer-Sampai Jumpa(B)
Free on your leisure untill airport transfer.
- 2.5% of the price will be donated to support Green Tourism Institute to educate and advocate West Sumatra local community about “sustainable tourism”.
- Small Group Trip (Maximum 16 Pax)
- The trip’s purpose is to experience and explore unique things in Sumatra through a journey. Through this journey, tourists are encouraged to support and develop this part of world as destination for peace and mutual respect.
- This is an open trip, you will join other travelers from around the world. Special private trip or out of the schedule please contact us.
- Some routes are in remote areas, away from the tourist trail and most activities directly deal with local people. Our guides will brief about appropriate behavior, both culturally and environmentally.
- Don’t worry about Indonesia menus, although this country is well known for its spicy food but there are many alternative menus that meet the foreigners’ taste.
- Bring your own repellent/mosquito spray/specific private medicine
- 5 nights with ceiling fans but no air conditioning in hot locations (Bukit Lawang and Way Kambas) and 2 nights in Lake Toba, which is typically cooler).
- For women don’t forget to bring your knee length dresses/clothes, (you will need on some ocassions.)
- For any force majeur situations, operator will change the route/activities to similar ones.
- Tour Starts in Medan (Indonesia) dan Ends in Jakarta (Indonesia)
- Above price is a starting price based on 2 pax and twin share room (the more pax join and directly confirmed, there will be a significant price adjustment).
1 Night B&B at Medan (4 star hotel)
2 Nights at Bukit Lawang (Ecolodge/Homestay - no single supplement)
1 Night B&B at Brastagi (min. 3 star hotel)
3 Nights B&B at Samosir (min. 3 star hotel)
1 Night B&B at Sidempuan/Tarutung (standard hotel)
3 Nights B&B at Bukitinggi (4 star hotel)
1 Night B&B at Padang (4 star hotel)
1 Night B&B at Anyer (min. 3 star hotel)
3 Nights B&B at Way Kambas (Ecolodge/Homestay - no single supplement)
1 Night B&B at Lampung (min. 3 star hotel)
2 Night B&B at Jakarta (4 star hotel)
*Single Supplement only for Hotel (+ €380 / $ 428)
Meals as stated in program detail (19X dinner, 18X lunch, 19X breakfast)
* Please inform us for any dietary or vegetarian requirements
- Tour Design.
- 19 Night Accommodation as in “Accommodation & Meals” Information.
- Meals as in “Accommodation & Meals” Information.
- Comfortable Tourist Transportation (adjusted to number of travelers).
- Experience Local Transport on certain occasions.
- Domestic Flight Ticket (Padang-Jakarta & Lampung-Jakarta)
- Boat Transfer at Toba and Anyer and Lampung
- Licensed English Speaking Guide, Local Guide/Expert in certain destinations and snorkeling guide.
- Tour Crews (Logistic, Porter, Videographer & Photographer)
- Snorkeling Equipment.
- Donation to Green Tourism Institute and certification as Green Friend of Indonesia.
- All Entrance Fees , donations to local community and activities fee.
- Private Cultural Performances at Farewell Dinner
- CD Documentation
- International Flight Ticket
- All Personal Expense or Anything out of Inclusions
- Tipping (Please contact us for suggestion)