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North Sumatra Soft Adventure Anticlockwise

7 Days / 6 Nights
, Indonesia

Overview

Explore the jungle of Northern Sumatra. Trek through Orangutan territory towards remote villages hidden inside the jungle. See the unimaginable beauty of a UNESCO World Heritage rainforest. Witness ancient tribes and learn about their crafts, their ancestors and some traditions that could have inspired an Indiana Jones movie.

Trip Highlights

North Sumatra Soft Adventure Anticlockwise

Orangutan spotting

Trek through the Gunung Leuser National Park with a tracker to see these beautiful creatures

Discover Sumatran rainforest

Find Samosir Island, deep in the jungle at 900 metres above sea level, inside a volcanic lake

Elephant Rehabilitation Centre

Interact with these beautiful creatures and see them roam around in their natural habitat

Itinerary

1

MEDAN (Kuala Namu Airport) – Parapat – Local ferry to SAMSOSIR

Kuala Namu Airport – Parapat (160 km): 5 hours approximately Parapat – Tomok in Samosir Island by local Ferry: 1 hour

Make it to Medan Kuala Namu International Airport with an early morning flight, and step outside of the airport, where an English-speaking guide and a driver await.

Together, drive down to Parapat via Pematangsiantar as the scenic road crosses magnificent estate plantations full of of rubber and palm oil.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Pematangsiantar, after which the drive continues to Parapat, a small inland town and the gateway to Lake Toba.

Board the local ferry in the late afternoon for a short transfer to Tomok, a village on Samosir Island.

Note that Samosir is an island in the middle of a volcanic lake, also known as a caldera - the crater that remains after a volcanic eruption. Formed over 75,000 years ago. It is the largest volcanic lake in the world.

Continue the journey from Tomok to the hotel of the day, which is about 15 minutes of driving down the road. After checking in and a refreshing shower, feel free to explore the island independently and have dinner at leisure.

Recommended flights:

  • By Silk Air from Singapore MI234 arrive Medan at 08:00
  • By Malaysia Airlines MH860 from Kuala Lumpur arrive Medan at 08:50

2

Samosir

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

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and spend an entire day exploring Samosir Island and Lake Toba.

Leave Tuk Tuk with a private car and driver, along with the guide and head for Ambarita, Samosir’s most interesting Toba village. Known for its unique Stone Chair Tribunal and execution stones that have inspired numerous adventure movies like Indiana Jones, Ambarita offers a glimpse into the island its ancient history.

Next up, explore Simanindo village for a performance of a traditional Batak Toba dance called Tor-Tor and a visit to the traditional parts of the village and its small Batak museum.

From Simanindo, the journey continues to the Eastern shore of Samosir Island and Pangururan, the small capital of Samosir. A picnic lunch has been prepared by the hotel and will be served onboard the ship while cruising towards Pangururan.

After meeting up with the driver, proceed to Tele, a rarely visited area located on the mainland in the Southern Shore of Lake Toba. Accessible only after crossing a small bridge followed by a 30- minute drive up the mountain, Tele offers a breathtaking view from its observatory tower, revealing the entire lake and Samosir Island. For a relaxing follow-up, there is the possibility of visiting the hot springs after seeing the Tele observatory tower.

On the way back from Pangururan, make a stop at Lumban Suhi Suhi village to witness the women demonstrate traditional weaving techniques.

Return to the hotel in Tuk Tuk late in the afternoon and spend the night on Samosir.

3

Samosir – Parapat – Pematang Purba – Dokan – Berastagi

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

After enjoying breakfast, proceed to check out from the hotel, and transfer from Tuk Tuk to Tomok for a short visit to the tombs of the Sidabutar Kings.

Cross the lake back to Tomok from Parapat with the same ferry as before, and meet up with the driver and guide on board. Upon landing in Parapat, continue along the northern shore of the majestic lake to Berastagi district.

The sights along this road allow for numerous impressions of local life and the unique architecture of the residential buildings in the area. Lunch will be served en route at a local restaurant near Simarjarunjung.

Continue the journey to Pematang Purba for a visit to Rumah Bolon, a 200-year-old Bolon house, built on decorated poles and the historical home to ancient Batak Simalungun Kings.

Continue onwards to Lake Toba and make a stop for the 120 metre Sipisopiso Waterfall located in the Batak highlands. This beautiful plunge waterfall comes from an underground river that makes its way from a cave into the Lake Toba caldera.

After this spectacular waterfall, proceed to Dokan, a village home to the Batak Karo people who have unusual weddings and funeral ceremonies, lasting for days on end. Encounter a local family in one of the longhouses where occasionally up to 6 families may live together.

In the late afternoon, explore the climate station at Berastagi at 1,400 metres above sea level. After this experience, check in at the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

4

Berastagi – Binjai – Tangkahan

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

After breakfast and check out from the hotel, leave around 08:00 for a short city tour of Berastagi: the tour includes an outside visit of the St. Fransiscus Catholic Church, with its unique Batak architecture and a background view of Mount Sibayak. Continue with a walk in the local fruit market which is swarming with activity, offering a taste of traditional Karo life.

Taste the many tropical fruits that are typical for this region, and discover the most famous of them all, the Marquisa -more commonly known as passionfruit, it is usually processed into a refreshing drink.

Leave Berastagi in the morning and head for Tangkahan, one of the gateways to Gunung Leuser National Park, straddling the border of North Sumatra and Aceh provinces. Lunch will be served en route at a local restaurant in the city of Binjai.

In the afternoon, continue to Tangkahan Village and prepare for an adventurous last segment of the road, which is largely unpaved.

Arriving in Tangkahan requires registration at the visitor centre of Gunung Leuser National Park. After proper registration, proceed to the other side of the river towards the lodges, and marvel at the impressive suspension bridge. Check in at the lodge and spend the night in Tangkahan under a blanket of soothing jungle sounds.

5

Tangkahan – Bukit Lawang

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

After breakfast at the lodge, start the day at 08:00 with a 30-minute walk towards the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, and get ready for a memorable day with the Sumatran Elephant, an endemic subspecies of the Asian Elephant.

Bathe these giant and gentle creatures in the Batang Serangan river, followed by a one-hour elephant experience between the rehabilitation centre and the lodge along the river.*

End this unique tour at a platform near the river and make it back to the lodge for a shower and quick change. Feel free to enjoy the rest of the morning at leisure: Walk around the lodge and try to spot the strikingly beautiful Thomas Leaf Monkeys in their natural surroundings.

After lunch at the Jungle Lodge, cross the river using the suspension bridge, as a local jeep will be waiting at the other side for an off road trip to Bukit Lawang. Expect to see beautiful jungle, interchanged with rubber plantations and mountainous landscapes at the horizon during this 3-hour drive.

Before making it to Bukit Lawang, a short stop at Coconut Park will allow for some stretching time and the pleasure of a fresh coconut drink. Upon arrival at Bukit Lawang, cross the suspension bridge towards the reception of the peaceful Eco Lodges and spend the night there.

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

Note:

  • Access not possible for vehicles bigger than ELF, as the last hour to 90 minutes part is a bad road and a bridge does not allow to be crossed by bus so this can only be offered for FIT.
  • Please travel with a small bag containing some bare necessities this one night, as the accommodation is basic with no hot water or AC. The driver will take care of the main luggage and transport it safely to Bukit Lawang, the next stop.
  • We recommend all participants wear shorts, a t-shirt and sandals for this activity and to bring a second set for a quick change when returning to the lodge.
  • The elephant ride cannot take place on Fridays as all elephants will be on patrol in the park with the rangers. Note that advance bookings are needed as only five elephants are available.
  • *Elephant rides can be skipped against a price reduction

6

Bukit Lawang – Timbang Lawang Eco Farm - Medan

Bukit Lawang – Medan city center (70 km): 2h15 approximately

Enjoy a breakfast at the lodge and start the trek early at 08:00 behind the Eco Lodge (with an English speaking Jungle guide).

The first part is an easy climb through the forest for about 45 minutes, with the local guide always sending a tracker ahead to see if any Orangutans are in the area. If some are seen during the first part of the trek, the guide may suggest that the less experienced trekkers return to the lodge with the tracker, while the other participants continue on a more challenging trail (60 minutes up- and downhill with occasional slippery segments that require appropriate shoes). After observing more Orangutans, return to the hotel.

Lunch is served at Eco Lodge restaurant.

In the afternoon, cross the Bohorok River again and continue by motorized Becak to the innovative Timbang Lawan Eco Farm For an excursion in sustainable tourism. Used for educational purposes, this organic farming centre is located in the middle of a traditional farming community and serves as an example to the surrounding farms.

Check in at the hotel upon arrival in Medan and enjoy some free time to wash of the travel dust.

Make it out to Chinatown later that evening, and discover the joys of typical hawker food. Amongst South-east Asians, it is very common to pick dinner as one sees fit, while walking around and carefully examining the different foods stalls and the delicacies that are being prepared on the spot.

Spend the night in the Medan hotel.

Note:

  • 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 a client enters the Gunung Leuser National Park.

7

Medan city tour – Departure

Medan city center – Kualanamu Int. Airport (30 km): 01 hour - 01h15 approximately

After breakfast and checking out, continue this morning with a short and fascinating tour of the highlights in Medan.

Visit Maimoon Sultan’s Deli Palace, built in 1888 by the Sultan of Deli (the former name of Medan). This beautiful palace combines traditional elements of Malay, Islamic as well as Spanish and Indian architectural elements. Up to this day, the palace continues to be inhabited by the Sultan, who remains a symbolic figure of importance to the Indonesian community.

Continue the tour by exploring the Great Mosque, built in 1906 by the first sultan and still considered as one the most beautiful mosques in the country. After admiring this architectural masterpiece, the next visit will be at the impressive Vihara Gunung Timur, Southeast Asia’s biggest Buddhist temple. Continue to the beautifully decorated mansion of Hakka Chinese businessperson, banker and Kapitan Tiong A Fie. The building features an architectural mix of Malay, European and Tionghoa styles. At the former colonial district of Medan, where among the old post office other architectural masterpieces are located, enjoy an early lunch at Tip Top Restaurant, which dates back to the time of Dutch colonization. Be transferred to Kualanamu International Airport for a departing flight.

Recommended flights:

Daily flight to Jakarta: KNO/CGK with Garuda Indonesia flight GA189 departing 14:05 and arriving 16:30  with Garuda Indonesia flight GA121 departing 16:05 and arriving 18:30

Possibility to connect to Jogjakarta CGK/JOG with GA 258 departing 21:35 and arriving 23:00 or with GA216 departing 18:40 and arriving 20:05

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation in half-twin/ double room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • English speaking local guide (other language guides available and additional charge may apply). 
  • All entrance fees and tours as indicated in itinerary.

Our Services do not include:

  • Visa arrangements.
  • International and domestic flights.
  • International and domestic departure tax.
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera, video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc).
  • Travel insurance 
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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