Experience the stunning beauty and heartwarming friendliness of green North Sumatra. Trekking and searching for orang utans and other tropical wildlife in the lush jungle of Gunung Leuser National Park. Float down the river by tube. Off road with local jeep. Take a ride on the back of an elephant through the jungle. Join and help mahouts bathe the elephants. Climbing active volcano. Go across lake Toba, one of the deepest and largest volcanic lake in the world. Spend the night on Samosir island. Get acquainted with traditional Batak culture. Explore traditional Batak villages and meet the local. Witness a number of exciting places including Sipiso piso waterfall, long house of king Batak Simalungun and colourful local market. After hiking around the mainland Sumatra’s jungles, volcanoes and lakes, then it’s time to jump into the crystal clear waters of the Weh island (Indonesia : Pulau / Pulo Weh), a tiny island at the very north tip of Sumatra. The entire island is surrounded with a beautiful white sandy beaches and coral reefs. And the waters are filled with abundance of marine life, with both quantity and the bio-diversity. Weh island is the area where the Andaman sea meets the Indian ocean that makes the island as the world class snorkeling and diving spots.
Route : Bukit Lawang - Tangkahan - Berastagi - Lake Toba - Medan - Banda Aceh - Weh island
Day 1 : Arrival in Medan – Bukit Lawang
Today you arrive in Kualanamu airport Medan.
Then you drive about 4 hours to Bukit Lawang, a small tourist village situated on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park.
Bukit Lawang is the most accessible place to spot the Orangutans in the park.
And the park is one of the largest national park in the world containing over 800,000 ha of virgin rainforest and home to an impressive number of mammal species like tigers, Orangutans, gibbons, elephants and rhino’s.
Enroute stop at oilpalm plantation and local market.
Arrival in Bukit Lawang, free to relax.
Enjoy the scenery from the veranda of your hotel room.
Day 2 : Bukit Lawang
First we bring you to the feeding platform of orangutans.
The platform was built to help the orangutans that have been released to the wild after their rehabilitation.
As they are semi-wild, they are sometimes having trouble finding food on their own in the wild.
Then they can come to the feeding platform for some milk and bananas.
Wild orangutan occasionally come to the platform too.
So the feeding platform is meant as the first place for the orangutans come to for help rather than plantations or village where conflicts can occur.
When the orangutans are getting enough food on their own, they will not come to the platform because the food they find in the wild is more exciting than just milk and bananas!
So although it is a marvelous sight to see the orangutans at the platform, it is also good news when they do not show up, as this means they are surviving well in the wild without help.
From the platform you will follow a 2-3 hours jungle walk searching for more tropical flora and fauna.
It is not a flat walk but involves some ups and downs.
A bit hard but in return you get a very nice experience.
You have a big chance to see gibbons, thomas leaf monkeys, longtail and pigtail macagues, flying squirrels, Sumatra peacocks and hornbills.
A wild Orangutans 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.
Jungle walk ends by the river side from where you start your tubing experience.
You will float down the river on car tubes about 20 minutes till your hotel.
It is a fun rafting and a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery.
The rest of day is free at leisure.
Day 3 : Tangkahan
Off road with local jeep to Tangkahan.
It takes about 3 hours passing by oilpalm plantation track and rural areas.
A bit bumpy drive but great fun! Tangkahan is a beautifully remote jungle settlement situated on the other side of Gunung Leuser National Park.
It was established as an ecotourism spot in 2001.
Previously the area was logged and poachers hunted the animals.
The local people have transformed the region, stopping illegal exploitation of the forest and forming forest ranger groups to patrol for illegal activities.
Seven elephants were brought to the area to support this initiative.
The elephants are used to patrol the forest to keep illegal loggers and poachers out.
Joining the elephants for their daily bathing or taking a ride on elephant back will help to support this initiative too.
Arrive in Tangkahan, transfer to your rainforest lodge and free at leisure.
Overnight at basic lodge.
Day 4 : Tangkahan
It’s your time with the biggest mammal in the world.
You will follow one hour elephant riding through the forest path.
Then join and help mahouts bathe the elephants in the river.
It is a very nice experience and you can get up close and personal with the elephants.
You are allowed to scrub and wash them.
Once they are finished, then your turn.
The elephant will spray you water with its trunk.
Also chance for you to hand feed the elephants.
Day 5 : Berastagi
Your next destination is Berastagi (1300m), a cool and picturesque hill town 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.
The first two hours of travel involves driving over bumpy plantation tracks.
Then an asphalt road will take you the rest of the way to Berastagi.
En-route visit to the Church Mary Annai Velangkanni illustrating Indo-Mogul architecture brough from Tamil Nadu, India.
Stop and wander around local fruit market in town of Berastagi before arrival at your hotel.
Day 6 : Climbing mount Sibayak
This 2172 meter tall volcano is close to the hill town Berastagi.
It is one of easily accessible top volcanoes in Indonesia, can be explored by anyone in reasonably good shape.
The first part will be done by car, then an hour walk to the top where you can see a crater with yellow fumaroles.
On a clear day from the top you have a fantastic view of the surroundings and the Sinabung volcano.
After the climb you can relax and sore your muscles in the hot springs at the other side of the volcano.
Day 7: Lake Toba
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.
Visit Sipiso piso waterfalls.
Stop at Pematang Purba to see wooden palace (Rumah Bolon) of the former king Batak Simalungun.
Somewhere afternoon arriving in Parapat, the main tourist resort which lies on the very shore of lake Toba.
From here you cross the lake by boat on about 45 minutes to Samosir, a volcanic island in the middle of lake Toba.
You will stay in Tuktuk, a peninsula on the eastern coast of Samosir island.
Your accomodation is simple but nicely located by the lake side.
Day 8 : Lake Toba
Explore the natural beauty and cultural aspects of Batak Toba by car.
Visit Ambarita, Samosir’s most interesting Batak Toba village.
Ambarita is known for its unique ancient courtyard, made up of stone chairs and tables.
This courtyard served as a court of justice.
Visit the home of king Sidauruk in Simanindo village and witness Batak Toba folkdance called Tor tor performed by the villagers.
Here you can also visit a museum built in typical Batak style.
On the way back to your hotel, visit Tomok to see a very old but nicely decorated sarchopagus, the old tomb of king Sidabutar.
Day 9 : Medan
Across back the lake by boat on about 45 minutes to Parapat.
Proceed to Medan passing by town of Pematang Siantar and Tebingtinggi.
Most of the views en-route are plantation of oilpalm, rubber and cocoa.
Arrival in Medan, you will get a city tour visiting the Maimun palace built in 1888 in Malayan and Middle-East style and belonging the sultan of Deli.
Visit the grand mosque Almashum built in the same period of the Maimun palace.
Visit the colorful Chinese temple, vihara Gunung Timur.
Transfer to your hotel and relax.
Day 10 : Flight Banda Aceh
Transfer to Kualanamu airport for your onward flight to Banda Aceh, the provincial capital of Aceh Special District, most devastated city hit by the 2004 tsunami.
Then just short half hour transfer to your hotel.
Day 11 : Weh island
After hiking around the mainland Sumatra’s jungles, volcanoes and lakes, then it’s time to jump into the crystal clear waters of the Weh island (Indonesia : Pulau / Pulo Weh), a tiny island at the very north tip of Sumatra.
The entire island is surrounded with a beautiful white sandy beaches and coral reefs.
And the waters are filled with abundance of marine life, with both quantity and the bio-diversity.
Weh island is the area where the Andaman sea meets the Indian ocean that makes the island as the world class snorkeling and diving spots.
First we pick up you from your hotel and transfer to ferry port Ulele for ferry to Weh island.
It takes one hour boat riding till you reach ferry port Balohan in Sabang, Weh island.
Arrival in Sabang, we bring you to your hotel situated in Santai Sumur Tiga, a convenient resort with two miles long white sandy beach.
You will stay at a nice accommodation entirely built from locally sourced materials, even tables built from wood salvaged after the tsunami.
The bungalows are made of bamboo which overlooks the amazing views of the pristine white sand beach.
Day 12 : Weh island - Free time
Day 13 : Snorkelling trip
Day 14 : Weh island - Free time
Day 15 : Departure
It is your final day in Pulau Weh.
You will be transferred by ferry back to the mainland, to Banda Aceh.
Proceed to airport for your onward flight.
If time permits before airport you will get a city tour visiting tsunami related sites like a 200-ton diesel-powered ship carried away to a village by the tsunami, fishing boat stranded on the roof of villager’s house, museum tsunami and war memorial of Kerkoff cemetery.
You also will visit Thanks To The World monument, Acehnese gratitude to all who participated in Aceh reconstruction after tsunami.
And the last, to the grand mosque Baiturrahman built in 12th century.