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09 Days North – West Sumatra Overland Tour (Included Orangutans)

 

Day 1 Kuala Namu International Airport – Bukit Lawang / 3 – 3,5 hrs drive
Arrive at the Kuala Namu International Airport with flight… at… We will fetch you and depart to Bukit Lawang the observation point of the Orangutans located in Gunung Leuser National Park through by landscape with vast view of palm oil and rubber plantation. En-route stops at of rubber, oil palm and cacao plantations with some countryside landscape.
Overnight stay in hotel Rindu Alam or Eco Lodge Bukit Lawang Cottages or similar.

Day 2 Bukit Lawang (Orangutans jungle trekking) – Brastagi via Medan / 5 hrs drive
In the morning, you visit the feeding platform to see the Orangutan while being fed and prepared for release back into their natural habitat. The excursion starts with a short walk along the river bank and crossing the river with rubber boat or traditional canoe, continuing the hike amidst the thick and hilly bushes until you reach at the plat-forms where regularly, twice a day at 8.am and 3.pm. After that you continue with a 3 hours jungle trekking. Steep, slopes and dense vegetation will bring you to the excitement of the Sumatra rainforest. Here you have the opportunity to see several species of indigenous flora and fauna. Walkers must be fit and have suitable, large profile shoes.
At noon you leave for Brastagi, a mountain resort with its refreshing weather and magnificent mountain scenery which has an abundance of flowers, vegetables and fruits (most famous of which is the “Marquise” passion fruit). Here you can visit the famous fruits market and views two active volcanoes, Sinabung and Sibayak.
Overnight stay in hotel Sinabung or Danau Toba Cottages or similar in Brastagi

Day 3 Brastagi – Samosir island / 4 hrs drive + 1 hr ferry
After breakfast you proceed the journey to Samosir Island. Stop will be made at Dokan village, a traditional Karo Bataks village, Sipiso-piso waterfall, Long house of Simalungun Bataks. During the trip you will also pass local spices garden: coffee, cinnamon, clove etc. In the afternoon you arrive in Parapat from where you cross the lake by ferry to Samosir island.
2 overnight stays in Tabo Cottages or hotel Toledo Inn on Samosir island.

Day 4 Samosir tour
Today you will make excursion to explore the beauty and cultural aspects of Batak visiting Ambarita village to see the stone chairs, tables and court yard of Siallagan’s clan. Simanindo to enjoy the Bataks traditional ritual dances of the Bataks Tribe. Thereafter continue to Tomok village to see the old tomb of King’s Sidabutar. The rest is your own program, you can take a beautiful walk or ride a bicycle (optional) or take rest in hotel.

Day 5 Samosir – Padang Sidempuan / 6 hrs drive + 1 hr ferry
In the morning you cross the lake by ferry to Parapat from where you continue drive to Padangsidempuan with view of marching mountains “Bukit Barisan”. On the way, stop at Jangga Dolok; a typical Batak Toba village, pineapple farm. Stop in Balige market with traditional roof’s design and some others interesting spots found on the driving to the southern of Lake Toba. In the afternoon arrive in Padangsidempuan for overnight stay.
Overnight stay in hotel Natama or Mega Permata in Padang Sidempuan.

Day 6 Padang Sidempuan – Bukittinggi / 8 hrs drive
After breakfast at hotel, drive to Bukittinggi. It is the longest distance great circuit the inner part of Sumatra with the scenery of mountains, rivers, valleys and traditional villages. En-route stops to see Sijornih waterfall, Sihepeng botanical garden, gold seeker (activity subject to availability), a nature reserve called Rimba Panti for observing the charming flora, fauna and herbarium, Bonjol where a monument marking the equator. Late noon or in the evening arrive in the Minangkabau region famously for matrilineal society.
2 overnight stays in hotel Royal Denai or Gran Malindo or similar in Bukittinggi.

Day 7 Bukittinggi tour – excursions to Harau and local villages
After breakfast you depart to the west passing the small town of Payakumbuh to reach the beautiful Harau Valley, here lush green ricefields are hemmed in between huge granite cliffs.
Here enjoy a 1 hour walk through the village and rice fields to observe the daily life and activities of the villagers ending the walk at a local homestay for drinks and refreshments.
From Harau valley you continue your drive in the direction of Batusangkar with a stop at Tabek Patah. Next drive to the nearby local village of Rao Rao known for its beautiful traditional Minangkabau houses, locally known as Rumah Gadang.

Note:

  • The Minangkabau ethnic group, also known as Minang is indigenous to the Minangkabau Highlands of West Sumatra, in Indonesia. Their culture is matrilineal and patriarchal, with property and land passing down from mother to daughter, while religious and political affairs are the responsibility of men (although some women also play important roles in these areas.
  • The Rumah gadang are large elegant houses built is solid wood and beautifully carved : they are easily recognizable   by their sweeping roofs with pointed eaves. The Minang believe that the pointed roof is reminiscent of the legend of the water buffalo, who won for Sumatra in a fight against a large Javanese bull.

Next stop will be at Pagaruyung Palace located in the village of Tanjung Emas near Batusangkar: The palace is a replica of the original Pagaruyung royal palace which was set on fire by the nation’s Dutch colonists in 1804 and it has only recently been entirely restored using traditional materials. With it 3 storeys and its 5 stacked sweeping roofs ending with eleven sharp horns and covered with over 26 tons of palm fibers. Pagarayung is the most beautiful example of the Traditional Minangkabau Architecture. Pagaruyung is the name of the Minangkabau kingdom that ruled the central region of Sumatra and was the seat of a large kingdom where the Minangkabau culture flourished.
Return to Bukittinggi passing by the picturesque Lake Singkarak.

(In the evening the traditional Minangkabau dance in the town-OPTIONAL).

Day 8 Bukittinggi city tour and excursions to Maninjau lake
After breakfast you leave to Puncak Lawang, located on the hills with great views over Maninjau Lake. Here you do short and soft trekking down to the lake. The trek goes down through the forest towards the mysterious Lake Maninjau. During the trek you will stop at the local coffee shop to rest while enjoying the beautiful scenery. Upon arrival in the lake side village you will be picked up by the car.
Return to Bukittinggi for exploring and its surroundings. The main town sites will be seen on foot, as Bukittinggi is very small and everything is located close together, with a car nearby to take you to the further locations. You will visit the impressive Sianok Canyon which is known for its network of underground bunkers and tunnels built by the Japanese during World War II. There is a two-story observation tower that overlooks the Sianok Canyon, which you may climb to the top for panoramic views of the area.

Note

  • We advise to skip Japanese tunnel due to security reason

You will also see Fort De Kock, built by the Dutch during the Padri Wars. Although little remains of the original fortifications, it provides fine views over the town from its hilltop position.
In town, you see the town’s large clock tower ‘Jam Gadang’ and walk around the Pasar Atas Market. The market is open daily but on Wednesdays and Saturdays it is especially busy with people coming from neighboring villages to buy and sell their wares.
Overnight at the hotel in Bukittinggi

Day 9 Bukittinggi – Padang airport / 3 hrs drive
Today you drive to Padang airport via Anai valley and waterfall. It takes around 2,5 hours drive.
End of your trip.

Included
Hotels as mentioned above + breakfast
AC transport as mentioned in the program + fuel & driver
English/Spanish/Dutch/Italian/German/French speaking guide
Entrance & parking fees as mentioned in the program
National Park Permit in Bukit Lawang
3 hrs Orangutans jungle trekking Bukit Lawang
Ferry Parapat – Samosir island vice versa

Excluded
Flight tickets and airport tax
Personal expenses; meals (lunches & dinners), drinks, donations, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
Tips for guide/driver
Travel insurance
Any optional program