24 Days Sumatra Overland Tour
Day 1 Kuala Namu International Airport – Medan / 1 hrs drive
Arrive at the Kuala Namu International Airport with flight… at…
We will fetch you and transfer to hotel Garuda Plaza or similar for overnight stay.
Day 2 Medan – Tangkahan (Gunung Leuser National Park) / 4 hrs drive
In the morning there is a city tour of Medan visiting Sultan Maimoon Palace, Grand Mosque, Chinese temple and remaining Dutch colonial building. After that you depart to Tangkahan, the Elephant lodge which takes around 4 hours. Arrive in Tangkahan you cross the Batang River by local raft or by new bridge to your lodge inn.
2 overnight stays in Jungle Lodge or Linnea Resort or similar.
Day 3 Elephants (Bathing & Riding)
After breakfast, you visit the Elephant camp where you can see the Elephant bathing. You can join to wash the Elephants. After that you start trekking with Elephants for 1 hour to explore part of the Leuser National Park. The rest is your own program. You can walk along the bank of the Buluh River, is to see thousand beautiful butterflies by the river, visiting and bathing at the small waterfall in the rainforest close to the river and or swimming in Buluh river itself.
- Elephant ride is not available on Friday
- Accommodations in Tangkahan are basic, built with simple materials to keep in harmony with nature. Electricity run by own generator and not available after 22:00 pm. Room is equipped with mosquito net and has own bathroom which comes with shower with cold water (no hot water).
Day 4 Tangkahan – Bukit Lawang / Orangutans Jungle Trekking (2,5 – 3 hrs drive)
After breakfast you will be fetch by a local jeep in the other side for your off road trip to Bukit Lawang (approximately 2h to 2 hours 30 minutes) passing through rubber plantations and with beautiful jungle and mountain landscapes at the horizon.
Before arriving in Bukit Lawang a short stop to stretch our legs and enjoy a fresh coconut drink. Arrive in Bukit Lawang and check in to hotel.
2 overnight stays in Eco Lodge or Rindu Alam hotel in Bukit Lawang
Day 5 Orangutans Jungle Trekking
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, 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. The rest is your own programs, you can swim or take a beautiful walk to the local village nearby.
Day 6 Bukit Lawang – Brastagi / 4,5 hrs drive
In the morning is free program until you leave for the cool and pleasant highland town of Berastagi–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 “Marquisa” passion fruit). The route will through winding road with lovely countryside. In Brastagi you can also visit the famous fruits market and Gundaling hill where you views two active volcanoes, Sinabung and Sibayak.
2 overnight stays in hotel Sinabung or hotel Danau Toba Cottages in Brastagi.
Day 7 Brastagi (volcano & local villages)
Today you have chance to climb the volcano of Sibayak. This is an optional program where you have to arrange and pay the local guide on the spot.
If you wish to see the sunrise on the top of volcano, you have to get up early in the morning at 04.00 and walk with local guide up to the volcano. You will have wonderful far views over the environment. Also you can see the smoking sulphur sources on the moon like landscape on the top of the volcano. After descending, you can enjoy Lau Debuk Debuk hot spring.
Back to Brastagi you can visit Lingga, a traditional village of Batak’s Karo tribe. The rest of the day you may enjoy the atmosphere of Brastagi town in the famous fruits market. Here you can also be interacted with the local people.
Day 8 Brastagi – Samosir island / 3,5 hrs drive + 1 hr ferry
After breakfast you proceed the journey to Samosir Island. Stop will be made at Tongging hills to view Sipiso-piso waterfall and beautiful views of lake Toba. After that you stop at Long house of Simalungun Bataks and Simarjarunjung hill, a highest point to see great views of lake Toba. 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.
4 overnight stays in hotel Silintong or Toledo Inn on Samosir island.
Day 9 Samosir island (local villages)
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.
Day 10 Samosir island (hotsprings & villages)
Today you can use a car to visit Pangururan where you can see the hotsprings and visit Lumban Suhi Suhi villages to see the traditional hand weaving. The rest is your own program, you may take a nice walk around the villages nearby your hotel. In the evening you can enjoy the local café which is located behind of your hotel.
Day 11 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 12 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 13 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.
- 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 14 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.
- 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 15 Bukittinggi – Sawahlunto (history of mining town) / 3 hrs drive
After breakfast you depart to Sawahlunto, one of a mining town in West Sumatra. This is an interesting miningtown which has many old buildings from before the war. The coal mining is also still in operation.
Here you visit Museum Goedang Ransoem, Lubang Tambang Mbah Suro( Mining Hole of Mbah Suro), Train Museum, Old Steam Locomotive serie E 1060 (Mak Itam) and the former mansion of Pek Sin Kek (the rich Chinese man during the Dutch time) and the old Church Santa Lucia. Tour by locomotive train if available (optional)
Overnight stay in hotel Ombilin (deluxe room) / simple.
Day 16 Sawahlunto – Kersik Tuo (Kerinci National Park) / 6 hrs drive
Today you drive to Kersik Tuo. Impressive route via Solok and along the twin lake Diatas and lake Dibawah. On the way you will also stop at Talun Barasap waterfall. Arrive in Kersik Tuo and overnight stay in a simple accomodation in Kersik Tuo in the famous Kerinci nature reserve.
3 overnight stays in Subandy Homestay (simple) in Kersik Tuo.
Acomodation in Kersik Tuo is basic, situated at the opposite of huge tea plantation. The room is quite small and bathroom comes with a basin of cold water. No restaurant facility but the owner can provide meals usually rice plus dishes and noodle soup.
Day 17 & 18 Kersik Tuo (trekking mount 7 or lake Kerinci)
Kertinci National Park is famous with its Lake Mount seven and mount Kerinci. Lake Giunung Tujuh is a 4 km square mysterious lake which located on 1.995 m above sea level and surrounding primary rain forest and 7 hills. This area is known as the habitat of Sumatran Tigers, Sumatran Elephants, Primates and endemic birds of Sumatra as well.
During these 2 days you can make trekking activities in the Kerinci National Park. Options program on these days are:
– Trekking to the lake and mount Seven
– Trekking and climbing to the mount Kerinci (should be overnight on the top of mount Kerinci)The above activities could be arranged directly to Mr. Subandy, an experienced local guide and owner of Subandy homestay.
Day 19 Kersik Tuo – Lubuk Linggau (transit) / 8 hrs drive
After breakfast you proceed the journey to Lubuk Linggau, a transit city before you reach Palembang. The trip will be via town of Bangko and Sarolangun, towns which near Bukit Dua Belas National Park, a habitat of Kubu remote tribe. Late in the afternoon arrive in Lubuk Linggau.
Overnight stay in hotel Lintas Sumatra in Lubuk Linggau
Day 20 Lubuk Linggau – Palembang / 6 – 7 hrs drive
After breakfast you depart to Palembang, one of the oldest cities in Indonesia and have a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Palembang was formerly the capital city of the Kingdom of Srivijaya, a powerful Malay kingdom, which influenced much of Southeast Asia.
2 overnight stays in hotel Grand Zuri (superior) Palembang.
Day 21 Palembang (boat trip at Musi river)
Today you will make a city tour of Palembang. First you will do a boat tour on Musi river. After passing a number of houseboats and passing under the Ampera bridge you will reach the floating market known as Pasar 16 Ilir, where activities peak around 11 am. Then proceed to Kemaro island, located in the middle of Musi river, where stands a large Buddhist temple and the grave of a Chinese princess, who was destined to wed a Srivijaya king. After excursion by boat, you return to the city of Palembang where you visit Museum Sultan Machmud Badaruddin II which faces the Musi river. It was built by the Dutch in 1823 on what was formerly the Sultan’s palace. Near the museum you can find the Art Market, famous with artisans work on the delicate gold and silver songket sarongs, and the red-and-balck lacquer ware. The rest is your own program.
Day 22 Palembang – Way Kanan (Way Kambas national Park) / 7 hrs driveIn the morning you leave Palembang to Way kanan. In the afternoon arrive in Way Kanan where you can 2 overnight stays in Satwa Sumatra Ecolodge (simple).
Day 23 Boat trip to Kali Biru & Night Walking
Early in the morning at 5.00, you start drive to Way Kanan Camp which is around 12 km from your lodge. You drive through the small road in the national park. There is opportunity to see wild animals on the way such as; wild deer, pigs, kind of unique birds, wild cat, monkeys or even wild Elephants. After 45 minutes drive, you will arrive at the camp where you prepare a boat for trip to Kali Biru. During boat trip you have chance to see kind of birds, monkeys, crocodile and any other wild animals. The boat trip will take around 3 hrs. You can also stop at the forest where you can do light trek to the jungle. After the boat trip you return to your lodge.
The rest is your own program, you can walk to the pleasant rural village surrounding your lodge and meet villagers and enjoy the atmosphere.
In the evening you will make a night walk to the jungle. A local guide and ranger will accompany you for night walking to the forest where you might see the wild nocturnal animals like; wild cat, slow loris, owl, golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii) and other animals.
Day 24 Way Kanan – Airport Bandar Lampung / 3 hrs drive
Today you will be transferred to the airport of Bandar Lampung for catch your flight to Java. End of your Sumatra overland trip with us.
Hotels as mentioned above + breaksfast
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 Tangkahan and Bukit Lawang
Elephant bathing and 1 hr Elephant ride in Tangkahan
3 hours Orangutans jungle trekking in Bukit Lawang
Public ferry to Samosir island vice versa
Boat for tour on Musi river
Boat trip to Kali Biru for around 3 hrs on including local guide and ranger
Night walking Way Kambas including local guide and ranger
Flight tickets and airport tax
Personal expenses; meals, drinks, donations, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
Tips for guide/driver
Any optional program