Summatra - Lake Toba discovery
Private Tour - 4 days / 3 nights
Day 1: MEDAN – PARAPAT / SAMOSIR ISLAND
Upon arrival at the airport, meet and welcome by our representative, and proceed for a city tour of Medan, the provincial capital of North Sumatra, which is a cosmopolitan city of over 2 million inhabitants and a booming commercial center for the region's huge oil and agro businesses. The pre-independence population of Chinese, Indians, Javanese and Europeans has been swamped by an influx of indigenous Sumatrans, predominantly Bataks, but also Acehnese, Malays and Minangkabau.
Visit the Great Mosque, with its imposing tiled archway with royal burial ground, and one may see also the tall water tower adopted as a symbol of the municipality of Medan back along the main street. One block to the west across the single track railway is the Sultan’s Palace; the ceremonial palace of the Sultans of Deli with its yellow trim and typical east coast Malay architecture with living quarters occupied by the Sultan's families.
Afterwards, a sightseeing transfer to the Simalungun area, a highland which is today a key plantation region, with stops en route at the estates of oil palm, rubber and cocoa, and Pematang Siantar, North Sumatra's second largest city and the administrative and commercial hub of the Simalungun plantation area. Then, the road ascends steadily through palm plantation and a vast patch quilt of irrigated sawah, to a refreshingly cool town at night - and tolerably warm town during the day - called Parapat; this is a small rocky peninsula jutting into the Toba Lake, and the gateway to tracking down the vestiges of traditional Toba culture and to acquainting with the colourful but notoriously forthright and aggressive Batak people who inhabit the spectacularly beautiful and fertile volcanic basin at the northern end of the Bukit Barisan mountain range; Sumatra’s dominated topography being a spine of rugged volcanic mountains running down the west coast where its two highest peaks (Mt. Leuser – 3,381 m in the north and Mt. Kerinci – 3,800 m in the west) give their names to two massive national parks.
On arrival in Parapat, cruise across Lake Toba to the central isle of Samosir, where colourful Toba Batak villages cling to the shore, for accommodation and dinner. Lunch is provided en route. (L, D)
- The Cocoa Plantation has been cut off and re-planted with other crops, which are rubber and oil palm.
- For those who stay on Samosir Island: cruising to the hotel and back to Parapat would be by public ferryboat, which sails back & forth every one hour, the last being at 18.00. In case of late arrival due to traffic or irregularities caused or arising from circumstances beyond our control, passengers may choose to take a private ferryboat, at USD 55 per boat.
Day 2: LAKE TOBA CRUISE
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for a day cruise by private ferryboat on Lake Toba, passing lovely coves with white sandy beaches and picturesque villages. The first disembarkation is at Ambarita Village, which has an archaeologically important meeting place for the King of Siallagan that supposedly served as a kind of hall of justice and those who were condemned would be executed in an adjacent clearing with ancient stone walls that were once topped with a thick fence of thorny bamboo.
Then, the cruise continues to Simanindo Village, which is up towards the northern end of the Island known as the site of some of the best Batak Toba traditional houses (these stand on foundations of piles braced with cross beams forming a space beneath the house where buffaloes were once stalled; walls are covered with graceful flowing and spiral decoration to protect the occupants and friezes with figures and three-dimensional carved protective monsters at the corner and top of the façade), particularly that of King Sidauruk, which is now a museum and a chance to watch a Toba Batak folk dance performed by the villagers. This is followed by a short cruise to Tao Island for a brief respite and possibly a swim in the tranquil waters of Lake Toba.Then, proceed by boat to Tomok Village, and walk up to visit one of the Island’s most famous sights – the 200- year-old boat-shaped sarcophagus of King Sidabutar, surrounded by those of his descendants.
Afterwards, cruise back to the hotel for accommodation and dinner. Lunch is provided en route. (B, L, D)
Day 3: SAMOSIR ISLAND / PARAPAT – BERASTAGI - MEDAN
Breakfast at the hotel.
At the appropriate time, cruise by public ferryboat back to Parapat. Upon arrival there, proceed to drive along the main road, rounding back through a sheer cliff at Sibaganding to a left turn that continues high above the Lake up to the hill-top guesthouse of that offers magnificent views back across the Lake. Then proceed the tour via the scenic back road Simarjarunjung across the Karo Plateau that skirts the northeastern edge of the Toba caldera, to the delightfully cool and picturesque town of Berastagia.
There are stops en route at: the Pematang Purba to see the wooden palace (Ruma Bolon) of the former Simalungun ruler, built in the style of a traditional adat house, which is said to be more than 200 years and has been restored as a museum, the Tongging Hill; at a hill located at the Northern rim of Toba basin, enjoy a gazebo, which provides panoramic view over the village at the Lake’s edge with the spectacular waterfall known as Sipiso piso, which shoots out of a cave at the edge of the plateau and plunges 120 m straight down to a small gushing stream below; and at the Lingga Village to see a glimpse of the way of life of the Karo Batak Tribe and their typical houses with open floor plan in which eight related families live together under a single upswept or rectangular roof of ijuk thatch, interspersed with more modern ones.
Eventually arrive in Berastagi. After visiting a fruit market, drive on the forested foothills of the Bukit Barisan mountain range and enjoy a panoramic view across the nature reserve of Sibolangit, which lies on an escarpment overlooking the lowlands down to Medan.
Proceed on to Medan, and upon arrival there transfer to the hotel for accommodation and dinner. Lunch is provided en route. (B, L, D)
Day 4: MEDAN - DEPARTURE
Breakfast at the hotel. At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for the flight to the onward destination. (B)
****** END OF SERVICES ******
1. Tour & transfers as detailed in the itinerary, in private air-conditioned vehicle
2. Accommodation at the selected hotels, including daily breakfast
3. English speaking guide
4. Specified meals with Indonesian menu (European standard)
6. Entrance fee at venues visited
7. Ferry boat for Lake Toba cruise and visit
8. Airport greeting and luggage handling
9. Government tax and service charges
1. Domestic/international airfares and airport tax
2. Extra meals; alcoholic and soft drinks
3. Peak season surcharges (if applicable)
4. Tipping, gratuities, and other personal expenses
Silintong Hotel (2*-SUP) or Toledo Inn (2*-SUP) or similar
Both hotels are the most recommended 2* hotels as they are frequented by foreigners. They are nice hotels on the lake shore and located at Tuktuk peninsula on Samosir Island.
Tuktuk is one of two main landing points on Samosir where the island’s many hotels & restaurants are concentrated as well as many of people's artifacts remain on the island.
Samosir Island does not have 4* hotel at the moment.
Tiara Hotel (4*-SUP) or Soechi Hotel (4*-SUP) or Santika Dyandra Hotel (4*-SUP) or similar