North Sumatra Highlights

13 Days North Sumatra Highlights

Prices from £1983 per person based on 6 People
Including International Flights, Ground Transfers, Activities and Hotel Accommodations


ITINERARY

What to expect

Lake Toba, in North Sumatra, is the ancestral home of the Batak tribes. The word Batak is a collective term used to identify a number of ethnic groups found in this region. The term is used to include the Karo, Pakpak, Simalungun, Toba, Angkola, and Mandailing; related groups with distinct languages and customs (adat). Toba Batak is known traditionally for their weaving, wood carving, and especially ornate stone tombs. The area surrounding Lake Toba is home to many fascinating villages; the setting for ancient performances of dance and theatre on the modern stage.

Bukit Lawang, also in north Sumatra is home to rainforests inhabited by exotic wildlife, framed by towering volcanoes and waterfalls cascading down into verdant valleys. In the village of Tangkahan, a team of elephants and their mahouts work together to maintain a fledgling national park, where visitors can join these gentle giants at work and play in the pristine rivers and jungle paths of the region. Just upriver, the village of Bukit Lawang is the perfect place to see the orangutan in the wild. The apes here have grown used to human interaction, so expect some up close and personal encounters.

Aceh was decimated by an earthquake and tsunami in December 2004, Aceh has since recovered, thanks to international aid and the indomitable spirit of the Acehnese themselves. Today, the region has been rebuilt and regenerated and is emerging as one of Indonesia’s most rewarding new tourism destinations. Visitors can witness many poignant and dramatic relics of the disaster, from the area’s Tsunami Museum to fishing boats on rooftops and a 12,000-ton trawler beached inland. Aside from tangible reminders of the disaster, Aceh is home to jungles teeming with wildlife, misty mountain peaks and endless swathes of empty beach, beyond which a heavenly halo of coral gardens is beckoning.

Pulau Weh or Weh Island is kilometer zero for Indonesia; the most westerly spot in the archipelago, with an otherworldly beauty befitting its remote location. Weh is home to white sandy beaches and breathtakingly blue ocean, framed by the curving arches of palm trees and bathed in warm sunshine. For those who love snorkeling, diving, or simply enjoying the picture-perfect escapism of a signature tropical island, Weh is the way to go.

Highlights

• Berastagi with its colorful markets and views over active volcanoes
• The amazing landscapes around Lake Toba
• The traditional Batak Houses
• Bathe with Sumatran elephants in the river at Tangkahan
• Trek in the jungle to observe endangered Orangutans in their natural habitat
• The Tsunami Museum
• The beautiful beaches of Pulau Weh

D1: Depart London

D2: ARRIVAL MEDAN – SILANGIT – SAMOSIR ISLAND (-/L/-)

Upon arrival at Silangit Airport, meet with our licensed and professional tour guide, then proceed directly to visit Huta Ginjang; a hill at the northeastern corner of Lake Toba which gives some beautiful views of the caldera lake, including Samosir Island at its center. Next, the journey to Museum of TB Silalahi on the shores of Lake Toba dedicated to the preservation of the cultural values of the indigenous ethnic population of North Sumatra: the Bataks and the Huta Batak. This is an outdoor museum built like a traditional Batak village, consisting of three houses and three Sopo (storage structures) depicting typical Bataknese houses. Continue the day reaching Balige; capital of Toba Samosir Regency on the eastern shore of Lake Toba, where there is a large market built in the traditional Tapanuli style. The final destination of the day will be the village of Parapat, from which we embark to Samosir Island. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant.
Overnight at your hotel in Samosir Island.

D3: SIMANINDO CRUISE – SAMOSIR DRIVE – TELE – SAMOSIR ISLAND (B/-/-)

Following breakfast at the hotel, take a cruise on Lake Toba, passing lovely coves with white sandy beaches and picturesque villages by private ferryboat. Visit the fascinating ancient stone courtroom Ambarita Village and Simanindo Village, where you can watch a traditional dance performed by the people of Toba. From here, continue by car to Lumban Sui Sui, where you will see traditional weaving techniques in action, as locals produce the distinctive ikat fabrics that are so synonymous with the region. Continue to Pangururan; the sub-district administrative center, where a bridge connects Samosir Island to the mainland on the slopes of Mt. Pusuk Buhit (1,981 M); the sacred mountain of origin for all Bataknese people. Sianjur Mula Mula was the first settlement of the Batak people; today it remains a beautiful village surrounded by stunning rice fields and is home to many fascinating mythical stories relating to the peoples of the region. Located on the mainland of Sumatra, Tele is offering unforgettable views of Lake Toba and Samosir Island.
Overnight at your hotel in Samosir Island.

D4: SAMOSIR ISLAND – TIGA RAS – SIPISO PISO – BERASTAGI (B/-/-)

After breakfast at the hotel, journey south through the countryside to unveil all the hidden wonders of Samosir Island offering scenic views with a chance to stop at Tomok Village. From Simanindo, take a ferry over Lake Toba to Tiga Ras; a market town on the lakeshore. Next, stop at Tongging Hill, which is known for its Sipiso Piso Waterfall; one of the highest waterfalls in Indonesia. This long and narrow waterfall, framed by green vegetation, drops dramatically down 120 meters into the gorge below. Thereafter, drive through lush country roads on the eastern edge of the highlands past the delightfully cool & picturesque town of Berastagi; a fertile panorama, set against the backdrop of the volcanic Bukit Barisan highlands with stop at Gundaling, which is a hill near Berastagi, located 1,575 Mt above sea level being a popular tourist destination in the region, as it offers excellent views of the nearby Sibayak and Sinabung volcanoes. Thereafter, drive through the forested foothills of the Bukit Barisan mountains range; an area with panoramic views overlooking the lowlands. Drive towards your hotel in Berastagi.
Overnight at your choice of hotel in Berastagi.

D5: BERASTAGI – MEDAN (B/-/-)

After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will be waiting in the lobby. Check out and then proceed to visit Gundaling Hill; a popular tourist destination in the region, as it offers excellent views of the nearby Sibayak and Sinabung volcanoes. We will also make a stop at a traditional Fruit Market in town, where you will be met by a cacophony of colors and bustling activity as locals go about their daily business. Next, head to the northern outskirts of Berastagi to visit the Golden Pagoda, which is the tallest of its kind in Indonesia and the third largest in the world. Thereafter, proceed to Lau Debuk Debuk - a natural sulfur spring that is a great place to enjoy a communal bath in the steaming sulphurous water. Soon afterwards, proceed on the forested foothills of the Bukit Barisan mountains, where you’ll see panoramic views on the way down to Medan with a chance to visit the Church of Mary Annai Velangkanni; a beautiful example of Indo-Mogul architecture brought from Tamil Nadu in India, which contains many captivating ornaments and colorful displays within the towering temple. Then, continue for a short drive towards your hotel in Medan and check in upon arrival.
Overnight at your choice of hotel in Medan.

D6: MEDAN - TANGKAHAN (B/L/-)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to the heart of the city and visit the Great Mosque, the symbol of the municipality of Medan which was built in 1906. Admire the largest and the most beautiful mosque in Northern Sumatera with its imposing tiled archway with royal burial ground, then proceed to the Sultan’s Palace located about a block away. Dubbed as the Yellow Palace or Maimoon Palace, it was built in 1888 and became the center of the Deli Kingdom.
Your orientation of the city continues to Tjong A Fie Mansion built by a Hakka merchant in the 18th century. Discover his role in building the Chinese community in Medan then continue on foot to a bustling traditional market which is the center of textile trading. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant with an opportunity to sample the famous Sumatran Sidikalang Coffee. Drive past the town square to see the colonial buildings and the monument of Medan’s Zero Point, then proceed to Tangkahan where your hotel is located. Arriving at Tangkahan approximately 3 – 4 hours later, you will then check-in and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your own leisure. Dinner at hotel.
Overnight at Tangkahan Inn or other similar.

D7: TANGKAHAN – ELEPHANT ACTIVITIES – BUKIT LAWANG (B/L/-)

Dawn gives way to a new day as the sounds of a jungle symphony awakens you. Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and then head down to the riverside, where you will help in bathing the elephants. Proceed on an hour-long elephant ride through designated dirt trails. Lunch is provided, picnic style with a stunning waterfall set up. Return to the hotel for a quick check-out.
Next, take a trip to Bukit Lawang traversing thickly cultivated plantations overlooking the dramatic views of forested foothills in the Bukit Barisan mountain range, where you’ll see shady countryside interspersed with local rural houses. Check-in upon arrival at your hotel in Bukit Lawang.
Overnight at Rindu Alam or other similar

D8: BUKIT LAWANG TREKKING (B/L/-)

Wake up to the sounds of nature and a jungle symphony; melodious bird chirps or the ascending scale of a cuckoo, the wails of white-handed gibbons and the cries of larger black siamangs in the treetops. Embark on a jungle exploration in the National Park (3 to 4 hours trekking) after breakfast. Guided by a professional local ranger, set off by 08:00 am and start walking uphill through the shade of immense rubber plantations following trails in the thick shrubs.
Observe the flora and fauna including the leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques, tangles of fig trees, palms, ferns, forest moss and gigantic banyan trees as you make your way through the thick jungle with well-trodden paths to follow. The sight of orangutan swinging through the trees is surely unforgettable, yet sightings of solitary orangutan are the result of patience, the considerable investment of time and of course fortune. Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints. Return to your lodge on an inflatable tube down the river rapids. Lunch is served at the lodge’s Kapal Bambu restaurant, built using natural and sustainable harvested bamboo and clay.
Overnight at Rindu Alam or other similar.

D9: BUKIT LAWANG – DEPARTURE MEDAN – ARRIVAL BANDA ACEH (B/-/-)

Morning breakfast at the hotel. Check out and then return to Medan. Your assigned guide will be waiting to escort you in a chauffeured vehicle to the airport for your flight to Banda Aceh. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by our friendly and experienced guide, who will directly transfer you to the hotel in Banda Aceh. Check in upon your arrival and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at The Pade Hotel or other similar

D10: BANDA ACEH – WEH ISLAND (B/-/-)

After breakfast at the hotel, embark on a full day of sightseeing around the city of Aceh, where you will see many points of interest relating to the tsunami of 2004. First, up will be the Tsunami Museum, which features many engaging and poignant exhibits. Next, PLTD Apung is a 12,000-ton merchant vessel that was lifted by the tsunami and carried 5km inland, where it now remains as a staggering example of nature’s destructive power. Another illustration of the events from 2004 is the sight of a fisherman’s boat perched on the roof of a house. This extraordinary scene gives a good impression of the human cost of the disaster.
Thereafter, you will head to Pasar Aceh; a large and sprawling market where you can see the vitality of modern-day Aceh in all its glory. The market is located close to the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, which miraculously survived the tsunami and remains both a beautiful and spiritually important building to this day. Following a trip to the house of Cut Nyak Dhien - a famous warrior from Aceh’s war for independence, we will visit the fascinating Museum Negeri Banda Aceh. You will then head towards Banda Aceh’s Ulee Lheu; a ferry port on the mainland for a short cruise to Weh Island; a place renowned for its world-class snorkeling and diving.
Overnight at Casa Nemo or other similar.

D11: PULAU WEH (B/-/-)

Enjoy breakfast at the Hotel, then the rest of the day is free at own leisure.
Overnight at Casa Nemo or other similar.

D12: PULAU WEH (B/-/-)

Enjoy breakfast at the Hotel, then the rest of the day is free at own leisure.
Overnight at Casa Nemo or other similar.

D13: PULAU WEH – DEPARTURE BANDA ACEH (B/-/-)

After breakfast at the hotel, drive back to the port at Balohan for a short cruise back to Ulee Lheu in Banda Aceh (estimated departure time: 08:00 am).
Upon arrival, transfer to Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport for flights to the UK.

- END OF PROGRAMME -


TOUR PRICE: From 01 January 2018 to 31 March 2019

No of passengers 2 Pax 4 Pax 6 Pax Single Supplement
Price per person (£) From £2437 From £2269 From £1983 £268

Rates Might Be Changed In Case of Any Changes in Governmental Taxes Or Fuel Surcharges.

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:

• International Flights UK - Jakarta and Banda Aceh - UK.
• Domestic Flights Jakarta - Silangit and Medan – Banda Aceh.
• Accommodations are based on twin-sharing (2 persons per room)
• Meals mentioned in the itinerary as specified (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
• Private transportation in a chauffeur-driven, air-conditioned vehicle
• Bottled drinking water during transfers
• Tours and activities as indicated in the itinerary
• Professional and licensed English-speaking guide
• All entrance fees, donations and parking fees as per itinerary
• Public Liability Insurance
• 11% local government tax and 10% service charge

TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES:

• Visa fee/arrangements if applicable
• Any alcoholic beverages
• Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone call, room service, mini bar, etc
• Personal health and travel insurance
• Gratuities/tipping for driver and/or guide and porterage
• Any High Season and Peak/Festive season surcharge (see pricing above)
• Any additional Excursion/Optional tours/Activites that are not mentioned in the itinerary

Good to know

• Private basis only (no seat in coach available)
• Operated daily (subject to availability of the hotels/resorts)
• Strong current and waves during the peak of wet season (December – February)
• Best time to visit is during the dry season (April – June)

Terms & Conditions

• Additional charges apply during high season and peak season period
• Price and booking confirmation is subject to room availability

Other Useful Information

Visa Information
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the correct documentation for your holiday and onward travel. Panorama Destination cannot accept responsibility for anyone who is refused entry to the country because they lack the correct documentation. We encourage you to check the latest information with the nearest Indonesian embassy in your country.
The government has recently relaxed the VISA regulations for 168 countries meaning they are eligible to enter Indonesia without a visa for 30 days. The visa-free facility does not allow the change into other permits or visa extension. Passport holders from all visa exempt countries can enter Indonesia through one of the 124 designated border crossings.

Local Currency
The local currency in Indonesia is the Indonesia Rupiah (IDR). USD 1 is around IDR 13,000 – 13,500. Major credit cards are widely accepted and Traveler’s Cheques and foreign currency are accepted at most of the large hotels and authorized moneychangers. There are local banks as well as ATM machines in all main towns.

What do bring
Comfortable, casual lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such is suitable for traveling in Indonesia. Bring warmer clothes if traveling to higher altitudes. Dress modestly and don’t wear shorts or tank tops when visiting religious buildings. Shoes should be removed before entering a private home. Wear a sarong and waist sashes when visiting temples (both are provided at additional costs).

Electricity
220 V / 50hz is used in Indonesia. We recommend you bring along a travel adapter. Weather
Indonesia enjoys a warm, tropical climate year-round with the most pleasant weather from April until October when the trade winds blow. The rainy season starts in November and usually lasts until March.

Language
The national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is taught in all schools. At home and in the markets, the local people speak their local dialect, e.g. Javanese in Central and East Java, Balinese in Bali. English is increasingly spoken in the main tourist centers and Dutch is still understood by the older generation.

Tipping and Gratuities
It is generally accepted to tip local restaurant staff, luggage porters, drivers, and guides. It is however not mandatory. Recommended tipping for guides is between IDR 50,000 to 100,000 (USD 4 to USD 8) per day and for the driver, it is IDR 50,000 (USD 4) per day.

Notes
Our itineraries have been carefully designed by our managers and represent experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that each travel experience should be unique as the traveler themselves. Our travel designers will be happy to assist you with a tailor-made itinerary. Please contact us at info@incredibletours.co.uk.

HOTELS

img