Medan is the ultimate gateway to nature’s wonders in Northern Sumatra with a full range of activities that cater to your different interests. Long famed for its proximity to the largest volcanic lake in the world – the spectacular Lake Toba, there are many other sights not to be missed as well, such as Berastagi’s fuming volcanoes – Mt Sibayak and Mt Sinabung, and the highest waterfall in Indonesia – the magnificient Sipiso-Piso Waterfall. Culture buffs will have a heyday mingling with the locals in Berastagi town where you can explore the fruit and flower markets and the native villages of the Karo people. Samosir Island with its idyllic and laid-back setting in the middle of Lake Toba is a great place to relax and rejuvenate your spirit at the end of your sojourn.
SINGAPORE – MEDAN – LAKE TOBA
Upon arrival at Medan’s Kuala Namu International Airport, you will be greeted by our friendly local representative who will embark on a picturesque journey through pine forests, terraced plantations and verdant meadows to Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world (~6 hrs drive). Arrive at Parapat and take the ferry to Samosir Island, a scenic island in the middle of the lake. Settle into accommodation on the edge of the lake.
Overnight: Hotel or Guesthouse at Lake Toba
Explore Batak culture and the beautiful natural scenery around Samosir Island. Simanindo, the house of a former Batak chief which has been converted into an Ethnological Museum (Huta Bolon), showcases the history and culture of the Batak tribe. Ambarita is an ancient Batak tribal village, well known for its ancient courtyard of stone chairs and table in front of the king’s house. The courtyard is said to be the place where village matters were discussed and wrongdoers tried. There is also a separate courtyard where the accused were tortured and beheaded. There is an option to visit the local market or just to sit back, swim and relax by the lake. Bike enthusiasts can try the sixty mile bicycle ride around the circumference of the island.
Overnight: Hotel or Guesthouse at Lake Toba
LAKE TOBA – SIPISO PISO WATERFALL – BERASTAGI
Today you will proceed to the Karo highlands in Berastagi- home of the Karo Batak people, via our private transport (~4 hrs drive away). Along the way, you will visit the magnificent 120 m high Sipiso Piso Waterfall reputed to be the highest waterfall in Indonesia. For the more adventurous travelers, you can trek down (~1 hr return hike) to the bottom of the the waterfall to take a peek at its whirling plunge pool. After settling down at the guesthouse, devote some time to immerse yourself in the local culture of Berastagi. Swing by the local fruit and flower markets, explore the native Batak Karo villages and enjoy a leisure hike up to Gundaling hill for a panoramic view of volcanoes Sinabung and Sibayak.
Overnight: Hotel or Guesthouse at Berastagi
MEDAN – SINGAPORE
An early morning hike up (~3 hrs) to the summit of Gunung Sibayak will reward you with sweeping views of the surrounding volcano landscape. The volcano is high in geothermal activity with fuming vents spewing out crystalline sulphur which was mined on a small scale in the past. There is a beautiful heart shaped crater lake where love wordings have been formed by visitors using the volcanic rocks. Descend to the volcano base and take a dip in one of the hot spring pools to refresh yourself. Visit the vegetables, fruits and flowers markets and savour one of its most famous produce – Markisa (passion fruits). Enjoy a leisure breakfast before heading back to Medan (~3 hrs) for your flight home.
- All local land transfers including airport transfers
- Guided Mt Sibayak sunrise hike
- Ferry tickets to Samosir
- Entrance fees to Sipiso-piso waterfalls
- All accommodations
- Local Indonesian guide cum driver (English speaking)
- Return international air tickets
- Travel insurance
- Hot spring fees (optional stop)
- Indonesian VISA (ASEAN citizens are VISA-free up to 30 days)
- All meals not indicated
- Tips for guide
- All expenses of a personal nature
Climbing Season: Preferred months for hiking Gunung Sibayak is during the dry months from April to November
Peak Season: July to December
Temperature: It can very be cold for the sunrise hike to Gunung Sibayak so warm clothing is an absolute must.
Difficulty Level: Gunung Sibayak is a suitable volcano for beginners. Anyone in reasonable shape should be able to manage. It takes around 2-3 hours to the summit. You are expected to carry your own water (2 litres are more than enough) and some snacks. No rock climbing or technical climbing skills are needed.
Gunung Sinabung is a 7-8 hour day hike near Berastagi that can be arranged for keen hikers. Camping is possible on the volcanoes but guests with high reaction to fumes should take note. Note that Gunung Sinabung is currently closed due to its active status.
Bukit Lawang Orang Sanctuary and other attractions in the vicinity or extensions in Lake Toba or Medan can also be arranged according to your wishes.
As the cost might be too high for individual travelers, we recommend individual travelers to consider public transport.
Looking for a Luxury tour option in 4 star resorts? Check out here.
Need some inspiration? Check out Nicky’s Maiden Solo Trip to Medan, Mount Sibayak & Lake Toba with us!
From the point of my first enquiry to planning the trip, and confirming all arrangements,HS was prompt, friendly and helpful. The personalised service and attention to detail was great. We were travelling in a group of 3, and he made sure that our request for room configuration were met. We got to see and do everything and more on the itinerary. The guide and driver were very flexible and easy-going. Even if there was quite a lot of travelling time on the road, it was comfortable and enjoyable. Thank you for a wonderful experience!
– YY (Group of 3 on an 5D4N Mt Sibayak, Taman Simalem, Lake Toba, Medan Trip in Sep 2018)
Well informed guide, and was able to make changes to accommodate our needs Activities and timing for the tour were well planned Accommodation was up to standard (:
– Abigail (Group of 6 on a 5D4N Medan, Lake Toba & Mt Sibayak in Jun 2018
We love our hippie guide Smiley who stands out with his dreadlocks and knows a lot about the local culture. We like how he shows us different smells of the leaves, and their uses, as we walked past them. He also knows how to avoid the terrible traffic on the way to the airport. We love the activities that the organise for us. He will always check with us what we wish to do, and is on time for us. The accomodation was fabulous too, especially the one he arranged for Samosir Island. We totally soaked in the picturesque view of Lake Toba. Smiley also drove past the ghost town and I’d say that’s the highlight of our trip. We highly recommend him.
– Shiling (Group of 2 on a 4D3N Lake Toba & Mt Sibayak in Jun 2018
The whole trip was simply awesome. The moment we met our guide Mr Bayu we welcome by him at the promised meeting point and immediately usher us. We were impressed that our guide is very able to speak fluent English and also we were able to connect to our guide easily as our age gap were quite near. The guide was very knowledgeable about the whole trip and able to inform us accurately on what we can expect when climbing the mountain. The whole drive to and fro different places was very well navigated by the driver. The driver Mr Bondan knew his way around places and able to get us safely to our destination despite heavy traffic conditions along the way.
– Zahin (Group of 2 on an 4D3N Ijen, Bromo & Surabaya trip in Mar 2018)
We decided for iwannatravel after contacting a few agencies. Ying had been very responsive, patient and flexible in providing our customized itinerary. It would have taken us much effort and headache if were to plan this ourselves. Activities were well planned and spaced out unlike the hectic and fast paced group tours which we undertook in the past. The tour guide ( was very knowledgeable of the sites visited and importantly he was very humorous and kept us entertained and informed throughout the trip. Highly efficient from start to end. Dayat, the guide, was very helpful and professional. the guides were also very good cooks and very efficient at their job. We feel that for Asians, a 4D3N climb is much more recommended over a 3D2N climb.
– Darek (Group of 5 on a 6D5N Mt Rinjani Trip in Aug 2017)
– Ms. Chen (Group of 4 on a 4D3N trip to Lake Toba – Berastagi – Medan in Jun 2016)
Bob was recommended to me through my cousin. He was always on the ball before, during and even after the trip; soliciting feedback from us to improve on her offering. She was also very understanding to our cost concerns; revising the itinerary a few times so as to meet our budget. Our guide was very professional; he was always doing his best to accommodate our needs and flexible with our request. Our driver was very careful with his driving and extremely thoughtful about the air-con temperature and toilet break. We strongly recommend you to book your adventure through iwannatravel. Thank you iwannatravel. 加油!
– Esther (Group of 3 on a 4D3N trip to Lake Toba – Berastagi – Medan in Sep 2015)
Guide could communicate well and was very personable. Itinerary was flexible. Enjoyed being in a non tourist area to visit the long house village. Guide even went marketing for us! E.g chose fruit for us.
– Meida (Group of 2 on a 3D2N trip to Lake Toba – Berastagi in Oct 2014)
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