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11 days

Highlights of Sumatra

Orangutan adventure in the rainforest. Stay on the island of Samosir in the world’s largest crater lake, Toba. Experience volcanic and lush landscapes and waterfalls. Extend the tour with Bali.

Highlights of Sumatra
Highlights of Sumatra
11 days
HomeAsiaIndonesiaHighlights of Sumatra

Highlights of Sumatra

Orangutan adventure in the rainforest. Stay on the island of Samosir in the world’s largest crater lake, Toba. Experience volcanic and lush landscapes and waterfalls. Extend the tour with Bali.

HomeAsiaIndonesiaHighlights of Sumatra
What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Return flights from the UK to Medan
  • 8 nights at 2–4-star hotels
  • 8 x breakfast
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Local English-speaking guide on transfers and excursions
  • Travelling in a car or minibus with air conditioning
  • All mentioned transfers and excursions take place within international groups of 1 – 14 people and with TourCompass’ own guests only
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your tour
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour goes ahead regardless of the number of participants

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Guided tour of Medan
  • Hike in Gunung Leuser National Park in search of orangutans
  • Highland area, Berastagi
  • Indonesia’s highest waterfall Sipiso-piso
  • The world’s largest crater lake, Toba
  • Round tour of the island of Samosir
  • Admission and fees to the sights and attractions mentioned


Sumatra is the largest island in Indonesia, boasting wonderful nature and culture. Tropical rain forests, rivers, waterfalls, picturesque paddy fields located on terraces on the steep slopes, and lush, volcanic landscapes with mountains, crater lakes and deep gorges make up the landscape of this former Dutch colony.

On this tour, you experience Gunung Leuser National Park and its orangutans and canoe on the Bohorok River in a traditional canoe. The tour also takes you to the Berastagi highlands with a visit to Lumbini Park before you visit Lake Toba and the island of Samosir. Along the way, you visit the fascinating traditional villages where you gain insight into the villagers’ culture and rural life with ox-drawn carts and crafts.

Why choose this tour

  • Sumatra offers tropical rainforests, lush volcanic landscapes, as well as unique wildlife
  • In Bukit Lawang in Gunung Leuser National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), a ranger will accompany you on a hike into the lush rainforest to spot orangutans
  • Experience waterfalls and the world’s biggest crater lake, Lake Toba, where you will stay on the gorgeous island of Samosir
  • Look forward to the enchanting views in the highlands at Berastagi and Lumbini Park with the renowned golden pagoda

Our tours always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All accommodations
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • 24/7 telephone – We’re with you all the way
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Flights from the UK

Departure day, where you will fly to Medan with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival in Sumatra – Medan

You arrive in the capital of Sumatra, Medan. You go through immigration and receive your visa before collecting your luggage. In the arrivals hall, your guide awaits with a TourCompass sign, and you immediately feel the warm Indonesian welcome. Outside the airport, your driver is ready to take you to the hotel in Medan. After check-in, the day is yours to explore at your leisure, allowing you to relax and enjoy the city on your own.

Day 3: Guided tour of Medan – Bukit Lawang

After breakfast, you are picked up and driven to Bukit Lawang, which is around 100 km west of Medan. On the way, you stop at a rubber plantation where you learn how natural rubber is extracted. The closer to Bukit Lawang you get, the more dominant the rainforest that surrounds the city. On your arrival at Bukit Lawang, you check in, and then the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Bukit Lawang is a pleasant little town bordering Sumatra’s rainforest, which is part of the Gunung Leuser National Park, located on the Bohorok River. The park has one of the world’s richest ecosystems and is one of only two remaining habitats of the endangered Sumatran orangutan. The forest is also home to langurs, gibbons, macaques, wild boars, peacocks, giant squirrels and flying squirrels, among other animals. The rarest include tigers, leopards, Sumatran elephants and Sumatran rhinos, and you will need more than a little luck to see them.

Day 4: Bukit Lawang

Today, one of the absolute highlights of the tour awaits you, as you are going out in search of the rainforest’s endangered orangutans.

After a hearty breakfast, it’s time for a walk along the riverbank, and you cross the Bohorok River in a traditional canoe before continuing on foot into the lush rainforest. From here, you set off on a three-hour hike, where you discover Sumatra’s unique flora and fauna. You have a local guide and a ranger with you, who help locate the wildlife.

The afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy Bukit Lawang’s stunning surroundings. You might, for example, want to cross the bridge and visit the village where you can sense the authentic, local atmosphere. By the river, you can watch the women of the village washing clothes and the local children playing and bathing.

Day 5: Bukit Lawang – Berastagi

This morning you will be taken to Sumatra’s inner highlands Berastagi, which are located in an area dominated by the volcanoes Sinabung and Sibayak. Along the way, you make a stop at Sembahe River. On your arrival at Berastagi, you visit Lumbini Park, which offers a beautiful view over the mountain landscape and the evergreen nature. The park is especially well known for its beautiful gold pagoda, which is Indonesia’s highest and a copy of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. You then visit Berastagi’s colourful fruit market, where you can sample the excellent passion fruit. Before you reach the hotel, you stop at Guandaling Hill, where on clear days you can see the area’s active volcanoes.

Day 6: Berastagi – Lake Toba - Samosir

Today, the tour continues to Lake Toba and the island of Samosir. You are picked up from the hotel after breakfast and driven to Parapat via the Japanese road, with several stops along the way. You visit the traditional Batak Karo village of Dokan, where you can experience the old traditional houses, which make a home for up to 6 families. Buffalo horns are hanged at each end of the rooftops. Originally, these were intended to protect the occupants against evil spirits, and served as a status symbol. Over time, they have become a reminder of traditions past.

You drive on to Indonesia’s highest waterfall Sipiso-piso, which is 120 metres high, and the old royal palace, Rumah Bolon, which affords stunning views of Lake Toba. The lake is 100 km long, 30 km wide and 505 m deep, making it the world’s largest crater lake.

Afterwards you visit the old royal palace of the Batak Simalungun.

The tour continues to Pematangsiantar, passing scenic tea plantations along the way. On your arrival at Parapat, a ferry is waiting to sail you out to the island of Samosir, a gem in the middle of Lake Toba – a trip of around 45 minutes. You arrive at your hotel in the afternoon, where the rest of the day is spent at you leisure.

Day 7: Samosir

After a hearty breakfast, you go on a tour of the island. The day will provide a good insight into the Batak Toba villages’ traditions and way of life. The first visit of the day is to the village of Ambarita, which in olden days was the execution site and meeting place of the ancient Sialagan kings. Today, the village is known for its stone tables and chairs. After the visit, you continue to the village of Simanindo, where you will discover the traditional Batak Toba dance, Sigale-gale, and the village’s Batak museum, formerly the home of Rajah Simalungun – a Batak king with 14 wives. The museum has a small but interesting collection of brass kitchen utensils, weapons, Dutch and Chinese porcelain, sculptures and Batak carvings. Afterwards, you visit the old Sidabutar kings’ tomb in Tomok. You return to the hotel in the afternoon.

Day 8: Samosir

The day is at your leisure to explore this beautiful island. You can choose to relax or go on a combined bike ride and hike, which you can arrange on site. This tour starts at Tomok and takes you past green paddy fields and plantations. You stop at the village of Garoga, where you meet the smiling inhabitants and see their traditional houses. You can park your bicycle and hike down to a small waterfall with a local guide, a tour of about 45 minutes. From Garoga, you  cycle on through small villages, passing various plantations where chilli, cocoa, peanuts, beans, etc., are grown. The tour ends at Ambarita, and you cycle back to the hotel where you can enjoy the rest of the day.

Day 9: Samosir – Medan

You will be picked up from the hotel and driven to Medan, where you will stay for one night before heading back to Blighty. The drive to Medan takes between 6 and 7 hours.

Day 10: The journey home begins

You are picked up from the hotel and driven to the airport, from where you fly back to the UK with connecting flights along the way.

Day 11: Arrival back home

You land in the UK after a fantastic holiday.

Combine with
Choose from the options below
Beach holiday extension to Sanur, Bali
3 nights

This beach holiday extension takes you to the seaside resort of Sanur in south-east Bali.

Sanur is one of Bali’s most popular beach holiday destinations, which has managed to retain its cosy, relaxed atmosphere. The town’s major draw is its 5-km-long, wide, golden sandy beach, which is protected by a coral reef. The reef makes the beach incredibly child-friendly as the waves break quite a way out. Running along the beach is the beach promenade, which is ideal for walks, runs and bike rides. This is where you can meet the locals, busy in their small shops.

Along the main street of the town, you will find a larger selection of shops as well as good restaurants and cosy cafés where you can sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while watching life go by in the town. If you head off the main street, you come down into the charming side streets with their small houses, temples and local life.

Go for a stroll along the beach promenade in the evening and experience the beautiful colours of the sky and the sight of the tall swaying palm trees, small pavilions and traditional fishing boats. Then enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the restaurants and end with a drink at one of the atmospheric lounge bars.

The extension includes a 3-night beach holiday at the resort with breakfast and transfers. If you arrive from Sumatra, the flight between Sumatra and Bali is included.

You can extend the beach holiday with additional nights, just as you please.

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Laura Arundell Trelborg

Laura loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

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