Sumatra

A Land for Every Mood

Sumatra

More than a half of the area of Sumatra is rainforest which means everything to the world. The forest is listed as one of “The Lungs of the World.” Besides, it also the only home to the world’s most endangered animals including Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, Sumatran rhinos and orangutans. Deep inside the jungle, the world’s most charismatic flowering plants, Rafflesia arnoldi and Amorphophallus titanium, flourish among big tress.

 

 

“Judging from the diverse ecoregion, Sumatra undoubtedly offers various thrilling activities.”

 

 

Landscape of the world’s sixth largest island is very complex. Forest can be found in every province within the island. Along the southeast to the northwest part is dominated by volcanoes which are known as Barisan Mountain range. Lowlands with swamp and complex river systems, meanwhile, is abundant in northeast. Stroll down to the coastal area and you’ll find fine deserted beaches.

 

Judging from the diverse ecoregion, Sumatra undoubtedly offers various thrilling activities. The forest offers great animal-spotting experience. Surfing is best done on the islands off the west coast while water area surrounding the northwest coast is perfect for diving. The Barisan Mountain provides extensive rock formation which is suitable for rock climbing. And for rafting, the northeast area is the right place.

 

As varied as the land, the people in Sumatra are a rich mix of several ethnic groups and religions. Devout Muslims reside mainly in Aceh province. Hedonistic Batak Christians dominate the area surrounding Toba lake, while the matrilineal Minangkabau center in west Sumatra.

 

Sumatra consists of ten provinces. However, below we just review Sumatra tourism in its seven popular ones:

 

Aceh Province

Believed to bear great resemblance to Mecca’s Islamic way of life, Aceh prides itself as “The Verandah of Mecca.” This province is the only area in Indonesia which tightly holds on Islamic strict law. Tourists need not to worry, however, as the law is applicable only for Muslim Acehnese.

 

 

“Encompassing several small islands with pretty underwater view, Aceh boasts the finest dive and snorkel zone in Sumatra.”

 

 

As the starting point of your trip in Aceh, feeling the real jungle experience in Gunung Leuser National Park will be the best choice. Conquer the park’s virgin jungle and be ready to get enchanted by exotic rare tigers, rhinoceros and elephants. Being home to unique birds like the bizarre rhinoceros hornbill, the helmeted hornbill and woodpeckers, the park is an ideal place for bird-watching.

 

Rubiah

Biodiversity in Rubiah Sea Park by Markus Fleute

 

Encompassing several small islands with pretty underwater view, Aceh boasts the finest dive and snorkel zone in Sumatra. Ride a speedboat to Weh island, off the northwest coast, where you’ll find the paradise of Aceh, Rubiah Sea Park. Famous for its shallow colorful coral gardens, the sea park gives you an exciting chance to see red fluorescent bubble anemones, honeycomb morays and nudibranches at 13 m.

North Sumatra Province

North Sumatra province is home to the third largest metropolis in Indonesia which also serves as the province’s capital city, Medan. Famous for long in Indonesia as “The City of Commerce,” the view of Medan is a complex mixture of tobacco and palm plantations together with industrial buildings.

Island

Toba Lake under Morning Sky by Megan Ahrens

 

Just several km south of Medan, you’ll discover the icon of Sumatra, lake Toba. Have you heard of the famous legend of the lake? The Southeast Asia’s largest lake is believed to come into existence due to a disastrous curse of a wife to her husband who failed to keep a secret that she’s actually a fish. Interesting right? Resting in the middle of lake Toba is a beautiful small island named Samosir which also becomes the best spot to enjoy the mountainous view of the lake. Don’t miss a chance to see unique Bataknese’s traditional housing and learn the ethnic group’s long history in Sidabutar royal burial complex.

 

 

“You must join in the feeding sessions during which you’ll have a wonderful close-up view of these magnificent red-haired primates.”

 

 

Stay for several days in cool-weathered Berastagi, northwest of lake Toba, to escape from the heat and recharge your energy. Located in mount Sibayak’s foothills, Berastagi is the best start point to hike the 2212 meter-high active volcano. If you prefer easy adventure, visit super high Sipiso-Piso waterfall before taking a dip in refreshing Two Colors waterfall within Berastagi area.

Monkey

Orangutan in Bukit Lawang by Gorka Nelson

 

Bukit Lawang located nearby Medan. In this place, you’ll have an opportunity to meet half-wild Orangutans personally in its Orangutan Feeding Center. You must join in the feeding sessions during which you’ll have a wonderful close-up view of these magnificent red-haired primates.

 

As for surfing enthusiasts, you better come to Nias islands where Sorake and Lagundi beaches with their majestic 4 meter-high surf reside. In another part of the island, you can enjoy a private vacation on red sandy beach named Gawu Soyo. Before leaving, spare your time to wander around the villages and see Jump stone (stone Hombo), Nias’s tradition to determine whether a young man has grown up or not.

West Sumatra Province

“Surrounded by steep 500 meter-high granite cliff, the valley becomes the most popular rock-climbing spot in Sumatra.”

 

 

This province is well-known for its Maling Kundang legend, a story of disobedient son who was cursed into stone by his broken-hearted mother. The legend’s actuality aside, it is indeed found a stone shaped like people bowing down on Air Manis beach, 30 minute-drive from the province capital city Padang. Boasting calm blue water with Mount Padang as the backdrop, Air Manis is a fine site for family vacation.Among many towns in west Sumatra province, Bukittinggi is number one travel destination within the region. Other than its iconic Gadang giant clock, the beauty of Bukittinggi’s contryside, Harau valley in particular, also draws countless visitors.

 

Surrounded by steep 500 meter-high granite cliff, the valley becomes the most popular rock-climbing spot in Sumatra. Your weary feeling will vanish when you reach the top as you’ll be fascinated by fantastic view of green rice field knitted together with lush green hills.

Housing

Minangkabau-Styled Homestay in Harau Valley by Brett Atkinson

 

Vary your vacation with culture tour in Museum of Banjuang Traditional House also in Bukittinggi. The museum that was built resembling Minangkabau’s traditional house preserves rich collection of historical and cultural property of Tanah Minang as well as the replica of several traditional houses in west Sumatra.

 

Boasting huge pipeline surf, Mentawai islands become the most powerful surf magnet in Sumatra. Throughout the area, you’ll find roughly 400 surfing points which all boast more than five meter-high waves. We suggest you to surf on Mentawai islands between April and October as the waves reach the highest point during the period.

Riau Province

Possessing great Kampar river with its popular Bono waves, Riau offers you a unique surfing experience. The surf can reach up to seven successive layers, surprisingly, as high as 6 meters. Bono waves don’t happen every day though. Local people say it only occurs during full moon and on every first and last day of a month according to Islamic calendar.

 

Surfing

Surfer Riding Bono Wave by Paul Kennedy

 

Discover the long history of the biggest Malay Islamic kingdom in Riau in the Palace of Siak Sri Indrapura. The palace which is regarded as “The East Sun Palace” preserves the kingdom’s historical properties and replicas portraying the situation of the palace during its golden era.

 

Muara Takus temple is another historical site you can visit to track back the influence of Sriwijaya Kingdom in Sumatra. The temple complex somehow will make you feel like in Myanmar as the temple’s architecture is the same as the structure of Buddhist stupas in the country.

Jambi Province

Along the southern border to the northeast of Jambi province is all lined by mountain with Mount Kerinci as the highest peak. Looming up at 3805 meter above sea level, the active volcano becomes Indonesia’s second highest mount and number one attraction for mountaineers in Sumatra. Along your way to the peak, you’ll be fascinated by wonderful green rolling tea plantation and lush vegetation. As you climb closer to the summit, expanse of amazingly stunning white clouds will welcome you.

 

 

“It is in the park where you’ll get an opportunity to spot elusive Sumatran tigers and the rare Sumatran ground-cuckoos in the wild.”

 

 

Moving out of Mt. Kerinci to the east, Gunung Tujuh volcano with its famous Lake Gunung Tujuh is waiting. To enjoy the attraction, you’ll be challenged to climb as high as 1950 meter above sea level. Your tiredness will be satisfied as you discover the clear greenish lake beautifully shrouded around white clouds.

 

Seven Mountain

Cloud Shrouds Lake Seven Mountain

 

Those volcanoes including the forests between the highlands are included in Kerinci Seblat National Park . It is in the park where you’ll get an opportunity to spot elusive Sumatran tigers and the rare Sumatran ground-cuckoos in the wild.

Bangka Belitung Province

Boasting stretches of pristine and quite beaches, lazing by the beaches is the best leisure thing to do in Bangka Belitung province. The beaches offers exceptional panorama of white sand adorned with giant granite stones which greatly differs from other beaches in Sumatra. Located close to Pangkal Pinang, the province’s capital city, Parai Tenggiri beach becomes the main destination in Bangka island. Relaxing on Parai Tenggiri will be more soothing as it has been completed with eco-resorts overlooking the ocean.

 

Tanjung Tinggi Beach

Huge Stones on Tanjung Tinggi Beach

 

Get on a boat to Belitung island and visit its most famous beach, Tanjung Tinggi beach, for quieter vacation. The beach is the best place for stress release as it offers a perfect blend of peaceful situation and beautiful panorama.

 

As the biggest tin-producing region in Indonesia, some area in Belitung island suffer from serious environmental damage. Many abandoned mining holes are found within the areas which magically turn to be beautiful attraction commonly known as Kaolin lake. Countless tourists visit the lake as it boasts vibrant blue water surrounded by extensive white ground. At a glance, the view is similar to those of West Java’s famous White Crater.

Lampung Province

Lampung gives you a chance to have a close-up view of the endangered Sumatran elephants in Way Kambas National Park. This oldest national park in Indonesia doesn’t function only as conservation center but also as elephant training center. Having elephant back safari done, let the trained strong creatures entertain you with several thrilling attractions such as dancing, playing balls and more.

 

Way Kambas

Sumatran Elephants in Way Kambas

 

Do you want more animal-watching? Then, you must continue your trip to Kiluan bay on southeast coast. Becoming dolphin’s migration route, the bay’s water area offers a chance to see the real dolphin attractions. But, to get a close-up view of the dolphins, you need to rent a speedboat and sail further off the shore. The best time to see the attraction is in early-morning hour.

 

Sumatra offers you an extraordinary nature adventure which is comparable to that of the mainland Africa. Book your trip now and create your own Sumatra wild adventure.

Toba Lake

Among the many lakes in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, Toba lake is the biggest. There is Samosir island in the middle of it that is rich with Bataknese culture.

What is Lake Toba

Rubiah Marine Park

Rubiah is a virgin diving and snorkeling spot that seems lonely. Many tourist haven't learned of this place as it is located on the westernmost tip of Indonesia.

What is Rubiah Marine Park

Gunung Leuser National Park

One of the richest tropical forest in Southeast Asia with impressively diverse biodiversity, Gunung Leuser National Park offers the best wildlife experience on Sumatra.

What is Gunung Leuser National Park

Bukit Lawang

Rehabilitation Center for Orphaned Orangutans, Bukit Lawang is the best place to view the red haired primate up close. This little town is also the best entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park.

What is Bukit Lawang

Bono Wave

``The Bono`` is an infamous tidal bore in Sumatran Kampar River. It rises up to amazingly 4 meters with seven layers of wave following behind.

What is Bono Wave

Mentawai Islands

This is the icon of surfing destination in Sumatra. One of its spot on Sipora island was listed by CNN Travel as one of the world's best surfing points.

What is Mentawai Islands

Lake Gunung Tujuh

Located at the altitude of approximately 2000 meter asl, Gunung Tujuh is the highest lake in Southeast Asia. Clear green lake, seven peaks and myths are what yo can expect from this nature wonder.

What is Lake Gunung Tujuh

Nias Islands

Nias is famous as one of favorite surfing spot among tourists. The surf can reach as high as 4 meter that is usually called ``The Point`` and ``Indicator.``

What is Nias Islands

Harau Valley

This exotic place is located between two towering cliff that is dotted with green rice fields and glorious Minangkabau traditional houses.

What is Harau Valley

Mt. Kerinci

The highest volcano in Sumatra, Mt. Kerinci is located within Kerinci Seblat National Park inhabited by endangered Sumatran tigers and Sumatran rhinos.

What is Mt. Kerinci

Way Kambas National Park

This park is the best and biggest Sumatran elephant conservation in the island.

What is Way Kambas National Park

Kiluan Bay

Aside from its beautiful beach, Kiluan Bay is famous for its wild dolphin attractions.

What is Kiluan Bay

Parai Tenggiri Beach

This beach boasts the similar view of Tanjung Tinggi beach but it's more modern and festive.

What is Parai Tenggiri Beach

Tanjung Tinggi Beach

Instead of palm or pine trees, this beach is fringed with a formation of huge rocks that makes it even more exotic.

What is Tanjung Tinggi Beach

Available Tour Packages

SUMATRAN ELEPHANT SAFARI (4D/3N)

SUMATRA ORANGUTAN SAFARI (3D/2N)

DISCOVER LAKE TOBA (3D/2N)

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