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Overland From North Sumatra to Padang

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11 Days 10 Nights
Availability : Jan 18’ - Dec 19’
Denpasar
North SUmatera
Min Age : 15+
Max People : 5
Tour Details

MEDAN – BUKIT LAWANG – BERASTAGI – SAMOSIR ISLAND – PADANG SIDEMPUAN – BUKITTINGGI

This epic journey does full justice to the island’s widescreen appeal. Kicking off in the buzzing centre of Medan, the route winds its way south to the city of Padang – a gastronomic haven – via orangutan-inhabited forests, crater lakes and remote mountain settlements.

Tour Operators

Price for

Per Person

Minimum

2 Persons

Last Minute Booking

7 Days (168 Hours)

Tour Type

Private

Destinations

West Sumatera Tours (Padang) & North Sumatera Tours (Medan)

Price Includes

  • Hotel accommodation in half-twin, double room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • English speaking local guide
  • All entrance fees and tours as indicated in itinerary.

Price Excludes

  • Visa arrangements.
  • International and domestic flights.
  • International and domestic departure tax.
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera, video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc).
  • Travel insurance.
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above
Itinerary

Day 1Denpasar - Kuala Namu Airport - Medan (L)

Arrival at Kuala Namu International Airport. For domestic flights, pick up your luggage and meet with your English speaking tour guide outside the main building for the start of your program.

Recommended flights((Not included and quoted separately– Tariffs and schedule subject to change without prior notice):
International: Silk Air MI234 from Singapore to Medan arriving at 08:00 (daily) and Malaysia Airlines MH860 from Kuala Lumpur to Medan arriving at 08:50 (daily).
Domestic: From Jakarta to Medan by Garuda Indonesia GA182 departing at 07:50 and arriving at 10:15 (daily) or GA184 departing at 09:00 and arriving at 11:20 (daily).

Leave Kuala Namu Airport and proceed to Medan the capital of North Sumatra and an interesting melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Batak people living together in harmony.
Proceed to Merdeka square in the center of the city for a walk in the old colonial part of the town which has retained its Dutch colonial architecture: the old Post office and Medan city hall and passing by Kesawan Street.
End your walk at Tip Top restaurant which history dates back to the time of Dutch colonization and where you will enjoy lunch.
Afterwards, check in at your hotel (legal check in time is 14:00) and time at leisure for refreshing.
In the mid-afternoon proceed with a city tour of Medan, you will visit Masjid Raya or the Great Mosque built in 1906 by the first sultan and still considered as one the most beautiful mosques in the country.

Note: Visit not possible during praying time and appropriate dress code is required

Not too far from there continue with a visit of Maimoon Sultan Palace built in 1888 by the Sultan of Deli (the former name of Medan). This beautiful palace is combining traditional elements of Malay, Islam as well as Spanish and Indian, architectural elements. The palace is until present day inhabited by the Sultan who remain a symbolic figures for the Malay community.
The tour ends with a visit to an impressive Chinese temple, Vihara Gunung Timur
Return to your hotel
Dinner at leisure and overnight in your hotel.

Distance and journey time:
Kuala Namu Airport – Medan city center (30 km): 1 hour 15 minutes.

Day 2Medan - Bukit Lawang - Visit Eco Farm by Becak (B,L)

After breakfast at your hotel in Medan and check out you are picked up by your driver and tour guide for the drive to Bukit Lawang.
Before arriving in Bukit Lawang a short stop to stretch our legs and enjoy a fresh coconut drink at coconut park.
Upon arrival at Bukit Lawang cross on foot the impressive wooden suspension bridge over the Bohorok River for getting to the reception of the Eco Lodge
Check-in at your lodge in Bukit Lawang where lunch is served.
After lunch we cross the bridge again where we are picked by a becak for the visit to the Timbang Lawang eco farm. This motorized sidecar will drive us through the local village to the eco farm which we first visit and afterwards to some more places where we can see such things as the making of brown sugar, rubber tapping,…
Return to the hotel.
Dinner at leisure.
Overnight in Bukit Lawang.

Day 3Bukit Lawang - Orangutan Trekking - Berastagi (B,L)

Breakfast at the lodge.
Bukit Lawang is at the entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park and is one of the last sanctuaries of the Sumatran orangutan.
Start your trek early at 07:30 behind Eco Lodge (with an additional local English speaking Jungle guide).
The first part is an easy climb to the forest for about 30 to 45 minutes – the local guide always send a tracker ahead to check where are the orangutans. If some are seen in 1st part of the trek guide will suggest people who have difficulty to walk to return to the Lodge with the tracker while accompanying other participants all the way to the feeding platform (total trekking is 2,5 hours -3 hours up and down in the jungle more challenging and can be slippery good shoes are requested).
After observing orangutans at the feeding platform (30 minutes) continue down to the Bohorok river (30 minutes) – where you will use a tube to drift back to the hotel (approximately 45 minutes).

Note: Feeding time around 08:30 (or in the afternoon at 15:00) Camera fee is not included and must be paid locally IDR 50,000/camera (around USD 5) and IDR 150,000/video (around USD 15) each time clients enter the Gunung Leuser National Park

Time for shower and changing at the lodge before checking out. Lunch is served at the lodge restaurant.
In the afternoon, leave Bukit Lawang to Berastagi in the Karo highlands along a scenic route driving southwards via Sembahe and Sibolangit. In the late afternoon you will arrive at Berastagi, a climate station located at some 1400 meters above sea-level.
Check in at the hotel late afternoon/early evening. Dinner is served at the hotel.
Overnight in Berastagi

Distance and journey time:
Bukit Lawang – Berastagi (130 km via Medan): 4 hours 30 minutes approximately

Day 4Berastagi - Dokan - Pematang Purba - Parapat - Ferry to Samosir Island on Lake Toba (B,L)

After breakfast and check out from your hotel, depart from your hotel around 08:00 for a short city tour of Berastagi: the tour includes an outside visit of the St. Fransiscus Catholic Church, with its unique Batak architecture and in the background a perfect view over Mount Sibayak. Continue with a walk in the local fruit market which is swarming with activity and scenes from traditional Karo life.
Leave Berastagi around 09:30 and proceed to Lake Toba stopping after Berastagi for taking pictures of Mount Sinabung (2,460m).
Stop for a visit of Dokan, a village home to the Batak Karo people who have unusual wedding and funeral ceremonies which can last for days and dozens of other unique traditions and rituals which they still practice. We will meet with a family in one of the longhouses where up to 6 families live together.
Continue to the South towards Lake Toba and make a stop to see the 120 meter Sipiso-piso waterfall which is located in the Batak highlands. The beautiful fall is formed by an underground river that then plunges from a cave into Lake Toba caldera. Here you will also get your first impressive view of this amazing lake.
Continue your journey to Pematang Purba where you will visit Rumah Bolon, a 200 year old wooden house, built on pile works, used to be the dwelling of the ancient Batak Simalungun Kings.
A late lunch will be served enroute to Parapat at a local restaurant near Simar Jarunjung
In the afternoon, drive along the eastern shore of Lake Toba to Parapat.
As busses cannot make the crossing to Samosir on a local ferry, the bus stays in Parapat. A boat will be chartered to transfer you from Parapat directly to the hotel on Samosir. Take a small bag with you with stuffs and clothes you need for a 2 night stay on Samosir.
The island of Samosir is located in the middle of Lake Toba, the caldera lake of the Toba Volcano, which was formed over 75,000 years ago. It is the largest volcanic lake in the world.
Dinner at leisure.
Overnight in Samosir.

Distance and journey time:
Berastagi – Parapat –via Dokan, Sipiso-Piso, Pematang Purba (130 km): 4 hours 30 minutes
Parapat – Tomok in Samosir Island by local Ferry : 1 hour

Day 5Samosir Island (B,L)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Today you will spend a full day exploring Samosir Island and Lake Toba on a chartered boat.
Leave at 08:30 and cruise along the shore of Samosir Island towards Simanindo (1 hour 30 minutes cruising).
Disembark at the local jetty in Simanindo and visit the traditional village of Simanindo and its small Batak museum before attending the daily Batak Toba dance performance in the village (once a day and at 10:30 for 45 minutes)
From here continue to Ambarita, Samosir’s most interesting Batak Toba village and known for its unique stone chairs tribunal and execution stones where enemies and criminals were slaughtered and parts of them eaten by this cannibalistic tribe.
Return to your boat and cruise back to Tuk Tuk for a late lunch at Toledo Inn.
Following lunch, continue by boat to Tomok to visit the tombs of King Sidabutar.
You’ll return to your hotel in Tuk Tuk late in the afternoon.
Dinner is at leisure.
Overnight in Samosir.

Distance and journey time:
Tuk Tuk to Tele via Pangururan (60 km): 2 hours approximately each way

Day 6Samosir - Parapat - Padang Sidempuan (B,L,D)

Early wake-up call and breakfast before check out and transfer to nearby Tomok for boarding the local ferry from Samosir Island and Parapat (estimated departure time at 07:00 – subject to change)
From Parapat you continue by car to Padang Sidempuan.
On the way there we make stops at Jangga Dolok a typical Batak Toba village surrounded by rice fields and go to Balige where you can walk around the daily local market and see all local products and maybe buy some snacks for on the road.
From here, continue the drive to Lintong district for visiting a coffee plantation. You will get a chance to observe the drying and grinding process of the coffee bean before enjoying some freshly brewed coffee with the coffee tasting.
Next stop will be Tarutung town for a late lunch at Sukaria, local Chinese restaurant. In Tarutung a Batak Protestant Church can be seen.
After lunch, you continue the drive to Padang Sidempuan, the small capital of the Batak Mandheling regency.
Check in to your hotel
Dinner is served in the hotel
Overnight in Padang Sidempuan.

Distance and journey time:
Parapat – Jangga Dolok – Balige (60 km): 2 hour drive + stops for visits
Balige – Lintong coffee plantation – Taruntung (50km): 1 hour 40 minutes + stops for visits
Taruntung – Padang Sidempuan (100km): approximately 3 hours 15 minutes

Day 7Padang Sidempuan - Kotanopan - Rimba Panti Natural Reserve - Bonjol Equator Monument - Palupuh Raflesia Sanctuary - Bukit Tinggi

Wake up early this morning and depart at 07:00 to Padang Sidempuan for a long day of driving to reach Bukittinggi in the West Sumatra Province, a 285km drive passing through the winding roads of the Bukit Barisan Mountain range offering beautiful scenery of mountains, rivers, valleys and traditional villages.
We make a stop at Sihepeng, a small botanical garden where you can learn about all kind of spices like pepper, saffron, lemon grass, nutmeg, bay leaf… and also observe the local monkeys plucking coconut fruits before enjoying this refreshing natural drink.
We also make a photo-stop at at Purba Baru where you can see the Musthafawiyah Islamic school, one of the oldest and largest boarding schools in Sumatra founded in 1912.
Continue towards Kotanopan for an early lunch at local restaurant.
Depart from Kotanopan and enter the province of West Sumatra and you will notice that the landscape is now changing into tropical rain forest. We take time to make a short 30-minute walk in the beautiful natural environment while stopping at the Rimba Panti Nature reserve.
From here the drive takes you to Bonjol where you will pass the Equator and where a monument marks the imaginary Equator line. Urban legend says that crossing the line backwards will bring good luck, so give it a try.
Last stop today before reaching Bukittinggi is Palupuh Rafflesia sanctuary and if you are lucky this could be the most rewarding one of this day. The small 3.4 hectare conservation center is focused on conserving the rare giant Rafflesia flower. This unique flower is the largest in the world and is native to Sumatra. Palupuh is a sanctuary for three types of Rafflesia: Rafflesia Arnoldi, the largest species that can reach a diameter of 1,5 meters wide when blossoming, Raflesia Arizentis (15 cm diameter) and Raflesia Oumor Pupolus Titanum. The generic name is Rafflesia and was given in honour of Sir Thomas Raffles
Depart from the nearby village for a trekking of approximately 1 hour into the local rain forest where you have a chance to see and smell the famous giant Rafflesia flower.

Note: You should be aware that the blooming of a Rafflesia is a rare and unpredicted event and depends on many specific factors. The flower usually blossoms during wet season from mid to end of year (the best chances are between July and December) but since the Rafflesia is unisexual it also requires the vital proximity of male and female flowers for successful pollination. Also, the buds take many months to develop and the flower only lasts for just a few days. Therefore whatever the season, there is no guarantee that you will see the Rafflesia but if you do, it really is a once in a lifetime experience.

Arrive in the evening in Bukittinggi and check in at your hotel.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Bukittinggi.

Distance and journey time:
Padang Sidempuan to Sihepeng (40km): 1 hour 15 minutes + stops for visits
Sihepeng to Kotanopan (71km): 2 hours 15 minutes + stops for visits
Kotanopan – Rimba Panti Natural Reserve (50 km): 1 hour 50 minutes + stops for visits
Rimba Panti to Bonjol (45km): 1 hour 30 minutes + stop at a moment marking the equator line at Bonjol
Bonjol to Palupuh Raflesia Sanctuary (33km): 1 hour
Palupuh – Bukittinggi (30km): 1 hour

Day 8Bukit Tinggi - Harau Valley - Traditional Minang Villages - Pagaruyung - Bukit Tinggi (B,L,D)

After breakfast you depart from your hotel to the west passing the small town of Payakumbuh to reach the beautiful Harau Valley, here lush green ricefields are hemmed in between huge granite cliffs.
Here, enjoy an hour walk through the village and rice fields to observe the daily life and activities of the villagers ending the walk at a local homestay for drinks and refreshments.
From Harau valley you continue your drive in the direction of Batusangkar with a stop at Tabek Patah for a lunch at the charming Pondok Flora local restaurant serving traditional Minang food.
In the afternoon you continue to the nearby local village of Rao Rao known for its beautiful traditional Minangkabau houses, locally known as Rumah Gadang.

Note:
The Minangkabau ethnic group, also known as Minang is indigenous to the Minangkabau Highlands of West Sumatra, in Indonesia. Their culture is matrilineal and patriarchal, with property and land passing down from mother to daughter, while religious and political affairs are the responsibility of men (although some women also play important roles in these areas.
The Rumah Gadang are large elegant houses built is solid wood and beautifully carved. They are easily recognizable by their sweeping roofs with pointed eaves. The Minang believe that the pointed roof is reminiscent of the legend of the water buffalo, who won for Sumatra in a fight against a large Javanese bull.

Next stop will be at Pagaruyung Palace located in the village of Tanjung Emas near Batusangkar. The palace is a replica of the original Pagaruyung royal palace which was set on fire by the nation’s Dutch colonists in 1804 and it has only recently been entirely restored using traditional materials with its 3 storeys and its 5 stacked sweeping roofs ending with eleven sharp horns and covered with over 26 tons of palm fibers.
Pagarayung is the most beautiful example of the Traditional Minangkabau Architecture. Pagaruyung is the name of the Minangkabau kingdom that ruled the central region of Sumatra and was the seat of a large kingdom where the Minangkabau culture flourished.

Return to Bukittinggi passing by the picturesque Lake Singkarak.
Return to the hotel.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Bukittinggi.

Distance and journey time:
Bukittinggi – Payakumbuh – Harau Valley (45km): 1 hour 30 minutes + stops for visits
Harau Valley – Payakumbuh – Tabek Patah (40 km): 1 hour 20 minutes.
Tabek Patah – Rao Rao – Batusangkar – Pagaruyung Palace (35 km): 1 hour 15 minutes.
Pagaruyung palace – Bukittinggi via the Northern shore of Lake Singkarak (65 km): 2 hours

Day 9Bukittinggi - Trekking Lake Maninjau - Kota Gadang - Bukittinggi City Tour (B,L,D)

After breakfast you leave the hotel with your driver and tour guide to Puncak Lawang, located on the hills with great views over Maninjau Lake. Here you do short and soft trekking down to the lake. The trek goes down through the forest towards the mysterious Lake Maninjau. During the trek you will stop at the local coffee shop to rest while enjoying the beautiful scenery. Upon arrival in the lake side village you will be picked up by the car and transferred to a local restaurant located on the shore of the lake for lunch.
After lunch you return to Bukittinggi via Kota Gadang, well-known for silver works.
You will spend the afternoon exploring Bukittinggi and its surroundings. The main town sites will be seen on foot, as Bukittinggi is very small and everything is located close together, with a car nearby to take you to the further locations.
You will visit the impressive Sianok Canyon which is known for its network of underground bunkers and tunnels built by the Japanese during World War II. There is a two-story observation tower that overlooks the Sianok Canyon, which you may climb to the top for panoramic views of the area.

Note: We advise to skip Japanese tunnel due to security reason.

You will also see Fort De Kock, built by the Dutch during the Padri Wars. Although little remains of the original fortifications, it provides fine views over the town from its hilltop position.
In town, you see the town’s large clock tower ‘Jam Gadang’ and walk around the Pasar Atas Market. The market is open daily but on Wednesdays and Saturdays it is especially busy with people coming from neighboring villages to buy and sell their wares.
Back to your hotel and time for refreshing before dinner.
At 20:15, transfer to town to enjoy a traditional Minangkabau dance performance at the centre of Bukittinggi town.
Overnight at the hotel in Bukittinggi

Distance and journey time:
Bukittinggi – Puncak Lawang (20km): 45 minutes
Zalino Waterfront restaurant in Lake Maninjau – Kota Gadang – Maninjau (30 km): 1 hour 30 minutes

Day 10Bukittinggi - Anai Valley and Waterfall - Padang (B,L,D)

After breakfast this morning we transfer you to Gadut village where the starting point is for the cycling trip around the villages on the slopes of Mount Marapi. Departing from Gadut we pass through the country side until we reach Kamang village. En-route we make a stop to see the villagers making tapioca crackers. Alos several photo stops are made when passing beautiful panoramas. From Kamang village you return to Gadut via a different route.
Upon arrival back in Gadut you will have lunch in a local house with traditional Padang food (Rice, Rendang and local vegetables curry).
After lunch you return to hotel where you have time for refreshing after which it is time for check out and the drive to Padang.
On the way stop at Padang Panjang for a visit Minangkabau Documentation Centre housed in a large and beautiful “Rumah Gadang” that is used as a museum of cultural and historical documents of Minangkabau.
Continue to Padang passing through the beautiful Anai valley with its green forest and valley with a crystal clear rocky river. Stop along the way for viewing the picturesque 30m high Anai Valley Waterfall.
Arrival in Padang where we make a short sightseeing around the city of Padang with the Old Dutch colonial district located beside the Muaro River. Walk along the river banks with a row of old Dutch colonial buildings ending at the historical harbour of Padang built by Dutch full of colourful little boats. There’s also a beautiful bridge on the river, Sitti Nurbaya Bridge which at night is beautifully lit.
Check into your hotel.
Overnight in Padang.

Distance and journey time:
Bukittinggi – Gadut (6 km): 15 minutes
Gadut – Padang (98 km): 2 hours 30 minutes

Day 11Padang - Departure (B)

Breakfast is served at the hotel. Free at leisure until time for you departure flight to your next destination.

Recommended flights (Not included and quoted separately– Tariffs and schedule subject to change without prior notice): Garuda Indonesia from Padang to Jakarta GA169, departing at 18:40 and arriving at 20:35.

Distances and journey times:
Padang – Minangkabau International Airport (23 km): 38 minute

Photos

Good to Know

Payment

A deposit of 25% is required when booking this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 45 days prior departure. For any bookings within 45 days of departure, the full tour amount will be charged upon booking.

Travel Insurance

The tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomad’s travel insurance.

Visa

For this tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Cancellation

No additional cancellation fees apply for this tour. You can cancel the tour up to 45 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 60 days of departure.