Sumatera Indonesia

Travel Guide Information

Sumatra Travel Guide Information

Sumatra Indonesia – the second largest island in Indonesia – is in the fourth place in procuring total visits by travellers from the globe following Jakarta, Bali and Batam. This region has a remarkable panorama, thick with virgin forests, lush vegetation, strong rivers, beautiful waterfalls, peaceful sandy beaches and large ancient lakes. The diversity of arts, people and culture literally make Sumatra a Garden of Eden for social scientists and culture seekers.

There are many things to see, do, and discover in Sumatra Indonesia. Jungle trekking, surfing, snorkeling and diving, climbing mountains and volcanoes, whitewater rafting, fishing in the ocean, river or lakes and a huge selection of flora and fauna, and unique culture to see.

Also interesting to see in Sumatra is Bull fighting, completely different from Spain version as the Bull are rarely injured. Horse also popular sport all through Sumatra.

The Highlights Places to visit in Sumatra Indonesia.
Sea Gardens
Pulau Weh (Weh Island) – at the northwestern end of Sumatra – is a beautiful island of dense jungle, high hill-top views, palm-lined beaches and mysterious rocky coves. There is also a fresh water lake and a semi-active vulcano on the island. Nearby Rubiah island is famous for its excellent coral reefs and spectacular array of tropical fish. A great place for snorkeling and diving. There are several licensed diving schools on the island.

Gunung Leuser National Park
This is one of the largest national parks in the world, containing over 800.000 ha. of virgin rainforest. The park is home to the Orang Utan, gibbons, tigers, elephants and among the last of the Sumatran rhino. There are research facilities for the study of primates, birds and insects. It is possible to raft down the Sungai Alas river from Ketambe to the Indian Ocean on a 4-5 day expedition. Your journey takes you through exciting white-water rapids to the calmer, crocodile-infested waters of the low-lands.

Bukit Lawang
The Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center where formerly captive apes are re-introduced into the wild. One of the most popular tourist destinations in North-Sumatra.

Lake Toba
One of the largest and deepest lakes in Southeast Asia. In the middle Samosir island. Toba has developed into a full-featured highland resort while retaining the rustic charm and relaxed ambiance that define Toba’s attraction.

The heart of the highlands, Bukittinggi is a pleasant two-hour drive from the West-Sumatra provincial capital of Padang through the gorgeous Anai Valley up to the Agam Plateau. Located 930 meter above sea level, Bukittinggi (formerly called Fort De Kock by the Dutch) has a cool climate and is surrouned by three vulcanoes: Tandikat, Singgalang and Merapi. The central landmark is the town’s clock tower, referred to by the locals as Jam Gadang. It’s overlooks the market square, a beehive of activity. A fantastic place to do shopping in souvenir shops. Nearby Kota Gadang is renowned for its fine silver filigree and hand embroidery. On the outskirts of Bukittinggi there is a 150 meter deep canyon called Ngarai Sianok (Sianok Canyon).

It is an incredibly winding through the bottom of the steep-walled canyon. West Sumatrans claim it is unrivalled for natural beauty in all of Indonesia.

Lake Maninjau
A crater lake, its scenery rivals Lake Toba on a smaller scale. One of West Sumatra’s most famous sights. There are facilities for swimming, water skiing and a good selection of hotels and restaurants. The village of Matur, overlooking the lake, arranges dance performances on request. Another ideal place for recreation – 36 km from Bukittinggi – is Lake Singkarak, the longest in West Sumatra.

Kerinci-Seblat National Park
Home to rhino’s, tigers, elephants, bears and orang-utans, the Kerinci sprawls across four provinces, making it Sumatra’s largest national park. The scenery is magnificent, dominated by volcanic cones including the highest peak in Western Indonesia Mount Kerici. Lake Kerinci is the best place to sight the park’s famous bird life.

Sumatra Orangutan
Sumatra Orangutan Rehabilitation Center
With orangutan (mawas) headed for extinction, this center and others like it elsewhere in Kalimantan preserve wild mawas from slaughter or capture, and rehabilitate confiscated specimens. At Mawas Rehabilitation Center, you can observe orangutan undergoing training for a return to their original habitat – a rare opportunity.

The center is a 45 minute walk from Bukit Lawang at the end of a river trail. A canoe on a cable is provided for crossing the river. A memorable part of a visit here is the ride out to the reserve through tropical rainforests and rubber plantations.

About The Orangutan
One of the great apes, the usually vegetarian, tailess mawas is the Asian equivalent of the African gorilla and chimpanzee. The orangutan is the most arboreal of all the great apes.Their name, in Indonesia, means “man of the forest”.Orangutans cause trees to sway to reach other trees, and sometimes used forked tree branches as tools to get at fruit. Orangutan are most often loners, and don’t travel in large families.The whirly hair offers protection from the rain; sometimes they use large leaves to cover themselves.

Another Orangutan rehabilitation center in Tanjung Puting National Park , Central Kalimantan serves the quite distinct Bornean subspecies of this endangered ape. Both center are a joint project of the WWFand the Indonesian Nature Conservation Agency

Sumatra is tropical so warm all year round. The monsoon season starts in Nov and ends in February. Travel is still possible during this time of year but can slow things up. On the coastline of Sumatra, the temperate is usually 300C or higher. As the majority of central Sumatra is mountainous, a lot of the tourist destinations like Lake Toba, Bukittinggi and Berastagi are cooler during the day. West Sumatra gets the most amount of rain of about 3500mm per year.

The dry season is the best time of year to visit Sumatra which starts in May and ends September. The best months are June and July. The wet season starts in September with regular afternoon showers and progresses through to Jan/Feb with longer periods of rain.

How to Get Sumatra

Sumatra is not that hard to get to. There are direct flights from Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Penang as well as catching a ferry from Singapore, Batam, Johor Baru or Penang and Melaka Malaysia.

Indonesia has both an VISA entry and exit tax. VISA’s are available for 7 days (US$10) or for 30 days (US$25) and needs to be paid in US dollars. The exit tax is 75,000Rp. Airports have an additional facilities tax which depends on which airport you use.

By Plane
You can fly into Medan airport (MDS) directly from Jakarta, Singapore or Penang, Malaysia. There are also airports located in Padang and Pekanbaru. Singapore Airlines and Garuda are the international carriers. Internal flights from Jakarta and Batam are serviced by a variety of budget airlines like Mandala Air, Lion Air, Air Asia, Tiger Airways, Silk Air, Batvia Air, Sriwijaya Air and Citilink (Garuda’s budget airline)

Flights are also available from Batam Island, Jakarta or Denpasar to Padang in West Sumatra. Flights from Batam to Medan available from 330,000Rp.

Airlines list that fly to Sumatra:

Mandala Air
Batavia Air
Sriwijaya Air
Air Asia Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Banda Aceh, Medan, Padang, Palembang or Pekanbaru.
Tiger Air Fly from Singapore to Padang.
Silk Air Fly from Singapore to Medan
Firefly Fly from Malaysia to Medan, Aceh, Padang and Pekanbaru.
Malaysian Air Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Medan.

By Ferry
Sumatra has 5 seaports you can enter via ferry. Medan, Padang, Dumai, Banda Aceh and Sibolga – Teluk Bayur.

You can catch ferries to Sumatra from Batam Island, Indonesia via Singapore, Melacca Malaysia, Penang Malaysia or Jakarta, Java – Indonesia.

Singapore to Medan via Batam Island
Penang to Medan
Melaka to Dumai
Jakarta to Lampung
Jakarta to Padang

Sumatra Surfing
Sumatra is the 6th largest Island in the world so has some incredible surfing spots along it’s coast line as well as the smaller islands that surround Sumatra.

Sumatra Cities Town and Village to Visit

Banda Aceh
Bukit Tinggi

Bukit Lawang
Lake Toba
Lake Maninjau

Islands to visit

Nias Island
Weh Island
Mentawai Islands
Siberut Island
Banyak Island
Batam Island
Cubadak Island
Telo Islands
Bintan Island
Bangka Island
Simeulue Island
Belitung Island