North Sumatra Soft Adventure

6 Day Holiday

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Departure dates on request

Rates vary frequently, depending on your hotels choice, number of people in your party and period of your trip.


North Sumatra is a land of fertile valleys and rugged mountains, home to an abundance of animal and plant species all waiting to be discovered on this 6-day adventure tour. The world's 6th and Indonesia's largest island, this is not a destination one looking for a relaxed holiday should pursue. However, those in favour of some soft adventure and cultural insight should consider this tour. Join your local guide and visit architectural wonders steeped in history that include the sultan’s Deli Palace and the Great Mosque.

On this Indonesia tour you will ride elephants through rivers and dense jungle passing oil-palm and rubber plantations en-route, before stopping at a local school. Encounter the notorious Sumatran orangutan at the entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park and have the opportunity to observe them eating breakfast!

Visit Batak Karo traditional village at Peceren before you reach Brastagi an area known for its cool climate, orchids, flowers, vegetables and fruits. It is also home to the Batak Karo people, who have unusual wedding, and funeral ceremonies which can last for days as well as dozens of other unique traditions and rituals that have been well preserved within their culture.

During the last part of this North Sumatra tour venture out to Lake Toba and Samosir, an island within a volcanic lake that was formed over 75,000 years ago. En-route you will stop at the cascading Sipiso-piso Waterfall in the Batak highlands and the village of Pematang Purba. Here you still be able to observe the long house constructed on pile works about two centuries ago and was known as the dwelling of the ancient Batik Simalungun Kings. This is the ideal vacation for intrepid travellers who want to learn more about off-the-beaten-track destinations and the well preserved cultures existing within Indonesia.



Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and will take you for a short city tour visiting the Sultan's Deli Palace built in 1888. In former times the Palace was considered as the centre of the town administrative before the city of Medan developed. The tour continues to the Great Mosque.Drive towards Tangkahan, known as part of Gunung Leuser National Park, it will take approx. 4 hours passing through the Binjai and Batang Serangan villages en-route. This afternoon you will arrive in Tangkahan where you will stay in a simple and basic lodge surrounded by nature.
Overnight in Tangkahan. (L)


Rise early for breakfast; begin the day with a walk and some elephant riding. Native to the island, the Sumatra elephants will take you on a gentle one hour ride through the river and into the jungle.After lunch, transfer by 4x4 Jeep to Bukit Lawang passing through plantations and dense jungle. On the way, stop at oil-palm, rubber and cacao plantations, as well as a local school! The drive takes around 3 hours and is partially off-road passing places of interest and sensational panoramas.

Tangkahan is one of the most prominent centres for elephant's rehabilitation in the region and also a base for the control of illegal logging, whilst Bukit Lawang, established in 1973, is a primary orangutan rehabilitation centre. Overnight in Bukit Lawang. (B,L)


Bukit Lawang is located 86km from Medan, the largest city in Indonesia's Northern island of Sumatra. It sits at the entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park and is the last sanctuary of the Sumatran orangutan. An early start today is in order to be on-time and ready for the first feeding of the orang-utans at 08.00am.

The excursion starts with a short walk along the river bank before crossing the river in a traditional canoe, continuing the hike amidst the thick and hilly bushes until you reach at the plat-forms where regularly, twice a day at 08:00am and 15:00pm , the red apes "orang-utans’ are fed.

From here we continue climbing up further into the jungle to see the orang-utans enjoying their breakfast. Take some time to savour this special moment, before walking deeper into the jungle. Here, you have the opportunity to see several species of indigenous flora and fauna. The total trekking time is approximately 3 hours before returning to the hotel. On the way stop at Sembahe river, passing the town of Sibolangit, and arrival at Brastagi visiting Batak Karo traditional village at Peceren.

Reach Brastagi this afternoon. The area is home to the Batak. Take a short tour of the town to visit a traditional village at Peceren and see the fruit market which is swarming with activity and scenes from traditional Karo life. In the early evening you will arrive at Brastagi, a climate station located at some 1400 meters above sea-level. Overnight in Brastagi. (B,L)


After breakfast, leave for Lake Toba and Samosir, an island within a volcanic lake. Along the way you will stop at to see the 120 meter Sipiso-piso waterfall which is located in the Batak highlands. The beautiful fall is formed by a underground river that then plunges from a cave into Lake Toba caldera.

One more stop will be made at the village of Pematang Purba. You'll also visit Rumah Bolon, the former royal palace, which commands great views over the lake. Stop at Simarjarunjung to enjoy the fantastic view of Lake Toba.

After lunch you will reach Parapat, a small town on the eastern shore of Lake Toba, where you will cross to Samosir Island by local ferry boat (45 minutes). This small island is located in the middle of Lake Toba, the caldera lake of the Toba Volcano, which was formed over 75,000 years ago.
Overnight on Samosir Island. (B,L)


Today you will spend a full day exploring Lake Toba and its shores by boat (0800-1500). Surrounded by towering volcanic walls, you will cruise along the calm waters of this 100 kilometre long lake.

Visit Ambarita whose villagers are known for making chairs and tables out of stone and which was the infamous execution place of the Siallang Kings. Stop at Simanindo where you'll be treated to a performance of Batak Toba traditional dance called Tor-Tor and visit the fascinating museum.

Continue to Pangururan to see the view of Lake Toba and the hot-springs, and Tomok, where you will see the tombs of former Sidabutar Kings.Along on this trip you may have the time to stop at a local school to see the activities of young children and visit the village where the people make traditional hand weaving.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant en-route and, returning to your hotel mid-afternoon. The remainder of today is at your leisure. Overnight on Samosir Island. (B,L)


After breakfast cross back by ferry to Parapat (45 minutes) and then drive back to Medan via Pematang Siantar and Tebing Tinggi (176 kilometers). The journey takes approximately 4 hours but is very scenic with views over estate plantations of rubber and oil-palm.

Arrive in Medan and directly transfer to airport for your connecting flight to the next destination. (B)

End of Tour Arrangements


City - Hotel & Category

  • Tangkahan - Megan Inn Lodge or similar - Standard
  • Bukit Lawang - Bukit Lawang Cottage or similar - Standard
  • Brastagi - Grand Mutiara or similar - Superior
  • Samosir - Tabo Cottages or similar - Standard

Our Services Include:

  • 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 (No other languages available)
  • All entrance fees and tours as indicated in itinerary

Value for money
We believe that value for money is important, we want you to travel with ICAN Holidays again. When comparing prices, ensure you are comparing like for like as often there may be a cheaper option, but there may be hidden extras or the quality may not be as good.

North Sumatra Soft Adventure
Explore the highlights of North Sumatra (Code: EXO)