Karo Highlands – Volcanoes, Batak and the Lake Toba

Bukit Lawang and the Lake Toba - this journey covers all the major highlights of Sumatra including volcanos and great mountain views. Along the way you will stop at beautiful spots in the Karo Highlands - amongst them are the fruit market in Berastagi, a traditional Batak Karo village and the water falls of Sipiso-Piso. But it still doesn't stop here! On Samosir Island a discovery tour will take you to unspoiled areas with many indigenous plants where you can also learn about coffee growing techniques.

The town of Berastagi offers a refreshing break because of its pleasantly cool alpine climate (1400 m above sea level). The landscape is dominated by two active volcanoes: Mount Sibayak (2172 m) and Mount Sinabung (2417 m). The surrounding green fields produce a variety of fruit, vegetables and flowers for all of Berastagi District. The Karo Highlands are home to the Karo Batak people, a friendly ethnic group, mostly Christian. But a trip to North Sumatra would not be complete without a visit to the world’s highest and deepest volcanic lake – the beautiful Lake Toba. This idyllic lake has a depth of over 450 m and was formed by a volcanic explosion around 75.000 years ago that created a spectacular caldera with wonderful landscapes. Samosir Island in the middle of the lake is the world's fifth largest lake-island. It is home to Sumatra’s friendly Toba Batak people, who love music and singing. Expect a chorus of "horas" (welcome) greeting you! Their traditional houses and historic places are an attraction for the Region.

Beaches at the Lake Toba are lined with pine trees and scenic mountain slopes surround the lake. It's a perfect place to lay back and relax, swimming and biking are other popular options. Don't miss a traditional Batak dance at the cultural center in Simanindo and the historic Batak king's residence at Ambarita. Many people who go to Lake Toba plan only to spend a few days there, but often those days turn into weeks!


Karo Highlands and Lake Toba can be enjoyed as part of our packages Sumatra Highlights, Jungle Fun & Local Life and Sumatra Holiday XL. Or just add the Memorable Trip To The Lake Toba to your tailor-made Orangutans & Elephants package.

Memorable Trip to the Lake Toba (4-Day Tour):

  • DAY 01: Overland transport by air-con taxi from Bukit Lawang to the Lake Toba (9 hours): On the way you stop at several places in the Karo Highlands: the famous fruit market in Berastagi, a traditional Batak Karo village and the Sipiso-Piso waterfall: includes porter, driver, petrol, all entrance fees on the way, boat tickets (one way!) from Parapat harbour to Samosir Island. Starts at 07:00 am (only on Fridays!). Check in to your hotel on Samosir Island: Tabo Cottages, Batak Villa, bathroom with western toilet and hot water shower, fan, balcony with garden/lake view, breakfast
  • DAY 02: "Toba Discovery Tour" (1/2-day tour): This off road adventure will give you a memorable experience of the unspoilt part of this island along with great highland views over Lake Toba. You will discover the simple local lifestyle in a traditional Toba Batak village. And you will return with impressions of unique traditional Batak architecture, coffee growing techniques and vistas of indigenous plants: includes English speaking guide, driver, car, lunch picnic. Starts at 10:00 am. Stay another night on Samosir Island: Tabo Cottages, Batak Villa, bathroom with western toilet and hot water shower, fan, balcony with garden/lake view, breakfast
  • DAY 03: Spend 1 day winding down on Samosir Island swimming, relaxing and just enjoying the beautiful scenery or why not try and explore the island? Don't miss a traditional Batak dance at the cultural center in Simanindo and the historic Batak king's residence at Ambarita. Our partner Tabo Cottages will love to organize tours around the Lake Toba, if required. You can also rent a motorbike and travel around by yourself. Stay another night on Samosir Island: Tabo Cottages, Batak Villa, bathroom with western toilet and hot water shower, fan, balcony with garden/lake view, breakfast
  • DAY 04: Pickup at Parapat harbour and transport by air-con taxi back to your hotel in Medan or to Kuala Namu Airport (6 hours / flight departure not before 05:00 pm!): including driver & petrol

Package includes: driver, petrol, all entrance fees on the way, boat tickets (one way!) from Parapat harbour to Samosir Island

Package excludes: lunch, dinner and drinks while staying on Samosir Island, boat ticket from Samosir Island back to Parapat (15.000 IDR/payable on the boat); visa, flights, insurances

Price per person / min 2 pax:
199 Euro


We can adjust this package to your needs - subject to availability!