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SUMATRA COMPLETE 28D/27N

SUMATRA COMPLETE 28D/27N

Tour code : INSUM 6

Day 1 : Arrival Medan

Pick up from airport and citytour visiting the sultan palace of malay Deli-Maimoon, colorful Buddhist temple Vihara Gunung Timur and black-domed grand mosque Almashum built in 1906 by ducth architect. After the tour, transfers to your hotel and relax. (Travel time approximately 2 hours drive)

Day 2 : Medan – Flight to Banda Aceh

Back to airport for your onward flight to Banda Aceh. The flight takes about one hour. Upon arrival direct transfer to your hotel. Rest of day free to relax.

Day 3 : Banda Aceh – Onboard to Pulau Weh – Sumur Tiga

Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the ferry harbor Ulee Lheu. Followed by a 45 minutes fast ferry to Pulau Weh, the most northwestern island of Indonesia. This island offers truly world class diving with clear waters and impressive under landscape. Here, where the Andaman Sea meets the Indian Ocean, the deep waters and current around the island sustain an unbelievable amount and variety of marine life, ranging from tiny critters to grand pelagic’s. Upon arrival at harbour Balohan, Pulau Weh you will be picked up and taken to Sumur Tiga Resort within 20 minutes drive.

Day 4 – 5 : Pulau Weh, Free Day

Free day to explore at your will, You can arrange snorkeling, transport or or guides via your hotel (at personal exprenses)

Day 6 : Pulau Weh – Onboard to Banda Aceh

Onboard back to Banda Aceh by fast ferry, Upon arrival, citytour visiting the mosque Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman, the remains of the sultanates Gunongan, Kherkof and the tsunami landsmark of a ship thrown in to the centre of town. Then transfer to your hotel and relax.

Day 7 : Banda Aceh – Flight to Medan – Bohorok / Bukit Lawang

Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Banda Aceh airport for your onward flight back to Medan. Upon arrival, direct transfer to Bukit Lawang, the Orangutan rehabilitation centre located in Gunung Leuser National Park. This is one of the largest national park in the world containing over 800,000 ha of the park. The rooms comes up with traditional Indonesia shower with only cold water. (Travel time approximately 1 hours flight + 4 hours  drive)

Day 8 : Visit the Feeding Site Of Orang Utan – Berastagi

Walk along the river side till the crossing point where a small canoe waits and takes you to the other side of the river. Followed by a short hike up to visit the feeding place where the orangutans are fed and trained to live in the wild. It is a marvelous sight to see the orangutans coming around by swinging  freely in the jungle in order to reach the feeding spot. After the visit, jungle trek about 2-3 hours deeper in the park to explore more tropical flora and fauna. Walking in the forest is always via small often muddy and irregular paths. You will go up and down hill (seldom flat walking). Those not wishing this trek can return to hotel in relax

Remarks :

Those bringing camera /video in the feeding place will be charged additional Rp 50,000 for camera and Rp 150,000 for video and not refundable in case the Orangutan does not show up during the feeding time. At certain time, usually in the fruit season the Orangutan might not appear in the feeding place as they might get fed enough by nature deep in the wild but it happens rarely.

Day 9 : Bukit Lawang – Tangkahan By Local Jeep

Breakfast and followed by a 4-weel drive to Tangkahan, a peaceful jungle retreat still located in Gunung Leuser Park but far as touristy as Bukit Lawang. It is one of the finest of national parks of Indonesia and home to an impressive number of mammal species like tiger’s, orangutan, gibbons, elephants and rhino’s. The jeeptrip will pass by plantation tracks and rural areas, a bit bumpiy drive but great fun. The jeeps are often different shape, some are closed but most jeeps are open top. You will by stated on uncomfortable seats, or your cold just stand up. Take rain clothes with you and make sure that your luggage is covered by plastic. Arrive in Tangkahan, acrros the river by canoe and than a stair and a 200 meter walk to reach your accommodation. Your accommodation is very basic built with simple materials to keep in harmony with nature but beautifully located by the river side and surrounded by virgin rainforest including all its typical sound and scents. Each room has own bathroom but comes up with traditional Indonesia shower. Electricity run by own generation and not available after 22:00 pm.   ( Travel time approximately 4 hours drive )

In the afternoon you have chance to take elephant ride patrolling the forest, to see and help elephant bathing in the river or swim under jungle waterfall. Remember the elephant ride and elephant bathing is not available on Monday and Thursday

Day 10 : Tangkahan – Berastagi

Across back the river by canoe and drive on the first 2 hours over a bit bumpy plantation tracks. After this part you will drive over normal road till Berastagi, a mountain resort  situated on the Karo plateau on about 1400 meter above  the sea level. It is the homeland of the Karo Batak, one of the six Batak tribes that in habitat the province of north Sumatra. Before arriving at hotel, stop and wander around local fruit market.      ( Travel time approximately 6 hours drive )

Day 11 : Hiking Mountain Sibayak

By car you will be transferred to the starting point of your walk. Upon arrival, walk about 30 minutes over paved road surrounded by forest and then following a small but partly paved path surrounded by srubs, lower bushes and plant (less steep then the road). Here you have rice view (if clear weather). Last part you will be walking between rocks until you reach the edge of the crater (you have then walked for about 1,5 hours). From the edge you can see the yellow fumarols. Take a short rest before descending via a steep slippery path with big steps (of which only the edge remains). It can be very slippery (take care!), the rest muddy. You will be passing forest and have nice views. After descending about 1,5 hour you will reach hot sulphur springs with man made polls. Nice to take a dip, however on Sunday it will be filled with local people. The car will pick you up and take you back to your hotel.

Day 12 : Berastagi – Lake Toba / Samosir Island

Scenic drive to lake Toba, one of the deepest and largest crater lake in the world with stop at Dokan, a small Batak Karo village with a number of traditional houses still being inhabited where eight families live in together in each house and you can have a look inside. Second stop at Sipiso piso waterfall located at the edge of lake toba. Next stop at Pematang Purba, the sight of the former palace (Long House) of Batak King Simalungun. The building is not inhabited anymore but the sight will give you a good idea of how the king used to live. From Pematang Purba you will continue your way following a small road (sometime in bad condition) to Prapat, a resort town on shore of lake toba. Upon arrival across onboard (by public boat) to Samosir island where you will stay for two nights. Atahe boat will probably stops several times to drop other passengers. You will be dropped right in front of your hotel. (Travel time approximately 5 hours drive + 45 minutes boat ride)

Day 13 : Discover Samosir

Today you will explore the natural beauty and cultural aspect of batak toba. You will visit ambarita where the remnant megalithic culture of batak toba lies in front of wooden traditional houses. Continue to Simanindo to see the folkdance performed by the villager. Here you also can visit a museum built in typical batak style. On returning to hotel visiting tomok village with its very old and nicely decorated sarchopagus.

Day 14 : Samosir Walking

By car or truck you will be taken to a village at higher altitude in the centre of the island called Sigarantung. From here you start walking all the way down. In the beginning the path can be small, overgrown and sometimes slippery with heavy rain. After several hundred meter the paths gets broader and easier to follow, howover it can still be quite steep. You enjoy great views almost continueously. After around one hour you will cross the asfaltroad (which you have followed by car going up) and around 50-100 meters further on you will follow a small path again, this path is quite steep in the beginning and can be slippery (also high vegetation ). The walk ends in the village of Tomok where you can visit a very old and nicely decorated sarcophagus. There are a lort of souvenir stalls here. From Tomok you will be taken back to your hotel.  ( Travel time approximately 3 hours drive )

This walk can also be shortened : drive to the ‘tea village’ and start walking from here. The views are not as nice, but it is easier walking (no steep descending)

Day 15 : Samosir Island – Sipirok of Padang Sidempuan

Across back to Parapat and drive up to Sipirok or Padang Sidempuan with view of marching mountains Bukit Barisan, a long but beautiful trip. Last part to sipirok the road is  always bad condition (sometimes really bad!!) first stop will be at a typical Batak village Jangga dolok with nice traditional houses and where traditional hand weaving Ulos sarong are sold. A nice walk from the highway to the village and from the village you can continue walking via a different way to the highway again. Next stop at colorful market place in balige and sulphur hotspring in sipoholon. Then you continue to Taruntung to have lunch at local restaurant. From here continue driving passing by beautiful landscape ( rice sawah’s ) all the way to Sipirok or Padang Sidempuan. Tonight you will sleep at simple accommodations. (Travel time approximately 9 hours drive)

Day 16 : Sipirok or Padang Sidempuan – Bukit Tinggi

The journey today is rather long but worthwhile to exhibit the inner prt of Sumatra. The scenery of mountains, rivers, valleys and traditional villages will relieve you from wearness. En route stop to see waterfall and a small herb garden where several kinds of herbsare grown (karedemon, ginger, vanilleetc) Here you will be shown how the herbs grow. Often there is also a short tailed monkey present who are specially trained to collect coconuts. Next you will pass by a moslem  school where the students are living in very small houses. Just before the city of Kotanopan you can sometimes witness the search for gold dust in the nearby river (activity subject to availability). The last stop before bukit tinggi is Bonjol where you will cross the equator. From here remains a trip of around 2 hours (mountaineuos) before reaching Bukittinggi. (Travel time approximately 6 hours drive)

Day 17 : Bukittinggi, Canyon Walk – Dinner at Villager’s House

This walk starts at the Panorama park (which is located on walking distance from your hotel). You descend the stairs and take a look at the Japanese caves. Following an asphaltroad and then rice fields. A bit lateryou reach the river which winding through the bottom of 150m deep canyon. You have to cross the river 7-9 times. The walk ends in Kota Gadang, a village famous with its silverworks. Here you car waits and takes you back to Bukittinggi.

In the late afternoon you return to the panorama park for a great Padangmeal at local people’s home. Nearby you can watch hundreds of flying foxes leaving their sleeping trees in serarch for food.

Day 18 : Bukittinggi Excurcion

Citytour  visiting the clock tower Jam Gadang which overlooks the colourful market  Pasar atas, Dutch fort called De Kock, Sianokvalley and Pandai sikat, a village famous with its hand heaving and wood carving. Travel further to Pagaruyung palace, a site of ancient Minangkabau Kingdom where women ruled in mantrilineal society. In 2007 this palace was bumt down,hit by lightning. Now it is under reconstruction and almost finished. Afternoon back to Bukittinggi with stop at Sungai Tarab, a village where sometimes you can witness coffee milling powered by flowing water (activity subject to availability). (Travel time approximately 7 hours drive)

Day 19 : Lake Maninjau Excursion

Tour to Maninjau crater lake, one of Sumatra’s famous sight with stop at Koto Gadang to see skilled silversmiths at work. Next stop at puncak Lawang to see panoramic of lake Maninjau. Here you can sometimes witness a traditional sugar refinery powered by buffalo (activity subject to availability ). Then descending the road with 44-sharp curves till the edge of the lake. Afternoon back to Bukittinggi.

Day 20 : Bukittinggi – Harau Valley

Drive to Harau, a nature and wildlife reserve surrounded by 100-200 meters high granite walls. It is located about 57 km from Bukittinggi. The valley is very excited landscape around it. The scenery is breathtaking. You will be staying at a beautiful location within the Harau Valley. This hotel consists of different style cottages and rooms. You have your own bathroom but without hot water (there are no rooms with hot water). However you can always ask for hot water at the reception and they will bring this to your room (hotel is used to do this)

Day 21 : Harau – Bangko

A long trip ahead of you. Via Payakumbuh you travel southwards. Firs part of the trip you will be passing nice scenery but as soon as you follow the Trans-Sumatrahighway, the scenery will be a bit boring. You will arrive in the late afternoon in Bangko where you spend the  night in a simple hotel with simple facilities, fast and service. The hotel cannot arrange your lunch or dinner, so they should be arranged at local restaurant in the centre.

Day 22 : Visit The Kubu Tribe

A two hour trip will take you to the edge of the Bukit Dua Belas National Park. From here you start walking in to a Kubu settlement. The exact location can never be predicted on forehand as they are semi nomads and often change their location, so it is possible that you have to drive longer/shorter or walk longer/sorter then expected. The local guide that joins you should be able to know where find a Kubu settlement. Upon arrival you hand over the gifts and have some time to mingle with the local people. Afterwards return to your hotel.

The Kubu (or anak Dalam/Orang Rimba) is the name of an isolated tribe whose members are still little touched by the influences of modernity. Even today they have almost no contact with outsiders. They live in the forests of southem Sumatra since prehistoric time as hunter-gatherers and nomadic farmers. The people still lead the nomadic life and move to a new sife whenever there is something wrong in their current place, or someone dies.  This activity is called Melangun. So minor change of this tour is sometimes necessary due to this Melangun mobility.

Need to bring :

You are recommended to give some gifts to the tribe. It can be their daily needs, like medicine, sugar, cigarette, etc. Ask your guide what is the best as the gifts, and when is the best time to buy (at personal expenses)

Day 23 : Bangko – Kersik Tuo

From Bangko you drive north to the small city near Sungai Penuh. Pass the Lake of Kerinci and visit the old mosque of Sungai Penuh with its impressive drum. Sungai Penuh is located within a valley dominated with cinnamon trees which young leaves have a pink-reddish color. From Sungai Penuh you visit the Semurup hotspring and continue to Kersik Tuo surrounded by a huge tea plantation named Kayu Aro : your back again at the scenic Sumatra track. If there is time left you could try to visit the tea factory , if not try tomorrow. To visit the factory you need to have permission which can be only arranged on the spot. The cost will be at personal expenses.

Day 24 ; Kersik Tuo, Hiking MT. Lake Gunung Tujuh

Hike to mount lake Gunung Tujuh, a spectacular caldera lake of 960 hectares located at an altitude of 1950 meters and surrounded by seven peaks and pristine rainforest with abundant wildlife. It is the part of Kerinci Seblat National Park as well as the highest altitude fresh water lake in south East Asia. This lake is also made as a research spot for an unidentified primate called Orang Pendek ‘’short man of jungle’’ who live around the forest near the lake. Afternoon back to your hotel.

Day 25 : Kersik Tuo – Bungus Bay

Via the Bukit Barisan mountain range you drive from Kersik Tuo to Bungus Bay, which is a again a long but scenic trip passing through Sumatra’s forest. Bungus is located around 20 km nort of Padang. Enroute you will probably see some women working as tea pickers at the plantation. Or you will probably see the tea leaf processing in the factory (processing the leaves that were picked the day before). Tonight you will sleep at a simple accommodation locally called losmen. If you would like to do some snorkeling by boat next day, you can make the arrangements today with staff of your losmen (at personal expenses).

Day 26 : Bungus Bay, Free Program

Free day to explore et your will. You have possibility to do snorkelexcursion (should be paid for yourselves). Discuss prices and make sure that the boat is big enough. Check the waves! There should be life jackets available and make sure you bring them.

Day 27 : Bungus Bay – Padang

Drive to Padang, the capital city of West Sumatra province which is devastated by a huge earthquake last year. Before arriving at hotel, short city sightseeing. Tonight you will sleep at Pangeran beach hotel. It is the only hotel which still operates after the quake. (Travel time approximately 1,5 hours drive)

Day 28 : Padang, Departure

Free to relax until time to leave for airport. (Travel time approximately 45 minutes drive)

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