North Sumatra is the ancestral home of the Batak tribes. The word Batak is a collective term used to identify a number of ethnic groups found in this region. The term is used to include the Karo, Pakpak, Simalungun, Toba, Angkola, and Mandailing; related groups with distinct languages and customs (adat). Toba Batak are known traditionally for their weaving, wood carving and especially ornate stone tombs. The area surrounding Lake Toba is home to many fascinating villages; the setting for ancient performances of dance and theatre on the modern stage.
Arrival Medan - Berastagi
Upon arrival at KNO airport in Medan, meet with your licensed and professional guide, then journey together to the Church of Mary Annai Velangkanni; a beautiful example of Indo-Mogul architecture brought from Tamil Nadu in India, which contains many captivating ornaments and colourful displays within the towering temple. Proceed to the forested foothills of the Bukit Barisan mountains, where you’ll see panoramic views on the way to the cool and picturesque town of Berastagi. Head to a traditional Fruit Market in town, where you will be met by a cacophony of colours and bustling activity as locals go about their daily business. Lau Debuk Debuk is a natural sulfur spring that is a great place to enjoy a communal bath in the steaming sulfurous water. In Berastagi, visit the Golden Pagoda, which is the tallest of its kind in Indonesia and the third largest in the world. You can also visit Gundaling Hill; a popular tourist destination in the region, as it offers excellent views of the nearby Sibayak and Sinabung volcanoes.
Overnight at Grand Mutiara Hotel or other similar
Berastagi – Sipiso Piso – Lake Toba – Samosir Drive
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and then journey to Tongging Hill and Sipiso Piso Waterfall located to the north of Lake Toba, this long and narrow waterfall drops 120 metres into the gorge below. Next, Pematang Purba is home to the palace of the former Raja of Simalungun Batak, which has been restored as a museum built in the style of a traditional adat house. Inside is the Raja's private apartment with ten separate hearths, formerly the quarters for each of his wives. Take a break at Simarjarunjung; a hilltop guesthouse offering magnificent views across the lake. Finally, travel to a town called Parapat, perched on a small rocky isthmus jutting into the Toba Lake and serving as the gateway to traditional Toba culture and a spectacularly beautiful volcanic basin at the northern end of Bukit Barisan range.
Overnight at Toledo Inn or other similar
Simanindo Cruise – Samosir Drive – Tele – Samosir Island
Following breakfast at your hotel, take a cruise on Lake Toba, passing lovely coves with white sandy beaches and picturesque villages by private ferryboat. Visit the fascinating ancient stone courtroom Ambarita Village and Simanindo Village, where you can watch a traditional dance performed by the people of Toba. From here, it’s on to Lumban Sui Sui, where you will see traditional weaving techniques in action, as locals produce the distinctive ikat fabrics that are so synonymous with the region. Continue to Pangururan; the sub-district administrative centre, where a bridge connects Samosir Island to the mainland on the slopes of Mt. Pusuk Buhit (1,981m). Sianjur Mula Mula was the first settlement of the Batak people; today it remains a beautiful village surrounded by stunning rice fields and is home to many fascinating mythical stories relating to the peoples of the region. Located on the mainland of Sumatra on the slopes of Mt. Pusuk Buhit (1,981 M), Tele is the sacred mountain of origin for all Bataknese people, offering unforgettable views of Lake Toba and Samosir Island.
Overnight at Toledo Inn or other similar
Samosir – Parapat - Balige
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel, and then cruise Lake Toba by public ferryboat back to Parapat. Upon arrival in Parapat, proceed to drive around the lakeside hills of the Bukit Barisan mountain range, which affords rewarding views back across the lake and landscapes of rice fields against a backdrop of a primary forest dotted with small villages. One of the many rewarding stops on the journey will be at Balige on the eastern shore of Lake Toba, where you’ll visit a large market built in the traditional Tapanuli style. Next, visit the Museum of TB Silalahi, dedicated to the preservation of the cultural values of the indigenous ethnic population of North Sumatra. Finally, Huta Ginjang is a hill in the northeastern region of Toba that is renowned for its iconic and picturesque views of Lake Toba and Samosir Island. Return to to Balige for accommodation.
Overnight at Mutiara Hotel Balige or other similar
Balige – Silangit Airport
After breakfast at your Hotel, transfer to Silangit airport for flight to your onward destination.