September – More and more airlines are flying to Silangit Airport in Sumatra from all over Indonesia and beyond, connecting travellers to this developing hotspot of tourism. A range of new flights connecting to Kualanamu in Medan have greatly reduced travel time and made Lake Toba and the surrounding area of Sumatra more easily reachable. Medan lies about 5 hours’ drive from Lake Toba, Silangit lies closer but it is still some 1.5 hours ride from Lake Toba, so there remains a need for transport to get to the various towns around the Lake. In order to facilitate this step of the journey, the local taxi service has been revamped, standardized and developed to provide fixed rates and reliable travel for visitors to the area.
Recently, directly after the staging of the resplendent Lake Toba Independence Day Carnival, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo declared Lake Toba as an ecotourism Destination. There are 7 regencies surrounding Lake Toba, which are Samosir, Toba Samosir, Simalungun, North Tapanuli, Karo, Dairi, and Humbang Hasundutan.. Silangit is located in the North Tapanuli regency, and today flights to Silangit Airport are served by national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, Lion Air and Susi Air. Garuda serves Silangit also direct from Jakarta.
Soon Silangit will be extended so it can receive larger aircrafts and its terminal much improved to be ready by early next year. In addition, extensive infrastructure improvements are being built in the area, including new roads and tourist facilities.
Taking a taxi to your destination around Lake Toba is simple. The official taxi counter is located outside the arrival hall (outside the main building) with banner taxi’s tariffs well displayed. The taxi fare is calculated by destination to each district. Unless you plan to stay in a remote village, whereby an additional cost will be charged. Tourists can simply tell the officer at the counter about their destination, pay the fare according to the list and proceed to the taxi with the receipt. One minibus carries up to 4 passengers including luggage. The airport taxi service is available until 5pm.
A full list of fares and destinations is available on the Wonderful Indonesia website.